Thursday 30 March 2017

Mary Kenny: portrait of a marriage

A family funeral convinces me that there is such a thing as finding "the one"

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

My sister-in-law Louise Kenny died last month, aged 86, and at her very nice, peaceable and simple funeral at Mount Jerome I learned about aspects of her life that I had never known. This sometimes happens at funerals, which is why they make good openings for stories or drama.

I knew that Louise, who was a slender, pretty brunette, had always been a "loner", because she told me so herself. She was one of seven O'Reilly children growing up in Greystones, Co Wicklow, but despite the necessary gregariousness of a large family, she loved being alone. She'd come home from school as a child, and immediately go upstairs to her bedroom just to be alone. She was born with a spirit of independence and self-reliance. As a teenager, her sister Connie told, she'd go to the cinema alone.

Louise worked as a secretary, first for CIE, because she loved travel - and if you worked for CIE in those days, you benefited from travel concessions extending to Britain and continental Europe. She was good at her job, and had a great aptitude for book-keeping and accounts, and thus she flourished at work. But what she really loved was travel during her holidays and she did plenty of that.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss