Newtowncashel bid a fond farewell to a much loved resident recently with the passing of Margaret (Peggy) Bermingham. Aged 84, Peggy passed away peacefully at Costelloe’s nursing home, surrounded by her devoted family.
Huge numbers of people called to the home of her daughter Patricia Merrigan, to pay their final respects to a quiet and inoffensive woman who had touched the hearts of so many neighbours and friends down through the years. Her death was all the more poignant as only 48 hours earlier the community laid to rest her cousin and good friend, Kathleen McCormack (nee Brennan) of Cleraune, Newtowncashel, who was in her 93rd year.
Peggy spent most of life in Newtowncashel but her earliest days were in Drumlish and she moved to Derrynagran and the south of the county when she was eight years old with her parents, brother and sister. Pre-deceased by her brother, Tom, and sister, Mary Bridget, Peggy was the last of that generation of Kennys from Derrynagran.
As proud as she was of Newtowncashel and its people, she never forgot those early days in Drumlish. A great woman for music, her north Longford loyalties best manifested themselves when Declan Nerney, Mick Flavin or any of the north Longford singers came on the radio. She duly turned the dial up.
Peggy married local man, Jimmy Bermingham in 1957 and they made a wonderful home for themselves in Newtownflanagan. Like the rest of that era, they were a hardworking, God fearing couple, who put family and community first.
In addition to the farm Peggy also helped to run her husband’s aunt’s shop at Newtownflanagan. She was an exceptionally hard worker but never complained and balanced a busy working day with raising their three children, Seamus, Liam and Patricia. Husband Jimmy was a great gardener and grew virtually everything that the family ate and was more than happy to share the fruits of his labour with neighbours and friends. Peggy shared his passion for nature and the great outdoors and was happiest with the coming of spring and the promise of summer.
The death of her husband, Jimmy, in 1996, was a terrible blow but she duly accepted it as God’s will. A powerful sense of faith underpinned Peggy’s life and she was a great believer in prayer. For as long as she was able she was a regular mass-goer in Newtowncashel and always held a special affection for the beautiful parish church high on the hill.
She was a life long member of the Pioneers and for a woman that never drank she was the best of company. The Bermingham house was always a great rambling house and whether it was home made boxty or fresh apple tart, nobody ever went without second helpings. The kettle was always on the boil and whilst not a drinker herself, Peggy was all too willing and generous with the spirit measures as well.
Peggy was happiest when surrounded by family and with the death of husband, Jimmy; her band of grandchildren - Mark, Aoife, Jamie, David, Donna, Tony, Linda and Shane become the full focus of her affection. She delighted in their stories and childhood adventures and was a wonderful grandmother who nurtured in them the values that underpinned her own outlook on life. She was all too eager to welcome the next generation then in recent years with the welcome arrival of her great-grandchildren Logan, Alyssa, Caoimhe and Clodagh. She was no doubt a very proud woman as several of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren played a key role in her Funeral Mass.
With the onset of dementia, Peggy went to Costelloe’s nursing home six years ago and it was a home from home for her. Her family were never far away and she had a constant stream of visitors. She kept herself busy there and a keen bingo player, she was even known to call the numbers on a few occasions.
The passing of Peggy Bermingham leaves a huge void in the lives of her sons, Seamus and Liam and daughter, Patricia Merrigan. They were an exceptionally close family and Peggy was also hugely appreciative of the support and care for her from her daughters-in-law, Caroline and Marie and son-in-law, John.
The late Peggy Bermingham passed away peacefully on January 23, 2017 and her passing is deeply regretted by her loving sons, Seamus and Liam; daughter, Patricia Merrigan; son-in-law, John; daughters-in-law, Caroline and Marie; grandchildren, Mark, Aoife, Jamie, David, Donna, Tony, Linda and Shane; great-grandchildren, Logan, Alyssa, Caoimhe and Clodagh; her loyal neighbours, relatives and many friends
Her remains reposed at the home of her daughter, Patricia, in Derrymacar, and were later brought to the Church of the Blessed Virgin, Newtowncashel for Funeral Mass with burial afterwards in Ballymacormack cemetery.