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.â€¨It all began In 1944 Joe left his beloved home in Cullen at the tender age of 15 and spent 5 years working in Harlowâ€™s public house /grocery in Roscommon. When he returned to Tipperary town he started working in John Joe Oâ€™Brien public house /grocery which is now Mike Heffernanâ€™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. â€¨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 Joeâ€™s death). Their first home was overhead the shop in Oâ€™Brien Street. â€¨After that he moved down the street to what was then Greenâ€™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 0â€™Doherty& Oâ€™Deaâ€™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. Joeâ€™s journey on earth finally came to an end and it marked the end of an era, but Joe Whelanâ€™s legacy will be forever etched on the memory of children (young and old) in Tipperary Town.