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'My Uncle Vincent and His wife Aunt Maura came to visit me in Waterford too, and that was the last time I saw him alive.'
Rosemary describes Novitiate life and recalls hearing family news from a distance. She remembers hearing about the birth of her first niece and the death of her uncle. She remembers his wake and funeral which was held in Dungiven in Northern Ireland.
Trinity College Dublin
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We went on a week's holidays to Ardmore to the Cappoquin holiday house and it was a great break for us by the sea. We had a lot of freedom there and the weather was mostly fine and so we had lovely walks to the round tower and other local beauty spots as well as to the beach. It was during this week that I received a telegram from my mother, telling me of the birth of my first niece, Jacqueline Mary Catherine Cullen on 5th June 1974 to my sister Jacqueline and her husband Gerry Cullen. You can imagine my excitement at this news. Everyone rejoiced with me because they had met the happy couple on their honey moon. They came to Waterford to see me since I had not been allowed to go to the wedding. My Uncle Vincent and His wife Aunt Maura came to visit me in Waterford too, and that was the last time I saw him alive. We were preparing to go home for the summer break, when my parents decided to come and collect me. In the meantime Uncle Vincent had been taken ill with cancer, and was in the Royal Victoria Hospital when they came for me. I delayed them with a trip to Cappoquin and home via The Vee and Tipperary to let them see this part of the country and by the time we telephoned home from Dundalk, he had already passed away. We were all very sad, especially my mother, since Uncle Vincent was her eldest brother and had played a big part in our lives.Uncle Vincent's wake and funeral in Dungiven were exceptional. He was very well known, having been involved in SDLP and St Vincent de Paul Society. He had worked in Dupont factory, Maydown. Many people who were former employees of that plant have similarly died of cancer from the toxins they absorbed there. He left Aunt Maura to rear ten children, the youngest of whom, Grainne, was only seven years old. The joy of the Christening of wee Jackie was over shadowed by the death. I was chosen to be her God mother with Philip Cullen, Gerry's brother, as her God Father. She was baptised in Sacred heart Church at the end of June.
Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)
Senior Research Associate
Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)
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