Patricia (Trish) Murphy 1955 - 2012.
There was widespread sadness at the
sudden death on Friday 6th July, following a tragic accident
at her residence in Granby Row, of Patricia Murphy.
Formerly Patricia Marnell and a native
of Ballintaggort, Callan, Co. Kilkenny.
In 1980 she married John Murphy of
Thomastown and lived in the Royal Oak area for the next 32
years. Following her appointment to the staff of the Holy
Angels Day Care Centre, a centre for children with special
needs, where she became a indispensable and highly valued
member of staff, Patricia moved into an apartment in Carlow
town in order to be near her place of work.
Patricia attended Mohober National
School, Co. Tipperary, before attending St. Michael's
Boarding School in Clonmel.
Upon leaving school she trained as a
chef in one of Ireland's premier hotels, The Dunraven Arms,
Adare, Co. Limerick, and worked at catering for a number of
years before being appointed as manager of the Carmel Hotel
in Kilkenny, she resigned as manager in order to get married.
She later took up a position in St.
Joseph's Orphanage in Kilkenny before her career took on a
totally different direction when she managed a Turf
Accountant's office for Malcolm Skelly in John Street,
Kilkenny. Malcolm thought highly of her work and upon her
leaving his employment he closed the John Street office.
Patricia then worked in St. Lazerians
Nursing Home in Bagnelstown for a number of years.
Her final place of work and where she
was very happy and appreciated was at the Holy Angels and
where she attended work up to the day of her death.
In all the positions Patricia held she
was highly appreciated by all her employers and proved
herself to be caring, trustworthy and hard-working.
An avid reader, Patricia loved to
travel and along with her husband, John and family, among the
countries she visited were, Australia, Thailand, Turkey and
Spain, where she absorbed the culture and loved to mingle
with the people and roam through the marketplaces.
Patricia is mourned by her husband,
John, her daughters, Lorraine and Grace, her sisters, Mary,
Margaret and Rose, her brothers, Henry and Martin, her uncle
Paddy, nephews and nieces and a large circle of friends.
Burial took place in Wells Cemetery
following Requiem Mass in Leighlinbridge, celebrated by
Father Tom Lawlor. In a moving ceremony hymns were sung by
Clare Cully and Helen Mooney.
Staff from the Holy Angels provided a
Guard of Honour at the church and the cemetery, many former
staff from years past, some of whom travelled long distances,
came to pay their respects.
The following eulogy was delivered by
Michael Purcell during her funeral Mass:-
Thanks to Patricia's family for asking
me to say a few words today in memory of Trish.
First of all I need to say that there
are some people, whom Trish meant a lot to, they are unable
to be with us today.
Nurse Geraldine Connell, the Manager
of the Holy Angels Day Care Centre along with four other
members of staff are out of the country. They left before we
received the news that Trish had died.
They were stunned and greatly saddened
by the news and have asked me to pass on their sincere
heartfelt sympathy to her husband, John, and her daughters,
Lorraine and Grace and all of Trish's family and friends.
I am sure that If Trish could speak
right now, she would tell me to "get down outa that and don't
be making a right Ejit of yourself"
Well, Ejit or not,
I will try summarise what Trish meant
to us at Holy Angels and the immense loss she will be to us
Words are inadequate to capture the
essence of Trish's personality, the basic goodness of her
life or to express all that Trish was to us, and the sense of
loss and sadness we now feel.
Trish came to us at Holy Angels some
years ago, and she immediately fell in love with the place
and its mission in our society.
In a short time she proved herself to
be indispensable and had us wondering how did we ever manage
From then on she took care of all the
staff, and she always enjoyed interacting with the children
and the parents and kept the place in tip-top shape.
Her role in making sure everything ran
smoothly will long be cherished by all who were the
recipients of her kindness and professionalism. - I know she
would not like me using the term "professionalism".
But that's what she was, a
professional carer of people and a professional at her job.
Every thing in its place and every
person cared for. She acted like a mother to all.
Both Trish and us - we were lucky -
because we very often expressed direct to her how much we
appreciated all she done for us.
In that regard we have no regrets, for
she knew how much we valued and loved her, despite the fact
that she disliked praise or recognition or never liked to be
the centre of attention, we told her, time and time again,
how much we treasured her.
of Clichés come to mind to describe Trish, such as;
"A Trojan Worker", (in fact we
wondered in amazement from where she sourced her energy!)
Heart of Gold" (and there the wonder grew as to how such a
fragile frame could hold such a big heart.)
Clichés come to mind such as; "Good Natured", "One in a
But Trish was all those clichés
combined. Yes, that and more.
Yesterday I heard one of the girl’s
remark how Trish could make something out of very little.
She was talking not about issues but
about provisions, for Trish could produce a fine meal at
short notice for unexpected visitors, a visiting doctor and a
team of clinics or a parent’s morning, as well as constantly
producing special treats for the children at Holy Angels.
But with issues too, she could make
something out of very little, as I often found out to my
cost, when in a forceful manner she could put forward a
challenge and I have to say more often than not, she was
usually proved right in the end.
Among her first words nearly every
morning to myself, Phil and Ger were, "what's that doing
there"? "who moved this" ?, "why isn't that done"? as she
proceeded to put everything in order for the day ahead.
Centre did not come to life until Trish was there at the
heart of it and every morning we listened for her welcome
step in the hall, which was usually proceeded by a fit of
coughing as she approached the front gate.
It would be remiss of me not to
mention Veronica and what she meant to Trish in the past
year. You lightened her load and lifted her spirits, for that
on behalf of Trish, I thank you.
Trish had her favourites but if I was
to mention who her favourites were, we would be here all day.
In fact all of us were her favourites.
She possessed a twinkling sense of fun
and a mischievous wit, the stories are numerous and all who
knew her will have their own recollections of the antics she
got up to, tinged with the sadness of her sudden and tragic
A reminder that we are so lightly
here, but enhanced by the very many fond memories that remain
Memories of Trish that will in the
days ahead help us cope with the loss of a very special
friend and a very much esteemed colleague.
The past week was one of her happiest
at Holy Angels as she took part in all the Summer Camp
rarely missed a day at work, so on Friday last when she
failed to turn up to bid goodbye to the children and staff
before the summer holidays, we guessed there was something
Because of the circumstances of
Trish's death I thought in the past few days of the words
"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot
forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own
despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful
grace of God". and so it comes to pass.
Your works' all done now Trish, you're
leaving early, and this time I'm not looking at my watch.
It's time to go home. M.P.
Source: Michael Purcell July 2012
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