Clareman Niall O’Loughlin has been sweet on Killarney since the first day he arrived in the town 15 years ago and took a taxi to his new workplace at the Gleneagle Hotel.
The taxi driver that Niall met that day influenced him to eventually join the ranks of Killarney’s unofficial tourism ambassadors.
Now the owner of Charlie’s Auld Sweet Shop in Main Street, Niall speaks warmly of the Donegal taxi man, who has since retired.
“He gave me a brief on where would be useful to me in Killarney,” he said. “He was the first person I met. His philosophy was: ‘If you can help someone out, you should help them.’ That’s how I think too.”
Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy marries girl 43 years later. This, in short, is the plot line of the incredible romance that brought John Franklin and Geraldine Cunningham, Woodlawn, to the altar at the Little Belfry Chapel in Glenbeigh over four decades after they had lost contact as young loves.
Cupid struck when they were London teenagers back in the 1970s. They were engaged at 18, broke up a few years later and branched off on separate paths and marriages, reared their children and, finally, found themselves on their own again.
“It was fate that brought us back in touch 32 years later in 2008,” Geraldine said. “John registered with a then website ‘Friendsreunited’, which could put old school friends back in touch.”