MMM Communications Ireland 25.01.2023
Extract from a tribute by Aine McEvoy from some of the people who knew her. First published in MMM Magazine 1992
Mary Phelan, Matron of the hospital in Drogheda from 1943 – 1973.
I met Mother Mary first in 1941. One day she walked into the National Maternity Hospital where I was labour ward Sister. I had the erroneous idea that she was one of these large over-powering Superiors. I was really taken in when I met Mother Mary as she was the very opposite of the visual mental picture I had of her. She was one of the most charitable women I ever met and that is how I will always remember her. I remember her not for all she has done in Drogheda, or all she has done for building up the Congregation, but for her tremendous charity.
Two lots of people stand out in my mind that she was so very charitable towards. The first of these were the unmarried mother and secondly alcoholics. She has done a tremendous amount in a very quiet way for both of these groups of people who needed help at the time. She was able to give practical help on account of having the hospital. If she wanted to do it in any other way, she got somebody else to help. Mother Mary could always get things done. I think perhaps that apart from her spirituality she was a bit hypnotic.
She was a very feminine woman with a charming manner. She was never too busy to see anybody who wanted to see her, particularly anybody in trouble. She was amazingly good that way. I have enjoyed my association with her because I have always had very close contact with her. I feel that her hospital was an extremely pleasant place to work in for the simple reason that there was nobody to interfere with you. It was a private hospital and there was no Board of Governors or anything like that. Anything I wanted to do, Mother Mary never interfered in any way.