This amazingly optimistic gentle lady ensured her enthusiasm brought assistance to the communities in which she settled.
Prior to moving to Ireland during 1973 from Eagle River, Winconsin U.S.A. Elizabeth A. Farrell had worked in publishing in Chicago. She loved adventures! During W.W.2 she held a commercial license to fly twin – engine planes. She arranged a deal to collect Jaguar cars at various ports to deliver them to customers across America
Elizabeth Farrell arrived on a vacation but she loved the country. She set up home in North Mayo. She purchased the old Sheaun School in Ballycroy from the parish priest, Fr. Morrison as she had fallen in love with Mayo. She set up a meeting in Drumgallagh National School to organize a committee to assist in the Ballycroy area. She fought off the red tape of Mayo County Council plus the Western Health Board eventually procuring the Old Doctor’s House for a Community Centre. She organized volunteers to redesign the centre where workshops were held including Basket Making, Rug Making, Sheep Skin Curing also Crochet and Lace making. Again Elizabeth Farrell set up a community a Youth Centre plus a laundry service there.
Elizabeth Farrell brought the first chiropodist service monthly to the Centre. The Bus Eireann local service was another credit to her unfailing concern for all citizens in North Mayo. She was instrumental during 1980 in the acquisition of piped water in the area. Another area that interested her was adult education she arranged a twelve week course on Local History by Professor T. P. O’Donnell.
Elizabeth Farrell endeared herself to her Westport neighbours, colleagues, plus her friends. She was involved with many organizations that benefited from her hard work including The Irish Guide Dog Trust. During 1998 she Published “Letters from Africa” that detailed the Westport / Aror Partnership in the town.
As an esteemed member of the Westport Historical Society she volunteered with collections, at the centre reception, organized collections. She served as Assistant Editor of the Cathair na Mart Journals with the Editor Dr. Sheila Mulloy. Up to the time of her demise she served as Vice–President of the Society.
Elizabeth Farrell died on Friday 18th April 2014 at the Friars Nursing Home, Ballinrobe. She donated her body to science. The Ballycroy Community Council arranged a Mass in her hounour on the first anniversary of her demise at the local Church of the Holy Family.
Her legacy continues to this day in Ballycroy and Westport where she is fondly remembered by all the organizations she was involved with plus her many friends.
There are three of Elizabeth’s Paintings on Liam Lyons Collection at Mayo County Library; www.mayolibrary.ie
As a member of Westport Historical Society have many fond memories of Elizabeth Farrell during our various meetings plus events…..She was always so interesting and cheerful.
Mayo News, Elizabeth Farrell, Obituary, 25th November 2014