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Death of former Southern Star journalist Eileen Forristal

September 21st, 2015 10:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

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BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

BY JACKIE KEOGH

THE love, joy and positivity that Eileen Forristal emanated didn’t just filter through to her family and friends, she was also a force for good in her community.

Eileen, who passed away on September 9th, was from Rochestown but moved to Skibbereen in 1974 to take up a job as a reporter with The Southern Star – a job she delighted in because of its diversity.

Susan Forristal, Eileen’s daughter, said: ‘Her amazing energy for life was infections.’

Here are but some of her achievements: After leaving The Southern Star to devote more time to her family, Eileen also found the time to be a presenter with Clonakilty Community Radio; chairperson and tutor with the Clonakilty Adult Literacy Group; and PRO of the Festival of West Cork.

She was involved in the formation of Clo-Ag – which assisted the settled travelling community to integrate into education from the time of pre-school onwards – and she was a regular minister of the word at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clonakilty. Eileen also worked in the family pharmacy business, Forristal’s in Clonakilty, but decided in the mid-1990s to return to education, to complete her degree in English and Philosophy at UCC, and later a PhD.

Eileen enjoyed tutoring and lecturing English at UCC for a number of years and bravely continued working through her first year of being diagnosed with cancer.

But in the eulogy that Susan gave at Eileen’s funeral mass, it was clear that there was so much more to her than the sum of her achievements.

Susan said: ‘Her love spread through all of our family, brought us all closer together, and united us all in a very special way.

‘Her attitude to life and death was a constant lesson to us all, and we have always been inspired by her strength – right up to the very end.’

For eight long years, Eileen Forristal fought the bravest battle and her family believe it was her uplifting attitude to life that gained her extra time.

Susan said: ‘She had three treatment-free years, which she made sure to put to great use. She concentrated on keeping her mind and body well and took up running, completing several 10km races, culminating in the Ballycotton Summer Road Race in 2012.’

Susan said her family were very proud of their mother, but Eileen made no secret of the fact that the thing that gave her the greatest joy in life was to be able to dance with John at all four of her children’s weddings in the eight years since she was diagnosed, and to make such special connections with her six beautiful grandchildren.

‘Even in her last few days,’ Susan said, ‘mum made sure that we were prepared as well as we could be. She had big chats with all of us, and comforted us. She never showed any fear or remorse ... and she saved her dying breath for our Dad.’

On the second night without their beautiful mother in this world, Susan described how she observed her rituals and, as she switched off the light in her mother’s study, found a brown leather hardback notebook on her desk.

The notebook was Eileen’s diary from 1975 and it recalled the sunshine-filled day at Barleycove on Saturday, June 28th – the day John proposed.’

Susan said: ‘Mum left us a little book of love, joy and treasured memories to remember her by. She was the most wonderful wife, mum, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend that anyone could ever know.’

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