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Mary O’Brien (née O’Malley)


Rosbeg, Westport and the Mac Bride Home, Westport

The death occurred of Mary O’Brien in the Mac Bride Home, Westport in the early hours of July 7, 2020.
Mary was a Louisburgh native, growing up in Old Head and Legan and attending the renowned Cork Munster Institute after Sancta Maria College in Louisburgh. Her qualifications led her to Athenry, Co Galway where she spent her first years after college teaching domestic science and specialising in poultry in Athenry College. It was at this time that she met the love of her life John O’Brien a Headford native, a wise and worldly man, he knew he was on to a good thing and it wasn’t long before they got married and moved to Peter Street, Westport where they lived for a number of years while building their home in Rosbeg, Rath a Rosa.
Here, Mary ran her internationally renowned Bed and Breakfast for over 25 years, winning many national and international awards for her extraordinary hospitality. The evening meals she cooked for so many years incorporating her own butter, preserves, baking, poultry and the supply of meat from the O’Brien farm in Headford, showcased her great talent in cooking and with the diligent support of her commis chef/waiting staff John they were a team like no other.
Mary was an integral part of setting up Westport Tourist Organisation and travelled all over Europe for many years promoting Westport and all it had to offer.
Upon retirement, Mary took great joy in spending time with her grandchildren, visiting the old folks home in Castlebar and the Mac Bride Home in Westport, doling out magazines, sweets and even the odd cigarette or two! An invitation to a goose dinner served when they moved up on the hill was a regular occurrence and allowed Mary and John to continue the tradition of looking after friends and family. Another great joy in later years was daily Mass and the obligatory coffee after in Currys or Marlenes, Westport, when the world was put right by table professors.