Killinick lost one of its most beloved residents following the passing of Kitty Walsh on Sunday, July 28. Kitty died peacefully at her home in Loughard surrounded by her family.
Kitty was born in Laffna in Tipperary in 1918 and remained a proud Tipperary woman all her life. Indeed her family joked that Kitty left them that Sunday and headed straight to Croke Park to help her native Tipperary overcome Wexford in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final.
Being a very organised woman Kitty had arranged her own funeral, down to who would carry her coffin, where she was to be waked and the music she wanted. Above all she wanted a very simple, respectful ceremony and that's exactly what the service at St. Mary's Church, Ballymore was.
Kitty was a deeply religious woman and her faith was very important to her. She was rarely without her rosary beads. On the occasion of both her 100th and her 101st birthdays, Mass was celebrated in the house for her by Fr James Murphy and that was very important to her.
It was in her native Tipperary that she met her husband Dan while he was working on the railway. They married and moved home to Loughard to raise a family. Her family was everything to Kitty, she took a huge interest in what was happening with each of them, whether it was school, college or work, and she kept up to to date with all their activities on the pitch - win, lose or draw.
Kitty could talk to anyone, whether you were 9 or 90 she could hold an age-appropriate conversation with you.
Anyone who knew Kitty knew that politics was in her blood. A proud member of Fine Gael for 70 years she was on many a campaign trail canvassing and in laer years she was always glued to the television awaiting voting outcomes.
Not even a fortnight before she died, her dear friend and party colleague Frank Staples organised a surprise visit for Kitty from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. And Mr Varadkar was represesented at her funeral by his aide-de-camp Comdt. Caroline Burke.
Kitty had many interests, she was a great sportswoman; lining out for Wexford's camogie team and playing in goal for them at Croke Park when she was in her thirties. She loved current affairs and would sit up late into the night watching Vincent Browne and you'd be left in no doubt the next day as to what she thought of the guests. She was a great homemaker and always had a loaf of homemade brown bread or an apple tart at the ready. A keen gardener she was often found pottering in the garden, walking stick in one hand and a hoe in the other doing a spot of weeding.
In recent times Kitty was cared for her in her home by a wonderful group of carers who were like family to her, she loved hearing their stories and they cared for her beautifully and with great dignity.
While Kitty's passing is of course a very sad time for her family and friends, a life that lasted for 101 years is undoubtedly a celebration.
Kitty was pre-deceased by her husband Dan and son Donal, and is survived by her children, Marie, Declan, Baptiste, Dympna, Jacinta, Ita and Eugene, her 17 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren and many friends.