Joseph McNicholas R.I.P.

Joseph McNicholas, late of Kiltimagh, Co Mayo and Pontypridd, South Wales.April 17, 1939 April 17, 1999

All over South Wales today there are reminders of Joe's long career in the construction industry. During more than 35 years, Joe built roads, warehouses, bridges, docks infrastructure; homes, factories and oil refineries. He was in charge of many major projects and was responsible for the buildings used by thousands of people every day. These include Cardiff Bus depot and offices, Newport Mega Bowl and multiplex cinema, Llantrisant Leisure Centre, Toys R Us store, Cardiff, and, most recently, the multiplex cinema in Bridgend.
Joe qualified as a carpenter and joiner in Ireland after leaving boarding school in Ballaghaderreen, where he studied Latin, Gaelic and Religion.
He travelled to Britain in the late 1950s and in 1961, permanently joined Wimpey Construction in Cardiff. Joe worked for the company for 35 years, rising to Senior Projects Manager, and then stayed with the firm when it transferred to Tarmac.
Joe was born in the village of Ballyglass, Kiltimagh, County Mayo. There as a teenager he first displayed his superb talent for carpentry. He worked with wood all his life, creating many beautiful pieces of furniture.
Joe married and settled in Pontypridd and was a much-respected member of the congregation at St Dyfrig's R.C. Church, Treforest.
All his life, people sought his advice, and it seemed there was no task that he could not turn his hand to.
He was incredibly well-read and enjoyed long conversations about everything from current affairs to football.
After taking early retirement from Tarmac this year, Joe kept busy working on his family's homes and enjoyed time with his grandchildren.
Joe McNicholas left a legacy for future generations not only in bricks and mortar but also in the way he lived his life - treating all those he met with fairness, generosity and compassion.

Our contributor, Stephanie McNicholas, one of Joe's children, is a graduate journalist working in Cardiff. Fluent in French and Welsh she began to study Italian a few years ago and has recently begun to learn Irish.
: Stephanie McNicholas, 1999.

Published in The Green Dragon No 9, Winter, 1999.

Links St. Patrick's Day / Gorgysylltiadau Gwyl Padrig 2004