Kinsale Mourns A Great Friend
Tributes paid to Ewen Tubridy.
Writes JJ Hurley
Kinsale's town folk were left broken-hearted following the untimely death of one of its most-loved residents: Ewen Tubridy.
Arriving in Kinsale in 1983 with her husband, Eugene, she would spend the next 39 years working tirelessly for the community she was proud to be associated with.
A native of Ballinlough, she grew up in a home where parents Dick and Mona Dalton’s passion for music became a life-long love for Ewen.
A gifted soprano, her talent had been recognised early on at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School before she took to the stage at the Ursuline Secondary School, starring in several productions, including The Sound of Music. Victoria Singers followed on from her musical interest in school, and Ewen also trained under Bobby Bare at the Cork School of Music.
When she arrived in Kinsale, her gifted notes often sounded in the Parish choir, on the stage with the local opera society or the gospel choir at St Multose Church. A songstress that could turn her hand to any genre, Billy Crosbie said, 'A Special, special lady. She loved singing, and many years ago, we formed a group called "The Apple Blossoms". Ewen loved the Great American Songbook and smiled her whole way through every Saturday night at our residency in the Trident Hotel. She was kind, caring and positive with everybody. So something unique has been taken from us in Kinsale.' She was a caring person who volunteered her time unselfishly, as many of the town's organisations would acknowledge.
A week before she passed away, Ewen worked in the office as a volunteer for the Sovereign Cup Sailing Race. She had a close affinity with the sea, as her husband Eugene is a marine engineer, so when the RNLI commissioned a boat in the town, it wasn't surprising she became a key member.
Paying her a fitting tribute, members of the RNLI from across the country turned out en masse to form a guard of honour to their esteemed colleague following her funeral Mass.
Reflecting on her contribution to Kinsale RNLI, a post on its Facebook page said, 'We are heartbroken at the passing of our wonderful true friend and RNLI colleague, Ewen Tubridy, fondly known to us all in the station as Money bags. Ewen dedicated nearly 40 years to Kinsale RNLI as treasurer, only stepping aside from the position this year while remaining a very valued committee member. Ewen was always at the front of all our fundraising, supporting new ideas, helping and guiding new committee members.'
'An absolute inspiration to us all and will be missed so much throughout our station, community and the RNLI. Thank you, Ewen, for being you.'
A person who always cared for others, the familiar smile that greeted residents on the town's streets or previously many had known in Boland's News and craft shop, where she worked, will be sadly missed.
Fondly remembered by her former employers, Tony and Colette Boland, said of her, 'Anyone who ever met Ewen never forgot her: that is because Ewen loved people and never forgot them either.
'An Australian customer, who had bought something in the shop two years before, was astonished to be greeted with her warm, welcoming smile and “welcome Mr Hunt again''.' 'Thank God for Ewen, her love, her warmth and her sense of fun.'
While the town has lost a great friend, Kinsale's loss pales into insignificance for Eugene, Alec, Sarah, grandchildren, siblings, Orla, and Fergus.