Dream Wedding Before Death
DROGHEDA bride Yvonne Corbally fulfilled her wish of marrying her sweetheart Peter Quinn on Thursday, November 26, before succumbing to cancer just two days later.
The beautiful 41-year-old had just announced her engagement on the previous Monday, after receiving the crushing news that the disease had left her with just a week to live.
Family and friends who had gathered for the bittersweet occasion in Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Thursday met once again to say farewell to the brave mother of three in the same church on Monday.
“She had been battling with breast cancer for a year and a half, and when she was told the news last Friday that she only had a week to live she decided she wanted to become Mrs. Quinn,” says widow Peter, with a hint of a fond smile.
“She even made me get down on one knee and give her a ring, and that's when her friends stepped in and organized the wedding in three days.”
Sadly, her close friend Debbie Whelan, who was to act as her bridesmaid on the day along with Carmel Cotterell, was also organizing Yvonne's funeral at the same time.
“She knew exactly what she wanted, even down to the dress and flowers, and enjoyed every last minute of the day,” she said.
“During the reception, she said it was the only time in her life she felt like a princess.”
Corbally met her husband 21 years ago, and the couple had three sons, Seamus, 21, Andrew, 19, and Niall, 17.
“The last thing Yvonne wanted was for people to feel sorry for her and the wedding was a real celebration, and I have never seen her look more beautiful,” says Quinn.
Her best friend Debbie helped her to get dressed that morning and put on her makeup, making sure her veil was sitting just right, before helping her into the vintage car that waited to take her to the Lourdes Church, where her fiancé was waiting with 60 family members and friends.
What separated her from other brides was Corbally knew she only had hours to live, and shortly after taking to the floor with her first dance as Mrs. Quinn, she slipped into a coma, where she died two days later.
“Yvonne found out she had breast cancer in May 2008, but didn't tell me until four months later,” says Quinn. “The minute she told me I took her to a doctor, but it was already too late and it had developed into bone cancer.”
The wedding was booked for 3 p.m. on Thursday, but the bride was in so much pain she didn't get to the altar until 4:20 p.m.
Corbally was confined to a wheelchair in the latter half of her illness, but still managed to have her first dance with her new husband.
“She loved the song 'Country Road' and it was played at the wedding and funeral. She had a ball at the wedding, but got very tired and later on that night, she just slipped into a coma and never woke up. It was a very happy day and very peaceful death,” Quinn added.
Please, Shop Local!
CHRISTMAS shoppers who support local businesses in Kilkenny are not only helping the local economy, but they are also sustaining critical jobs, enterprise and industry in the region for the year ahead, local Senator John Paul Phelan says.
At the end of a crippling month, which has seen job cuts at Glanbia, the closure of several engineering companies, as well as top Kilkenny restaurant Fleva and the local Budget Travel outlet, Phelan encouraged everyone doing their Christmas shopping to try to support local trade where possible.
“Anyone who walks through the center of Kilkenny, who drives through our industrial estates or visits towns and villages in the county will be struck by the number of vacant business premises. It is frightening. And unless we stop driving north and start supporting local trade the situation will become far worse,” he said.
“If ever there was a time to shop local and support local traders, then it is now. Groups such as Kilkenny Chamber have developed a voucher scheme where money invested in the group scheme will be spent locally in shops and restaurants run by local people and staffed by local people.
“I would strongly encourage shoppers to think long and hard about the kind of Kilkenny they want this time next year. The allure of lower VAT and ‘bargains’ up north may be strong in these tougher times. But revenue lost to the local economy will also translate into job losses in 2010.
The senator also said he supports calls from the chamber for a 5% rate cut in the borough and city council areas, as well as a change in the way rates are collected.
“I know of a business that pays ***90,000 in rates each year. Paying out ***45,000 in one whack at a time when cash flow is tight is very hard to swallow. I believe the local authorities would fare much better and would collect more were they to switch to monthly payments,” Phelan urged.
THE Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar is experiencing unsafe levels of overcrowding in its A&E department.
Last Thursday 22 patients were waiting to be admitted, and there were currently no trolleys available for new patients coming in.
Mullingar A&E has seen an 800% increase in the number of patients waiting on trolleys in November 2009 compared to figures for November 2007. Such a drastic increase is attributable to the closure of 41 beds in the hospital.
No communication or consultation took place with the Irish Nurses Organization (INO) regarding any such bed closures, even though it was quite clear that there would be serious consequences for the A&E department and hospital as a whole.
According to Lorraine Monaghan of the INO, “The A&E department in Mullingar cannot cope with this level of overcrowding. It is unsafe and unmanageable.
“This situation will inevitably worsen as we enter into the depths of winter unless management take immediate action and reopen the recently closed beds in the hospital.”
No New Pets
KERRY parents being pestered for a dog or a cat this Christmas have been urged to think again before buying a pet as a festive present.
The Kerry Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KSPCA) has appealed directly to parents in the county not to buy a pup, kitten or any other household pet as a gift for Christmas.
The KSPCA has also directed an appeal for the first time to Kerry children asking them not to add a pet to their Christmas list this December, and to wait for better time to welcome a new member into their family.
"We are making an appeal to the younger generation not to be pestering mum or dad about getting a puppy or kitten for Christmas or any other type of pet," said KSPCA spokesman Harry McDaid.
"Christmas is not the time for new pets as they need a lot of attention to get them settled in, so why not wait until after Christmas when things are quieter then they can spend more time with your new pet and member of the family," he added.
McDaid revealed that a staggering 856 abused, neglected, cruelly treated and injured animals found refuge with his organization so far this year.
Women Abused in Laois
WOMEN in Laois are being abused, assaulted and locked or trapped in their homes by their partners, because there is no refuge for them to go to in the county.
The incidence of domestic abuse and violence against women is so prevalent that the service set up to offer assistance to victims, Laois Support Service Against Domestic Abuse (LSSADA), is struggling to keep up with the numbers seeking its help. The situation has become so violent in the county that workers with LSSADA are “facing danger.”
The alarming comments were made at a county council meeting in Portlaoise, when the CEO of Amnesty International, Colm O’Gorman, addressed councilors.
O’Gorman said a recent study showed that only one in 10 women who are being assaulted and abused in their homes actually report the incidents. He said those working with abused women can expect to see a rise in more serious incidents.
“I am not suggesting the economic downturn will cause domestic violence, but women are at a greater risk of more severe domestic violence,” he said.
Councilor Catherine Fitzgerald, who is also on the board of LSSADA, pointed out the shocking reality of the situation.
“The figures are extremely worrying. The official figures by the Gardai don’t come near the amount of people out there suffering domestic abuse. It’s happening everywhere in Laois, in every village, town and parish.
Christmas is coming up and that’s mainly the worst time of the year. Women are facing very dangerous and volatile situations.”
She called for the expulsion of the man from the house, if it is proven in court, that he poses a danger to the woman.
“People are going into courts for protection orders and the perpetrators are being left in the homes. I appeal to judges to protect the woman and exclude the man from the house,” she said.