The late Margaret Coleman pictured on her 105th birthday in April 2021

105-year-old Athlone resident passes away

Athlone is mourning the passing of one of it's oldest residents this week with the death of Margaret Coleman from Wolfe Tone Terrace, who was in her 106th year.

A native of Buckhill, Fairymount in Roscommon, she passed away peacefully on Monday, and will be laid to rest in Coosan cemetery this Friday, January 21, following Requiem Mass in St. Anthony's Franciscan Friary at 11.30am.

The late Margaret Coleman was just three weeks old when the first event of the 1916 Easter Rising - the reading of the Proclamation on the steps of the GPO by Padraig Pearse - took place!

In a wide-ranging interview with the Westmeath Independent in April of last year to mark her 105th birthday, she attributed her long life to "the Good Lord himself" and among her earliest memories of the turbulent years of the War of Independence from 1919 to 1921 was the Black and Tans "going around in trucks."

She left Ireland in her teens to begin training as a nurse in England and ended up living in the UK until her retirement at the age of 65, at which point she returned to Ireland and settled in Athlone.

She recalled how her cousin, the late Brother Frank McGovern, asked her and her husband, to come to Athlone to help him in his work with people suffering from addictions at the Marist Rehabilitation Centre.

Her late husband, John Henry Colemen, who passed away in 2015, and to whom she was married for 61 years, was the local postman in her native Roscommon and she first met him in 1949 when she returned from the UK to visit her mother.

"He ended up giving up his job and following me back to England, so it must have been love" she told the Westmeath Independent.

Margaret is the last surviving member of her family (their Dad was Pat Corcoran from County Sligo) having been predeceased by her six sisters and three brothers.

A lifelong lover of reading and a woman of great faith, she said "four or five Rosaries" every day of her life and was also a member of the Legion of Mary in Athlone.

Margaret Coleman is predeceased by her beloved husband, Henry, and son, Gerard, and is deeply regretted by her daughter Mary, son Seán, daughter-in-law Máire, son in law Ken, grandsons Seán and Éanna, relatives, neighbours and many friends.

Her remains will respose at Flynn's Funeral Home, The Strand, tomorrow (Thursday, January 20) from 3pm to 5pm.

Requiem Mass will takes place on Friday morning, January 21, at 11.30am in St. Anthony's Friary, followed by burial in Coosan Cemetery.