The death has occurred of Ann Geary, formerly of Pontoon Bridge Hotel.

Aged 81, Ann died last night in hospital, after a long illness. She was a native of Westport and moved to Pontoon in the 60s when her husband Brendan and herself purchased the Pontoon Bridge Hotel.

For almost a half a century, Ann successfully ran and managed the popular hotel with her family, turning the hotel from a small lakeside fishing facility into a 58-bedroom wedding venue and leisure destination.  She retired from the hotel business in 2011.

Over her lifetime, she pioneered local tourism in Mayo and the West of Ireland and promoted angling. She was Chairperson of Ireland West Tourism in the 1980s, and was appointed to the Board of Bord Failte in 1988 and served a five-year term.

She subsequently served as a board member of the North Western Regional Fisheries Board. 

She served as the National President of Skal (the International Tourism Fellowship) in the 90s and was a member of the first board of the Western Development Commission.

Ann is predeceased by her late husband Brendan who died in 2012.  She is survived by her daughters Mary, Ann and Breeta and sons Michael, Brendan and John and eleven grandchildren.

John Walkin of Ballina served for many years with Ann on national and regional tourism and fishing organisations, he told Midwest News today that she was a wonderful woman who worked hard and said she always had valuable advise to offer.

Ann Geary's funeral Mass will be on Friday afternoon at 3pm at Christ the King Church, Knockmore. The Mass will be live streamed on