DESCRIBED by family and friends as ‘a loving presence, a lovely lady’, the death of Philomena O’Rourke a former all-Ireland dancing winner, has been greeted with much sadness in the Derrylin area.
She was the mother of former Fermanagh and Monaghan manager Malachy.
Just a few months short of her 90th birthday, Philomena, of Grattan, Derrylin, was the youngest of a family of six of John and Mary Murray, Mount Prospect.
She received her early education at Derrybrick Primary School before moving on to Mount Lourdes Convent, Enniskillen.
It was in the county town too that she found her first employment, in the office of Flanagan Solicitors.
In 1956 she married Jim O’Rourke, a native of Roslea, then teaching in Drumanymore Primary School.
The couple settled first in Milltown, then moving to Mullyneeny following Jim’s appointment as principal of St Ninnidh’s Primary, raising a family of seven.
A daily Mass goer, she was also deeply devoted to Our Lady of Knock and the family Rosary.A very active member of the local community, she was involved with the Apostolic Society and was selected as one of the Parish’s first Eucharistic Ministers.
She had a great passion for Irish dancing, an All-Ireland medal winner and tutor of dancing classes in local halls.
In recent years, declining health saw her resident in Gnangara Nursing Home, and passed away in the SWAH last week.
Philomena O’Rourke is survived by sons, Martin, Donal, Malachy and Michael, daughters Mary, Colette and Deirdre, ten grandchildren and one greatgrandchild.
She was pre-deceased by her husband Jim in 1985.
Following Requiem Mass in St Ninnidh’s Church concelebrated by Fr Gerard Alwill and Fr Denis Murray the burial took place to the adjoining graveyard.
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