independent

Sunday 21 October 2018

Craanford native, Cecilia (104) passes away in New Zealand

The death has taken place of Cecilia Bolger (nee Doyle), formerly of Knockbrandon, Craanford, Gorey, at the Mission Rest Home, New Plymouth, New Zealand. She passed away peacefully on Sunday April 9 at the age of 104.

Mrs. Bolger was the beloved mother of former New Zealand Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Cecilia Bolger was born in Knockbrandon on January 14, 1902, one of twelve children. Prior to her marriage, she lived with her brother Michael Doyle in Monaseed. She married Daniel Bolger from Ballyconran in October 1930, and on the day of their marriage, they left Ireland, bound for the other side of the world.

On arrival in Wellington, New Zealand, they got a job in Stratford, Taranaki, working on a dairy farm for a John McHardy.

In 1939, Cecilia and Daniel bought a small farm, selling it eighteen months later in 1941 to purchase a large farm at Kahui Road, where they lived until Daniel Bolger's death in 1962. They had five children, John, Carmel, Jim, Paddy and Kathleen.

Their son, the Rt. Hon. Jim Bolger is the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, after which he became the New Zealand Ambassador to the USA. Mrs. Bolger also had a strong interest in politics. On a visit to Wexford in March 1993, Mr. Bolger returned to his ancestral homes and unveiled two plaques, one at Knockbrandon, and the other at Ballyconran.

The family farm was sold following the death of Daniel Bolger, and Mrs. Bolger stayed with each of her children, caring for her 26 grandchildren, and tended to the gardens. They called her their Nomad Gran. She also had 40 great-grandchildren.

She never returned home to Ireland where she has many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Cecilia Bolger's funeral takes place today, Wednesday, April 12, in St. Joseph's Church, New Plymouth with burial afterwards in Okato Cemetery alongside her husband Daniel. A Mass in her memory will be celebrated in St. Patrick's Church, Monaseed, today Wednesday, April 12, at 8.30 p.m.

She will be sadly missed by her family both in New Zealand and Ireland. May she Rest in Peace.

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