James Francis "Jim" Tinneny
Jim was the son of Francis Tinneny of
Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland and Margaret Coleman. He was born in
Roslea, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
May 22, 1923. He attended Saint
Tierney's Primary School in Roslea followed by technical school in the
city of Clones. His sister Betty remembers him as a good dancer during
his school years.
Jim entered the Irish Army in 1939 and after completing initial training
at the Curragh in Co. Kildare; he served as a private in cavalry
platoons in counties Galway and Sligo in Ireland. In 1941, Jim left the
Irish Army and enlisted in the Royal Air Force where he served until the
conclusion of World War II.
(L) Jim - a teenager in the Irish Army.
Courtesy of Mary Tinneny Barton
(R) Jim in his RAF uniform near the end of WWII.
After the War Jim
said that there weren’t many jobs around Roslea so he submitted
applications to immigrate to South Africa, New Zealand or Canada. He
quickly decided he didn’t want to go to South Africa then ruled out
Canada because he figured it would be too cold – although he had been
approved for both. He settled on New Zealand.
Jim said that when he first arrived in Australia there was no
unemployment and jobs were easily available. He initially worked at the
main post office in Auckland then found a job with the railroad, next he
worked as a longshoreman on the docks. This was followed by a job
working with overhead electric. Finally he worked as a painter and
decorator. In New Zealand he met and Mary Agnes Kenrick. Mary was the
daughter of Thomas Kenrick and Cicely Madigan.
had spent two years as a nun but left the convent due to poor health.
Jim and Mary settled in Auckland, New Zealand where they
had five children Francis, Patrick, Bernadette, Mary and Peter.
Photos Right: Jim and Mary.
Courtesy of Mary Tinneny Barton
a long bout with cancer Jim's wife Mary died on September 13, 1968.
Following her death, Jim
moved back to Ireland with his children. They lived near his mother and his
sister Betty Tinneny who helped raise the children. For about 18 years Jim
and the children lived at 16 Church Street in Roslea. As the years went by
his daughters Bernadette and Mary and his son Peter moved back to New
Zealand. Jim frequently visited them there. In 1992 he returned to New
Zealand to live and his son Francis took over the house on Church Street.
Until his health prevented him, Jim
returned to Ireland to visit his sister, sons and his grandchildren there.
Photo Right: Jim in his painter’s garb. Courtesy of Mary
On Monday, January 19, 2009 Jim passed away peacefully after a long illness
in Auckland, New Zealand. Following is his obituary notice.
James Francis (Jim). On Monday 19
January 2009, Jim passed away peacefully. Dearly loved husband of the
late Mary Agnes and loved father of Mary, Berny, Patrick, Peter and the
late Francis. Loved father-in-law of Bernadette, John, and the late
Steve. Dearest Granddad of Marc and Jane, Gavin and Kylee, Amy, Kiri,
Mary-Alice, Patricia and Connor, great-grandfather of Courtland, Mia,
Liam, Isabella and Connor. Very many thanks to all his caregivers over
the past 2 and a half years. A funeral service for Jim will be held at
St Dominic’s Church, 34 Bolton St, Blockhouse Bay, on Friday 23 January
at 10.30 am. Published Thursday, January 22 2009, The New
by Jim’s grandson Marc D Barton, the son of John and Mary Tinneny Barton,
at Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church, Auckland New Zealand, January 23, 2008
Reverend Father, Ladies and Gentlemen
on behalf of the Tinneny family I would like to thank you for being here
today to share in the celebration of Jim’s life as a father, a grandfather
Jim was born in Roslea, Co Fermanagh, N
Ireland where he attended the local school until he left at the age of 15
when he then took up various local jobs in the area. None of these seemed
to suit Jim so he decided to seek his fortune elsewhere and joined the Irish
Army. This was a short lived career move and Jim then went on to join the
opposition, by signing up with the RAF no less! Two years later Jim was on
the move again and after returning to
Roslea he then decided to venture
further afield by migrating to New Zealand in 1949.
In Auckland he soon tracked down old
friends from his hometown of Roslea – these being the McCaffery and Mulligan
families and both continue to be life long friends of the family to this
Jim settled into his new life in
Auckland and secured a position as a Postie. It was while on his rounds
that he first ‘eyed up’ his wife to be, Mary, and they married in 1952. In
the proceeding years they had 5 children to complete the family unit.
Once again Jim changed his career and
went on to become a painter and decorator under the guidance of CFM [Conway,
Finnegan & McKeever], a shared passion for the horses and the love a ‘cold
beer’ again forged another life long friendship.
Sadly in 1968 Jim’s wife passed away
and this led him to make the decision to return with his 5 children to his
hometown of Roslea.
After numerous years Jim returned to
New Zealand and once again took up residence in Blockhouse Bay. It didn’t
take him long to re-establish old friendships and he became a well know
identity in the Bay.
His love of garage sales soon earned
him the reputation of having an eye for a bargain, enough to rival any
antique dealer! Jim loved to walk and was often seen around the Bay,
stopping at regular intervals for a ‘wee’ chat, which could last anything up
to an hour!!
Unfortunately Jim’s health declined and
in 2006 he took up residence first at Powley House and then on to Peacehaven.
Jim soon endeared himself to all the staff with his gentle nature, dignified
manners and twinkling blue Irish eyes but sadly, those blue eyes were to
twinkle no more and Jim finally found peace and rest on Monday night.