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Sunday 19 January 2020

Funeral takes place of grandmother who died after being attacked by two dogs

Victim Teresa McDonagh
Victim Teresa McDonagh

John Fallon

The funeral of Galway woman who died tragically at the weekend after being attacked by two dogs, was told her grandchildren were the joy of her life.

Hundreds of mourners, as they had for the removal on Wednesday evening, packed into the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Moycullen, ten kilometres west of Galway city.

Teresa McDonagh (64), who died after she was attacked by two dogs while visiting a relative on Sunday afternoon, was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery following the requiem service. 

Local parish priest, Canon Micheal McLoughlin, who was joined by fellow Gaeltacht and An Cheahthrú Rua parish priest Fr Ciarán Blake, said that the community had been ‘plunged into darkness’.

Ms McDonagh was part of a farming family and survived by husband Eddie, who she had been married to for 40 years, and five sons and a daughter. The family were well known and highly regarded in the community.

“Last Sunday I had the joy of being with my family in Dublin for my niece’s christening. At 5pm I got a telephone call telling me about the sadness and tragedy that happened in Knockarasser and a darkness and depth of sadness came over me,” said Fr McLoughlin.

“That’s just me and then I look at this family gathered here before me. I know darkness fell on you on Sunday afternoon.

“We all know that feeling of when the power goes out in the middle of winter, you know it better than anyone up in Knockarasser. You go searching in drawers for a candle or torch.

“You would be saying to ‘mom’ where’s the candle? You would be running down the road to her because she would know where everything was. But all of a sudden she’s not there and there’s darkness.”

Ms McDonagh’s husband Eddie, her five sons Martin, Eamon, Gerry, Christy and Brendan and daughter Rosaleen led the mourners along with her sisters; Mary-Anne, Barbara and Nora, and brothers; Colman, Martin, Mattie, Bartley, Tommy, Gerald.

Her grandchildren read the prayers of the faithful and Fr McLoughlin thanked the community for rallying around the family at this tough time.

“Mummy is not going away. Theresa is not going away. She will always be part and parcel of your life,” said Fr McLoughlin.

“The memories of Teresa, the person whose brown bread you loved to taste. She loved the simple lifestyle. She loved going into town, into the fashion shops, having a look at the bits and pieces. You will have those memories.

“For the grandchildren, a stack of pancakes would be wonderful now and you would love her to be making them for you. You have to turn to your moms and say you better do it right. That’s not how granny did it.

“But I can tell you this now, there is no one like granny. She was the best person in the world and she was your granny.

“The highlights of her life were the communions and confirmations and her presence at them. One of the fondest memories that she had was going to England with Brendan. She thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Every single one of you have had your own unique and special relationship with her. You will hold on them and treasure them, and at your darkness moment you will say what would mommy want of me here and now?”

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