The late Margaret (Maureen) Deering of City View came to live in Sligo in the early 1960s from her native Galway having moved here with her late husband, Eugene (Athy, County Kildare) and they subsequently reared a family of three, Martina and twins, Paul and Eugene.
Maureen was born in November 1940 in Tuam, County Galway, the eldest of five children of Johnnie and Bridie Roache. Pre-deceased by her younger brother, John-Oliver, her siblings were Tom, Bridget, Geraldine and Assumpta. Educated at the Presentation Convent, Maureen did bookkeeping and shorthand upon leaving school, before going to work at the textile factory at the Weir Mills. In her younger days, Maureen loved running and cycling. Indeed, one of the first things she did when she began working was to buy a new bicycle. Maureen’s generation, of course, love clothes, dancing and music and Maureen and her sisters were no different, with the weekends taken up with the excitement of attending the local dance and listening to the sound of the big showbands.
Those were heady days indeed and it was at a dance in the Phoenix Ballroom, Tuam where Maureen met the love of her life, a young man by the name of Eugene Deering from Athy, County Kildare. Eugene had moved to Tuam in 1958 for a job at the Rin Kippin garage in the town.
Their mutual love of dancing brought them together and their shared sense of humour and a witty approach to life proved an irresistible bond. They were married in Tuam Cathedral on August 6th 1962. They began their married life in Tuam but soon after, Eugene obtained a job as a mechanic with Maye Motors in Adelaide Street, Sligo and so began their long association with their adopted county.
The 1960s was a time of great promise for Maureen and Eugene as they settled into life in the bustling town of Sligo, making their first home in Temple Street in the centre of town.
Maureen loved nothing better than to browse the many shops and to seek out the latest fashions.
A trip to town was not complete without a visit to Johntson’s in O’Connell Street, Mullaney’s, Moffitt’s and Lyons. Then it was off to Grafton Street to Clarke’s butchers, Woods’ further down and then on to High Street and to Cosgrove’s.
Saturday afternoon saw a date with Hamill’s Hairdressers on O’Connell Street and a takeaway treat at Caffola’s on Grattan Street on the way home through the Market Yard. In more recent times it was Ziggy’s hairdressers and the wonderful staff there including proprietor Lyn.
And, when Maureen shopped in town a discount was always expected and obtained through a combination of quick wit and humour.
But rarely would Maureen shop for herself – it was nearly always for her family, a trait she adhered to up to her final weeks.
In those early years in Sligo, Maureen and Eugene enjoyed attending the yearly social dinner dances that were popular back then, none so more that the Readymix Social. Sundays were a special day for Maureen. After Mass in the Cathedral or St. Anne’s, Maureen loved going for dinner to the Sliver Swan Hotel with the family.
Like all women of her generation from the West of Ireland, Maureen placed a great emphasis on education and instilled in her children a love of books and learning from an early age
On hot summer days, Maureen loved nothing better than to bring her children in her red mini car to Rosses Point, staying until late evening, taking in the sea air as the sun set over Sligo Bay.
Maureen also loved visiting Athy with her husband and family, enjoying the company of her many in-laws, including Eugene’s sisters and mother, Frances. The family stays there during August were often the highlight of her year and was often a base to visit Dublin and the annual horse show at the RDS.
As the children grew older both Maureen and Eugene made great personal sacrifices to ensure their children were all educated to a high level and college graduations from NUIG and DCU were very proud moments for her and Eugene.
Throughout the college years, both in Galway and Dublin, Maureen and Eugene would think nothing of travelling up on a Saturday and Sunday to visit.
Throughout her long life, Maureen never lost her love for books, music, poetry and a good film or TV drama. ‘Gone with the Wind’ was a favourite. Maureen always enjoyed listening to the words of poets and singers be it on TV or radio.
Indeed, radio was a special medium to Maureen, particularly late in the evening and at night-time when she would follow all the news events of the day.
She was immensely proud of the achievements of her children and followed their fortunes closely, Paul foraging a career in journalism, becoming Editor of The Sligo Champion, Eugene, a practising barrister after a career in journalism and politics and Martina making a career in education in England.
Maureen’s love of current affairs and politics, both local and national, never dimmed throughout her life.
She enjoyed the banter with elected representatives from all parties over the decades, especially at election time – but you could never be sure who she supported when it came to marking the ballot paper but she always had a sneaking regard for the underdog.
Maureen loved sports and took great joy always in following the fortunes of Sligo Rovers and she didn’t forget her roots either, and revelled in the successes of the Galway hurlers and footballers over the years too.
In later years, when Eugene became ill, Maureen took on the task of caring for him with great fortitude and love. These were difficult days but Maureen became his caregiver for over 20 years until he passed away in March 2010 - his passing left Maureen bereft, after over 50 years of togetherness.
For the last 11 years since Eugene’s passing, Maureen busied herself with a weekly routine of dropping into Tesco, the Post Office to collect her pension and to O’Hehir’s for something to eat. She loved the company of other customers and the chat with the staff of every place she visited.
Maureen also liked nothing better than to hear the latest news and goings-on of her children and grandchildren – No birthday was ever forgotten and presents were always got. She will be sorely missed by grandchildren, Siobhan, Ciaran, Donal, Keenan, Nadine, Amy, Aaron, Jason, Ana and Galyna.
As Maureen became unwell in recent weeks she received excellent care from Sligo University Hospital and also from her GP, Dr. Jane Dorman and from her late father too, Dr. Michael Dorman. Burke’s Pharmacy on Wine Street was also of great assistance to her always.
Maureen passed away on October 19th at SUH with funeral on October 21st after Requiem Mass at St Anne’s Church to Scarden Cemetery, Strandhill Road with burial beside her late husband, Eugene.
May Maureen Rest In Peace.