Cois Abhainn and Fr Angelus Park, Westport, Co Mayo
We were blessed with Cara-Íosa joining our family in Fr Angelus Park as a baby at two weeks old in December 1971. The family story was that I picked Cara-Íosa as my new sister when I first met her. My mother Maureen had a name pre-picked and she was almost called Ukaria after the Eucharist. However, thankfully she decided to call her Cara-Íosa which means friend of Jesus. Carrie, as she was also known by, was a beautiful, mischievous and fun loving child who brought a sense of joy wherever she went. She also had a very loving and generous nature. Carrie always strove to help and support her friends and this continued well into her adult life.
Our days in Fr Angelus Park were filled with love, laughter and wonderful memories of a unique and delightful community spirit experienced by all who lived in the Park.
When Carrie started school, it was soon very obvious how bright she was. Carrie could read something once, understand and retain it. This was a gift that we all envied.
Carrie had many strings to her bow, she excelled in the arts and played the violin and piano. She frustrated the life out of poor Sr Claire her piano teacher, who she drove crazy by not practising despite her incredible talent. She also enjoyed Irish Dancing and drama for which she won many awards. Carrie participated in the Cailin Deas Festivals, Scor and the Pioneer competitions. My beautiful sister was so talented that she managed a great portrayal of the ugly sister in the SHS Cinderella performance and she relished the comedic roles. She was also known to have enjoyed a good head banging session in the Town Hall discos and years later the Castlecourt with her many lifelong friends.
Carrie felt a great loss when our Dad Herman died suddenly when she was 16 years old. This had a major impact on how she regarded life but to the outside world she came across as fun and carefree. Little did she know that in a few short years that she would become an integral part of our Mum Maureen’s caring team.
Carries great loves in her life were music, reading, crafts such as crochet and embroidery, and doing the crossword and Sudoku puzzles. She had a huge affection for animals, especially the family dogs Carlee and Kim and later Sonic, Casper and Nero. She treated them often better than she treated herself including buying them Christmas and Birthday gifts.
When Carrie worked in the Presbytery here in Westport as a student under the guidance of Fr King she had an unintentional mishap. The Bishop came to visit and instead of kissing his ring and affording the Bishop the reverence to which he was accustomed, she shook his hand and greeted him like an old friend while the other priests watched in amusement and Fr King was slightly aghast.
As a teenager, she worked in the kitchen of the Old Railway Hotel. One evening, the chef had to leave unexpectedly and Carrie found herself in charge. Some difficult customers requested the fish special of the day and the waitress had no idea of what to do. This is where Carrie stepped in. She told the poor waitress to let them know that it would take a few minutes to prepare the fish. She then snuck out of the hotel and walked up to the Wimpy and ordered a large fish and chips for the guests. She quickly brought it back to the hotel kitchen, plated it up and got the bemused waitress to serve it to the customers. These same customers later proceeded to tell the waitress that this was the best fish and chips that they had eaten in Ireland. Once again, Carrie saved the day!
James and Claire, her beloved nephew and niece, were possibly her favourite people in the whole world. She loved them beyond measure and encouraged them to follow their dreams. She brought them to their first concerts and once they were of age, loved to socialise with them and their friends.
In Allergan, she was a well-known and liked character on the night shift. You may think she was recognised by her beautifully manicured nails, her huge smile, her friendly demeanour or her luscious black hair but NO! It was the SHORTS! She wore them not only in the summer but all through the year even on the coldest days. This brought much amusement to her friends and family but brought much dismay to our poor Mother who wished she would dress in a more ladylike fashion.
Carrie showed great commitment to her work. She started at the bottom and worked her way to the position of QC. She was very proud of her status within the company and really enjoyed her job. Carrie loved going there every night, not only for the job satisfaction but also for the banter and the craic she had with her many colleagues and friends.
Another quirk of Carrie’s character was her addiction to social media. She especially loved to remind all of her friends on Facebook how many days until Christmas - starting on December 26th every year! It gave us all a good laugh and no matter how many times we gave out to her about it, she continued just to tease us.
Over the past few years, Carrie had suffered with ill health, borne with dignity and a tenacious defiance that she could do everything herself. She was always very loyal to her friends and that loyalty worked both ways and was especially visible with all of the help and support she received from them, even when she insisted she was okay. Carrie did not like to ask for help and she was very independent and quite stubborn. When she made up her mind – that was it!
My family and I would like to thank each and every person who has sympathised, offered their condolences and helped in any way. There are too many to mention individually but you know who you are and you are very much appreciated.
We remember also at this time Carrie’s parents Herman and Maureen Bradley and all of the extended Bradley and Madden families who went before her. May they guide her gentle soul home to rest in peace with them.
Carrie was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me she has always been my little sister. We have had our ups and downs but loved each other fiercely! When I arrived home after hearing the news I felt like I received a message from Carrie when I looked at my angel calendar for May 16. There was a picture of a blonde angel holding a smaller dark haired angel with the words
“You are home, you are safe now and forever”.
Codail go samh mo dheirfiur. xx