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We arrived down an hour early, just to get some fresh air, and to try and get our head around the day.
Even at 11.45am, there were people gathered near Mooney’s shop, whilst others sat, drinking takeaway coffees, outside the neighbouring Holy Rosary church.
The church where Bridie Mooney’s coffin was about to be carried to from her home of almost 70 years.
This was clearly a big day for Greystones, and given the outpouring at the news of Bridie’s passing on Wednesday morning, it was clear that this remarkable woman meant a whole lot to a whole lot of people.
And those that could make it today were out on the streets, ready to say goodbye. That the planned minute’s silence turned into a spontaneous round of applause as the coffin made its way along that short stretch of Trafalgar Road made much more sense.
Bridie was never one for being quiet. Joy is what she was all about, and this sudden surge of clapping fit the day perfectly.
Managing to be both austere and mildly irreverent (this must be the first funeral ever with free Hasbro sweets everywhere), this was the kind of sunny farewell that Bridie herself would have planned.
There was a lone fiddle player, a garda escort, those baskets of free sweets, the sun beaming down on pockets of old friends catching up, a somber walk in through the Holy Rosary gates, and then, once the funeral mass was underway, Bridie’s grandchildren, sharing their memories about a grandmother who taught them all about white lies, maths, pleading innocent, and how two bottles of sunscreen was hardly enough for one person.
And just to remind us all just how important the day was, The Irish Times was there too. Bridie would have preferred Ireland’s Own, of course, but, hey…
So, the perfect send-off for a perfect lady. From this day forth, let’s all try and be a bit more like Bridie…
Now, go explore the wonder that is Bridie Mooney here.