Friday 19 October 2018

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Cork Independent


Cork mourns loss of Ann Dowley Spillane

Thursday, 19th October, 2017 10:01am

By Caroline Allen

Tributes have been paid to the strength of character and willingness to reach out to others, also affected by serious illness, demonstrated by the late Ann Dowley Spillane. Ann was the founder of The Girls’ Club which evolved into Cork’s Cancer Care Centre.

There has been sorrow throughout the region at Ann’s passing at her home in Mayfield, surrounded by her family, on 13 October.

She is mourned by her husband Jack, son Philip, mother Margaret, sister Marian (McCoy), brother Pat and extended family members as well as members of The Girls’ Club and large circle of friends.

The Cancer Care Centre at St Paul’s Avenue, supplied ‘blankets of hope’ to Cork and Kerry. Its wig bank gave out thousands of free wigs, hats and scarves to cancer sufferers.

The centre picked the iris as its logo as the flower of hope.

The late Ann previously told The Cork Independent that the will to survive was ignited by setting up the centre.

“After all, a pioneer did not set up AA,” she reflected.

A former Cork Person of the Month in 2012, she was memorable for her enthusiasm, love of live and bravery, despite her serious illness, said Manus O’Callaghan, organiser of the awards scheme.

He said: “She knew what other people living with cancer were going through and she provided a safe comfortable space for them to meet other people in the same situation."

He added: “We were extremely impressed by the sense of camaraderie she created and all the fundraising she did. There was a very positive response to her selection as an award winner. She was known by so many as a great personality.”

The Cancer Care Centre’s idonate page to send Ann to Lourdes has closed. Donations made are being used for funeral expenses instead.

The centre’s Celebration of Life annual ball is set to go ahead on Saturday 25 November in the Carrigaline Court Hotel in honour of Ann and all those lost this year to cancer.

Her family and Keohane’s Funeral Home jointly decided to cancel her removal on Monday due to Storm Ophelia.

Requiem Mass was celebrated on Tuesday morning at the Church of Our Lady Crowned in Mayfield. This was followed by burial in Rathcooney Cemetery.

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