Some articles from the Connaught Telegraph from 1996 to 1999
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The late Mr Michael McDermott, Spencer Street, Castlebar
THE death has taken place at his residence at Spencer Street, Castlebar after a brief illness of Mr. Michael McDermott, one of the best known businessmen in the West of Ireland.
Aged 67-years, Mr. McDermott with his family ran an extensive carpet, furniture, toy and nursery business in the county town.
In the carpet and furniture sector he supplied customers all over Connaught and was highly regarded for the quality of product he provided.
Mr. McDermott believed in the hands-on approach and was always available to help and advise customers on what was best for their individual needs.
A native of Co. Sligo, Mr. McDermott started out his career as a vacuum cleaner salesman and was very proud of his achievements.
He later decided to come off the road and concentrated in building up his Castlebar business which went from strength to strength.
He and his late wife Eileen, became deeply involved in the commercial development of Castlebar. He was a former president of Castlebar Chamber of Commerce and was involved in the organisation at the time of the Castlebar International Song Contest which was first staged in October 1966.
Over the years as the reputation and standing of the Song Contest grew the organisers were anxious to promote it even further but needed substantial sponsorship to do so.
Michael McDermott was one of two local businessmen who willingly came on board and assured the continued success of the event. The other being Cathal Duffy.
The late Mr. McDermott was also to the fore in the Chamber in promoting what was to be the first shopping festival promotion in Castlebar.
He was also one of the founding members and a past president of Castlebar Rotary Club and was instrumental in raising much needed funding for several local charities and worthy causes.
During his 40 years or so in Castlebar, Mr. McDermott was involved in several other organisations including the local Golf Club of which he was captain in 1994.
It was during his term in office that negotiations took place to extend the coarse to an eighteen hole and Michael was instrumental in bringing this development about.
Three-and-a-half years ago his wife Eileen passed away and some years earlier the couple lost their son Declan.
His remains were removed from the family home to the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar last (Tuesday) evening. Burial will take place in the new cemetery following Requiem mass today (Wednesday) at 11a.m.
Mr. McDermott is survived by his daughters Fionnuala, Michelle and Muriel and his son Micheal, his sons-in-law Pat O'Rourke, Sean Haugh and Eamon Fahey and daughter-in-law Mary, his friend Monica, brother Pat (Sligo), sisters Eileen (Sligo), Marion (Canada), Nuala (Wicklow) and Angela (Dublin) to whom deepest sympathy is extended on their great loss.