Erriff, Liscarney, Westport, Co Mayo
A veil of sadness fell over the village of Erriff and the parishes of Cushlough and Aughagower in the early hours of the morning on the August 13, following the death of Bernie Gavin aged just 70 years. She passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family following a short illness.
Bernie was born in Tonlegee, Aughagower on the September 6, 1948 to Bridie and Paddy McGing. She was the 7th of 10 children: Ann, Maureen, Francis, Tommie, Peggy, Paddy, Bernie, Veronica, Rita and Margaret. They were a very close family and they worked together on the family farm.
Bernie went to school in Shraheen and also in Clogher while she lived with the Kelly family in Pullalena. She left school at 14 and began work in The Railway Hotel with her sister Ann.
In 1963 aged just 15 at a dance in Tourmakeady Bernie met the love of her life Tommie Gavin from Erriff, and their love would last the test of time.
In 1967 they moved to London to work for a few years and they married in Edmonston in 1969. They were surrounded by family and friends, they began their own family in 1970 with the arrival of their daughter Maureen followed by John a couple of years later. In 1974 they decided to move home and farm the land in Erriff and complete their family Ann, Ger, Pat and Carmel.
Bernie worked hard all her life,
She farmed, reared her family, cooked and baked everyday and looked after Tommies parents until they passed away.
Bernie was not afraid to try new things but one thing she never mastered was, learning to drive. This in turn meant herself and Tommie spent more time together than most. A lot of this time was spent visiting family and friends and she always remained close to them through the years, this was evident with the amount of visitors that called to visit her in hospital and at home during her illness and in her final days.
Bernie was an exceptionally loving mother and all of her children loved spending time with her, but it was her role as a grandmother that she really loved, and when her first grandchild Becky came along in 1996 she loved her as if she was her own. That bond remained strong until her final days when Becky cared for her in the same way as her daughters.
Bernie loved all 15 of her grandchildren and not a birthday or Christmas would pass without a card being filled.
Over the years she especially loved her daily visits from “her 3 boys” Aodhán, Odhrán and Rían, whom she adored and weather it was 9am or 9pm when they called there was always “something nice” for them.
Not only did she love all of her grandchildren, but they loved her and each of them got the opportunity to spend time with her in her final days. They wrote cards to her and sang to her, and we know in our hearts she loved every minute.
Bernie loved the craic and especially loved family get togethers over the years and her family were delighted to get the opportunity to celebrate Tommie and Bernie’s 50th wedding anniversary just 6 short months ago in February with Mass and a gathering!
Over the last number of years Bernie’s health began to fail, but she fought the good fight and always kept the best side out when she could, but her illness which began at the end of June was to be her final battle.
In her final weeks, her family came together to look after her as she deserved and were truly blessed to be able to care for her at home where she always loved to be and where she wanted to spend her final days.
Mum, although we have lost the captain of our ship, we will never loose the memories you gave us. The laughs and fun we had even in your final days. Sleep well Mum. We will never forget you and we will look after each other and especially Dad x
Bernie is survived by her loving husband Tommie and heartbroken family Pat and Edel (Erriff), John and Mary Jo (Islandeady), Maureen and Gerard Joyce (Killsallagh), Ann and Seamus Nicholson (Louisburg), Ger and Ollie Mulchrone (Kilmeena), Carmel and Adrian Carter (Killawalla), grandchildren Becky Gavin and Ciara Nicholson, Aodhán, Rían and Odhrán Gavin, Megan, Gavin, Kyle and Finn Mulchrone, Emily and Tomas Gavin, Tristan and Lorcan Joyce and Jamie and Lucy Carter .
Bernie was predeceased by her brother Paddy McGing (Tonlegee); sisters Rita, Peggy (Tonlegee)and Maureen and Paddy Walsh (Bunrower).
Deeply mourned by her sisters and brothers-in-law Anne and Tom Kenny (Pinewoods), Francis and Tony Derrig (Moyhastin) Veronica and John Burke (Leitrim) and Margaret and Eamon Kelly (Ballintubber), her brother and sister-in-law Tommie and Kitty McGing (Birmingham), sisters-in-law Jane Mc Ging (Tonlegee), Margaret and Johnny Hallinan (Carnacon), Maureen and Pat O’Malley (Clogher), Kathleen and Michael Sweeney (Manchester), nieces, nephews, god-daughters Anita Carroll, Rita McHale and Emma Burke, a large extended family, friends and neighbours.