Ballina mourns former mayor

The late Frances McAndrew was laid to rest yesterday in Leigue Cemetery, Ballina, following her funeral Mass in St Patrick's Church in the town.

Mrs McAndrew, nee Dunleavy, of Westwinds, Bohernasup, Ballina, died in the Galway Clinic this day last week, following a short illness at the age of 70.

Mrs McAndrew was a former Fianna Fáil member of Ballina Town Council and twice served as the mayor of the town.

She was first elected to the council in 1999 and was returned at each subsequent election until the council was dissolved last year.

She served as mayor in 2003 and 2010.

She was a native of Tuam and came to Ballina to work in the Bank of Ireland.

She settled in the town marrying local man Eamon McAndrew, who predeceased her.

Speaking at this week's meeting of Mayo County Council, Fianna Fáil councillor Annie May Reape paid tribute to the former mayor, saying: "She might not have come from Ballina originally, but she was a Ballina woman through and through, and very proud of the achievements of the town and the people.

"She was a very popular member of the council and around the town. She was involved in a lot of voluntary organisations in the town and did a great deal of work for the town.

"She lost her husband 12 years ago but she picked herself up and always looked on the bright side of life."

Cllr Gerry Ginty said: "She was a colleague and a friend of mine. She wasn't of the same political persuasion, but she was a very good friend to me.

"I served with a lot of people over the years in councils and I can say about her that there wasn't a bit of badness or bitterness in her. No matter what happened, it was forgotten about very shortly afterwards.

"She wasn't very long in Ballina before she became part of the town. She joined any organisation where she could be a help to the town.

"It's a huge loss to her family and a huge loss to the town. She was a really, really, good person and that's the best you can say about anyone." 

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