Tributes to Limerick fire victim Mary O’Brien

Colm Ward


Colm Ward

The late Mary O'Brien
A deeply spiritual woman who devoted her life to caring for others and cherished her family and friends.

A deeply spiritual woman who devoted her life to caring for others and cherished her family and friends.

This was the picture that emerged of Mary O’Brien at her funeral in Patrickswell church this week.

Ms O’Brien, a native of Lurriga, Patrickswell, died in a house fire at her home in O’Curry Place in Limerick 
city last Friday. She was 89.

Speaking at her funeral mass in The Church of The Blessed Virgin, parish priest Fr Michael Cussen said that Mary’s spirituality was “something that was very traditional and very real to her”.

“Her daily Mass was very important; she prayed the Rosary often and the Stations of the Cross,” Fr Cussen told the large congregation.

Born in 1925, Mary attended school in Lurriga and Adare.

Fr Cussen spoke of how, as a young girl, Mary would help her father as he did the rounds of the area in his delivery van. On her father’s death at the age of 45, Mary’s mother and her siblings carried on his work.

“She was a very caring person because in her late 20s she went to England and she took up nursing for some years. But when her mother got ill, she came home to care for her and she continued to care for people up to the time of her retirement from the HSE,” Fr Cussen said of Mary.

For many years, she travelled to and from Limerick for work on her bicycle and, in the early 90s, she bought the house on O’Curry Street where, according to Fr Cussen, “she settled very well”.

“She had wonderful neighbours who called to the door on a regular basis. She loved that she was near all the amenities and in particular the church. She went to mass every morning to the Jesuits and afterwards she went to St Josephs.”

He added: “Her family, friends and neighbours meant everything to her and in the latter months, her phone became her best friend; she used to spend many hours chatting to all her friends and family.”

Following the funeral, burial took place in Clounanna cemetery.

Mary is survived by her nephews, nieces, extended family and many friends.