‘Seapoint House’, Kilmeena, Westport, Co Mayo
Kilmeena Parish sadly lost a pillar of its community on January 6, 2022, upon the death of Mary O’Malley. Mary, who was 88 years old and had been in ill health for a number of years, passed peacefully at her home in Kilmeena surrounded by her loving family.
Mary was born in Oughty, Liscarney, Westport, on September 1, 1933, to James and Brigid Friel, younger sister to Christopher. She married Joey O’Malley from Claggan on September 2, 1959, just one day after her 26th birthday in St Mary’s Church in Westport with the breakfast reception being held in what was then known as The Great Southern Hotel in Mulranny. She immediately settled into the family farm and the Kilmeena community where she immersed herself in several local activities.
In 1972, Mary established ‘Seapoint House’ and began welcoming guests as a member of newly formed Irish Farmhouse Association within Bord Fáilte. A group of enterprising women who successfully married their business and homemaking skills providing an authentic experience of rural Ireland to visitors from here and abroad. Mary found her true calling within their midst. Her kind easygoing caring nature coupled with her business acumen, organisational ability and attention to detail ensured her success in the hospitality industry. Her soft gentle demeanour made her guests feel right at home as soon as they crossed her threshold. Many became firm fast friends who returned again and again to stay with her in subsequent years. Mary ran her business successfully for over 30 years winning several awards and commendations in the process. She was much loved and respected by her colleagues and represented the association on several promotional trips at home and overseas.
Mary, along with her husband Joey believed wholeheartedly in the merits of a good education and even though both their schedules remained hectic due to business commitments over the years the raising and education of their four children always remained front and centre.
Although devastated and heartbroken with the premature death of her beloved Joey in 1988, Mary held her poise and grace, dug deep and continued to run her successful business for a further 13 years until her retirement in 2001.
Mary also particularly loved gardening and bridge and was a member of St Patricks Bridge club in Westport for many years where she made many lifelong friends. Deeply religious, she was a lifelong member of the local church choir where she was to be found without fail on all religious occasions.
In her latter years, along with enjoying the company of her 11 grandchildren she took up painting and many of her paintings are hung on the walls of Seapoint House today as a testament to the enterprising woman who started the business 50 years ago where she lived until her passing under the watchful eye and loving care of her son Conor and his wife Carol.
Mary is fondly remembered as a kind, gracious elegant woman, a woman of few words with an infectious smile whose poise and grace enriched the lives of all who crossed her path.
May her soul Rest In Peace.
Predeceased by her husband Joey and her brother Chris. Mary is survived by her loving family, PJ (Brazil), Grace O’Malley Greene (Waterford), Siobhán O’Donnell (Rosmalley, Westport) and Conor (Kilmeena), sons-in-law Tom and Hugh, daughters-in-law Carol and Elayne, grandchildren Alison, Hillary, Tom, Patrick, Christopher, Bronwyn, Richard, Eleanor, Megan, Joseph and Cormac, brothers-in-law Tommie Cox ( Kilmeena) and Eamon O’Malley ( Mullingar), relatives, neighbours and friends.