Limerick has lost one of its greatest arts and culture supporters with the passing of Bertha McCullagh last Saturday. A regular at literary gatherings, her love and support of the literary arts scene in Limerick was legendary. Many people would be familiar with her from the early days of the White House Poetry Revival in the White House Bar on O’Connell Street and as a board member of Cuisle, Limerick City’s International Poetry Festival. She will be remembered as always having a welcoming smile for all the readers and encouraged those just starting out on their spoken word journey.
Originally from the Sliabh Luachra area of Co. Kerry, her mother’s family, the McGillicuddys, ran the Market Bar in Castleisland, a favourite for traditional musicians. Bertha remembers Pádraig Ó Cúibh calling regularly, as well as sports writer, raconteur and literary critic Con Houlihan, who took a great interest in, and encouraged, Bertha’s love of literature from an early age. Bertha was educated, through the medium of the Irish language, at Coláiste Íde in Dingle. She went on to become a secondary school teacher and principal, and a lecturer in Education at the Mater Dei Institute (DCU) and at NUI Maynooth. She was an acknowledged authority on Irish and English literature and poetry.
She is very deeply regretted by her partner Máirtín Ó Briain, son Niall, daughter-in-law Emily, grandchildren Rian, Aaron and Eoghan, step-children Patrick, Emma, Megan and Anton. Sadly missed by the Curtin and the McGillicuddy families, seven nieces, sister-in-law Dolores, brother-in-law Brian, members of the McCullagh family and her many friends in education, the arts, literary and poetry circles.
For funeral arrangements see www.rip.ie