The late Sr Cecilia Delany.
The late Sr Cecilia Delany.
The death occurred on Sunday last of Sr Cecilia (Theresa) Delany, a native of Batterstown and a member of the Columban order, at St Columban's Convent, Magheramore, Wicklow.
Aged 94, she was the last surviving member of the Delany family of Growtown, and published a memoir to mark her 90th birthday in 2008.
Her interest in mission life began at the age of nine in Rathregan National School, Batterstown, when she became one of 'Colum's Little Missionaries' following a visit by Columban Father Thomas McGovern to the school with pictures of China from his 'magic lantern'. She joined the Sisters in Caheracon, Co Clare, in 1937, and was one of five Sisters assigned to China in 1946, a journey which took six weeks. Also on the trip was the late Fr Laurence Geraghty, a native of Drumree. In those days, to plan to go to China was astonishing, as it was unknown, mysterious and intriguing.
The Sisters in the community adapted to the Slav Byzantine Rite when they arrived at their new establishment, Sancta Sophia in Shanghai, where the school educated a mixture of Koreans, Japanese, Filipino, Russians, Chinese, Armenian and Czechoslovakian children.
One of Sr Mary Cecilia's roles as sacristan was to bake bread for the Holy Sacrifice in the Byzantine Liturgy. It involved making yeast bread. To ensure the dough would rise it was placed in a hay box. This was a trunk filled with hay into which was placed hot water bottles to provide heat. The dough was kneaded into two cakes, one small, one large, and placed over one another. When the celebrant divided the bread, he removed the smaller cake by cutting it out of the larger one, as a symbol of Christ's birth.
The Columban Sisters building was close to the Silk Hat Night Club.
"We never saw any of the clients as due to strict curfew we never went outside after 6pm, as the penalty for infringement was decapitation with no questions asked nor trial given," Sr Cecilia wrote. I must not forget the generosity of the American soldiers in Shanghai - they shared their parcels from home."
In May 1950, Sr Cecilia and her colleague got a telegram out of the blue, containing the message 'Cecilia, Annunciata, go to Hong Kong'. Immediately, she and Annunciata left Shangai on the General Gordon steamship, in the midst of panic as crowds were seeking berths in order to escape before Mao's forces reached Shanghai.
At the time it was usual to show the news of the world in the cinemas, and her sister, Annie Delany, was at a show in London when to her surprise and delight, she saw two Sisters making their way up the gangway of the SS Gordon. She recognised Sr Cecilia and was very much relieved to see that she was getting out safely from Shanghai, and was able to give the good news to her family back in Meath.
Following her departure from Shanghai for Hong Kong, she worked in a clinic in Sham Tseng. This was followed by a period in the Philippines, where she moved around a number of different schools. In Molave, the nun experienced flood, fire, earthquake, typhoon and hurricane, and rescued a baby after a paint shop exploded into flames.
Sr Cecilia later went to the Philippines, where she spent 27 years teaching, before returning to Ireland in 1970. She became a music teacher in St Michael's Holy Faith School in Finglas, which she described as a joy over the following 30 years.
Retirement was spent in the Columban Sisters' base in Wicklow, where she penned a memoir of her time in the far east during the period of great turmoil, 'Cecilia Come Back - Gee Gee Al Fan Lie'. Sr Cecilia's limited edition memoir was published by Hillgate Publishing in Batterstown.
Sr Cecilia is survived by her nephews, nieces, and their families, cousins, relatives, friends and the religious community. Her nephews include 1956 Olympic athlete Ronnie Delany, whose father, Patrick, was her brother. Her funeral took place at the convent in Wicklow yesterday (Tuesday).
Andy Dolan, Lobinstown
Meath County Board chairman Barney Allen paid tribute to the late Mr Andy Dolan, Parsonstown, Lobinstown, in his foreword to the Meath-Monaghan game which opened the county side's National Football League campaign at Pairc Tailteann.
Mr Dolan, a passionate GAA supporter, was a regular attender at Pairc Tailteann over his lifetime. Aged 64, he passed away on Saturday 28th January after a long illness. He was predeceased by his wife, Nuala, in September 1994.
In recent years, Mr Dolan was well known the length and breadth of the county and further afield as a driver for Spicer's Bakery. In his earlier days, deceased worked for many years in Campbell's Grocery in Ardee, a task involving a pre-dawn start to his every working day. And from that time, his face was a familiar and friendly one for many people in the area.
When Andy Dolan stepped down as treasurer of Syddan GAA in November 2006, it was after 27 years' service, and he was an honorary president of the club at the time of his passing.
Devoted to the club, he was always on hand as when anything needed to be done around the grounds or if help was needed at the gate on a match day.
