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PAST PUPILS OF DOMINICAN COLLEGE and scoil ChaitrÍona

a selection of alumni

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SR ÁINE HARDIMAN
Dominican Missionary Sister

Sr Áine was born in Dublin in April 1926, was educated in Scoil Chaitriona and entered the Dominican Novitiate in Kerdiffstown House. After she was professed and obtained a BA degree in Mathematics and Latin from UCD, she departed for South Africa and over the next sixty years was an inspiring teacher in Dominican schools, in addressing the injustices of the South African system of apartheid and upgrading the status of women in the townships. Sr Áine arrived in South Africa in the 1950’s and was a teacher in the Dominican school for white children where she was to become the principal. Working with other ecumenical groups she was the main inspiration behind the development of an Early Learning Resource Unit which was to help bring an education programme to the African Townships. Together with the women of the Nyanga township, they developed a model for early learning education. The strategy was built on the strengths of the sisters and of the local people and their knowledge of how to quietly cross the barriers of severe political, economic and cultural restraints in order to build confidence and impart skills. She was to direct this township early childhood project at great risk to her safety. Sr Áine had identified the scandal of apartheid and had fearlessly confronted it at the height of the Mandela protests in the 1980’s. She walked with the other sisters in the ‘Free Mandela’ march in Capetown and was among those arrested. After a weekend in prison she was brought to a public hearing where she spoke so ardently about the oppression and injustice that characterised South African law and order that those who listened, including the prosecutor, were visibly moved. The case was dropped. Sr Áine died in Capetown in March 2013 where she is buried. At her funeral service the congregation sang the The Struggle Song - Malibongwe Makhosikazi naming her among women to be praised for courage and leadership in the cause of freedom and justice.

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ANGELA GREENE
Poet and Painter

Angela Greene, Poet and Painter, was born in England in 1936 but grew up in Dublin from an early age. She was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street and trained as a nurse at the Mater Hospital. Angela’s poetry, published in Britain and Ireland, reflects her experience as woman, daughter, wife, mother, poet, and painter. Her poems are well crafted and moving, and the recognition of her contribution to contemporary Irish poetry is well deserved. She won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 1988. She was prize-winner in the Bloodaxe Books National Poetry Competition in 1987, and she was short listed for The Sunday Tribune/Hennnessy Literary Award. in 1989. Angela’s collection of Poetry “Silence and the Blue Night” was published by Salmon Poetry in 1993. She died in 1997

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is an Irish poetry award for a collection of poems by an author who has not previously been published in collected form. It is confined to poets born on the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or a long-term resident of Ireland. It is based on an open competition whose closing date is in July each year. The award was founded by the Patrick Kavanagh Society in 1971 to commemorate the poet. From 2011, the award is presented at the end of September during the annual Kavanagh Weekend at the Patrick Kavanagh Centre.

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ANNE KERNAN
Particle Physicist & Professor of Physics (Emeritus)

Anne Kernan was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street. She studied physics at University College Dublin, graduated with a BSc in 1954 and she completed her PhD at 24 years of age in 1957. Anne lectured at UCD for four years. She then moved to Berkeley, California. Anne specialised in experimental high-energy physics. She spent the best part of her research career at Cern high-energy research centre near Geneva. Her later work in several CERN and Tevatron collaborations, in particular, helped to discover the two sub-atomic particles W and Z bosons in the 1980's, to observe the top quark in the 1990's, and to win the Nobel Prize in 1984. During the last years of her career, she was a Professor of Physics at the University of California at Riverside. Beside her research activities, she worked for multiple funds and charities supporting science in Ireland and the US.

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ARLENE NÍ BHAOILL (BOYLE)
Irish Dancing Champion & Riverdance

Arlene was educated in Scoil Chaitríona Mobhi Road. Arlene knew from very early on in her life that dancing was her dream.  She started Irish dancing at 3 years of age, and just loved it. Dancing was everything. When Ireland was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, Arlene, just a few months away from taking her Leaving Certificate Exams, was one of the chorus in the very first performance of Riverdance. That performance took the world by storm, and Arlene’s life was changed forever. The opportunity for her to live her dream had suddenly arrived. She had to grasp her opportunity, so she never did get the time to take her final exams. Arlene toured with Riverdance, and when Jean Butler could not dance due to injury, Arlene and Eileen Martin stepped in, and sharing the leading role until Jean’s injury healed. Arlene soon graduated to become Principal dancer with Riverdance. She left Riverdance in May 1996, to join Lord of The Dance (LOTD). Arlene dances the part of Saoirse in Lord of The Dance Troupe 2.

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BERNIE MILLS (DETTA BRENNAN)
Artist

Bernadette Brennan was a pupil in Dominican College Eccles Street in 1947, 48 and 49. On leaving school, she took a two-year Comptometer Course, and then worked for Bord na Móna. She met and married Eamon Mills and they moved to Cork where she is better known there as Bernie Mills, but to her school friends from Eccles Street she is always Detta Brennan. Detta raised a family of five children and recently celebrated 54 years of marriage. She was always good with her hands and in 2003 began attending classes with Brother Albert, a Capuchin. Detta is a member of the McAlese Art Society and the Lavit Gallery in Cork. Both of these hold regular exhibitions, where Detta has exhibited her work.

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BETTY SEARSON
Librarian & Arts Administrator, Royal Dublin Society

“Betty is the most important cultural impresario in Dublin.” Kevin Meyers Irish Times Weekend 27 July 1991.
Born 1932 and educated in Eccles Street and UCD, her family is the great drinks dynasty Searsons. Betty studied History and English in UCD. Then obtained a Library Diploma. Joined RDS Library, where she was Chief Library Assistant. She had an enormous love of music, she was later appointed  Assistant on Cultural and Science Matters.  Finally appointed full time Arts Officer of the RDS, she organised the vast programme of chamber music in RDS. There have been afternoon concerts in the RDS for many years, but Betty pioneered the lunchtime concerts. Over period of 15 years, she was responsible for organising the winter series of 28 concerts and 28 lectures, as well as over 1000 individual concerts.  She made the RDS the home of chamber music in Dublin. She was responsible for bringing the London Symphony Orchestra to play in RDS in Dublin, with the backing of the British Embassy and the British Council. She secured the attendance of people such as Edward Heath to RDS. Betty was Hon Secretary of the Crafts Council of Ireland for many years (1975) and was appointed on to the Advisory Committee Cultural Relations in 1985 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Members were chosen for their expert knowledge of the different artistic fields.

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BILLIE MORTON
Abbey Actress

Billie Morton was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street. Her father was Billy Morton, an optician, who gave so much of his time and money to building Santry Stadium, which is now called after him. Billie became an Abbey Actress, and it is there that she met her husband TV and Radio Presenter Aonghus McAnally, son of the actor Ray McAnally. Their two sons are also in show business - Aonghus Óg is an actor and Andy, an event manager.

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BRIDE ROSNEY
Special Advisor to President Mary Robinson

Bride Rosney was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street. She graduated in Science from University College Dublin and Computer Practice from Trinity College Dublin. Bride has over twenty years experience in education and educational research at both second and third levels.  She was a teacher, educational researcher and school principal. Bride was an activist in a teacher trade union, and various NGOs in the environmental field. She was Director of Communications with RTÉ from 2001 to 2009 and worked in the private sector as a communications consultant in the spheres of new technologies and the arts from 1998 to 2001. Between 1990 and 1998, she worked as Special Advisor to Mary Robinson for an eight-year period, during her time as President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Bride is currently the Secretary to the Board of Trustees of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice of which she was the founding Chief Executive Officer. She is a Director of Eirgrid and of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland.

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CAÍT LANIGAN COOPER
Singer

Caít Lanigan was educated in Scoil Chaitríona. She had a great dedication to and love of choral music, and her involvement in Irish choral life was considerable. Her invaluable contribution to the Dowland Consort  An Cór Laoidheogach and the Radio Eireann Singers is remembered with admiration by all her colleagues in these choirs. She taught in Loretto School Crumlin, and was Director of the Goethe Institute Choir for 30 years.  Pupils and members of the choirs are mindful of the debt they owe her for the inspiration and knowledge she imparted to them. Redmond O’Hanlon sang with Caít for over 25 years. Caít died in 1998. She will always be remembered by new young singers, who, although they did not know her, compete for the Caít Lanigan Cooper Bursary at Feis Ceoil each year.

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CATHY KELLY
Author

Cathy Kelly was born in Belfast 20 Sept 1966, but she was raised in Dublin. She was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street and studied journalism in the Dublin Institute of Technology. Cathy worked for 13 years as a journalist for The Sunday World, and has been a writer of women’s fiction since 1997, when her International Best Seller “Woman to Woman”   was first published.  This was quickly followed by “She’s the One”  and  “Never too Late”. It was only after these were published that she resigned from journalism and became a full time writer in 2001.  She has gained international recognition and her popular fiction novels are published globally in many languages. Cathy is a great story teller. She writes books with themes ranging from relationships and marriage to depression and loss, but always with an uplifting message and strong female characters at the heart of each story. Her book “Always and Forever” topped the UK Best Sellers, displacing Dan Brown and J K Rawling in Oct 2005. Among others, she published “Homecoming” in 2011, “The House on Willow Street” in 2012  and “The Honey Queen” in 2013. Cathy is involved with many charities.  She has been Ambassador for Unicef Ireland since 2005. Working as a ‘Global Parent’ for Unicef, she raises funds and awareness for children orphaned by or living with HIV/AIDS.

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CLARA NI GIOLLA (GILL)
Nurse & Broadcaster

Clara was born in 1930 and started in the junior school, Eccles Street where her six sisters and brothers also attended. The boys then went on to O’Connell Christian Brothers School. The girls went on to attend Scoil Chaitriona with Clara leaving in 1945. She joined the civil service, trained as nurse in Jersey. She worked in the Channel Islands, UK, Boston and the Aran Islands before retiring to live in Belfast in 1996. She helped set up an Irish language Credit Union on the island during her 17 years as the public health nurse. She is now helping the exciting Gaelic Revival in Belfast. Clara is involved and helping to develop Gaeltaicht Beal Feirste and broadcasts regularly on Radio Failte. She is also involved with ‘SÍOL’ a small Gaelgeόr charity which holds musical evening to fund new ideas at Culturlann

Click here for an excellent Documentary of Clara being interviewed about her life and work.

