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Obituaries 1st February 2014

Story by John Donohoe

Wednesday, 5th February, 2014 2:47pm

Obituaries 1st February 2014

The late Gerry Farrelly.

Geraldine Farrelly, Navan and Kilmessan

The death took place on 22nd December last of Geraldine (Gerry) Farrelly of Balgeeth, Kilmessan, peacefully at her residence, after a long illness. Aged 70, Gerry (nee Conaty) was born in Navan and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the people of Navan and their families. Her father, Peter Conaty, owned a bicycle shop on the Square, but died when Gerry was just seven years old. Her mother Mary raised Gerry and her younger sister Helen in Parnell Park after Peter’s death.

At the age of 17, Gerry joined the staff of Navan Carpets. Due to her striking good looks, she became known as the ‘Grace Kelly’ of Navan Carpets. In October 1964, she married Richard Farrelly, and the couple moved to Lanesboro, Co Longford where Richard worked as a fitter with Bord na Móna.

It was here that their first child, Peter, and first daughter, Maud was born. New work opportunities for Richard brought the young family back to Meath, where they lived for three years with Richard’s mother Maud, and then at Hill View, Navan.

The birth of Aideen and Olivia completed the family. Richard had taken the brave decision to go out on his own in business. Gerry supported him throughout. She complemented her role as a busy mother with assisting Richard in his new endeavour, as his book-keeper, his accountant, making deliveries, collecting parts, and generally supporting Richard in what were very precarious financial times.

Swimming became a huge part of the family life and Gerry and her children became actively involved in Navan Swimming Club, and all became accomplished swimmers, taking part in competitions in Navan, Drogheda, Portlaoise and further afield.

Gerry developed an avid love of fishing, inland and deep sea. She was an accomplished fisher woman and on many excursions would come back with the biggest fish, or the highest number of different species caught. Her remarkably rare triggerfish, which she caught in Achill, is mounted at the family home in Balgeeth. Achill Island was always a favourite holiday spot for Gerry, who loved to be close to the sea.

Likewise in Oughterard where many happy times were spent fishing (dapping) the mayfly on Lough Corrib. Gerry also enjoyed playing bridge and was a regular at bridge games in St Michael’s School and Simonstown. Poignantly, her bridge partner of many years, Berry Smith, passed away just four days before her.

Gerry became involved in a number of voluntary projects, every year helping with Daffodil Day collections for the Irish Cancer Society and for many years working in Navan with Meals on Wheels. She was a member and past treasurer of Bohermeen ICA, and was also treasurer of Navan Rotary Probus.

Richard and Gerry both loved travelling, and made their way to many destinations across the globe, whether on family holidays, trips to the Canary islands, or whether on cruises on the high seas.

Three special holidays stand out, a Caribbean cruise where Gerry went fishing and caught a barracuda, a trip to Eqypt where they spent a week sailing down the Nile and a trip to Lapland with their grandchildren.

One particular journey that was very special to Gerry was the trip she undertook in 1995 to visit Fr Liam Ganly, who was a priest with the Mill Hill Missionaries in Pakistan.

Gerry had known Fr Liam since he was a child in Lanesboro, and had remained close to him since his ordination. Staying in little more than mud huts and sleeping on straw mattresses on the ground, this was a trip of a life-time for Gerry and one that she always recalled with great fondness.

The arrival of grandchildren brought a new dimension to family life, with Gerry becoming a busy and devoted grandmother.

She bore her illness with great courage and bravery. Throughout, she had a determination to keep going, to look to the future and to persevere. Within the past year, she celebrated many different events with her family, including First Holy Communion and Confirmation, trips to the theatre, or supporting her daughters in Kilmessan Musical Society’s Magical Musical Moments. Although using a wheelchair, she took part in a 10k fundraising run/walk in Kilmessan for cancer awareness in October.

A highlight for the family was the celebration of her 70th birthday in the Hudson Bay Hotel in Athlone last September. Although ill, and under-going radio therapy, she enjoyed the celebrations with her husband Richard, her four children and eight grandchildren, sister Helen and lifelong friends from Lanesboro, Una and John Lawlor and Tom and Eileen Ganly.

Gerry is survived by husband, Richard; son, Peter; daughters, Maud, Aideen and Olivia; sister, Helen; grandchildren, Cillian McGorman, Siobhan Farrelly, Sean McGorman, Ciaran Coyle, Niamh Farrelly, Katie Coyle, Fionn McGorman, and Thomas Rogers; daughter-in-law and sons-in-law; nieces, nephews, aunts, relatives and friends.

The funeral took place from the Church of the Nativity, Kilmessan, to the adjoining cemetery, celebrated by Fr Terence Toner PP.

