25 Jun 2022

Sadness at death of Donegal guest house owner and much-loved grandmother, mother and friend

Funeral cortege paused at the guest house en route to the church

flowers candle vigil

Edith Browne who owned the Atlantic Guest House will be greatly missed by her family and friends

A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. That is how Archdeacon Ven David Huss remembered Edith Browne of Donegal Town and formerly of Ballintra at her funeral service in Donegal Town Parish Church on Tuesday.

Best known for running the Atlantic Guest House on Donegal Town’s Main Street for over 50 years, Mrs Browne will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Ven Huss told mourners that Mrs Browne was very dedicated to the church, both in her native parish of Drumholm and in Donegal Town.

“She loved singing in the choir each Sunday, loving the special occasions like Harvest and the Christmas Carol Service, taking great pride when her children and grandchildren were reading in Church - and those readings would be practiced at home I gather with her at one end of the house and the reader at the other end of the house to make sure that it was being done loud and clear,” he said. 

“Whether it was the parish sale or other social events, or the Ladies Guild in which Edith was an active member, in many, many ways this church and parish family was another place where Edith’s heart lay.”

But, Ven Huss told mourners, Mrs Browne’s greatest love was her family, and she had enjoyed a wonderful bond with her late husband Victor as they raised their family and ran the business together.

“It was a busy and a happy home,” said Ven Huss.  

“Many people will have great memories of that home, for example of coming to birthday parties that were there and many, many other occasions of hospitality.

“Edith adored her  children, and of course, her grandchildren as well.”

He told the grandchildren present in church: “You'll have great memories of many times, visiting many nights spent at Nanny's house, sleepovers.”

Ven Huss recalled how Mrs Browne’s favourite time of year was Christmas, and she would put an enormous effort into planning special celebrations for the family.

The house at Drumcliff was - and still is - renowned for its unparalleled outdoor Christmas light display, bringing much cheer to all who see it. 

In their retirement, Mrs Browne and her late husband enjoyed sun holidays, with Canary Islands being a firm favourite. 

Ven Huss spoke of Mrs Browne’s natural hospitality, and her love of the outdoors. 

“I picture her sitting outside in the sunshine up at the house at Drumcliff and enjoying the outdoors, enjoying the good weather, enjoying the stream of visitors to the place, and putting on wonderful hospitality, no chance of leaving without being refreshed with tea and other good things,” he said.

“Edith was friendly, she was caring, she was kind, she was hard-working, thoughtful, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. 

“It was an honour to have known her.”

Predeceased by her husband Victor, Mrs Browne will be greatly missed by her five children,  Gregory, Gareth, Belinda, Geoffrey and Andrea; her daughters-in-law Lorraine, Mary and Jackie; sons-in-law Chris and Michael; grandchildren Zara, Sophia, Alisha, Hannah, Conor, Nicole, Sacha, Gavin, Josh, Scott, Natalie, Holly, Harry, Abigail, Amelia and Jamie; and a wide circle of friends.

She was laid to rest in the Abbey Cemetery alongside her late husband Victor, following 1pm Funeral Service in Donegal Parish Church on Tuesday. The service can be viewed on the Donegal Group of Parishes Facebook page. 

Her funeral cortege left the home of her son Geoffrey at Rossmore, Tullyearl at 12.30pm. The cortege travelled through the Diamond and stopped at Mrs Browne’s late residence, best known locally as ‘the Christmas lights house.’ 

It then came back through the Diamond and on to Main Street where it stopped at the original Browne family home - the Atlantic Guest House which was run by Edith and her late husband Victor for 50 years. 

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