50 years of real service: Pat Brosnan calls time from Co-op
WHILE Pat Brosnan would prefer to steer clear of the limelight, his achievements and value to the Killarney community and beyond are undeniable.
Last week, after 50 years at the Killarney Co-op, including the past 10 as general manager, Mr Brosnan called time on his one and only job.
He went out during a week of glorious autumn weather, which is in stark contrast to his very first week back in 1968.
"I started in the hardware department five days after the Killarney tornado had ripped the town apart,” he said.
"I was 15 and had just finished school.”
On the night the tornado struck Mr Brosnan was in the Capitol Theatre with about 100 others.
"We were gathered there for the school speech night,” he said.
"Thankfully, the theatre was one of the only buildings that wasn't completely destroyed, it could have been a major tragedy.”
The clean-up and rebuilding that followed meant busy times for the Killarney Co-op hardware department.
"To this day I've never seen so much corrugated iron and nails sold,” he said.
"There were tonnes of it in the backyard at work.
"It took a long time for the town to recover, so many buildings didn't survive at all.”
The end of Mr Brosnan's career was a little less hectic.
His last day also happened to be his 65th birthday and he kept a long-standing promise to himself.
"When I was 15 I said I'd retire at 65 and I just stuck to that,” Mr Brosnan said.
"When we shut the doors to the shop we had a little staff function.
"I'll miss it terribly, especially that customer interaction on a daily basis - that's what I loved about the job.
"I'll really struggle with that part of it.”
Mr Brosnan said it was only ever about the customers.
"Without them the co-op wouldn't exist,” he said.
"It's been a truly outstanding business for 96 years, and I really want to thank all the customers, staff and directors from my time there.”
While he's still fit and healthy Mr Brosnan said he'd spend more time on his farming interests and perhaps taking the chance to pull the caravan out of the shed to see a bit of Australia.
"I've taken a pretty quick step from time poor to a great amount of freedom and flexibility,” he said.
"I'm really looking forward to it. I wouldn't so much call it a retirement as a redirection.”