Kilbree, Partry and Castlebar
Bridie Gibbons (née Horan), Pound Road, Castlebar and formerly of Partry and Kilbree, has passed away at the age of 65. Born on May 28, 1955 at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, to parent’s Mick and Kitty Horan (both deceased) of Kilbree Lower, Westport, Bridie was the third of Kitty and Mick’s nine children with six sisters; Maureen, Patsy, Geraldine, Jacqueline, Caroline and Verona and two brothers; Michael and Brendan.
Bridie attended school at Cogaula NS and secondary school at the Sacred Heart School, Westport, where she met some of her lifelong friends.
Growing up with her siblings closest in age, Maureen and Patsy, they spent many happy days of mischief together and as late teenagers going to dances in the Gaiety Ballroom in beautiful dresses handmade by Kitty. Mick supplied the entrance fee, but never without putting the girls to work for it first. Bridie often jokingly claimed that she got a kiss from Roly Daniels at one of his gigs in the Gaiety Ballroom.
Bridie worked at her brother-in-law’s workshop where she met her future husband, Mike Gibbons. They emigrated to London in 1976 and lived there for four years, where they got married and had the first of their three children, David.
Bridie loved Muhammad Ali and was lucky enough while living in London to have had a private audience with the great man, which was one of the highlights of her life. She spoke of Ali in such glowing terms.
Bridie, Mike and David moved back to Ireland in 1980 and lived in Chestnut Grove in Castlebar for six years where they had fabulous friends and neighbours. Their second son Rory was born in Chestnut Grove and shortly afterwards they moved into their new home in Partry in 1986. Bridie’s relations, neighbours and friends in Partry speak of the fun and life that Bridie brought to Partry. Daughter Shellie was born in Partry to complete the family and all three children attended Partry NS and later Coláiste Muire in Tourmakeady, where they all played Gaelic football with distinction. Shellie was part of the Mayo Ladies All-Ireland winning team in 1999. Bridie loved her family and was so proud of their sporting and academic achievements. Many happy holidays were had at Inchydoney over the years.
Bridie could be infectiously happy and always brought her ‘Joie de vivre’ to all occasions. She was smart, witty, very aware, and she had an innate sense of style. She also had a magnetic draw towards quality – if it was not the best it just wasn’t bought. She strived for perfection in everything.
Bridie was also a great baker and her brown bread and apple tarts were much sought-after.
In later years Bridie lived at Castlegrove, Castlebar and had recently moved into a new home at Pound Road, of which she was immensely proud, and she was very buoyant and so looking forward to her future. A family WhatsApp group was set up and Bridie added such great humour to the group and loved the interactions with her siblings. She had her new home looking immaculate and a house-warming party was arranged but put on hold at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bridie’s health declined in the latter weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown and her decline came as a real shock to her family and friends.
Bridie was admitted to Mayo University Hospital where she spent her final week under the exceptional care of both the A&E and ICU staff. Bridie left this world, peacefully, at 3.30pm on Thursday, June 11, with her siblings at her bedside.
Bridie was removed from Mayo University Hospital to Coady’s Funeral Home in Castlebar, under the stewardship of Moran Undertakers. Funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Dixy Faber and streamed live around the world, where friends and relations could join in the emotional farewell.
Bridie loved the music of Elvis Presley and had a great collection of his CDs and movies. There wasn’t a dry eye in Castlebar Church at her funeral Mass when the poignant ‘The Wonder of You’ was beautifully sung by Ann Callaghan. Bridie’s remains were brought to Shannon Crematorium by Rocky Moran after the funeral Mass.
Bridie’s family wishes to acknowledge the overwhelming support from relations, friends, and acquaintances and the incredible volume of calls and messages of sympathy. The family also wishes to thank the fantastic staff at the ICU ward at Mayo University Hospital, where Bridie’s final days were treated with professionalism, empathy and dignity. Thank you also to Rocky Moran, Ann Callaghan for beautiful music and all who helped at this sad time.
Month’s Mind Mass will be at St Patrick’s Church in Islandeady at 2pm on Saturday, July 11, followed by burial of Bridie’s ashes at Islandeady cemetery. May Bridie’s soul rest in peace.