Easter 2013 will be remembered by the Hanrahan family of Castlegarden as the time that, Bridie, wife, mother, mother-in-law and sister was called to her eternal reward. She died in Ardkeen Hospital after a short illness and was brought to her son Martin’s home where she was waked.
Extended family members, neighbours and friends called to pay their last respects. Bridie was one of nine children born to James and Bridie Hayden, Graignamanagh and had lived in Castlegarden for most of her lifetime. She was a very popular, gentle and unassuming woman who went about her daily work with no fuss. A true friend, Bridie provided a “listening ear” for family and neighbour alike.
A massive supporter of her husband Eamonn in all his many voluntary activities, Bridie was an ardent GAA follower all her life, encouraging her sons in their participation of hurling, sometimes in the blue and white of Thomastown and as they got older, in the green and gold of Bennettsbridge. It was not unusual in the Hanrahan household to see both colour jerseys pegged on the washing line at the same time. She enjoyed sport in general and had a great knowledge of soccer and followed her son’s teams with great enthusiasm. She was was an avid reader and a fan of country and western music. She was a deeply religious woman and this was acknowledged by Canon Duggan in his homily when he spoke in glowing terms of Bridie’s commitment to her faith and her family. Canon Duggan read a poignant note from Bridie’s daughter-in-law, Stacey in Perth who was unable to attend due to the imminent arrival of Bridie’s first grandchild. The note read: “Just wanted to send you my love and a big hug. I wish I could be there with you all. I’ve never met a more loved and respected woman than Bridie and I just hope I can be half the mum that she was to you boys. I’m so thankful you were all together these last weeks. All my family send their love. Bridie was much loved in Perth too.”
Canon Duggan offered sympathy, on behalf of the parish, to the family on their sad loss. Because her death occurred during Easter her remains were received in Tullaherin Church on Holy Thursday, fulfilling a lifelong wish of Bridie’s to spend a night in the church. Following readings from the Liturgy on Good Friday she was interred in the adjoining cemetery. On Easter Sunday, St Kieran’s Church was filled to capacity for Bridie’s Requiem Mass which was celebrated by Canon Duggan PP. assisted by Fr Joseph Cummins. The Parish choir led by Mollie Cahalane sang during all the ceremonies.
The remains were received in Tullaherin Church on Holy Thursday night by Canon Patrick Duggan and the lesson was read by Fr Liam Barron, PP, Mullinavat. On Good Friday a celebration of the liturgy was conducted by Canon Duggan. The lessons were read by, Tom and Eoin(sons). Prayers of the Faithful were recited by, Donal Cahalane, Annette Reddy, Sandra Forristal, Paula Hanrahan and Brena Hayden(family and friends). On Easter Sunday, Requiem Mass was celebrated by Canon Duggan. The lessons were read by Martin and Leanne(son and daughter-in-law). The Offertory Gifts reflected Bridie’s main interests in life and included her rosary beads, family picture, a Kilkenny jersey and the bread and wine. These were presented by Martin, Tom, Eoin and Leanne with narration by Donal Cahalane. Members of the clergy who attended the funeral services included, Fr Liam Barron PP, Mullinavat, , Fr Joseph Cummins, Castlegarden, Fr Denis Treacy, Coolrainey, Mgr. James Cassin, Maynooth and Fr Dan Bollard PP, Thomastown.
The attendance at the funeral services reflected the esteem in which she was held in the parish and beyond and included representatives of the GAA, farming community, social and political life in the area. Bridie is survived by her husband, Eamonn; sons, Tom, Eoin and Martin; daughters-in-law, Leanne and Stacey. She is also mourned by her sisters, Kathleen, Mary, Eileen, Ann, Carmel and Peg, her brothers, Pat and Br. Ned, other relatives, neighbours and friends.