Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The late Bernie Nolan

CRUEL thieves burgled the home of a beloved grandmother as she was laid to rest on Friday.

On the day that hundreds gathered in Holy Cross Church, Killeshin to say their final farewell to Bernie Nolan (née Dempsey), her home a few kilometres away in Rossmore View, Graiguecullen was broken into.

Bernie’s cherished rings, including an engagement ring, were stolen from the house, adding further distress to her grieving family.

“There are not even words to say it – that’s the honest truth. It’s the height of disrespect,” said Bernie’s daughter Tara Nolan. “It’s just wrong. I can’t wrap my head around it. Somebody coming into the house to steal her things when she is only after leaving.”

Bernie’s adopted daughter Kellyann Keoghan added: “It’s highly upsetting. Her engagement ring, family heirlooms … we were on the way to the crematorium when they did it.”

The family and gardaí in Carlow are appealing for any information about the burglary. It’s believed to have happened sometime between 10am and 3pm, and the culprits appear to have been professional. The thief or thieves entered through a window at the rear of the property, breaking its lock.

“They did it in such a way that it didn’t look like there was anything wrong with the window,” said Kellyann.

Bedroom doors had been locked as a precaution, but they were forced open.

“They cleaned up after themselves. They did not ransack the house,” added Kellyann.

A neighbour who had been keeping an eye on the house didn’t notice anything suspicious.

Rossmore View is located off Church Road in Graiguecullen, up the road from Graiguecullen sawmills and Graiguecullen Church of Ireland.

A text alert was issued subsequent to the burglary. A garda spokesperson asked for anyone who witnessed suspicious activity or who has CCTV and dashcam footage from the area between 10am and 3pm to contact Carlow gardaí on 059 9136620.

Bernie passed away peacefully but unexpectedly on Monday 20 June. She had been due to turn 60 on Sunday and a surprise party had been planned.

“Bernie was loved by everybody,” said Kellyann. “She literally took everybody under her wing.”

Tara added: “She was a mother hen to everyone, just had that maternal instinct for everyone that she came across. She was a Dempsey from Killeshin and the thing about them is you don’t go into their houses without getting fed.”

There are many stories about Bernie and the type of person she was, including when she opened up a chipper across from St Fiacc’s Hall. “She opened a chip shop at one stage, but it did not make any money because she was giving away the chips for free,” said Kellyann. “People would come in and say they had no money.”

Tara added: “She was a proper old school mammy. She’d invite you in for a cup of tea or sandwich and she wouldn’t even know you. That was the sort of person Bernie was.”


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