Culleen, Kilsallagh, Westport, Co Mayo
Kathleen was one of eleven children born on January 28, 1955, to parents Patrick and Teresa (née Baynes) Walsh in Culleen, Kilsallagh, Westport, Co Mayo. Kathleen, along with her brothers and sisters, attended Bouris National School where they walked down across the hill. There, her creative talents were first discovered when she was chosen to sing ‘Oh, wrap the green flag around me’ as gaeilge, in a Fèis locally. Kathleen then attended secondary school at Sancta Maria College in Louisburgh with her sister Helen, where they would get the school bus from the bottom of ‘Boreen Johnston’. Her hearse stood at the bottom of this road as a mark of respect when passing from Louisburgh to Lecanvey church.
After finishing school, Kathleen worked briefly in Westport. In 1974, she started working at Mayo General Hospital. Luckily, her sister Bridie worked there too and they stayed together. Their other sister, Margaret later joined them. Kathleen glowed when she reminisced about her time working in the hospital. The wonderful friends that she made along with the different stories of the hospital and Castlebar were often recalled from time to time. These precious memories were always close to her heart. On August 25, 1982, Kathleen married Noel in Lecanvey church and they moved back to her native Culleen. There, they went on to have three children - Aoife, David and Noel.
Kathleen was a very creative person who had a great interest in music, dancing and art. She was very skilled in crochet which she learned from her mother. She would spend hours making different hats and scarves. Likewise, Kathleen enjoyed creating poems about the local area - poems about Westport, Louisburgh, Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick to name but a few. These were full of history and local information. Her poem ‘Lecanvey Village’ was read beautifully at her graveside in Murrisk by her niece, Anita.
Kathleen was always a very outgoing person who always liked to look her best. She enjoyed going to her local pub, Staunton’s and to Louisburgh, where she would have a kind word and a laugh with everyone around her. Kathleen would often be called upon to sing a song or two. She would always sing ‘One day at a time’ - a song which was sung beautifully by the choir as a reflection in memory of Kathleen, at her funeral Mass.
Unfortunately, Kathleen’s health began to fail in the last ten years. Bravely, she tried her best to cope with the different challenges she faced. However, the marriage of her daughter, Aoife to Alan Haugh and her son, David to Lorraine Walsh brought her tremendous joy along with the birth of her grandchildren, Ayla and Adam. She loved looking at photographs of her grandchildren and showing them to the many visitors who came to see her as she got more frail.
Sadly, Kathleen passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on August 15, 2022 - the feast of the Assumption of Mary. In recognition of this and her devotion to Knock Shrine, the hymns at her funeral were in worship to Mary, Mother of God. Also, her sisters - Bridie, Teresa, Margaret, Ann and Helen - brought Kathleen’s different life symbols - crochet, musical instrument, poetry, make-up bag and photographs of her family - to the altar. At the recessional, her coffin was pushed down the church by her three children to the song ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen’.
She will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her husband Noel, daughter Aoife Haugh, sons David and Noel, son-in-law Alan Haugh, daughter-in-law Lorraine, her two grandchildren Ayla Haugh and Adam McGreal, sisters Mary, Bridie, Teresa, Margaret, Ann and Helen, brothers Pete, Paddy, John and Seamus, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and neighbours.
May her gentle and kind soul rest in peace.