End of an era with death of leading Offaly business man

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ger.scully@tullamoretribune.ie

THE death of the founder of Carroll Meats, the iconic brand forever associated with Offaly GAA, marks the end of an era is the business life of the county.

Seamus Carroll, ‘Jeand’arc’, New Road, Tullamore died peacefully in Bethany House Nursing Home, Tyrellspass last week and was laid to rest in Clonminch Cemetery following the celebration of Solemn Requiem Mass in the Church of the Assumption on Monday morning.

Founder of Carroll Meats, deceased was a far seeing and entrepreneurial business man who developed the brand into one of the most successful in its field in Ireland.

He was honoured for his contribution to the business, commercial and sporting life of Offaly by the Dublin Offaly Association when he was conferred with the coveted Person of the Year Award and also by Tullamore and District Chamber of Commerce at their annual business awards in 2014.

Tributes have been paid to the deceased by Offaly GAA, Tullamore Chamber and the Offaly Association in Dublin.

A native of Shinrone, Seamus Carroll was a member of a well known and respected family whose father Jack was renowned throughout Offaly and north Tipperary as a blacksmith and master farrier.

Having completed primary school, Seamus worked initially on Cleary’s farm in Shinrone and then in the Antigen Factory in Roscrea.

In the late 1960’s he moved to Tullamore, where he met Anna Whelan, married and the happy couple had six children, some of whom followed Seamus into the world of business.

He took up employment with Lumley’s Cash & Carry and worked there until he commenced working for himself in 1978 when he started distributing chilled food products from the back of his house in Marian Place, This was the beginning of the journey which saw the brand Carroll Meats, later Carroll Cuisine stocked in almost every supermarket and foodstore in Ireland.

In the early 1980’s the business relocated to Riverside View opposite Tullamore College and it was from there that the first Carroll’s Hams were manufactured in 1984 and by the end of the 1990’s was firmly established as the number one ham product in Ireland.

The growth of Carroll Meats also coincided with one of the most successful periods in Offaly hurling and it was a great honour and privilege for Seamus, being from the heartland of hurling in Offaly, to be the first sponsor of Offaly GAA and be able to witness the brand carried on the Offaly jerseys to All Ireland successes in hurling in 1994 and 1998.

In 2004 Seamus Carroll sold Carroll Cuisine to IAWS which is part of the worldwide ARYZTA group with listings on the Swiss stock exchange and ensured the business would continue to develop in an ever increasing global multiple dominated retail environment.

Seamus then set about developing Burlington Business Park which was the site previously of Burlington Industries, LMS Beech and Flextronics Ireland from whom he purchased the property at Sragh Road.

Seamus always recognised the efforts of family, the loyal staff which worked with him over the years and the support of the people of Tullamore and Offaly.

His remains were removed on Sunday evening from his home to the Church of the Assumption and Funeral Mass was celebrated on Monday with interment afterwards in Clonminch Cemetery.

To his loving wife Anna and family, John, Annette (Bennigsen), Catriona (Merriman), Mary Carroll (Kelly), Seamus and Michael, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brother Philip, sisters Margaret (Lewis), Sheila (Kavanagh) and Anne (Doyle), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends the deepest sympathy is extended.

May he rest in peace.

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