Sister Sally was born in Kilteevan, Co. Roscommon, one of a family of six. She attended school locally with the Mercy Sisters and then after school she went to Dublin to train as a nurse in Baggot Street Hospital. After training she moved to Cherry Orchard Hospital and had a position of responsibility there. But the missionary instinct must have come early for Sr. Sally as in 1965 she went to Nigeria as a lay volunteer in Urua Akpan hospital. Here she met MMM and it changed the direction of her life.
Sally returned to Ireland in 1967 to join MMM. In 1969, during her initial formation, she returned to Nigeria and spent most of her active missionary life there right up to 2005. She ministered as a nurse and midwife in Abakaliki, Ikot Ene, Ndubia and in Amukoko (Lagos). She often ran mobile clinics and loved her work in community based health care. All her working life she enjoyed good health, was a tireless worker and showed great kindness to her patients and staff. During her years in Nigeria she had a few short breaks for further study. She trained as a midwife in Drogheda (1973-74). She did updating in Primary Health Care in Nigeria and in gerontology (Dublin). In 1994 she did relief work in Ganta, Liberia, for three months.
Years in Drogheda
In 2005 Sister Sally returned to Ireland, but not to retire. She undertook the responsibility of looking after the frail and elderly MMMs, in charge of the clinic in Beechgrove community. She continued in this full time role until 2013 and then helped out with other lighter duties which included visiting the Sisters in Aras Mhuire Nursing Facility. She loved reading, especially spiritual books and was generous with her time as a ‘listening ear’. She had a quiet sense of humour and enjoyed the company of other Sisters who had worked with her in Nigeria. Gradually her health began to fail and she asked to move to Aras Mhuire in June 2020. She died peacefully on 14 November 2020.