Friday, January 21, 2022

The late Mary Murphy


By Suzanne Pender

A CLONEGAL family continue to mourn the loss of their ‘compass and hero’ following the death last year of a much-loved daughter, sister and aunt.

Mary Murphy (44) from 11 St Brigid’s Terrace, Clonegal died on 22 January 2021 from Covid-19, leaving her heartbroken family bereft by her loss. Described as the Murphy family’s ‘compass and hero’, Mary was regarded as a tower of strength to her family, both immediate and extended. She had used this strength over the previous two years to fight the lymphoma that had so unfairly struck her, then tragically to be ultimately taken by Covid-19 while attending hospital.

One of a family of four children to Paddy and Brigid Murphy, Mary was born and grew up in Clonegal. She attended Clonegal National School and then FCJ Bunclody, where what she lacked in motivation for school work she made up for in fun and enjoyment! Mary made many great friends at this time that she has always kept in contact with.

Mary moved to Dublin to work in the HSE in 1998, where she worked in the Childhood Immunisation Section in northwest Dublin, and being an intelligent and skilled worker she quickly moved up the ranks to become manager of the section.

Mary was a popular colleague and proved to be an approachable, helpful and hardworking line manager. She was highly thought of by her co-workers and managers.

During this time of her life, Mary returned home every weekend, as her heart always lay in Clonegal, among her immediate and extended family. Mary finally got a transfer nearer home to Wexford disability services a few years prior to her illness, where she proved to be as popular and well-regarded among her new co-workers.

Mary was known and loved for her quick wit, generosity, good advice and deep loyalty to all her family and friends. Mary was always involved in the community of Clonegal and could always be relied on to volunteer when needed.

She loved to travel, loved the finer things in life, was incredibly creative and artistic, loved music and had a deep, practiced faith. But Mary’s greatest achievement in life was her ability to bring her family together and make them all appreciate and love one another more.

She particularly loved her nephews and younger cousins, godchildren, friends’ children and her cousin Danny Gahan. Even though she was a teetotaller, Mary was the centre of all the fun and banter at family gatherings. She liked to organise family events, lunches with cousins, family holidays, making sure the Murphy family all kept in contact and appreciated one another.

So many people greatly feel the loss of Mary, but none more so than her parents Paddy and Brigid, her sisters Kate and Bippy, her brother P boy, her sister-in-law Ceara, her nephews Cillian and Conor and all her family. Mary was a huge, important part of every aspect of their lives and her loss has left a huge void that can never be filled.

In the grip of the pandemic in January 2021, the Murphys were devastated that they were robbed of being there with Mary at the end and also of not being able to give her a wake or the funeral they would have liked to celebrate her life.

One year on from Mary’s death, her family would like to thank St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, where Mary had her initial successful treatment; her GP surgery, Pottersway Medical Centre, Bunclody, which not only looked after Mary but were a great support to the family; and also Mary’s cousin Paula Gray, a trained nurse, who was always around to ease worries and explain things, as well as contacting the hospital on their behalf.

Last summer, in tribute to Mary, her 14-year-old nephew Cillian Murphy and his friend Adam Tobin cycled an incredible 300km from Carlow to Donegal to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society. It was a cause close to Adam’s heart, too, as he lost his granddad to cancer four years ago. The teenagers spent five days on the road, cycling between 60km and 80km a day and raised a phenomenal €11,000 for the charity.

The Murphy family are incredibly proud of Cillian and Adam and their remarkable efforts and know that Mary, too, would have been bursting with pride.

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