Glanbaun, Kilsallagh, Westport
Eithna Sammon nee Joyce, Glanbaun, Kilsallagh Westport, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2017 after a seven month illness. Eithna was born into the Joyce family on July 30, 1961 to the late Mary and Frank Joyce as the fifth member of eleven siblings; a family extremely respectful and highly respected. Growing up in a big family is always challenging but Eithna was taught the most important life values which formed the vital foundations for Eithna forever after.
Eithna was educated in Bouris NS, Sancta Maria College in Louisburgh and Limerick. Eithna’s working life began in the Shoe Factory in Westport and she later built up 32 years of service with Allergan in addition to a number of years working in London. Her final post was in HR in Pilgrims Rest in Westport. During all of this period, Eithna acquired a wide range of management qualifications, skills and work ethic, that she added to the well laid foundations already formed during her youth in Bouris. Eithna’s accrual of education, skills and friendships all helped shape the unique and most beautiful woman that Eithna became. Long before her illness, Eithna always held a very strong faith that she cherished on a daily basis but never imposed on anyone else. She always loved to read at the weekend masses in Lecanvey church for Father Paddy. However, during her illness it was her faith and mental strength that carried her through the turbulent days of illness right to the very end when she was called to a better place.
Eithna’s love of giving to community was naturally instinctive. Eithna was a devout community volunteer, actively and ethically volunteering in the many local organisations; Lecanvey Community Centre committee leader ;Louisburgh No Name Club; Big Brother Big Sister Programme; the Bouris school reunion committee and St Vincent De Paul. She was also Secretary of the Louisburgh Horse Show Committee and was involved with Louisburgh Heritage Group; Westport Hill Walking Club; Mayo Mountain Rescue including the Mayo County Community Forum and was an annual collector for Rock Rose House. It was throughout her life of dedication to community work that Eithna’s contribution to the development of many local organisations made a real and significant difference. She loved people and playing her part in making society in her local rural communities a better place was at the foremost of her goals in life. Eithna was a leader who always led by example; her tolerance of inaction was low. She believed in standards and high values and it was those core values that Eithna believed were the building blocks of the community voluntary organisations that she so dearly embraced.
Eithna’s personality was defined by her warm honest and kind caring nature that endeared her to so many people. Eithna forged many friendships in navigating her journey through life and it was her friends that she held very close to her heart; those friendships were built on well earned respect for each other. Social media never played a significant role in Eithna’s life, but it was texts and WhatsApp that connected her to those special friends and family especially when her illness confined her to hospital. Eithna was one of eleven members of the Joyce family, a family where there was an enviable bond of unique closeness and loyalty. It was that rich family bond of closeness that Eithna was so proud of because they were all in her corner, and she knew it, right up to her passing.
When it came to personal health and wellbeing, supported by Bootcamp West, Eithna’s attention to fitness and ambition to achieve earned her accolades for competing in Connemara Marathon in 2004, Galeforce West in 2010, Sea to Summit in 2012 and 2015, and the Currane Challenge in 2012 and 2016. A lover of social dancing too, she was very adept on the dance floor. The No Name Club in Louisburgh was very special to Eithna because she believed in its powerful potentials. Alongside her training and fitness, Eithna’s love of her garden and being close to mother earth was her real home. Her beautiful garden reflected her huge love of the trees shrubs and flowers but it was the flowers she adored most as they not just lived in the garden but always had a place on the kitchen table. Eithna however, was the brightest blossom of all. She loved tending to her father’s final resting place, where a couple of months before his Anniversary Mass, she would every year, sow seeds to ensure the grave looked beautiful for the family rosary on the day. Her relationship with her greenhouse and garden were inseparable. In 2016 she secured her level Six Advanced Certificate in Horticulture with distinction. Eithna’s home, of which she was extremely proud of, was always dressed with flowers and a low lit light 24/7, as she was an avid believer in the warm welcoming beacon of light and hope. The holy water font inside the front door was always the last check point for Eithna, irrespective of the destination.
Eithna learning’s in life enriched her with positivity that she radiated on a daily basis to those all around. She was incredibly humble, private, unassuming and she developed a wonderful sense of personal pride, always elegant and radiant. Eithna was a dignified beautiful woman but it was her inner beauty that made her the most unique illuminating woman of all. She protected those close to her even right up to her passing; she was never selfish. During her illness, Eithna’s dignified endurance of suffering signalled the quality of her character, vigorously cultivated over her many years of tough physical training.
Eithna’s final journey on leaving her home began with a kilometre on the shoulders of her family, brothers, sisters and neighbours, such was the depth of respect earned by Eithna in her local community. The large crowds that turned out to bid her final farewell were a true reflection of the respect held for the wonderful woman she was.
Eithna was a lady with an incredible sense of pride and a generous and gorgeous heart with immense capacity for love. She had an infectious sense of humour and wit. She loved all things of her roots in Bouris and Glanbaun including her special Allergan friends. Eithna’s proudest moment in her life was when she got married to her loving partner of over six years, Brendan. Eithna left a gentle footprint on everyone’s heart throughout her life but she has left this world taking a huge chunk of all the hearts she touched with her. She loved all her nieces and nephews but she reserved a special space for her Godchildren, Robbie, Ellen and Hannah. Eithna would always have the ‘treats’ for Tristan and Lorcan for their regular breaks when farming.
There are no words to describe the devastating loss of Eithna’s passing to her husband, family, community and friends. She will be forever missed but never forgotten. Eithna left a legacy of Love behind her that will resonate with all those that knew her forever more.