THE PASSING of the late Bridget (Bridie) Gaule, a truly remarkable lady who had only recently turned 100, is deeply mourned by her family and friends. Bridie, passed away on August 20 at her home in Slievecorragh, Tullogher surrounded by her loving family.
She was a remarkable woman. Only in June, Bridie delighted in the celebrations held for her 100th birthday, which included a Mass celebrated in her home – the one thing she wanted to mark her milestone birthday as her faith was extremely important to her. Bridie enjoyed every minute of that day, speaking to Sue Nunn of Kilkenny Radio that morning and enjoying her party later, which went on long into the night under her strict orders. It was a splendid occasion and she celebrated it with her close family, friends and neighbours.
Originally from Ballyfacey, Glenmore, Bridie’s parents passed away at a young age, leaving a young family behind. Bridie was the eldest and reared her nine siblings.
She married Luke Gaule of Slievecorragh in 1945 and they set up home there. She was a wonderful mother to her eight children and a familiar figure to all in local farming and other activities. In 1985 she moved to her new home in Slievecorragh and continued to have a hand in raising her grandchildren and then her great-grandchildren upon whom she doted. She believed they were the future and always maintained a great interest in their lives.
Her home was always an open one and she played a huge role in her family’s lives. Her family all fondly remember coming together on Sundays in Slievecorragh and she would spend the previous day baking brown bread and making tarts for her Sunday visitors. She brought everyone in the family close together.
Bridie worked hard all her life and was a keen gardener, a great cook and an avid bingo fan, being a regular in the Parish Hall in Rosbercon where she played two books at a time until her health failed her. She was a highly intelligent woman, had a great memory, and kept up to date with everything including current affairs and sport, and never left a crossword undone. Her style was also very important to her and she was an elegant and stylish lady who dressed beautifully everywhere she went.
Her late husband Luke was an outstanding Gaelic footballer with Tullogher in the 1930’s winning several county senior football championships with his native parish and that tradition was carried on by her sons, John (RIP), Paddy, and Dick in later years.
She had a great love of hurling, was very knowledgeable of the sport and seldom missed a match on television. She was a loyal follower of the Kilkenny hurlers and took great pride out of the fact that two of her nephews, Eddie and Willie O’Connor both captained Kilkenny All-Ireland winning teams in 1993 and 2000.
Despite living through so much of history - witnessing the Black and Tans, the War of Independence, the Irish Civil War and two World Wars , the electrification of rural Ireland, the vote for woman and the use of five currencies - Bridie very much embraced and adjusted to modern life.
Her remains were laid to rest in Mullinarrigle Cemetery, following her Funeral Mass in St David’s Church Mullinarrigle, which was celebrated by Fr. Liam Barron PP Mullinavat, Fr Anthony O’Connor from Glenmore and Fr. James Fagan from Wexford Town. The huge crowds who attended her Funeral underlined the love and respect Bridie was held in by all.
Sadly, Bridie was pre-deceased by her husband Luke in 1968 and their sons Luke and John. She will be sadly missed by her sons Paddy and Dick; daughters Alice, Mary, Bridget and Josie; brothers Bill and Peter; 21 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; daughters-in-law Mary and Kitty; sons-in-law Eamonn, Joe, Jimmy and Dick; sisters-in-law Alice, Aileen and Kathleen, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many friends.