There has been much sadness expressed following the death on May 26 of well-known Belleek lady Miss Mary Gallagher.

Mary, who was born in Bonahill, County Donegal, was the oldest of the five children of Tommy and Nellie Gallagher (nee McCann), Newtown, Belleek. She attended the local Belleek primary school and then moved to boarding school at Mount Lourdes, Enniskillen. After choosing a career in teaching she then studied at St. Mary's College in Belfast.

Her first appointment on qualifying brought her to Loughgiel in County Antrim where she became equally well-known as she was to work and live there as a primary school teacher for over 50 years.

She proved to be a dedicated and talented teacher who treated all her pupils with kindness and consideration. From the outset, Mary was welcomed and made feel at home by her fellow teachers and also quickly became popular with the many parents who came to know her over the years.

As someone who dedicated her life to caring for others, she was always willing to give of her time to many causes in the local community.

Mary was a long-time member and office-holder of Loughgiel Credit Union, and an active participant in her local parish development. Due to her strong family connections with the GAA, she became a loyal and valued member and supporter of the famous hurling club, Loughgiel Shamrocks.

Over the years Mary was a regular attender at many of the football and hurling games involving her native county Fermanagh, lending her support to her brothers when they represented the county. In later years she seldom missed the opportunity to watch her nephews represent Fermanagh footballers.

Above all, Mary always looked forward to family gatherings and especially any opportunities to catch up with all her nieces and nephews and the wider circle of cousins.

Mary’s funeral Mass took place in her local St. Patrick's Church, Loughgiel. She was then taken back to St. Patrick’s church, Belleek, for burial.

Pre-deceased by her brother Raymond in 2007, she is survived by brothers Tommy and Gerry, sister Vera and her sisters-in-law Eileen, Mary and Deirdre, and brother-in-law Brendan Neeson, and also mourned by her wider family circle and her many friends in Belleek and Loughgiel.