Sr. Martina was born Bridget Ita Moriarty in Dingle, Co. Kerry in 1927, part of a family of six boys and four girls. She trained as a pharmacist at the College of Pharmacy in Dublin, qualifying in 1946. Before joining MMM in 1963 she worked as an assistant pharmacist in many towns in Ireland. She worked with her good friend Eileen Campion, also a pharmacist, and who also joined MMM in October 1963, becoming Sr. Aengus.
After profession Sr. Martina worked in the pharmacy in Drogheda for three years. She was assigned to Nigeria in 1969 and worked first in Abakaliki for four years. She then moved to Afikpo, where she spent four years as a pharmacist and also served in local MMM leadership. In 1977 she was assigned to Eleta, Ibadan, where she was to minister for the next twenty-three years. While working in the hospital she lived in the novitiate community, which was across the road.
During her time in Nigeria, Martina trained many young people in pharmaceutical skills. Living in the novitiate she used to proudly proclaim that she was its ‘international component’!
Martina returned to Drogheda in 2000. For many years she volunteered in Áras Mhuire, helping in the oratory and with hospitality for family members and other visitors. When her health deteriorated, she transferred to Áras Mhuire in March 2018 for nursing care. She died there peacefully on 6 April 2019, just before the community Mass was due to start.
Martina was a deeply spiritual woman and contributed greatly to the prayer life of the community. She was a bright and cheerful presence wherever she lived. She loved to dance, enjoyed playing Bridge, and had a wonderful sense of humour. She was always involved in the entertainment at MMM meetings and parties and enjoyed telling stories. She remained close to her family and to her Dingle roots and had a great relationship with her many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and great grandnieces and nephews. Martina was never short of visitors and when her relatives and friends came, peals of laughter could be heard coming from her room.
Her funeral was a celebration of her great life and was attended by many generations of her family, and by MMMs and many friends. The main celebrant of the Mass was Fr. John McAlinden, parish priest of Mell. He was assisted by St. Patrick’s Fathers Tommy Greenan, Ciaran Flynn, P. Fitzpatrick and Pat Kelly; Fr. Linos Dube, from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish; and Damian Bresnahan, SMA, who gave a meaningful eulogy.
While sad at Martina’s death, we are happy that she is now at peace with God, whom she served so well during her long life, and that she has joined the many members of her family who have gone before her.