The Elms, John’s Row and formerly Bridge Street, Westport, Co Mayo
Kathleen Brawn was born in Windsor, Turlough outside Castlebar on April 29, 1925. The youngest of five children Jack, Martin, Margaret, and Nora. She grew up and worked on the farm and loved to tell stories of farm life and the good neighbours. One story in particular was of a little pig they reared in a tea chest beside the fire until he was old enough to live outside. Kathleen’s next job was with the tailor Paddy Howard in Castlebar, where she produced beautiful clothes some of which we still have today. She then worked in Wallasey, Liverpool. In the 1950’s Kathleen was working in Moran’s on Bridge Street, Westport, where she met her husband Harry Brawn, a butcher from two doors down. They married in 1960 and had five children John, Henry, Mary, Thomas and Cathy. Harry passed away in 1976 after a long illness and together with her sister-in-law Peggy they ran the butcher shop and took care of the land.
In spite of all the hardship in her life, Kathleen was a very cheerful woman with a great laugh and a beautiful smile. As well as bringing up her five children she also looked after her sister Nora who suffered from MS. This led to a lifetime involvement with the Irish Wheelchair Association and several other voluntary organisations. She loved to dance and could not sit still when she heard music. Irish Dancing was her passion and she recounted stories of the Country House Dances of her youth, the sound of the mens hobnail boots on the floor and the fun they had. Kathleen was very involved with the Westport Branch of CCÉ both on committees and part of the “Country House Set Dancers”. She danced up until her 95th year.
Kathleen had great energy, an indomitable spirit and an open outlook on life. She loved to travel and meet people and was always friendly and outgoing. She travelled all around Ireland, to Croatia, Germany and Seattle USA. For her 90th birthday her wish was to be taken on a cruise. She loved every minute of it, travelling to Barcelona, Pompeii, Cannes, Majorca, Florence, Pisa and Naples, on a cruise around the Mediterranean.
Her Catholic faith was very strong and a great comfort to her. She never missed ten o’clock Mass and Sunday Mass. Kathleen passed away March 20, 2021, peacefully at home surrounded by her five children after a very short illness.
May she rest in peace