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Irene Mary Taylor, paternal grandmother of Cometan


Irene Mary's life began as Irene Maria Hardacre at 11 Maitland Street in the Borough of St Matthew's in Preston, Lancashire, England on 7th March 1932. She was the first-born daughter of master painter and decorator Richard Hardacre and cleaner Edith McKerney. This house at Maitland Street likely belonged to Edith's family, the McKerney's, an family descended from Irish who had travelled across to England during the mid 19th century; Edith herself was born in Preston so this was likely to be her parents' home or one bought by Edith and Richard so that they could be close to Edith's family as they raised their newborn child Irene Mary. Irene was quickly baptised just six days after birth on 13th March 1932 at the nearby St Joseph's Church, Preston and her godparents were her uncle John McKearney and a lady named Alicia Balshaw (Irene's familial connection to Alicia still remains unclear).

In 1943, when Irene Mary was eleven years old, Edith gave birth to their second daughter named Margaret Mary Hardacre. Irene Mary lived in Ribbleton until 1944 when, while World War Two was still ongoing, the now family of four moved to Richard Hardacre's home village of Higher Walton just outside Preston. With Edith's mother Margaret Jane Hope having died in 1942 and her father dying in November 1943, just two months following the birth of their second daughter, it is thought that their move to Higher Walton may have been triggered by the death of Edith's parents. The family moved into the house 9 Kittlingborne Brow and were now close in proximity to Richard's relatives. 

Unbeknownst to Irene Mary, she would come to share a grandson with a young girl who lived just up the road from her in Higher Walton, Hilda Warbrick; the two knew each other while living in the village but they did not know then that they would share their grandson Cometan some sixty years later.

The next chapter in Irene Mary's life began when she met Derrick Taylor, a young man two years her senior born in Coppull to Frederick Taylor and Ellen "Nellie" Taylor (née Stringfellow). Derrick was a miner for part of his working life, but was also a gardener. It is likely that the couple met when Irene Mary was in her late teenage years and they are known to have married on 27th March 1954 in St Mary's RC Church, Brownedge Lane, Bamber Bridge, a church with numerous connections to the Hardacre family from whom Irene Mary was descended. The young couple made a donation to this church by paying for one of the pipe's in the church's organ.

However, before their wedding occurred a terrible car accident took place in the January of 1954 on Birkacre Road in Coppull. It involved both sets of parents of Irene Mary Hardacre and Derrick Taylor. Tragically, Derrick's father, Frederick, died in the crash on 17th January 1954 while Irene Mary's parents, Edith and Richard, as well as Derrick's mother Ellen survived with some injuries and scars.

Following their marriage in April 1954, it is known that the young couple bought or rented a house called Fairhaven in Coppull where they lived at least until the early 1960s (before Derrick built 222 Longmeanygate). Irene Mary became pregnant in April 1954 and gave birth to their first son Derrick Stephen Taylor on 26th December 1954, however, tragedy struck once again when Derrick Stephen died after just ten hours of life on 27th December 1954. No doubt this event held an impact on Irene Mary and her husband Derrick.

Irene Mary Taylor passed away during the early afternoon of the 16th October 2015 at her home 222 Longmeanygate, Leyland at her own behest; Irene Mary's wish to die at home with her family around her rather than in a hospital and this final wish was granted. Two weeks following her passing, a funeral service was held for Irene Mary at St Catherine Labouré Catholic Church in Farington in the Traditional Latin Rite, after which Irene Mary was interred at Our Lady & St Patrick's Church in Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire alongside her husband Derrick Taylor who had passed away four years earlier on 26th November 2011.

Perhaps the most defining quality of Irene Mary's life and figureship was her motherhood, her natural birth of twelve children, ten of whom survived to adulthood.

Derrick Stephen Taylor (born 27th December 1954 in Coppull, Lancashire. lived only 30 minutes. died 27th December 1954, interred at Our Lady & St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Walton-le-Dale. Coordinates of interment: 53.746942, -2.664971) 

Marie Thérèse Taylor (born 22nd December 1955)

Bernadette Taylor (born April 1957)

Anne-Marie Taylor (born 15th August 1958)

Veronica Taylor (born 1959)

Mary Monica Taylor (born 1961)

Francis Taylor (born 1962. died 1962)

Derrick Vincent Taylor (born 22nd September 1963)

Marie Louise Taylor (born 28th November 1964 at Mount Street Hospital, Preston)

Catherine Zélie Taylor (born 28th September 1966 at Mount Street Hospital, Preston)

Joseph Richard Taylor (born 18th October 1968 at Mount Street Hospital, Preston)

Seán Frederick Taylor (born 30th October 1970 at Royal Preston Hospital, Preston)


The Beatification Story of Irene Mary Taylor

Mrs. Irene Mary Taylor was, first and foremost, my grandmother and it is from the perspective of being her grandson that my vocation for her post-corporeal recognition has emerged. However, I myself, though how ironic this may seem, as a scholar of religion, a Doctor of Philosophy in freedom of religion, astronomy and religion, and the origins of religion itself. This means that I hold the unique position to  but only years after her death. I like to think that my grandmother saw my vocation to explore the universe’s biggest questions in me before I knew myself, but of course, this, I will never truly know until I meet her again.


This story is not a means to merely glorify my grandmother, neither is it to distort the facts of her life and who she truly was, but it is instead a book that will act as a vessel for my grandmother’s life; a vessel that will be placed down through years to come. It is a book for the common Catholic, but it is also made for academics and clergyman. It is a book that seeks to tell the true story of a lady whose devotion to the Church never faltered and whose life works and actions, though sometimes deemed “controversial”, were only ever done in good conscience to the faith she dedicated herself to, no matter how much this may have clashed with the modern world.


– Cometan


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