The news of the death of Maureen Brannigan, on 26th August was heard of with regret in the farming community and beyond. Maureen died in the wonderful care of the staff and medical team in Drakelands Nursing Home surrounded by her family.
A member of the Mahony family of Kellsgrange, she was the youngest of six children born to Thomas and Brigid Mahony. Enjoyed a happy family life and being the youngest it was inevitable that she would be spoilt by all her siblings. Maureen would often tell her own children about her childhood, collecting kindling, walking to school in Kells and trips in the family car.
Maureen met Joe at a dance in Windgap and in 1967, they married and settled down in Drakelands where they built their house on the family farm. They had a busy life looking after the farm and rearing a family. But Maureen still found time to play an active part in the farming and social life in the community.
She and her husband Joe travelled extensively, recording each trip in the family atlas. She lost her husband twenty one years ago but she still continued to visit foreign shores with family and friends. These trips helped her to cope after the loss of her husband. She had a wide circle of friends and she enjoyed weekends away, day trips and meeting up for coffee or a walk on the beach. Visits to the Watergate for pantomimes, plays and musicals played a part in her life. She loved her garden and would spend hours tending to her plants.
She was a prominent member of the Kilkenny Agricultural Society and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Kilkenny Flower Club. She loved flower arranging and together with her friend, Maura, created beautiful arrangements for weddings and other special occasions around the county. Naturally she was called on to arrange the flowers for her daughters’ weddings.
Maureen loved having her family around her and was never happier than when there was an occasion to celebrate, be it happy or sad. She was truly a hostess in every sense of the word. Evenings in Drakelands were enjoyed by family and friends. Her grandchildren were a source of great joy and she was so proud of their achievements. A “hands on” granny, school runs were no bother to her and she was always available.
Maureen leaves behind a family who will have great memories to look back on.
Family, friends and neighbours called in large numbers to her daughter Noreen’s home in Danesfort where she lay in repose. Rosary and prayers were recited by Fr Mark Condon.
The remains were removed on Wednesday, 30th August to St Mary’s Cathedral where Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Dermot Ryan and Fr Mark Condon.
Fr Ryan welcomed Maureen’s family, friends and neighbours to the celebration of her life. He sympathised with them on their sad loss.
The lessons were read by Elizabeth and Lyndon, daughter and grandson respectively.Prayers of the Faithful were recited by, Aisling, Matthew, Aidan and Johanna (grandchildren).The Offertory Gifts, which were representative of Maureen’s many interests were presented by her grandchildren.
Narration was by her daughter, Brigetta,
“Aisling carries flowers, Lucy brings her atlas, it played a significant part in her life as in it she recorded all the various places visited over the years with her late husband, Joe, Aidan brings the family album, Johanna carries a photo of Joe, who died twenty one years ago and Lyndon brings her rosary beads. PJ and Elizabeth bring the Water and Wine”.
Music throughout the ceremony was by Sean O’Neill and Martina Burke.
Maureen’s granddaughter, Lucy, gave a moving rendition of, “Amazing Grace”.
Noreen spoke on behalf of the Brannigan family and shared some special memories of a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.
She paid tribute to her Drakelands Nursing Home family who provided, kindness, care and security in her final years. She thanked everyone for their support especially the Danesfort community. She expressed the wish that everyone would join the family after the burial, for refreshments in Newpark Hotel. The Newpark had been the venue for many landmark events in the Brannigan family and it would have pleased Maureen to carry on the tradition.
Outside St Mary’s Cathedral, a guard of honour was formed by members of the Kilkenny Flower Club as family, friends and neighbours escorted the cortege to St Kieran’s Cemetery.
Maureen is survived by her daughters, Noreen, Brigetta, Elizabeth and son, PJ. She was pre-deceased by her husband Joe and her sisters Jennie, Lizzie and Bridget. Maureen is also mourned by her sister, Kathleen, brother Dick, grandchildren, Lyndon, Aisling, Lucy, Matthew, Aidan, Joe, Johanna, Jeffrey and Maisy, sons-in-law Robert, Ray and Stephen, daughter-in-law Anna, brothers–in-law, sisters in law, nephews, nieces, extended family and friends.
She will be sadly missed by all. Rest in peace Maureen!