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Anne Goggins

Cartownacross, Claremorris
ANNE Goggins, Cartownacross, Claremorris, who died recently, spent many years in the nursing profession. That sense of caring and compassion which she nurtured during those years never left her and she was faithful to those qualities and virtues throughout her long life. She died peacefully at her residence, surrounded by family members, after an illness borne with great dignity. She was aged 81.
Anne was one of a family of 11, five daughters and six sons, born to James Goggins and his wife Frances, nee Brennan from Drumkeen. She was the oldest of the girls in the family, and, as such, she was always the one that was there to give advice and good counsel.
Nursing was her chosen career and it was in England that she spent her years in that profession. Her kind and caring nature, excellent nursing credentials, and great rapport with people saw her advance to the position of Ward Sister at St Anthony’s Hospital in North Cheam, Surrey where she spent many happy and contented years.
After more than three decades in England, Anne returned to take care of her elderly mother, a task which she undertook with a heart and a half. It was a big change for her when she returned to live in Cartownacross after so many years over in England. Yet, she soon settled into life in the area again, re-acquainting herself with the neighbours and making many new friends in the Claremorris area. She had a great network of friends to whom she was very loyal.
The one thing many of the nephews and nieces recall from their young years was her ability to remember dates. Anne never forgot to drop the card on the birthdays, always with an enclosure. Not many homes had phones in those days and the letter was still the normal way of contact between those at home and those away.
Anyone coping with an illness knew of her concern and kindness first hand. Many were the enquiries and phone calls she made to family members, the letters and Mass bouquets she sent, and the good wishes than emanated from the heart. Raised in different times, she had an ability to see the things that mattered most to people and was able to relate to them in a special way.
Like her brother Pat, who also resided in the family home in Cartown, she took an interest in sport and politics. She followed the ups and downs of Mayo and other teams with much interest each year. In politics, she had a special friendship with Jim Higgins (and also his secretary in Dublin, Margaret Brady) whom she got to know very well over the years.
She always had a fondness for music and one of her early favourites was Jim Reeves. Since coming home to Ireland in the early 1980s, she became a big follower of Daniel O’Donnell after he arrived on the scene in the mid-1980s. She met him after a concert in Castlebar about ten years ago and the photo she had taken with him on that night held pride of place in her collection.
She had an abiding friendship with the priests of Claremorris parish and always loved to welcome them to her home. Among her special friends were Fr Peter Gannon, Fr Fergal Cunnane, Fr John O’Gorman, Fr Tommy Mannion and the late Fr John Sweeney and Fr Tommy Waldron.
Her passing, just some weeks after the death of her good neighbour Martin Egan, sees big changes in the community life of the small village. A lot of local knowledge and local history has passed on with them.
In declining health for some time, she still soldiered on bravely until the finishing line was in sight. Anne was truly ‘old stock’ of the area and she will be sadly missed by all of us who knew her over the years. During her illness, Anne received the finest of care from the various medical teams including the public health nurses, the palliative care team of the Mayo-Roscommon Hospice, and all at the General Hospital in Castlebar. Her home-help and carer, Ann Charles, was wonderful too. Over the years, Anne had a great regard for Dr Ken Egan in Ballindine and, in more recent times, also got to know Dr Gary Curran who works with Dr Egan. Her nephew, Michael Goggins, who has resided in the homeplace for some years, was there to assist and help her at all times.
Removal took place from Our Lady’s Funeral Home to Claremorris Church with burial in St Colman’s Cemetery following concelebrated Requiem Mass. The chief celebrant was her nephew, Fr Tommy Commins. The readings were done by her nieces Noelene Davin and Marion Hughes and the Prayers of the Faithful were read by Noelle Goggins, Ann Joyce, Mary Commins, Catherine Price and Joanne Butler, all nieces of Anne. The gifts for the Offertory Procession were brought to the altar by Delia Joyce, Patricia Commins, Mary Davin, Teresa Butler, Michael Goggins, John Goggins, Alan Goggins and Micheal Joyce. The reflection was read by Brendan Goggins.
The Funeral Choir with soloist Richard Carney and organist Mary Loftus rendered some lovely hymns and music. A recording of Daniel O’Donnell singing This World Is Not My Home was played as the recessional hymn at the end of the Mass. (A special word of thanks to Gilligan Undertakers for their kindness and courtesy).
In his homily, Fr Tommy told the congregation that Anne had outstanding personal qualities. “She was sincere, loyal and a wonderful friend. She was good listener and a woman who could always be trusted to keep confidentiality. She was also a reflective person who pondered on the twists and turns of life.
“Her life was spent caring for so many people. She was a real Florence Nightingale in the neighbourhood and family circle. They say friendship is the wine of life and Anne was a friend to many. She radiated goodness from deep within. She was always there to help people when the need arose.”
He recalled that a very special occasion for Anne was the annual celebration of Mass in the old Carmelite Monastery in Ballinasmalla. “This tradition was revived around the time she came back from England and Anne and her brother Pat hosted the get-together afterwards which was always enjoyed by the visiting priests as well as locals and members of the congregation.
“She never lost touch with her farming roots and was an early riser, bringing in the cows for milking before 7am and bucket feeding the calves night morning and evening.
“She had a great fondness for gardening and took special care of the vegetable and rhubarb plots. She also loved flowers and had a fine selection of them year after year.
“She excelled at home cooking and her baking skills were legendary. She was exceptional in sharing her creations and hundreds of people at some time or other were beneficiaries of Anne’s home baked bread, cakes or buns.
“Anne’s philosophy was ‘live and let live’. The words of James Garfield come to mind: “There are people who make the world a better place just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gifts of kindness, courage, loyalty and integrity. They teach the truth by living it.” Anne Goggins was that type of person,” said Fr Tommy.
Anne, who was predeceased by her brothers Pat and Jim, is deeply regretted by her sisters Patricia Commins (Cloonmore), Mary Davin (Ballynew, Castlebar), Teresa Butler (London) and Delia Joyce (Harefield, Mayo Abbey), brothers Martin (Claremorris), Mike (Garryedmond), John (Claremorris) and Larry (Ballindine), nephews, nieces, in-laws, relatives, neighbours and friends.
“The angels beckon me
From Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home
In this world anymore.”