Sadly we report the death of Breda Heaney, Aughnacloy, which took place on Christmas
Day in Craigavon Hospital. She has been in failing health recently but her death
has brought a profound grief to Aughnacloy and the Monaghan area.
Breda Heaney (nee Goodwin) originally came from Clones to take up a teaching appointment
in Killybrone NS, Emyvale, in the mid-sixties. A brilliant teacher, she also had
a wonderful interest in music, particularly Irish traditional music, and it wasn’t
long until she had added tin whistle lessons to her already over-crowded curriculum
in Killybrone. She had the true teaching ‘touch’, and the youngsters responded
magnificently to her pleasant teaching methods. But her interest went much further
than that and she was determined to get the young folk of the wider Emyvale area
interested in their native music. Coming from Clones, she had contact with one of
Ireland’s best music teachers, Pat McCabe, and on her invitation, Pat gladly took
on the task of giving weekly music lessons in the local Emyvale Technical School
and later in the newly erected Leisure Centre. Among his first pupils were Mary
and Gerard McQuaid, who advanced so rapidly that they were able to take Pat’s classes
on occasions when the Clones man was unable to travel. When Breda retired, her work
for the promotion of traditional music was carried on by Gerard and Mary and the
rest, as they say, is history..
Breda was instrumental in introducing Comhaltas to Emyvale and her burning
ambition was to have a Monaghan Co. Fleadh Cheoil held in the village, something
which duly materialised in 1975, when one of the most successful Co. Fleadhs ever
was held in the various centres – DPC, Red Star Inn, Technical School, Credit Union
Office, Parochial hall, and others. She was also deeply involved in many other aspects
of life in and around Emyvale and used her endless energy and innovative ideas to
organise various events to promote the village.
Breda married Tom Heaney and moved to live in Aughnacloy and she became involved
in the Development Association and social life of her new place of residence. Breda
and Tom have one daughter – Bridin. We offer our deepest sympathies to Tom and Bridin
and to Breda’s many friends and relations.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam naofa.
Breda’s Requiem Mass and burial was held at 12 noon on Tuesday. Dec 28th in Aughnacloy.