Belclare, Westport (formerly Accony, Louisburgh)
Sal Horkan passed away peacefully at her home in Belclare on Wednesday, March 14, following a short illness.
Sal (Sarah) was born on Jan 5th, 1942, to Richard and Mollie Prendergast, Accony, Louisburgh and was the youngest of 11 siblings. Following secondary school in Louisburgh, Sal went to work with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, as a Telephone Exchange Operator. She was initially placed in Kells, Co Meath, then moved to Castlebar and Ballina, Co Mayo, eventually ending up in Westport.
While in Westport, she met her husband Cecil and they were married on September 5th, 1967 in Murrisk Abbey Hotel. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last September with their family and friends.
As were the requirements in those days upon marriage, Sal had to give up her employment with the telephone exchange, embarking instead on life as a home maker and mother to four children. The subsequent years she dedicated to raising her children and supporting Cecil on their small family farm. Through these years she maintained strong ties to her own siblings scattered throughout the world helping them keep connection with their native Louisburgh. As her children grew up, Sal got back into working life, home working for Gaeltarra Eireann and Dubarry Shoes. She then spent several years as a child minder for families in Westport – it was lovely to see these children attend her funeral, now as adults, as she always continued to be interested in how they were progressing in life. Sal also worked for a number of years in Westport House, a time she enjoyed greatly, speaking often of the fun and comradery with the team there during that time. Up until her retirement, Sal worked in Supervalu, Westport, during which time she engaged with lots of people she had not been in contact with for years. She really enjoyed the teamwork and interaction with customers every day. Over the years Sal also volunteered with Westport Social Services, helping with the shop and with whatever tasks she could, including the annual collection for Western Care.
Sal was a strong, independent and immensely intelligent person. Music and literature were great passions throughout her life and things she actively passed on to her children and grandchildren. Of a different time, Sal would certainly have attended University, but such opportunities were limited for girls coming from a small farm in the west of Ireland in the 1960’s. A wonderful mother, her greatest passion in life was her family to whom she dedicated herself wholly, supporting her children’s pursuits of the opportunities not afforded her. Sal was a lover of crosswords, quizzes and scrabble, in recent years adapting to modern technology spending her spare time on her Kindle and Tablet.
Sal faced up to her Illness, as she did with all challenges in life, stoically and with a very practical outlook. She did not complain and was very dignified as she faced into her final months and, indeed, days. Sal died peacefully at home under the care of her husband Cecil, her family and the nurses from the Palliative homecare team of Mayo / Roscommon Hospice and the night nurses from the Irish Cancer Society.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Patrick Burke, with music chosen by Sal performed by Ed Muldoon. Gifts representing her life were carried by her grandchildren and the prayers of the Faithful were read by her grandchildren, nieces and nephew. Gifts were carried by her son and daughter with the readings by her sons. It was a beautiful simple ceremony, that reflected on Sal’s strong faith, love of music and her connection with her family.
Sal was predeceased by her sisters Mary, Nancy and Sister Kathleen, brothers Mike, James, Richie and Eddie. R.I.P.
She is survived by her brother Paddy (Louisburgh), sister’s Nora Campbell (Castlebar) and Sister Richard (Bridgie) (Norwich), and her husband Cecil, daughter Clare Hoban (Erriff), sons Michael (Cork), Richie (Belclare) and John (Finland), son-in-law Sean, daughters-in-law Yvonne, Shauna and Jonna, and grandchildren Aisling, Alex, Rollo, Hayley, Marlo, River, Ciara, Aoife, Shauna, Holly and Abby Lee.