Tessie McGoldrick RIP with two friends Kathleen and Paul Traynor
They came in their scores to say slán agus beannacht to Belleek's own First Lady and oldest citizen, Tessie McGoldrick, who was laid to rest near her beloved chapel on the hill.
She was 101, and had a wonderful quiet charisma that drew so many into her world of rosary beads and rhymes and stories of when she was young and wore the bright armour of youth in her own Corlea.
In a warm, lovely lyrical tribute Canon Michael McGourty told the large crowd in St Patrick’s Church that Tessie “enriched the lives of all those she met”.
“Today, the small songbirds of Corlea lament for their dear friend who cared so beautifully for all God’s creatures.
“She was dearly loved by her family and friends and it was Tessie’s wish to be brought back to Belleek to be gently laid to rest with her dear father and mother, John and Maggie, her beloved husband Hughie and her sisters, Mary, Sara and Agnes”.
He added: “Tessie had a great faith and was often found to be in this chapel, even with failing eyesight and hearing.
“All the prayers of past generations were beautifully expressed in the person from whom we are offering this Requiem Mass”.
“She knew, and her generation knew that greatness does not come out of a television screen, or from a computer screen but from humble homes where the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Mother are enthroned and honoured.
“Life is never far away from tears, but Tessie’s great faith brought her great comfort”.
Canon McGourty noted that Tessie and her family had lost two children in Scotland, Rose and Margaret and prayer and devotion had brought them through the gates of tragedy into the green fields of hope.
“Her faith never wavered”.
“And she was a great carer to her mother and father who had moved to Ireland and to her aunts Ann and Lizzie, her uncle Thomas McCann in Corlea and to the extended McGoldrick and Smith families who lived locally and to the Connolly and Shields families who visited her from Scotland.
“She wanted to reach 100 and wasn’t God good as she was 101 and got letters from the President of Ireland and the Queen of England”.
“Tessie was part of an ancient community who lived their lives and died their deaths in the Lord Jesus.
“As we part from Tessie now as she goes on the road that her ancestors called “ar Shlí na bhfiirinneach” to the one who is truth and beauty itself, we go with her with the grace of our prayers.
“Despite our sadness and loneliness, we thank God for the gifts he gave her.”
Canon McGourty said Tessie loved country life as a young girl in her own Corlea and was a great dancer and a great supporter of the famed Corlea football team and their drama group.
“She lived at a time when foreign games and dances were banned.
“Tessie once got a temporary ban from dancing in Corlea Hall for attending foreign dances in McCabe’s Hall in Belleek.”
She vividly recalled the Second World War, Cliff House and was also a founder member of the Young at Heart Club in Belleek.
“Tessie was self- possessed and very content in her own skin and when she had something to say, she said it straight from the heart.
“In Tessie we have known the bounty of autumn and also the rich harvest to be stored in Winter.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam díl.