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