MARY Kelly, Brickens, who died recently, was a member of a well-known and traditional family in the Brickens area. She was among the most senior citizens in the region and could recall events and happenings in the area stretching back to the early decades of the 20th century.
Mary was formerly Harte and was born on June 27, 1917. Her parents were Pat Harte and Catherine McGough. She was baptised on July 9, and her sponsors were Michael Cunnane and Brigid Morley. She had one sister, Delia. When their father died young, they helped out on the land. Mary and Delia also worked in Flanagan’s shop and post office.
She remembered Brickens Church being built in 1927 and attended the first Mass that was celebrated by Fr Whyte. She went to Ballinvilla school and recalled the segregation of the boys and the girls’ school. She had vivid memories of the sand road that ran through Brickens and in later years the tarring of the main road between Claremorris and Ballyhaunis in 1940.
Mary married Tom Kelly in 1944 which was during the Second World War years. (Her sister Delia married Tom’s brother Martin and they lived in nearby Ranahard). She often recalled the rationing that took place from tea, sugar and tobacco to the gold that was used in her wedding band. Tom and Mary were happily married for 50 years.
They had eight children, including a set of twins and triplets, four of which survive today. Three died as babies while Mary (Treanor) died in New York in 2002. Mary found much peace and serenity when Ballinvilla graveyard, where the three children were interred, was blessed some years ago by Fr Tom Gallagher.
In his homily, Fr Paddy Mullins said Mary was a people’s person. “She loved to chat and enjoyed meeting people. She made many friends throughout her life.
“Mary loved to listen to the radio and was Midwest radio’s best listener. She particularly enjoyed listening to the Michael Commins Show on a Sunday night. When Kevin Prendergast was played on the show, that made her night in a special way. And she enjoyed meeting Kevin over the years.
“She had a great love for reading, so much so that the girls who worked in the Library said she had the majority of the books read. She was also a great lady for the letter writing over the years and equally enjoyed receiving letters.
“She had a great sense of humour and always had a warm welcoming smile on her face. Mary was a family person and loved all her sons and daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law.”
Sadly in 2002, Mary experienced the loss of her eldest daughter, Mary Margaret. She was a woman of great faith which sustained her through the years. In later years, when Mary couldn’t go to Mass, she looked forward to Fr Mullins visiting her.
There was great joy in 2007 when Mary reached 90 years. Her neighbour Elaine Browne did a small documentary on Mary to find out her secret on a long and healthy life. This was later shown on RTÉ.
She will be sadly missed by her family and those who knew her and all of them will treasure the lovely memories of a very special and kind hearted lady. Ní beidh a leithead ann arís.
Mary, who was also predeceased by her husband Tom 14 years ago, is survived by her sons, Paddy (Brickens), Pete (Claremorris) and Christy (Ballyhaunis); her daughter, Phil Boyle (Ballyhaunis); daughters-in-law, Maureen and Kathleen; sons-in-law, Con and Bill; nephews, nieces, relatives, extended family, neighbours and many friends.
May her gentle and caring soul have peaceful rest. Ar dheis Dé to raibh a h-anam dílis.