17th.April 1947 – 17th.May 2004.
Alex Mullin was born in Glasgow, the eldest of seven boys. He was reared in Dublin where he went to school in Synge Street, with which he afterwards kept links. Growing up the parents and boys were a close-knit family and the seven brothers were inseparable, with Alex very much the leader in all respects. They remained thus close all his life and continued to meet and take holidays together up to the time of Alex’s sad and untimely death.
Soon after he joined Irish Shipping in 1966, he met Eilish, who also worked there and who was to become his wife and closest friend and confidante for the remainder of his life; Alex involved his family in all aspects of his work, his golf, his rugby, his life. Shipping became a passion for his working life and he contributed enormously to the development of this important business in a maritime and island nation. He played a major role in the development of the Irish Continental Line in 1973 of which he was financial controller and company secretary and later he was to become marketing director of the Irish Continental Group, which was born of the union of B and I Line and the Irish Continental Line. He was responsible for the commissioning of the Jonathan Swift and the super ferry the Ulysses.
During his working career he had been president of the Irish Chamber of Shipping and a member of the advisory council to the Irish Maritime Development Office and did much to improve the lot of all those involved in shipping both on land and on the sea. He was known as a straight talking man who got things done and did things himself; and was much admired in the shipping world.
In spite of being so actively involved in work he always had time for his family and greatly enjoyed, with Eilish, the developmental years of his children Clodagh, David and Alexander. His loss to the family is irreplaceable and heartbreaking. His family was always his first priority, even above his golf, which he loved and which he played as a member of Stacktsown Golf Club. It is probable that he would have chosen to go, as he did, while playing golf. He was on a golf break with his special pals in Wales at the time.
For all at St Mary’s College RFC his death was a great cause of sadness and shock. His death was also a tragedy for the club where he had many admirers and friends. He joined the club in 1980 and since then was an active and generous member. Many memorable rugby trips abroad were facilitated, in many ways, by the quiet and effective intervention of Alex. In fact, Alex helped many a member to travel by ship, so long as they had not the effrontery to call one of his beloved ships a “nice boat”.
However, it was since 2001-02 that his incalculable contribution was forthcoming, when he became honorary treasurer. This was a time when the club faced financial difficulties and pressures. Alex made an honorary treasurer’s post into one of financial controller, with vision and foresight. He made the financial situation at the club secure and he spent innumerable hours each week for the past three years, voluntarily working assiduously for the club and its members. When it was for something truly important, or involved rugby, he always managed to find the necessary funds. It was a pleasure to work with him and he formed close bonds with the other officers of the club and all those who work at St Marys. As ever, he had the family involved, for while he was straightening out the finances Eilish was working on the social development of the club and even making drapes for the club hall.
Meanwhile his son, Alexander was playing for the club and successfully captaining the J2s to victory in the O’Connell cup in the season 2003-04. Alex even found time to help here and became, probably the most sedentary bagman in the club’s history, taking the title from the J1 Bagman, by a short head. Alex would have appreciated that jibe for he had a ready sense of humour and, even after the most heated discussion, his smile would emerge like the sun after a shower and he would lighten the situation. None of us will forget that smile nor will we forget Alex Mullin.