Farewell to Mrs. Bridie McGrath (nee Brennan).
After a brief illness, Bridie (Bridget) was called to her eternal reward on Friday afternoon January 30th. It was very fitting that her remains were received at the church on St. Bridget's Day. Right from her school days in the Tullycrine School House, where she was born, she attracted many friends and this was the story for the decades to follow. She had a great sense of humour and she had a great knowledge on many subjects. Bridie gave me many stories from her youth, a few I will now add to this brief tribute. Her parents John & Margaret Brennan and grandparents Michael & Margaret Neylon all taught at Tullycrine School House. Bridie excelled in algebra, geometry, needlework, trigonometry, art and so on. Incidentally the School House is now a House of Prayer and was visited by Bridie since its opening - she said it "was always a holy place". A keen cyclist in her youth, she travelled to many a parish to compete in sports. Bridie won the cycling championship of Clare, as did her sister Anna. She named many venues where she participated; Kilnamona, Ennis Show grounds, Kilrush etc. she recalled cycling at Tullycrine sports in Brews field, Aug 1941 and of course winning in style. She was one in a family of  thirteen, many of her siblings chose lucrative careers and also took part in sport; football, boxing, horse racing etc!. Bridie and Anna took part in drama with Kilmihil in plays ‘The Lord Mayor' and ‘An bhéan Thuathá'. Of course Anna won the ‘Miss Clare' competition in 1958 and also became secretary to the Irish Nurses Association. Local history was one of Bridie's subjects that she liked, she recalled many changes to rural Ireland, she could list the shops and public houses that had closed, the houses that had become unoccupied, She spoke of how the Black and Tans visited the home of her parents in 1920. She mentioned the preparations for the Station Mass, the night classes given by her father at the school also the concerts and meetings held at school. Bridie settled in Mountshannon, Labasheeda in the early 1940's when she married a local farmer Tom McGrath the couple reared ten in family. Hard work was no object to Mr. and Mrs. McGrath and their family was a credit to them. They excelled in education and secured good professions. Bridie was a woman ahead of her time and learned to drive a motor car, and in more recent years took up computer classes and modernised with the mobile phone. She travelled to Western Kenya and stayed sometime with her son Fr. Tom where he was based as a Mill Hill Missionary priest. Bridie had her ups and downs in life, sadly her husband died at a young age and she also buried a son and daughter. Bridie was a woman of great faith and this saw her look forward. She loved her game of cards and joined in the card tournaments locally, many the time winning a turkey, chicken or a bottle of brandy. Another favourite was the bingo, she played weekly in the community centre. She enjoyed gardening and appreciated nature. The annual Christmas Party at the centre was an outing always enjoyed by Bridie. Just three years ago on the occasion of her 90th Birthday it was such a memorable night for her family and the parish as a whole, the atmosphere was so good and it was great to witness so many grandchildren surround their granny. She enjoyed retirement in her comfortable home in Mountshannon and was joined in recent years by her daughter, Mary and son, Fr. Tom. They and all the family members were so good to their mam, they will be rewarded from Heaven. So now let us say farewell to a lady who has lived a long and enriched life, we know her good work will continue from Heaven and she will look after all her loved ones here on earth. Bridie - the bed of Heaven to you and may Jesus and his Blessed Mother Mary comfort the bereaved. Now let me conclude with the words of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.......‘May the Lord support us all day long, ‘til the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last'.
Interment took place  in Killofin cemetery after concelebrated Mass on Tuesday February 2nd  - The Presentation of Our Lord. The chief celebrant of the the Mass was Fr. Tom McGrath, son of the deceased.     
 (Paul Markham) 2/02/2015

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Bridie McGrath (Nee Brennan) 1921-2015

Poem to our Mama Bridie on the occasion of her funeral 2nd Feb 2015.

Written by her loving daughter, Mary. 

I want to say so many things
To describe the woman we all know
But my words will not be adequate
To tell her that we loved her so

Her striking beauty was legendary
It never faded in our eyes
She stole the heart of a fine young man
To him she was the greatest prize

As well as beauty she had a flair
for sports of all kinds and was the best
at cycling ,running and football too
She won her way through all the rest

She travelled wide when she got the chance
To explore the world was her greatest aim
In Africa and Malaysia too
To her the world was all the same

Her name was Bridie to all of you
The friends and neighbours she loved so well
She loved to chat and spend the time
So many stories she loved to tell

We all knew her skills at forty five
In life she played the cards God dealt
40 no game was her catch phrase
So John you learnt that lesson well

As you greet her now at heaven's gate
Dada and John and Irene too
Remember her lesson she taught so well
Never play your ace of hearts too soon.

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20th June 1940 and the venue was Ennis. The Cycling Championships of Clare were held on that day.  Anna Brennan, Henrietta Bradley , Bridie Brennan.

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Bridie - photographed at a Christmas Party - Labasheeda.

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