The morning is clearing here in downtown Asdee after an awful lot of rain.
Richard O’Gorman, our local artist, called yesterday. He told us that Kathleen Coyne was born in Ballinakill, Lettermullen on the 12th of May 1923. That’s the part of the Conemara Gaeltacht that looks south into Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. After a short time working in Athenry and Dublin she went to England. Leaving an Irish Speaking place the only English she knew was yes and no and at times she wasn’t sure of these words she humoursly recalls. In England she met Timmy and came to live in Asdee in 1953. The happiest year of his mother’s life, according to Richard, was 1962. That’s the year Richard himself was born! Richard is now Kathleen’s full time carer.
So facts are facts!
Kathleen and Timmy had six children. Their daughter Mary died in 1980, Timmy died in 1984. Eight grandchildren have given birth to more great grandchildren than Richard and myself can count. But Kathleen can and she knows their date of birth. Last year she got a mobile phone for the first time. She now remembers everyone’s number by heart. I’m challenged to remember my own! Kathleen is a joy to visit and everyone feels in the better of visiting her.
Growing up around here we all felt recognised, affirmed and respected by Kathleen. She always had an inbuilt bull detector and could see through you yet its her kindness and great humour we always meet.
My brother Diarmuid is always close to Kathleen so meeting his grandson for the first time gave her great joy.