Nancy’s 80th Birthday Party: Nancy McCluskey, nee McKenna, celebrated her 80th Birthday with a party on Saturday night,
February 22nd. The party was held in her daughter’s home, Siobhan O’Brien, at Emy. Friends and family members were there
though some were unable to travel especially those ‘overseas’. Nancy is daughter of the late Johnny and late Minnie McKenna from
Emy and has been involved in community activities around the area from a young age. She was a leader of the Emyvale Tidy Towns
effort and is still very supportive of the work being done by the prersent committee. She married Patsy McCluskey from Main
Street, whose wife, Maisie, had passed away and Nancy became mother to Patricia, Edna and Jim and added to the family giving
birth to Ann, Brenda, Siobhan, and Mary. Nancy is a library of information and has a great sense of history. She takes great pride in
her locality and constantly suggests ways in which life in Emyvale and surrounds can be improved for the inhabitants. At the party
Geraldine Watterson, a good friend, presented a synopsis of Nancy’s life and work in the form of ‘This is your Life’, highlighting
some of the main events in her 80 years of living in the Emyvale area. Nancy cut the cake and all shared a feast of food prepared
by Siobhan and Martin, with some help from family members. It was a wonderful celebration of a full and active life and, although
her mobility may be reduced, Nancy can still contribute to life in the village and we wish her many more years to carry on with her
suggestions, her ideas and her efforts to keep us all in line.
Peter here is the poem composed by JJ Sherlock for my 80th
Birthday.....what a great talent John Joe is. Nancy
Away down Main Street there's a woman we know,
It's hard to believe she was born, eight decades ago.
She doesn't act eighty because she's still young at heart,
We could tell her life story if we knew where to start.
She was child number seven in a collection of ten,
A family made up of six women and four men.
Called Annie at first, but was later rebranded,
To be known as Nancy as the family expanded.
A while spent at school where some things she did learn
Before going to work when there was money to earn.
At the old shoe factory that was in Mullan Mill,
It was there she learned a very valuable skill.
In her job in the office, she was a real flier,
Churning out letters as her boss would require.
Great with a typewriter it has often been said,
But anything handwritten just couldn't be read.
She got a wee Morris Minor when she was just twenty one,
Although being her passenger was far from being fun.
When you'd see her approach it was best to avoid her,
She's probably the reason the N2 was made wider.
She met Patsy Mc Cluskey, to whom she later wed,
Number fifty four became her homestead.
Her working life, all jobs were sidelined,
Now too busy at home, there was children to mind.
When her kids got too loud or there was others about,
It wasn't unusual to hear Nancy shout.
If order wasn't restored by raising her voice,
The wooden spoon became her weapon of choice.
Now her children are grown up and some have moved away,
In different parts of the world you'll find her DNA.
Since those early years her life has evolved,
There's been many committees where she was involved.
About our wee Nancy that's a story half told,
She's still firmly convinced that she's not getting old.
Maybe slightly bent over and not great on her feet,
But still the same character that lives on Main Street.
J.S February 2020