Industry loses ‘hugely lovable man’ with death of McHale Plant Sales Director, John O’Brien

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With profound feelings of sadness and loss, members of Ireland’s construction equipment sector join with management and staff in McHale Plant Sales in mourning the recent death, after a short illness, of their popular Sales Director, John O’Brien.

With profound feelings of sadness and loss, members of Ireland’s construction equipment sector join with management and staff in McHale Plant Sales in mourning the recent death, after a short illness, of their popular Sales Director, John O’Brien.

A cherished friend to all within the industry, John was a true giant of the sector, described by one colleague as ‘a hugely lovable man’. One of the first employees to join McHale Plant Sales upon their appointment as distributors of Komatsu in 1994, John’s commitment to the company was seen in his appointment to its Board of Directors.

A figurehead, loved and admired by all who knew and had dealings with him, John had an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things relating to Komatsu and of the construction equipment landscape generally. In his dealings with customers, he was always caring and interested, forming bonds that were lasting and enduring.

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A resident of Clane, he is survived by his wife Anne Marie, daughter Edwina and sons David, Austin and Niall.

Leading tributes on behalf of employees and the countless others who knew or had dealings with him, McHale Plant Sales chairman, Michael McHale likened John’s death to ‘the burning down of a library’ in terms of the knowledge that passed with him.

Addressing mourners at his funeral service in Clane, McHale expressed sympathy to his wife Anne Marie and family on behalf of colleagues who worked with him. Describing John as being “immensely knowledgeable in all matters and universally admired by all in the industry”, McHale said “he will be remembered as a true team player, witty, charming, enthusiastic and generous, not least in his willingness to be of help to others”.

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