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MARY DE GALWAY O’KELLY (NEE CUMMINS)
Countess & Belgian Resistance Operative

Mary Cummins (1905 - 1999) was born in Dublin in 1905, one of 10 children of Thomas Patrick Cummins, a plumber, and his wife, Ellen Black. Mary was educated at Fairview National School and Dominican College Eccles Street. She was very good at languages, particularly french,  and in Brussels taught English to the 12 children of a Belgian Countess, before  working in the Canadian embassy as a translator. Mary was in Brussels during the German invasion (May 1940) and became involved with the Belgian Resistance.  She acted as courier, as she could travel with her Irish passport, and she knew many foreign diplomats.  She also worked as a translator, and smuggled weapons. She was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps in Berlin, Bremen, Dresden and Essen. She escaped death as the train to take her to Auschwitz was derailed. When the American troops liberated her camp in 1945, she weighed only 4 stone and was suffering from decalcification of the spine. She spent several months recovering in hospitals in Switzerland and Paris. Mary was decorated by King Leopold of the Belgians and General Eisenhower. In 1946, she met Count Guy O’Kelly de Galway in Brussels. He was a barrister of Irish descent. They were married in 1949 and moved to Ireland. In 1964, her husband travelled to England on business, but disappeared and was never heard of again. Mary lived in Clontarf, and was known by her nieces and nephews as Auntie Bunnie. In her 80s, she gave a lengthy interview to RTÉ for a radio documentary called “In the Shadow of Death”. Even in her nineties she went for regular walks on Howth pier, took great care of her appearance, and loved parties. “Aren’t I marvellous for my age?” she would often say. “They’ll have to shoot me!” Mary died 20th June 1999 and her ashes are buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

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VAL MULKERNS
Irish Writer & Member of Aosdána

Val was born in Dublin in 1925. She was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street. She grew up in an artistic family, her father James being a Dublin actor and writer of satirical verse. She first worked in the Civil Service, then moved to England, where she worked as a teacher. During the fifties, after moving back to Ireland, she began to write, and worked as an associate editor and theatre critic of The Bell, a famous Irish literary review founded by Seán Ó Faoláin. Her two early novels were  A Time Outworn (1951), and A Peacock Cry (1954).  These were followed by  The Summerhouse (1984) and Very Like a Whale (1986). She was a regular columnist with the Evening Press from 1963 to 1983. Val wrote three acclaimed collections of short stories - Antiquities (1978), An Idle Woman (1980), and A Friend of Don Juan (1988), and she has also written two children’s books, which have been translated into German. Val was joint winner of the AIB Prize for Literature in 1984.  As Mayo County Library’s first writer-in-residence in 1987-1988,  she edited the anthology New Writings from the West. She is included in several key Irish literature anthologies, including The Field Day Anthology (Edited by Seamus Deane), and The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (edited by Colm Tóibín). Married to the late writer Maurice Kennedy, she edited a posthumous collection of his work, The Way to Vladivostok, in 2000. She broadcasts frequently on RTE Sunday Miscellany, and has recently completed a memoir. She lives outside Dublin. Val Mulkerns is a member of Aosdána, the affiliation of Creative Artists in Ireland.

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EILEEN KANE
Academic & Art Historian

Eileen Kane was educated at the Dominican College, Eccles Street, and at University College Dublin. In 1957 after completing the HDip in Ed, Eileen returned to the Dominican College to teach French and Latin. She studied piano, organ, harmony and harp at the Royal Irish Academic of Music. She twice obtained, from an Italian Government, a Scholarship to study organ in Italy – first, in Venice at the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, and then for an academic year (1962/63) in Rome under Fernando Germani at the Conservatorio Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In 1966 she left Dominican College to join the Department of Foreign Affairs as Third Secretary for a short period. She completed a degree course in History of Art in UCD under the late Dr Françoise Henry, and in 1967, accepted an appointment as Assistant in the Department of History of European Painting, taking over the Purser-Griffith Diploma course in the History of European Painting. A number of the mature students on this course were encouraged by Eileen to follow a degree course. She was appointed Acting Head of the Department of the History of Art from 1975 to 1977 and from December 1990 to January 1992. Central to all Eileen’s work were her students and her major interest as an academic was in teaching. She particularly enjoyed seminar work and for many years conducted a course on the art of Burgundy-Flanders, a topic which enabled her to draw on her interests in both music and European Affairs in the fourteen and fifteen centuries. Eileen’s doctoral thesis in 1972 was historical ambiance of Avignon immediately after the departure of the Popes and during the great Schism with particular reference to the painter Jacques Werni. This area and period have been part of the central focus of her publications which have appeared in both French and English in international acclaimed journals. The other main area of her research has been Rome in particular the early Christian and medieval cathedral of San Clemente. Her most recent publication is a book published in 2000 on the St Catherine Chapel in San Clemente one of the major monuments of the early Renaissance in Rome. San Clemente is in the care of the Dominican Order. Eileen also has an interest in Irish art and art history in particular in an ecclesiastical context. She has been making an inventory of the works of art and items of historical interest in the Catholic churches in Dublin. She has served on the Commission for Sacred Art and Architecture in Dublin. In December 2000 received a very great honour when she was created a Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II. Since her retirement Eileen has continued her research and writing.

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EILÍS NÍ DHUIBHNE
Writer, Academic & Member of Aosdána

Eilís Ní Dhuibhne was born in Dublin in 1954. Married to Bo Almquist, she is also known as Eilís Almquist and Elizabeth O’Hara. Eilís was educated first in Scoil Bhríde, now in Ranelagh, and then in Scoil Chaitríona, Eccles Street. She graduated from UCD with a BA in Pure English, an M Phil in Middle English and Old Irish, and in 1982, a PhD in Folklore. She studied at the Folklore Institute in the University of Copenhagen as a  research scholar (1978-79), while researching  her  doctoral thesis. For many years Eilís worked as an assistant keeper, a librarian, in the National Library of Ireland,  She is a teacher of Creative Writing, has been Writer Fellow at Trinity College   and is currently Writer Fellow at UCD. Eilís writes in both Irish and English.  Since her first book Blood and Water (1988), she has written 24 books, including novels, collections of short stories, books for children, plays and also non-fiction. She has won many awards for her writing over the years - The Bisto Book of the Year Awards, The Readers’ Association of Ireland Award,  The Stewart Parker Award for Drama, The Butler Award for Prose from the Irish American Cultural Institute and several Oireachtas awards for Novels and plays in Irish.  Her novel ‘The Dancers Dancing’ was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her latest collection of short stories ‘The Shelter of Neighbours’ was published in 2012. Eilís was elected to Aosdána, The Irish Association of Artists, in 2004.

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EITHNE FITZGERALD (NEE INGOLDSBY)
Economist & Politician

Eithne Ingoldsby was born in Dublin in 1950, and was educated in Scoil Chaitríona and UCD where she studied economics. Eithne was a member of Dublin County Council from 1979 to 1993.  She was elected to Dáil Eireann in 1992 as a Labour Party TD for South Dublin, but she lost her seat in the 1997 and 2002 general elections. Eithne was Minister of State at the Department Finance (with special responsibility for National Development Plan) during the 1993 Labour/Fianna Fail Coalition government. In 1994 the Rainbow Coalition Government was formed between Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left, and Eithne was appointed Minister of State at the Office of the Tánaiste and Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise and Employment. She championed the Ethics in Public Office Act (1995) and the Freedom of Information Act (1997). Eithne is married to John Fitzgerald, son of Garret Fitzgerald.

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ESTHER O’ROURKE
Teacher in Dominican College Eccles Street during the 1890s

Esther O’Rourke graduated with a BA from the Royal University during the 1880s. She then joined the teaching staff at Dominican College, Eccles Street. The Royal University of Ireland, founded 1879, was the first University in Ireland to grant degrees to women on a par with those granted to men.  Women-students were prepared in Colleges, like St Mary’s University College, established by the Dominican Sisters, Eccles St and Alexandra College Dublin which were devoted exclusively to the education of women, and the students sat the examinations of the Royal University as external students. Ester was at the very forefront, the very beginning of education for women, and she would be proud that three generations of O’Rourkes have followed in her footsteps in University College, Dublin which first admitted woman students in 1909. Her son Thomas O’Rourke (BA, B Comm) in 1920s taught in Synge Street, and lectured on HDip Ed programme in UCD. Her grand-daughter Maire O’Rourke (BA 1960 HDip 1961) taught in Sacred Heart School, Leeson Street. Her great-grand-daughter Niamh O’Rourke trained as a nurse, graduated from UCD with a MSc in Public Health, and was a manager with the HSE, studying for her PhD in 2010/11.

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FEDELMA CLANDILLON
Pioneering Social Worker

Fedelma Clandillon was born into a large family and lived most of her life in Dublin. She was educated in Dominican College, Eccles Street, together with her siblings Ita, Moirin, and Finola (Music Teacher on the staff). Both her mother and father had a great love of Irish music and culture and were well known as accomplished performers. The family were native Irish speakers.  Her Father, Seamus Clandillon, with a background in teaching and the civil service, was appointed in 1925 as the first Director of Broadcasting of 2RN, later Radio Eireann. Upon completion of her education at Eccles Street, Fedelma spent a year in Belgium studying French. Fedelma started life as a teacher, but in the 1930s she took a Diploma in Social Studies in UCD and moved into Social Work. She completed her training in England under the Institute of Almoners scheme and worked as a Medical Social Worker (MSW) in the UK. She returned to Ireland to take up the post of  Inspector of Boarded-out Children (subsequently called fostered) in the newly formed Department of Health in 1948. Her work load covered several counties and her records (all in Pitman’s shorthand) are a remarkable testimony to her dedication and commitment to promote good standards for boarded-out children. They are archived in the Department of Health’s Archival Department. Fedelma considered the education of these children paramount and cases where she opposed children working instead of attending school are cited in her records. She also opposed siblings being separated and in 1970 in response to a particular case wrote to her Superiors ‘It would have been more satisfactory if both children had been boarded  out  together. As it is, the children have lost not only their mother and their home, but are separated from each other’. Fedelma’s insight into children’s needs was visionary at that time and her professionalism and dedication to the children under her care was noted in the Ryan Commission’s submissions in 2008. She represented the Department of Health at Conferences in France during her professional career. Fedelma worked for the Department of Health until her retirement in 1980.

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FINOLA CLANDILLON
Musician & Music Teacher

Finola, born into a large family of native Irish speakers was educated in Eccles Street along with her siblings Ita, Moirin, and Fedelma. She was the second generatioin of her family to be educated by the Dominicans as her aunt Sr. M. Jordan Clandillon attended Eccles Street also. Her parents were accomplished performers in Irish music and Finola following in their footsteps studied music at UCD and obtained an Honours Degree in B.Mus in 1932. After qualifying she taught at the Read School of Music in Dublin and meanwhile obtained the Diploma L.R.A.M. In 1936 Finola returned to her Alma Mater where she joined the staff and taught music along with Mother Cecily. For several years Finola accompanied the Orchestra at the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas in Blackrock College whilst her nephew Ferdia O’Dowd took the leading roles in the productions at that time. She was much loved by all her pupils in whom she took a great interest and staff, community and pupils were much saddened by her sudden death in July 1968.

