Monday 22 April 2019

Fethard mourns passing of Sheila Cloney aged 83

THE FUNERAL Service took place yesterday (Tuesday) of Sheila Cloney who will always be remembered as an honourable and dignified woman.

The late Sheila Cloney, who was at the centre of the Fethard-on-Sea boycott in the 1950s, passed away suddenly on Saturday surrounded by her loving family in Wexford General Hospital, aged 83 years.

Her Funeral service, which was celebrated by Rev. Jenny Crowley, took place yesterday (Tuesday) at 12 noon in Fethard Church followed by her cremation afterwards in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross, Dublin.

Sheila (nee Kelly), a native of Johns Hill in Fethard-onSea and her loving husband Sean Cloney of Dungulf, Fethard-on-Sea, were married in 1948.

Together they set up home in Dungulf where they reared their three children; Eileen, Mary and Hazel.

The Catholic Church at the time imposed a requirement on Catholics entering a 'mixed marriage' that they promise that any children be educated in the Roman Catholic faith. However, Mrs. Cloney, who was a member of the Church of Ireland, was not prepared to accept the consequences of the promise and she removed their children from the jurisdiction rather than send them to the Catholic school.

This led to what was known as the 'Fethard Boycott' which later became the subject of the 1999 film, 'A Love Divided'.

Although she was the subject of much media attention throughout her life, Sheila shunned the spotlight as she was an extremely private person.

Sadly Sheila was predeceased by both her daughter Mary in 1998 and the following year her husband Sean, who was a well-known historian, passed away.

Sheila was a very passionate woman and was a lady of high principles and was always very independent.

Her main priority throughout her life was her family and she was always very attentive to them.

One of her greatest interests in life was reading. She always kept up-to-date with current affairs.

Her other great loves, aside from her family, were tending to her garden, doing crosswords and music, especially classical and the Pike Men singers. In her latter few weeks of life she became quite a fan of Britain's Got Talent Susan Boyle.

Sheila was a great letter writer and always kept in close contact with her many friends and acquaintances through letters. She had a fantastic circle of friends in the locality who would frequently call to her home for valued time together.

She will be dearly missed by her loving family and many friends.

May she rest in peace.