ANNIE Joyce, Ballinlough, Claremorris, who died recently, was one of the most senior citizens in the region. She was 98 and was predeceased by her husband Tony in 1998. Annie was formerly Solan from Cartron, Balla Road, Claremorris.
For well over 50 years, Annie served as sacristan in Facefield and was presented some years ago with the Benemerenti Medal for loyal and distinguished service to the church. Her friend, Katy Delaney, who has served for several decades as sacristan at Mayo Abbey church, was also the recipient of a Benemerenti medal on the same occasion.
Annie had a fine knowledge of the social history of the Facefield region and its people. She gave wonderful and loyal service to the parish and worked alongside various priests who served in Mayo Abbey over the decades. Fr Austin Fergus was especially kind to her and visited her on numerous occasions. Annie’s daughter Mary (Barrett) continues that long tradition as sacristan in Facefield.
Annie was a member of the Facefield Apostolic Work Society for many years. The ladies met on a regular basis and were involved in many creations which went to support the Missions.
It also served as a social get-together for the loyal members including Annie May Regan, Josie Jordan, Minnie Finn, Nancy Jennings, Mary Halligan, Margaret Murphy, Mary Gannon, Lil Commons and Molly Lindsay. Many were the happy nights they spent during winter months sharing laughs and memories. Annie was an integral part of those nights and was always delighted when the group got such tremendous support from the community for their annual Apostolic Work Display.
Along with her husband Tony, Annie to care of the family home and farm over many years. She had a pleasant and caring disposition and always had an easy rapport with friends and neighbours. She was very much a part of the local community and had a great love for Facefield, Mayo Abbey, Claremorris and Balla.
Annie enjoyed great health up to the closing months of her long life. She attended her last Mass in Facefield a few weeks before Christmas when she was in fine form and spoke fondly to her neighbours and enjoyed the chat like she did over many years.
Reposing was at Balla Funeral Home with removal to Mayo Abbey Church. Burial took place in Balla Cemetery following Requiem Mass celebrated by Fr Austin Fergus, assisted by Fr Chas Guthrie, Fr Denis Carney and Fr Martin O’Connor. The Facefield Choir and soloist, Seán Joyce, rendered some lovely music and hymns during the Mass.
Annie is survived by her daughter Mary, son-in-law Eddie Barrett, grandchildren Padraic, Anthony and Áine, her sister Kathleen in Manchester, the family circle, relatives, neighbours and friends.