A great Railwayman died yesterday.
Retired driver Jimmy O'Grady was the last surviving CIE steam driver in Sligo. His passing truly marks the end of an era.
Son of an MGWR man, he joined the GSR in 1947 & worked his way up through the ranks to become a driver, a job he loved.
His retirement was celebrated in fine style at Sligo station, when a detachment of the Sligo City Pipe Band (of which he was a proud member) paraded him from the steps of the 071 he was driving, to his home on Lord Edward Street.
He was proud of his job & welcomed many a gricer to the footplate, generously imparting his great trove of railway knowledge & lore. He drove the last train from Ballaghadereen & the last Southern Goods on the Burma Road. He was saddened by the contraction of the system & the fall of the railway from the pre-eminent position it held in his youth. He took great delight in the RPSI & IRRS tours to Sligo. The last such occasion he could attend, was the Railway Children charity 121 farewell tour, when immaculately turned out as always, he mounted the footplate with delight. On the footplate, or in his home, he was truly one of natures gentlemen. May his gentle soul Rest In Peace, he will be missed.
Sincere condolences to his wife Tess, son Paul & daughter Anne.
Requiem Mass on Tuesday at 12 noon, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo,with funeral proceeding to Sligo Cemetery.