Gallagher, Sr. M. Enda

Gallagher, Sr. M. Enda

Nationality:  Irish
Congregational Register No. 404
D.O.B.:  22.08.1932
First Profession 08.09.1957
Died: 20.02.2009   Aged:  76 years

Catherine (Kathleen) Gallagher was born into a farming family in Co. Leitrim.  She had four brothers and one sister.  After completing her education at the St. Louis Convent, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, she worked in a Bundoran hotel for several years.  She entered MMM in1955, aged twenty-two, and took the name Sr. Mary Enda.

Following first profession, Sr Enda worked for many years in Ireland in both domestic and secretarial positions, including in the nunciature in Dublin and as Sister in charge of  the guest department in Drogheda.  During the 1960s she was also assistant to the novice mistress and postulant mistress. From 1978 – 1986 she worked in the Medical Records Department of the maternity hospital, where she was very happy.

Sr. Enda was assigned to Ganta, Liberia in 1986.  Although nervous about undertaking a mission overseas, she was quietly enthusiastic about going to Liberia. She had been very interested in what Sr. Mairead Chambers had said about the work there. Sr. Enda also had a great deal of admiration for and confidence in Sr. Mairead and what was being accomplished in Ganta, a Hansen’s disease (leprosy) centre. She agreed to go for one year.

Sr. Enda settled in well in Ganta, becoming involved with the income generating activities that the patients worked on to support themselves. She took a lively interest in the patients and expressed her love and respect for them in her letters, describing them as ‘loveable and gentle people‘.  Because of this she was happy to extend her time in Liberia and returned there following her first leave.  This was a stressful time in Liberia as the civil war was on-going and everyday life was frequently disrupted. The violence continued to escalate. On one occasion Enda and Sr. Brigid Murphy had to take refuge in a wardrobe as bullets ripped through the house.  Following her second leave, Enda did not feel that she was able to return to Liberia.

For the next three years Sr. Enda worked in the IMTH, first in medical records and then in the snack bar. From 1994 until the end of 2000 she was in charge of catering at Áras Mhuire.

Enda was a woman of deep faith who always approached her assignments and tasks with care and commitment.  She was admitted to Áras Mhuire in 2007. She remained active, and apart from times when she was confused, met everyone with a happy smile and cheerful greeting.  In January 2009 Sr. Enda was admitted to the hospital for treatment.  She improved but did not recover fully and was transferred back to Áras Mhuire, where her condition gradually deteriorated. After several days she slipped into unconsciousness and died peacefully two days later.