Overwhelming sadness at passing of respected businesswoman 

April 24, 2012

There was an overwhelming sense of sadness in the area on Monday last when the funeral Mass and burial of once-prominent and highly respected businesswoman, Rose Moley, took place in Crossmaglen.

Though having suffered failing health in recent years, Rose’s passing at the age of 69 has devastated her family and left a gaping hole in the lives of her husband and five sons.

During her Requiem Mass, Fr. Kevin Cullen reflected on Rose’s many achievements in her life and paid tribute to her contribution to the wider south Armagh community.

The following eulogy was composed by her family and was read to mourners by Fr. Cullen:

Rose was born in 1943 to Frank and Bridget McShane in Legmoyland. One of eight children she was pre-deceased by John, Frank, Kitty and Bridget and is survived by her sisters Maisie and Annie and brother Paul.

Her early years were spent in Silverbridge school and she spent many happy days picking blackberries with her friends and classmates. On one fine day she made her way to Moley’s Shop at Cregganduff crossroads.  Herself and Bridie Hamill (now Conlon) had gathered enough blackberries to exchange for a box of matches, so she would be able to meet Gerry Moley. Later that day all four (Gerry, Rose, Bridie and Francis Conlon) met on the Mine Hill and an enduring relationship was born.

Gerry and Rose married in on August 10th 1966 in Glassdrummond Chapel and after their reception in the Omeath Park Hotel, went on a driving honeymoon around Ireland.

Rose and Gerry went on to have five sons – Gerard, Miceál, Francis, Patrick and Paul. She was always, like her husband, very proud of the men her boys had grown up to be.

During very difficult times in Crossmaglen, Rose excelled in her role as business woman, provider and mother. In 1965 Rose and Gerry opened a cafe in Crossmaglen. The Glen Cafe opened on a fair day and chips, burgers and sweets were always available.

Many will remember the Juke Box and the hit records it played, from Jim Reeves to U2. This cafe was a meeting place for young and old and many met their partners for life across the red top tables. Rose had great training from her job in the Satellite take-away in Newry and her former boss Tommy Burns was heard to say how his loss was Crossmaglen’s gain.

In 1979 Rose became the first woman in Northern Ireland to successfully pass the PSV Bus Test and she was often seen driving a mini-bus or coach to football matches, discos and schools. Early morning school runs with Rose involved daily prayers and the prayer of Padre Pio was known by young and old and can still be recited by those children who are now grown up.

Disco venues such as the Oasis and Nuremore would not finish until late but with Rose there was no-one left behind. She was often seen at football games and was a very proud mother when Crossmaglen Rangers won their first, and then many, All-Ireland titles.

Rose was also part of the BBC documentary ‘Gerry Moley’s Bus’ that highlighted the huge contribution made by Gerry and Rose to life in south Armagh.

She was also a great dancer and together with Gerry, won an All-Ireland title in Old Time Waltzing, an achievement she was particularly proud of.  Many Sunday nights they danced in Inniskeen and made great friends.

Rose based her life on prayer and herself and Gerry never missed nightly prayers, kneeling by their bedside to give thanks for all their gifts. Her Christian values were always evident in her actions including often giving a less fortunate person a bed and food in her home.

Rose Moley was laid to rest in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Crossmaglen on Monday 16th April. Left to mourn her passing are her husband Gerry, sons Gerard, Miceál, Francis, Patrick and Paul, sisters Anne and Maisie, brother Paul, daughters-in-law and partners Sinead, Tracey, Lynette, Anita and Patrick, grandchildren Caolan, Colleen, Daire, Seanan, Fionnan, Eabha, Danielle, James and Melissa.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a hanam.