A WAVE of sadness spread across Fermanagh and South Donegal last week after the heartbreaking news that a popular and well-respected Belleek woman had lost her brave battle with cancer.
Tanya Dunne (née O’Shea) passed away last Wednesday at Sligo University Hospital.
Aged just 42 years old, Tanya’s funeral service took place in Bundoran last Friday, which would have been her fifth wedding anniversary.
Mass celebrant Fr Anthony O’Shea, Tanya’s second cousin who also celebrated her wedding ceremony, described Tanya in his homily as an “exceptional and inspirational woman”, one who “did all she could do in this life”.
Tanya had been courageously battling colorectal (bowel) cancer since September 2020 and had undergone intensive, pioneering treatment at the Hope for Cancer Centre in Mexico last year after being told that chemotherapy was no longer working.
A massive fundraising campaign had been underway to fund further treatment in Mexico, with phenomenal support from the Belleek, Bundoran, Kinlough, and Ballyshannon communities in particular, as well as many others in Fermanagh.
Individuals and groups, including GAA clubs, had organised fundraising events to help give Tanya every chance at overcoming the disease.
She will be greatly missed in her native Belleek where she played football for Erne Gaels.
“Tanya was a wonderful woman, beautiful inside and out. She fought such a great fight,” an Erne Gaels clubmate said.
“Even though we knew it was coming, her death was still a terrible shock. Condolences to her family at this very sad time.”
Tanya had been living in Bundoran and was the popular manager of Saimer Childcare Group Pre-school in Ballyshannon.
“Today we lost our shining light. We are all completely devastated and heartbroken beyond words. Tanya will be forever in our hearts,” Saimer Childcare Group said on their Facebook page.
Known throughout local GAA circles, as well as Erne Gaels, Tanya played football for Bundoran and Aodh Ruadh in Ballyshannon.
A posting on behalf of the Bundoran GAA Ladies club said: “Today we lost one of the best – Tanya Dunne. Tanya played for the club’s senior team, coached U12, U13 and U14 and Tanya also served time as Club Secretary.
“Tanya gave so much of her time and knowledge to our club and she will be sorely missed. May we express our sincere sympathy to her husband Rory and the O’Shea and Dunne families. May Tanya’s kind and gentle soul rest in eternal peace.”
An Aodh Ruadh club statement said: “The depth of fondness and affection she was held in was reflected in the huge up-welling of support as she battled illness, a battle she fought with the resolution, determination and fortitude which typified her in every facet of her tragically short life.”
Tanya’s service took place last Friday at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Bundoran, followed by interment at Saint Ninnidh’s Cemetery.
Much loved wife of Rory, Tanya was the adored daughter of Bernie and the late Martin, cherished sister of Barry (Tanya), Jacinta (Ronan), Mark (Julie), Martin (Tracey), loving auntie to Mya, Eva, Alex, Ben, Oscor, Ollie, Pippa, Ayda, Gia, Ruby, Riley, cousins, aunts, uncles, extended Dunne and O’Shea families and all her dear friends.
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