By Charlie Keegan
JANE O’Sullivan, Fenniscourt, Bagenalstown (formerly Townsend, Leighlinbridge) passed away peacefully following a short illness at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny on Tuesday 23 August.
Jane moved to Fenniscourt in the early 1980s having returned from England where she had lived and worked for over 30 years. She quickly got to know all the neighbours and settled happily into her new life.
She had chickens, bantams, ducks, a dog and always a few cats. With all the fowl, there was an abundance of eggs, which never went to waste as Jane was a great cook and liked nothing better than making cakes, buns, flans, meringues, shortbread and all sorts of confectionary to have with a cup of tea when neighbours regularly dropped in.
Jane found joy and fulfilment in her ordinary, simple way of life with family, friends and great neighbours at its core. She was a formidable card player and loved a game of 25s and poker. She played whist in St Mary’s in Bagenalstown on Friday nights for many years.
She loved her car and was known to have a heavy accelerator foot.
Tramore on a Sunday with her niece Frances was the highlight of her week for over 20 years. In more recent years, she attended the day care facility at St Lazerian’s in Bagenalstown on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where she loved to play bingo and meet up with her friends.
In fact, her last outing to St Lazerian’s was on Tuesday 16 August before falling ill the next day.
Jane had a deeply rooted bond with her siblings, particularly her twin sister Mary, who passed away in 1998. Mary’s passing had a profound effect on Jane but, after a time, her resilience kicked in and she settled back into her contented routine.
Jane’s funeral service in St John’s Church, Shankill, Paulstown on Thursday afternoon 25 August was conducted by the Revd Robin Bantry White, assisted by George Kidd and Fr Pat Hennessy, PP, Leighlinbridge.
During the service, her daughter Elizabeth’s words of tribute to her mother included: “My mother never wanted to be the centre of attention, she didn’t crave the limelight, but neither was she a shrinking violet. So she wouldn’t see any logic in me singing her praises to all of you here today. She would much prefer that I thank those who helped her in any way, particularly since she lost some of her independence.
“Thanks to all the carers, particularly her long-time carer Frances Bolton. Jane looked forward to seeing Frances every day, with the exception of shower day, from which Jane would emerge looking calm, serene and beautified.
“Thanks to my friend Betty for all her help in every way and to Eleanor Hughes for her regular visits with all the Fenniscourt news. A very special thanks to Mary Nolan – Mary formed a special bond with Jane and was our rock when Jane was unwell. Thanks to her former GP Dr Finian Gallagher, Gowran (now retired) for looking after Jane over a 40-year period.
“Jane loved her grandchildren and her great-grandson. She looked forward to their visits; Suzy with the never-ending supply of bon bons, Sara with biscuits, Thomas to help her with the washing up and Alex to keep her updated on how he was getting on in college.
“She loved meeting up with her sister Olive (Townsend) in Leighlinbridge and reminiscing over past events from bygone years.
“Mother would want me to give the biggest thanks to her son-in-law Tony. She never tired of letting him know how much she loved and appreciated him, her favourite saying was ‘there’s only one Tony’.”
Elizabeth concluded the tribute to her mother, saying: “Goodbye, Godspeed to the best mother. You were the wind beneath my wing.”
Following funeral service, Jane was laid to rest in the adjoining churchyard.
She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth (Slyguff, Bagenalstown), sister Olive (Leighlinbridge), son-in-law Tony, grandchildren Sara, Suzy and Thomas, Suzy’s husband Joe and great-grandson Alex, sister-in-law Rose, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends.