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Friday, November 14, 2008

Death of an Irish Rose

Devoted Catholics, Maggie Ward and her husband Charles had 15 children. Yesterday, her 172 grandchildren and her surviving 12 children all came together for the first time to pay their last respects at her funeral.

Daughter Anne Hudson said 'She would never forget a birthday and got everyone a present at Christmas. She bought presents all year round - she would go to markets to get gifts so she could afford something for everyone.

'She was tough but she had to be to keep us all in line. She was very proud of her family.'

She added: 'My mother came from a family of nine and my father a family of 14 - we have a history of huge families. I only have three children myself but some of my brothers and sisters have 10, 11 or even more.

At the ceremony in Salford, every one of her 172 grandchildren let off a balloon in her memory. They had travelled from Manchester, Birmingham and Ireland to be there.

Mrs Ward was originally from Galway, Ireland and moved to Salford UK in 1963.

Her coffin and the two grey horses pulling the hearse were draped in the Irish flag.