There was huge sadness in Killybegs today for the funeral of devoted wife, mother and grandmother, Eileen Kennedy.
Mrs Kennedy (65), a well-known former postmistress, lost her life in a tragic accident earlier this week. She had just recently retired from her job in May alongside her husband, Frankie, who also served as a postman in the local area.
Eileen (née O’Callaghan) was out walking on the Donegal Road on Tuesday evening when she was struck by a van. Her death has sent shockwaves through the close-knit community who remember her as a lovely lady and a cherished friend.
Speaking to a packed St Mary of the Visitation Church, Parish Priest Colm O’Gallchoir said Eileen was a person of faith as well as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and a good neighbour and friend to many.
He said that, while she worked hard, she also enjoyed life. She was a ‘keen and competitive’ golfer and loved to travel the world with Frankie.
Eileen’s journey, Fr O’Gallchoir said, began in Killybegs. She was a boarder in the Convent in Ballyshannon and trained and worked as a nurse in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry before moving closer to home to work in Sligo hospital.
She later left the nursing profession in order to take over Cunningham’s shop from her father. Eileen then went on to become Postmistress in the same shop and, up until her retirement, at Anvil Court.
The huge attendance heard she was married in the same chapel in July 1980 and herself and Frankie were ‘blessed with three boys’.
“She was always there for the boys and encouraged them to pursue their own path in life,” Fr O’Gallchoir said.
However, he explained, Eileen had a close brush with death just six months before her marriage when she sustained serious injuries in a road traffic accident.
“The ambulance also crashed on the way to hospital. She had to learn to walk again, but made it up this aisle six months later.”
He said there was a deep sense of shock and disbelief on Tuesday when word filtered through of Eileen’s sudden death, just a few hundred yards from the chapel.
“But, our shock is nothing compared to that of her family. Eileen went for a walk and never came back.”
After the mass, her remains were taken to Lakelands Crematorium, Cavan, for cremation.
Eileen will be greatly missed by her loving husband Frankie, sons Colin, Ronan and Aidan, daughters in law Clare and Laura, grandchildren Róisín and Ciara, sister Mary, sisters in law, relatives and friends.
The Killybegs post office will remain closed this morning until 2pm as a mark of respect to Mrs Kennedy and her family.
Family flowers only please donations in lieu if desired to the Irish Heart Foundation.