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GABRIEL HAYES
Sculptor & Artist

Gabriel, born on 25 August 1909 was reared primarily by her aunt and attended Dominican College Eccles Street. She wanted to be a painter and spent three years studying French in a school near Montpellier and attended art classes. On return to Dublin she entered the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. In 1932 as a student she had five works exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy and continued to exhibit there until 1947. In her Masters Certificate Gabriel came first in Ireland. In 1936 Gabriel married Sean O’Riordain an archaeologist and lecturer who later became Professor of Celtic Archaeology at UCD however it is as Gabriel Hayes she is widely known but did sign some work in her married name. When the Irish Government built their first state building, Industry and Commerce on Kildare Street, Gabriel carved eleven stone panels, depicting various industries and two large stone heads capstones over the windows at roof level. She then carved the lifesize Three Graces for the Catering College on Cathal Brugha Street. After the death of her husband in 1957 she commenced on the commission to carve in stone twenty eight lifesize figures for the Stations of the Cross in Galway Cathedral a task which took over twelve years. Over the years Gabriel produced many works in a variety of media –paintings mainly in oils with a few watercolours, ceramics, stone, bronze and wood. In the late 1960’s Gabriel received the commission to supply the designs for the bronze decimal coins for the new Irish decimal currency issued in 1971. Her designs were based on birds in old Irish manuscripts. Gabriel’s stained glass Lantern hung in the entrance hall in Eccles Street was transferred with the sisters to Griffth Avenue and now proudly hangs in the chapel of the new convent. After a long illness Gabriel died on 28 October 1978 and is buried with her husband in Donoughcomper cemetery, close to the family home Newbridge Lodge, Celbridge where she had moved in 1943.

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GRÁINNE HEALY
Women’s Rights Activist & Projects Manager

Gráinne Healy is a long time feminist activist with serious involvement in campaign for women's rights in Ireland, including reproductive health rights, violence against women, prostitution and trafficking and anti poverty issues. Chair of the European Women's Lobby's Observatory on Violence against Women for over a decade, Gráinne is also former Vice President of the European Women's Lobby, a former Chairwoman of the National Women's Council of Ireland; Chairwoman of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency and a previous Ministerial appointee to the Board of the Equality Authority and the Women's Health Council. Gráinne is a School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) Doctoral Researcher, and Chairwoman of Marriage Equality. A self-employed Projects Manager, Gráinne has devised and delivered numerous EU-funded social inclusion initiatives with transnational partnerships across the EU.   These include The Dignity Project to support development of Inter-agency service delivery for victims of sex trafficking, and The Equal Project to deliver innovative solutions to work place inequality,  creating a more equal workplace in the Dublin region.

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LOUISE GAVAN DUFFY
Irish Scholar, Cumann na mBan, Founder of Scoil Bhríde & Dominican College Past Pupils Union

Luíse Ghabhánach Ní Dhubhthaigh, born in France in 1884, was the daughter of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, founder and editor of The Nation newspaper. Her brother was George Gavan Duffy, one of the plenipotentiaries sent to negotiate with the British Government in 1921 and one of the five signatories of the treaty that was the outcome of the negotiations, later Minister for Foreign Affairs in the First Dáil. He was later President of the High Court. Louise Gavan Duffy came to live in Ireland in 1907 and studied the Irish language both in Dublin and in the Gaeltacht and also trained to be a teacher. She taught for a time at Pearse's new experimental school for girls,  Scoil Íde at Cullenswood House, Ranelagh. The director was Padraig H. Pearse, B.A., Barrister-at-Law, idealistic visionary. His objective was to attempt for Irish girls what had been so successfully achieved for Irish boys at St Enda’s College in Rathfarnham. The prospectus stated that the primary aim of St Íde’s will be to foster the elements of character. It will endeavour to ground its pupils in sound moral and religious principles; to train them in practical Christianity and to awaken in them a spirit of patriotism and a sense of duty and obligation to their country. The house-mistress was Mrs Bloomer, a Cambridge graduate. Others on the staff included the writer and critic Mary Maguire who would later marry Longford poet Padraig Colum. Willy Pearse was the Art Master. When St Íde closed in 1912 Louise attended The Teachers Training College in 17, Eccles Street for her lectures over the year and obtained the Cambridge Diploma. For the next two years she held the position of Assistant in the Training College. In 1914 Louise Gavan Duffy was one of the founder members of Dominican College Past Pupils Union. Louise became a member of Cumann na mBan in 1914 and her detailed statement in the Bureau of military History describes her journey through Dublin on Easter Monday 1916, arriving finally at the GPO, where she asked to see Pearse: “I said to him that I wanted to be in the field but that I felt that the Rebellion was a frightful mistake, that it could not possibly succeed, and that it was, therefore, wrong.” Pearse suggested that she help out in the kitchens, and she agreed to this, since it was not active service. She stayed there until the GPO was evacuated on Friday, and next morning went to Jacob’s “to see what they were going to do there.” Her statement is noted as more reflective and politically aware than most of the others contained in the Bureau. Louise Gavan Duffy went on to found in 1917 Scoil Bhríde, Ireland’s first Gaelscoil for girls based on the principals established in St Íde. The school was located on St Stephen's Green, moved to Earlsfort Terrace and later to Oakley Road, Ranelagh. This was to be her main life’s work until her death in 1969. She had retired as principal in 1944. The school finally closed in 1993. Some of her pupils went on to attend Scoil Chaitríona for their secondary education.

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MAIRE CRANNY
Drama Teacher

Maire was born Newry Co Down and commenced her education as a boarder in Dominican College, Eccles on 3 September, the day World War 2 was declared. During her years in Eccles Street Maire studied Voice under Mother Clement. It was during this time she was to see and be very impressed by Madame Burke Sheridan, who came to visit Mother Clement, who was also her teacher while Margaret was a boarder in the school. Maire was to take part in many of the plays while at school and played the principal part performance of The Hound of  Heaven. In 1940 Maire commenced lessons with Miss Ena Mary Burke, Professor of Elocution and Drama, Kildare Street and Eamonn Andrews, Maureen O’Hara, and Milo O’Shea were also in the class. Maire continued her studies in Drama and qualified from the London Guild Hall of Music and Drama. She joined the teaching staff of Dominican College and put on many performances until 1949 when she left to get married. Vera Gallagher, one of her pupils,  took over the drama teaching post. In 1944 Maire started the Eccles Street Past Pupils Dramatic Society which put on many plays and invited many young aspiring actors, Brendan Cauldwell and Barry Casson to perform with the past pupils. Later Maire began teaching in many of the colleges and schools in Dublin St Mary’s Rathmines, St Louis College Rathmines, Muckross Park, Loreto College Foxrock, Clongowes Wood College, Blackrock College and also the Loreto College, Cavan.  In 1982 Maire returned to Eccles Street to produce the history of Eccles Street to celebrate 100 years of the Dominican College ‘Down the Arches of the Years’.

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MAIRÍN MacDERMOTT O’DALAIGH
Irish Scholar, Linguist & and wife of President Cearbhall Ó Dalaigh

Mairín’s father was a teacher in India, and became Director of Education in Kashmir. Mairín was born in India, but the family returned to Ireland when she was two and a half years old.  She never returned to India. Mairín was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street where she was a brilliant student. The prize for her prize-winning essay “The Ideal Woman” was five volumes of Moral Theology, donated by the Chaplain to the Convent. Mairín MacDermott and Cearbhall Ó Dalaigh met as students in UCD and married a few years after they graduated. Mairín was an Irish Scholar and excellent linguist. She had a prominent role in establishing the Royal Irish Academy’s project to compile the definitive dictionary of the Irish language. She died aged 85 years at her home Tahilla, near Sneem Co Kerry to which they retired after her husband resigned from Áras an Uachtaráin in 1976.

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MARIAN FINUCANE
Broadcaster

Marian was born on 21 May 1950 in Dublin and was educated at Scoil Chaitríona. She graduated from the College of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin and practised as an architect until 1974. She joined Raidió Teilifís Éireann starting as a continuity announcer and in 1976 she became a programme presenter.  She worked mainly on programmes concerned with contemporary social issues, especially those concerning women, in particular Women Today. In 1979 she was the recipient of a Jacobs' Award for Women Today, and she won Radio Journalist of the Year Award in 1988. She was the first presenter of the Liveline programme on radio, a combined interview and phone-in chat show on weekday afternoons (now presented by Joe Duffy). On Gay Byrne's retirement in 1999, she took over his early morning radio slot to present The Marian Finucane Show. On 24 June 2005 she presented her final weekday Marian Finucane Show and now presents this show on Saturday and Sunday morning. Marian’s television work included information programming on RTÉ such as "Consumer Choice" and the Garda investigation programme Crime Line. In 2005 the National University of Ireland, Galway awarded her an honorary degree in recognition of her long career in broadcasting and of her ongoing work raising funds, along with John Clarke her partner, towards the building of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa.

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MARY TERESA HAYDEN
Senator & Professor of Modern Irish History

Mary Teresa Hayden (1862–1942) was an Irish historian, Irish-language activist and campaigner for women's causes. Mary was born in Dublin in 1862. Her parents, Mary Ann Ryan and Thomas Hayden, were both of Tipperary origin. Thomas Hayden was a medical doctor, a professor in the Catholic University School of Medicine, an associate of the rector of the Catholic University, John Henry Newman, and a member of the senate of the Royal University of Ireland, established by charter in 1880. Mary Hayden was educated initially at the Dominican College, Eccles Street and then at Alexandra College in Dublin. Mary Hayden was the first woman student in Royal University, Dublin and graduated in 1885 with an Honours B.A. Degree and M.A. with Honours in 1887. In 1895 she obtained a Junior Fellowship in English and History from the Royal University. The Royal University was established in 1880. It was not a teaching university, and women did not have access to teaching by the university fellows, who were all appointed to men’s colleges. In the 1893-1895 Mary was on the professional staff of St Mary’s University College, where students were prepared for University Examination, which was then located in Merrion Square and later transferred back to Eccles Street until 1911 when the National University superseded the Royal University. From 1900 - 1909 Mary also taught English and History to the Senior Intermediate Classes in Dominican College, Eccles Street. Mary campaigned for the admission of women to teaching and other facilities of the universities. In 1902 she was a founding member and vice-president of the Irish Association of Women Graduates and Candidate Graduates, the efforts of which were largely responsible for the inclusion of women in the 1908 legislation that established the National University of Ireland and its constituent colleges. Mary’s academic credentials were recognised by her appointment to the foundation staff of University College Dublin in 1909 and in 1911 she became the first holder of the Professorship of Modern Irish History. She was also appointed to the governing body of the college and in 1911 to the Senate of the National University. She was the only woman on the new Senate of the National University. Mary Hayden held her professorship for 27 years, to be succeeded by her one-time student R. Dudley Edwards. She wrote a short history of the Irish people, published in November 1921 and popularly known to generations of students as ‘Hayden and Moonan’.  The book became a standard textbook in use in Irish schools and colleges into the 1960s. In 1914 Mary accepted election as the first President of the newly formed the Dominican College Past Pupils Union a position she held until her death on 11 July 19 1942 (28 years). She was very supportive of St Dominic’s Club for working girls. Mary continued to write on historical and feminist topics until shortly before her death. At the same time she was an active feminist, prominently engaged in various issues of women’s rights. She was a leading speaker and writer in the campaign for women’s suffrage. A supporter of the Treaty, she joined in protests against Free State governments for their reactionary attitude to women, for instance on their virtual exclusion from jury service, on their restricted employment prospects in the civil service and elsewhere, and on certain provisions of the 1937 constitution. The cause nearest to Mary’s heart, in the words of her lifelong friend Agnes O’Farrelly, was Women’s Rights as human beings and as citizens.

