Dereendafderg, Srah, Claremorris, Co Mayo
The death took place peacefully at her home in Dereendafderg of Eileen Duffy (née Flannagan). Eileen, who had celebrated her 90th Birthday some months ago, was born in Barnahowna, Tourmakeady, to Michael and Mary Flannagan in 1931. Eileen was the youngest and last surviving member of her family. On completion of her primary education in Killateeaun, she won a scholarship to secondary school in Claremorris. Being a fluent Irish speaker she found it a challenge to transition to speaking English there. Irish music, song and dance was very much part of the home she grew up in. Her older brother Willie was a WW11 fighter pilot, her brother Pakie was an accomplished accordion player and her other brother Mark played the fiddle. Her sister Mary lived in Chicago and together with her husband, Kerry native Eugene Mangan and their family were frequent visitors to Ireland. Eileen, who could dance and sing, was part of Killawalla Church Choir for over 60 years and her beautiful singing voice was always easy to distinguish. As a young girl Eileen was keen to follow her siblings to the US but her parents had an idea and bought her a car to keep her at home. She married Paddy Duffy in 1958, moved to Dereendafderg and the couple made their home there. They were blessed with six children, who in turn blessed her with 10 grandchildren, all of whom she adored. Her home was filled with love and generosity and it was in this spirit she raised her family. She was a dilligent worker and could work inside or outside the home and also cared for her parents. Eileen held her neighbours in high esteem and she made many friends in her new home place and could enjoy the fun and craic in any gathering. The death of her beloved Paddy in 1988 brought a cloud of great sadness to her life, but her resilience shone through and she continued to nurture and support her family. In later years she enjoyed keeping up to date with current affairs, listening to local radio and doing her wordsearch puzzles.
Eileen’s faith was very important to her and she would drive herself to Sunday morning Mass every week in Killawalla church. One of the many recent outstanding events in her life was the birth of her great-granddaughter Zoe. Many tributes have been paid to Eileen since she passed away describing her as a warm, kind and generous person and always a pleasure to meet.
Eileen’s popularity was reflected in the large crowds who attended on both days of her funeral which took place at Killawalla Community Centre and following concelebrated Mass of the resurrection at St Patrick’s Church, she was laid to rest in Killawalla Cemetery. Eileen is survived by her family, son Tom (Derreendafderg), daughters Maura (Dublin), Noreen (Tourmakeady), Ann (Cork), Breda (Derreendafderg) and Bernie (Kildare), Michael O’Sullivan and Jimmy Mangan, daughter-in-law Cathy, sons-in-law John and Niall, grandchildren Shane, Conor, Kerrie, Niamh, Pa, Amy, Emma, Paddy, Thomas and James, great granddaughter Zoe, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.