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Obituaries 15th March 2014

Story by John Donohoe

Wednesday, 26th March, 2014 4:08pm

Obituaries 15th March 2014

The late Eileen Delany.

Eileen Delany, Gaulstown

The passing of Eileen Delany, of Gaulstown House, Dunshaughlin, on 27th January last, was the source of considerable sadness across a wide area. Aged 90, she passed away at Ratoath Manor Nursing Home.

A native of Newmarket, Co Cork, Eileen (nee McCarthy), was wife of the late Kevin Delany, who died in July 1991. She married Kevin in 1947 and resided in Dunshaughlin for over 60 years. She was generous and hospitable, welcoming newcomers to the village by inviting them for tea. She was an accomplished cook and a fantastic baker, and visitors to Gaulstown House were treated to her wares over the many years she made her home there.

Eileen was born into a farming background. She in turn raised her three children on a farm, and had a keen interest in all things farming and country. She was interested in current affairs, was an avid reader, and a firm believer in the importance of education. Eileen was a deeply religious person and a lifelong member of the Pioneer Association.

Deceased followed many sports, especially the GAA, and was particularly proud of her grandsons’ involvement with the Dunshaughlin team over the years.

A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, family was very dear to her. Her love and encouragement for them was constant.

Predeceased by her husband, and by her daughter, Frances Kelly, Eileen is survived by her son, Michael Delany, Gaulstown House, Maura Delany, Dunshaughlin; daughters-in-law, Kathryn Delany, Gaulstown House and son-in-law, Martin Kelly, Roestown, Drumree; grandchildren, Ronan Delany, Dunshaughlin, Caoimhe Delany, Dublin, Shane Kelly, Ratoath, Niall Kelly, Drumree, Grainne Kelly, Dublin, Ciaran Kelly, London, and Sinead Kelly Roestown, Drumree; sisters-in-law, sister, Angela Delany, Mount Anville, Dublin, and Kathleen Delany, Dunshaughlin, nephews, nieces, cousins, relatives and friends.

Eileen’s remains were removed to the Church of Saint Patrick and Saint Seachnaill on Tuesday evening, 28th January. The funeral Mass took place on Wednesday 29th January, celebrated by Fr Joe Clavin, PP, Dunshaughlin, assisted by Fr Thomas O’Mahony, Skryne, and burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery.

Annie and Kitty Mullen, Oristown

A wide community of family, relatives and friends were shocked and saddened by the deaths of two Oristown sisters within hours of each other recently.

Hospitalised for the final weeks of her life, initially at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and subsequently at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Annie Mullen (86) died on 3rd February last after a short illness. The following afternoon, as her remains arrived to repose at her family farmhouse birthplace, her sister, Kitty Mullen (93) passed away peacefully at Navan’s Beaufort House Nursing Home, after a prolonged illness.

Both sisters reposed side by side from later that evening, echoing how they had spent much of their life in daily step together. The large attendance at their wake and subsequent joint funeral mass at St Catherine’s Church, Oristown, with a moving reflective tribute from parish priest Fr John O Brien, reflecting their local popularity. They were buried together in Gibbstown Cemetery, adjacent to the crossroads that defined the location of much of their familial, social, and religious lives.

Members of the large and long-established Mullen family in that parish, Kitty and Annie were born to Thomas and Kate Mullen (nee Hopkins, Kilmainham, Kells) in 1920 and 1927, with subsequent education at Oristown Primary School and Mercy Convent Navan Secondary School.

Annie, a keen GAA follower over her life, will be long remembered by the older business community in Navan for her many years of no-nonsense business acumen and savvy in assisting and subsequently managing M Mullen Men’s Drapery of Watergate Street, which opened on the Monday after the 1949 All-Ireland Football Final.

Working right up to some months before her final illness, she experienced the ups and downs of taking an initially vibrant business through the many challenges of the changing social and retail landscape of provincial Ireland over a 60 year period. These included a major new look showroom refurbishment and redesign in 1969, transitioning following the sudden death of her brother Michael who was co-founder of the business, and the subsequent general decline in main street retail trade in favour of larger centre multi-outlet shopping.

