Those of us of a certain vintage may often be heard to say...."They don't make them like that anymore", and in the case of Rose McCann not a truer word will you hear spoken on a day's walk.
Rose Gallagher began her life a few miles outside of town in Treascon the eldest of 12 children before marrying Bracklone St's Pat McCann and settling into family life in 53 St. Brigid's Square.
Marrying into such an established GAA family in Portarlington meant only one thing, if you can't beat them... then you join them, and that is exactly what Rose did for the majority of her life.
Rose was a constant presence in Portarlington GAA, heavily involved for so many years on the Social and Ladies committees from the 1960's right up to recent years, and she recruited many a cook from Brigid's Sq and around the town to feed literally hundreds of peckish players over the years in McCann Park after a game or training.
Her contribution to Portarlington GAA cannot be stressed enough.
When Ian Fitzgerald gave his famous speech from the Hogan Stand in 2003 after Laois had just won their first Leinster title in 57 years, he gave a special mention to the 'Ladies of Portarlington GAA Club', for keeping them fed when they came to train in Port.
Those of us on the pitch that day from Port knew exactly who he was talking about, and Rose could be proud that she was an integral part of that effort.
Losing Pat so tragically in 1991 was a blow to everyone in Portarlington, but nobody felt the loss more than Rose and her 5 children.
But adversity & tragedy can bring out the very best in some people & that's exactly the character that Rose displayed as she brought up her children with the utmost pride and dignity, while always keeping her best side out for her friends and she never took a backward step when asked to give her time for the club.
As well as being a tremendous mother, she was also a fiercely loyal friend and neighbour.
Rose's door was literally always open.
Her friends were everything to her & in return, she was everything to them. (The weekly card games in Kathleen Carey's were legendary!)
Anyone that ever had to face personal loss or tragedy in St. Brigid's square always knew that Rose would be the first one at their door to make a pot of tea or a tray of sandwiches.
She was selfless, decent, generous....the salt of the earth & required no thanks.
Rose will be sadly missed by all of us who knew and loved her. Portarlington & Portarlington GAA are the richer for knowing her.
We offer our sincere condolences to Caroline, Kevin, Brendan, Declan & Shane. To her beloved grandchildren, her siblings, extended family and her even wider family of friends.
They just don't make them like Rose anymore.
Sleep well Rose. x.