Mary Forde was honoured at a gathering in Raheenagh Community Centre on Friday night last to celebrate the 45 years of service she has given as Sacristan to the parish of Killeedy and to Ashford Church in particular. Mary inherited the job from her late aunt Mary Ita. When Mary began in Ashford life was very different. She opened the church every morning of the year for Mass and on Sundays in winter time she had 2 Masses. She helped many priests in her time, namely Fr. John Halpin, Fr. Patrick O’Dea, Fr. Martin O’Donnell, Fr. Michael Neville, Fr. Patrick Bowen, Fr. Michael Culhane, Fr. John Keating, Fr. Griffin and Fr. Doolin and also the native priests of the parish. Mary was part of people’s lives in times of joy and sorrow, she was there for christenings, marriages, at the reception of remains of parishioners and at funeral Masses. When it came to Confirmation and First Holy Communion Mary was always obliging and accommodating to the school. Mary’s commitment and dedication to Ashford church was total and unrivalled. A number of presentations were made by parish groups and she was joined by family, friends and parishioners to celebrate her retirement.