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Saturday 25 October 2014

Loyal member of Order of Malta - had great devotion to Lourdes

Published 20/01/2010 | 11:46

Bridie Boland died in 2009 Bridie Boland, 'The Gate House' St. Patrick's Terrace, Dundalk who died peacefully at her home on December 28th was one of the best known Order of Malta members in the town whose devotion to Lourdes, and the Armagh Diocesan Pilgrimage in particular was exceptional.

Daughter of Mary and Johnny Boland, Bridie was one of a family of four and is survived by brothers, Paddy and Frank. He only sister, Mary Tinnelly predeceased her.

Bridie always lived in the family home, "The Gate House' and was joined by her nephew, Tom and his wife, Brenda when they married. Tom and Brenda's family soon became Bridie's family and they shared a loving home environment in which Bridie played an important role in the lives of the couple's children, Lorraine, Mary, Claire, Karen and Paul.

Bridie worked all her life in the Closing Room in Hallidays, later Clarks, where she made many loyal, life long friends and remained with the firm until her retirement.

She had always enjoyed travel, visiting many parts of the world, but it was on a visit to Lourdes that Bridie found a real purpose in life. She joined the Order of Malta in Dundalk at the suggestion of the late Fr. Desmond Campbell and thereafter never missed an Armagh Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes in over 30 years.

While in Lourdes on the Armagh pilgrimage, Bridie worked in the kitchens and was renowned for the red apron she wore for the front pockets always contained a treat for the children or the sick which she distributed liberally. Cardinals, Bishops and priests were among those who enjoyed a cup of tea provided by Bridie, and it was said by many at her funeral that she had gone ahead of Cardinal Cahal Daly to prepare his cup of tea.

Not content with visiting Lourdes each year with the Armagh pilgrimage, Bridie, in recent years, joined the pilgrimage from St. Patrick's, and always maintained that the Armagh was her working pilgrimage, while St. Patrick's was the pilgrimage that allowed her enjoy the special atmosphere of Lourdes.

Bridie was such a popular figure with those with whom she visited Lourdes that many travelled long distances in bad weather to pay their respects at her home and her funeral Mass.

She will be remembered with great affection by very many people with their most apt description of Bridie being that "she was a real lady" who always looked out for others and concerned herself for their welfare.

For the Tinnelly family Bridie's death has left a major void in their lives, for when illness struck some months before her death she always wanted the comfort or her family and her home around her. Even in her final days she was determined to survive until Christmas was over so that the enjoyment of the occasion would not be spoiled for the children.

Bridie's family deeply appreciate the wonderful support they received from doctors Patrick and Sheila Byrne and the Palliative care nurses in her final weeks.

Bridie is survived by her brothers, Paddy (New Street), Frank (Marian Park), the Tinnelly family, Tom, Brenda, Lorraine, Mary, Claire, Karen and Paul and by her nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by her sister, Mary Tinnelly (Lisdoo).

Having reposed at her home, Bridie's remains were taken to St. Patrick's Cathedral where Requiem Mass was celebrated by Rev. M. O'Hagan, C.C., a close friend, whose eloquent eulogy was much appreciated by her family. Also in attendance was Very Rev. G. Tremer, former Adm., St. Patrick's and Spiritual Director of the Armagh Pilgrimage and Rev. P. McKeown.

The Readings were given by grand nephew and niece, Peter and Niamh Taaffe, while the Prayers of Intercession were led by grand nephews, Paul Tinnelly, Mark Dullaghan, Mickey Durnin and Gerard Tinnelly.

The Gifts were presented by grand nieces, Claire Durnin and Naoise Taaffe, while Niamh Taaffe played a very moving lament on the violin as Bridie's remains entered the Cathedral. The music during the Mass was provided by Brendan McCourt, organist and Deirdre Morgan was the soloist.

A Communion Reflection, which fittingly echoed Bridie's contribution to the Order of Malta and Lourdes was read by Jim Kelly.

A guard of honour was provided by local members of the Order of Malta and as her remains left the Cathedral volunteers who travel to Lourdes each year lined the route as the remains were taken to the hearse.

Burial took place in St. Patrick's cemetery.

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