Tragic mum's last call to her cherished girls

Published: 4 Apr 2013 13:00

Her daughters remained at the "centre of her universe" for a devoted young Fermanagh mother, who passed away peacefully at her home on Good Friday, after courageously battling a rare brain tumour for four years.

Share this image

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.

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

18 Apr 2014 08:30

Depression is an illness, mourners told at Kenny Andrews funeral

MOURNERS at the funeral of Brookeborough man Kenneth Andrews who died unexpectedly last week were told that the 47-year-old had been fighting a private battle with depression.


17 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

‘I’m not half well’

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 18:06 • Rodney Edwards

Would-be Unionist politician admits Catholic Facebook question was 'badly worded'

A would-be politician seeking a seat in the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council for the Ulster Unionist Party has defended himself for a second time following comments he made on Facebook.


17 Apr 2014 17:01

Fermanagh's 'different breed' that sets the Orange Standard

Let me get the amateur sociology out of the way first: ‘Out-group homogeneity’. It describes a bias that any group of people are prone to have.


17 Apr 2014 16:30

Why are you 'punishing a good school'?

The proposed Development Proposal to close both Enniskillen Collegiate School and Portora Royal School and open a new school on a split site, will go before the members of the Western Education and Library Board on May 8 for approval.


17 Apr 2014 15:57

Meeting exposed WELB's 'weak process and weak argument' says Collegiate head

THE Collegiate Grammar School’s consultation meeting on its proposed amalgamation with Portora Royal exposed the Western Education Library Board’s (WELB) “weak process and weak argument”, according to principal, Elizabeth Armstrong.


17 Apr 2014 15:14

Collegiate parents walk out after rudeness of WELB official

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School have accused Western Education Library Board (WELB) officials of hiding their personal vested interest in a proposal that would see the school merge with Portora Royal next year.


17 Apr 2014 14:29 • Meadhbh Monahan

Angry homeowners duped by rogue driveway worker caled Roadstone

HOMEOWNERS in Enniskillen are “disgusted” with workmen who took hundreds of pounds for cleaning their driveways, but never finished the job.


17 Apr 2014 14:06

Enniskillen by-pass could start in four years says Minister

WORK on the long-awaited Southern by-pass of Enniskillen could start in four years’ time but only if the millions needed for the scheme can be found, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has said.


17 Apr 2014 13:11

No referendum on fracking at Council elections

Fermanagh District Council is unlikely to hold a fracking referendum after legal advice has recommended against it.


17 Apr 2014 13:01

Woman who tried to give man love bite guilty of sexual assault

A 47-year-old woman has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young man after she allegedly “forced” herself on him, grabbing him by the bum and telling him she loved him.


17 Apr 2014 11:45

St. Patrick's Day crash led driver to court

A 42-year-old driver who failed to stop after crashing into a car on a bridge on St. Patrick’s Day was three times the legal alcohol limit.


17 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Clerics attend Queen’s banquet: Praise for their cross-community work

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 09:48

Sharpe names Premier 18 for Milk Cup

Fermanagh Premier Milk Cup manager Derek Sharpe has named his 18 man squad for this summer's competition.


17 Apr 2014 09:15

Men arrested in connection with security alert charged with theft

THE two men arrested in connection with a security alert in Fintona on Tuesday this week have been charged with Theft and Going Equipped for Theft


17 Apr 2014 09:00

Schoolgirl chef makes it to Fine Dine final

A local pupil has been named a finalist in this year's Fine Dine at Mine All-Ireland Schools Cookery Competion.


16 Apr 2014 22:30 • Editorial Department

In tomorrow's Impartial Reporter read:

How a woman has been convicted of sexually assaulting a man after touching him and trying to give him a love bite.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 19:30

Arrest warrant for convicted shoplifter

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 33-year-old convicted shoplifter.


16 Apr 2014 17:00

Driver convicted of possession of drug after cannabis was found in car

The 32-year-old driver of a car from which there was a strong smell of cannabis has admitted unlawfully having the Class B drug.


16 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Comment - Shona Morrison - Feeling blue over the lack of support for autism awareness

Our wee county of Fermanagh has a great deal going for it right now.

Social: Comments0 comments