Wednesday, July 24, 2024

‘Art was deep within her soul’ – Much beloved Mullingar artist Anna Marie Leavy passes away

Renowned Mullingar artist Anna Marie Leavy of ‘Hannafield’, Ballagh,  Mullingar, passed away peacefully on Sunday, 23 June surrounded by her loving family. Born Anna Marie Moss, the acclaimed artist grew up in Aughnahoo, Pettigo, County Donegal. It was here she began her artistic journey where she would sketch men and boats on the River Erne.

She attended the Louis Convent in Monaghan at secondary level and earned a scholarship to the National College of Art in Dublin for her art. She joined an architectural firm after graduating and helped design Galway cathedral while employed there.

Anna Marie married the late psychiatrist Oliver Leavy and the pair moved to Dumfries in Scotland where Oliver was completing his medical training at Crichton Royal Hospital. The Donegal native taught art during this time before the couple moved to Downpatrick in County Down in 1968. They spent some time in Dublin before moving to Mullingar in 1971 and made the town their home when Oliver was appointed to St Loman’s Hospital.

Anna Marie shared her talent with the people of Mullingar as she continued to paint and exhibit her art. She gained international acclaim for her works as her art reached the USA and Japan. The artist also exhibited jointly with her son, Niall Leavy. Her works were inspired by the Irish landscape, their flora and fauna.

Anna Marie and Olly had seven children and were sadly predeceased by their son Kieran who died in a road accident at 10-years-old. This prompted Anna Marie to train as a bereavement counsellor to aid those in need.

She is survived by her children Niall, Emer, Ronan, Aidan, Sarah and Rose Anna, their spouses and partner, Cécile, Bryan, Bernie, Marcela, Dermot and Aidan. Her grandchildren Antoine, Clodagh, Tristan, Áine, Niamh, Cian, Róisín, Amy, Alex, Sebastian, Aran, Saibh, Daniel, Aodhín, Ólan and Caitlyn. Anna Marie is also survived by her brother Joseph in Canada, her sister-in-law Áine along with her nieces, nephews and relatives.

Anna Marie is also remembered by her neighbours and many friends. Her remains will repose at Gilsenan’s Funeral Home on Tuesday, 25 June from 6pm concluding with prayers at 8pm. Her funeral Mass will take place at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar on Wednesday, 26 June at 11am, with burial afterwards in Ballyglass cemetery.

Tribute

Following the news of her passing, Matt Nolan paid tribute to his neighbour and friend Anna Marie.

“She was a great neighbour and great friend,” said Matt. “Both of us moved in to the Ballagh area around the same time and our children grew up together. Anna Marie and her husband Ollie had a house in Ballagh. It was a great house to call to.

Everyone was welcome – strangers, locals and  neighbours. It was a most artistic of houses and Anna Marie was the epitome of hospitably. You could go in the house five times a day and you would get tea and currant cake and all sorts of chats with her, usually about arty things. She was very artistic, even the way she dressed and spoke  was artistic. Art was deep within her soul.

My favourite memory of her is watching her wandering around Cleary’s Field collecting wild flowers and bringing them back to her house and painting them. It was extraordinary watching her.”

Go d’tuga Dia suaimhneas síoraí Dé dá hanam uasal.

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