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In memory of Monica Hamill

MonicaMonica Hamill
1945 - 2020

Celebrant Very Reverend Des Loughran P.P.

Monica was, without doubt, a pet! She was a lady to her finger tips and she loved a laugh and a wee smoke, like I used to all those years ago. In fact it will be thirty years since I first met Monica in Locard Park, in her mother-in-law's house when I attended Jessie every First Friday.

Monica was born In Lurgan on 21st April 1945 to Frank and Josephine Moore. Tragically Josephine died from TB when Monica was only 9 months old. As a baby, Monica went to live with her father's sister Veronica in the Clare and she always spoke of this time with great affection. She then moved, with her father, to live in
Wellington Street, Lurgan with her maternal great aunts who she also loved. Frank remarried when Monica was 10 years old and from day one, Monica called Annie her mother. She always said it just 'felt right' and Annie loved Monica in exactly the same way. When Paul arrived, Monica was in heaven now she had a baby brother and Paul was followed by Jarlath, Angela, Kenny and Noel. Like every family at that time, life wasn’t always easy as money wasn't plentiful but they were always happy.

She attended the Sacred Heart primary school in Lurgan and loved when Sr. Marie Thérèse would ask her to tidy up the cupboards - everyone knew Monica's obsession with tidiness. It continued right up the time when she became ill, after Vivian died. That was a sign that all was not right with her. While Monica may not have been that happy with the educational side of school, she loved the 'nuns'. 

Monica loved dancing and many a time sneaked out of the house to a dance without her father knowing. When Frank found out, Monica knew about it! Annie used to plead Monica's case!

She met and married Vivian Hamill and they set up home on the Priest's Hill in Hallsmill. She was so proud of her home and it was then she began her lifelong friendship with Rhona Fegan and Doreen Feeney who also lived in Hallsmill. When Hillside Crescent was built in Lenaderg, they all moved there and lived beside each other. Although herself and Vivian were not blessed with their own children, she loved all the children around, but a very special place was held for Denise Fegan. Denise and her mum Christine were neighbours of Monica and Vivian since Denise was a baby and she was like a daughter to them. She was, of course, immensely proud of all her nieces and nephews and loved to hear stories about them.

Monica had a great sense of justice and could always see the other person's point of view. She never judged anyone and would have gone out of her way to help people. She had a great sense of humour and laughed at herself when she did something silly. Monica never realised the potential she had. She was a born organiser and could have easily run her own business. She loved nothing more than to be asked to 'sort something out' or 'help with house cleaning'. It was a standing joke that she gave so many people the job of 'fluffing up the mat' at her wake! Nothing else mattered as long as the mat was 'fluffed up'!

Vivian used to bring her a bunch of flowers every week and she showed them off with pride. (Mind you, she could also have blessed Vivian in different ways!!!!!) They were like a comedy duo!

Rhona's sudden death in 2007 was a big blow to Monica but then herself and Vivian 'took to the road 'and travelled somewhere different every day. Although her memory wasn't great, she loved getting out and would joke that 'we were out today but I can't remember where'.

Vivian's sudden death in 2013 was very stressful for her but she coped remarkably well with the tremendous help and support of Angela, her family, friends and neighbours, especially Christine and Denise Fegan. After a few different spells in hospital, the time came for full time care and Monica became a resident of Wood Lodge Nursing Home in Castlewellan two years ago.

Monica had a very strong faith and great devotion to Our Lady, the Sacred Heart and Saint Martin.

She had been a valued member of the Circle of Mercy in Laurencetown since 1999. While visiting the Convent of Mercy in Downpatrick some years ago with the Circle of Mercy, she was overjoyed to make contact once again with Sr Marie Thérèse O'Neill, the sister who used to ask her to tidy her cupboards!

My friend Catherine used to tell me that anytime she visited Monica, she said 'What about Fr. Loughran?' So it is, without doubt, a privilege and an honour for me to be here today for her final farewell. I used to meet Monica in Rhona's and in Catherine's house and she did visit me a number of times in Drumaness.

Monica was a very loyal daughter, sister and friend and she will be very much missed by all who knew and loved her. Now that her suffering is over, may she rest in peace.

After all her suffering, Monica now just goes off to the Father's Mansion of many rooms where we too will meet her there and I have no doubt the rug in her room will most definitely be fluffed up for our arrival.

Our sincere sympathy to her sister Angela, brothers Paul, Jarlath, Kenny and Noel, brothers-in-law Terry McGarry and Jackie Hamill and sister-in-law Christine Moore.

 

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