The late Louisa Broderick
Ni bheidh a leitheid aris ann– goes a little way to describing the passing of Louisa Broderick, for she was a unique woman.
Born on August 8, 1931 in Knockaderry, Farranfore, Louisa (aka Lou) was the youngest of Bridie and Con O Sullivans' (aka Regan) five children, with two brothers Patie and Michael (Sonnie) and two sisters Maryanne and Eileen (Ciss).
She was a bright intelligent girl who caught the attention of the visiting school Inspector; he told her teacher at Farranfore National School to make sure Louisa continued her schooling.
However 1930s Ireland had limited opportunities and like so many children of that generation she was not afforded that privilege.
While three siblings went to England and New York, she was not to be drawn away from Kerry's farm land and vibrant dancehalls. She took a job at the Lake Hotel in Killarney, where by the sounds of it, was a lot of fun. An offer of a job promotion to Ashford Castle in Co Mayo was not enough to entice her either.
She married Patrick Broderick of Gortshanafa. As a couple, Patrick's patience and diligence enhanced Lou's energy and ambition. Typical of that generation they worked tirelessly to provide for their six children. Sadly, Patrick passed away in 1985.
Louisa responded with strong resilience, carrying on the responsibility of maintaining the farm and rearing her children. She ensured that they availed of every educational opportunity and took pride in their achievements.
Lou's relationship with God and the church was perhaps untypical of her generation. She was impatient with hypocrisy or false piety and instead developed respect for a faith that had practical application, such as Mother Theresa whose love for the poor inspired her. She described St Martin like a brother to her; he was so good at fulfilling her favours.
In her latter years she shared in the celebrations of her children's graduations, weddings and the arrival of her thirteen grandchildren. While she battled with some ailments she got to experience the camaraderie of the Day Centre in Castleisland, the craic on the bus, the analysis of the daily newspapers. Her neighbours were always important to her. One neighbour described most significantly that 'she would never lead you astray'.
Lou loved a story (but not rameis!). She easily made her own of a yarn: accounts of what happened in people's lives, the shenaningans of cycling with her friends to the dancehalls in Farranfore and Scartaglen, the fate of the families following a marriage, the intrigue of the transfer of land, the cruel realities for many.
In her unique story telling voice, she would weave from one entertaining incidence to the next, 't'isnt that but this', she would say as she masterfully engaged her listeners.
She had a way of making her own of words, painkillers were better described by her as 'kill pain tablets', 'I wouldn't call the queen my aunt if the weather stayed fine', and 'done again' if things didn't turn out the way she had hoped.
Her wishes on her 80th birthday celebrations were not conventional; that she would die during the day and that she wouldn't die alone. Louisa faithfully completed her life's journey and went to the loving God she had yearned for, at midday on a bright sunny April Saturday, surrounded by her six children, having said the Angelus.
She is survived by her daughters: Hannah, Breda, Margaret and Ellen, sons: Joseph and Niall, sister: Eileen Jones, sons in law: Ger Dunne, Seamus Magner, Eoin Sweeney, Michael Dineen, daughter in law: Maria Broderick, eleven grandsons: Padraig, Tadhg, Fionn, Eoin, Patrick, Conor, Louis, Jack, J.P., Eugene and Neil, two grand daughters: Aine and Louise, nieces and nephews.
Died 28 April 2012. May she rest in peace. Amen.