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A family circle of 210 grieve for Mary McCann

Widow Mary McCann, of Hannahstown, who has died aged 101, is survived by 12 of her 14 children and a total of around 210 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

"We aren't sure of the exact number of offspring," says one of her granddaughters, Patricia McCann. "Our family circle is widespread and there are regular new arrivals.

"If granny were still with us, she would be in touch with all things family. Even at her great age, she was sharp of mind.

"She spent her life devoted to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had little time for anything else, but never lost her sense of humour, or her zest for living.

"She was a centenarian to be proud of."

Mary (nee McGreevy) was herself one of nine children, eight of whom have already passed on. Her brother, Gerard, still lives in Belfast. Mary was born in the city and lived at Glen Road Cottages. When her mother died, aged 40, in 1929, Mary was left, at 17, to bring up her younger siblings until her own marriage the following year to Patrick McCann of Lisburn.

The couple set up home in Englishtown and had a happy marriage, raising their large family – seven sons and seven daughters – until Patrick's death in 1984, after which Mary moved to Hannahstown. Her youngest daughter, Goretti, who lived in Worcester, died in 1995 and the eldest daughter, Alice, passed on in 2005.

Mary's Requiem Mass was said in St Teresa's Church on the Glen Road, where she was the first baby baptised in September 1912.

The funeral was to Hannahstown Cemetery.

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