Philomena Sutherland passed away on May 7 at the age of 66 in Wexford General Hospital with her family and friends around her.
Philomena grew up in Barrack Street Wexford and attended the Faythe School as a child. She was very well known around Wexford, and further afield, as a part of The Sutherland's family band, with her father Pat and brothers Jacky and Patrick.
Philomena wrote many songs and poems throughout her life, and recorded two songs for the Wexford hurling teams of 1976 and 1977 - 'The Purple and The Gold' and 'Rackards Heroes', an ode to the late, great Nicky Rackard, a song that was included on the LP that The Sutherland's made with The Latycho.
Philomena worked in and later managed Clonard Holy Family Playschool in Clonard Church for the past 24 years and the best estimation is that over 1,000 children from the local area have passed through Philomena's hands over the course of her time in the playschool.
She was an active member of the Fianna Fail party in Wexford for many years, was a talented painter and had recently taken up photography.
Philomena loved to travel and enjoyed each experience immensely, especially her trips with her aunt Cassie to Gran Canaria and Puerto Rico. On her last birthday she visited Krakow where she enjoyed the Christmas Markets and a trip in a horse drawn carriage around the city.
Her last trip was a week-long trip to Rome with her daughter Yvette and son Gavin. During the trip she climbed to the top of The Colosseum, walked around the ruins of Pompeii and was asked to leave St Peter's Basilica by a security guard as it was well past closing time!
Philomena was a keen sports supporter. There was rarely a game that she missed and when Wexford would go to Croke Park, the famous 'Croke Park Soup' and sandwiches would also get their day out. Even though she was born and lived all her life in Wexford, Philomena was a big fan of Munster rugby, to the point where she would sing Munster songs while attending Leinster games! She often remarked 'There's no atmosphere here, you should see them in Thomond' before breaking into a chorus of 'stand up and fight'!
Her family extended thanks for the carers, nurses and doctors in Wexford General Hospital for their help, support and kindness in caring for Philomena in her last few days.
Philomena is sadly missed by her daughter Yvette, son Gavin, brothers Jacky and Patrick, her aunt Cassie, her dog Brandy (her third child!) and all of her extended family and friends including those in Clonard Holy Family Playschool, who recently released coloured balloons on their graduation day in memory of teacher Phil.
Her funeral mass took place in Bride Street Church on Saturday, May 9, followed by burial in Crosstown Cemetery.