On the morning of August 13th, news spread of the tragic and untimely death of Mrs Rita Nannery. As the sunshine made an overdue appearance and spread across the land that morning, great shock and disbelief descended upon the village of Kilcogy, the community of Mullahoran and surrounding areas in all directions. People paused and were greatly saddened to hear this most unwelcome of reports.
Preparations were in full swing that morning for the beginning of the Fleadh and the unveiling of a memorial to the musician Sean Maguire in Kilcogy village. In characteristic fashion, Rita was at the heart of these preparations. It was during the course of the frenetic and exciting final arrangements that the tragic accident occurred.
Rita seemed to have an inexhaustible font of energy. She channelled this tirelessness not only into her loving family, but also into an array of community organisations. She was greatly involved in the Kilcogy Development Association and the Apostolic Society. Her efforts were indispensable in making a success of the annual sale of work and the traditional Irish music concert. Rita was a lifelong and active member of the PTAA serving as secretary for a number of years.
As a key member of the Mullahoran Pastoral Council, Rita played a crucial role in the tasteful refurbishment of Mullahoran Church. Her great love and skill with flowers was wonderfully utilised in her active involvement in the altar society. The community garden and rural transport scheme were also blessed with her contributions.
A mother of eight, Rita spent time on the Board of Management of Cnoc Mhuire school in Granard, where her own children attended secondary school. This school was also Rita’s Alma Mater.
Rita’s family are immersed in the farming industry. With Rita at the helm of the management and accounts of the family business, the ship of hard work and enterprise always took a safe and steady path. Indeed it was her family that was her reason for being, her divine purpose and the love of her heart. Family occasions were always a source of huge excitement and pleasure for Rita, she loved nothing better at a function than to take the floor with Tommy and on occasion they were relied on to get the dancing started.
Rita’s smiling grace gave comfort to all. Her eyes were earnest and true and held a little twinkle of humour and generosity of spirit that disarmed you and made you feel at home. Rita had a great, simple outlook on life and would have understood that all beauty must eventually pass. But sometimes it passes too early, too soon.
“Until we see your beautiful face again, in that land where there is no more separation”, may you rest in peace Rita. You will be greatly missed. KD