There’s something about Mary…

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Paul O’Sullivan, Director and Dean of the College of Business, Sr Mary Flanagan, and Lisa Dooley, College Manager

03 October 2013: A large crowd of students and members of staff gathered in DIT Aungier Street this week to say farewell to friend and colleague, Sr. Mary Flanagan, who has been a member of the Chaplaincy service in DIT for 16 years.

Opening the event, Dr. Noel O'Connor, Director of Student Services, spoke about the very significant contribution the Chaplaincy makes and Mary’s role in establishing the service as an open door for students of all faiths and none. Thanking her for her years of service, he said she had left a great legacy and wished her health and happiness in her future endeavours.

A number of other contributors then came forward to present farewell gifts and told both amusing and poignant anecdotes about Mary’s life and times.  Kieran Connolly, lecturer in the College of Business, disclosed details of her work in Africa, and told how he and Mary – a communist and a Christian - had discovered common ground in working on behalf of students.

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Paul O’Sullivan, Director and Dean of the College of Business, gave an example of Mary’s quiet persistence and effectiveness on behalf of one student who found themselves alone and in the most serious difficulty.

Anita Conway, Societies Officer, spoke about her ability to encourage reluctant students who later went on to become leaders in volunteering and engagement. Edel Travers, on behalf of Access and Civic Engagement, thanked her for laying the groundwork for DIT to work with schools to ensure that students from non-traditional backgrounds could continue to third level.

Finally, on behalf of the Chaplaincy, Fr. Alan Hilliard paid tribute to ‘Sr. Mary Flanagan, DIT’ and presented her with a piece of sculpture carved from bog oak dating back 3000 years.

In reply, Mary said she had greatly enjoyed her DIT years and thanked everyone for working with her.  She said the time comes when you have to make a change - but she did promise a return visit!

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