Monday 18 December 2017

Mary Kenny: portrait of a marriage

A family funeral convinces me that there is such a thing as finding "the one"

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

My sister-in-law Louise Kenny died last month, aged 86, and at her very nice, peaceable and simple funeral at Mount Jerome I learned about aspects of her life that I had never known. This sometimes happens at funerals, which is why they make good openings for stories or drama.

I knew that Louise, who was a slender, pretty brunette, had always been a "loner", because she told me so herself. She was one of seven O'Reilly children growing up in Greystones, Co Wicklow, but despite the necessary gregariousness of a large family, she loved being alone. She'd come home from school as a child, and immediately go upstairs to her bedroom just to be alone. She was born with a spirit of independence and self-reliance. As a teenager, her sister Connie told, she'd go to the cinema alone.

Louise worked as a secretary, first for CIE, because she loved travel - and if you worked for CIE in those days, you benefited from travel concessions extending to Britain and continental Europe. She was good at her job, and had a great aptitude for book-keeping and accounts, and thus she flourished at work. But what she really loved was travel during her holidays and she did plenty of that.

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