Late Dola O’Byrne, West End, Millstreet

Click on the notice to enlarge.  (S.R.)
Click on the notice to enlarge.     (S.R.)

The death has occurred on Sunday October 12th 2014 of Dola O’Byrne of the West End, Millstreet.
Rosary Sunday at 10pm. Reposing on Monday from 6pm to 8pm in Tarrant’s Funeral Home, followed by removal to St.Patrick’s Church Millstreet. Requiem mass Tuesday 14th at 11am, with burial afterwards in St.Mary’s cemetary.

2009 - Dola O'Byrne with her award for the best window display at Millstreet's St. Patrick's Day Parade
Dola O’Byrne with her award for the best window display at Millstreet’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2009

Millstreet Carnival Queen 1949 Mary Frances Mulcahy, with her Ladies in waiting: Dole O'Byrne (West End), Miss Collins (Rathcoole), Mary Hickey (Main Street), Kitty O'Leary (West End), Hannah Mary Moynihan, Estie Cashman-Manley (Tullig House)
Dola Is pictured here on the left with the Carnival Queen in 1949

2014-10-15 Dola - FB

4 thoughts on “Late Dola O’Byrne, West End, Millstreet”

  1. I was so sorry to read on the Millstreet website this evening of the death of Dola O’Byrne, a lifelong friend of our family the Murphys (the Jack the Clerks) of 3 West End. This must be particularly sad for Fr Paddy and her other brothers and sisters coming as it has so soon after Bernie’s death in May. My sister Patricia and all the O’Connors in Lurgan will be remembering her in our prayers.

  2. Such sad news out of Millstreet the saddest for many a day
    Dola O Byrne of the West End from life has passed away
    As nice a person as one could wish for to meet
    Few ever quite like her in the Town of Millstreet

    In her younger years as a nurse a terrible motor accident she did survive
    Nevertheless Dola felt happy for to come out of it alive
    Though the accident left her with a physical handicap and years of physical pain
    Dola of her lot in life did not complain

    A down to earth person free of conceit and guile
    On her beautiful face she always had a beautiful smile
    One true to her higher self she was pure of mind
    She lived an honorable life and was compassionate and kind

    She will never be forgotten in Millstreet Town
    To live as a good person her claim to renown
    With bravery and dignity life’s toughest challenge she did face
    Millstreet for her in it was a far better place

    In Millstreet Town where she grew old and had lived for years
    Her passing from life would not have gone without tears
    By Cashman’s Hill in St Mary’s her last remains lay
    She was a good person good in every way.

    “Dola O Byrne” is by Francis Duggan

  3. In a little town called Millstreet in North Cork is O’Byrne’s shop run by Dola (Elizabeth Dolores O’Byrne) and her brother Father Paddy O’Byrne. The shop has been in the family since the 1880s when Patrick Corkery returned to Millstreet from America with his wife for her honeymoon and under his father’s persuasion decided to stay and run a local business. They had two daughters, one of whom is Dola’s mother and she ultimately ended up running the grocery shop. Dola fondly remembers how every Thursday evening she and her siblings had to weigh and pack the sugar and tea for the customers who would receive their pension on a Friday.

    2014-06 Dola O'Byrne and her brother Fr Paddy O'Byrne

    As time went by, Dola trained as a nurse and remembers fondly the excitement when her mother would send her packets of tea in the 1950s when she was training in England. The rationing meant that such luxuries were uncommon adn Dola recalls one evening when she and her nursing colleagues enjoyed a cup of tea after night duty. To their horror the next morning they realised that they could not go to communion as they had broken their fast and opted for confession instead. The priest was not too impressed that they had been up until 2am, however all was forgiven when Dola informed him that they were nurses on night duty. After her training in England Dola trained as a midwife in the Rotunda Hospital, a difficult place to get into at the time. A friend’s death from TB gave Dola the motivation to continue her studies and she attended Sarsfield Court in Cork where she studied Public Health and TB, something she was passionate about. Following this Dola landed her dream job as a Public Health Nurse in North Cork and began her career caring for people in the community.

    2014-06 Dola O'Byrne's Berkel weighing scales
    Having taken up driving for her role as a public health nurse Dola was involved in a road traffic accident in 1967 which dramatically ended her nursing career. After breaking her neck Dola was transported by helicopter to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in March of that yead. After months of intensive therapy, Dola remembers clearly the day that she took her first step, August 15th 1967, a day she will never forget. The physiotherapist at the time encouraged her to let go of the rail and to take a step, when Dola did so she said the physio couldn’t believe her eyes as she had not expected her to be able to do it. One thing she says that helped her get stronger was that she did everything she was told by the staff exactly the way they told her.

    2014-06 Dola O'Byrne's shop front
    Dola recalls the support she received from her family, who had made changes at home to allow her to come back to Millstreet for the weekend. A grab railwas installed on the staids to allow Dola to pull herself up. Dola’s mother was in her words “a woman full of common sense” and when she eventually returned home, her mother insisted that she get up out of bed ever morning by 10am and help in the shop by getting the sweets counted and ready for the local children who would come in. A small sturdy shopping trolley with a cushion attached to the handle allows Dola to move around her home and the shop with security, even allowing her to move things as she pleases, another idea her mother came up with.

    To this day many children in Millstreet are still insisting that they go to Dola’s shop for their sweets rather than any of the other bigger shops. Not only will you find sweets at the shop, Dola also stocks cards, gifts and beautiful religious itwms. Dola’s shop is a favourite with the children but is a place at the heart of the community with many people popping in for a chat with Dola and Paddy, to share their worries, their stories and to have a laugh. The next time you are in Millstreet be sure to call in to say hello!

    The above article on Dola appeared in the Summer 2014 Spinal News Magazine (page 11).

    Most of us growing up in Millstreet loved going to Dola’s, and have fond memories of her. She will be missed. Here are but a few of the nice comments on Facebook:

    “I have fond memories of buying sweets in Dolas ,especially the fudge it was delicious ,thanks Dola for always being a nice kind lady x”

    “Visiting O’Byrne’s has always been a highlight of our visits to Millstreet. R.I.P. to a charming woman.”

    “So sad to hear of Dolas passing, think every child has memories of stopping at Dolas for all the penny sweets, she will be missed. Rip”

    “every child that’s grown up in Millstreet Town has fond memories of buyin penny sweets or little gifts in Dola’s shop RIP Dola a lovey lady x”

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