OBITUARY

Death Of renowned Dungloe music teacher

James Boyle

Reporter:

James Boyle

Email:

editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Death Of renowned Dungloe music teacher

Deep regret and sadness were occasioned by the recent very sad death of the late Ita Mc Elhinney, late of the Fair Hill, Dungloe and formerly Mountcharles.

The late Ita McElhinney


She was known far and wide for her prowess as a very talented and gifted music teacher.
Ita was born in Mountcharles, one of two daughters born to John and Catherine Kyle.
Her sister, Josephine, died in 1954, aged only 26.
As a young woman Ita inherited a great love of music from her mother, Catherine. The piano was her forte and she became dedicated and committed to music and Irish dancing.
She attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music and passed her music exams with flying colours.
In 1960, at the behest of the Principal of Dungloe N.S., Sean OCinneide, Ita came to Dungloe.
Dungloe's huge gain was definitely Mountcharles' loss as Ita was destined to spend almost 60 years in the Rosses' capital.
The piano was where she excelled. Ita loved the piano so much It was her whole life. She taught and mentored generations of young musicians. and the piano brought about many lifelong friendships for her.
Many of her very keen students went on to achieve so much and Ita was so proud both of their and her own achievements.
The metronome was a very useful tool for her teaching and kept a rhythm in her music room. She had treasured her metronome for over 65 years.
She also had a beautiful print of a piano keyboard hanging above the piano in her teaching room and this was something which she treasured also.
Her home was one in which it was literally music everywhere.She was affiliated to and was a lifelong member of the Donegal Piano Teaching Association.

Other talents
She was talented in other ways too.She had a special talent for arts & crafts.
She did beautiful embroidery and often had a sale of work of all her creations. She also taught Irish dancing for many years all over the county.
She was a wonderful dancer and also set dancing. She used to cycle her bike as a young girl to her various dancing classes all over Mountcharles, Frosses and Killybegs.

Love of music
The violin also symbolised Ita's love of music. She and her husband, Barney both loved the violin.
The family travelled to Sr Agatha in the Convent of Mercy in Strabane for lessons for many years. Catriona, Ita's daughter, played the violin at her funeral Mass as a special tribute to her.
Her musical hero was Jim Reeves. She was in the Pavesi Ballroom in Donegal Town to hear him live when he was there in 1963. She was very proud of her faith, her music and her family.
She was a very good wife and mother and a loving grandmother to her seven grandchildren.
Ita stayed in Sharkeys' when she came to Dungloe 1st.
On 9th Sept., 1994 she married Barney in Frosses' chapel after having met in the Parochial Hall in Dungloe. They stayedin O' Donnell Buildings 1st and then in Hughie Bill's on the Mill Rd before moving to the FairHill. Ita was a woman of very strong faith.
She was a frequent visitor to Lourdes. Sadly,it was when she and her husband were there that Barney died, on 26 Sept, 2006

Funeral Mass
Her Funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Aodhan Cannon in St Crona's Church. The sacred Church music was provided by Pauline and Joe.
Fr Cannon said that Ita had lived a life of deep faith., nourished by regular prayer, regular Mass and Holy Communion. "She loved coming to Mass", he said, "and was one of the 1st Eucharistic Ministers.
Grandchildren brought up different symbols representing Ita's life, with commentary by her daughter, Catriona.
Ita was predeceased by her parents and husband and sister. She is survived by her son, John, daughter, Catriona, son-in-law, Jonathan, grandchildren,Nadia, Alma, Jacob,isaac, Leo,Emily and Matthew, relatives and in-laws, and many friends and former students, to whom the deepest, heartfelt sympathy of the whole community is extended.