It was with great shock and huge sadness that people learned of the passing of Eileen Furlong.
She passed away peacefully at her beloved home on Saturday, August 27, surrounded by her loving family after losing her brave battle with illness.
Eileen was born on April 28, 1940, in Knockroe, New Ross to James and Margaret Bolger. She was one of eight children having five brothers and two sisters. Tragedy arrived early in her life with the untimely passing of her father when she was only 11 years old.
It was then that Eileen showed her true strength and courage, along with her brothers and sisters in supporting their mother on the family farm in Knockroe.
Eileen began her education in Rathgarogue and then on the St Mary's New Ross. She travelled to London in the late 1950s where she trained at Fulham University Hospital as a nurse. .It was here that she found her true calling as a carer for the sick.
Eileen married her beloved husband Robert on her return from England on September 26, 1962. They set up home in Marycrest, Springpark and together they worked hard at creating a home and family farm where they raised their eight children.
Eileen, while never far away from it, returned to her vocation as a nurse for the elderly in the early 1980s, when she began working in the New Houghton Hospital in New Ross. Her devotion to her patients and colleagues was known to all and acknowledged by so many at her funeral.
She retired from her role as a nurse in 2005 but never stopped caring for people when the need arose.
She had many passions in her life including gardening. Her ability to get roses to grow and blossom was her strength. The colour in her garden at the time of her passing was acknowledged by so many.
She worked alongside Robert on the farm and her carer's instinct was often called on to nurse an animal back to full health. She would never give up on anything firmly believing in the motto 'where there is life, there is hope'.
Her catholic faith and devotion to Our Lady was a huge part of her life. She treasured her rosary and instilled so many of her beliefs into her children and grandchildren. She managed to fulfil her dream of travelling to Lourdes on a number of occasions.
She would have a blessed candle lighting in her home every day and her love for the Mount Carmel nuns and in particular Sr. Helen was a great source of comfort to her.
Above all her family was everything to her. Her five daughters, three son, 27 grandchildren and her great grandchild meant the world to her. She would always have a funny story for them, a warm hug and most importantly a special treat every time they called.
Eileen endured some devastating moments in life, none more so than the loss of her son Cyril in 2001 at 33 years of age.
She loved company and her door was always open with a warm welcome and a friendly smile. No one would ever leave her home without the obligatory cup of tea.
Eileen's great passion for life, her time for people and her popularity were reflected in the huge numbers who comforted her family during her wake and funeral mass. As her grandson Mark said at her funeral mass: 'She was our North star that we were all guided by, but the cruel hand of faith reached out and snatched that star from our skies and now we are lost.'
Eileen is survived and sadly missed by her husband Robert, sons Kieran and Robert, daughters Deirdre (Taghmon), Laura (Camross), Evelyn (Campile), Sinead (Taghmon) and Marguerite (Rosslare), brothers Mick, John, Donal, James and Joe, her 27 grandchildren, great granddaughter Ruby, sons in law, daughters in law, brother in law, sisters in law, nieces and nephews and her many friends.
Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dilis.