Mary was born in Ballyglass and raised in Ballintubber. She received her early education in the local national school. Having sat her leaving cert in St Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar, she completed her teaching training in Carysfort Training College, Blackrock, Dublin. She began her teaching career in Saula NS, Achill after her graduation in 1958. In 1960, she was appointed principal of Beltra NS and in 1961 she moved to Burriscarra NS, Carnacon where she taught until her retirement in 1999.
She was loved and respected by her colleagues, pupils and friends. She was a dedicated teacher and instilled in the children a love for all things Irish.
Mary won her first scholarship to the Gaeltacht in 1951, and that great love of the language and culture remained with her, and she continued to develop it throughout her teaching life. In her retirement, she returned to study and graduated with her dioplóma sa ghaeilge from NUIG in 2005. It was her plan to complete here degree, but her maker had other plans for her.
A woman of great faith, she taught the religion programme and prepared children for the reception of the sacraments over the years. It was this faith that sustained in her final illness.
Since her retirement, Mary taught on a part-time basis, as a resource teacher in Balla NS and Snugboro NS. She availed of the opportunity to travel abroad and developed her interest in art. She read widely and loved the world of technology. This she used extensively in her study, work and recreation.
Outside of school, Mary was a busy woman of tremendous energy. She was devoted to her husband and family. She worked relentlessly to guide and encourage them to develop their talents and abilities.
Mary bore her final illness with great courage, privacy and dignity, and displayed admirable optimism at all times. She believed her health would be restored. However, that was not to be and with her family surrounding her, she closed her eyes in this world and awoke in a room in “one of the mansions that the father prepared for her, where her every tear would be wiped away”.
It was a fitting tribute to Mary’s rich, fruitful and selfless life to witness the huge attendances at her funeral and Mass. Her passing has left a void in our lives.
Déanann muid comhbhrón lena fear chéile Tom, lena páistí Ger, Stephen, Noel, Bernie, Ollie, Dermot, Louise agus Linda.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.-CB
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