The late Kathleen McCafferty. Photo Philip Mulligan
Kathleen McCafferty loved life and loved people. Family was everything to her.
People enjoyed being in her company, because she was great company and she loved meeting people.
Her home in Legaltion never emptied, the world and its mother spent many an hour listening to stories, playing cards or just chatting. The cup of tea and a bun were never far away.
With a great sense of humour, she was full of fun and there was always a twinkle in her eye when she greeted you.
When she passed away recently, on January 10th, the love for her and her family was quickly obvious as huge numbers called to her neat, beautiful home in Legaltion to mourn with the family and many of those and more attended her Requiem Mass in St Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon.
Aged 90, she and her family had ‘a bit of a do’ last August to mark that milestone, and how happy are they now as they think back and thumb through the many photos taken on the night.
Second youngest in a family of 12, Kathleen, a daughter of Phlip and Mary Cleary, was born in Cashel, Rossnowlagh.
She went to Coolmore School and after her school days worked in what was Mitchell’s Guest House on the Main Street, and later with the parents of Sean Ferguson who had a boarding house that was kept very busy during the Erne Cementation scheme.
Working later in Joe Morrow’s house in the Abbey she met her husband Jim (who worked in the ESB) and they married in 1957, moving to Legaltion.
Her family recall a wonderful mother, a wonderful wife of 29 years to Jim. Memories too of a packed house as relatives from America came home in the summer, games of cards, chat and songs, and Kathleen, the fulcrum around which it all revolved, the best of home cooked food, home baking.
She had that wonderful gift that is motherhood and looked after many children from other families under her roof over the years. Nothing was ever a bother.
And much as she enjoyed visitors to her home, she liked to return the favour, rambling to neighbour’s houses for a chat and to see how all were doing. Simple enough things, but those were the pillars of a great home life -- that was full of joy.
At her Requiem Mass, where Fr Hugh O’Hanlon CC, St Patrick’s was the principal celebrant, symbols representing her life and interests were brought to the Altar, a copy of Ireland’s Own, a family photo and a photo with her sister Brigid and a packet of her favourite barley sugar sweets.
The readings were by her grand daughter Janette and her nephew Seamus McCafferty while family members Bianca, Shonagh, Stephen, Ayeisha, Sharon Fox and Mary Mills read Prayers of the Faithful. Theresa Flanagan and Bernie McPhelim brought the Offertory Gifts forward while another granddaughter, Lisa, read a beautiful reflection after Holy Communion.
Fr O’Hanlon spoke eloquently about Kathleen and underlined her love of family, the joy she took from being with them and he spoke of her strong faith.
Fr Hugh was assisted by Fr Herbie Bromley, OMI, Fr Dermot Burke, Fr Florian OFM, Rossnowlagh. Burial, where Fr O’Hanlon again officiated, was at Abbey Assaroe.
Kathleen is predeceased by her husband Jim. She is survived by her daughters Marion, Patricia, Martina and son Gerard; by her sons-in-law Sean Mulligan and Paddy Cassidy, her grandchildren Lisa, Janette, Bianca, Stephen, Ayeisha, Eavan, Alana, Jamie, Shonagh, Lauren; Great grandchildren Evan, Anna, Isla Rose and Bradley and mourned also by Maurice McLaughlin; by her sister, Bridget McPhelim (Creevy) and sister-in-law, Anna McCafferty, to whom deepest sympathy is extended.