4 January 2007 Edition
Death of Ann Shields — friend and comrade
The death took place in the early hours of the 6 December 2006 in the Louth County Hospital of Dundalk republican, Ann Shields, following an illness. Her husband, Michael, died suddenly on 3 October. She had three sons, daughters-in-law, 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Ann was a longstanding member of Sinn Féin and gained and deserved the respect of all who knew her. She was a member of the Worthington Watters/Gerry Halpenny Cumann holding many positions over the years and was a senior member of Louth Comhairle Ceantair. She saw many changes in the party over the years, which she welcomed, as it developed and grew in strength.
Apart from her involvement in politics, Ann had a wide range of interests including keep-fit, walking and swimming. She was heavily involved in her local credit union and was employed in the Ecco factory in Dundalk for 30 years where she was active in her trade union.
Ann received a republican funeral. Her Tricolour-draped coffin was lead by a lone piper to her final resting place, accompanied by a republican colour party. The flag was presented at the graveside to her son, Kenneth.
Louth Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan, a personal friend gave the oration at the graveside. He said:
“It was with deep regret and great sadness that I learned of the death of friend and comrade, Ann Shields on Wednesday last. Ann was a personal friend and a member of Sinn Féin for over 30 years. She held many important positions in the party and was a member of the Worthington Watters / Gerry Halpenny Cumann and Louth Comhairle Ceantair Officer Boards up until her death.
“I remember my first time meeting Ann. It was at my first Comhairle Ceantair meeting in Dundalk in the late 80s. I was impressed with her sincerity and dedication then and have always remained so. I got to know Ann very well over the years and am proud to call her my friend. I got to spend some special time with her and her friend Maureen over the past year when travelling to hospital appointments and enjoyed the stories they told and memories they shared on these journeys.
“She was a loyal and true friend and comrade, was well respected and will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege to know her. As a committed republican, Ann worked tirelessly and over the years was a steadying influence on many during difficult times. She narrowly missed winning a seat for the party on Dundalk Town Council in the 2004 local elections.
“The sudden death of her husband, Michael, only two months ago was a tremendous blow to Ann and her family and even though she was ill herself she bore her grief with great dignity and was a source of strength and comfort to her family.
“On behalf of the Sinn Féin party and the republican family I offer my deepest sympathy to her three sons, Michael, Brendan and Kenneth, daughters-in-law, 16 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and her wider family circle and friends.
Ar dheis Dé of raibh a nanam dilis.”
• Months Mind Mass will take place on Monday 8 January at 7pm in St Josephs Church, Castletown, Dundalk.