Tributes have been paid to a remarkable Donegal publican and staunch football supporter, Mrs Mary McAteer.
Mrs McAteer (née Mc Menamin) passed away peacefully on Monday in her beloved hometown of Rathmullan.
She ran the White Hart bar, a pub best known as the hub of Rathmullan Celtic. From there, Mary played a part in almost every aspect of the club – taking care of admin, kits, transport, and keeping the players well-fed. She was called to take up leading roles at various times, running the Summer Cups in Rathmullan and holding key positions in the Donegal League.
She was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Donegal League in 2017 and a lifetime contribution award by Rathmullan Celtic in 2007. In recent years she proudly adopted the title of the ‘First Lady of the Donegal League’.
Mary’s pride in her club and her hometown will be forever remembered, and her presence in the doorway of the White Hart will be dearly missed.
Paying tribute, Rathmullan Celtic said: “She was trailblazer in what was largely a man’s world at the time, but no one dared to mess with Mary.
“Away from football, Mary led a busy life raising her family with her late husband Gerry and playing an active role in so many facets of community life in Rathmullan. She loved her bingo and was an avid card player, fit to mix it with anyone. No doubt one of her great friends in football, John Joe, will have a seat at a game of 25 reserved for her now.
“Mary supported our club in everything we ever did, on and off the pitch. She took immense pride in the successes of Rathmullan teams and wasn’t shy in letting us know if standards were dropped either. Even in declining health of recent weeks, getting tickets for our 50/50 Draw was a priority to her.
“She was an iconic Rathmullan figure, her presence in the White Hart doorway as towering as the building behind her and it will not be the same without her.”
Alma Kavanagh, Principal of St. Joseph’s N.S said: “Mary supported every event as a proud past pupil of StJoseph’s N.S over the years and always had many great words of wisdom to spread onto the children and loved to see and hear their wee stories. We will miss Mary so much. Ní bheidh a léithéid arís ann. ”
Mrs McAteer is predeceased by her husband Gerard, son Frank and daughter Geraldine. Loving mother of Mary, Declan, Anne, Patricia, Liam, Eithne, Kevin and Kathleen. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing sons, daughters, brother Archdeacon Willie McMenamin, Raphoe, sisters Kathleen, Bríd, Anne and Sr. Patricia, sons-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, grandchildren, relatives and friends.
Funeral Details are as follows:
Requiem Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathmullan at 1.00pm on Thursday followed by interment in the adjacent cemetery. Due to the current COVID epidemic the wake is Strictly Private to family and close friends only. Messages of sympathy for the family may be left in the Condolence Section below.