FOR as long as I have been living in Nottingham Joe Hickey and his extended family have been involved in the cultural life of the city.
Joe, originally from Tallow, Co. Carlow, arrived in the city in 1956, seeking employment.
Like many an Irish emigrant, he came to live with fellow family members; as his sister Betty was already here and his brothers Frank and Benny followed.
He met his wife Edna at the Queen’s Ballroom in Nottingham.
They married in 1958 and lived in rooms in Wilford before moving to the newly-built Bestwood Park Estate in 1962.
Edna passed away in 2011, but together they brought up six children, Julie, Jim, Peter, Geraldine, Martina, and Kathryn.
Now their extended family includes sixteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
When you talk of Joe Hickey you talk of him being there as a founding member of The Irish Centre in Nottingham and his years spent fundraising to maintain and purchase it.
He will also be well remembered as a former Chairman of the Nottingham Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann group.
All this is reflected in how much is family are keeping the traditional music of Ireland alive in the city today.
Joe retired after thirty-five years as a bus driver.
This gave him time to even take up amateur dramatics with Triskellion Theatre Company, playing to great acclaim the role of the Canon in John B Keane’s comedy Moll.
He served his family and fellow Irish in the city well.
Go Raibh Suaimhneas Síoraí Air - Eternal Rest Be Upon Him.