Tributes to the 'Daffodil Lady'


Published 09/01/2013 | 10:20

Well known and loved Vivien O'Shea, from Cleeny, Killarney, with her crop of daffodils, which she had grown on their farm for the past 13 years, much to the delight of locals and visitors. She passed away peacefully on Friday, January 4. Credit: Photo by Valerie O'sullivan

THE queues formed from early afternoon on Sunday, to pay their respects to a popular and much loved Killarney and Beaufort lady, Vivien O'Shea (née Coffey).

By late evening, over four hours later, the wait was still over an hour as sympathisers lined the Tralee Road from the her Cleeney home and stretched beyond the Tralee Road Roundabout.

Wife of Micheál, mother to Marion (17), Elizabeth (8) and baby Vivien who died from Spina Bifida in 1997, Vivien was formerly from Knockanne House in Beaufort and news of her death has saddened both communities.

Affectionately known as the 'Daffodil Lady' as she had grown the flower on the family farm for almost 14 years, funeral-goers heard how the first daffodil of the new year had raised its head on January 4, the day Vivien died.

A maths and science teacher in Killarney Community College, despite living on a dairy farm she began growing daffodils with husband Micheál for the local and export market.

She also donated countless bunches to the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day and, in a recent interview, had described daffodil picking as therapeutic, stating that the fields of yellow gave her a lift.

Vivien was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and following extensive treatment and surgery, received the all clear in June 2010. Unfortunately, exactly two years to the day of her first diagnosis, she was found to have secondary, stage four cancer.

Vivien will be sadly missed by her family, her parents and Mary and Danny, sisters Marion and Theresa and brothers Daniel and Aidan, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncle, nephews, nieces, relatives and many friends.

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