Mrs Noreen McKay

MRS Noreen McKay, who passed away in Ardview House, Ardglass, on September 23, was a retired office worker and a highly talented musician. She was 90.

Noreen was born in Downpatrick and lived her early years in Bridge Street. She attended the Convent School and completed her education at Fountain Street School where she was taught by Mr Hunter.

While at school Noreen took music lessons from Kathleen Killen in Irish Street. She attained a high standard in piano and violin and kept all of her certificates which she was proud to show off in later years. In her late teens Noreen played the violin in George Smith’s Band and was well known in local dance halls.

In the early 1950s she met and married John McKay, a farm labourer from Shrigley, who later worked in the village’s tannery. John left the tannery owing to health problems and with his wife and daughter Monica moved to London where he worked on the railway until his death in 1973.

Noreen continued to live in London and was employed as an office worker in the City before the call of Downpatrick brought her back to her home town in the 1990s. She lived in Marian Park for a time and later in Drumlea View.

She did voluntary work in local charity shops and was always willing to stand on streets and collect for various charities. She went to Lourdes with St Patrick’s Church for many years until she was unable to travel.

When Noreen became unable to care for herself she moved to the Abbeyfield home in Market Street. After two years she moved again to Ardview House in Ardglass. She loved the company and was able to play her keyboard and entertain the other residents. She ended her life happy and contented.

The Very Rev Fr Liam Toland celebrated requiem mass in St Patrick’s Church on September 28, which was followed by cremation at Roselawn where Fr Gabriel Lyons conducted a service.

The sympathy of the community is extended to Noreen’s daughter, Monica, granddaughter Laura and the family circle.