Matthews Coach Hire waved a fond farewell to their longest serving staff member at a special ceremony last Thursday.
Oliver Keenan has not only been with the company since day one but he actually came with the first Matthews bus.
“Oliver first approached me in 1995 to see if I would be interested in taking up the bus”, Paddy Matthews told the paper, “the bus came with a number of school, football and bingo runs, and himself as driver.
“I’m glad to say that I did, and working with Oliver was one of the best moves I ever made.
“The company has grown many other runs since then but the great constant throughout has been Oliver.
“To many people, Oliver is the face of the company, people ring him sometimes before they ring us asking about buses for hire and timetables.”
Oliver and his wife Frances were presented with retirement presents by Paddy and Mary Matthews including a beautiful clock, and a certificate appointing him as the company’s first ambassador.
“He is, and I hope he will remain, a Matthews ambassador long into the years of his retirement,” said Paddy.
Oliver had a wealth of stories to tell of his time on the road, but the common theme throughout was how much a transport company can be at the heart of the community.
“We pioneered rural transport in the area almost 20 years ago and it was really appreciated back then,” Oliver explained.
“Before Louth Link or any other services started, we were running buses to the Carrick market – a service that is still operating today.
“It gives me great pride when I see people who we took to primary school, to football and to secondary school, to college, their weddings now travelling with Matthews to work.”
Oliver is Inniskeen born and bred and his hobbies of keeping a pony and gig, shooting and fishing, will keep him very busy in years to come.