I attended a funeral last Friday in Caherdaniel, a small village on the Ring of Kerry. The burial afterwards was in the graveyard on Abbey Island overlooking the famous and beautiful Derrynane beach. We followed the coffin at low tide across the beach to the island where the waves from the Atlantic Ocean were breaking loudly over the rocks below. After the burial ceremony my daughter Nora remarked to us sadly “but what a beautiful place for Ita to end her days”!
The lady who died was Ita Corridan and in all my life I don’t think I ever saw so many people pay their respects and attend the funeral mass and burial. During the mass everybody was in tears because there was an incredible atmosphere in the church a feeling almost electric when two of our basic human emotions of love and sadness, combine. Naturally there was also a bit of humour thrown in as Ita was a lady full of fun.
It was all so sudden for her family as she had attended the all-Ireland football final in September when she happily witnessed another great win for Kerry and yet here we were less than 2 months later attending her funeral. Cancer can be brutally swift sometimes as she was really only a young women.
Ita was the life and the soul of the village. She was one of the main organisers of the local market held on Friday mornings in the community centre. She ran the tea-rooms in Daniel O Connell’s House and was one of the main movers in the excellent annual magazine that ended up all over the world wherever people from Caherdaniel emigrated to.
Ita made an incredible difference to the village and the village people. She was in many ways the hub of industry and gave needed employment to many. But more importantly she gave all who worked with her good work practices and showed them that you can have great fun while working hard.
Similarly for holiday makers like us she gave us a welcome and a smile and always had an interest in what was happening in our lives. When we had a cup of tea in her restaurant we left afterwards with a smile and a spring in our step. Rossa my son-in –law had a cup of coffee and a scone there earlier this year and was so delighted with the experience he put in up on Facebook. Ita was proud as punch.
Yes every one of us can make a difference and be a positive influence in the world we live in and in the people we meet. Let’s do the best we can with every day we have.
Thanks Ita for giving us such a good example as to how we should live our lives. Gone maybe from this life but never forgotten.
Ted Dwyer Family Business