Sr Columbanus had a powerful presence on Killarney life

Sr Columbanus: A powerful presence i the day-to-day life of the school

Warm and emotional tributes have been paid to Sr Columbanus Quirke, a nun with the Presentation Order, who passed away on Sunday in the Bons Secours Hospital, Tralee.

Formerly of Lyre, Milltown, Sr Columbanus spent most of her life working with the Killarney community, teaching and guiding children and teenagers, helping those in need of an extra little bit of help and supporting individuals and valuable community organisations.

She lived in the Presentation Convent, Killarney for the majority of her adult life but when the convent closed, due to dwindling numbers in the order a few short years, ago she transferred to Tralee while, earlier in life, she also taught in Castleisland and Rathmore during the course of her long and distinguished career.

More recently, Sr Columbanus resided at the Willow Brooke Care Centre in Castleisland.

The Presentation Convent in Killarney which was home to Sr Colmbanus

Remembered as an outstanding teacher of Latin, she was also a valued careers guidance counsellor and her advice was very often sought by young ladies preparing to embark on the first step of exciting and successful careers in a vast range of disciplines.

Killarney’s St Brigid’s Secondary School Principal, Roisín Moore, remembers Sr Columbanus as a wonderful woman who brought the best out in everybody and was always quick to stress that the school ethos was the most important consideration of all.

“She was a powerful presence in the day-to-day life of the school and she played a very central role in the pastoral care of all our students. She had their best interests at heart, she cared for them, looked out for them and she minded them,” Ms Moore said.

Principal Róisín Moore

The principal said Sr Columbanus loved Killarney and its people. She worked hard to do what she could to make it a better place in which to live and set set about her daily life with a great spirit of humanity and kindness.

“She had her finger on the pulse and there was little she didn’t know about technology. Her interests extended way beyond school life. She loves sports and she was even known to have an occasional bet on the horses,” Ms Moore laughed.

Her passing is deeply regretted and lovingly remembered by her Presentation Community, her sister, Sr Ailbe, Presentation Convent, Lixnaw, her brother-in law Donal Leahy and sister-in-law Betty Quirke, her nieces Mary, Fiona and Julette, nephews Maurice Leahy, Maurice and Shane Quirke, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family, relatives, neighbours and many great and loyal friends.

Reposing at O’Shea’s Funeral Home, Killarney this Monday evening until 6.30pm will be followed by removal to St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney.

Requiem Mass will be on Tuesday morning at 10.30am in St Mary’s Cathedral with burial afterwards in Aghadoe Cemetery.

The Requiem Mass for Sr Columbanus will be live-streamed on https://www.churchservices.tv/killarneycathedral.

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