Home News Community Death occurs of well-known Portlaoise man Johnny O’Brien

Death occurs of well-known Portlaoise man Johnny O’Brien

Johnny O'Brien RIP

The death has occurred of Johnny O’Brien, one of the great characters of Portlaoise, and a man well-known in business and community circles.

Mr O’Brien was aged 87 and passed away in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.

The O’Brien family are synonymous with the bus company that was set up by Johnny and his brother Billy. It continues to be operated by the family today.

The brothers initially had a newspaper stand in the top square in Portlaoise before branching out into shops and the bus business.

Johnny was also a renowned author and penned numerous books about Portlaoise, including as recently as 2019.

An accident confined Johnny to a wheelchair a number of years ago but he was an ever-present at events locally and was described at that 2019 book launch by Monsignor John Byrne as “a bit of a legend”.

Johnny is survived by his loving wife Maura, whom he was married to for almost 66 years.

Dearly loved father to Toney, Richard, Christina (Timmons), Maureen (Ryan) and John he is also deeply regretted by his brother Billy, sisters in law Joan and Marie, daughters in law Martina, Margaret, Francis, sons in law Joe and Liam, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives and a very large circle of friends. And his little friend Millie.

As his death notice says, “Johnny was a true son of the town.”

Reposing at his residence from Saturday evening with house private on Monday morning. Removal on Monday to arrive at SS Peter and Paul’s church for 1.30 pm requiem Mass. Interment afterwards in SS Peter and Paul’s Cemetery Portlaoise.

May be viewed online at https://www.portlaoiseparish.ie/webcam/ Please observe government Covid guidelines and observe social distancing. The family wish to thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.