Northern Ireland news

Funeral for Co Down nun who was 'great fun to be around'

Mother Attracta in her Mayobridge GAA colours
Mairead Holland

MEMBERS of a Co Down village applauded from their doorsteps on Saturday as the funeral cortege of a well-known nun and former school principal passed by.

Mother Attracta Devlin, from Mayobridge, died on Thursday at St Clare's Convent in Newry.

A member of the Sisters of St Clare, her funeral Mass took place at St Patrick's Church in Mayobridge, but due to the Covid-19 restrictions, only some members of the order and immediate family were in attendance.

St Patrick's Parish Mayobridge Pastoral Council said it was hard for people not to be able to attend the wake and funeral as Mother Attracta "had made an indelible mark on the lives and hearts of so many far and wide".

But they said there would be a time in the coming months to celebrate her life.

The funeral Mass was also streamed live via the parish webcam.

Mother Attracta, who had been in poor health recently, was a former principal of St Patrick's Primary School in Mayobridge and a dedicated supporter of her local club and the county team.

She arrived at Mayobridge Convent in 1960 and became a teacher and later principal of the primary school.

After her retirement in 1994, she devoted most of her time to the church and, according to Mayobridge GAA, became a "driving force in the parish in so many ways".

The club compiled a short online photo collage in her memory, including some letters received from her during the years.

They said: "Mother Attracta's presence at our club's key events over the years not only demonstrated her fondness and commitment to our club but we can see from this short clip she certainly was great fun to be around and happily took part at many of our events.

"She was a great supporter of many village activities and initiatives and indeed was a great supporter of Mayobridge GAC."

Meanwhile, St Patrick's Primary and Nursery School principal Margaret Ryan said Mother Attracta "gave generously of her abundant qualities, skills and talents for the good of everyone in our school and parish".

She added: "Known far and wide in her various ministries as a lady of integrity, she brought vitality, dedication, good humour and most significantly outstanding commitment to the many generations of children entrusted to her care in Mayobridge."

Down GAA said she was "a remarkable lady who made a difference to the lives of so many people".

Mother Attracta is survived by her sisters Maureen Keenan, Josie McGreevy, Teresa Maginn, Patricia McQuade, brother-in-law, Barney McQuade, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and family circle. Her sister Agnes predeceased her.

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