Kitty, along with her sister Mary, for many years managed the busy Blossoms Hotel in Parnell Square, Dublin, then subsequently a B&B business at Carmel House in Upper Gardiner Street, and later in Iona Road, Glasnevin.

Well known for her low profile quiet generosity and smiling nature, Kitty embodied traditional Irish hospitality, with a genuinely warm welcome for family, friends, guest, or college student, in the cosy kitchen or sitting room of both family home or B&B. She had an effacing modesty in her own achievements, an enduring selflessness and innocence, as well as a genuine interest in people’s well-being. In her later years she bore the health burdens of failing vision and impaired speech with a typical quiet dignity and an accepting smile. She spent the last year of her life at Beaufort House in Navan, where she was cared for with model professionalism by its many staff.

Of deeply religious faith, Annie and Kitty will be fondly remembered for many years as exceptional people from a friendly but sadly passing generation, who enriched the lives of family, friends, and their many visitors from town, country, and various continents. Relatives and some visitors in particular will well recall ‘singing for your supper’ behind the sitting room door as young children, the ready supply of slices of cake at high tea, a plate of butter softening by the fire, a drop of brandy in the Christmas custard, as well as listening to old stories about Oristown characters such as ‘the Miller Murray’, horse and cart journeying, the impact of the Land Commission on local farming or road names in the 1930’s Oristown, cycling to Dublin’s Croke Park to watch the Meath football team, and about how Uncle James Hopkins returned home from 1920’s New York with the American Flag before his untimely death after the Stock Market Crash a few years later.

There remains for all a keen sense of loss for the timing of their mutual passing, a pride in the interest they took in each other, their community and large extended family, as well as a humble respect for the generations that they represented. Their decency, fairness, kindness, traditions, and loyalty to family, community, visitor, parish, and church, will be remembered long after their having being laid to rest, and continue to influence those who knew them well.

They were pre-deceased by five brothers, whose diverse working lives ranged from farming (Tommy and Matty Mullen of Oristown and Kilmainham), to retail businesses in Navan (Michael Mullen’s men’s drapery, Eddie Mullen’s cycle repairs and Paddy Mullen’s butcher shop), and also their eldest sister, Roseanne Mulhall of Beakstown, Tipperary.

Deceased are survived by their sister, Mary; nephews, nieces, and other members of the Mulhall, Mullen, Kilgallen, Kendall, Markey, Steen, Hogan, and Macken families from Navan, Kilmainham, Gibbstown, Dundalk, Slane, Tipperary, Waterford, Liverpool, Calgary, and Brisbane, as well as their many friends within Oristown, its surrounding communities, and from overseas.

Ann McGovern, Kells

There was widespread sadness following the death of Ann McGovern, Cavan Road, Kells, on 18th February last at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan. Aged 68, Ann (nee Tallon) was a native of Navan. She was a former employee of Claytons and John Orr’s, Navan. She was also a member of the Kells Squash and Pitch and Putt Club.

Ann is survived by daughters, Rachel Flannagan, Elm Grove, Kells, Tara Heerey, Carrick Street, Kells; son, Cy McGovern, Derry, Shercock, Co Cavan; grandchildren, Craig, Scott, Ross, Chelsea, Shannon, Courtney, Troy, Tori; son-in-law, Ray Flannagan and daughter-in-law, Susan McGovern.

The funeral took place from St Colmcille’s Church, to St Colmcille’s Cemetery.

Bridget Coogan, Navan

Bridget Coogan, St Finian’s Terrace, Navan, who died on 17th February last, worked as a cook in the County Infirmary for most of her life. Aged 80, she passed away at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.

