Much shock and sadness has been expressed in the communities of Ederney, Enniskillen and further afield about the untimely passing of the beloved Mairead Gray on Saturday, December 30, 2023.

A devoted wife, loving mother, cherished grandmother, caring sister, aunt and an esteemed member of the Fermanagh business community, Mairead had been one of the best-known names in Fermanagh’s hairdressing profession.

Mairead’s departure leaves behind a legacy of care, warmth, knowledge, kindness and professional excellence.

Formally, Monaghan of Moneyvriece, Ederney, Mairead was born the second-youngest in a family of seven to the late PJ and Sarah Monaghan.

Mairead initially pursued a career in nursing in London, but soon realised that this profession was not for her.

Within a year, she was back in the capital to study hairdressing at the Morris School.

After excelling at this course and attaining second prize, she returned to Fermanagh after declining a full-time offer at the school.

When back in Fermanagh, Mairead assisted with Monaghan’s shop as well as building her clientele in hairdressing.

Whilst at home, she met her husband John and they married in Dublin, before moving to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1974, where their daughter Jayne was born.

A few years later, Mairead moved back with her family to Fermanagh, where her sons Jason and Simon were born.

As well as commencing her hairdressing career in Enniskillen with her older sister, May, Mairead continued with the care of her mother, Sarah, as well as her special nephew, Tom Munroe.

Mairead opened her salon and it is still here today after 40 years in the trade, which is now being run by her daughter, Jayne.

Over the years, Mairead would have employed and trained many stylists, with many going on to successfully open their own businesses.

In this time, Mairead also took on apprenticeships from the Fermanagh College to give them a start in their own careers as they were looking for employment opportunities and a chance to learn their trade.

Mairead was dedicated to her customers at No. 29 Darling Street, and described them as her second family, and over the years, it would not have been uncommon for Mairead to visit hospitals, nursing homes and residential addresses to care for her clients who were no longer able to travel to the salon.

This epitomised the loving and kind nature that Mairead had shown many in her walk of life.

As well as being passionate about hairdressing, Mairead had been a keen card player, and played 25 and Bridge throughout Fermanagh and Tyrone.

She was also interested in music, dancing and gardening, with the latter gathering a lot of attention with their splendid upkeep of grounds.

As well as family life and general keep-fit, Mairead had a keen interest in travelling, and had visited South Africa, New York, Hawaii, Portugal, and Hong Kong, to name but a few countries in the last two decades.

In Mairead’s spiritual journey, in addition to her regular attendance at Saint Joseph’s, Ederney, Mairead also found solace in her Tuesday visits to the Franciscan Friary at Rossnowlagh – a sanctuary that held deep significance in her heart, and helped her greatly.

The communities in which Mairead lived and worked mourned the passing of a very true and loyal friend, and a pillar of society.

Condolences were shared with her families and friends at the celebrated Funeral Mass with Fr. Frank McManus PP, and Fr. Joseph McVeigh at Saint Joseph’s Chapel, Ederney.

Rev. Abraham Storey conducted the burial at Ardess graveyard, with both events attended by a large gathering, surrounded by the love and gratitude of those whose lives she had touched and left a lasting impact on.

Mairead is survived by her husband, John; daughter Jayne (Carson); sons Jason (Lisa) and Simon (Joanna); as well as her brothers Pauric and John; nephews Tom, Austyn and Aidan, and niece Kelli.

Mairead was predeceased by her sister, May, in 2015, and more recently lost three further sisters in 2022, with Mena, Ita and Catherine passing away within seven months of each other.