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RÓISÍN SHORTALL
Teacher & Politician

Róisín Shortall is an Independent T.D. for Dublin North West.  Born in 1954 and reared in Drumcondra, Róisín attended Dominican College, Eccles Street and then UCD where she graduated with a B.A. in Economics and Politics. Róisín later qualified as a Primary School teacher in St. Mary’s College of Education, Marino, and she taught in St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf in Cabra for a number of years prior to entering politics. She first held public office in 1991 when she was elected to Dublin City Council for the Drumcondra local electoral area. She was first elected to the Dáil in 1992 and was re-elected at every election since. Róisín has, throughout her time in the Dáil, been Labour Party spokesperson on Justice, Health, Children, Education, Transport and Social Protection.  She is particularly vocal on issues such as social justice, pensions, health-care, taxation, addiction, and probity. Róisín was also a prominent member of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee where she tackled wasteful spending in FÁS, the HSE, and many other State bodies. In March 2011, she was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care. She resigned this position in September 2012 due to significant policy differences. She also resigned from the Parliamentary Labour Party and now sits as an Independent member of the Dáil. Róisín represents the area stretching from Beaumont in the east, to Whitehall, Santry, Drumcondra, Glasnevin, Ballymun, Meakstown and Finglas to the west.

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SALLY ANNE KINAHAN
Trade Unionist

Sally Anne Kinahan was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street. She is Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) which she joined in 2003. Within Congress she leads the Policy, Communications and Campaigning functions and has responsibility for general organisation, and a number of priority projects. Sally Anne is a member of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) as a Trade Union nominee. She is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). She is non-executive director of TASC an independent think-tank dedicated to combating Ireland’s high level of economic inequality. Sally Anne has over 20 years experience working in the voluntary/not-for-profit sector. Prior to joining the ICTU, Sally Anne was Director of Marketing with Concern for 5 years. She worked as as Head of Oxfam Ireland, and was Director of Development with Stewert’s Hospital. She also worked with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland.

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TREASA DAVISON (CURLEY)
Actor

Treasa Curley was educated in Scoil Chaitríona Eccles Street. The Irish language Theatre Taidhbhearc and Gaillimhe has launched many careers, including that of Treasa Davison (Curley). The theatre opened in 1928 with a production of Diarmuid agus Gráinne by Michael Mac Laimnóir, and was directed by Hilton Edwards. Treasa’s career was launched in the 1953 production of Diarmuid agus Gráinne, under her maiden name Treasa Curley.

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BERNIE MALONE
Solicitor, Politician & MEP

Bernie Malone (O’Brien), born in 1948, is the youngest of four sisters who were all educated in Dominican College Eccles Street. She left school in 1965, studied Law in UCD and graduated with a B.C.L. She became a solicitors apprentice, took the Law Society examinations and worked as a Corporate Solicitor for twenty years. She combined this career with her role as an elected member of Dublin County Council. She was elected to the European Parliament for the Dublin Constituency at the 1994 European elections, and she held this position until 1999. Following the Dominican tradition of continuing education, on retirement Bernie became a full time student once again.  She studied Theology, Spirituality and Pastoral Studies in the Milltown Institute and graduated with a BA. Since then, she has studied in the Mater Dei Institute and received an MA in Poetry Studies.

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MAUREEN O'HARA (FITZSIMONS)
Actress & Singer

Maureen was born 17 August 1920 as Maureen FitzSimons on Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh.  She was the second oldest of the six children of Charles Stewart Parnell FitzSimons and Marguerita Lilburn FitzSimons. Her father was in the clothing business and also bought into Shamrock Rovers Football Club, a team Maureen has supported since childhood. Her mother, a former operatic contralto, was a successful women's clothier. Maureen attended John Street West Girls' School near Thomas Street in Dublin's Liberties and Dominican College Eccles Street.  Her siblings were Peggy, Charles, Florrie, Margot and Jimmy. Her sister Peggy became a Sister of Charity, and the younger children all went on to receive training at the Abbey Theatre and at the Miss Ena Mary Burke School of Drama and Elocution in Dublin. Maureen's dream at this time was to be a stage actress. From the age of 6–17 she trained in drama, music and dance, and at the age of 10 joined the Rathmines Theatre Company and worked in amateur theatre in the evenings, after her lessons. She attended a business school and became a proficient bookkeeper and typist. She did well in her Abbey training and was given an opportunity for a screen test in London. The actor Charles Laughton and his business partner Erich Pommer saw the film clip and offered her an initial seven-year contract with their new company, Mayflower Pictures. Her first major films  were Jamaica Inn (1939) directed by Alfred Hitchcock and  Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). She moved to USA when World War II began and Director John Ford, cast her as Angharad in How Green Was My Valley, which won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Picture. In 1947, she starred as Doris Walker and the mother of a young Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street which earned an Academy Award Nomination for Best Picture. In 1946, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States and now holds dual citizenship with the U.S. and Ireland. In the late '50s and early '60s, she was a guest on musical variety shows with Perry Como, Andy Williams, Betty Grable and Tennessee Ernie Ford. In 1960, she released two successful recordings, Love Letters from Maureen O'Hara and Maureen O'Hara Sings her Favorite Irish Songs.

Maureen was considered one of the world's most beautiful women and is remembered for her onscreen chemistry with John Wayne and the five films they made together Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles, McLintock and Big Jake. In 1939, at the age of 19, O'Hara secretly married Englishman George H. Brown, a film producer and scriptwriter whose best known work is the first of Margaret Rutherford's 1960s Miss Marple mysteries, Murder She Said. The marriage was annulled in 1941. Later that year, O'Hara married American film director William Houston Price (dialog director in The Hunchback of Notre Dame), but the union ended in 1953, reportedly as a result of his alcohol abuse. They had one child in 1944, a daughter named Bronwyn FitzSimons Price. Bronwyn has one son, Conor Beau FitzSimons, who was born on September 8, 1970. She married her third husband, Charles F. Blair, Jr., on March 12, 1968. Blair was a pioneer of transatlantic aviation, a former Brigadier General of the U.S. Air Force, and a former Chief Pilot at Pan Am. Blair died in 1978 in an aircraft accident. She became CEO and President of Antilles Airboats, with the added distinction of being the first woman president of a scheduled airline in the U.S. Later she sold the airline. Maureen had retired from acting until 1991, when she starred in the film Only the Lonely, playing Rose Muldoon, the domineering mother of a Chicago cop. The Last Dance, her last film was released in 2000. Maureen has homes in Arizona, the Virgin Islands and lived mainly in Glengarriff, County Cork, after suffering a stroke in 2005. In June 2011, she participated at the Maureen O'Hara Film Festival in Glengarriff. In September 2012, O'Hara flew to the U.S. to live with her grandson, Conor Beau FitzSimons, in Idaho. On May 24-25, 2013, O'Hara made a public appearance at the 2013 John Wayne Birthday “Tribute to Maureen O’Hara” celebration in Winterset, Iowa. The occasion was the ground breaking for the new John Wayne Birthplace Museum; the festivities included an official proclamation from Iowa Governor declaring May 25, 2013, as “Maureen O'Hara Day” in Iowa. In 2004, O'Hara released her autobiography 'Tis Herself, co-authored with Johnny Nicoletti and in the same year she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish Film and Academy in Dublin. In 2006, O'Hara attended the Grand Reopening and Expansion of the Flying Boats Museum in Foynes, Limerick, Ireland, as a patron of the museum. A significant portion of the museum is dedicated to her late husband Charles. In 2011, Maureen O'Hara was formally inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at an event in New Ross, County Wexford, receiving letters from Mary McAleese and Bill Clinton.

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CIARA O’CALLAGHAN
Actress

Ciara is one of Ireland's best known television actors, having worked in the industry for over 20 years. She was educated in Scoil Chaitríona and has a BA in Drama Theatre studies from the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin. Ciara also studied dance and film at Universite Nanterre, Paris. Scoil Chaitriona always encouraged Ciara to pursue her dreams of working in the Arts, she played many lead roles in school plays, participating in slogadh many times over the years. When Ciara graduated from Trinity she returned to Scoil Chaitriona this time as muinteoir dramaiocht, where she got the opportunity to pass on her love of drama to the transition year students. She has worked extensively in theatre both here and abroad and is probably best known for her role as Yvonne Doyle in RTE's Fair City. Ciara can next be seen in Mrs. Brown's Boys D' Movie due for release June 2014!

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ITA CLANDILLON
Dominican College, Eccles Street 1918-1924

Ita, born in 1906, was the eldest daughter of Seamus and Maighread Clandillon. She was born in Dungarvan, Co Waterford into a family of native Irish speakers. Her father Seamus was initially a civil servant and teacher and was subsequently appointed by the Government as the first Director of broadcasting at 2RN, later named Radio Eireann. Having completed her education at Eccles Street, Ita trained as a nurse in Guys Hospital London and worked as a nurse in Heywards Heath, Surrey. Upon her return to Ireland she attended Art College in Dublin in 1929 and was asked to design the emblem on the President’s badge or DCPPU badge. Marrying into a farming family in Clondalkin she joined Newlands Golf Club where in 1960 the DCPPU Golf Society held their annual golf outing. This was a renowned success with seventy eight players competing on the day. Ita with her sister Fedelma won prizes on the day. When Ita married in 1937, Joan Horne, a relative, at the age of eight, was her train bearer and it was Joan who later became the First Captain of the Combined Dominican Golf Society which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Joan was the distinguished guest of honour in Naas Golf Club to celebrate this historic date.

