Friday 23 February 2018

Mary devoted her life to happiness of family

The late Mary Barry.
The late Mary Barry.

THE PASSING of Mary Barry of Longraigue, Foulksmills, occasioned great sadness in the area.

Mary is survived by her children, Rita, Johanna, Eileen, Richard, Peter, Marian, Marcella, Bernadette, Gerladine, Thomas and Kit; 36 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Tommy in 1991.

Mary was first and foremost a mother with boundless love for her children. She devoted her life to creating a secure and loving home for her husband and 11 children. In later years her 36 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren were cherished with great warmth and enthusiasm. It was therefore entirely fitting that Mary passed away most peacefully in the bosom of her home surrounded by her precious family on January 31 last.

Born on May 28, 1926, Mary was the eldest child of Peter and Josie Whelan of Rospile. She had three brothers, Peter, Billy and Joe, who predeceased her. So too did her sisters, Marcella and twins, Eileen and Annie. Her beloved sister Kathleen (Furness) of New Ross is the only surviving member of this renowned farming family.

Mary was educated at Clongeen NS where she was regarded as a very bright and resourceful pupil. Upon leaving school she went to work for the Deane family of Longraigue House, training to be a cook.

She worked there for many years and it was here that she met and fell in love with her future husband, the dashing Tommy Barry. They were married in Clongeen Church on June 11, 1946. Together they reared a large family of eight girls and three boys, of whom they were extremely proud.

Mary's experience as a cook at Longraigue House was to prove priceless to her in rearing her young family.

Longraigue House and subsequently the Gibbon family continued to feature largely in the lives of the Barry clan, as Tommy and most of his children were happily employed there.

To Mary's inexpressible grief her beloved spouse, Tommy passed away in 1991, after 45 years together. However, Mary's life was never lonely and the steadfast presence of her children and their extended families ensured the kettle was constantly on the hob and company was always nearby.

She also had many loyal friends and neighbours who called in regularly for a chat. The door of her house was always open and the welcome hearty and sincere.

Throughout her long life Mary was a dedicated member of Clongeen ICA and she thoroughly enjoyed its many and varied activities. She excelled at baking bread and jam making and won many honours for her superb products over the years. Mary also really enjoyed her game of Pongo in Clongeen Hall on Monday nights and eagerly looked forward to meeting her fellow Pongo enthusiasts.

She also loved trips to Bannow and Cullenstown where the bracing sea air would whet her appetite for a customary stop over and light meal on the return journey home.

As a devoted mother and home-maker Mary Barry had few equals. She was greatly admired and respected by all who knew her and this was reflected in the huge crowd which converged on Clongeen to attend her wake, removal and funeral service which was a remarkably fitting tribute to such a gracious and generous lady.

She will be sorely missed by her family and host of friends, to whom the family's heartfelt sympathy is extended. A touching feature of Mary's Requiem Mass was the beautiful solo singing of Noreen Lacey who was one of Mary's closest friends.

Mary was interred in Clongeen Cemetery beside her beloved Tommy and within calling distance of her family home.

Go raibh leaba sna bhFlaithis ag Máire usual séimh.

New Ross Standard

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