Keoltown families mark 50 years in Mullingar
Seven families left the West of Ireland fifty years ago to make new homes in the townland of Keoltown in Ballinea. The families came from Mayo in 1964 and they celebrated 50 years of their roots in Westmeath with a Mass and a social gathering on Friday 26 September 2014.
The families included several generations of Duffys, Garvins, Heratys, Kennys and Kerrigans. Also remembered in the celebrations were members of the Lyons and Tierney families.
In his homily, Fr Paul Crosbie gave thanks “for the blessings which the families received in this community but also for the blessings which they contributed to Mullingar parish and the wider locality.” He remembered the priests of the parish who welcomed them here in 1964 when the Mayo families first arrived in Mullingar, the first station Masses in Keoltown, the first children to be baptized, the first children to receive Holy Communion and Confirmation.
The Keoltown families originated in several Mayo townslands, including Killasser, Glencarly, Carrowkennedy, Ross and Louisburgh.
Fr Crosbie concluded his homily, saying: “Half a century later, I hope that the first people who came to Keoltown from Mayo can look back and say ‘yes I’m glad we came here; yes, it all worked out, perhaps not quite as we had thought but just as well or even better’.”
He had earlier paid tribute to the families for keeping the Christian faith which their predecessors in Mayo passed on to them. “You have built your own families and your community on the values of the Gospel which has inspired your upbringing. For this reason, it is good to celebrate the success of 50 years of Keoltown as a place which you can be rightly proud to call your people and your home.”
The Mass took place at the church in Brotenstown and it was followed by a social gathering in Bloomfield House Hotel. Among those who joined the celebrations were family members from Mayo and other parts of Ireland, from England and Wales, Cyprus and Canada.
Pictured in the photo:
Front (from left) Paddy Kerrigan, Mary Kerrigan, Babs Kenny, Paddy Duffy, Michael Garvin;
Back (from left) Patricia Millar, Fr Paul Crosbie, Pat Kenny, Catherine Heraty.