The recent death of Marianne Ahern, Glenseskin, Kilworth on Thursday last (Oct 26), though not unexpected, was nevertheless received with great sadness in the general Avondhu area.
The large crowds in attendance at her reposal, removal and funeral Mass was evidence of the high esteem in which Marianne (nee McCarthy) and her family are held in the community.
Marianne was born in August 1956 to John McCarthy (Kildorerry) and Mary O’Mahony (Mitchelstown) and was the first of 7 children to be reared in Glenahulla, Mitchelstown. While it would be acknowledged that back then, the family may have had very little financially, a schoolteacher friend of Marianne’s recalled last weekend, ‘The McCarthy’s had ‘great brains but no land’ – a comment that rings true, evidenced by the work ethic and determination of Marianne and her siblings.
Marianne attended Glenahulla National School, spent two years in the Presentation Convent, Mitchelstown and the completed her education in ‘the Tech’, also in Mitchelstown.
Marianne met Joe Aherne in Fermoy, ironically enough in a pub called Captain Joe’s in 1975 and it was there the love story began. Four years later the two married in Killacluig church near Mitchelstown. James was born in 1979, Joe Jnr in 1982, Justin in 1986 and Kate in 1997.
Marianne joined the Civil Service in 1976. Her first appointments were in the Department of Health in the Custom House and Hawkins House, Dublin. Prior to her marriage in 1979, she received a transfer to Glanmire Garda Station where she spent 14 years as a clerical officer.
Marianne transferred to Mitchelstown Garda station in 1993 where she spent 2 years before being transferred to Fermoy where she was clerical assistant to the Chief Superintendent.
Some of her former work colleagues recounted her typing and administration skills as the best they had seen and that her ability to complete a job and multitask was something to behold.
Marian was promoted to Finance Officer and went to Midelton in January 2005 before returning to Fermoy a couple of years later from where she retired as Finance Officer in 2009.
Marianne always believed in ‘bettering’ herself and her family. Joe and Marian bought their first home in Marian Square, Fermoy in 1980 having started married life in a mobile home in Glenhulla in 1979.
They spent 8 years in Fermoy – Marian in Glanmire and Joe in the Army, saving for their next ‘move’. In 1988 they purchased a site in Glenseskin, Kilworth where they built their second home and lived happily there for 14 years.
During this time Marianne immersed herself in the community and held the position of secretary in the Community Council for a time. Marianne also ran for Countess of Kilworth, representing the Community Council in 1993 – this at a time when competition for the position was ‘serious’ to say the least. People closest to her now realise that, come hell or high-water, when her mind was set on something, that was that.
Marianne was very proud of this honour in Kilworth and spoke of this achievement regularly. She was describes this weekend on several occasions, as a great confidante who was greatly trusted by all family and friends who confided in in her. She was one who could always offer the best advice.
Marianne’s social personality is known only too well by her family, work colleagues and friends. She loved to sing, she loved to play the accordian and would start a singsong at the drop of a hat. Some of her well knows pieces include ‘Blanket on the Ground’, ‘Me and Bobby McGee’, ‘In The Ghetto’ and her father’s and her own beloved ‘Darby’s Castle’.
Marianne and her brothers and sisters had a great favourite called The Bicycle – a great sing along song which she was called upon many times to sing. The sing-song on the day of Mar’s funeral had these and many more of her favourites in what was nothing short of a mighty craic, just the way she’d have wanted it.
In 2002 Marianne saw a period house in Fermoy for sale and her love for antiques and a challenge, saw them purchase No 1, Forglen Terrace, Fermoy. This chapter saw 6 great years of restoring furniture (herself) and attending auctions countrywide. With Marianne and Joe having a site in Kilworth next to their former house in Glenseskin, they decided to sell up Forglen when the time was right and move ‘back home’ to where the heart was.
Marianne would live the rest of her days in Kilworth surrounded by friends and family. However she wasn’t quite finished with her ‘little projects’ yet and subsequently, bought McCarthy’s pub in the village which she and Joe renovated as a public house and living quarters.
In fact, Marianne’s work is still being carried out upstairs at Aherne’s Pub, as all her requests of decor and choice of furniture are being supervised by her right hand man and husband, Joe.
Marianne’s death came after three years of illness and has left a massive sense of loss in the community and of course with her family. Marianne has definitely left her footprint in Kilworth and the attendance at her funeral really showed the high regard in which she was held.
Her woven coffin, carried by six women down Pound Lane, showed that Marianne wasn’t one to conform to the norm but to pave her own way and execute her own successes. She has left her family very proud for what she has achieved and they will of course, endeavour to continue her great work and legacy.
Marianne will be greatly missed by her husband Joe, sons James, Joe Jnr, Justin and daughter Kate; her brothers Tom and Jerry, sisters Maby (Margaret), Siobhán, Tessa and Helen, extended family, relatives and friends to whom we extend our sincere sympathy.
Marianne’s Months Mind Mass will take place at 7.30pm on Friday, November 24 in Saint Martin’s Church, Kilworth.
Ar dheis Dé a raibh a hanam dilís.