Sr. Mairead O'Quigley
Congregational Register No. 166
First Profession 07.09.1949
Died: 01.09.2003 Aged: 86 years
Born and educated in Castlebar, County Mayo, Mairead O'Quigley came from a family of ten children; five boys and five girls. After school, Mairead stayed at home for two years helping to look after the family before moving to Dublin where she trained as a nurse and fever nurse. She worked in several Dublin Hospitals after completing her training before finally entering MMM in 1946, aged 29.
In those early years of the Congregation, Sr. Mairead's training and experience were put to immediate use. As a postulant she worked in the hospital and then as a second year novice completed her midwifery training. Her gifts for leadership were already in evidence.
Within months of completing her Novitiate training, Sr. Mairead was sent out to Tanzania - still called Tanganyika at that time. She was one of the early members of the community and hospital at Dareda which was to become her home for the next twenty-five years. During this time, she worked first as a nurse and later as a Nurse Tutor. During the last five years she was also appointed Regional Superior for Tanzania.
In 1978, after a sabbatical period spent between England and Ireland, she undertook a new assignment in Kenya. This was at the Amecea Pastoral Institute in Eldoret in Kenya. Here she acted as Infirmarian to the students and staff and was a proof reader for their publications department. She really enjoyed this assignment which lasted for six years.
In 1984, Sr. Mairead was asked to return to Tanzania to take up the position of Novice Directress. She worked in this capacity for three years before returning to Ireland for health reasons. Subsequently, she was unable to return to Tanzania.
During her first few years in Ireland she was Directress of Postulants and then later had a year in London before returning to Drogheda as a member of Mell Community. There she became local bursar and worked with an adult literacy programme during her retirement years.
Sr. Mairead is remembered as having a great capacity for friendship and her "loyalty to her family and friends was legendary". She led an active life in retirement up until the last year of her life when her health deteriorated significantly. It was hoped that there would be a full recovery after surgery in the early summer, but it was not to be. She died in Áras Mhuire at the beginning of September and is buried in Drogheda.