Caring for family was the focus of Mabel's life

The late Mabel Foley


MABEL FOLEY (nee Keane) of Kerins Park and formerly of Strand Street, Tralee, passed away on Tuesday, September 25, following a brief illness. Mabel's family and her many friends in the town, especially in Strand Road, where her family are steeped in the annals of the Kerins O'Rahilly's Club, were shocked at her sudden death.

Aged 77, Mabel hailed from the Blues side of town and was born in the family home in the Old Caherina Cottages to parents John Keane, originally from Lixnaw and Margaret (nee Fitzgibbons). Her siblings had a very close bond and with her sisters Joan, Irene and Helen and brothers Sean, Leo, David, Denis and Bernard, grew up in a loving home and community.

Mabel was educated in the Presentation Convent and later worked in Bridie Enright's Shop at the bottom of Rock Street, Tralee. In 1952 fate and football played a big part in Mabel's love life when she went a bus excursion to support Kerins O'Rahilly's in a championship game against Dick Fitzgerald's in Killarney.

In goals for the Blues that day was none other than Johnny Foley and although the result didn't favour the travelling team, romance and love blossomed for them. That fateful bus journey was often reminised with fun and laughter in later years.

Johnny who was a member of a well-known painting and decorating family had his fair share of glory with the Blues and Kerry. He manned the posts in 1953 when Kerry, captained by Jas Murphy, brought home the Sam Maguire and was also the last line of defence when Kerins O'Rahilly's lifted the Bishop Moynihan Cup the same year.

Mabel was immensely proud of Johnny's football achievements and they were married in 1955, settling in Kerins Park when that housing scheme was built. Their union was blessed with children and they were proud parents to Seamus, David (RIP), Mary, Leo, John and Paudie. Caring for her husband and family was the main focus of Mabel's life. Family occasions and wedding were celebrated and the birth of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the source of immense joy and pleasure for her.

When her children had grown up and left home, she liked nothing better than journeying off to London to visit them. While there she would head off the the West End to see some of the famous musicals, with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera being her favourite.

She also took great enjoyment in witnessing the latest fashion trends and would always encourage her family to look their best on returning from her visits. Mabel had a very caring side to her which was typical of her outgoing personality.

She found time to care for her sister Joan in Birmingham, staying for 18 weeks. She also loved to meet her many friends playing cards and Mary O'Mahony became an established playing partner.

Mabel, in her later years became an active member of The 11 to 1 Club in Shanakill Family Resource Centre with Bridie McGovern, a firm friend. She enjoyed life, and was always positive in her outlook, with a warm sincere smile for everyone.

The removal of Mabel's remains took place from Hogan's Funeral Home on Thursday, September 27 to St John's Church. Requiem Mass was celebrated on Friday morning at 10am, followed by burial in New Rath Cemetery.

Mabel is survived by husband Johnny, children Seamus, Mary, Leo, John and Paudie, brother Patrick (Albany, New York), sister Irene (Tralee), her 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, all of whom she adored.

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