Sister Rose Coney from Ardboe passed away shortly after seeing her new niece Rosie

Ardboe native Sister Rose Coney passed away on May 5, 2016
Ardboe native Sister Rose Coney passed away on May 5, 2016

The only real time spent in her company was when my wife and I were on a train from Dublin five years ago but, such was the impression made, we immediately felt we were all old friends.

So I’m saddened by the death of Sr.Rose Coney, sister of one-time contributor of letters to our sports pages, Josie Scullion whose fanaticism of Tyrone football stemmed from Sr.Rose.

“As a girl she played for Ardboe, a rare thing, and thought there was nobody like the great Frank McGuigan” said Josie, who was delighted to see the coffin draped with a Tyrone flag.

“She’s my sister but, if she’s not a saint, there’s not much chance for the rest of us. She spent her life in the convent looking after children with disabilities and saw nothing but good in folk. She even sent a Mass Card to the Paisley family for Big Ian when he died.

“God works in mysterious ways and it was amazing my son Malachy decided we’d go to Mullingar to see Rose on May 4th, the day before her birthday. She had wanted to see her new niece, Rosie, who’s just one. Sr.Rose was poorly but we didn’t think she was as close to death. She was delighted and kissed the child. Shortly after, her hands dropped and passed away on her 80th birthday,” recalled Josie, emotionally.

A member of Daughters of the Cross, Sr.Rose is survived by sisters Margaret, Brigid and Josie and brothers Paddy and Francie. She was laid to rest last Monday in Old Cross Cemetery, Ardboe after Requiem Mass - homily delivered by Fr.Pat, brother of Sr.Rose’s late great friend Sr.Margaret O’Neill from Donaghmore.