A member of the Friendship Club, she loved dancing and bingo, and also enjoyed going away on trips to Blackpool with the Navan branch of the Irish National Foresters. She was devoted to her family. A native of Navan, deceased was a daughter of the late Daniel and Mary Ellen O’Brien. She is survived by her sons, Kevin, Claremont Estate, Navan, and Christopher, St Finian’s Terrace; daughter-in-law, Jackie; sister, Rose Lawlor, Silverlawns, Navan; grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The funeral took place from St Mary’s Church, Navan, to St Mary’s Cemetery. A month’s memory Mass will take place on Sunday 16th March at 1pm, in St Mary’s Church.


Patrick Fitzsimons, Kells

The regretted death took place on 22nd February last of Patrick (Paddy) Fitzsimons, at home at St Patrick’s Terrace, Maudlin Road, Kells, aged 81.

Deceased was interested in current affairs and events from all across the globe, and listened to the news several times a day. He was a lover of sport, and was a big supporter of both Irish football and soccer, always keeping up to date with the latest matches, results and sports news. Paddy was a fan of Everton FC. He had a passion for poetry, in particular, ‘Lament for Thomas McDonagh’ by Francis Ledwidge, which he quoted often to his friends and family.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Marie Keelaghan, Boyerstown, Carmel McGrath, Stamullen, Joan McGrath, Teltown, Donaghpatrick; sons, Johnny, Jude, Maurice, all Kells, and Patrick Jnr, Milton Keynes, UK; brother, Jack Fitzsimons, Kells; sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives and friends.

The funeral took place from St Colmcille’s Church, Kells, to Stahalmog Cemetery, Carlanstown.

Mairead Smyth, Dunboyne

A month’s memory Mass takes place this weekend for Mairead Smyth of Newtown, Dunboyne who died on Wednesday 12th February last. A member of the O’Brien family of Skryne, she was wife of Meath’s 1949 All-Ireland SFC-winning captain, Brian Smyth. She died peacefully at Silvergrove Nursing Home, Clonee, after a long illness.

Her brother, Micheal, who played for Skryne, was also on Meath’s All-Ireland winning team of 1949 and ‘54.

Mother of the late Bernard, she is survived by her husband, Brian; daughters, Dympna and Attracta; daughter-in-law, Carol; sons-in-law, Tony and Des; grandchildren, David, Laura, Niall, Donal, Aoife, Stephen and Orla, brothers Micheal, and Dominic, all her nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Her removal took place from her home, on the Summerhill Road, to Ss Peter and Paul’s Church, Dunboyne, where her funeral Mass took place, followed by burial in Batterstown Cemetery. Monsignor Desmond Farrell, PP, was the celebrant.

Elizabeth Healy, Athboy

There was widespread regret following the death of Elizabeth Healy, St Paul’s Avenue, Athboy, in St Elizabeth’s Nursing Home, on 9th February last, at the age of 95.

Born Elizabeth Brennan, she was a native of Kilkenny. She was predeceased by her husband, John Healy, in 1994. Elizabeth is survived by her son, Paddy; daughters, Rose, Mary, Philomena, Antoinette, Bridget and Margaret; sons- and daughters-in-law; grandchildren, friends and neighbours.

The funeral took place on Thursday 13th February, at St James’ Church Athboy, with burial afterwards in St James’ Cemetery.

Michael O’Reilly, Mullagh

 The regretted death of Michael O’Reilly, ‘Glenvar’, Rantavan, Mullagh, occurred 12th February last, peacefully at his home, aged 72.

A retired sales executive, he was a very active member of his local community in a number of societies and associations including Cuchulainn’s GFC, where he was honorary president, Fianna Fail, where he was also a president of the local organisation, Cross/Mullagh Friendship Club, and the Choir of St Kilian’s Church, Mullagh, where he had been a member since the choir first began. These organisations provided a guard of honour at his removal and funeral. He was also a peace commissioner.

A native of Crossreagh, Mullagh, deceased is survived by his wife, Teresa (nee Grieve); daughters, Ursula Kelly and Sharon Kiernan; sons, Micheál, Ciarán, and Shane P; daughters-in-law, Siobhan, Olive and Elisha; sons-in-law, Sean and Denis; 14 grandchildren; brother, Phil, Dyrallagh, Moynalty; sisters, Bernadette Gilsenan, Templeogue, Dublin, Breda Smith, Termon Lower, Virginia; brothers- and sisters-in-law; nieces, nephews, relatives, and many friends.

