Chicago and Newport
Her remains arrived at Dublin Airport on Thursday morning, with removal to St Patrick’s Church, Newport, where they were received by Canon Eamon Concannon PP, Newport.
Mass was celebrated on Friday morning for the repose of her soul, by Canon Concannon. During Mass the Readings and Responsorial Psalm were read by Pat McManamon (nephew), David Widden, (grand-nephew), and Ezra McManamon (grand-nephew). Prayers of the Faithful were read by Stephen Rixon (grand-nephew), and his wife Sheila, Edward Kilroy and Josh McManamon (grand-nephews), Natasha Kilroy and Samantha Hoban (grand-nieces). The Offertory Gifts were brought to the altar by two of her nieces, Mary Geraghty and Patsy Joyce.
Members of the Newport Church Choir, accompanied by organist Miriam Chambers Fadden, sang appropriate hymns throughout the celebration of Mass. After Holy Communion Jessica Widden, Mary’s niece, read some extracts from Mary’s ‘Book of Poetry’, concluding with a poem that portrayed how much she missed Ireland, and written by Mary herself.
Following the celebration of Mass for the repose of her soul, the funeral proceeded to Burrishoole Cemetery where Mary was laid to rest alongside her late husband Jim O’Grady. The large attendance at the funeral on both days was an indication of how well Mary and her family were remembered.
Born in January 1914 to John and Maggie Kilroy, Main Street, Newport, Mary married Jim O’Grady, also from Newport, and together they ran their well known business on Georges Street, while also rearing their two sons. When her husband died in 1955, Mary continued with the business until she decided to emigrate with her sons in 1962.
Settling in Chicago, she worked for a while as a teacher and then for many years as a secretary, but she always longed to return home to Newport which she loved so much.
Mary is survived by and sadly mourned by her sons Donal and Séamus, many nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews great-grand-nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins and friends all of whom will miss her very much. May she rest in peace.
Poem written by Mary O’Grady
Oh, I want to see the mountains and the heather and the sea;
The highways and expressways no longer beckon me.
I hankered so to travel and to sail the oceans o’er,
But now I hunger for the cry of seagulls by the shore.
I want to feel the freshness of the sea-breeze on my face
And the tangy smell of sea-weed as I linger in that place
Where so many times I’ve wandered or even stood to dream -
Oh, foreign lands are grand enough but not always what they seem!
Some people stare as they pass by, but they don’t really care
Or scarcely even know maybe, that you are really there.
They cannot fill the vacant spots or ease the aching pain
That fills you with such longing to be back home again,
If only for a little while to see the friends you knew
And all the things and places that are still so dear to you.
They may talk about their nightingales that sing in Berkeley Square
But all I want is Ireland, and the lark in the clear clear air.