Catherine ‘Kit’ Ahearne (1936-2015), Goatenbridge died in Waterford Regional Hospital on February 4 after being ill for some months. She died peacefully in her sleep after a courageous and dignified battle for life.
She will be sadly missed by her husband Tom, her six children Stephen, Breda, P.J., Tomás, Joanne and Noel, her eleven grandchildren, her three brothers, Bob, Paddy and John D. and her wider family.
Kit was born to Paddy and Bridget Condon into a family of eight children. She had a happy childhood. Her family home was a lovely picturesque cottage located in Lodge. It was renowned locally for the beauty of its garden and amazing flowers and no doubt this helped Kit to develop her extraordinary ‘green fingers’.
She loved the place and from childhood to death had a great appreciation and respect for the natural beauty of the area and the warmth, generosity and spirit of the locals with whom she shared so many happy memories.
She had an early love of dancing, was a tough and talented camogie player playing with the nearby Newcastle Club and a keen supporter of the Tipperary hurling team.
Like so many at the time, Kit left Crough National School at 14 and worked as a domestic servant in Mount Mellaray for seven years. She then took up employment in the Woolen Mills in Ardfinnan.
Her life changed dramatically in 1958 when she started courting her future husband Tom and after a short romance they married in Ballybacon Church in September 1959.
It was in 1958, that Tom and Kit purchased the shop in Goatenbridge and faithfully served the local community for some 28 years. Kit worked very hard during this time raising her six children while her husband Tom was on the road as a retailer, selling sweets.
The shop was much more than a shop. It was the centre of the Goatenbridge community. It was open from eight to very late. It was the nightly gathering place for the locals where sport and politics were regularly discussed and the odd game of cards played. It was a place of fun and laughter and so many happy memories for Kit and she treasured the strong friendships she developed and maintained for the rest of her life.
After selling the shop in 1986, she turned from shop keeper to shop supplier working along with Tom for Hickey’s Bakery. Her time spent in the shop made her a natural for the role and she proved to be a great success with the customers. This change in lifestyle gave her more time for her home and family life. Kit and Tom retired from the bread run in 2000.
Kit enjoyed her retirement years. She loved the time she had to devote to her family and grandchildren, to her love of gardening, the time she had for short holidays, for her music and the time she had following the fortunes of Tipperary. She was always side by side with her husband Tom. In retirement, as in their working life, they were inseparable as witnessed by many. Tom and Kit had a wonderful life together being married for over 55 years.
Kit was a great listener, shrewd and perceptive in her knowledge of life. She was a great support to her family and others. She had the ability to bridge the generation gap, the ability to understand the pressures of modern day living and the ability to do the right things in life. She died the way she lived with courage, dignity and true to her faith.
Her life was a blessing,
Her memory a treasure,
She will be loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure.
May she rest in peace.