A guard of honour was provided by Kilmessan Active retirement group. Kilmessan parish choir, of which Gerry’s daughters Maud and Aideen are members, provided inspirational music at the Mass. Her grandchildren led the prayers, presenting symbols of Gerry’s life, and sang during the Mass. Their devotion to Gerry, which was demonstrated so strongly at the service, was a great source of comfort to their grandfather Richard and to their parents.

John Malone, Navan

The death occurred on Saturday 7th December last of John Malone, Dublin Road, Navan, (pictured below) who ran the family business, Malone’s Garage for 45 years.

Aged 83, he died peacefully at Millbury Nursing Home, Navan, where he had resided for the past four years.

Born on 13th August 1930 to Ellen and John Malone Snr of Railway Street, Navan, John was the third of their family of four. His father ran a horse and carriage business which evolved into a hackney business.

Deceased attended the De La Salle Brothers National School, Navan, playing football with the associated Salles team.

He was one of the first members of Navan Boys’ Band, now the Navan Silver Band, and was also a helper on the first ever Navan pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1948.

John then attended St Finian’s College, Mullingar, where he was on the first team from the school to ever win a Leinster football trophy. He also played in the school orchestra and appeared on stage in many Gilbert and Sullivan operas there.

He joined the family business and when his father died unexpectedly in 1956, he assumed control. At the time, Malone’s Garage was a main dealer for Massey Ferguson farm machinery. Through farm machinery, he introduced Meath farmers to a new way of crop growing and harvesting, and began a lifelong friendship with farmers all around the county.

A Columban missionary who was home from Philippines introduced the idea of Toyota cars to John, who was seeking to diversify.

Impressed by their economy and reliability, he became the first main dealer for the cars in Meath. Moving the business from Railway Street to Whistlemount on the Kells Road, Navan, he developed the dealership into a thriving concern.

John Malone was known to all as a man of great integrity who inspired loyalty and confidence in his customers and staff. He was the chairperson of the local Society of Irish Motor Industry branch. His son, John now runs the business.

In 1955, he married Mary McEntegart in St Steven’s Church, Johnstown, Navan, and a family of five followed, Valerie, John, Jane, Brian and Ruth. His two great passions were his Catholic faith and his family, and he was very proud of his daughter, Sr Valerie, when she made her Final Profession as a Franciscan Missionary of Mary, in St Mary’s Church, Navan, in 1978.

Deceased loved musicals, live film and theatre, and was a frequent attendee to shows with Mary. Attending horse racing meetings and GAA games in Croke Park were other favourite pastimes, and he enjoyed being involved with his friends in horse racing syndicates. A good snooker player, he treated himself to a full length billiard table and loved having friends around to play.

John had a keen interest in Navan and the development of its people, and was a member of the first St Mary’s Credit Union board. He collected for the town’s first swimming pool.

Deceased served on the school committee of St Joseph’s Convent of Mercy, was involved in St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, and was a lifelong member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. He took part in weekly Perpetual Adoration. He was a great supporter of all local charities and enjoyed poker classics.

In 2001, John Malone suffered a heart attack at the All Ireland football final, and his health declined following a subsequent by-pass.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Sr Valerie FMM, Jane, and Ruth; sons, John and Brian; sisters, Nell and Nuala; brother-in-law, Liam; sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. His sister, Rosaleen, died in 1987.

The funeral took place from St Mary’s Church, Navan, to Old Kilcarn Cemetery.


Kevin O’Rafferty, Clonard

The sudden death on 6th January last at Mullingar General Hospital of Mr Kevin O’Rafferty, Ardnamullen, Clonard, aroused great shock and sadness throughout the district and beyond.

A retired farmer and native of the area, the late Mr O’Rafferty enjoyed many sports but took a particular interest in horse racing and Gaelic football.

He was a former player with Clonard CLG and had a special interest in following the fortunes of the Meath football team.

His other great love was playing the card game 25s with his friends and neighbours. But he will be remembered most especially as a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather, as well as a kind and helpful neighbour and friend.

Deceased is survived by his wife, Rosaleen; sons, Padraic and Kevin; daughters, Martina, Imelda and Edel; sons-in-law, Pat and Alan; daughters-in-law, Aisling and Jo; grandchildren, Matthew, Sadie, Ben, Emily, Conor and James; brothers, Fr Patrick, California, USA; Brendan, Louis and Bernard, and sister, Marie.

His remains reposed at St Camillus, Killucan, on Wednesday 8th January, following which he was taken home to his family.

The funeral Mass took place on Thursday 9th January in St Finian’s Church, Clonard, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Edward Martin, Clonmellon and Kells

The regretted death of Edward (Ned) Martin, late of Bective Street, Kells, and Killua, Clonmellon, occurred at St Elizabeth’s Nursing Home, Athboy, on 30th November last. He was in his 93rd year and was the last surviving member of the family of eight children of Patrick and Julia Martin, Killua.

