15 Aug 2022

Moira Gallagher remembered - her warmth and kindness touched many lives

"She was always ready with a smile and a chat"

Moira Gallagher

Moira Gallagher will be greatly missed by all who knew her

As Moira Gallagher’s remains made the short journey from her home on Upper Main Street to St Patrick’s Church, Donegal Town the heavens opened, the torrential downpour reflecting the heavy hearts of those gathered to bid a final farewell. 

A well-known and much loved native of Donegal Town, Moira’s sudden death on Sunday, June 26 has shocked and saddened all who knew her. She will be deeply missed by her children Mark, Anita and Declan, her beloved grandchildren, extended family and Moira’s many, many friends in Donegal and beyond. 

Requiem Mass the following Wednesday was celebrated by Fr Seamus Dagens with hymns and music beautifully performed by Moira’s niece Bernie and by Gerry Meehan. 

Early Life

Fr Dagens told mourners that Moira was born 79 years ago and lived in her father’s B&B and café, which is now Peter’s Man Shop.

She attended school in Donegal Town before beginning her working life in what was then Brady’s Chemist on the Diamond.

Like so many others of her generation, Moira emigrated to England, working in a number of factories in the Birmingham area. 

She returned to Donegal to marry Jackie Gallagher on June 3, 1965. The couple were blessed with four children - Mark, Anita, Andrew and Declan.

In 1975 they opened the Apollo Laundrette in Upper Main Street, providing a much-needed service in the town.

Later, she worked in Simple Simon's health food store where her welcoming smile was appreciated by customers who came from near and far for what was at the time a relatively specialist business. 

“Moira was an excellent wife, a mother and a member of this community,” said Fr Dagens. 

“She was a very religious woman who loved to pray, attend Mass every day and receive the sacraments. 

“Moira was baptised in this very church and it is fitting that she now has her funeral in this church.”

Moira’s life was not without sadness. The sudden and untimely death of Andrew in 1989 was devastating for Moira, Jackie and all the family. 

But they bravely allowed his organs to be donated as per his wishes, giving the gift of life to others in the midst of their own loss.

Moira again faced loss in 2008 when Jackie passed away.

Generous and Caring

It is testament to her generosity of spirit that she used her time and energy to help others, and always did so with the friendliest of smiles. 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, she would often visit patients in Donegal Community Hospital. And right up to her death, she continued to check in on her friends and neighbours and give a helping hand wherever it was needed.

She was a dedicated volunteer in the Animals in Need charity shop in Donegal Town. The shop closed during the funeral as a mark of respect for Moira. This would have coincided with her normal shift at the charity shop. 

A spokesperson for Animals In Need posted the following message on Facebook: “We are saddened to announce the sudden loss of our charity store volunteer and friend, Moira Gallagher.

“Moira was the longest serving volunteer in our charity store and she was always ready with a smile and a chat.

“AIN would like to extend our condolences to Moira's family and friends. She was a lovely lady and will be missed.”

Many Interests

As well as her voluntary work, Moira had many interests and she was always willing to try something new. 

She loved to travel with family and friends within Ireland and abroad, and with the Donegal Active Retirement group.

Moira was skilled with her hands and enjoyed many activities including flower arranging and being part of a knitting group.

She loved music and dance, and before the Covid-19 pandemic put an end to so many activities, she was a regular participant at the weekly social dancing sessions in the St John Bosco Centre and at the Hooley in the Hall in  Leghowney.

 Moira was proud to be a part of the intergenerational choir Ceol Le Chéile, a project which brought young people and older people together. She particularly enjoyed the interaction with younger members as they shared the joy of learning and singing together. 

Moira also loved the oral storytelling tradition. She enjoyed recitation and the spoken word, often taking part in the House of Stories events in Ballyshannon and Donegal Town. 

A very sociable person, she will be best remembered for her friendliness and her community spirit. 

Following Requiem Mass, Moira was laid to rest in Clar Cemetery.

Her passing will leave a hole in people’s hearts that hopefully over time will be filled with treasured memories and the warmth and kindness with which she touched so many lives.

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