Mrs. Kathleen McCann (nee McElholm)

Published: 27 Sep 2012 09:30

Mrs. Kathleen McCann, formerly McElholm, who passed away, was born in Meenmore in 1927, the second of ten children of Willie McElholm, headmaster at Meenmore primary school, and Ellen Farry, his wife, a dancing teacher. She inherited the talents of both parents, winning numerous awards in Irish dancing and singing competitions.

Mrs. Kathleen McCann

After receiving her early education at Meenmore primary school, she attained success in her entrance scholarship exam for nursing and progressed to Belfast City Hospital where she trained as a state registered nurse.

In 1949, following her final exams, she was awarded the gold medal for achieving the best results in nursing in the North of Ireland. Following this she qualified as a midwife and continued working in Belfast until her marriage to Harry McCann in 1953. With her nursing career on hold, she undertook the support of her husband's business, and served an apprenticeship in a drapery shop in Maguiresbridge.

Kathleen and her husband raised six children at their home in Trillick, and she also found time to practise her nursing part-time, as a community midwife. Their home became a centre for regular Comhaltas sessions, which were attended by renowned musicians from all over Ireland. To her pride and joy, this musical environment helped nurture the emerging talent of her children and more recently her grandchildren.

In the 1970s she returned to her chosen career, embarking on a refresher course at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. This led to employment as a staff midwife at the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen and she enjoyed this post until her retirement in the mid 1980s.

While Kathleen's active mind was maintained by regular games of whist and daily crosswords, she also found time to sit a GCSE exam, gaining an A in English.

She was a lifetime supporter of her beloved Trillick St. Macartan's GFC, relishing their success in the 70s and 80s, and in later years enjoying equally the All-Ireland victories of Tyrone.

At the age of 84 years old, after a relatively short illness, Kathleen passed away surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her children, Mairead (Peter), Galway; Paul (Bernadette), Tempo; Attracta (Patsy), Trillick; Deirdre (Maurice), Trillick; Fionnuala (Eugene), Belfast; Pearse (Anne), Trillick.

Her brothers Herbie, Willie and Sammy and her sisters Eileen, Angela, Sarah and Vera, also survive her and she is predeceased by her husband Harry, sister Moira and brother Sean.

Throughout her life Kathleen, was generous with her time, sharing her knowledge and experience to help neighbours and friends in many ways.

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