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KARL MULLEN
Consultant Gynaecologist & International Rugby Player

Karl Daniel Mullen, born on November 26, 1926, attended St Thomas’s Academy, Eccles Street and his sisters attended Dominican College. After he received Holy Communion with his class mates he transferred to Belvedere College nearby where he continued his Junior and Senior education. He went on to study Medicine at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He later became a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a founder member of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association. He worked in Dublin's Mount Carmel Hospital as a consultant for more than 40 years until his retirement in 2002. He was an Irish Rugby Union player, played for Old Belvedere and his international rugby career as a hooker started early. He won the first of 25 Ireland caps against France in 1947. It is reported that the considered advice in 1948 from doctors on the team Karl Mullen, Jack Kyle, Jimmy Corcoran, AA McConnell and Bill McKay to captain Ernie Strathdee, a Presbyterian minister, was that after the gruelling trip by boat and rail from Dublin to Paris via London, all energy should be conserved for the game. Instead of training, the players went to the Folies Bergère. The next day they went on to beat France 13-6 at the Stade Olympique de Colombes. Under the captaincy of 21 year old Karl Mullen, Ireland won the Triple Crown that year. Karl enjoyed immediate and huge respect, as he would two years later when captained the Irish rugby team and captained the British & Irish Lions on their 1950 tour to Australia and New Zealand. In 2009, 61 years later, Ireland finally claimed their second Grand Slam. The final game ended in a very close victory over Wales. The Irish success of 2009 simply made the legend of Karl Mullen and his team all the grander. He was one of eight players from that team who lived to see the 2009 team success but since 1995 by the now professional players. Dr. Karl Daniel Mullen, died 27 April 2009 and is survived by eight children and 18 grandchildren, who include the Irish showjumping international Cian O'Connor.

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LAURA DOWDALL
Theatre Director

Laura Dowdall was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street and left school in 1973. Laura, together with actor Andrew Murray, co-founded The Viking Theatre at the Sheds, Clontarf in 2011. The Viking is a small theatre space situated above Connolly’s public house and offers a diverse programme of events and an artistic outlet for both audiences and performers. Laura says of the theatre: ‘it’s always kind of something on the wish list, having your own space to put on your own plays. Since we’ve opened this space, we’ve been so busy running it, and being a receiving house, bringing in productions. The Weir was the first thing we put on with me directing it’.

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MARGARET BURKE SHERIDAN
Opera Singer

Margaret Burke Sheridan was born in Mayo in 1889. When she was four her mother died and on the death of her father when she was 11 years, she was sent to be educated by the Dominican Sisters, Eccles Street. Mother Clement, a renowned singing teacher gave Margaret her first singing lessons and was to nurture her talent over the next few years. In 1908 she won the gold medal at the Feis Ceoil. Each year the Margaret Burke Sheridan Cup Competition is held in her honour at the Feis Ceoil. Margaret’s vocal talents were recognised and funds to support her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London were raised in Dublin. In 1918 she made her debut as Mimi in La Bohème and in 1919 she again performed the role of Mimi in Covent Garden. The composer Puccini heard her perform the role of Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly and reported that she was the greatest Madame Butterfly to ever grace the opera stage. In 1923 he coached her for the role of Manon Lascaut. From 1923 she was to spend the next five years at Covent Garden. During this time she befriended Marconi and in 1928 with his support and encouragement moved to Italy to further her career. She was to spend the next eight years at La Scala, Milan. In 1936 Margaret was to cease singing and return to live in Dublin. She lived in the Shelbourne Hotel. It is said that following an operation on her throat she lost confidence in her voice. She had also ended a long romance in Milan. She later developed cancer and died in 1958 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery where  La Scala, Covent Garden is engraved on her gravestone. La Sheridan or La Diva, as she became known to enthusiastic opera fans throughout Europe, gave legendary performances in the great opera houses of La Scala, San Carlo, Rome Opera House, Covent Garden and Monte Carlo. She was noted for her rich and lyric soprano voice and captured the ears and hearts of Italian and British audiences but unfortunately did not get to sing in Ireland. She had a vibrant personality which gave her performances a unique quality remarked upon by critics and patrons alike.

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MOIRA LYSAGHT
Author and Local Historian

Moira Lysaght was born in Dublin in 1902 and lived in North King Street near Smithfield where her father had purchased a Wine Merchants premises. The family home was located in two georgian houses which the father had combined and created a roof top garden where the children played. Moira and her brothers attended Dominican College, Eccles Street. Her brothers then transferred to Belvedere College and Moira transferred to Dominican College as a boarder for her finishing education. Moira studied pianoforte at the RIAM and signing with Madam Heller. She trained as a nurse at St.Vincent’s Hospital, Stephen’s Green and later became a Public Health Nurse in Cork city. While in Cork Moira became a Founder Member of the Little Theatre Society. Moira joined the Old Dublin Society in the 1960’s and read many papers to the Society and several were published in the Dublin Historical Record,  notably The Sham Squire, Daniel Murray Archbishop of Dublin, and Lord Norbury, the Hanging Judge. Two very interesting papers containing many details of the local history of north city area are My Dublin vol 30, No. 4, (Sep 1977), pp122-135 and A North City Childhood in the Early Century vol 38, No. 2, (Mar 1985), pp74-82 which contains details of the schooldays in Dominican College Eccles Street. Moira also wrote a book on Father Theobald Matthew O.F.M.Cap. The Aposle of Temperance (1983).

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RÓISÍN WALSH
Dublin City’s First Chief Librarian

Róisin Walsh was born in 1889 into a farming family in Co. Tyrone.  The Walsh family relocated to Dublin in the 1920s, purchasing Cypress Grove House and Farm in Templeogue. Educated at St. Louis’s Convent, Monaghan, and Dominican College, Eccles Street Dublin, she was a brilliant linguist who took a B.A. (hons) degree at UCD in Irish, French, German and English, subsequently going on to further studies and qualifying as a teacher. She started her professional life in 1911 as a French and German teacher at various colleges at home and abroad. Her public library career did not commence until twelve years later, in 1923. A leading pioneer of the Dublin and Irish public library movement, by 1931, Róisín Walsh made history when she was selected for the key post of Dublin City’s first Chief Librarian, in which she served for eighteen years, until her untimely death in office in 1949. This appointment was a testament to the outstanding organisational and leadership skills she had demonstrated during her tenure in the Dublin County Libraries from 1926, during which she established a scheme for rural libraries. During her term of office she was tasked with the complete re-organisation of the city’s libraries, undertaking the onerous task of creating a centrally co-ordinated network from the previous system of independent branch libraries that had grown from the foundation of the Dublin city libraries in 1884. She also directed a major expansion of the service in the growing Dublin suburbs at this time. Like many of her colleagues at this time, Róisín Walsh was remarkably active on the Dublin cultural, political and social scene, serving on the editorial board of the Literary magazine The Bell from its inception.  She was well known as a longstanding Republican and it is well documented that The IRA General Army Convention which endorsed the formation of Saor Éire’ took place at her Dublin home at Cypress Grove, Templeogue on 15th February 1931.

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VERA GALLAGHER
Speech and Drama

Vera Gallagher was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street where, always interested in drama, she took important parts in many of the school plays, including Antigone in 1951. Vera joined the Staff of Eccles Street, and had been teaching speech and drama for some years when in 1964/65 consternation greeted the news that she was leaving the Junior School. Her departure left a big gap in the junior school for both staff and students. While teaching in the Junior school, she had her own very successful Children’s Theatre Group in Palmerstown. As a result of the success of this activity, she was invited by the Secretary of Stewert’s Hospital Palmerstown to organise a similar group among the young residents and day students of the Hospital. Stewerts has a long tradition in the provision of care for people with severe intellectual disability. The Vera Gallagher Conference Centre, named after Vera, is located on the 3rd Floor in Stewarts.

The Vera Gallagher Conference Centre, Stewert’s Hospital, Palmerstown

In the 1960s/70s Vera continued to teach speech and drama in the secondary school in Dominican College while she was working in Stewerts Hospital. Many of the plays Vera produced in the school Drama Society included The importance of Being Earnest (1971), Merchant of Venice (1972), A Woman of No Importance, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Much Ado about Nothing (1972), and Bernard Shaw’s St Joan (1973). She encouraged some of her recent past pupils to help out with the drama classes in Stewerts hospital. The Past Pupils Union Dramatic Society also benefited by her membership. In the 1962 Lanthorn, Vera reported that the past pupils hoped to present Waters of the Moon in January, with all proceeds to go to support the Dominican Missions.

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SR SHEILA SKEFFINGTON OP
Founder and Principal of Scoil Mobhí
Volunteer Social Worker

Sr Sheila Skeffington was born in Castlefinn, Co Donegal, where she attended primary school. She was educated in Scoil Chaitríona Eccles St from 13 years of age, where she was a boarder. Her sister Nuala also attended Scoil Chaitríona, but her younger sister was a boarder with the Dominicans in Wicklow. Sr Sheila started her teaching career in Wicklow and taught infant boys in St Michaels Junior School, Ballyfermot, where she later became Principal. Class sizes at that time ranged from 49 to 60 boys. She later spent a study year in Maynooth, before transferring to Mobhí Road in 1972. Scoil Chaitríona was at that time moving to Mobhí Road, and a need for a primary school arose. A small building was given over for this purpose and Sr Sheila founded Scoil Mobhi in 1972, with 20 students.

Scoil Mobhí, founded in 1972 by Sr Sheila Skeffington OP

She successfully obtained government grants for 4th Class students each year to go to Dún Quin in Co Kerry for 3 weeks in May, to improve their Irish. One of Sr Sheila’s 4th class students in now the Principal of Scoil Chaitríona - Caitríona Ní Laighin. Sr Sheila is very actively involved in social work. She volunteered in the Dominican Day Care Centre for many years, looking after the lonely vulnerable elderly from the local area. Since the centre was closed, the Daughters of Charity generously allocated Sr Sheila space in their Henrietta Street Care Centre, where she organises a group for women living in the local flats and provides classes in cookery, personal development, reading, etc. As well as her work in Henrietta Street, Sr Sheila organises week-end holiday breaks for the lonely elderly from the inner city all year round in Dollardstown Cottage. She has a team of very enthusiastic volunteers who help her make this a truly happy and welcoming experience for the elderly.