The funeral took place on Friday, 14th February, in St Kilian’s Church, Mullagh. The burial took place in the adjoining cemetery.

Joe Daly, Clonmellon

Much sadness swept through Clonmellon, Kilskyre and a radius of many miles around on the learning of the death of Joe Daly, Clonmellon, after a short illness at the Regional Hospital, Mullingar. He was pre-deceased by his wife Agnes just over a year ago. They were married for over 50 years and were great companions.

Born in Kilskyre in 1927, his parents died when he was a young boy and he spent much of his childhood in Kildare with relatives.

As a young man he returned to his roots to his father’s farm in Kilskyre which he farmed with pride until recent times.

He resided in Clonmellon throughout his married life with Agnes who ran a successful hairdressing business.

Joe was a pillar of the community and did a lot for Clonmellon. He was founder and chairman of Clonmellon Town Development for many years. He was also responsible for the founding and building of Clonmellon Community Centre and he got the weekly bingo going for the older people, and ran the annual bingo for the Clonmellon Lourdes Invalid Fund. Joe was also a Peace Commissioner. He was a member of Westmeath County Council for many years.

Joe will be remembered as a real gentleman, always willing to give a helping hand and always had a word for everyone.

The funeral took place in Ss Peter’s and Paul’s Church, Clonmellon, celebrated by Fr Sean Garland, PP, Clonmellon and Fr Phil Gaffney, PP, Drogheda.

Joe was laid to rest in Killallon Cemetery. He is survived by his cousins, Carmel McCormack and Michael Daly; niece, Martha, and a large circle of family friends and neighbours.

Margaret Connell, Athboy

There was widespread sadness following the death of Margaret (Maggie) Connell, Derrylangan, Athboy on 21st February last, aged 98, at Hillview Nursing Home, Rathfeigh.

Margaret (nee Dowd) was a native of Derrylangan, and was predeceased by her husband, Thomas Connell, in 1977.

A camogie player in her youth, Maggie later enjoyed going to bingo three nights a week. She also loved attending to her cattle for many years in all kinds of weather.

Deceased is survived by her daughter, Elsie Murray, Derrlylangan; grandaughters, Ann Murray, Derrylangan, and Ciara Nelson, Canterbrook, Navan; and grandson, Gerard Murray, Darwin, Australia, as well as her friends in the Hillview Nursing Home and extended family and relatives.

The funeral took place on the 24th February from St James’ Church, Athboy to St James’ Cemetery.

Sr Veronica Smith, Kells and Tyrone

There was widespread regret following the death of Sr Veronica Smith, Strabane, Co Tyrone in Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry on 1st March, at the age of 96. She was a native of Kells, and was daughter of the late John and Catherine Smith.

Sr Veronica worked for many years in the care of the sick. She was a very creative person, with an eye for intricate detail - two of her hobbies being embroidery and mat making.

Predeceased by her brother John, she will be remembered by the Sisters of Mercy; her brother, Kieran, England; and her nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family circle.

Requiem Mass was held in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Strabane, with interment afterwards in the Convent Cemetery.

Killian McKenna, London

The funeral took place in Mullagh on Saturday last of Kilian McKenna, second son of the late May and TP McKenna, who died unexpectedly at his home in London on 19th February last, aged 54.

He had followed his father into the acting profession gaining his training in seasons with the National Youth Theatre and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

In his professional career he made appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre along with a host of television, film and radio dramas.

Kilian was gifted with a dynamic intellect and held a great passion for literature and history. With a vibrant and charismatic presence, he invariably made a lasting impression on all who met him.

His passing comes just three years after that of his father, the actor TP. He is survived by his brothers, Rafe, Breffni, Stephen; sister, Sally; their respective partners; nephews, Tom and Finnian; and many friends.

The funeral took place on Saturday from St Kilian’s Church, Mullagh, to Teampall Cheallaigh cemetery.