Margaret was a very friendly and outgoing person

The late Margaret Heffernan


THE DEATH has occurred of Margaret Heffernan (nee Ashe), Boreenamanna Road, Cork and late of Aughills, Castlemaine. Margaret died peacefully on Thursday, June 20 at Cork University Hospital, in her 101st year.

Margaret was born in July, 1912 in Aughills, Castlemaine the second daughter of a large family, to parents John Ashe and Bridget Daly. John Ashe was known as Sean Mor as he was a tall man who was a fisherman and farmer.

The family farm was situated on the slopes of the Slieve Mish mountains overlooking Castlemaine Harbour. Life was very different for people in the early years of the last century. Margaret had to walk with her brothers and friends the two miles to the schoolhouse in Fybough and help out on the farm after school.

She liked to go to the hill with one of her brothers to collect scraws for the fire. Without electricty all the cooking was done on the open fire. Perhaps this healthy early lifestyle was the basis for her long life.

Margaret's older sister Mary and her brother John emigrated to Boston when they were young. Margaret stayed closer to home going over the County bounds to Cork City in the 1930's. Margaret enjoyed her life in Cork she worked with a lovely family near UCC in Cork and always spoke with affection of them.

Cycling was a very popular pastime and Margaret regularly made trips with her friends to the seaside towns of Crosshaven, Kinsale and further afield. Distance seemed to be no object to the young people at that time.

In fact it was through her interest in cycling she met her future husband William Heffernan. William, known as Bill, had come from West Waterford and was running a bicycle shop on Barrack Street in Cork City with his brothers. As bikes need maintenance and repair their paths crossed and romance blossomed.

They both enjoyed dancing and would go to the Arcadia Ballroom with a large circle of friends almost every weekend. She had a great interest in music and dancing and would speak about the great times they had as young people in Kerry.

Margaret was a very friendly and outgoing person and she always kept in touch with her friends in Kerry, initially by letter and in later years by phone.

Bill and Margaret married in 1945 in the Lough Church. They settled in Cork and reared a family of four - Tony, Mary, Anne and John. Tony and John still live in Cork, Mary lives in Hampton, New Hampshire, and Anne lives in Killarney.

Margaret always looked west to the Kerry hills and herself and Bill enjoyed visiting the family home in Aughills. Their children looked forward to these visits and loved to play with their first cousins, the children of Dan and Nora Ashe.

Margaret followed the exploits of the Kerry team with great passion and would feel a great pride when Kerry were victorious. Needless to say not all of her Cork friends shared her view in that regard, but Margaret always kept the flag flying for Kerry. Margaret was widowed in 1991 when her beloved Bill died.

Margaret lived alone for many years but her family were never far away and kept her company with daily visits. She was also supported by a daily visit from a home help lady who became a good friend to her.

She enjoyed good health and always kept up to date with current affairs. Margaret was always a stylish woman and was still offering fashion advice to her grand-daughters Jane and her namesake Margaret Heffernan who are now in their 20's.

She had a particular soft spot for the boys her grandsons Jon, Ryan, Gary and Michael.

Margaret passed away peacefully in the Cork University Hospital on June 20 just three weeks short of her 101st birthday surrounded by her family and the wonderful hospital staff. She will be missed by her family and friends.She now rests with her husband in the beautiful Aghadoe Cemetery in her native County Kerry.