Gently-spoken Tyrone nun built up Co Kerry nursing home
ALTHOUGH she spent most of her life away from Tyrone, Sister Mary Coyle never lost her love for her native county and its football team.
Mary was born in Donemana in 1923, the eldest of five children of Patrick and Annie Coyle.
Both of her brothers, John and Charlie, predeceased her, while her two sisters, Sr Patricia and Sr Anthony, are living in Scotland.
She was educated at Doorat elementary school and the Mercy Convent in Thornhill, Derry and entered the Dominican Sisters in England, being professed there in August 1946.
Later that year she went to South Africa where she trained in nursing and served in the orders' various hospitals.
Mary returned to Ireland in 1963 and set up a maternity unit in Bandon, Co Cork where she remained for five years.
She then moved to Tralee where she started from a very small unit a nursing home for the elderly known as Our Lady of Fatima.
A gently spoken lady, described at her funeral as firm but fair, she built this up over the years to a very progressive 66-bed modern facility with a reputation for excellent care for the elderly population of Co Kerry.
Over the years Mary visited her family in Scotland and England, meeting up with all her nieces and nephews.
She also visited her cousins, the White family, in and around Claudy and the Coyles near her home town of Donemana.
Mary retired as matron of Fatima Home in 1966 and in later years she was cared for as a patient in the home she founded.
She died peacefully on Sunday May 22 and was buried in Tralee following Requiem Mass in the Convent Chapel of Fatima Home. May she rest in peace.