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03 Dec 2021

Marian Doyle was a remarkable woman of incredible faith and generosity

Marian Doyle, Newtown Garden, Thomastown

Kilkenny

Marian Doyle RIP

Marian Doyle died after a protracted brave battle with the dreaded debilitating disease in St James’s Hospital in Dublin, on Friday, September 10.


Her distraught husband, Pat, held her hand as she left the life she had shared with her soulmate for over 48 years, to commence another life that she so richly deserved, where she would meet so many people including her parents Billy and Catherine sisters and brothers and so many friends again. Her sisters, Betty and Kathleen were also at her side.


Owing to the problems presented by the Covid-19 epidemic, and the difficulties and strain it put on the services, Marian’s obligatory post-mortem did not happen for a further six-day time lapse. Marian came home to her beloved Thomastown on Wednesday, September 16 where she lay in repose in her Parish Church.


Marian’s popularity was attested to with huge crowds paying their respects, and sympathies to Pat and her immediate family, and again as they attended her Requiem and interment in the Family plot in St Mary’s Cemetery.


Marian Doyle was born Marian O’Reilly, a member of a highly respected and noted Thomastown family living in Newtown Garden. After receiving her initial education in the Thomastown primary school, the talented young girl completed her secondary education in the prestigious St Brigid’s College in Callan as a boarding pupil. With a very healthy Leaving Certificate secured the ambitious young Thomastown girl enrolled in the Ormonde College of Secretarial excellence in Kilkenny.


Employment in those days was more than scarce. Jobs for both genders were not exactly flowing but Marian O’Reilly impressed the Walsh brothers, proprietors of the established Thomastown Garage, to an extent that gainful employment was offered and accepted by both parties.


Let’s inject some fortuitous events into the narrative that created a bond between an English-born, Crystal Palace football supporter of Irish parentage, and a very attractive young Thomastown lassie that lasted for a long 48 years.


Pat Doyle, the ebullient Sales Director of Walshe’s Toyota dealership on the Kilkenny Ring Road, though born in Croydon, in fashionable Surrey was Irish to the marrow of his bones. His father Michael was a native of Graignamanagh, his mother was Anna Walsh from Killarney, Thomastown.
With their family, they all returned to Ireland when the young Pat was just 14 years of age. Having completed his education in the acclaimed Thomastown Technical centre, a young Doyle started his apprenticeship with the Thomastown Garage Ltd.


In October 1972 a kind of ‘chance your arm’ date proposition impressed the young Miss O’Reilly, to which she agreed. Pat would say that it was the ‘foreign’ accent.
Notwithstanding, one suspects that it was a bond destined not to ever be rendered under any provocation. Pat and Marian were engaged in March 1973, and became Mr and Mrs Doyle on September 11, 1973 – ‘the greatest day of my life, and the best day of my life’ were sentiments echoed by Pat many times in my company.


Marian was a woman of profound principle and disposition - a Christian who epitomised a moral sense that impressed all she knew and met.
She was kind to a fault, with a great love for animals. They had cats and dogs over time, of questionable orientation, but nevertheless that was never an issue with Marian. Her animals over the years were more than the domesticated pets; they were her friends.


She had a tremendous sense of need around her, which she sought to address whenever the occasion presented. Never was her sense of giving more obvious than at Christmas. She would insist that Pat’s uncle Jim, and two other personal friends Pat Bourke and Michael Piert, who lived alone, would dine at the Doyle table for the big dinner.


“She would give you her heart,” said her grieving husband, “and she wouldn’t ask for it to be returned. The lads would leave our home in the evening with a fine dinner for St Stephen’s Day as well.”


Marian and Pat enjoyed each other’s company as they travelled extensively all over Europe on a very regular basis. They cruised as well, and there was not a destination they perceived as interesting they didn’t visit.


Marian was a hugely popular employee of the Thomastown Garage Ltd over the 39 years of her employment. She retired in 2011, which opened up new pastures, new destinations, new experiences for herself and her beloved spouse to explore.


Pat was secretary of Thomastown United Football club for nigh on 21 years. Whilst Marian was not exactly a ‘grass widow’ she did however assist the Hon Sec in elements of finance whenever fundraisers were involved.


Marian was a shopaholic - Pat would tell you that she outdid the legendary Imelda Marcos (ask a friend) when it came down to shoes. She also loved her weekly visit to her hairdresser in the Springhill Hotel.


Her passing will have caused heart-wrenching sorrow for her soulmate Pat, a sadness and loss that will rest on his shoulder until they both are united again in the presence of the Creator who will be holding a place in reserve for two of His greatest believers.


The three O’Connor boys - Shane, Darragh and Ronan - and their sister Ruth will miss their Auntie Marian. Her nieces Siobhan Brogan and Emer Taylor, who lives in Albany New York, and nephew William O’Reilly will be grieving at the passing of their Aunt Marian, as will Elaine O’Reilly, Ciara Sugarman, a resident in Atlanta Georgia, and Killian O’Reilly.


Her great friends, Helen Wemyss (her ‘partner in crime’), Becky Nolan, Margaret O’Rourke (Dublin), Mary Minogue will miss Marian’s bubbling personality, her honesty, and above all else her dependability – she was never too far away when needed.


Her work partner, Ashling Holden will miss their daily routines as they shared so many years in their employment together. They shared the unconditional, very valued friendship of Liam Grace who never missed his weekly visit to their home every Thursday for the coffee and chat.
Marian Doyle - a remarkable woman who never did less than what it said on the tin. A genuine human being in every sense. May she rest in peace.
- BH

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