Former pharmacy owner Abi was held in quite high regard in the neighbourhood

By Hayden Moore

FORMER owner of Springfield Pharmacy Abi Odumosu has been remembered for “paving the path” and acting as a role model for black people and for running one of the only late-night chemists in the county after his recent passing, reports Hayden Moore.

Abi, who ran the pharmacy in Springfield for 30 years, passed away in February at the age of 81.

Abi Odumosu and Feyi Adeyemi in December 2019 1

Abi Odumosu and Feyi Adeyemi in December 2019

Originally from Nigeria, Abi moved to Ireland to start fresh and despite numerous opportunities to move home, he was always drawn back to the emerald isle.

He arrived in Ireland highly educated having worked in the pharmaceutical industry in America for several years.

“He was a pace setter for people of colour,” says the current owner of Springfield Pharmacy, Feyi Adeyemi.

“To come in 1990 as a black man, he paved the path and made it easier for people of colour to work in the industry and in the community.

abi funeral IMG 1270 1

Abi’s funeral passes the pharmacy in Springfield on Saturday

“There were only three or four pharmacy owners from ethnic backgrounds, and he would have been the first black person to own a pharmacy in Ireland.

“When you think of the times as well, he was a black man in Tallaght in 1990/91 who owned a pharmacy.

“He’d be held in quite high regard in the neighbourhood, in Springfield.”

Abi in Springfield Chemist in the early 1990s 1

Abi in Springfield Chemist in the early 1990s

Born on Christmas Day, Abi was a trained pharmacist who worked in Ireland for several years before opening his own business.

In his late forties, Abi decided he would purchase Springfield Pharmacy and committed himself to running it differently.

“When his daughter Fiona was three- or four-years-old, she became unwell late at night and they needed to get an antibiotic for her,” Feyi tells The Echo.

Abi in Springfield Chemist in the early 1990s 1 1

Abi in Springfield Chemist in the early 1990s

“This would have been the 1980s. So he got in his car and started driving, there were no pharmacies open and he ended up near Belfast before he found one that was open.

“After that he said that if he ever owned a pharmacy, he’d make sure it would open late and open on Christmas in case of an emergency – and that’s what he did.

“He was born on Christmas Day as well and he would always open up for two or three hours just in case of an emergency.

“When you consider he was 48-49 when he took over the pharmacy, it makes it all the more remarkable that he was able to dedicate himself so much to his work – he had a remarkable engine.”

With an eye on retiring Abi put Springfield Pharmacy up for sale in early 2019, which is how Feyi came to take charge.

Feyi came on board in August 2019 to undergo training with Abi before taking full ownership, finalising the purchase of the pharmacy in December 2019.

During his time in the Springfield community, Abi would also sponsor the year book in the local St Mark’s Community School.

Abi Odumosu is survived by his children Fiona, Shiobhán, Niall and Grace, and his former-wife Angela.

A guard of honour was held outside Springfield Medicare on Saturday, as Abi’s funeral cortege passed by for one final visit.

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