With extreme sadness I report the death of Veronica Treanor, Dernashallog, Emyvale,
which occurred on Monday, July 2nd 2012 in Cavan General Hospital after a very short
illness. Veronica was pre-deceased by her husband Sonny. Just a couple of weeks ago
on June 10th Veronica was part of the entertainment provided at the opening of the
Walkway around Emy Lake. She was there with her beloved fiddle and joined with others
and played a seisiun at the lakeside. She was an accomplished violinist and loved
the traditional tunes. She was also a great singer and again the old traditional
songs were foremost in her expansive repertoire. Indeed she was honoured by the Tommy
Makem committee in Armagh for her contribution to the Irish traditions in song, music
Veronica will be missed terribly by her family of three sons, John, Kevin and Seamus,
and three daughters, Mary, Anne and Martina, and her two brothers, Peter and Arthur.
She loved being with them and them with her. However there is also a very wide circle
of friends who will be devastated by her rather sudden passing. She was a great entertainer
for the Senior Citizens Day Centre every Thursday in Emyvale and seldom if ever missed
a day in the decades of its existence. She loved the members of the Arch Club and
the Disability groups and was always willing to entertain them at their parties and
gatherings. Her good friend Phine O’Neill, who accompanied her to and at all of these
will miss her. She had many friends in St. Patrick’s Choir, Corracrin and joined
other choirs to provide sacred music at funeral masses for others. She was a great
community person and gave support to many activities in the north Monaghan region.
As a neighbour there was none better as she assisted, supported and was a true friend
to so many. These are only some of those who will miss her friendship, concern and
support - there are many others but again her family will suffer the greatest loss.
To them and to all her friends we offer our deepest sympathy.
Her remains reposed at her home until the removal to St. Patrick’s Church, Corracrin,
which took place on Tuesday, July 3rd, leaving the house at 7pm to arrive at Corracrin
at 7.30pm. Requiem Mass followed by burial was held at 11am on Wednesday July 4th.
The huge crowds on both occasions showed how she had touched the hearts of so many
from all sections of the community. Her colleagues in music attended and rendered
traditional music to add to the Liturgy. Fr. Hubert was the chief celebrant with
Fr. Macartan McQuaid and Fr. Sean Nolan as con-celebrants. The St. Patrick’s Choir
was augmented by members of neighbouring choirs and provided the sacred music and
song. Members of Veronica’s family, friends and neighbours were involved in the Liturgy
and all blended to produce a touching and poignant ceremony which was truly deserved
by a wonderful person. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam naofa.
Below we print the homily delivered by Fr. Hubert at the Requiem Mass and we also
have recordings of some parts of the ceremony.
‘Death is somewhere described as ‘the grim reaper’, a kind of skeletal ghost that
comes to scythe us down. But that frightening image is far from the Christian perspective
on death which we treasure and celebrate in our funeral liturgy today. Our perspective
is based on Christ’s saving death and resurrection into which we are inducted at
‘Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies it remains a single grain; but
if it dies it yields a rich harvest.’ (John 12: 23 – 28)
These words of Jesus, and the image of the wheat grain falling into the soil help
us to understand the mystery of life and death. In order to come to fuller life,
we must constantly let go of present life. This letting go and coming to new life
becomes an identifiable marker in the life of the Christian; and in the funeral homily
we review the life of the deceased in search of traces of that pattern.
The eldest of three children born to Catherine and James McMeel from the parish of
Errigal Truagh, Veronica’s family moved to Main Street, Emyvale. She lived in Emyvale
until her wedding day, 26 April, 1955, when she married John Treanor of Dernashallog.
Together John and Veronica reared six children: John, Mary, Anne, Martina, Seamus
and Kevin. These are the broad brush strokes of her life, easy to trace but the
detail and variety of her life would keep us here a long time if it were all recounted.
A gifted musician, who could pick up any tune and ‘play by ear’, a gift she used
and shared with so many throughout her life. She played professionally for a brief
period with the Ken Kennedy Band of those years. But Veronica was never in music
for the money; she was much happier making music with friends and for friends. She
had a series of weekly, monthly and annual events which she never missed: the north
Monaghan Social Services meal in the Leisure Centre was a weekly fixture, Oriel House
and Mullinahinch Nursing Homes were more recent engagements, and she has long been
involved with the Arch Club in Monaghan.
It was good to see many of her friends from Ceili Music Groups, the Arch Club and
so many other music and social groups present. The Guards of Honour were impressive,
so many friends and acquaintances anxious to pay their respects.
It is hard to believe that she was at the opening of the walk around Emy Lake on
Sunday, June 10th.
Veronica worked in Mullan Mills before she committed herself to fulltime home maker,
as wife and mother, and indeed grandmother as her grandchildren came along. In
1994, her husband John or Sonny as we was known died suddenly here in Corracrin one
Sunday morning as Fr. Hughes was saying Mass. A shock, a big blow, a great loss
to Veronica and the family; however she found new strength and continued on; she
learned to drive; and one of my abiding memories will be of her arriving for daily
Mass either in the Oratory, St. Mary’s or St. Patrick’s with several neighbours whom
she so kindly brought to Mass as often as possible. I know these friends will really
miss her. We will all miss her.
That ability to adopt and take on new challenges, like learning to drive, is the
thread that runs through the life that we are reviewing. It is, I believe, the pattern
of the life of faith, continual dying and rising to new life; while the overarching
pattern, or the prototype, is the life death and resurrection of Christ himself.
The point of our faith is that the story doesn’t end here. I like to think of the
pattern of veronica’s life continuing into deeper and deeper communion with God.
I believe that those who have died and gone before us, marked with the sign of faith,
bring their relationships with them; they cannot erase the memory, or forget their
acquaintances; they wouldn’t want to. So by being here today, by our association
with Veronica, we are all being brought more deeply into the mystery of what it means
to be a Christian.
In an age when voluntarism is on the wane, reflecting on the life of somebody like
Veronica Treanor serves to underscore the value of the volunteer, and how the volunteer
epitomises Christian living. Christian living means putting the needs of others before
our own needs; another way of putting it is that Christian living means dying to
self. It has been said that Christians do their dying during their lifetime. We
have to die to, meaning let go of: childhood, youth, good times, good places, good
health, loved ones and spouses. All of these are little deaths.
The more we have let go, and the more we have reflected on this process of letting
go, the better ready we will be for death itself. Veronica Treanor had reflected
deeply on these realities. She could face her death honestly, with outstanding
serenity and dignity, as if it was the most natural thing to happen next. She was
able to say to her family that she would be lonely leaving them, lonely leaving Dernashallog,
but she assured them she was looking forward to heaven’.