The unexpected death at the weekend of Mr. Jim Mulligan has deprived Waterford of one of its most popular, prominent and respected businessmen.

Mr. Mulligan, leading Pharmacist and Dispensing Optician, passed away on Sunday at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin following a very brief illness. He lived for the past 15 years at Poul Na Linnte in the upper village of Dunmore East, having previously resided at Weston, Newtown, in Waterford. He was 76 years of age.

Mr. Mulligan, a native of Ballinrobe, County Mayo, opened his first pharmacy at George’s St. back in 1957 and in the intervening years established eleven more in Waterford, County Kilkenny and County Tipperary. In the late 1960’s he transferred the George’s St. business to Barronstrand St. and in its place his wife Sheila (sister of former Fianna Fail Minister and EU Commissioner Michael O’Kennedy from Nenagh) set up The Hanger, a trend setter in ladies fashion which to this day leads the way in that regard.

Only last September Mr. Mulligan, with his family and friends, celebrated fifty years of business and in the process raised €85,000 for the Jonah project for autistic children, to which he was a generous benefactor. He was also associated in the early years with the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Extremely dedicated to his profession and to his customers – he had a policy of never taking one for granted – he worked six days a week for many years and was last seen attending to business only two weeks ago.

Over the years he also became involved in business with his great friends Dr. Tom Keogh and the late Dentist, Mr. John Heffernan. Since his move to Dunmore East he made many new friends who will sadly miss the daily sight of him walking his two dogs, contentedly, along the high wall by the harbour.

An avid sports enthusiast, Mr. Mulligan was a talented squash player in his youth and was later a prominent member of Waterford Gun Club. He also played a bit of golf. He loved hurling, Gaelic football, rugby and soccer too and followed keenly the fortunes of the respective teams, both local and national. In particular, he supported the Waterford hurling team, the Munster rugby team and his beloved Mayo footballers.

He is survived by Sheila, to whom he was totally devoted, sons Seamus, Ronan, Kieran, Garvan and Niall, daughters-in-law Deirdre, Kate, Tash, Julie and Susan, sixteen beloved grandchildren, his sisters Myra, Nan and Ita, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

The warm regard in which he was held by so many was reflected in the size of the attendance for the removal of the remains from his home to Killea Church on Tuesday evening and again for 12 o’clock Requiem Mass on Wednesday and the burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

May he rest in peace.