Jim Flynn - We’ll hardly see his like again
My Dad was a natural born entrepreneur. Despite having worked for Telecom Eireann, in all its guises as PT&T, Eircom and finally Eir, for 42 years, he was never without what would these days be known as a side hustle. A real instigator of things, Dad's brainwave ideas were often centered around community more than commerce, though he would always ask what you could do for cash.
He was instrumental in setting up Bray Wheelers cycling club, the local credit union, An Bothán (an early chapter of the Men’s Sheds movement, Bray Active Retirement Walking Group, the Beautiful Bray Association, his own tour guiding company - the list goes on. Suffice it to say that he was a great example of how with a bit of determination / stubbornness, and if you stayed out of your own way, you could get just about anything started. With endless enthusiasm and seemingly boundless energy he was always starting something. When he was excited about something he loved to share it.
Always reaching out, with a great welcome for everyone, he had a huge appetite for life, for experiences, people and novelty. He grabbed it with both hands and tried to get the maximum out of it. I only remembered at his funeral that for his 60th birthday he took up skydiving. In his 80’s he studied English as a foreign language, and gave free conversational classes to newcomers to Bray.
The father of six girls, he instilled in all of us the idea that we were capable of doing just about anything, from growing potatoes, to plumbing to working out mileage and if you didn’t know something there was always a way to figure it out or to learn how to do it. One of his many (many) catchphrases was There is a solution to any problem, the problem is to find the solution. He was brave, courageous, generous and immensely proud and supportive of all of us.
No matter what hairbrained scheme you brought to him, he’d greet it with enthusiasm. He loved a plan. When I told him I wanted to open a shop in the middle of a recession he responded with his usual ‘Oh, I seeee’ and asked what I needed to get it going. He’d regularly suggest ideas for stock, or new products we could develop, and was delighted by every new Gazinta you brought him.
While I would have sworn blind that I was forging my own path setting up designist, it’s pretty obvious that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. His can-do attitude, sense of hospitality and enthusiasm for novelty are the DNA of designist. Thanks Dad.