Echo 130: Being pictured with his dad in the paper is a happy memory for John Joe

John Joe O’Regan from Lisgoold is among the readers who have been supporting the newspaper for years
Echo 130: Being pictured with his dad in the paper is a happy memory for John Joe

John Joe O'Regan with The Echo at Lisgoold GAA Club, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

CORKONIANS are stepping out this week to share their special connections with The Echo as the publication celebrates its 130th anniversary this week.

John Joe O’Regan from Lisgoold is among the readers who have been supporting the paper for years. He recalled how special it was as a child to be pictured with his hero, his now late father Billy, outside Woolworths on Patrick Street sporting his trademark ‘scoil cap’. 

He recalled with a laugh how they were the fashion at the time. Mr O’Regan never believed that several decades later this moment would come full circle. His daughters Fiona, Christine, Marie, Jacinta and Rosaleen realised how much that photo in The Echo meant to him so organised to have it republished in the 2019 edition of the Hollybough as a special surprise for him in 2019.

“I was so surprised to open up the Hollybough and see my picture in it,” he said.

“My daughters never told me that they had organised it for me. Part of me felt bad in case I had taken the opportunity away from someone else. It’s not every photo that gets chosen to be in the Hollybough. In a way, I didn’t feel worthy. At the same time, it was nice to see because my father was a true Corkonian and any true Corkonian loves The Echo.”

John recalled the time he spent with his dad fondly.

John Joe O'Regan with The Echo at Lisgoold GAA Club, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.
John Joe O'Regan with The Echo at Lisgoold GAA Club, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

“I was an only child. Every Saturday my dad would take me to Clancy’s on Winthrop Street. He would have a pint of Guinness while I had a bottle of Tanora.”

He spoke of the characters who contributed to The Echo’s success.

“ Johnny Chris Kelleher was like a father figure to all The Echo sellers. Then there was Michael O’Regan who you would always see out selling Echos.”

“At that time, The Echo boy would shout ‘Echo, 6 O’Clock Echo’ If you were buying an Echo through the car window you had to make sure you had the right amount of cash. If you didn’t you would hold the rest of the cars up. We didn’t have a car at the time ourselves at that time but my uncle would always supplement me.”

John Joe O'Regan with The Echo at Lisgoold GAA Club, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.
John Joe O'Regan with The Echo at Lisgoold GAA Club, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

The father of five has contributed significantly to local GAA over the last number of decades serving for 29 years as treasurer of Lisgoold GAA and three years as development officer in the East Cork Junior Board, among other roles.

“I lived in Mercier Park on the Curragh Road. Cork Celtic Soccer Pitch was across the way from that. I would look forward to the preview of the match in The Echo on the Friday night and the match report on the Monday night. For me, it was always a surprise and a miracle to see it in the paper the next day.”

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