Ella Treacy, who died on April 9 at Greenhill Nursing Home, was an extraordinary woman who embarked on many new challenges during her long life of 82 years.
She was born in March, 1929 and was the youngest daughter of John and May Meany, whose shoe business has thrived on Main Street, Carrick-on-Suir since the middle of the 19th century.
Ella was educated in Carrick-on-Suir in the 1930s and 40s before leaving Ireland in the early 1950s to study chiropody in London.
After qualifying, she returned to open a practice over the Meany family shoe shop.
She married Noel Treacy in 1957 and took on a new challenge in the late 1960s, opening Treacy Fashions a drapery business for children and ladies fashions which she built and expanded over the years.
Many were the children who were clothed at the shop for First Communion and Confirmation at that time. This fact was emphasised during Ella’s funeral which was attended by a large number of former customers of the store.
This may not seem a huge achievement in the 21st century, but in the middle decades of the last century, anyone opening a new business and growing it successfully was unusual in tough economic times and it underlined Ella’s strength of character.
Ella passed on a thriving business to the next Treacy generation in the mid 1990s but kept an active interest in the business up to her death.
Ella also used her fashion business to raise thousands of pounds for local good causes with her annual fashion shows, which brought a touch of London and Paris to Carrick-on-Suir.
She was also an active member of the town’s Traders Association and did tireless work in improving her beloved native town.
Apart from her business interests, Ella in the 1960s was heavily involved in the Language Freedom Movement, a movement that eventually ended the practice whereby failing Irish in your Leaving Certificate meant failing the complete exam.
Over the past 20 years, Ella Treacy did not have the best of health having had a triple heart bypass in 1990.
Yet she continued to enjoy life to the full, becoming an avid bridge player and continuing to travel the world with Noel.
She was also an active member of Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society and Castleview Tennis Club.
Ella’s husband Noel passed away in 2009. She was also predeceased by her siblings Jack, Mollie, Joan, Alice and Dick leaving her the last of her generation of the Meany family.
The removal of her remains was from her home on the North Quay to St Nicholas Church and burial took place after Requiem Mass on April 12. Celebrant Fr Richard Geoghegan, in his homily, elaborated in detail on the importance of the ‘F’ words in Ella’s life – family, faith, fashion, friends, fun and feet.
Ella is survived by her sons Tom and Alan, daughters Caroline, Debbie and Vicki, grandchildren, sisters-in-law, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, nieces, nephews and a very wide circle of relatives and friends.
On behalf of the family, her son Alan paid a moving tribute to his mother at the end of Mass. He emphasised the loving environment in which Noel and Ella brought them up while at the same time instilling a work ethic and a view of life that stood the family in good stead.
He thanked all who helped care for Ella during her illness, Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society for providing the music at the Mass and members of the Bridge Clubs for providing a guard of honour. May she Rest in Peace.