Thursday, February 6, 2014

                       Newsletter   2.2.2014

If 19th/20th-century Saggart was associated with the McDonnell family who built Saggart Paper Mills, then Saggart of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is associated with the Mansfield family who built Citywest Hotel.  Both of these enterprises provided valuable employment for many local people and, at the same time, put the village on the map for people all over the country. In addition, the McDonnell family helped to build the parish church of St Mary's, while the Mansfield family built the small community centre next to it, as well as providing land for the extension of the cemetery. So we mark and mourn the passing of Jim Mansfield who died on Wednesday, 29th January. The funeral was held on Friday in St Mary's and he was buried afterwards in the cemetery across the road. May he rest in peace there.

'He was never motivated by money. He liked building things and employed at his peak 1,300 people from the local area he loved. [. . .] He was heart-broken by the downturn. Like so many people he overextended himself when there was too much credit around.'  (Christy O'Connor Jr, Irish Times, 30 January 2014)

The funeral was conducted by Fr Enda. You can read a report in the Irish Times.

(The church where Jim's funeral Mass was said is the church where his grandfather, Timothy of Redgap, Rathcoole, was baptized in 1878 (see record here), making it likely that Timothy's father, John, was alive at the time of the dedication of St Mary's in 1849, and indeed might well have attended it.)

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