Hundreds of mourners came to bid a final farewell to one of Cork’s most prominent businessmen and philanthropists, James O’Sullivan, yesterday.
The town of Carrigaline came to a standstill to pay their respects to the 58-year director of wholesalers M&P O’Sullivan, who served on three separate occasions as president of the Cork Business Association.
Mr O’Sullivan, who was crowned Corkonian of the Year last December, was described by chief celebrant Fr Pat Fogarty as deserving of being called a ‘legend’.
He said: “He leaves a rich legacy. The word legend is thrown around very loosely nowadays. James was a legend in his lifetime and leaves us a rich legacy of what it means to be a true Christian person.”
Mr O’Sullivan was known throughout Cork for his commitment to charity and volunteerism, having served as president of the Carrigaline & District Lions Club as well as district governor of the philanthropic organisation.
The Carrigaline Lions Charity Cycle has raised €500,000 since it was founded during Mr O’Sullivan’s term as president of the Lions Club.
Fr Fogarty said Mr O’Sullivan had dedicated his life to his wife Cathy and their two children Emma and Eoin, as well as helping others. It was a testament to his inherent goodness so many people came from far and wide to attend his funeral Mass, Fr Fogarty added.
His son Eoin said his father was a “generous, positive, passionate, determined” man who gave his time to help others.
“James lived for the now. He had boundless energy and was always on the go. If there was something he wanted, he went out and got it.
“He had friends in high places and never hesitated to call in a favour for someone in need. He found great satisfaction in helping others, and supporting charities was a huge part of his life.
“He was a true Corkonian. He was only getting started when it came to working for the city. No doubt he has left the city in a much better place than he found it,” said Eoin.
Daughter Emma said her father was a family man at heart, who adored his wife and his children.
“You were one of a kind, and I was so proud to call you my father,” she said.
A native of Douglas, Mr O’Sullivan joined the M&P O’Sullivan company, which was founded by his grandfather in 1905, in 1977 as it entered the cash and carry trade.
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