In fond and loving memory of Bridie Mackin, Dangan, Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary, who passed away unexpectedly on April 22 at the age of 86.
A remarkable lady who was a kind and generous staunch member of the community in Ballyporeen, an I.C.A. stalwart, a loving wife to Paddy who predeceased her and a mother of 14 children.
Her legacy beholds the beautiful statue of Our Lady in Ballyporeen, devoted children and a plethora of grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Here, her daughter Margaret gives tribute to her loving mother in honour of her memory -
Bridie was born in St. Fanahans Place, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. She attended the convent school in Mitchelstown and subsequently travelled to England to work for a while before returning to work again in Mitchelstown.
The next chapter of her life began when she met the love of her life Paddy from Dangan, Ballyporeen. They married on September 24 in 1954 and enjoyed almost 61 years of married bliss.
They lived in Dangan, Ballyporeen where Bridie made a beautiful home that she took great pride in, always decorating and mordernising it.
Her house became a loving home to 14 children and she loved us all dearly as we did her. She raised us in difficult times but we never wanted for anything.
Our fond memories include going to Redbarn every year on holiday. Our parents didn’t drive so all the children would line up to get the bus with dad bringing a bag of potatoes and plenty of veg to keep us going for the week. Those holidays gave us so many wonderful memories to cherish.
In 1969 Bridie lost a little angel, Michael, who was a half-twin and again her heart was broken when in 1981 our beautiful sister Carmel went to heaven at the age of 8 and a half years.
This was a huge blow to the family but again Bridie being the mother she was, got us all through the grief with her strength and courage and we have always kept Carmel’s memory alive at home.
Bridie joined many committees around Ballyporeen with the first the local I.C.A. She loved her meetings and activities and in later years enjoyed all the many trips away.
In 1988, Bridie represented the I.C.A. for the title of Uachtarain of Ballyporeen and subsequently held the title and honour of being President of Ballyporeen for one year. A proud year not only for Bridie, but also for her whole family.
Her I.C.A. legacy is the beautiful Grotto in Ballyporeen. She got it into her head a number of years before that it would be nice to have a Grotto in the village and her devotion to Our Lady and sheer determination made it happen. She was very proud of this and so dedicated it to the deceased members of the I.C.A.
As a very active member of the Community Council, Bridie helped with the cards every Monday night and played a huge part in the hospice fundraising down through the years. She was also on the Church Parish Committee that she joined when the church was being renovated.
Bride was a beautiful singer and won many competitions and trophies down through the years. She joined the local church choir and remained an active member up until 2018.
Her greatest interest was her bingo. She would travel to the moon and back and in all types of weather.
Monday night was Clonmel, Tuesday night Cahir, Friday night was either Ballyporeen or Araglen and Sunday night was always Kilbehenny. Thanks to Josie for always being her taxi – we are indebted to your kindness.
Even though Bridie had many interests and commitments, her greatest commitment was her family. She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
She never missed a birthday or Christmas for each of them and
there was always a constant flow of cards and as Bridie would say, “A few bob to buy something nice”. She loved all the visits from her grandchildren and great grandchildren… they will miss her dearly but have wonderful memories to treasure.
Bridie was one of 12 children and down through the years had lost all but one sibling, her sister Ada, who lives in Ennis with her daughter Karen and family.
Ada was Bridie’s daily contact. She loved ringing her with the news from Mitchelstown and Ballyporeen and thankfully Bridie had the pleasure of speaking to Ada on the morning of her passing and I’m sure Ada will treasure that last call. She was also blessed to have daily calls from her nieces Geraldine and Ester in Mitchelstown to catch up on all the happenings. Bridie loved those chats.
In August 2015, Bridie lost her life long partner Paddy. He was a wonderful father to her children and a loving husband and although her heart was broken and days were tough for her, she once again was her family’s rock and kept us all going.
She continued as she did always to have family gatherings and a laugh at home and always keeping dad's memory alive.
Bridie loved her style and always kept up-to-date with the latest fashion,
She made sure to have her makeup and jewelry on every day in case of visitors calling.
Every Friday her hairdresser Noreen would call and take her for her weekly appointment and when Bridie wasn’t up to going, Miriam her daughter-in-law would visit and leave Mam looking like a queen.
There was huge sadness and shock when Bridie’s passing was announced. Bridie will be remembered as a lady who always had a smile on her face and this was remarked on numerous occasions after news broke of Bridie's passing.
The past few months have been difficult for everybody in these uncertain times and Bridie, like many others, could only enjoy conversations with family members through the window.
Thankfully there were days when the weather was fine and Bridie would sit out in her garden, indeed her favourite spot, and we could enjoy a cuppa and a laugh with Mam.
We were so blessed that her children Eileen, Pat and Gerard were at home to take such fantastic care of Mam. Whatever she wanted they were there at hand and she appreciated everything and all the family are comforted in knowing this.
Eileen took Mam to her checkups each month and kept on top of things always so that Mam would keep well and enjoy great quality of life that thankfully she did until her passing.
Our Mam passed away suddenly on April 22 and while we are still in deep shock and brokenhearted at losing such a wonderful and devoted mother, we are thankful that she had no suffering.
Again, because of the times we are living in, Bridie’s funeral was very personal. She was taken to her beloved home in Dangan and we had time to say our goodbyes.
There was wonderful support from neighbours as Bridie left her home and her beautiful Church Choir sang to her on her journey to the church, alongside I.C.A members, bingo palls and indeed the community of Ballyporeen and Araglen.
This was a huge support for her family – thank you.
As a family we wish to say a huge thank you to Fr. Bobby Power for the special family funeral mass and to our brother Frank for singing some of Mam’s favourite hymns and her favourite song at her graveside… she would have been very proud. Thanks to Seamus Hennessy for recording Mam’s funeral Mass - we will treasure it forever.
A special thank you to Fr. Joe Flynn for his kindness to Mam and for calling to her on the first Friday of each month.
Last Christmas Eve, our mother wasn’t quite well enough to attend the evening Mass, so our sister Susan took Mam to the Church to see the crib. Fr. Joe Flynn came in and hearing of the circumstances performed the entire Mass just for Mam.
This was fantastic for her and she came home feeling like a queen and everyone got to hear about it. Thank you to Susan for making this happen… it’s a lovely memory for you to cherish.
In his eulogy to Mam, our brother Peter summed it up by saying how much Bridie loved her family and what a wonderful lady she was and though her funeral mass was private, she would have been happy just to have her family around her for her final journey.
Bridie was laid to rest in St. Mary’s cemetery re-united with her loving husband Paddy, daughter Carmel and son Michael. This is just a tribute to a wonderful, caring and kindhearted mother that we were so privileged to have. We will always love and miss you dearly Mam… rest in peace xxxx