A requiem mass will be held at Holy Cross church, Tracyes Road, Harlow, Essex, CM18 6JJ on Thursday, May 30 next at 11am for the repose of the soul of Catherine (Kit) McNally who died at Clare Hospice in Harlow following a short battle with illness.
Wife of Longford native Mel McNally Catherine’s Funeral is expected to take place in Longford Town on Saturday, June 1 next.
The 82-year-old, from Ballymoneen, in Castleconnor, Co Sligo moved to England in 1952, where she trained as a nurse in Bethnal Green and later as a midwife in Lewisham. She went on to spend 35 years working as a Community Midwife in Harlow, Essex where she delivered hundreds of babies over the years - many of whom were home deliveries.
Known as Kit to friends and family, the popular midwife’s maiden name was Hegarty. Kit met Mel at a dance in The Blarney Club in London in 1959 and the couple were married the following year. The pair moved back to Ireland for a period in the early 1960s, where their first child Rita was born. Their second child Malcolm, a long-term Irish Post photographer alongside his father Mel, was born in Harlow in 1965 and it was there that the family finally settled after he was born.
When Kit’s mother died in 1970, she took her youngest sister Nuala - who had a learning disability - back to live with her in Harlow. Nuala died unexpectedly on April 21, last - just four weeks before her beloved sister passed away in the early hours of Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
Tributes have since flooded in for life-loving Kit. Holy Cross Catholic club in Harlow was the scene of many happy nights out with the large Irish community in Harlow, and later the Harlow Irish Club, where Mel was President. She was a well known face among the Irish community in Harlow and London, where she attended many functions with her husband. She was also a regular at the annual Ascot race meet, where she would enjoy Ladies Day as a guest of long-term friends Pat and Eileen Ruddy and was a strong supporter of the Longford London Association in the UK.
“She loved her family and many friends and believed in living life to the full, and enjoying every minute,” Kit’s daughter Rita said. “Mum’s passion was midwifery and she delivered hundreds of babies in Harlow over the years, so any trip to the supermarket was always slow, as so many people would stop to talk - ‘Mrs Mac’ was their midwife and they never forgot her.”
“Even at the end of her life, when she was being cared for magnificently at St Clare Hospice, three of the nurses remembered Kit as the midwife who delivered them at home. One of them had three boys who were all delivered by Kit.”
Kit McNally is survived by her husband Mel, her daughter Rita, son Malcolm, grandchildren Thomas, Sophia, Erin and Katie, son in law John, daughter in law Sarah, brother Joe, sister Bernie and her many nephews and nieces, relatives and friends. May she Rest in Peace.