Emma Ryan née Corr remembered – 100 years
Emma Corr was born in Lurgyroe, Ardboe, on 21 January 1919
Emma died in Farsnagh, Ardboe, on 22 March 2006 aged 87 years
A tribute by Patsy O’Hagan
The kettle singing on the fire its merry little tune
The céilíers are gathering, could be any afternoon
The soaps are on the telly though no one cares to watch
The sound of another’s footsteps as a neighbour lifts the latch
The wee kitchen’s getting crowded, but this lady doesn’t care –
If you have the time to call, she’ll find that extra chair.
The conversation varies – who’s sick or who’s got wed
The odd football game is still discussed, in the absence now of Fred.
Politics or religion, who’s wrong or who is right
This lady in her autumn years still wonders why people fight.
The little singing kettle must start another tune
As the tay is passed around – could be any afternoon.
The telephone is ringing, a wee message from a friend –
Could be someone in America who’s on the other end.
Her friendship knew no boundaries, though she didn’t travel far
’twas her gentle caring way that outshone the brightest star.
As her day draws to a close, friends go their separate ways
With a true and fervent heart the Rosary she says.
This prayer to her was special, right down through the years
It was said in thanks for happy times, good health and parting tears
A lovely Irish prayer taught by good old Irish mothers:
Emma, you were one of these – a shining light for others.
Then one sad March evening God’s angels they did call
And whispered, “Emma, come with me” –
’twas the sweetest voice of all.
Her earthly life was over – it happened all too soon
She could not stay another day nor one more afternoon.
The céilíers are still coming: another sits on Emma’s chair –
Though we cannot see her, we know she’s always there.
Her body it might turn to dust or melt into the clay
But her spirit it will guide us every minute of each day.
So walk beside us, Mother, and with those who call you friend
The One who died upon the cross ensured death is not the end.
Scroll down to see photos of Emma
Emma (back row, 3rd from left) at Mullinahoe Girls’ School – 1931
Emma (top, centre) at Mullinahoe Girls’ School – 1931
Emma (centre) with her mother Britta and sister Lena
Emma with son Gerry – 1956
Emma and Francis with their children and visitors from England
Emma with her cousin Annie Óg on a visit home from USA
Emma at the fireside with son Liam
Emma and regular visitor from Glasgow – Father Phillips
Emma preparing to make tea for her céilíers
Emma on her way to bring good cheer to her neighbours
Emma on her way home from morning Mass
Emma at Lammas with family and friends
Albert and Peter Paul were always sure of an early morning cup of tea from Emma as they collected the eels from the Lough Neagh fishermen
Emma and Francis preparing to fry eels
Emma and Francis with Emma’s cousin Kellianne from Ohio