‘Westerley’, Carrabawn, Westport and formerly of Bagnelstown, Co Carlow
Sheelagh’s passing came suddenly last autumn and was a shock to all who knew her. The daughter of James and Margaret Jordan, Sheelagh was from a well-known family in Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow and often recalled happy memories playing tennis and swimming in Bagnelstown, school days in Bunclody and sunny holidays in Rosslare.
While working in Dublin, Sheelagh met Westport vet, Hugh Ryan, they married in 1964 and came to live in Westport, where they raised their family. Despite being a “blow in” Sheelagh loved her life in Westport and was a proud Mayo woman when she died.
Sheelagh was a noted golfer and Lady Captain of Westport Golf Club in 1975, she held the course record for a time, had more than one Hole in One and was a member of the Lina Black winning team in 1985.
Hugh predeceased Sheelagh in 1984, but despite being widowed suddenly, she reared her five children with care and love, quietly proud of all their achievements and there to help whenever called on. In recent years, Sheelagh’s joy was welcoming her grandchildren to Carrabawn, watching the golf, rugby or football with them or bringing them to the beach, to town, or out ‘for a treat’.
In later years, swimming, art classes, yoga, and bridge were all part of her days, she loved the sea and often swam in Lecanvey and Old Head, right up until she became ill. Sheelagh was always busy, a regular at 10 o’clock Mass, meeting her friends for coffee in town or arranging the flowers in the church.
Throughout her life in Westport, Sheelagh was a well-known and respected member of the community, regarded quite simply as ‘a lady’.
Those who knew her will remember Sheelagh as a kind, generous, elegant lady who bore her illness with grace and dignity, the way she lived her entire life.
May Sheelagh’s gentle soul rest in peace.
On this the First Anniversary of her death, we, the family of the late Sheelagh Ryan would like to express our sincere gratitude and thanks for the kindness and sympathy shown to us at the time of Sheelagh’s sudden illness and death. Thank you to all who sympathised with us and supported us on our sad loss, those who visited the house, and attended the wake, removal, and Funeral Mass. It was heart-warming to see so many people especially those who travelled so far to attend and to see so many faces from Mayo, Carlow and further afield. Thank you so much to those who managed the parking and traffic during the wake and funeral, to Adrian McGing funeral director for his sensitive and professional handling of arrangements and to Westport Golf Club for their guard of honour, you all helped make difficult days much easier.
A special word of thanks to Hotel Westport and Rhona Chambers, for all their help in organising refreshments, meals and accommodation for many friends and family.
Sincere thanks also to Dr Kevin Barry and all the doctors and nurses at Mayo University Hospital and also at Tallaght University Hospital, who showed amazing compassion and care and looked after Sheelagh so well in her final weeks and did everything they could to create an atmosphere of calm and serenity so she could slip away in peace.
We especially want to thank Sheelagh’s friends, who were such an immense support to Sheelagh after Hugh’s passing and a wonderful support to her children on her passing. Thanks to all those who have not been individually mentioned but were not un-noticed, please accept this acknowledgement as a token of sincere appreciation and gratitude.
Always remembered and sadly missed by her children, Michael, Fiona, Niamh, Judy and Hugh, daughters-in-law, Mary and Martina, sons-in-law Kieran, Michael and Dominic, grandchildren Mike, Jack, Aoife, Emma, Kate, Ruth, Ciara, Meadbh, Colm, Joe, Peter, Claire and Hugh, sister Mary, brothers Tom, Dermot, Brian, Jimmy and Paddy sisters-in-law, many loving nephews and nieces and extended family and friends.