EDITORIAL: She sold bingo books to people and then crisps and soft drinks at half-time

Rest in Peace, Mairéad.

Death notices for donegal for Sunday morning, November 24

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Communities in Tipperary only thrive when people care for them, worry about them, volunteer for them and fight for them.
All of those people behind the scenes contribute to their town or village and its vibrancy.

We are blessed in this county to have hundreds, thousands, of such people that do their utmost for their areas. Lisa Stapleton wrote a beautiful piece in the Boherlahan notes of The Nationalist on September 2, 2021 about one such woman who passed away recently.

This editorial is another tribute to that great woman.

Mairéad Sweeney (née Mulcahy), of The Moate, Ardmayle, epitomised a community person that gave everything to her village not just in her voluntary efforts for the parish but in the life she led, the values she espoused and the family she reared alongside her husband, John.

On August 21, Mairéad died in the loving care of the staff of the Cherry Ward, University Hospital Waterford.

The mother of five was originally from Ballyclerihan but moved to Boherlahan when she was young and made The Moate her home and created a wonderful, loving house for her family for many years.

Mairéad was a community woman through and through. She fought for issues in her village and she stood for things - she didn’t seek the comfort of sitting on the fence, she had her own views and wanted the very best for her parish.

She sold bingo books to people on Monday nights and then crisps and soft drinks when it was half-time in the Parish Hall. It’s those small efforts that sum up her community spirit.

The 63-year-old was a wonderful neighbour as well and made sure to stay in contact with those that were lonely or unwell. She was a kind, caring and helpful person.

Often, she drove her sons’ friends home from study in Cashel Community School - and she loved the banter in the car on the way home. Mairéad’s passing is deeply regretted by her husband John, daughters Michelle and Sinéad, sons John, Eoghan and Kieran, sons-in-law Donal O’Brien and Philip Ryan (Cooper), daughters-in-law Lynsey and Lisa, Kieran’s partner Chloe, grandchildren Cillian, Donagh, Fionn, Lucy, James, Conor, Evan, Séamus, Éamon and Áine, sisters Alice and Helen Lyons, brothers Andy, Pat and Michael.

Rest in Peace, Mairéad.

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