Tributes to much loved Derrylin publican Frances

TRIBUTES have been paid to Derrylin nonagenarian, Frances Martin, who passed away last week.
Known for her innate kindness and generosity, shown in her willingness to stand free drinks for her pub customers, Fr Gerard Alwill described Frances as “generous to a fault” in his funeral homily.
Born in Derrylin in May 1930, youngest of eight children of William and Elizabeth Blake, she attended the local primary school.
On leaving, she cycled daily, “in hail, rain or sunshine” to Ballyconnell to complete an apprenticeship in dress making.
She readily recalled the difficulty of travelling through the ‘Big Snow’ of 1947, getting stuck on one occasion, having to be rescued by her mother.
By the time she was 20, she had set up own business and had also met John Martin from Corraveigha, first at Knockninny Quay.
They were married in June 1954, settling in Derrylin and raising a family of four, Frances having a particular talent for baking and cooking.
The family made a number of moves, first to Enniskillen, then in the 1970’s to Ballaghaderreen in Roscommon, to take on the business of running a pub, ‘The Fiddler’s Elbow’ which is still operating.
Frances really enjoyed the business, putting her cooking skills to good use, before returning to Derrylin in the mid ‘80’s residing at Coragh.
Faith was a very important aspects of Frances’s life and she made numerous pilgrimages to Lough Derg, Knock, Lourdes, and having great devotion to Padre Pio, one of the greatest regrets of her life was that she never managed to visit his Italian shrine.
Over the years she cared for siblings Tommy, Joe and Julia, “it was her faith which inspired her kindness and goodness to them and enabled her to cope”.
So too, when she lost John “her lifelong partner” in February 2020.
Fr. Alwill said; “She had lots of good friends, many of whom often sought her help and comfort”.
Frances is survived by sons Sean (Kathleeen) and Dermot (Evelyn), daughters (Majella (Jim) and Elizabeth (Gerry)
Last in line of a long established and highly respected family, she was predeceased by sisters, Agnes (Small), May (Adams), Margaret (Campling), Julia (Rooney), brothers Tommy, Denis and Joe.
Following Requiem Mass in St. Ninnidh’s Church, burial took place in the adjoining cemetery.

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