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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Patricia Murphy

Source: Michael Purcell July 2012

Patricia (Trish) Murphy 1955 - 2012.

There was widespread sadness at the sudden death on Friday 6th July, following a tragic accident at her residence in Granby Row, of Patricia Murphy.

Formerly Patricia Marnell and a native of Ballintaggort, Callan, Co. Kilkenny.

In 1980 she married John Murphy of Thomastown and lived in the Royal Oak area for the next 32 years. Following her appointment to the staff of the Holy Angels Day Care Centre, a centre for children with special needs, where she became a indispensable and highly valued member of staff, Patricia moved into an apartment in Carlow town in order to be near her place of work.

Patricia attended Mohober National School, Co. Tipperary, before attending St. Michael's Boarding School in Clonmel.

Upon leaving school she trained as a chef in one of Ireland's premier hotels, The Dunraven Arms, Adare, Co. Limerick, and worked at catering for a number of years before being appointed as manager of the Carmel Hotel in Kilkenny, she resigned as manager in order to get married.

She later took up a position in St. Joseph's Orphanage in Kilkenny before her career took on a totally different direction when she managed a Turf Accountant's office for Malcolm Skelly in John Street, Kilkenny. Malcolm thought highly of her work and upon her leaving his employment he closed the John Street office.

Patricia then worked in St. Lazerians Nursing Home in Bagnelstown for a number of years.

Her final place of work and where she was very happy and appreciated was at the Holy Angels and where she attended work up to the day of her death.

In all the positions Patricia held she was highly appreciated by all her employers and proved herself to be caring, trustworthy and hard-working.

An avid reader, Patricia loved to travel and along with her husband, John and family, among the countries she visited were, Australia, Thailand, Turkey and Spain, where she absorbed the culture and loved to mingle with the people and roam through the marketplaces.

Patricia is mourned by her husband, John, her daughters, Lorraine and Grace, her sisters, Mary, Margaret and Rose, her brothers, Henry and Martin, her uncle Paddy, nephews and nieces and a large circle of friends.

Burial took place in Wells Cemetery following Requiem Mass in Leighlinbridge, celebrated by Father Tom Lawlor. In a moving ceremony hymns were sung by Clare Cully and Helen Mooney.

Staff from the Holy Angels provided a Guard of Honour at the church and the cemetery, many former staff from years past, some of whom travelled long distances, came to pay their respects.

The following eulogy was delivered by Michael Purcell during her funeral Mass:-

Thanks to Patricia's family for asking me to say a few words today in memory of Trish.

First of all I need to say that there are some people, whom Trish meant a lot to, they are unable to be with us today.

Nurse Geraldine Connell, the Manager of the Holy Angels Day Care Centre along with four other members of staff are out of the country. They left before we received the news that Trish had died.

They were stunned and greatly saddened by the news and have asked me to pass on their sincere heartfelt sympathy to her husband, John, and her daughters, Lorraine and Grace and all of Trish's family and friends.

I am sure that If Trish could speak right now, she would tell me to "get down outa that and don't be making a right Ejit of yourself"

Well, Ejit or not,

I will try summarise what Trish meant to us at Holy Angels and the immense loss she will be to us all.

Words are inadequate to capture the essence of Trish's personality, the basic goodness of her life or to express all that Trish was to us, and the sense of loss and sadness we now feel.

Trish came to us at Holy Angels some years ago, and she immediately fell in love with the place and its mission in our society.

In a short time she proved herself to be indispensable and had us wondering how did we ever manage without her.

From then on she took care of all the staff, and she always enjoyed interacting with the children and the parents and kept the place in tip-top shape.

Her role in making sure everything ran smoothly will long be cherished by all who were the recipients of her kindness and professionalism. - I know she would not like me using the term "professionalism".

But that's what she was, a professional carer of people and a professional at her job.

Every thing in its place and every person cared for. She acted like a mother to all.

Both Trish and us - we were lucky - because we very often expressed direct to her how much we appreciated all she done for us.

In that regard we have no regrets, for she knew how much we valued and loved her, despite the fact that she disliked praise or recognition or never liked to be the centre of attention, we told her, time and time again, how much we treasured her.

 Loads of Clichés come to mind to describe Trish, such as;

"A Trojan Worker", (in fact we wondered in amazement from where she sourced her energy!)

 "A Heart of Gold" (and there the wonder grew as to how such a fragile frame could hold such a big heart.)

 Other Clichés come to mind such as; "Good Natured", "One in a Million", "Irreplaceable".

But Trish was all those clichés combined. Yes, that and more.

Yesterday I heard one of the girl’s remark how Trish could make something out of very little.

She was talking not about issues but about provisions, for Trish could produce a fine meal at short notice for unexpected visitors, a visiting doctor and a team of clinics or a parent’s morning, as well as constantly producing special treats for the children at Holy Angels.

But with issues too, she could make something out of very little, as I often found out to my cost, when in a forceful manner she could put forward a challenge and I have to say more often than not, she was usually proved right in the end.

Among her first words nearly every morning to myself, Phil and Ger were, "what's that doing there"? "who moved this" ?, "why isn't that done"? as she proceeded to put everything in order for the day ahead.

 The Centre did not come to life until Trish was there at the heart of it and every morning we listened for her welcome step in the hall, which was usually proceeded by a fit of coughing as she approached the front gate.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Veronica and what she meant to Trish in the past year. You lightened her load and lifted her spirits, for that on behalf of Trish, I thank you.

Trish had her favourites but if I was to mention who her favourites were, we would be here all day. In fact all of us were her favourites.

She possessed a twinkling sense of fun and a mischievous wit, the stories are numerous and all who knew her will have their own recollections of the antics she got up to, tinged with the sadness of her sudden and tragic passing,

A reminder that we are so lightly here, but enhanced by the very many fond memories that remain with us.

Memories of Trish that will in the days ahead help us cope with the loss of a very special friend and a very much esteemed colleague.

The past week was one of her happiest at Holy Angels as she took part in all the Summer Camp activities.

 She rarely missed a day at work, so on Friday last when she failed to turn up to bid goodbye to the children and staff before the summer holidays, we guessed there was something wrong.

Because of the circumstances of Trish's death I thought in the past few days of the words from Aeschylus:-

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God". and so it comes to pass.

Your works' all done now Trish, you're leaving early, and this time I'm not looking at my watch.

It's time to go home. M.P.

Source: Michael Purcell July 2012
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