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In Memory of Oliver Moore

Funeral Leaflet Oliver Moore

We gather here today in sadness as a Christian community to pray for Oliver.Our thoughts are for you. We ask God to send his consoling Spirit to bring his peace to your heart and to your homes. We give thanks to God for the life that he gave Oliver and pray in faith that he will welcome him home to everlasting happiness in heaven Today we are remembering a remarkable man with a great sense of humour: letting go of him today it’s not going to be easy for Oliver was a great lover of people, great lover of Gilford and this Parish community of Tullylish. Thank you to all who have cared for him and loved him in life. All the recent years have not been easy for him but he was ably supported by his many many friends through the past five years since his accident in Portadown. You are a tower of strength to him today.

Our parish community has lost a very valued and loved member. We are down a good man. We are trying to make sense of an aspect of human life which is so difficult to understand. Now his suffering is over.As Oliver has died now a part of us dies as well.We remember him today and we cannot help recalling the things he said,and the way he said them, the things he did and his way of doing them. Our minds are tinged with hope and expectation. We pray that he is with the Lord and we look forward to the day when we will be reunited with him. Christ resurrection assures us that if we follow him we will rise again. It is only with death that life really makes sense, it’s our leap into eternity, it’s God calling us home to be with him forever.

At a time like this we come face-to-face with our own mortality.Living a truly Christian life is about waiting in hope and as people of hope we believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Oliver’s period of waiting is now over and the reason he could see purpose in the pain or sense in the suffering was because Jesus Christ came on this earth to conquer death to save us from our sins. May His gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.

Oliver was born on the 25th July 1943. He was adopted by Suzanna Moore and came to live in Gilford. After his early education at St. John's P.S. he progressed to St. Patrick's Banbridge following his school life.

He started his working life in Gilford Mill then moved to Metal Box Portadown and from there to Andus Electronics Lurgan. He finally got the job he wanted in British Telcom and after 20 years he said goodbye to work to pursue his passion for singing and acting joining Sheelagh Youth Group with his lifelong friend Armaund.

At the age of 63 he decided to study History at Quuen's University Belfast and he successfully graduated with a B.A. Honors Degree of which he was very proud.

He was a member of Stage Aid and Gilford Drama Group making many great friends throughout his life. He the teamed up his friend Ken McElroy and together they performed the "Rare Oul Times" for 11 years playing in England, America, Germany, Scotland and 31 counties in Ireland.

Oliver was one of life's good guys always ready to help anyone night or day. Everyone will have their own memories of how he helped them.

Football was another of his passions ,he loved Celtic and Oxford United in Lurgan where he was club treasurer. He went to European Cup Finals, All ireland Finals and the World Cup in America. Anyone seated next to him knew they were beside him!

He could always give an opinion on the opposition but he would never fall out. He would always come out of the football ground shaking hands with everyone with whom he had a verbal exchange. Oliver loved a party and was always the life and soul ready to sing. He loved especially travelling to America and the Virgin Islands.

Sadly he was injured in a serious car accident which resulted in him spending many months in the Intensive Care Unit at RVH. With the injuries he received he was unfortunately unable to return home.

Taking medical advise his friends Sam and Jonathan decided the best place for Oliver was a Nursing Home. For the next 5 years he resided in Hamilton Court Care Home in Armagh under the team od Danny, Grace, Naomi and Sharon, where he was treated with great care and kindness, he was very popular with everyone.

Sadly his health started to decline and on Sunday he passed away having lived a life as much as could be possible.


Eulogy delivered by Ken McElroy                                                        

One of Olivers lines in the ‘Rare Oul’ Times’, which always earned him lots of laughs, was the quote – ‘The worst thing about life, is you can’t get out of it alive’. How profound those words are today?

Remaining on a theatrical theme – William Shakespeare once wrote ‘All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. Each have their entrances and their exits, and one man in his life plays many roles’.

As Oliver exits this earthly stage for one last time today, it is interesting to think back on the many roles he has played during his fulfilled and well lived life.

Born in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, he was adopted and brought North to Gilford into a loving family. He always said it was a very lucky day for him when he came to Gilford. I would contend it was an even luckier day for Gilford when Oliver came here.

And then all those other roles he played with great enthusiasm – The worker at both Gilford and Tandragee Mills, Kings Packing and then British Telecom. The hard- working Committee man at Oxford United where his drive and fund- raising abilities helped make them the most successful junior team in Ulster. As a stalwart member of the choir here in St Johns. As the avid Glasgow Celtic fan. As a top and much- loved performer with his good friends Armand Gaillard’s celebrated Stage Aid Drama Group, treading the boards with the Susan Brady led Gilford Drama Group. The mature student at Queens University, and as an ever- popular entertainer and singer on the local social scene alongside his long- time friend Joe Doran.

Speaking of his time at British Telecom I often wondered if heworked half time for BT and half time for Radio Ulster. He was a regular contributor to the Gerry Anderson show, who on hearingOlivers voice would enquire “Are you up a pole or down a hole”.

Then another role – in October 1999, he performed in a play that I had written called ‘The Rare Oul’ Times’ which was first performed in the old coach-house at Gilford Castle.

Getting Oliver to play the role of the colourfulDublin playwright ‘Brendan Behan’ proved to be an inspired choice. The rest is history and over the next fifteen years Oliver would brilliantly bring the famous Dubliner to life on stages across Ireland, the UK and further afield. At times he seemed to assume the very persona of Brendan.

How good he was in the role is reflected in the many great reviews he got over the years.

Here are just a few snippets –

Ken Gorman – Belfast Newsletter – Oliver Moore as Brendan Behan was exceptional. The similarity in looks and physique is uncanny. Moore built a truly marvellous rapport with his audience.

Ian Hill – Belfast Telegraph – Oliver Moore was born to play Brendan Behan. He is truly Behan to the bar-room born.

Gareth Mulvenna – Irish Theatre Review – Moore sang a touching version of Behan’s ‘The Auld Triangle’ A song about life in Mountjoy Prison. His lusty voice filled the Grand Opera House, causing the audience to join in, which really added to the sentimentality and enjoyment of the night.

Liam Murphy – Munster Express – When Moore as Brendan Behan stood in a pool of light singing a poignant version of the ‘Parting Glass’ I thought I had been touched by greatness and honesty of creative spirit.                          

But arguably Olivers finest role was that ofthe trusted friend and ‘Good Samaritan’ to so many people, particularly his older neighbours and fellow townspeople. Without a second thought his countless charitable acts were done without complaint or expectation of payment as many of you gathered here today will know - There was no kinder man in this town.

In conclusion - Brendan Behan once said – ‘I believe that at the end, according to our abilities, if we have done something to make others laugh and be a little bit happier, then this is what we should be remembered for.’

One thing I can say for sure, is that over the years Oliver has made many of us laugh and has sent us home feeling more than a little bit happier. We are all the better for having known him and are all the poorer today for his loss.

Today, Oliver, as your final curtain falls, you certainly ‘Did it your way’

Rest in peace good friend – ‘You have enriched all our lives.’





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