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Mollie McConnon R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we report on the death of Mollie McConnon, Oriel Park,

Emyvale. Mollie was in her 92nd year and passed away peacefully in Cavan General

Hospital on Sunday, February 21st 2010. Her funeral Mass was held in St. Patrick’s

Church, Corracrin, on Tuesday, February 23rd, followed afterwards by burial in the

adjoining cemetery.

Mollie, as she was popularly known, was born and baptised Margaret Mary McKenna,

daughter of Owen and Margaret McKenna, nee McDonald, in Donagh, Glaslough. She

was one of a family of seven. She was pre-deceased by brothers – Genie, Kevin and

Albert and is survived by sister, Rita and brothers – Jim and Martin. Her early years

were typical of the time, with attending school and helping on the family farm. Like

other girls of her age she was able to carry out the farm tasks that were required of

her and it is most likely that she acquired a love of gardening and working with the soil

from her experience on the land.


In 1938 she headed to England and graduated as a Psychiatric Nurse (an RMPA). As World War 2 began and bombing raids on England became an almost nightly happening Mollie continued her work under very difficult circumstances. In 1941 she returned home and decided to stay as she and Tommy McConnon, originally from Threemilehouse, began planning their marriage. They were married in 1942 and set up home in Mullan Village.

At that time Mullan Mills was a thriving industry with over 200 employees. Many of these had travelled from other counties to get employment and needed lodgings during the week. Every available room in the village was used and Mollie also took in some boarders, many of whom became lifelong friends of the family. Tommy had a Hackney Car and this business too was in great demand as few could afford to have their own cars at the time. The McConnon family then moved to a house on Main Street, Emyvale. Tommy, who also had a farming background, purchased a cattle lorry and became a Livestock Haulier and cattle dealer. He was known the length and breadth of Ireland and was a popular man at every fair (and later mart) in every county. Then in 1952 the family acquired one of the New Houses, later named Oriel Park, and it was in this house that Mollie was to spend the rest of her life. In 1971 Tommy passed away at a young age and his haulier business was continued by his son, Gerard. They had three sons – Dessie (Clogher/Augher); Seamus (Cavan) and Gerard (Letgonnelly, Emyvale).


During all this time Mollie was a devoted wife and mother. She was also a great neighbour and a committed worker in the community. She was a member of the Legion of Mary, the ICA, the Confraternity, and the Altar Society for St. Patrick’s in Corracrin. When a social function or Guest Tea was being organised in the local Parochial Hall she was one of the group of Ladies who provided the tea and refreshments for those present. She was also active on Sports Days, assisting there and helping to raise funds for the parish. In her spare time she loved her garden and spent many hours each week tending to her vegetable garden at the back of the house and the flower garden at the front. She cultivated every inch of the back garden and annually she had a wonderful crop of vegetables and a bountiful supply of fruit. The flower garden was admired by many and she was very often able to supply her own flowers for her work with the Altar Society.


During the winter months when she was unable to work outside she had plenty of other interests to occupy her time indoors. She was adept at sewing and could expertly make and mend clothes. Knitting was also one of her favourite pastimes and she produced many beautiful and unique items of clothing with her needles and wool. She then purchased a Knitting Machine, when they came on the market, and continued to create fashionable outfits. She herself was always fashion conscious and presented herself in graceful attire and flawless appearance. She always looked well and bore her beauty in an elegant and relaxed manner. She enjoyed the simple things in life and never chased after extravagance or lavishness. She liked to go to Bingo and though she might ‘give-out’ that she never won she attended for the social aspect of the event more than the hope of winning.


Mollie’s life was all about others. She admired and was extremely and rightly proud of her sons and then their spouses and her grandchildren and her 19 great-grandchildren. Their interests and welfare came first in her considerations and she was always concerned for their well-being and happiness. But her concern also extended to the wider family circle and neighbours. She was a constant visitor to St. Mary’s in Castleblayney to drop in on some person from the locality who was a patient there. She visited friends and neighbours in their homes and always brought a ‘breadth of fresh air’ with her wherever she went and her broad smile was welcome everywhere. She loved conversation and the exchange of news and views. She had a hearty laugh and a quick wit to help others to laugh. She had time for everyone and never seemed pressed for time. She was independent person in that she was able to drive and continued to do so and remained very active until after her ninetieth birthday when her health began to cause her some problems. Indeed it was only in the final three months of her life that she was unable to maintain her daily schedule due to deterioration in her physical condition.


Molly spent a short while in Oriel House, Monaghan, and Drumbear Nursing Home, Monaghan, but, when her final illness came, her medical condition required hospitalisation and she was taken to Cavan General Hospital. She lost her fight for life and passed away very peacefully on Sunday, Feb 21st. Her remains were taken to her son Gerard’s home in Letgonnelly, where a constant stream of callers arrived to pay their respects and to sympathise with the family. A huge crowd attended the removal of her remains to St. Patrick’s Church, Corracrin, on Monday evening. Fr. Hubert Martin, PP Donagh received the remains and was the chief celebrant for Requiem Mass on Tuesday morning. He was assisted by Fr. Larry Dawson, Clogher, and Fr. John Gilhooley, Cavan. Again a huge crowd attended and the church was full to overflowing. In his homily Fr. Martin spoke of the wonderful virtues and Christian witness displayed by Mollie throughout her life and said that her faith was her priority. He also referred to her graciousness and ability to organise. He described her as a ‘genuine, happy, honest and straightforward lady’. He spoke of her

love for, her pride in and her encouragement to her family members and said that she has left lovely memories, which will be treasured fragments to frame the mind as we think of her in future. Mollie, he said, lived the Gospel, which tells us that God has prepared a place for the faithful. For Mollie life has changed but not ended – she has gone to that place prepared for her.

Members of the family were involved in all aspects of the liturgy. Daughter-in-law, Mary and Patricia, were readers of the Word of God; the psalm was sung by Paula McAree, organist was Amelia McCormack; the choir consisted of members from St. Patrick’s Church Choir, St. Mary’s Choir and choirs from neighbouring parishes; five grand-daughters – Sharon, Edel, Emer, Claire and Olga, - presented the Prayers of the Faithful, and six grand-sons – Darren, Brian, Damien, Mark, Paul and Ryan - were pallbearers.

After Mass Mollie’s remains were laid to rest in St. Patrick’s Cemetery beside her late husband Tommy.

We offer our sincere sympathies to Dessie, Seamus and Gerard; to daughters-in-law – Mary, Patricia and Mary; to her brothers – Jim and Martin; to her sister – Rita (Corry, Carland); to her grand and great-grandchildren; to her nephews and nieces; to all her other relatives and to her wide circle of friends.

I measc na n-aingeal ar neamh go raibh sí.