The untimely death of Patricia McTigue (nee Flannery), Ballindine, Co. Mayo and formely of Creeraun, Gurteen took place peacefully with her family at her bedside last week after braving with true and solemn dignity a year long illness. Her funeral took place last weekend and the large crowd who attended on both days spoke volumes of Patricia’s popularity as a teacher, colleague, leader, beautiful singer, musician, community activist whom so many knew so well and whose lives she touched in so many ways through her voice, her music, her teaching career and her leadership role as Principal of Balla Secondary School, Co. Mayo. Her requiem mass was celebrated by chief celebrant Fr. Martin O’Connor, PP, Ballindine and co-celebrated by Fr. Kearney, Balla, Co. Mayo & Fr. Sweeney, Gurteen/Ballymacward, who were amongst 6 other priests. Fr. O’Connor gave a moving homily on Patricia’s simple but yet so fulfilling life lived since settling down in Ballindine 15 years ago.
Fr. O’Connor spoke of her invincible love, hope and bravery as she bore her illness with powerful strength and determination taking life day by day. He spoke of her passion for education, for the Irish language and this was shown by many of the prayers of the faithful recited ás gaeilge. He spoke of her founding of the Ballindine church folk choir who sang at her funeral liturgy so heavenly and commented on her leadership of this choir during her time in Ballindine. He would always remember her expressing and infectious friendly smile and laugh. He spoke of her true love of her beloved husband Brían and her 4 beautiful boys, Brían Óg, Fionn, Ódhran and Iarlaith who brought gifts symbolic of her life to the altar and asked all present to ensure Patricia was always held firmly in their hearts.
Deputy Principal of Balla Secondary school Ms. Walsh spoke of Patricia’s enhancement of school liturgies through her musical leadership, of her passion to teach, of the revolution in the school where she taught in her short while as Principal prior to the onset of her illness. In his eulogy, her brother Michael gave a moving humorous tribute of her life from a child to her passing; he spoke of her bog days, half hour max was her best effort and how she often cradled her younger siblings to sleep. He spoke of the many great family nights in Burke’s, Colemanstown and her big contribution to life as she was totally enamoured by family & parenting which always came first followed by her passion for teaching, church, music, singing and her deep involvement and activity in community affairs.
Her requiem mass was a beautiful tribute and a wonderful celebration of her life, a life lived to the full as her sister Annette gave an engaging rendition of Ar Nathair helped by almost the entire congregation while her sister Mary sang ‘From a Distance’ as a lovely Communion Reflection. Her son Fionn sang the Responsorial Psalm showing profoundly where his singing genes come from and received a rapturous round of applause such was the beauty of his voice.
Patricia was always an avid follower of local community affairs in her home environment, returning home to support any local events. She had participated in our 10k run in the past and was always keen to hear of all local happenings.
These few lines can’t even remotely encapsulate the magnitude of Patricia nor even adequately sum her up. We ask The Lord to be with her husband Brían, her sons, Brían Óg, Fionn, Ódhran and Iarlaith and the extended McTigue and Flannery families as they face life ahead. May Patricia’s gentle soul rest in peace in a happier place.