Timothy ‘Chub’ O’Connor, Politician and Businessman

S McCarthy & T Chub O'Connor B/W

Timothy ‘Chub’ O’Connor 1906-1986. Timothy ‘Chub’ O’Connor was born in London in 1906 but was reared at Meanus, three miles outside Killorglin on the Beaufort Road. His mother had brought the family home to Ireland after her husband died. In his late teens, Chub found himself back in London due to unemployment. Returning home after some years he worked at various jobs before starting in business for himself. He married Mary Francis McCarthy of Killarney and with her had two sons and six daughters. Chub also set up home close to his business premises.  

Chubb Connor & Darby McCarthy Langfrord Street

Above; Tim ‘Chub’ O’Connor (second from left) with the Puck Goat Chub started a saw mill and supplied sleepers to C.I.E. He also established a hardware premises and Builders Supply Centre. He brought turf by the thousands of tons at his own weighing depots and this became known as Southern Fuel. This same turf heated the homes of many towns and cities throughout the Republic. He imported a few cargoes of coal into Ballykissane Pier in the late 1940s. This project recalled the great days of shipping activities at this pier when vessels of 200 tonnes arrived with supplies of timber, coal, metal etc. In the highly competitive business world, Chub became a successful merchant and company director. In his younger days he was an outstanding athlete on the field of GAA and rugby. His involvement as owner and breeder of greyhounds has been well documented and his wonder dog ‘Spanish Battleship’ was a three time winner of the Irish Derby. In politics Tim ‘Chub’ O’Connor was a County Councillor for many years and from 1961 to 1981 he was a member of Dail Eireann for South Kerry.

Darby McCarthy, Frank Paul McCarthy, Chub O'Connor & Other Old Natives B/W

Above; Timothy ‘Chub’ O’Connor (front, second from left) with friends. Unlike many politicians in Kerry and indeed elsewhere, Chub got elected through his own hard work and did not have an inherited seat – a fact that should not be overlooked. He became a member of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe which brought honour to his native town and country. Amongst his many great achievements, his best was the introduction to Killorglin of the great European Industrialists. Through his fine efforts three major factories were founded in the area; Wenzel’s Leather Fashion, Klinge Pharmaceuticals and Liebig Bolt Factory. Chub had a particular interest in trying to curd emigration and create employment at home for our youth, regardless of political persuasion, everyone benefited by his dedicated efforts. Above; Tim ‘Chub’ O’Connor seen here with Ali (to the left of Ali, viewers right) 1972

His death occurred in 1986. His funeral to Dromavalla Cemetary was the largest seen in recent times in Killorglin. The oration at his garveside was given by the then leader of Finna Fail, Charles Haughey who spoke of Chub’s tireless work for Killorglin and South Kerry.