His life was in timber and he worked the sawmills in Kells, initially at the site of the old cinema, and later at the backlands of Bective Street.

Deceased travelled all over the country, taking timber off large estates and transporting it back to the Great Northern Railway to Kells. Ned operated in an area of trust, getting keys late at night through windows to obtain diesel for his lorry, and to leave money in the letterbox. He worked up until his eighties. He loved dogs and horseracing, and enjoyed many fun days with "good friends", as he would say himself. His many friends in Kells will always remember him as ‘the man in the suit’, known for his generosity. His passing leaves a void in the hearts of those who loved him.

He was predeceased by his wife, Eileen, in 1996; and by his siblings, Jim, John, Pat, Frank, Kit, Brendan, Ned, and Betty. He is survived by his nieces, Kay, Joy, Sheila, Betty and Phyllis, and sister-in-law, Ann.

Deceased was laid to rest in St Colmcille’s Cemetery, Kells.

Breda Donohoe, Athboy

The regretted death occurred unexpectedly and peacefully on Wednesday night of last week, following a short illness, of Breda Donohoe, Connaught Place, Athboy, and formerly of The Sycamores, Kilbride, Trim, aged 75.

A former nurse, Breda was well known through her work on the reception desk and switchboard at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan. While at the Salford Royal University Teaching Hospital in Greater Manchester in the 1960s, Breda was awarded a Bronze Medal, and the Saltman Award for the greatest contribution to nursing.

Christened Bridget Philomena, she was the youngest of the family of the late Peter and Mai Donohoe, The Sycamores, Kilbride, and attended Kilbride National School, and the Convent of Mercy, Athboy. In recent years, she and her sister, Maureen, moved from The Sycamores to Athboy town, where Maureen died in 2009. Breda was predeceased by her brother, Pete, and sisters, Eileen Flanagan and Maureen Donohoe; brother-in-law, Tom Flanagan; and sister-in-law, Eileen Donohoe.

She is survived by her nieces, Maureen Donohoe and Geraldine Allison; nephews, Michael and Fintan Flanagan; cousin, Peter Donohoe, Killeen, Dunshaughlin; grandnephews; grandnieces; extended family; relatives; former nursing colleagues and very good friends, neighbours and carers.

The funeral took place on Saturday morning from St James’ Church, Athboy, to St James’ Cemetery, celebrated by Fr Patrick O’Connor, PP, who recalled Breda’s kindness and compassion when dealing with visitors to Navan Hospital, many arriving in difficult circumstances, and her generous and caring spirit.

Paddy Daly, Garadice

There was great sadness following the passing of Paddy Daly, Garadice, Kilcock, at Parke House Nursing Home, Kilcock, at the age of 82. Deceased was a proud dairy farmer who was very actively involved in the farming community throughout his life. He was also a very passionate sportsman, and was involved in Summerhill GAA, Summerhill Tennis Club, Summerhill Bowls, and in later years, Kilcock Golf Club.

The local community was a very important part of his life, and he loved to get involved in parish projects. He is sadly missed by family and friends.

A native of Garadice, Summerhill, he was predeceased by his first wife, Mollie Daly (nee Sheridan), in 1971.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; sons, Paul and Patrick; daughter, Angela McKenna; grandchildren Rachel, Sarah and Michael; sisters, Eilish and Gretta; daughter-in-law, Ruth; son-in-law, Niall and extended family.

The funeral took place on Monday 30th December from Coole Church to the adjoining cemetery.


Sean Cahill, Navan

There was considerable sadness following the passing on 23rd December last of Sean Cahill, St Benildus’ Villas, Navan, at Our Lady’s Hospital, aged 75.

Deceased was a native of Navan and began his working career in the Russel Arms Hotel, before moving onto Claytons for 43 years. He finished his working career in John R’s Textile Company.

Sean had a love for all sports, particularly football. His first love was Arsenal FC which he supported all his life, followed by Parkvilla FC, where he was a committee member and selector for many years.

However, his passion was for Navan Pitch and Putt Club, where he was a member for over 40 years, holding positions such as chairman, secretary, president, vice president, and captain. He was also a member of Navan Pitch and Putt bowls team. In all these sports, he touched the lives of man, and made lifelong friends.

Sean was a very strong character and a people’s person, adored his family, and was at his happiest with them. He was a committed Pioneer and very dedicated to his faith.

Sean’s memory will live on in all those who knew him, and he will be remembered for his funny and witty humour.

He is survived by his wife, Jean; brother, Michael, Silverlawns, Navan; sisters, Nancy, Beechmount Crescent, Navan, Maureen, Clusker Park, and Irene, Flower Hill; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

The funeral took place from St Mary’s Church, Navan, to St Finian’s Cemetery.