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FR JOSEPH DARGAN
Provincial of Society of Jesus in Ireland

Joseph Dargan was born in Phibsborough on 21st January 1933 where the family pharmacy was located. He received his early education at St Thomas Academy for boys, Eccles Street before he transferred to nearby Belvedere College. He then went as a boarder to Rockwell College and later to Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Society of Jesus in September, 1950, spent three years at the Novitiate in Emo, Laois before moving to Rathfarnham Castle to attended UCH to study Arts. In 1955 he moved to Tullabeg, Co Offaly where he studied philosophy for three years and then became a teacher in Clongowes. From 1961 to 1965 he studied theology in Milltown Park, Dublin. Following his ordination in 1964 he was the rector and later master of novices and then director of the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality in Manresa House, Dublin. In the late 1970’s he was rector of Clongowes Wood College, later appointed Provincial of the Order In 1980 until 1986 and then rector at Gonzaga College until 1993. He then spent almost ten years as rector of Belvedere College where he pioneered the school’s social diversity scheme which was set up to enable boys from less well-off backgrounds to attend the school. He then spent three years in Kenya and his final years were spent as a co-instructor in the European Tertianship- the final phase of Jesuit formation. His was appointed to the Conference of Major Religious Superiors and held the position of general secretary. From 1993 to 1998 he was consultant to the Irish Bishops’ Conference on Pastoral Development. During his term as provincial he progressed the opening of two Jesuit Communities in Northern Ireland, the expansion of the Centre for Faith and Justice and supported the work of Fr Peter McVerry SJ. Fr Joseph Dargan died on 1st June 2014

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EILISH JOHNSTON
First woman speaker on Vatican Radio

Eilish Johnston, a past pupil of Eccles Street, was appointed Aer Lingus Representative in Rome in 1959. In working for Aer Lingus, she had the opportunity to keep contact with her family and friends visiting Italy and to sell Ireland to those not yet aware of all that our beautiful island has to offer the tourist. She deeply appreciated the honour conferred on her when she was appointed first woman speaker on Vatican Radio. She lived overlooking St Peters and walked past the walls of Vatican City each day. On Sundays at midday, she joined the crowds (in St Peters Square) for the Angelus and blessing of his holiness Pope John XXIII. Each working day when she had finished the morning schedule in the Aer Lingus Office, she went to the Vatican Studio Library, where she translated the news into English from Italian. Before 4.00pm she sits at the microphone listening to the bells ringing, and when the green light flashes her ‘on the air’  she then speaks the words which serve as introduction and conclusion of every Vatican broadcast  - “Laudetur Jesus Christus”  -  “Praised by Jesus Christ”

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FIONNULA FLANAGAN
Actress, Film Star and Political Activist

Fionnuala Flanagan was born on 10th December 1941 and raised in Dublin, the daughter of Rosanna (née McGuirk) and Terence Niall Flanagan. Although her parents were not Irish speakers, they wanted her and her four siblings to learn the Irish language, thus she grew up speaking English and Irish fluently. She attended Scoil Caithriona. She was also educated in Switzerland and England. She trained extensively at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and travelled throughout Europe before settling in Los Angeles, California in early 1968. Fionnuala married in 1972 Dublin born Garrett O'Connor, a renowned psychiatrist and brother of Ulick O’Connor and are known to host great parties at their Hollywood Hills home for people in the Iris h community. Fionnuala came to prominence in Ireland in 1965 as a result of her role as Máire in the Telefís Éireann production of the Irish language play, An Triail, for which she received the Jacob's Award in Dublin. With her portrayal of Gerty McDowell in the 1967 film version of Ulysses, Flanagan established herself as one of the foremost interpreters of James Joyce. She made her Broadway debut in 1968 in Brian Friel's Lovers, then appeared in The Incomparable Max (1971) and Joycean theatrical projects as Ulysses in Nighttown (as Molly Bloom) and James Joyce's Women (1977). It was subsequently filmed in 1983, with Flanagan both producing and playing all main female roles (Joyce's wife, Nora Barnacle, as well as fictional characters Molly Bloom, Gerty McDowell). She has appeared in several made-for-TV movies, among them The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) Mary White (1977), The Ewok Adventure (1984) and A Winner Never Quits (1986). She won an Emmy for her performance as Clothilde in Rich Man, Poor Man (1976). Her weekly-series stints have included Aunt Molly Culhane in How the West Was Won (1977), multiple appearances on Murder, She Wrote. She played Lt. Guyla Cook in Hard Copy (1987), and as Kathleen Meacham, wife of a police chief played by John Mahoney in H.E.L.P. (1990). Fionnuala appeared with Helen Mirren in Some Mother's Son, as the militant supportive mother of a Provisional Irish Republican Army hunger striker in 1981. Subsequently, she spoke at a memorial hosted by Sinn Féin at the Citywest Building in Dublin for Irish republicans and their kin who were killed during the conflict in Northern Ireland. In July 2009, she joined Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams for a series of lectures across the USA supporting Irish unity. In October 2011, she announced her support for Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness in his unsuccessful bid in Ireland's 2011 presidential election. In 2012 she supported for its historical associations the Save Moore Street campaign. Fionnuala has recorded all three of Maeve Binchy’s novels, Circle of Friends. Her most recent work includes Life Breeze (for which she was nominated for an IFTA as Best Actress); in Tasting Menu by Spanish director, Roger Gual; and The Guard, written and directed by Martin MacDonagh. Fionnula was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Irish Film and Television Awards

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HANNA SHEEHY SKEFFINGTON
Feminist, Suffragette and Irish Nationalist

Hanna Sheehy was born in Kanturk, Co Cork on 24 May 1877, the eldest daughter of Elizabeth McCoy and David Sheehy, an ex-Fenian and Irish Parliamentary Party Westminster MP. One of her uncles, Father Eugene Sheehy (known as the "Land League priest") educated Éamon de Valera in Limerick. She had three sisters and two brothers. Her sister Mary married the writer and politician Thomas Kettle and Kathleen married Frank O'Brien, and became the mother of Conor Cruise O'Brien. The family moved to Drumcondra, Dublin in 1887 and Hanna attended Dominican Convent, Eccles Street where she was a prize-winning pupil. She is quoted as saying that she ‘felt that the nuns had equipped her well for life instilling in her ‘great independence of thought and action’. She developed TB at 18 and went to Germany to recuperate. She then enrolled at St Mary's University College, a third level college for women established by the Dominicans in 1893, to study modern languages (French and German). She sat the examinations at Royal University of Ireland where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1899 and a Master of Arts Degree, with first-class honours in 1902. In 1902 Hanna and Mary Hayden, another past pupil of Dominican College, were founding members of the Irish Association of Women Graduates and Candidate Graduates, the efforts of which were largely responsible for the inclusion of women in the 1908 legislation that established the National University of Ireland and its constituent colleges. She was appointed a teacher in Eccles Street and an examiner in the Intermediate Certificate examination. However, she lost a part time teaching position in the College of Commerce, Rathmines when she was arrested in 1913 and put in prison for three months after throwing stones at Dublin Castle. Hanna married Francis Skeffington in 1903 (university registrar and a journalist with socialist and pacifist views) and they both took the surname Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1908, she founded the Irish Women's Franchise League (IWFL), a group aiming for women's voting rights along with her husband and Margaret Cousins and James Cousins. The league was pledged to non-party independent action, vigorous agitation, organisation of women and education of public opinion. The league could boast a membership of 1,000 four years later. Hanna and her husband established the Irish Citizen and as a talented writer, her skills were utilised in the paper, at a time when print was central to the dissemination of political theory. She was an influential figure during the suffragette movement, tirelessly campaigning for the equal status of men and women and is remembered as Ireland’s most ardent promoter of women’s rights. She had the freedom to write articles relating to the lives of Irish women and to attempt to radicalise the population in the hope of inspiring new ways of viewing gender roles, including the place of women in contemporary society. In 1913, when she was arrested and imprisoned, she was visited in jail by Anna Haslam, founder of the Dublin Women's Suffrage Association which she joined. Whilst in jail she started a hunger strike but was released under the Prisoner's Temporary Discharge of Ill Health Act. She now began to devote more time to women's suffrage activities. In 1911 Hanna was also a founding member of the Irish Women's Workers' Union and she was influenced by James Connolly. During the 1913 lock-out she worked with other suffragists in Liberty Hall, providing food for the families of the strikers. Hanna strongly opposed participation in the First World War that broke out in August 1914, and was prevented by the British government from attending the International Women's Peace Conference in The Hague in April 1915. The following June her husband was imprisoned for anti-recruiting activities. He was later shot dead during the 1916 Easter Rising on the orders of a British army officer, Captain J C Bowen-Colthurst. He had had no involvement in the Rising and had in fact been arrested while trying to prevent looting in Dublin's city centre. Bowen-Colthurst, following court martial in June 1916, was sent temporarily to a Canadian hospital after being adjudged insane, but he was released with a pension to settle in Canada. Hanna refused any kind of compensation for her husband's death, and soon afterwards she travelled to the United States to publicise the political situation in Ireland. In October 1917 she was the sole Irish representative to the League for Small and Subject Nationalities where, along with several other contributors. She published British Militarism as I Have Known It, which was banned in the United Kingdom until after the First World War. Upon her return to Britain she was once again imprisoned, this time in Holloway prison. After being released Sheehy attended the 1918 Irish Race Convention in New York City and later supported the anti-Treaty IRA during the Irish Civil War. During the 1930s she was assistant editor of An Phoblacht, a Sinn Féin newspaper. In January 1933 she was arrested in Newry for breaching an exclusion order banning her from Northern Ireland. At her trial she was defiant stating "I recognize no partition. I recognize it as no crime to be in my own country. I would be ashamed of my own name and my murdered husband's name if I did . . . Long live the Republic!", and was sentenced to one month's imprisonment. Hanna was also an author of many works which were deeply opposed to British imperialism in Ireland. In reality, the 1937 Constitution maintained the same boundaries for women and in no way reflected the progressive efforts made by Hanna and her fellow feminists to increase opportunities for women in Ireland and liberate them from the role of women which was seen as domestic and familial. Hanna felt towards the end of her life that independence had been won for Ireland in name and in part, but the women of Ireland saw little change in their prospects. Hanna is remembered as a remarkably enlightened thinker and a pioneering force for the cause women’s rights in Ireland. Her son, Owen Sheehy-Skeffington became a politician and Irish Senator. Hanna died in 1945, aged 68 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

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LISA NIC AN BHREITHIMH
Irish Awards Officer at Fulbright Commission Ireland
Broadcaster at FM104 and Irish language teacher at Gaelchultúr

Lisa was educated in Dominican College Griffith Avenue from 2000 to 2006. She obtained BA in Philosophy and Modern Irish, Trinity College (2010), MA in Communication and Media Studies, UCD, and was a Fulbright Scholar , University of Connecticut, USA (2013). Lisa has been Irish language tutor in UCD, NUI Maynooth and Oideas Gael. She presently works full-time with the Fulbright Commission in Ireland as Irish Awards Officer dealing with all Irish applicants and awardees in visa processing, orientation and various other areas. Lisa works part-time in broadcast media and adult education in both English and the Irish language. She presents a weekly music and talk-show through Irish on Sundays, 8 - 10am on FM104, and has a lot of experience working with radio editing and interviewing on community radio. Lisa is also interested in creative writing and has had some pieces published and won writing awards. She regularly takes part in writing workshops. Tá Lisa líofa sa Ghaeilge angus lánsásta comhfhreagras a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge.

