The late Bridget (Bridie) Gannon
BRIDGET (Bridie) Gannon, formerly of New Line, Athenry, Co. Galway, beloved wife of the late Martin Gannon, died peacefully, in the wonderful care of the dedicated staff at Our Lady of Fatima Home, Tralee, on Monday, August 27, 2012, in her 105th year.
Bridie was born in Tourkeel, Athenry on April 9, 1908, the third of seven children of the late James Cavanagh and Mary Anne Galvin. She attended national school at Newcastle, Athenry and trained as a nurse in the St Brigid's Hospital, Ballinalsoe where she worked until her marriage to Martin (Mattie) Gannon of Shudane, Athenry in 1943.
Living in Athenry town, where Mattie was employed by as gardener and caretaker at the Hotel School, Athenry and subsequently at the new Vocational School in the town, they raised two daughters, May and Ann.
Speaking at her funeral mass in St. Mary's Church, Athenry, Canon Tony King, said: "It baffles the mind to reflect on all that she lived through and the times that she saw . . . the introduction of the old age pension, in 1909, the Titanic disaster in 1912, the 1916 Easter Rising, Alcock and Brown landing in Clifden in 1919, after the first trans-Atlantic flight, the Civil War, and the devastation of two World Wars."
Canon King went on to speak of her love and concern for her family, "and in a very special way, all the neighbours on the New Line. Bridie's domain was the home - a house of enormous hospitality - home-maker and masterplanner, so many people experienced the hospitality of that home..."
The Gannon home was a place of flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and everything that a garden could grow, in order and in season, there for the family table, for the neighbours and friends.
Suffering an illness soon after Mattie's death in 1996, Bridie moved to Tralee to the care of her daughter Ann and subsequently to Our Lady of Fatima Home, Oakpark, Tralee. In Kerry she made a host of new friends, while having the on-going support of visits from her New Line neighbours and her Athenry relations, right up to the last days of her long life.
Following a Mass of thanksgiving celebrated by her friend Fr. Tom Leane, PP Ballyheigue, she was removed to St. Mary's Parish Church, Athenry where the funeral mass and the burial at the New Cemetary took place.
She will be sadly missed by her daughters May and Ann, her sons-in-law, Brendan Coyle and Barney O'Reilly, her grandchildren Shane, Finian, Ultan, Oisín, Sarah, Cora and Ruth, her great-grandchildren, Ciara, Aoife and Eoin, her nieces and nephews, her many friends and her fond neighbours on the New Line, Athenry.