The late Lizzie Egan
1920 - 2013
LIZZIE EGAN (nee Costeloe), Tubrid Hill, Ardfert and formerly of Rathkenny, Abbeydorney, passed away on Tuesday, January 1 and she would have loved to say: "I'm in my 93rd year". It was not to be.
She had a wonderful happy, eventful and varied live.
Lizzie loved people regardless of who you were or of what your background. She would have found common ground not long after striking up conversation with you. No matter where you went with Lizzie, she always met somebody she knew or knew somebody belonging to that person. Time in her company was always bright and cheerful and you always left feeling better than before you met her.
Her education began in Abbeydorney NS and she enjoyed everything about it. It was here that her love of the Irish language began and she enjoyed this throughout her life. She particularly enjoyed conversation, poetry, song and indeed prayer through this medium.
Following primary school she went to boarding school in Gortnor Abbey in Crossmolina, County Mayo and later to Loreto Convent in Fermoy, County Cork in the good care of the Loreto nuns. She went to these schools with a friend and neighbour whose aunt was a nun in the Loreto order.
She learned many skills in boarding school and was always encouraged to use her full range of talents. She loved singing and competed regularly in Feis Ceoils, singing the songs she learned through Irish in primary school in Abbeydorney. She also enjoyed learning the French language and enjoyed using it on trips to France and to Lourdes.
Following her father's death, she completed her secondary education in St Mary's Secondary School in Moyderwell in Tralee. Here she won a scholarship to St Martha's Domestic College in Navan, Co Meath. As well as a domestic college this was also a working farm where farming skills were taught in addition to domestic science.
Lizzie thrived here because it was a background she was familiar with and she regaled stories about girls learning to milk cows who had thought that milk came in bottles rather than milking by hand sitting on a three legged stool. No fancy milking parlours then!
She went on to train as a psychiatric nurse in St Brendan's Hospital, Grange Gorman in Dublin. This was a very different life with situations and experiences that she had never encountered before but she rose to the challenge and enjoyed it.
She loved telling stories about the great social side attached to training going to dances, parties or to the pictures but you always had to be back by midnight. But in true Lizzie style she knew the Kerry boys who would come to her aid with bicycles when the clock was ticking and she and her friends needed to be back at "The Gorman" before the gates were locked.
Lizzie married Johnny Egan in January, 1948 and they lived in Tubrid Hill for all of their 64 years of marriage. During the early years they regularly travelled to "Kerry matches" and especially to All-Irelands at Croke Park.
These journeys were undertaken by steam train from Tubrid station to Tralee and on to Kingsbridge station in Dublin. They travelled with a group of six and the fun and "craic" on these trips was legend. It was vital that a compartment with sliding doors was found to make sure that no other occupants were allowed into this little entourage on what was known as the "Ghost Train". This was not a journey for the faint hearted. It commenced at Tubrid and the train then left Tralee about midnight and usually arrived in Dublin around 8 am in time for mass at Adam and Eve's Church on the quays.
Then a quick jaunt to Barry's Hotel for breakfast, where a "powder room" was set aside for the females to freshen up before departure to Croke Park in time to get into the sideline seats.
Lizzie loved telling all the stories of the tricks and fun and card games and songs that was their entertainment on these trips. She undertook many eventful and happy trips from Tubrid station.
She went to Puck fair with Johnny's cousin and never told her that there was not a return train until they were in Killorglin, but that was not a problem because she had secured a lift home in no time.
She loved to visit her friend in Abbeydorney station house and the trip she loved most was to Listowel during race week. The highlight of her visit was her trip to the small market and the bazaar which she never left without winning at least one tea-set and often more prizes.
Lizzie had many interests and was involved in various organisations in Ardfert. She was a founder member of the Ardfert ICA guild. She regularly travelled to An Grianan, the ICA HQ. Here she was able to enjoy and share her crafts and skills and to learn many new ones.
She was able to take part in competitions and enjoy the company of friends and members of other guilds. She was particularly proud the year that Ardfert won Guild of the Year.
She was an organiser of many on the parties and Christmas functions for senior citizens in Banna Beach Hotel for years. She was an original member of the Choir in Ardfert and of the Community Council.
Lizzie was involved with the St Vincent de Paul society for many years and carried out this task with sensitivity and discretion and good humour. She travelled to many places and encountered many situations and never divulged these details as she carried out this work with the assistance of her good friend and driver, Nora.
Lizzie is survived by her loving and devoted husband Johnny, her three daughters and their families, her four grandchildren and her two great grand-children.
She has now joined her parents and family members and her many friends and neighbours who have gone before her and no doubt she will have brought them up to speed with all the changes and the happenings in Tubrid Hill.
Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam.