Fond farewell for a lady of great elegance

The late Bridie O’Sullivan: a great family woman and a great businesswoman

WARM tributes have been paid to Killarney businesswoman Bridie O’Sullivan who passed away at her home in Woodlawn Drive on Monday which was the day of her 78th birthday.

There was a huge turnout of mourners for the removal on Wednesday night and again for the today’s Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral where the chief celebrant was Killarney Parish Administrator, Fr Kieran O’Brien.

Bridie and her husband, Eddie, opened the popular Tatler Jack bar and restaurant in Killarney after returning from New York – where three of their four children were born – in 1975.

“An establishment became available on Plunkett Street – the rest is history,” said Fr O’Brien who added that Bridie learned all about the catering trade after emigrating from her native Carrowteigue, Co Mayo to New York and she identified the need to provide bar food on her return to Ireland, becoming the driving force in the business.

Although Bridie had been in failing health for a number of years, her passing on Monday was sudden and it happened as her family was planning to celebrate her birthday.

“You do not know the day or the hour – sometimes it might be like a thief in the night but Bridie died without a fuss and so peacefully,” Fr O’Brien said.

Her husband Eddie is a former Kerry selector who trained Dr Crokes to the All-Ireland Club Championship title in 1992, eldest son, Patrick, is a former chairman of the Kerry County Board and the current chairman of the Dr Crokes club and son-in-law Pat O’Shea, the current trainer of Dr Crokes, led the Crokes to the All-Ireland Club Championship victory in 2017 and managed Kerry to an All-Ireland Championship win in 2007.

“There was no escaping the GAA for Bridie. Every kick of a ball was analysed, a post mortem was carried out after every game and with players, selectors, trainers and a county board chairman in the house it became her life,” Fr O’Brien noted.

He said Bridie too was well able to motivate and encourage a player and would tell the truth – no matter who the player was.

But family always came first to the popular Mayor native and she loved nothing more than when her children or grandchildren wailed in the door, the priest said.

Although it was poignant that she passed away on her birthday, every anniversary will now mark another birthday and it was a happy release for her from this world, he added.

Reflecting on his mum’s life, Bridie’s eldest son, Patrick, said she was born on 3 December 1940 and was the youngest in a family of five. She emigrated to New York and met Castleisland native, Eddie O’Sullivan, in the City Centre Ballroom in Manhattan, and they were married on 27 February 1965.

Recalling her flair and fondness for fashion, he said it became a big part of her life.

“She was a lady of great elegance and she carried herself with great dignity,” he said.

Patrick said the love his dad, Eddie, had for Bridie was “something special”, he was by her side all the time and they had a great life together.

Bridie (née Henry) is survived by Eddie, their sons, Patrick and Edmund, daughters Noreen and Deborah Ann, sons-in-law Pat O’Neill and Pat O’Shea, daughters-in-law Frances and Juliet, grandchildren Dylan, Gavin, Zoe, Kelly, Amy, Leah, Laura, Rebecca, TJ and Saoirse, and extended family.

She was laid to rest in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

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