|Kate Irwin RIP|
|Written by Naomh Olafs|
KATE IRWIN RIP
It is with deep sadness that we carry the news of Kate Irwin’s unexpected death on 3rd May. Kate was a founding member of Three Rock Panorama. She worked consistently for 37 years in many and varied roles with the magazine. In the early years she was one of a small crew of hard-working typists. She has always been the main distributor of the magazine in the environs of Balally, along with organising ‘Panorama by post’ to locations around
Bairbre de Búrca
Fr. Paddy Lyons, a former curate in Balally parish, and now a Benedictine monk in Glenstal Abbey, flew in from Cambridge where he is studying at present, to attend Kate’s funeral. On his return to
ON THE DEATH OF KATE IRWIN
One evening in April 1980, when I was new to Balally Parish, I drove into the grounds of St Olaf’s N. S. for a First Holy Communion preparatory meeting and parked my old Audi 100 beside one of the same model and year just then also pulling in. The two drivers eyed the cars and each other and said hello and the bond thus established was immediately put on firmer foundations by the mention of Co. Mayo. The relationship between Dermot and Kate and myself has lasted through the years, no. 6 focusing for me the steadiness and solidarity of the Close, while I was on the move and more than once had what T.S. Eliot described as the sense of arriving where I started and of knowing the place for the first time.
Coming to the Church for Kate’s funeral reminded me of what I used to say in those early days about changes that would surely come in our fledgling parish. Families that were then all about growth and movement would in due course find in our new Church, with its symmetrical emphasis on stillness, a place for quiet prayer and remembrance. There would inevitably be the sadness of letting go of loved ones, but with cherished memories there would be gratitude and peace. So it has become for many who were young then and are still young at heart. Now we have added Kate to the list of those to be remembered in a Church to which she contributed so much over the years.
The night before the funeral I was at a formal event in Cambridge where the first toast was to the Queen, so when early next morning I arrived at the house I felt I could say I was in some way bringing a return salute from her. Dermot was unflappable as always at this vicariously royal visitation and Kate, we both felt, would have regarded it as quite appropriate. Kate loved the Royals and she was surely entitled to. While so well integrated into our rurally influenced Dublin parish, she retained her English accent and poise and showed a queenly care for all, especially the little ones – the famous 83 with the landmark events in their lives, the birthdays, the marriages, the achievements, the crises - all was remembered and recorded. So we can be sure that the Queen of Heaven took special care to arrange for the event of her reception at the court of her Royal Son.
Dermot, who attended on Kate so nobly to the end, had shown equal care for us who foolhardily in days long gone chose bicycles to demonstrate our pilgrim spirit. Rocklike then in his support, ingenious in never-ending repairs, unfailing solver of problems, Dermot now has to bring all his great qualities to the continuation of his own pilgrimage. There will be mountains to climb and dark valleys perhaps to negotiate, but support I’m sure not only from Helen, Rob and Liz with their families, but also from all of us who got so much from him.
I rejoiced when I heard them say, Let us go to God’s House. (Ps 121) Our sights are set on the heavenly Jerusalem where there will be re-union with those we loved and no more sorrow, but peace and lasting joy.
(P. Lyons CC, Balally 1980-86)