PATRICIA (Patsy) McGuire (nee Ruane) was born on March 15, 1942, and at the age of three came to live with her adoptive parents John and Ellen Sheridan in Ballygolman, where with the exception of a short time in London, she spent the remainder of her life. Pastsy had a happy childhood there and she always said John and Ellen and John’s brother Matt were always very good to her. She attended Aughagower NS and later Westport Vocational School where she completed her education. When she left school she worked in the old Westport Shirt Factory and she always talked of friends she made there and the fun they had.
She had known Jim McGuire to see for a good while, and she thought he seemed such a nice man. So, when Jim asked her out, that was the beginning of a relationship that lasted 40 years. They got engaged in May 1968 and on August 26, 1970 they were married in Aughagower Church and had their reception in the Welcome Inn, Hotel in Castlebar. After they married they moved to Tooting in London where Jim had been working for many years. Patsy never took to city life and they moved back to Ballygolman. The following year on August 9, 1971, Patsy gave birth to her only son, James, and that made her very proud and happy. She didn’t go back out to the workplace again. She stayed at home caring for her son James, her mother Ellen, and her uncle Matt. Her father John died in 1961.
Patsy had many interests and one of them, even though she was a pioneer all her life, was to go out and socialise. She would often say to Jim on a Sunday evening: “Will we go over to Keane’s pub in Aughagower or in to Mel and Kathleen tonight.” Patsy loved clothes but only bright colours, pink being her favorite. She loved reading and got her magazine and the Daily Star every day and if The Mayo News was forgotten on a Tuesday, someone would have to go back into town for it. Patsy loved TV, Vincent Browne, The Late Late Show and Fair City were her favorites. Patsy was a brilliant cook, nothing fancy, but what was done was done right and many people complimented her on her cooking.
She also had the ability to cut and look after her own hair. She would use two mirrors and start cutting and she always seemed to get it right. Some people would look at her twice when she said ‘I did it myself’. Patsy loved certain sports, she loved darts, Simon Whitlock and Martin Adams being her favorite. She also loved boxing, Joe Frazer and Barry McGuigan in years gone by and this past while it was Katie Taylor she followed. Patsy loved the land and animals, she loved her dog Bell and the cats. She loved to see the baby calves coming along. She had the cows spoiled feeding them with bread outside the house and she had names on them all. Only last June when there was a baby calf on the way she waited up until 4am to make sure all was ok.
Patsy was a very honest person, as Fr King said in his homily: “You knew where you stood with her, she called a spade a spade.” If she didn’t agree with someone she let them know and that was it, no bad mouthing later. Patsy loved to see people coming to her home it didn’t matter who called they had to come in. There always had to be a cake and something for a sandwich in the fridge. In later years her neighbours and nieces would visit regular and she looked forward to that from the time she got up.
In 2003 Patsy discovered she had a brother, John, living in Attymass, and once they met they clicked, it was like they had known each other all of their lives. She discovered later that she had an older brother and sister, Michael and Madeline, living in Luton. She met Michael a few times but never Madeline, they talked regular by phone.
In February 2000 patsy was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the time the outlook was not good for her. She was seriously ill but she said she would fight it to the end and that’s exactly what she did. She spent many weeks in UCHG having surgery and strong chemo and six weeks in St Luke’s in Dublin. Everything was going well but the cancer returned in 2003 and she had to go through the whole process again and after a time she was in remission. Life was good for her until december 2008, when Jim was diagnosed with a terminal illness. When he passed away on March 5, 2009, a piece of Patsy died with him, She was heartbroken but she still fought on. In July 2012 her cancer returned, this time more aggressively, she still wouldn’t give in, she had numerous trips to Galway, sometimes three times a week, leaving home at 6am and not getting home until late in the evening, yet she never complained. She would always say ‘sure its for my own good’.
In recent months her health declined but her spirit didn’t, she still kept an eye on her animals which she always loved, and welcomed everyone who came to visit. Patsy was admitted to UCHG on July 13 and that is where she spent the final three weeks of her life. The staff in St Teresa’s ward took a real liking to her because of her wit and she never complained. She got her confessions and got a Mass said for herself, Jim and James shortly before her death and that meant everything to her. Patsy passed away peacefully, with her son and her neighbour and dear friend Pauline by her side, that’s what she would have wanted. She was at peace and her long struggle with illness was over.
Patsy spent the next two nights at her home in Ballygolman where many people came to visit and pay their respect to such a kind woman. She reposed in McGing’s Funeral Home where many people attended. She was brought to Aughagower Church via her home place where she spent her last night before she was buried alongside her beloved Jim. She was carried shoulder high by her son, brother, relatives and neighbours to her final resting place, which she would have loved.
Patsy is survived by her son James (Ballygolman); brothers John (Attymass) and Michael (Luton); sister Madeline (Luton); sisters-in-law Breege Ruane (Attymass); Sadie McGing and Tess McGuire (Arderry, Aughagower) and Nora Coughlan (Tooting, London); nieces, nephews, in-laws, neighbours and many friends. May her gentle soul rest in peace.
Our Lady of Knock, pray for her.
“My mam so gentle, kind and warm,
You gave me comfort from any storm.
You gave me love and tender care,
Best of all you were always there.
I thank you mam for all you have done,
For all the laughter and the fun.
For all the meals,
For all your time.
I thank the Lord that you were mine.”
- Love James