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Margaret (Babby) Sweeney RIP

The death has taken place of Margaret Sweeney, Townahoney.

Margaret, better known to many as Babby,
died in Sligo General Hospital,
in the early hours of Thursday, July 4, aged 86.

Margaret (Babby) was born in1927,
the eldest of the five children of Jimmy and Alice Horan, Knockacullion.

Her mother Alice died when Babby was only 11 years of age.
As the oldest member of the family,
Babby then took on the mantle of mother as well as sister,
helping to rear her younger sisters and her brother.

In the 1947 she married Michael Sweeney and settled in Altavra.
There she set about the task of building a home for her husband Michael
and for their three children, Micheál, Maureen and Jimmy.

Sadly, in 1959, she had to come to terms with the untimely death of her husband Michael.
After only 12 years of married life she was left a widow
with three young children, aged from 11 to 3 years of age.
In the Ireland of that time this cannot have been an easy task.
But Babby set about this task with a determination and a strength of character
that were to be the hallmarks of her life.

She worked hard on the farm,
whether it be looking after the cattle or making the hay or saving the turf.
And, of course, she did all the baking and cooking for herself and her three children.
She made sure they lacked for nothing.

Throughout all these years she never once complained.
In her own quiet and gentle way she simply got on with life,
got on with the work and got on with the task of building and keeping a home for her family.
She always extended a hearty welcome to all who called at her house
and she was always available and ready to help any of her neighbours
whenever they may have been going through difficult times.

She had a great interest in the cattle, and a great love for flowers,
for the games of
Twenty-Five, and of course, for the Irish music.
She followed in the Horan musical tradition
and was a dab hand at playing the accordion.

Over her whole life Babby hardly ever moved away from her own home locality.
She spent all of her life in the neighbouring townlands of Knockacullion, Altavra and Townahoney.
And yet, uniquely, she is one of the very few who people of this area
to have ever taken a journey by helicopter.
This was when she, in recent months, was transferred to Galway Hospital.

Babby’s strong faith was an important and powerful force in her life.
The Rosary and the Sunday Mass were at the heart of her spiritual life and,
no doubt, her faith was a great support to her at the more difficult times in her life.

While she had to deal with serious health issue for the last 9 years,
Babby spent many months in hospital after breaking her hip about 18 months ago.
After that, she was never quite herself again.
And still, she did not complain.
She got on with life as best she could.

But her recent illnesses proved too much for her
and she died in the early hours of Thursday morning, July 4.

Large crowds attended her removal to Creevelea Church
on Friday evening, July 5.

The Funeral Mass was on Saturday morning,
celebrated by Fr Gerard Alwill PP
and concelebrated by Fr Cathal Faughnan, PP of Keadew/Arigna.

Following the Mass
Margaret was laid to rest in Drumkeeran Cemetery.