Mrs Bríd O’Connell, Cloghan, Westport, who sadly passed away on June 25 last, was a retired primary school teacher, much loved and respected by the many pupils she taught down through the years.
In her professional career she taught in Ballyhaunis (1944), Erriff (1946), Letterbrock (1951), Derrygorman (1961) and St Patrick’s Girls’ NS, Convent of Mercy (1973 - 1983).
A native of Doon, Westport, she was formerly Bríd (‘Babe’) Tuffy and was the first of three children born to Patrick and Margaret (Clarke) Tuffy.
She was predeceased by her husband Willie, a member of a well-known Westport family, on January 16, 2005, her brother Tom Tuffy in 2001 and her sister Mary Horton in 2006.
Bríd was a person of quiet and gentle demeanour, a lady of great faith, a committed environmentalist (long before it became fashionable) and a person who had a lifelong love of the arts and of crafts. She, herself, was a noted craftswoman with a particular talent for knitting. She loved her garden and was an accomplished gardener. Her own garden at Cloghan reflected her great love of nature and her care and concern for all of God’s creations. But it is for her teaching role that she will be most fondly remembered. She brought her gentle manner and loving ways into the classroom with her, determined to be a force for good in the lives of all the children entrusted to her care. Her own love of learning was infectious and she took her ‘in loco parentis’ role very seriously. She cherished all her children equally, giving them a value system that stood them in good stead throughout their lives.
Bríd loved to travel and went on many trips abroad over the years. Many of these took place following her retirement. Her own deep faith was reflected in the number of trips she made to the Marian Shrine at Lourdes, a place of prayer, and pilgrimage that was very close to her heart.
She is deeply mourned by her loving daughter Mary (Cloghan, Westport), sister-in-law Bridie Tuffy (London), cousin Maura Clarke (Castlebar), nieces, nephews and extended family.
Following repose at the family home in Cloghan removal took place to St Mary’s Church, Westport, where Fr Karl Burns presided over the reception ceremony. Fr Burns was also the celebrant of Bríd’s funeral Mass, assisted by Fr John Cosgrove, PP, Castlebar and former curate in Westport. The readings were read by nephews Francis and Patrick Tuffy (London) and the prayers of the faithful were read by nieces Margaret Manton and Patricia Hill (Manchester). The offertory gifts of bread and wine were brought to the altar by Bríd’s daughter Mary. The liturgy was enhanced by the music and singing of organist Eamon Connolly, Mickey Hastings and St Mary’s Church Choir.
In the Mass homily tributes were paid to Bríd for her work for children as a member of the teaching profession, her role as wife and mother and her deep and unwavering faith.
She was laid to rest in the family grave in Aughavale Cemetery beside her beloved husband Willie. May her gentle and caring soul have peaceful rest.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam uasal.