Altamount Street and London
Mina was born on Altamount Street, Westport on February 17, 1937 to parents Thomas and Bea. She was one of five siblings and early childhood was very happy. However, sadly lots of tragedy struck this close family, starting when Mina was only a teenager, losing her father Thomas, then her brother Mattie and then her mother Bea, in the space of only a few years. Each of them dying way before their time. Tom, her eldest brother, who Mina was very close to, also died a number of years later. This sadness stayed with Mina through life, although she tried her very best to hide it from those around her.
When Mina was young she loved to sing and dance and was a regular at the many dance halls around Westport and further afield. People of Westport of a similar age, will remember her fondly working in O’Malley’s and Hoban’s bars on the Octagon. She had great wit and a sense of fun and was extremely popular with all the customers.
In her twenties Mina decided to leave Westport, as many others also did, and follow her brother and sister over to London, where she remained for around 40 years. She was known and loved by many, even the flower seller on the street knew her by name. Mina did not have any children of her own but her nieces and nephews would describe her as ‘a second mother’ and her great nieces and nephews as ‘like a granny’. She was always perched in a place of importance at any family event. Whilst living in London she looked after her great niece, when she was a baby and got such enjoyment out of this.
Around fifteen years ago, Mina decided London was not the place for her anymore and made the journey back to Altamount Street, where her sister Eileen had returned a few years previously. Her mobility at this stage wasn’t the best but each day she would make the trip to Tesco’s and the surrounding shops, with her shopping trolley ahead of her. In a short space of time she knew everyone in Tesco, Banana Man, Euro Giant and Boots by name. Some trips to Tesco could take 2 hours, as she stopped and chatted to everyone that she met. Another shop she loved to frequent was Lally’s Pharmacy on Mill Street and Goldilocks Salon on James Street. Again quickly getting to know everyone and loving the chat and craic. She will be remembered for her sharp wit.
Mina had a few health scares throughout life but battled through them. She fought TB in her twenties and spent ten months in Merlin Park Hospital recovering from same. Fought off cancer in her sixties and survived a heart attack at eighty years old. Sadly her body could take no more. Mina developed pneumonia and spent her last few weeks in hospital. Again, her sense of humour prevailed. Joking her way through it with all the nurses, doctors and fellow patients. She tried her best to recover, but sadly it was not meant to be and she gave up the fight, peacefully, at Mayo University Hospital on Sunday, March 8, 2020. Mina was laid to rest with her parents and two brothers at Aughagower Cemetery on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Mina will be sadly missed by her family and friends. May her gentle soul, rest in peace.