Belgooly Resident Reveals Treasure Trove
Writes JJ Hurley
Frank Cooper, a native of Kenmare, but now a resident of Cramer’s Court Nursing Home, Belgooly, recently gave a fascinating insight into a scrapbook of collections gathered over his lifetime.
Containing memories not just of his own personal journey through life, the book also documents some of the momentous events that shaped the world over the last hundred years.
Initially, some of the material was passed down from his mother, Katie (nee) O’Sullivan Green) from Tousist, Co Kerry, which straddles the Cork/Kerry border.
Her activity as a member of Cumman na mBan, along with his father’s enlistment in the Free State Army in the Civil War, is reflected in Frank’s collection, with many articles reflecting on the period.
Leaving his native Kenmare, where he worked as a draper with Cremin’s, he completed a series of jobs in Cork, including spells at Dunnes Stores, Leaders, Roches Stores, Dwyers, T S Lyons, before setting up his own business on South Main Street: Daco, in the ‘60s.
It was during that time he met his wife, Margaret McCarthy, whose brother, Mick McCarthy, captained Glen Rovers.
Hurling may have seemed like something of a foreign sport to man who regularly togged out with South Kerry. With a family of three sons, whose success are also contained in the book, including on the sporting field, with Highfield and St. Finbarr’s, as well as a historic victory for the Togher scouts in the Melvin competition, the book jogs the memory of time’s past.
In addition to his successful business in the city, which also included a postcard business, with clients in both Ireland and England, Frank was also very active in the Cork Junior Chamber, helping to produce: A ‘Where to go in Cork’ production in the ‘60s.
His skills with the needle and thread, inherited from his mother, whose family were well-known as tailors, were put to good use, producing hand-made crests for many clubs, most notably St. Finbarr’s GAA Club and Macroom Golf Club. Frank deserves great credit in collecting this book documenting a period in history that would be otherwise lost to social historians.
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