Coslough, Currane, Achill
The death occurred of Mary (Denis) O’Malley (nee Gallagher) on Sunday, March 25, last. Her death, though not expected, followed a long illness which she battled with spirit in recent years.
Mary’s spirit and energy was well recognised in her family and her local community. She was involved in many aspects of the Currane community throughout her life, from the Currane Sea Angling Club to the Fianna Fáil Cumann, the National School, Muintir a Chorráin and especially Glór na dTonn (the Currane Community Centre).
Mary liked nothing better than a party, or a gathering; to meet up with people, to chat, to have the craic. She was also very happy to be part of organising these events and for many years, she supervised teenage discos in Glór na dTonn. She got to know many of the teenagers of the parish through these nights and she was known for both fairness and firmness. It gave her a great sense of pride to be part of the Currane community and she put her heart and soul into making it as good as possible for the people of the village.
Mary was the daughter of Hannah McHugh and Denis Gallagher. Born in Dooagh in 1950, the family lived in Dooagh and Cloughmore before settling in Currane. One of 12 children, Mary was the eldest girl and was Mother Hen to her siblings; the boss at times, a bad influence at others and she remained close to her sisters and brothers throughout her life. When she left school, she moved to Dublin where she worked for CIE in Inchicore and she always had a soft spot for the capital after these years. She moved back to Currane in 1973, where she became a substitute teacher in Scoil Naisiúnta an Chorráin. Many years later, she returned to SN a Chorráin, first as the school secretary and later qualified as a Special Needs Assistant, spending several years in a role that she loved there, and in Saula National School.
Bhí grá speisialta aici dár dteanga dhúchais agus bhain sí Diplóma sa Ghaeilge amach agus í breis agus ceathracha bliain d’aois. Trí mheán na Gaeilge i gcónaí a ndeireadh sí a cuid paidreacha. Ba iad na paidreacha sin, muinín i nDia agus a Mháthair Bheannaithe Ollghlórmhaire a chothaigh agus a neartaigh Mary tríd na blianta agus í go dona.
Mary’s greatest passion was GAA and most of all Mayo football. A staunch supporter, she had an unshakable lifelong belief in the team’s potential. She went to as many games as possible, with her Mayo jersey, ‘Críost is Muire Linn’ in her heart and her special flag, supporting the team through thick and thin.
Mary and John were married in 1975 and went on to rear six children together. She took great joy from her family and in particular her eight grandchildren in recent years. Family was hugely important to her and if you were related to her, she’d make an extra effort to spend time with you. She had incredible knowledge of the ‘gaol’ between people and family trees; if you wanted to know who was related to you, you only had to ask Mary D!
Above all, Mary loved people. She wanted to know about you, what was going on in your life, how you were and your latest news. She had a way of getting right to the heart of people, those she met for the first time or for the hundredth. It wasn’t gossip for Mary, she just had a great curiosity about life and people. When she engaged with you, you felt her kindness, her generosity and her warmth.
Mary is survived and sadly missed by her husband John, children Sinéad, JD, Damhnait, Rónán, Donnchadh and Diarmuid, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, aunt Sister Kathleen and uncle Terry Gallagher, aunt Phil Higgins (McHugh), siblings Catherine, Denis, Michael, Anne, Nora, Sheila, Margaret, Padraig, Terry and Bríd, brothers and sisters in law, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and a wide circle of friends. May she rest in peace.
There will never be anyone else like her. I Solas Síorraí na bhFlaitheas go raibh Mary D. i gcónaí.