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FR DOMINIQUE PIRE OP
1958 Nobel Peace Prizewinner

Pére Pire OP joined the Dominican Order in La Sarte in Huy, Liege, Belgium, and took his final vows in1932. He obtained his Doctorate in Theology in Rome in 1936. Returning to the Priory at La Sarte, he dedicated his life to helping poor families live according to their dignity. Pére Pire OP received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958 for his work helping refugees in post-World War II Europe. During the Second World War he served as Chaplain to the Belgian Resistance, actively participating in its activities, such as helping smuggle Allied pilots out of the country, for which he received several medals after the war. He was very committed to social justice. 1n 1949 he studied issues relating to postwar refugees and he founded an organisation to help PostWar Refugees. This organisation established sponsorships for refugee families, and built a number of villages in Austria and Germany to help house many refugees. After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958, Pere Pire helped found a “Peace University” to raise global understanding. He later founded the “Islands of Peace”, an NGO dedicated to the long term development of rural populations in developing countries. Projects were started in Bangladesh and India. In 2008, a programme was established in honour of his work at Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. Pére Pire visited Ireland in 1963. In his address entitled “Confessions of a Man of Peace” in Gurranebrahar Hall in Cork, he said “If one wants to achieve a fruitful dialogue with someone, the fundamental attitude is to accept the differences - not to accept them abstractly but concretely accepting the other as different from us. One must accept diversity as a richness and overcome conflicts by trying to understand the other’s point of view. On however small a scale it might be, every dialogue achieved was a success. The abstract acceptance of difference did not cost anything. One must accept diversity as a richness and overcome conflicts by trying to understand the other’s point of view.” During his short visit to Ireland, Pére Pire visited Eccles Street and was welcomed by all the students, staff and sisters of the Community. Pére Pire OP died in 1969 and is buried in Huy, Liege, Belgium.

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CAROLINE MORAHAN
Actor and Television Personality

Caroline Morahan born in 1977 in Drogheda, Co Louth. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from Dublin City University. Caroline, aged 15 years, appeared in the Irish series Fair City over a period of a year. Caroline turned down a 3 year contract with the show, deciding instead to finish school and get a degree before her next foray in front of a camera. In 2001 she won the role of host and spent four successful seasons with The Fame Game. She then hosted the RTE network's flagship fashion show Off the Rails for six seasons, as well as hosting the late night, deliciously irreverent Podge and Rodge Show, co-hosted the daytime magazine programme The Afternoon Show. She served as head of the judging panel on the prime time talent contest Class Act. She mentored children in the art of TV hosting on TVshow It's my Show. In 2009 Caroline made a career change. She was offered the starring female role in Ireland's very successful musical I, Keano. Her performance scored great reviews from critics and audiences and this prompted Caroline to make a brave decision. She left Ireland and moved to Los Angeles to return to her first love - acting. She has featured in a number of films including A Kiss for Jed Wood a film inspired by Caroline's hosting of The Fame Game, where fans won the chance to meet their idol. In 2012 she was lauded for her chilling performance as the deeply disturbed femme fatale in Irish produced film Can't See you Anymore. In 2013 Caroline returned to the Olympia Stage in Dublin where she appeared in Anglo The Musical. Caroline was offered the lead role in She Stoops to Conquer in 2014 at the The Abbey Theatre. This hugely successful run coincided with the 110th Anniversary celebrations of the renowned theatre. In 2015 she hosted the 12th Irish Film and Television Awards of The Irish Film and Television Academy at The Mansion House, Dublin which was televised. Caroline devotes much of her time to working with worthy causes such as Focus Ireland, the Irish Heart Foundation and Down Syndrome Ireland, who honoured her with a Helping Hands award for her work with the organisation. Recently she has begun mentoring children through The Cinemagic Foundation. She is an ambassador for then Make A Wish foundation and the ISPCA (Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) where she led the Adopt a Dog campaign raising €100,000 for the cause. She now divides her time between Dublin and Los Angeles where she lives with her husband Daithi O'Caoimh

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DELIA MURPHY
Singer & Collector of Irish ballads

Delia Murphy Kiernan was born in 1902 in Ardroe, Roundfort, County Mayo. Her father, John Murphy, from nearby Hollymount, made his fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush. While in America he married Ann Fanning fromnRoscrea, County Tipperary. They returned to Ireland in 1901 and purchased the large Mount Jennings Estate in Hollymount. John encouraged Delia's interest in singing ballads from a young age. He also allowed travellers to camp on the estate. According to her own account, the young Delia learned her first ballads at their campfires. One of these travellers, Tom Maughan, who was around her own age, introduced Delia to ballad singing. She attended the local primary school at Robeen where she was further encouraged to sing and she was continually getting new songs from her father, from books and from people in her home village. Delia attended the Presentation Convent, Tuam and later boarded at Dominican College, Dublin where she was to befriend Margaret Burke Sheridan who remained a lifelong friend. She attended University College Galway, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.In UCG she met Dr Thomas J. Kiernan, and they married in 1924 and when on to have four children. Kiernan joined the Irish diplomatic service and his first posting was to London. While there Murphy began to sing at diplomatic gatherings and exiles parties and through this she befriended the tenor Count John McCormack and she became very well known in her own right. In 1939 she recorded The Blackbird, The Spinning Wheel and Three Lovely Lassies and was to go on to record up to 80 songs. She also appeared in the film The Island Man, filmed on the Blaskets.

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LORNA REYNOLDS
Academic

Lorna was born on 17th December 1911 in Jamaica, one of the five children of Michael Reynolds and his wife, Theresa (nee Redmond). Her father died when she was 10 and the family returned to Ireland first to Birr, Co Offaly and then to Dublin. Lorna completed her secondary education at the Dominican College, Eccles Street. She studied English at University College Dublin (UCD), where Cyril Cusack, Brian O'Nolan (Flann O'Brien) and Mary Lavin were among her contemporaries. She obtained a BA in 1933, an MA in 1935 and completed her PhD thesis on the Bible in 1940. Lorna taught in UCD for 30 years and in 1966 was appointed Professor of Modern English at UCG. She made an immediate impact, revitalising the department and organising conferences, among them the J.M.Synge centenary conference in 1971. Her lifelong friendship with Kate O'Brien began at a meeting of the Women Writers' Club. In her study, Kate O'Brien: A Literary Portrait, she argued that, while the subject of feminism was never openly raised in O'Brien's writing, the theme of her novels was the necessity for a woman to be as free as man. It was also the theme of Lorna's life. The Dublin Magazine published her early poetry and short stories in the 1940s. She was later a contributor to The Bell, Poetry Ireland, Arena, The Lace Curtain and Botteghe Oscure. Her translations of Italian poetry were highly regarded. In the 1950s she edited the University Review(now the Irish University Review). With Robert O'Driscoll, she was editor of Yeats and the Theatre (1975) and The Untold Story: The Irish in Canada (1988). A prominent member of the Women's Social and Progressive League in the 1940s, she was later active in the Anti-Censorship Board, the inaugural meeting of which was chaired by Maud Gonne. She joined in debates on the issues of the day at the Contemporary Club. A lively after-dinner speaker, she was regularly invited to address women's groups.Through her espousal of progressive causes, and her involvement in the UCD Women Graduates' Association, she contributed to the advance of women's rights in Irish society and academic life. As Irish delegate to various international writers' conferences, she met many of the leading European writers of the 20th century, including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Halldor Laxness and Giuseppe Ungaretti. Italy was virtually a second home, and she enjoyed its culture, especially good food and wine. Lorna was an excellent cook and in 1990 published A book of her recipes, Tasty Food for Hasty Folk. In 1978 she returned from Galway to live in the family home off Merrion Road in Dublin. Lorna Reynolds  died, July 4th, 2003

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MAEVE TAYLOR (nee Ellis)
Artist

Maeve attended Dominican College, Eccles Street over 10 years, leaving in 1945. After leaving school she completed a Commercial Course and then attended National College of Art. While she worked in the business world she continuing with her art classes under the artist George Collie RHA. Maeve was a model for Yann Renard-Goulet's statue Mother Ireland which stands outside the Custom House, erected in the late 1950s. In 1961 Maeve had a very successful exhibition of her paintings in Brown Thomas' small theatre. She became a highly regarded artist, specialising in portraiture, landscapes and ceramics. Maeve married and had four children. She created many lovely portraits of children including her own. She organised very successful Annual Exhibitions of Irish Artists work in the Mater Hospital Dublin.

Highly recommended listening: Hear Maeve herself talk about her life on RTÉ Radio 1 ‘Documentary on One’ podcast ‘The Curious Ear’ 

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MARGARET HANNON MULLETT
Chemistry Teacher

Margaret Hannon joined the teaching staff in Dominican College, Eccles Street in 1963 as a young chemistry teacher. She was to inspire her young pupils with her love of science such that a number of them followed in her foot-steps into the scientific world. In 2000, Margaret's husband George Mullett, a consultant psychiatrist in Dublin, died of heart failure caused by haemochromatosis. Haemochromatosis is a hereditary illness, meaning a mother and father must both carry a defective gene in order to pass it on to their child. The Mulletts' five grown-up children were immediately tested and began treatment. In Margaret's case, she was found to be a carrier of the two genes, like her late husband, but luckily she doesn't load iron. She was determined to raise awareness of haemochromatosis and ensure no-one else has to die from what is a very treatable condition - an iron-related disease which can lead to organ and tissue damage, and even death, as in the case of her husband George. It has a particular relevance for Irish people: we have the highest rate of sufferers in the world as one in five Irish people carry the gene. Margaret Mullett volunteered with the Irish Haemochromatosis Association (IHA) and was chairman for a number of years. She has dedicated the last thirteen years of her life raising awareness about Haemochromatosis. The number of patients now diagnosed and treated with the disorder has increased vastly since she has become involved in leading awareness for the disorder. Margaret has advocated tirelessly for patients with medical personnel to ensure early diagnosis and access to treatment; with health and life insurance providers against discrimination of iron overload patients and with various Ministers for Health to seek better resources in addressing this disorder. She attended the European Parliament in 2011 to raise this issue.

