Edinburgh and Keel West, Dooagh
She loved gardening and grew the most beautiful roses in the neighbourhood. She also loved reading Irish history and could tell great stories on Irish mythology to all her grandchildren.
She is mourned by her husband Michael, sons John, Michael, Tony and PJ (Patrick Joseph), Edinburgh, and Dooagh; daughters Marian, Anne, Bridie and Elenora, Edinburgh; sisters Bridie Barrett, Geesala and Penelope McMahon, Edinburgh, Marian, Donegal. and brother, Patrick Henry, Scotland. She was predeceased by her brother Michael Henry, sisters Mary Donohue, Bunnawilliam, Bunahowan, Ballina; and Lena Howard, Tallagh, Belmullet
News of her passing evoked much sadness in both Edinburgh and Achill. Norah died peacefully after a short illness on January 25 at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.
Removal took place from St Luke’s Catholic Church, Edinburgh, to St Patrick’s Church, Pollagh, Achill. Officiating priest at the reception ceremony was Fr Tom Kearney, who also attended the burial in Slievemore Cemetery, Keel, Achill.
Norah’s husband Michael and family wish to express sincere thanks to all those who offered sympathy and condolences, especially all their neighbours and friends for the Mass cards and floral tributes; Fr Tom Kearney for celebrating the Requiem Mass and for the beautiful tribute; Funeral Directors, Margaret Lavelle, Cashel, Achill, and Tom Cafferkey, the driver of the hearse, for their attention to detail and professionalism; the church choir for the beautiful uplifting music; Mass servers, grave diggers, Tony McNamara, piper at the graveside; Lourdie and John Cafferkey, ‘The Pub’, Dooagh, and Alan Gielty and staff, ‘Clew Bay’, Achill, for the lovely meals and refreshments after the funeral.
Thanks also to all the remarkable people of Dooagh village who provided accommodation at short notice for people arriving from all over Great Britain and Ireland for the funeral.
As it would not be possible to thank everyone individually, please accept this acknowledgement as a sincere token of our appreciation and gratitude.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for the intentions of all.
About our mother, Norah
Norah was one of the most honest and kind people you could ever wish to meet. She had a smile that would light up whenever anyone entered the room. People from all walks of life would come to see her and she respected other people’s religions as well as being a devout Catholic herself. She always spoke what was on her mind. She was brought up with very strict family values by her father, Jack and mother, Ellen Henry, in Doohoma. She always instilled in all the family to “treat people as you would like to be treated yourself”.
She went to Scotland as a young girl before World War Two, where she worked on the farms, like many migrant workers at that time, from Mayo and Donegal and all along the west coast of Ireland.
She met and married Michael Gielty and then returned to Achill Island where, in the late 1950s, she brought up a family of eight children, four boys, John, Michael, Tony and P J, and four girls, Marian, Anne, Bridie and Elenora.
The highlight of the year for Norah as the family grew up, was their participation in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Achill. Having a family of eight meant getting four boys and two girls ready to participate in three bands. She was very patriotic and years later when she went back to Scotland with the family she would return annually for St Patrick’s Day and wear her shamrock with pride.
Norah’s great talent was her singing voice, which all the village of Dooagh could hear as she went about her daily chores during the upbringing of the children in their early years. She was asked to sing at concerts, weddings and any social event in the village.
Her haunting rendition of the song “The Arranmore Disaster”, which she learned in Scotland, about 19 Donegal potato harvesters who lost their lives when their boat, going from Burtonport to Arranmore, capsized. This brought many a tear to those relatives who remained. Nora got great pleasure, as the years passed, with her twenty-two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, whom she was always very proud of.
She was really bursting with pride when one of her grandchildren fulfilled his ambition and is now playing for the famous Manchester United, namely midfield regular, Darren Fletcher, whose mother is Bridie Fletcher (nee Gielty). On Darren’s time off from Old Trafford, his last stop before going back to Manchester was to call at his granny Norah’s house, where she wished him all the best in the games ahead. Norah always watched Manchester United on TV when Darren was playing and could tell a referee at times where he went wrong. She knew the game.
Her great love though was Glasgow Celtic, whom she supported since she arrived in Scotland. She could be heard at times singing all the old songs, e.g Johnny Thompson and “It’s a grand old team to play for”. It was also fitting that a Celtic FC director should attend her Funeral Mass in Scotland.
Her granddaughter, Kerry Gielty, also gave her great cause for celebration when she became a three times world champion at Irish dancing. She was so proud of each of her grandchildren.
Goodbye, Mum, may God keep you in his care and thank you for all the love you gave us over all those wonderful years.
- The Gielty Family.