Speaking at his funeral Mass, Fr Michael Sheerin, PP, Lobinstown, said that after family came Faith and football as priorites in Andy Dolan's life.
"For years a faithful clubman and treasurer of Syddan football, he brought a wise head and a steady commitment to all the club's activities - on the field of play, in the boardroom, and in the development and maintenance of Pairc Ludlo, where his presence was the first you could expect, night or day," Fr Sheerin stated.
He would have been hugely proud of his cousin, Joe Cassells, captaining Meath and winning a bagful of trophies besides, but his pride in Syddan, and his pleasure there, was no less important for him, Fr Sheerin continued.
The parish priest said that his faith was manifest in the routine of his life and in his demeanour, and nowhere more plainly than in the Church of the Holy Cross, as a special
minister of the Word and of the Eucharist.
Fr Sheerin concluded: "He was, finally, the man who stood at the gate of church or field, in all weathers, ever courteous and smiling. And it is not difficult to believe - and surely not fanciful either - that the one who stands at Heaven's gate will smile too, with that gate open wide in welcome. At such a gate we picture now and leave Andy, a man to remember with pride and gratitude of a family, a community, a parish."
Mr Dolan is survived by his daughters, Sandra, Audrey, Linda; grandson, Killian; son-in-law; brothers, Paddy and Sean; sisters, Paula, Celia, Lily, Dympna, Nell, and Nuala; nephews, nieces, cousins, relatives and friends. The funeral took place from the Church of the Holy Cross, Lobinstown, to the adjoining cemetery.
Sheila Clarke, Trim
There was widespread sadness following the recent death of Mrs Sheila Clarke, Tullaghanogue, Trim, on 17th January last at St James' Hospital, Dublin. Aged 69, she was daughter of the late Matthew and Elizabeth Casey of Balreask, Navan.
Deceased is survived by her husband, Sean; daughters, Mary, Petula and Babara, son, Sean; son-in-law, Larry; grandson, Dean, relatives, neighbours and friends. The funeral took place from St Patrick's church, Trim, to St Loman's Cemetery.
Elizabeth Reilly, Donore
The recent death of Mrs Elizabeth Reilly, Donore, Drogheda, Co Meath occasioned much regret. Mrs Reilly passed away on 7th February last in Louth County Hospital, Dundalk, aged 87.
Deceased was a member of the Clarke family, Drogheda, living on the North Road prior to her marriage to Mr Edward (Teddy) Reilly of Donore in 1966. She worked in Wilson and McBrinn, Drogheda and Marco, Drogheda. Deceased was an ardent gardener and had a love for reading. Mrs Reilly also pursued a passion for painting for many years. Along with her husband, she was involved with the Pioneer Association, particularly its drama, quiz and social activities.
Mrs Reilly was predeceased by her husband Edward and her sisters, Mary Timothy, London; Rose Dillon, Dunleer; Ellen Lennon, Drogheda and Margaret, as an infant, She is survived by her brother, Gerard, Solihull, Birmingham, England; nephews, Paul Lennon, Kells; niece, Margaret Lennon, Drogheda; grandniece, Kate Lennon, Kells; cousins, Brendan Butterly, Drogheda; Nuala Fox, Athlone; Terry Butterly, Blackrock, Co Louth; Rosemary Caffrey, Carlingford, Co Louth; brother-in-law, Patrick, Wicklow; relatives, neighbours and friends.
The funeral took place from Donore Church to Donore Old Cemetery, celebrated by Fr Michael Meade, PP, Donore and Rosnaree.
Sean Moriarty, Kells
There was widespread regret following the death of Mr Seán Moriarty, Kells, at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan on the 7th December last, aged 93. Mr Moriarty was native of Baile an Lochaigh, Co Kerry, and moved from west Kerry to Meath in 1937. He lived in Teltown, Gibbstown, Caddagh House and Tatestown before retiring as a farmer and settling in Kells with his wife, Eileen. Mr Moriarty was an avid reader who had great attention to detail. He was an extremely active and healthy man with an extraordinary memory. Mr Moriarty was also a native speaker and was known to recite poetry 'as Gaeilge'. Deceased chose to move to St Elizabeth's Nursing Home, Athboy, two years ago.
He is survived by his wife, Eileen (nee Ree); brothers, Tom, Ardbraccan; Mick, Teltown; sister, Kathleen Clusker, Navan; nephews; nieces; and extended family and friends. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters, Mary and Hannah, and brother, Jim.
The funeral took place from St Colmcille's Church, Kells, to Gibbstown Cemetery, where he was laid to rest alongside his beloved sister, Hannah and his parents, Ellen and Michael.
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