Glowing tributes were paid this week to one of Ireland's oldest citizens 103 year old County Tipperary woman Kathleen Ryan whose death caused widespread sadness.
Kathleen who resided at Lanespark near Ballynonty passed to her eternal reward on Tuesday December 21st just three weeks short of her 104th birthday. News of her passing saddened her many life long friends all over the country and caused deep regret in the parish of Killenaule-Moyglass and neighbouring districts.
Kathleen, a member of the well-known and popular Ryan (Moore) family from Littleton, was pre-deceased by her husband Timothy (Thady) Ryan. The couple lived most of their lives in Lanespark where they farmed for many years and were well-known and highly respected over a wide area. The popular Kathleen was blessed with extraordinary good health up to the time of her passing and enjoyed the excellent care of her daughters and their families, and the company of her neighbours and many friends.
The late Kathleen Ryan was devoted to her family and friends and in the lavish tributes paid to her since her passing her outstanding qualities as a neighbour and loyal friend have been highlighted. Kathleen resided up to the time of her death in the first class care of her daughter Delia and son-in-law Joe Ryan and family and among the regular visitors to the Ryan household was a great friend of Kathleen and her family, Canon Liam Ryan, PP, Killenaule-Moyglass.
Canon Ryan led the tributes to the great woman last week when he described her passing as "truly the end of an era" in the community. In his homily at the funeral Mass in St Mary's Church, Killenaule, Canon Ryan referred to Kathleen as " a remarkable woman of deep faith and devotion to God." He said- How sad we were in this community and indeed how sad people were from all over Ireland to learn that our dear friend Kathleen had passed away peacefully in the bosom of her wonderful family and friends. What made the news all the more poignant was the fact that Kathleen had departed this life a few weeks short of her 104th birthday in 2011. But while we are sad to let go of our dear Kathleen who had the distinction of being one of the oldest citizens in the state, we take more than a morsel of comfort and joy from the legacy of many wonderful memories she leaves us, and today is a day of celebration of the life of a truly great woman."
Canon Ryan detailed the many changes in Ireland's economic and social history witnessed by Kathleen down through the decades. " We talk today of the ravages of economic recession, but Kathleen and her contemporaries could tell many a story of tough economic times in this country, economic and social depressions that severely tested the economic and social fibre of Irish people. Life was not simple for Kathleen and her many friends as they grew up in the 1900's and yet testmony to their greatness as a generation was the extraordinary resilience and determination they showed in meeting the challenges and carving out a decent living for themselves and their families. With her husband Timothy, affectionately known as Thady, Kathleen raised a family in Lanespark she was very proud of and devoted to, and they in turn absolutely loved her and were very proud of her too. She, Thady, and her family farmed in Lanespark and were renowned for their kindness and generosity to so many people. In her heyday she was a familiar figure toiling away with her husband and family in their lands in Lanespark and her neighbours and close friends remember her many daily trips to the creamery and the local shops. She was a familiar figure cycling her bike on the roads of Lanespark and Ballynonty. No matter how busy she was, and she did work very hard to cater for her family, she always had time for a chat and a cuppa! A woman of immense calm and composure she was methodical in everything she did in her long life, and the abiding memory of Kathleen is that of a gentle caring lady who enjoyed a rapport with young and old. How we enjoyed celebrating with her on the occasion of her birthdays.
The popularity of deceased was underlined in the large and representative congregations at her funeral ceremonies. Her remains were removed from O'Connell's Funeral Home in Killenaule to St Mary's Church in the town on Wednesday evening last, and followin Requiem Mass on Thursday morning interment took place in Two-Mile-Borris cemetery. Sincere sympathy is extended to her family, extended family and a legion of friends. Peace to her soul.
The late Kathleen Ryan, Lanespark, Ballynonty, pictured with Canon Liam Ryan PP, Killenaule-Moyglass, on the occasion of her 100th birthday celebration.