McHale, Margaret

30 June 2004
The late Mrs. Margaret McHale
(nee Kelly, Tiernaur)

The sad death of Mrs. Margaret McHale, (nee Kelly), Sandhill, Tiernaur, at University College Hospital Galway, following a brief illness, has cast a gloom over the Parish of Burrishoole and surrounding areas, where she was cherished and loved, not alone by her family, but by every resident in the Parish.

A native of Main Street, Newport, she was daughter of the late Michael and Maggie Kelly and in her youth carried on a shoe business in her parents’ premises.

In the early 50s, she joined Newport Camogie Club, where she excelled, winning a number of county titles. Later, as a member of the Mayo team, she won a number of Connacht championships. But, during her Camogie career, Margaret will be remembered by her colleagues and friends for her display in the Dublin v Mayo All-Ireland Final of 1969 in Croke Park when at full-back for Mayo she kept 16 years All Ireland winner, Kathleen Mills, out of the game for most of the first half, much to the surprise of the Dubs, until experience took over.

After her marriage to Willie, she went to live in the McHale family home in Sandhill, where she immediately became involved in Tiernaur family life, joining a number of clubs for the benefit of the Parish.

Until a few months before her death, Margaret was a prominent member of Tiernaur Hall Committee, arranging the weekly Sunday night Whist Drive, fund-raising functions for sports activities in the Hall, as well as organising the annual Parish Social there, as well as other functions. She organised Bingo in Mulranny Hall for a number of years and when the sessions lost support Margaret, herself an avid bingo fan, became a regular player at the weekly Wednesday games in Newport. By way of a special tribute to her, a game was cancelled.
Margaret McHale was a person possessing many virtues and was one of the most respected and reveered residents in the Tiernaur area.

Throughout her life she was a civic-minded orientated person always willing to give her voluntary services for the promotion of local causes.
Her remains were removed from St. Dominick’s Funeral Home, Newport, to St. Brendan’s Church, Tiernaur, on Friday evening, where they were received by Fr. Declan Carroll, CC. When the cortege was leaving Newport Margaret’s former Camogie colleagues formed a Guard of Honour. When the cortege was nearing St. Brendan’s, members of Burrishoole G.A.A. Club and members of the local community formed a Guard of Honour.

On Saturday concelebrated Mass was offered for the repose of her soul. The principal celebrant was Fr. Declan Carroll and he was assisted by Fr. Eamon Concannon, PP., Newport, Fr. Michael Gilroy, CC., Glenhest, Fr. George Ennis, St. Brendan’s, Mulranny, hymns were rendered by members of Tiernaur Church Choir. After Mass burial took place in Kilkeen Cemetery.

The large representative attendance on both occasions reflected the high esteem in which she was held.

She is survived by her husband, Willie; son John, daughter Liz, grandchildren, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, brothers, Seamus and Mickie, Newport, Tommie, South Africa, Vincent, Ballina, uncle, Bill Chambers, England, nephews, nieces and a host of cousins and friends.

Courtesy of the Mayo News
June 2004