Sunday, June 18, 2017

Not forgetting Mickey Gordon

Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of the death of Mickey Gordon. A man from Naas who wouldn’t be known to this generation of Kilcullenites, but who nevertheless left an enduring mark on a village that he adopted as his own. To mark the occasion, I reproduce a piece I wrote for the Diary on his 15th anniversary, because that says it all. Until you find someone who knew him, and then all the other funny, sad, and everything in between stories will flow …

Mickey Gordon is still remembered by many as one of Kilcullen's most-loved 'characters', writes Brian Byrne.

Although he lived in Naas, he spent many years as the caretaker in Kilcullen's Town Hall Cinema, in the process gaining an extraordinary knowledge of films and movie actors. He had a particular interest in horror films, but he would also be heard singing songs from film hits as he walked home from Kilcullen to Naas late in the evening. Locals driving would often stop to give him a lift and would be serenaded through the journey. He even had his own collection of films at home which he used to show on an old Bell & Howell projector until it finally broke down.

A keen traveller, Mickey could be found as far off as Cork and Tralee and was seen at the arrival of the Tall Ships in Cobh. He was also a regular traveller with the Kilcullen pilgrimage to Knock shrine. “He was a very special ‘knight of the roads’ who travelled north, south, east and west,” John Brady recalled.

After he died in 1999, at the age of 62, his many friends across mid-Kildare raised funds to erect a memorial on his grave in St Corban's Cemetery, Naas. The campaign around 14 pubs around Kildare was led by John Brady of Brannockstown, in Kilcullen, Naas, Ballymore Eustace, Rathangan and in Sallins.

On the tenth anniversary of Mickey's death many of his friends gathered at Markey's Stray Inn in Mile Mill to celebrate his life. The pictures from that occasion are here.

If you're in any pub in Kilcullen — because Mickey was a welcomed regular in them all — raise a glass of whatever is your favourite to his memory. Mickey's anniversary is noted every year in local newspapers with the following:
He liked his pint/He loved a song/The sort of person missed when gone/Always remembered by his family and friends.