It was with sadness that we learned of the passing of Augustine Gallagher, Meenacahan, Inver, which occurred last week after a short illness.
The late Augustine, who was the youngest of 13, ten boys and three girls, was in his 96th year. He enjoyed good health all of his life and most of it spent continuing the family tradition of hillside sheep farming. His interests included football, card playing, and ceili dancing. Augustine had a keen eye for sheep and went as far away as Brocagh, beyond Fintown to buy them from where he would bring them on the train to Glenties, and walk them the final seven miles home.
Having finished Meenacahan National School at age 14, his first paid job was cutting turf under the Emergency Powers Act of 1939. The turf were brought to the Phoenix Park, Dublin to supply the capital with fuel due to the coal shortage. Later during the war years, with his long time friend Packie Brogan, from Luach na mBróg, he found himself in Belfast. From there he worked on building prisoner of war camps at Rostrevor and Portadown.
Through his love of ceili dancing, he met Mamie Kelly of the Roose in the Parochial Hall in Frosses and they were married in 1950. He briefly worked with his brother Michael in The Cementation Company in Nenagh, Tipperary, Lucan, Dublin, and Kingscourt, Cavan. From 1953 onwards, he lived on his home farm in Meenacahan.
Augustine’s unassuming and quiet nature endeared him to those who met him. He was a great conversationalist and his telling of past events were often comical.
Augustine had a razor sharp memory for recalling past generations of the three parishes, Inver, Ardara and Glenties. Augustine and Mamie had an open house and the table was always laid with homemade bread, butter and rhubarb jam. Augustine was a member of the Pioneer Association.
Augustine’s death came after a ten week illness and he slipped away peacefully in Donegal Hospital surrounded by his family.
His funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr. Rory Brady, a nephew of Mamie’s, in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Frosses on Saturday, June 15. He was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery beside his wife Mamie.
Predeceased by his wife, Mamie in 2008, Augustine is survived by his children, Clement (Kathleen Campbell), Olive (Peter McKelvey), Yvonne (Paul Hayes), Eunan (Kathleen McErlean), Naomi (Hisham Rahman), Dympna (Thomas Carolan), Finbarr (Grainne Gillen), 14 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, many nephews and nieces, relatives and friends.