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One of Mayo’s oldest women dies in Charlestown


Delia Henry
?The late Delia Henry.?Pic: Conor McKeown

One of Mayo’s oldest women dies in Charlestown

Michael Commins

DELIA Henry, The Square and Fairgreens, Charlestown, who died in St Anne’s Nursing Home at the weekend, was in her 105th year. A retired primary school teacher, Delia was one of Charlestown’s best known citizens in former times.
Delia was formerly Leneghan from Kilaturley and attended National School in Barnacogue. She was the seventh of nine children and was raised in the shared culture of the rural West back in those times.
In an interview with Trevor Quinn for The Mayo News on the occasion of her 101st birthday, she candidly recalled some memories from over the years. “I had a lovely childhood. We had a river and we had a lake and we’d go fishing. We had freedom galore. The neighbours were very kind. You could go in to neighbours’ houses and they would come to visit you. It’s not like now, where you nearly have to get permission before you can call in to a neighbour’s house.
“When I got married we had a lovely town. Every house in the town was full of people and there were little shops everywhere. If you want anything small now like a bag of sugar you have to go to the supermarket.”

She taught her first class in Cloonlyon National School in 1921 and later became principal in nearby Tavneena National School. She retired in 1975 at the age of 65.
She remained young at heart down through the years and had a brilliant intellect and ability to recall events from former times. She reflected on those times when she was the featured guest on a Sunday night Late Show on Mid West Radio back in the mid-1990s.
She took up art at the age of 90 and did numerous paintings in the years after that. She loved a challenge and was never intimidated by technology. Learning to surf the net in more recent times gave her a special sense of achievement and also independence.
Reposing takes place at St Anne’s Nursing Home this Tuesday evening from 5pm until 7.30pm with removal to St James’s Church, Charlestown, arriving at 8pm. After Funeral Mass at 12 noon on Wednesday, interment will take place in the adjoining cemetery.
Delia, who was predeceased by her husband Tony, is survived by her sons Cathal, John and Norbert, in-laws, grandchildren, relatives and many friends.