Neale Road, Ballinrobe
The death has taken place at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Castlebar, after a long illness, of Mrs Bridie Mulloy (nee Gunning), Neale Road, Ballinrobe.
She was a native of Ballindoon, County Sligo, and her late husband, Tony, was Principal of Ballinrobe Vocational School until his retirement in 1981.
While attending Ballymote Vocational School, she became interested in folklore and the result of her research in Sligo, Mayo and Waterford is contained in 21 manuscripts in the Irish Folklore Department in University College, Dublin.
Bridie became one of the best-known literary figures in Mayo in her own lifetime.
In 1963 she was offered a position as Irish Farm Guesthouse Advisor and this entailed travelling all over Ireland for three years. Bridie has been described as the pioneer of the farm guesthouse movement.
She took up journalism as a hobby and became a regular contributor to local and national newspapers and magazines, including the Farmer’s Journal, Woman’s Way, and the Irish Countrywoman, in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Her monologues have featured on RTE and Mid-West Radio.
Her book, ‘Itchy Feet and Thirsty Work’ is a social history of the Ballinrobe area and her meticulously researched history of Ballinrobe’s Augustinian Abbey, in conjunction with the Lough Mask and Lough Carra Tourist Development Association and FÁS, was marked by the visit of President Mary Robinson to Ballinrobe on July 28, 1994.
Her book of poems draws its inspiration from diverse sources, including ‘The Airport Outside Knock’, ‘Christmas Night’, ‘The Meitheal’, ‘The Lazy Old River Robe’, and ‘The Scolding Wife’.
Illness curtailed her activities in recent years and she took up painting as a therapy while in hospital. her paintings were widely acknowledged as excellent.
She is mourned by her brothers, sisters, extended family and friends. Her body has been donated for medical research and a memorial service will be held at a later date. May her soul have peaceful rest.