Raheny, Dublin and Kilsallagh, Co Mayo
The death took place of Margaret Hegarty on January 11 last.
Margaret was born at the family home in Kilsallagh Upper on February 25, 1942 to Thomas and Kate (née Macken) Kilcoyne. Her siblings were Nora Ingham (Carrowholly) and Patrick (Kilsallagh); she was predeceased by Mary (London), Kitty (Kilsallagh), Annie (Westport), Tommy (Old Bawn, Dublin) and Eileen (Killadoon) – and by her husband John (Raheny, Dublin and Belmullet).
After attending the local national school Margaret completed her secondary education at St Joseph’s boarding school in Castlebar. Like so many young people from Mayo at the time, she went to England for employment. Margaret arrived in London in 1959, aged 17, and worked in Kilburn for a short time before being accepted as a trainee nurse at the Whittington Hospital. When she was 21 she became a state-registered nurse and went on to qualify as a midwife from the City of London Maternity Hospital.
By 1967 she had answered the call of home and was back in Mayo and working at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, where she nursed a man from Belmullet called Patrick Hegarty. When his son John came in to visit him one evening it didn’t go unnoticed by Margaret, and indeed it wasn’t long before he’d asked her out to a dance. They’d go on to spend the next 49 years of their lives together.
Margaret and John were married in Lecanvey church, and had their first home in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, where John was now stationed as guard. Within a year they moved up to Dublin and settled in Raheny for the next five decades. There they reared three children together in St Assam’s Park - David, Rachel and Shane. Margaret managed to have a full career while raising her family. After Castlebar, she worked at the Rotunda, the Mater, and St James’s in Dublin, as well as St Joseph’s in Raheny. She also worked for many years in private nursing.
In retirement, she and John had some wonderful experiences travelling the world and enjoying life. The arrival of their grandchildren brought them enormous joy; first Ryan, followed by Isabella, Scott, Stuart, Sam, and Vlad.
Margaret was a nurse on and off duty, always generous with her time and ready to use her skills to help others. She was uncommonly selfless, particularly with her family, and she always sought to help others. She had a strong combination of compassion and empathy to go with an unfailingly positive outlook on life.
Margaret was full of kindness but she was great fun too. She loved family occasions, when she would catch up on all the “newses”, as she would say.
She had an extraordinary bond with her brother Tommy and sister Eileen and was deeply saddened when they passed away. Nora was very dear to her and she was extremely close to Patrick. She had great time for Kitty, Mary and Annie, and had a special relationship with her nieces Mary, Annette and Collette.
Margaret was very much a Mayo woman and proud of it, and loved watching the county footballers. She was on Hill 16 with John - the two of them in their 70s - when Mayo beat Dublin in the famous 2012
She was predeceased by John in 2016.
Margaret Hegarty, wife and mother, was the heart of our family, our great listener and support. She loved us and we loved her dearly, and our lives will never be the same without her. She is sorely missed and she will always be in our hearts.
May her soul rest in peace.