The death has taken place of popular and well known businesswoman, Sheila McCaffrey, who has been described as “the centre of our family” by relatives.

Mrs. McCaffrey worked as a maternity nurse at the Erne Hospital before opening several care homes in the county.

A family member told The Impartial Reporter: “We will really miss mum, she was the centre of our family.”

A grandmother of 10 Sheila enjoyed holidays abroad with her friends and “looked forward to our annual family holiday with her children and grandchildren,” a family member stated.

“She spent many happy weekends in Mullaghmore where she walked the Head and enjoyed relaxing in her holiday home,” her family said.

Born into the Cassidy family near Teemore, Sheila attended Garvary School and the Convent of Mercy, Mount Lourdes before choosing nursing as her career and being accepted for training at Belfast City Hospital in 1964. When she qualified as a nurse, Sheila stayed for a period working as a ward nurse in Belfast, enjoying city life with her nursing friends.

In 1970 Sheila married Thomas McCaffrey from Derrylin whom she had known since school days.

The couple had four daughters, Carol, Lisa, Julianne and Louise.

Lisa passed away in 2000 aged 27 years with Sheila now buried alongside her daughter in Breandrum cemetery.

Setting up married life in Bellanaleck Thomas worked for the Department of Agriculture and Sheila worked as a maternity nurse at the Erne Hospital.

Described as “dedicated and determined”, she secured a post as a District Nurse working in many of the towns and rural areas in Fermanagh.

In the late 1980s Sheila decided that she would like to own and run her own Care Home. Millcroft Care Home opened in 1990, Graan Abbey Care Home opened in 1994 on the site of the former monastery and Millverne Care Home opened later in 2005.

After her retirement, according to a family member:

“Sheila still had a keen interest in the business and regularly called into the homes to catch up with her daughters and colleagues.”

Sheila’s health deteriorated in 2018 and she received treatment in Basingstoke and Northampshire Hospital and later in South West Acute Hospital.

Sheila passed away on January 17 surrounded by her family.

Her month mind Mass and her daughter Lisa’s anniversary Mass will be held in the Graan on Saturday February 9 at 6.30pm.

Tom, Carol, Julianne and Louise have told this newspaper that they are grateful for all the exceptional care Sheila received during her illness and to all who sympathised with them since her death.