HER former colleagues in St Brendan’s College and St Brigid’s Secondary School, where she had been a valued member of the administration teams, have led the tributes to the late Clare Quinlivan (née Clifford), from Knockmanagh and formerly of New Street, whose passing, following an illness, has caused real sadness in her home town.
Clare’s Requiem Mass took place in St Mary’s Cathedral this Friday with chief celebrant Fr Kevin Sullivan assisted by Fr Jim Lenihan.
St Brendan’s College principal, Seán Coffey, read one of the prayers of the faithful, former college president Monsignor Dan O’Riordan joined in the prayers and students from the both secondary schools provided the moving music and song in the church.
Clare is survived by her husband, Con, daughter Lauren and son Andrew, as well as her sisters Anne and Rosemary, brother John, their families and many other relatives and friends.
She was the youngest daughter of the late Teddy and Clare Clifford and her father, a hugely popular dentist in Killarney, will be remembered for his wonderful and lasting contribution to the development of the town and the community through his long involvement as a Fine Gael member of Killarney Urban District Council.
Down through the years, Clare had worked in both St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School and St Brendan’s College and in a series of moving online tributes, her former colleagues remember a kind and caring person, a wonderful mother who was dedicated to her family and a thorough dependable, professional who was great at her job.
Fr Sullivan said Clare had a fierce capacity to protect the vulnerable.
“It could be a three-legged dog or a one-eyed dog, they seemed to find a home with Clare who was also passionate about protecting the environment,” he said.
“She hated unfairness and any form of cruelty. Whether it was to a human being or an animal, it went against everything that was important to her. Clare’s sense of right and wrong was never in doubt,” Fr Sullivan added.
He said a conversation of any length with Clare could be “a rollercoaster experience” because there was so much ground covered and there would be many words of wisdom.
“The inevitable end would be that you’d be breaking your heart laughing in her presence because it always came to that point. She had this wonderful ability to see the light side of things.
“She had an incredible gift to be able to bring joy and happiness and that sincere laughter to our lives,” Fr Sullivan said.