Tragic mum's last call to her cherished girls
Published: 4 Apr 2013 13:00
Five minutes before she died, as a result of a Chordoma, Anita O'Brien (pictured right), of Kilmokea Cottage, Ardess, Kesh - whose husband Paul O'Brien, a member of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service died in a road traffic accident in February 2009 - called her three cherished daughters to reaffirm her love for them.
A close family member explained that Riona, 13, Evie, 11, and nine-year-old Tiana had gone on a family visit to Cork on Good Friday morning with their uncle Patrick (their late father's brother) when their mother, who was always protective of them, subsequently called them and reminded them that she would always be near them to guide and protect them on their journey in life; she died shortly after 3pm, surrounded by family members.
"She called them her little angels," said the family member, adding that she also referred to them as "her butterflies".
In fact, a poem, penned by Anita, who had a special talent for poetry and literacy, was read at the end of the funeral mass on Easter Sunday. Written to her wee girls, it referred to them as butterflies and reassured them "to go spread their wings" and that their mother and father would be near them.
The funeral service, a Mass of the Resurrection was held in St. Joseph's Church, Ederney. It was led by the Rev. Fr. Brendan Gallagher, who delivered the Homily, and thought it was no coincidence that the girls were away. He said: "She spent her short lifetime doing everything she could to protect them, in her dying she was also being careful to protect them." Family members took part in the service, sharing in the readings, prayers and bringing up gifts to the altar. Burial took place in St. Naile's Churchyard, Kinawley. There were huge attendances at the services and also at the wake reflecting the high regard felt for Anita, a devoted wife and dedicated mother who just lived for her three daughters.
Although she had been unwell for the past four years, she dedicated her life to the girls.
She had a strong will and determination and she battled for her daughters. "They were the centre of her universe," indicated the family member, who said her main aim in life was devoted to her children. "She is at peace with Paul now - looking down and guiding the three children with Paul," believes the family member.
Anita, formerly Maguire, a daughter of the late Eugene and Teresa Maguire was raised on a farm in Kinawley. She was educated at St. Naile's primary school, Kinawley, and Mount Lourdes Convent Grammar School, Enniskillen, before continuing her studies at Magee University, where she achieved a Masters in Business Studies. The main part of her career was spent at Fermanagh College. Her interests were chiefly her home and family and she enjoyed gardening. She was very creative and very artistic and loved writing poetry; literacy was her strong point.
Anita is immediately survived by her daughters, Riona, Evie and Tiana; her sisters Angela, Helen and Carmel and her only brother Patrick; she leaves her mother-in-law Maura O'Brien, brothers-in-law Patrick O'Brien, Alan McCormick and Richard Owens, and sisters-in-law, Sharon O'Brien and Nuala Maguire; cherished nieces and nephews; the wider family circle and her many friends.
The family is very thankful to everyone for their support at this time. They acknowledge the support that Anita and the children received following Paul's death from the local community and the whole wider community. "It was exceptional," said the family member, who is deeply appreciative of the backing received.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
6 Dec 2013 21:30 • Julie Kenwell
A substantial infestation of Japanese knotweed could spell “dire consequences” for Fermanagh property owners, a weed management company has warned.
6 Dec 2013 18:00 • Lily Dane
‘One hundred years young’ would certainly be an apt description for sprightly centenarian, James McDonnell, from outside Irvinestown.
6 Dec 2013 17:00
Our photographer John McVitty captured this stunning rainbow which appeared over Cornagrade in Enniskillen this afternoon.
6 Dec 2013 16:55
"Preditory sex offender" John Michael McDermott already serving over nine years for his involvement in the abuse of eight children, stands to be sentenced again in the New Year after pleading guilty today (Friday) to abusing a ninth victim.
6 Dec 2013 16:30 • Editorial Department
A selection of topical, amusing, noteworthy tweets from Fermanagh and beyond. Check below to see if you have been featured this week...
6 Dec 2013 14:00
Tomorrow (Saturday) is Small Business Saturday; a day when shoppers are encouraged to support local businesses in towns and villages across Fermanagh.
6 Dec 2013 12:30 • Rodney Edwards
IT appears relations between political opponents Arlene Foster and Phil Flanagan are improving after one of them suggested going for a coffee with the other.
6 Dec 2013 12:30
Goalkeeper Ronan Gallagher has become the latest Fermanagh player to bring the curtain down on his inter-county career.
6 Dec 2013 11:30 • Editorial Department
Irish police officers colluded in the IRA murder of a senior policeman from Kinawley, the final report of the Smithwick Tribunal has found.
6 Dec 2013 09:30
A 21-year-old man with mental health problems threatened to shoot police after they took him to hospital for treatment.
5 Dec 2013 21:30
Christmas shoppers are in for a treat tomorrow as Fermanagh District Council once again hosts its Christmas Craft and Food Fair in Enniskillen.
5 Dec 2013 18:30
A “very lucky” 22-year-old woman has been spared a jail sentence.
5 Dec 2013 16:00 • Editorial Department
One of the guns used in the escape by 38 IRA prisoners from the Maze prison had been smuggled into the jail by the organisation’s leader in Fermanagh, Seamus McElwaine, it has been revealed.
5 Dec 2013 16:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
ENNISKILLEN rates ninth out of 30 towns in Northern Ireland in terms of late night violence. But it is “a safe town” PSNI Superintendent Alwyn Barton insists.
5 Dec 2013 15:20
A 34-year-old man has admitted stabbing his brother to death after the brother threatened to rape the man’s pregnant girlfriend and gut him “like a fish”.
5 Dec 2013 15:15 • Rodney Edwards
SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has been crticised for making “grossly offensive comments” after he claimed two senior RUC officers killed by the IRA had only themselves to blame.
5 Dec 2013 15:00 • Editorial Department
The new Editor of the Impartial Reporter is Sarah Saunderson, it has been announced.
5 Dec 2013 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
A gathering of anti-fracking activists has been arranged for this Saturday following last week’s revelation in The Impartial Reporter that fracking company Tamboran plan to drill a borehole for fresh shale samples in the next few months.
5 Dec 2013 14:00 • Sarah Saunderson
Five cases of alleged sexual abuse have been under investigation by the health care trust that runs the South West Acute Hospital and health and social care here, newly released figures show.
5 Dec 2013 14:00 • Editorial Department
A 32-year-old motorist has been jailed for two months for slapping a traffic warden in the face with a parking ticket.