"The Legendary Donie Sheahan"
Interviewed by Marie Carroll O'Sullivan in Spring 2020
So many of our cocooners mentioned and thanked Sheahan's Pharmacy for being so attentive throughout lockdown so a friend said 'why don't you visit Donie?'. I didn't have to be asked twice.
I sat with Donie at his home on Lewis Road not quite knowing where to start so I began by asking him "what is your secret Donie to such a long & healthy 94 years"? "I never drank and I never smoked. I think that has a lot to do with it". Donie told me about his lovely wife Carmel Dowling from Ballymac who he opened his chemist with in 1953 where they only had one employee. The principal at Kilcummin School at the time said "You've taken the best teacher we ever had from us at Kilcummun NS". Donie explained how women had to "give up work when they married but educating the lads was down to Carmel, she was still a teacher. A wonderful woman and held a high regard for education".
Donie & Carmel have 5 children - Liam who now runs Sheahan's Chemist Killarney, Kieran who is a Doctor at St Vincents Hospital in Dublin and a Professor at UCD, Paul runs his own chemist in Kenmare, Catherine is a retired principal at a school in Ballymun, Dublin and Aileen is a Physiotherapist in Galway".... all following somewhat in their parents footsteps.
"I miss the shop and the customers. I haven't been there for months. I'm fed up looking at the television but I do enjoy Dáithí & Maura in the afternoon. Dáithí is a gas man".
Onto sports...... well known for his passion for horse racing, chairman at Dr Crokes for over 20 years, and a selector for the 1975 Kerry team, who defeated Dublin in the 'All Ireland Football Final', on 28th Sept 1975, I knew Donie would have a story for me.
"I was just looking at the paper there Marie, and saw Maurice Fitzgerald. A talented player, I knew his Dad Ned well. I remember Ned sending Maurice in to me for a 'tonic' saying "Donie will sort you out". Kerry Footballer Maurice Fitzgerald, had a bad flu but he ended up getting 'Man of the Match' back in 1992. And on his return to Killarney he made a beeline for me and thanked me personally. I was delighted".
"Who is your all time favourite player Donie"? He looked at me and paused (like I should have known - I had previously told him I was a blow-in so I think he forgave me quick) "sure the Gooch of course Marie, isn't he the most gifted you've ever seen"? He sure is Donie, legendary status like yourself.
On the 21st April 1926 Englands Queen was born and on the same day in Listowel, Kerry another treasure was born. Thank you for having the chats with me in the sunshine Donie. My absolute pleasure.