Jimmy Stenson - Much-loved Eslinbridge native who brought comfort to many lives

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Jimmy Stenson - Much-loved Eslinbridge native  who brought comfort to many lives

The late Jimmy Stenson

Jimmy Stenson, Dublin Road, Carrick-on- Shannon passed to his eternal reward on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, which occasioned great sadness locally but also evoked many fond memories of a man who was involved in so much through business, community and voluntary work.
Jimmy Stenson was born in Mohernameela, Eslinbridge on February 16, 1921 to Bernard Stenson and Ellen Reynolds.

He attended Cartron National School in Eslin from 1927 to 1935 and spent one year in Keshcarrigan Vocational School. Jimmy set up a small workshop at home in Eslin in the second half of 1936.
“Even though money was not plentiful I had a small selection of tools and plenty of books on wood and woodworking. I made plenty of wheels of carts. I also made panel doors. I got 6 shillings per door,” Jimmy said.
He then served apprenticeships in various building trades with John Bruen of Mohill and PJ McLoughlin of Longford and worked in the industry throughout the country.
He developed his own building and joinery business which ran from 1952 until he ceased trading in 1992.
Among the notable works carried out during that time Jimmy built the National Irish Bank and apartments on St George’s Terrace for the late Shane P Flynn.
He built St Mary’s Hall and the Boys NS on Summerhill in Carrick-on-Shannon and carried out major renovations of St Mary’s Church, Carrick, and St Mary’s Church, Eslin.
Jimmy also built the convent chapel for the Poor Clare's in Drumshanbo.
He built the wing of St Patrick’s Community Hospital, Carrick which is now known as ‘The Day Hospital’ and built new fire stations in Mohill and Drumshanbo.
Jimmy carried out structural renovations on Annaduff, Cloonturk and Drumsna churches, a major renovation of St George’s Church in Carrick and all major renovations in the Bush Hotel when under the ownership of the late Eileen A Maher and subsequently for her son, the late Tom.
Jimmy also built a number of private houses on Summerhill and in Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon.
In his personal life, Jimmy married Maura Ward from Rosharry, Mohill in November 1952 in St Patrick’s Church, Mohill – the church in which each of them had been baptised, received first Holy Communion and were confirmed.
Jimmy was the last surviving member of the Eslin Junior team which won a Leitrim Junior championship in 1942, the final of which was played in 1943.
His first introduction to a voluntary organisation in Carrick-on-Shannon was when he joined the St Mary's Conference of St Vincent de Paul in 1954 on the invitation of the late John Gilmartin.
He was actively involved, serving a three year term as president on five occasions.
A landmark in the activities of St Mary's Conference and in which Jimmy was a prime mover was the purchase of what is now Ozanam House on the Dublin Road.
Another and major part of his free time was devoted to the Association of The Parents & Friends of the Mentally Handicapped in Sligo of which he was a founder member and director.
Jimmy, along with other parents and friends, raised the profile of the organisation in Carrick-on-Shannon to the point where they eventually succeeded in having a day school - St Ciaran's - established in Summerhill.
He was also a founding member and director of Rosses Sheltered Workshop in Sligo.
Jimmy was winner of Leitrim Volunteer of the Year Award in 2001 and also had the distinction as serving as Grand Marshall of the Carrick-on-Shannon St Patrick’s Day Parade in 2014.
Jimmy was also the last surviving member of the committee which purchased and developed Páirc Sean MacDiarmada.

Jimmy Stenson passed away peacefully, in his 99th year, in the tender loving care of the nurses and staff at St Patrick's Hospital, Carrick-on-Shannon, surrounded by his loving family.
He was predeceased by his brother Pat and niece Angela. He is survived and sadly missed by his loving wife Maura, son Gerard, daughters Helen, Kathleen and Patricia, daughter-in-law Jo, sons-in-law Gerry and Adam, grandchildren Barry, Claire, Conor, Neil, Tom, Gary, Ian and Kate, sister-in-law Josie, brothers-in-law Mike Joe and Seamus, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces, great- grandnephews, cousins, relatives, neighbours and his many friends.
Jimmy's Funeral Mass took place on Saturday, March 2, in St Mary's Church Carrick-on-Shannon with burial afterwards in St Mary's Cemetery.
To sum up Jimmy, he brought comfort to many, many lives and truly lived the St Vincent de Paul prayer, “to seek and find those forgotten.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam usual.