The death occurred at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny on 19 June of Mrs Eileen Kirwan, née Hogan of Ballyvoole, Inistioge, after a short illness. Eileen was a well-known figure in her native parish where she had lived all her life. Her husband, Paul Kirwan, formerly of Lower Grange, Goresbridge, had predeceased her in 1984. Eileen, an only child had a multitude of connections, relatives and friends, which she fully appreciated and cultivated all her long life, with the result that her funeral was large. Many of the clergy who officiated at her requiem Mass were relatives, or the sons of neighbours.
Eileen, was the last of her generation having been born in 1925, by which time many of her first cousins were married and already parents. Her maternal aunts – those who had chosen not to become nuns - had married into the Holden (Glendonnell, Mullinavat), Farrell (Kilcurl, Knocktopher), Drea (Brownstown, Tullogher) and Dowling (Jamestown, Glenmore) families. Kate Hogan, the only sister of her father Andy Hogan to marry, wed John Ryan of Ballycurran, Rosbercon, from which place her own mother, a teacher, married into Ballyvoole. A brother and sister exchange which was not the first in the Ryan family. In an earlier generation two Ryan brothers then of Guilcough, Rosbercon, had married two Heartley sisters of Busherstown, Glenmore.
Eileen delighted in company, National Hunt racing – she met her husband through her cousin a Miss Biddy Hogan of Ballymagill, Rosbercon, who subsequently married Rory McPhillips of Kilkenny, at a race meeting - and cards (poker, 25s and bridge) and she was able to enjoy all three pursuits to the end of her life. The last bridge outing to Thomastown had produced a set of crystal drinking glasses which were carried back in some triumph to the home of her daughter Ann Porter, wife of Simon, at Tullaherin, where she had resided of late.
Eileen spent the last two weeks of her life in St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny where doctors, nurses and the caring staff, without exception, were most kind to her, and her visitors. The quality of their care was magnificent : immense kindness and professionalism, the hallmarks of this service. As well as her daughter Ann she is survived by four sons, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and her many relatives and friends. May she rest in peace.
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