Sadness as Imelda ‘slips home’ during family prayer

“As providence would have it, it was during one of those worldwide Rosaries that Imelda slipped home”
With this beautifully unique image, Mass celebrant, Fr. Brian D’Arcy, described how Imelda Maguire had passed away while her family, linked by zoom with her sisters in Australia and USA, prayed the Rosary by her hospital bedside.
He also feelingly related her passing to the annual Graan Novena of Hope, telling the Teemore funeral congregation;
“The Novena starts tonight and Imelda won’t be at it in the sure way she always was, but she will be there no doubt, of that you can be absolutely certain”.
It was at the very first Novena, in 1990, that he first met Imelda, recalling;
“She was there early, right in the front row”.
He went on to say that she had been an ever-present at subsequent Novena’s and on the occasion of their last chat, only a fortnight previous, she had, as always, been planning to help people come to the Novena.
Remarkably, the only visible reaction she displayed in her final days came when her son Damien was reading a ‘Herald’ piece on the Novena.
One of the family of ten of Tommy and Bridget Fitzpatrick of Reilly Wood, Imelda, who resided at Derrylin’s Fortlea estate, was a very well-known and respected personality in the local area.
It was while cleaning up a holy well during a walk in Reilly Wood that she took suddenly ill but, luckily, as Fr. D’Arcy related, a family member on phoning her, realised that something was wrong;
“Thanks be to God that phone call happened, it meant that Imelda wasn’t found in the Wood and all the heartache that would have caused, everything was done that could be done”.
Sadly, despite the best of medical and family care, she passed away in SWAH on 3rd March.
Imelda suffered three devastating blows in her life, her nine year old son, Philip, being tragically killed when struck by a car while crossing over to St. Ninnidh’s PS in April 1993.
Her husband, Pete, died in September 2008 and she had earlier lost her brother, Patrick, victim of a fatal motor cycle accident.
Actively involved in community affairs, she helped establish Kindertee Playgroup and Derrylin/Knockninny Ladies club, the latter in a tribute recording;
“Imelda was great Derrylin/Knockninny Ladies delegate who was influential in their formation back in the noughties. Imelda, who was real lady, helped us out on many an occasion in Derrylin on match day”.
Most notably, she was an enthusiastic member of Lough Erne Heritage, a model of a traditional cot appropriately among the altar symbols, “carrying on the work of her father”.
Imelda is survived by her son Damian (Mary Rose), daughters Martina (Shay), Carla (James) and Shauna (George), sisters Maureen (Athanasopolous), Eileen (Treacy), Margaret (Collins), Patricia (Gilroy), Philomena (Henriksson), brothers Gabriel, Martin and Anthony, grandchildren Dylan, Ellie, Sarah and Daniel.
She was predeceased by her parents Tommy and Bridget, husband Pete, son Philip and brother Patrick.
Following Requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Teemore, burial took place in Derrylin Cemetery where a Guard of Honour, comprising young players, coaches and parents, was formed by the O’Connell’s GAA club, for which Damien is Development Officer.

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