On the 28th of August, 2013 Tipperary town said goodbye to a true gentleman and a great household name - Joe Whelan. His passion in life was his family, business and above all the shop. He was truly a man before his time when it came to running his business. It all began In 1944 Joe left his beloved home in Cullen at the tender age of 15 and spent 5 years working in Harlow’s public house /grocery in Roscommon. When he returned to Tipperary town he started working in John Joe O’Brien public house /grocery which is now Mike Heffernan’s carry out off license.
In 1953 he was working with his brother, Jimmy Whelan, grocer at 25 Main Street now Emerald Garden Chinese restaurant. In 1954 Joe bought and opened his first shop at 5 Church Street, where he sold furniture, fancy goods and religious goods. Around this time he also opened a second shop at 94 O Brien Street and he managed to run both premises with a back door and a lane way linking both shops. In 1959 Joe married Kitty Hannon from Ballinahow (who passed away 5 weeks before Joe’s death). Their first home was overhead the shop in O’Brien Street. After that he moved down the street to what was then Green’s public house /grocery which later became Dalys supermarket and is now the home of Eyesight Opticians. His final move was in 1972 which was his biggest move to 64/65 Main Street which was then 0’Doherty& O’Dea’s garage. At that time the shop went from the Main Street out unto Market Street and was one of the longest & largest in Ireland. He was setting a trend in modern walk around shopping comfort, thus one could make a tour of this vast store and marvel at the beautiful display of endless fancy goods, household effects, electrical goods, wallpapers, paints & household furniture. Joe’s journey on earth finally came to an end and it marked the end of an era, but Joe Whelan’s legacy will be forever etched on the memory of children (young and old) in Tipperary Town.