A great sense of sadness was felt across the Longford community of Newtownforbes and beyond recently following the passing of one of its much loved citizens - Sister Immaculata Gallagher.
A native of Ballinacarrigy in County Westmeath before moving to Curryline, Newtownforbes, Sr Immaculata was a member of the Sisters of Mercy.
A former principal of Newtownforbes Secondary School, her deep seated role in local education circles was well founded, a role she also played out with great distinction at Longford town’s Meán Scoil Mhuire.
But it was her amiable personality and charming demeanour that made Sr Immaculata the person she was.
One of her close associates and friends said it was her unselfish attitude and deep sense of kindness to others for which her legacy will be most rememebered for.
“She concentrated on people, was quick to notice a need and very quick to respond,” said one of her many long time friends.
“Her generosity in time and giving is legendary. She never counted the cost and that’s how she is remembered.”
Likewise, it was Sr Immaculata’s unerring ability to give up endless hours of her spare time to others which made her such a popular member of the Newtownforbes and wider community.
“She understood life and its purpose in terms of others, listening, sharing, visiting, always going the extra mile, with joy,” her friend added.
“People speak of her ability to walk in the shoes of other people in good times and in sorrowful times. Her love and empathy reached every corner of the globe; she truly held the world in her heart.”
Sr Gallagher is predeceased by her father Frank, mother Margaret and brothers Tony, Frank and Michael. She is survived by her loving family, sister Maureen (Woulfe, Abbeyfeale, County Limerick) and brother Barney (Blackrock, County Dublin).
She will be greatly missed by brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, neighbours, relatives and friends.
Sr Gallagher’s remains were removed from St Joseph’s Chapel to St Mary’s Church, Newtownforbes with burial afterwards to the adjoining cemetery.