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OLIVIA MITCHELL
T.D.

Olivia Price was born in Birr, County Offaly. She was educated locally and at Dominican College, Eccles Street leaving school in 1965. Olivia graduated with a B.A. in Economics & Politics and a HDip in Education from Trinity College Dublin. She taught Business Studies at St.Tiernan's Community School and Economics at Mount Anville Convent before entering politics. She was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1997 and re-elected in 2002, 2007, 2011 and she received the highest vote of any female candidate in the 2011 General Election. She has been a member of the Fine Gael Front Bench serving as party spokesperson from 2001-2010 on Local Development, the National Drugs Strategy and Dublin Traffic, from 1997-2001 on Housing, Local Government in 2001 on Health & Children, in 2002-2004 on Transport, in 2004-2007 on Arts, Sport and Tourism and in 2007-2010 on Competition & Consumer Protection. Olivia served on the following bodies at various times as a county councillor:

Eastern Health Board, Dublin Regional Authority, Dublin Transport Initiative Advisory Committee, Dublin Healthy Cities Project, Joint Dublin county councils’ taxi advisory committee.

AWEPA (Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa) Irish Section. She is a long-time member and currently a member of the Irish AWEPA executive committee.

Women’s All-Party Interest Group on Development and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. She is a member and newly-appointed Convenor of this group, which is also a member group of the European Parliamentary Forum (EPF) on Population and Development.

World Health Organisation ‘Multi-City Action Plan. She is a Programme Dublin Representative on this project which sought to develop sustainable cities.

Forum for Peace and Reconciliation - Established to encourage dialogue among parliamentarians on the Northern Irish conflict: 1994-1996. She was a member of the Fine Gael delegation.

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PATRICIA SCANLAN
Author

Patricia was born in Dublin and still lives in the city. She attended Dominican College, Eccles Street. Patricia worked as a librarian in public libraries in Dublin for 17 years before becoming a full-time writer. She was acutely aware of the literacy problems facing a large segment of the adult population and the dearth of appropriate reading material available to them. In the mid-1990s the Irish publisher, New Island together with Patricia launched The Open Door series, an adult literacy series of novellas by well-known Irish authors. The Open Door texts are subject to specific editorial guidelines, which help participating authors create novels for the purpose intended. These characteristics of the texts have also endeared them to students learning English as a foreign language, and they are gradually being marketed as such, with co-editions containing glossaries and Audio editions have also been published. The Irish Language edition of the Open Door series was facilitated by New Island Publisher Edwin Higel, Patricia Scanlan and by Muireann Ní Mhoráin (past teacher of Dominican College) of An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta. Published for the first time in the Irish language, previous Open Door stories by literary superstars such as Roddy Doyle, Marian Keyes, John Connolly, Deirdre Purcell, Julie Parsons, Vincent Banville, Maeve Binchy and Patricia Scanlan are also available As Gaeilge. Contributing authors Patricia Scanlan, Deirdre Purcell and Julie Parsons all attended on the night. Patricia is the series editor and a contributing author to the Open Door series. She also teaches creative writing to second-level students and is involved in Adult Literacy. Although Patricia's first two novels, written when she was a librarian, were not published, she became thoroughly addicted to writing whilst working on them, and now sees those books as very important stepping stones in her writing career. Patricia has written many best-selling novels including City Girl, Coming Home, With all my Love, Double Wedding and  Francesca’s Party. She has also published a collection of quotes, blessings, poems and reminiscences called Winter Blessings.

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VERONICA STEELE
Cheesemonger

Veronica attended Scoil Caithriona from 1960 and left having completing her Leaving Certificate in 1965. She went on to study Philosophy and Logic in UCD graduating in 1968. Veronica met her future husband Norman Steele when he gave a lecture on Wittgenstein in Cork. Norman from England had studied at TCD. They settled on a small farm in Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula and they began making cheese as a way of storing some of the milk for winter. By 1976, they were producing cheese for their own use from they own Friesian cows. They gave some to a friend, who gave it to a chef, who gave it to Declan Ryan of Arbutus Bread, who introduced it to Myrtle Allen. The rest is history. Milleens is a real handcrafted artisan Irish farmhouse cheese, wrapped and packaged by hand it found its way into discerning restaurants and shops here and abroad. It was the winner of the Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards held at Chelsea Barracks in 1997. Veronica is generally regarded as the first Irish farmhouse cheese maker, although she is wont to play down her own importance in the development of Irish washed-rind cheese. She helped to develop the specialist cheese industry in Ireland through liaising with the universities, research institutes, government departments such as finance, enterprise, and agriculture, ensuring a unified and orderly approach to the regulation and nurturing of the sector. She recently was awarded a lifetime achievement for her "outstanding contribution to the farmhouse cheese industry" at the Irish Cheese Awards. This washed rind, semi soft cheese is created in exactly the same way today, by Veronica and Norman's son Quinlan who is now in charge of day-today operations at Milleens. However they no longer keep a herd and milk is now bought in from a neighbouring farm. Veronica is still on the Board of Directors of Mileens Cheese

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MARY (MAY) GUINEY
Business Woman

Mary Leahy was born on 2 March 1901 on a farm in Co Limerick. She attended Dominican College, Eccles Street and was known to her schoolfriends as May. Mary worked in the original store in Talbot Street opened in 1921 by Denis Guiney, a Kerryman also from farming background, where she would have met the owner.  In 1938 she married Denis Guiney after the death of his first wife, Nora. In 1941 Mary and her husband bought the more upmarket Department Store Clerys in O'Connell Street. Mary controlled 55% of Clerys and within a few years this large store over four levels contained forty two counters, a ballroom, two restaurants, three bars and a thousand staff (over half of these were women). The Guineys were astute business people and recognised that drapery was at this time identified more with fashionable Grafton Street. As a marketing enticement, customers had their train fare refunded if country people spent more than five pounds in Clerys. Clerys became Irelands biggest store and a retail success and became a national institution. Many couples met and courted in the ballroom, and Under Clerys Clock was a great meeting place for everyone when in Dublin. The Guineys were credited with keeping many Irish factories open during the war and played a significant role in Irelands economic survival in post war 1940s and 50s. Denis and Mary had no children and when Denis died in 1967 Mary took over the full control of the business empire with the Board. In response to the changing times the decline of O'Connell Street, growth of the car and suburban shopping centres, Clerys opened stores in Tallaght, Leopardstown and Blanchardstown and developed concession outlets in other areas. When Mary died in August 2004 she left the 52% of the preference shares in Clerys in the control of a trust she had set up. Clerys was finally closed in 2015. Mary provided great support for the St. Vincent de Paul in their work with the poor in Dublin. Mary was also an active member of the DCPPU Golf Society.

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JANE HORGAN-JONES
Barrister & Local Authority Councillor

Jane Horgan-Jones, born in 1985, lives in Clontarf and was educated in Dominican College Griffith Avenue.  Jane was winner of the Dominican College Past Pupils’ Union  Excellence in Education Award  based on her Leaving Certificate results in 2003.   She graduated with BA (History and Philosophy) from UCD in 2007, and graduated as Barrister-at-Law from King’s Inns in 2010. Jane, a practising barrister, became a member of the Labour Party in 2004, and was co-opted to Dublin City Council in March 2011.  She was elected to Dublin City Council in May 2014, where she represents the Clontarf, Fairview, Marino, Donnycarney, Raheny, Drumcondra and Killester areas. Jane, one of Ireland’s youngest Labour Party councillors, is a member of the Local Travellers Accommodation Consultative Committee, the North Central Area Committee, and the Transport SPC (Strategic Policy Committee).  She is active in many local campaigns, running a number of Local Community Policing Forums (Collinswood and Gracepark) and Senior Citizens Forums (Clontarf and Marino/Fairview), and is working with the local communities to secure flood defences for Raheny and Donnycarney. Jane believes our society needs the passion and energy of young people to be the engine of a real force for change in Irish politics.

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MARIE BAKER
Local Authority Councillor

Marie Baker was educated in Dominican College Eccles Street (1974 - 1979) and the College of Marketing and Design (1979 - 1981).  Marie has represented Fine Gael in the Blackrock Electoral Area since she was first elected in 2004 and is very active in a variety of community organisations.  She is founding member and chairperson Blackrock Tidy Towns committee,  member Blackrock Animation Film Festival, member Dún Laoghaire Rathdown branch Irish Guide Dogs Association, trustee and chairperson of 29th Dublin Blackrock Scouts, member Parish Pastoral Council at St John the Baptist Church Blackrock (since 2005) and member of the board of management of Carysfort National School (2003-2007). Marie was Cathaoirleach of Dún Loaghaire Rathdown  County Council  2009-10, and again in 2014-15, and her priorities were  on improved dialogue between the council and the local community.  She has served as a member of the Transportation SPC  (Strategic Planning committee), and Water & Waste SPC. Marie is currently County Councillor for Blackrock Ward on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.  Among other things, she is company secretary for Blackrock Business Network.

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NIAMH SWEENEY
Business & Economics Journalist

Niamh was educated in Dominican College Griffith Avenue and sat the Leaving Certificate Examination in 1998.  She graduated from Trinity College in 2002 with a BA in European Studies, with Italian, and then spent two years working as press secretary and parliamentary aide in Ireland. In 2004, Niamh returned to third level education and obtained an MA in Journalism at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in 2005. Niamh worked as a journalist for RTÉ from 2005 to 2010, on the Morning Ireland radio show and as a newsreader on 2FM. She was presenter/reporter with RTÉ Radio One’s This Week programme and she also reported for The Gerry Ryan Show, and was infill presenter on the 2FM breakfast show. Niamh returned to education in 2010 and obtained an MA in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University, New York, in 2011. In 2012 she did some free-lance reporting for The Irish Times from New York as well as working for several other publications  - Irish Independent, Fortune Magazine, RTE News and New York Public Radio (WNYC).  She also spent some time as Markets Reporter, Bloomberg Radio. Niamh was Special Advisor to the Tániste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade  (Eamon Gilmore) in 2014-15, and Knight Bagehot Fellow Columbia University in the City of New York. She is currently  Economic Growth Initiatives Manager, EMEA Lead at Facebook. Niamh’s first taste of life in RTÉ was in 1996 when she completed a week’s work experience in the newsroom, while a Transition Year student at Dominican College. Niamh was delighted to return to her Alma Mater, along with fellow past pupils Caroline Morahan (Fashion and Style Judge) and Tara Treacy (Dance Judge)  to be MC for the Transition Year Strictly Ballroom production at the Helix in 2007.  She has fond memories of her years at Dominican College, especially the musicals which were staged during that time.

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