Well loved Irish dancing teacher passes

The late Brigid Gasson (nee McGowan)
The late Brigid Gasson (nee McGowan)

The late Brigid Gasson.

Brigid was born on January 1, 1931 and was the second child of John and Sarah McGowan of 25, Lower Road.

Although in her adult life she had a very successful career in the civil service, Brigid had a special enthusiasm and gift for Irish dancing and was one of a particularly talented generation of Derry dancers including people like her sister, Vera O’Hagan, Eugene and Celine O’Donnell, Dan and Mary McLaughlin, Frank Roddy, Ted Cavanagh, Fidelma Mullan and Patricia Henderson.

During her dancing career, she won many awards including All-Ireland Championships in both solo and team dancing. Subsequently, while working in London, she set up a very successful Irish dance school there.

She married her husband Tom Gasson in 1954 and a few years later, after the birth of their first child Kevin, they moved to Canada, where again she became involved in teaching Irish dancing. Her teaching in Canada was particularly well received and from her base in Toronto, her school was soon conducting classes in Ontario and in New York State.

The finest achievement of this school was being invited to represent the Irish dancing tradition at the Canadian National Exhibition three years in succession in the early 1960s.

The Gassons returned to Ireland in 1965 and ten years later moved to Norwich, Tom’s native city, where they lived very happily together working and serving their community; a long life of joy and fulfilment marred only by the very premature death of their son Kevin. Just a few months ago they celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary.

She is sorely missed by her grieving husband Tom, her daughter Siobhán and son-in-law Tim, her grandchildren Zac and Ciara, her siblings Moya, Vera, Eddie and Dick and her many relations and friends in Derry, Norwich, Hemel Hempstead, London and America.

Go raibh sí féin agus a mac Kevin faoi shuaimhneas i measc na naomh inniu.