The late Sheila Moriarty
1935 – 2012
SHEILA Moriarty (nee McKenna), Iveragh Park, Killorglin passed away peacefully on November 16 after a brief illness.
She was born and raised on a farm in Callinafercy, Milltown, one of two girls in a family of eight. She often reminisced about her youth and school days there with great fondness.
She was a very private and unassuming person and never considered herself as anything other than an ordinary person living her life the best way she could.
However, those who knew her intimately, were very much aware that she was a remarkable person in so many ways.
She was left to raise seven children on her own at a relatively young age. Many people would not have been able to cope in such a situation and would have sought help from the state or other agencies. Not so Sheila. Despite having little or no money, she kept her family together and intact and for that her children are both proud and very grateful.
To make ends meet, she took cleaning jobs and was also renowned for her knitting and sewing. She knitted countless aran jumpers and cardigans, a few communion dresses and even one or two wedding dresses. Indeed she often remarked that her aran jumpers were worn by the Clancy brothers and Tommy Makem.
Her first home was in Caragh Lake and it was there that Sheila made many great friends. She also loved the company of young people and her house was often like a youth centre with all of her children's friends coming and going.
In 1977, she moved to Killorglin and, despite her many good friends in Caragh Lake, she never looked back. She was delighted to be living in the town as it meant she could walk to the shops and not be dependent on getting lifts or cycling to from town.
First and foremost, she loved her family and was happiest when surrounded by them all. Those who lived away spent many happy holidays in Kerry and Sheila always had a warm welcome and lovely dinner waiting for them when they got home. When her grandchildren came along she welcomed them and never had a cross word to say to them. They all loved her very much and have many happy memories of being in her company.
As well as her children and grandchildren, there were two other people who were a constant in Sheila's life - her brother Georgie and her friend Peig Murphy.
Herself and Georgie would often meet up and discuss all the local news past and present and were wonderfully at ease in each other's company.
Sheila's friendship with Peig Murphy spanned over 50 years. During that time they shared many a confidence and helped each other through the normal difficulties that life throws up. In later years, their Friday post-pension get-together in Grady's bar became an institution and a date not to be missed.
The one thing both touching and amusing was that, despite their long friendship, Peig never addressed Sheila by her christian name - she was always Mrs Moriarty to Peig.
Sheila loved to meet up with friends and family for a few social drinks and she enjoyed many great Saturday nights in Grady's with her friends of nearly 20 years Bartley and Bridie Conroy from Tulligmore. She enjoyed many games of cards and was also once a dab hand at darts.
Sheila was one of life's unsung heroes who surmounted great challenges and obstacles, but whose sunny outlook enabled her to enjoy the good times that she had for so many years. Sheila was a great sister, mother and grandmother.
She reposed at her residence on Sunday November 18th and was removed to St. James Church, Killorglin on Monday, November 19 for her requiem mass and her burial took place afterwards in Ardmoniel Cemetery.
Sheila is survived by her brothers Garrett and George, her children Tom, Terry, Sheila, Chris, Josie, Patsy and Mike and her nine grandchildren.
Much loved by her family, she will be missed terribly by all who knew her but will never be forgotten. Her memory will always be cherished.
May she rest in peace.