Mrs KITTY MURPHY (née Flaherty) Ballygaddy Road, Tuam
THE death occurred in University Hospital Galway on February 28, 2012, of Kitty Murphy, late of Ballygaddy Road, Tuam. Kitty spent her entire lifetime in Tuam, and all but a few short years living on Ballygaddy Road. She was the daughter of Mary (née Kennedy) and Peter Flaherty from the Brownsgrove/Cortoon area who settled in Ballygaddy Road, following some years spent in New York, and subsequently in Manchester, England.
Kitty’s mother, Mary, was an accomplished dressmaker, an activity she was engaged in until her mid-80s, and her father, Peter, a US veteran of World War I, was later employed as a lorry driver for John Egan & Co, the mineral water bottlers and drink wholesalers. Kitty attended the Presentation Convent School, and was very proud of her long association with the school. There she met many of her lifelong friends. Kitty was blessed with a sharp intellect and an appetite for knowledge. Her numeracy and Irish language skills were regularly acknowledged through various awards. Kitty was truly a lifelong learner — and the spark that was lit in the Presentation and the lifelong interest in education lasted right throughout her life.
Kitty’s own formal education was sadly disrupted after the untimely death of her father. On leaving school she worked in the offices of John Egan & Co, and following the opening of Tuam Sugar Factory she occupied a number of roles there, including that of Personal Assistant to the General Manager. Kitty married Mattie Murphy from Church View, who was also employed by the Sugar Co.
Kitty and Mattie had seven children. Two predeceased them: their first born, Peter, in his 13th year, and an infant son, Martin-Paul. They enjoyed almost 50 years of marriage together. They shared much in common and maintained strong links with their relatives in the Tuam hinterland. There was much banter about politics and topical issues between them and they shared a love of all sports, especially the GAA.
Kitty was a devoted, selfless mother and an engaged and proud grandmother. Being the great communicator that she was, Kitty had her own special relationship with each of her seven grandchildren, and had a direct line to each of them. She shared many interests with them from fashion to sport to everything Irish: language, music, culture.
A woman of deep religious faith and devotion, her interests were many and varied. She had a special interest in current affairs and politics, and followed assiduously local, national and international news and was not sparing in her informed critical analysis. Her community and her neighbours were always close to the core. Kitty had an unparalleled interest and capability to trace family connections for people from Tuam and the hinterland. She had an unrivalled reservoir of local social history, this capability often called upon by local people and indeed by some living abroad seeking to trace their family lineage.
Kitty had a wide circle of friends and neighbours of all ages. She enjoyed many lifelong friendships, and in her passing, has joined many of these cherished friends. She had a strong identity in the extended family, in her peers, and in the town and surroundings. Invariably referred to as Kitty Flaherty by many of her peers and younger, she enjoyed retaining this identity.
While recent years brought much joy with the arrival of her grandchildren, sadness also visited with the passing of her lifelong partner, Mattie, in 2001 and her brother, Paul, in 2003. Ten years ago, Kitty was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, an illness she bore with great fortitude. Her last year was spent in the tender care of Brooklodge Nursing Home, Ballyglunin.
She is survived by five children: Marian (France), Una (Dublin and Galway), John (Dublin), Brian (Cummer) and Catherine (Headford); her seven grandchildren, Rónnad, Brian, Liam, Iarla, Tomás, Seán and Kate; her daughter-in-law Catherine, her sons-in-law Yann and Tom; her nieces and nephew, cousins, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, extended family, neighbours and friends. May she rest in peace.