Delia Barrett (1902–1919) was actually christened “Brigid” (Anglicised as “Bidelia” hence "Delia"). She was the 7th child of Martin Barrett and Kate Dowd and grew up on the ancestral family farm near Croghan village.
Delia was one of the 23,000 people to perish from the Black Flu in Ireland 1918-19. The Spanish flu aka the ‘Black flu’ was an influenza pandemic that broke out in June 1918 and claimed anywhere between 50 million and 100 million lives around the world. By November 1918 this epidemic (thought to have been transmitted by returning WWI soldiers) was rife throughout Ireland. It was not unusual for whole families to be stricken down together. Doctors and nurses were taxed to capacity and the death rate was very high and very quick. The cause of death recorded in Irish Civil Death Records during this pandemic varied from Influenza to Broncho-Pneumonia to the common cold.
Delia had just started boarding at the Marist Convent School in Carrick-on-Shannon (where two of her maternal aunts were teaching nuns) when she fell ill on 2 May 1919. Later that week, a neighbour, Mrs Elizabeth Barrett of Ballinvilla died from a "cold" after 10 days.
Delia Barrett, age 17, had been suffering from Influenza for 14 days which developed into Pneumonia for her final 5 days of life. She died at home on 16 May 1919 with her brother, Joe Barrett, present at the time of death. The family story that passed down through him never mentioned the Spanish flu, only that she fell ill at the convent school, and died suddenly. Delia was interred at Killapoge Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
OBITUARY: MISS DELIA BARRETT, BALLINVILLA, CARRICK-ON-SHANNON Leitrim Observer, Saturday, May 24, 1919
We regret to chronicle the demise of the above-named, talented young lady which occurred at the residence of her parents on Thursday the 15th inst. Deceased, who had only reached the age of 17, had attended the Marist Convent Schools, Carrick-on-Shannon, and lately entered the Boarding School of that Institution. With her home-circle and school companions alike, she was noted for her brightness and her amiable disposition. She gave every promise of a successful educational career and intended sitting for an examination the week following her demise, for which she was carefully prepared by the good sisters, one of whom and a well-known member of the Community was an aunt of hers, i.e. Sr. Martin.
With the children of the Parish, she especially endeared herself, as shown by the number of them who paid tribute to her memory by visiting the bedside of deceased, and praying, as children can devoutly, for the eternal repose of the soul of their departed comrade.
Solemn High Mass was offered up for the repose of her soul on Saturday, the 16th inst, in Croghan Chapel. The sorrow felt for the early demise of the dear child was here again evidenced by the large attendance at the ceremony. The funeral on the same day to Killapogue was of large dimensions and bore fitting testimony to the respect entertained for the dear departed and her parents by the public at large.
To her parents, we tender our deepest sympathy on the loss they have sustained.
Delia's photo is the only surviving family photo of her generation. It is very much treasured by the family.
|Date of Birth||25th Jan 1902|
|Date of Death||16th May 1919||VIEW SOURCE|
|Associated Building (s)||Ballinvilla townland, Marist Convent CARRICK, CROGHAN village|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Kate Dowd 1869-1940 of Ballinvilla|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Martin Barrett 1859-1932 of Ballinvilla|
|Townland born||Ballinvilla||VIEW SOURCE|
|Place & Date of Baptism||Croghan RC Parish||VIEW SOURCE|
|Number of Siblings||10|
|Names of Siblings||Mary Jane Reddy (1888-1961) | Kate (1889–1983) | Lizzie (1892–1914) | John Barrett (1897–1902) | Ellen aka Sr. Gertrude (1898-198?) | Norah Barrett (1900-86) | Joe Barrett (1904–77) | Sabina Barrett (1908–86) | Martha Farry (1910–87)|
|Place of Death||Ballinvilla, Croghan, Boyle, Co. Roscommon||VIEW SOURCE|
|New Type||Grandfather: John Barrett of Ballinvilla||VIEW SOURCE|
|New Type||Great-Grandfather||VIEW SOURCE|