THE COMMUNITY of Courtown gathered in Star of the Sea Church, Riverchapel, on Christmas Eve to pay a warm tribute and to bid a fond farewell to Lily Daly (née O'Reilly) of Courtown Demesne and late of The Courtown Hotel.
Lily passed away peacefully in the Middletown House Nursing Home on December 23, surrounded by her family, following a short illness.
Born and reared in Slane, Co. Meath, Lily moved to Courtown in 1951, and married Seamus Daly in 1953. They had two daughters, Marian and Helen, and they were best known for running The Courtown Hotel.
Well ahead of her time, Lily ran a highly successful business, and the hotel was one of the main wedding venues for the area for many years. She and Seamus also introduced a swimming pool at the hotel, at a time when there were very few swimming pools anywhere in the county. A generation of children learned to swim in the pool over the years that followed.
She trained her staff to such a high level that many of them are now in hotels around the world. She was never afraid of hard work herself, and was involved in every aspect of the running of the business.
Lily was predeceased by Seamus in 1981, and she continued to run the business for several more years, maintaining her involvement in the hotel after her daughter and son-in-law took over in the mideighties, until the business was sold in 1999.
She was very involved in promoting tourism in North Wexford and the South East and served on various local committees. She was also a founder member of Forest Park, which led to the construction of the Leisure Centre and the various other facilities there. She continued to serve on the board down through the years.
It wasn't all work however. She loved golf, and served as Lady President of Courtown Golf Club from 1973 to 1974, and was Lady Captain in 1976. She was made an Honorary Life Member of the Club a short time ago, and maintained her involvement in the game up to recent years, and even at the age of 81, was winning prizes.
She also loved cards, and was involved with various Bridge Clubs around the area. She attended Bridge or Whist most nights of the week, and was a regular at the Riverchapel Whist on Thursday nights.
Her family are deeply grateful to Fr. Tom Dalton, and the staff of Middletown House Nursing Home and St. John's Hospital, Enniscorthy for their care and support in recent months.
Lily is survived by, and sadly missed by, her loving daughters Marian and Helen, her sister Peggy, brother Patsy, grandchildren Philip, Conor, Peter, Katherine, James and Emma, sons- in- law Vincent and Michael, sister-in-law Nancy and brotherin-law Fr Paddy, nieces, nephews, relatives and a wide circle of friends.
She was laid to rest in Ardamine Cemetery after her Funeral Mass on Christmas Eve.
May she Rest in Peace.