Sister Gabriel was born and grew up in Drumgriston, Co. Monaghan. She went to school in Billeady and later at the Mercy Convent, Castleblaney. She entered MMM in March l942, when the Congregation was only five years old. Those were also the war years and life was not easy. Following her initial formation and first Profession of Vows, Gabriel trained in midwifery in Drogheda. She was then assigned to St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua, Nigeria. Having served for eight years there she was brought back to Drogheda to do her general nursing training.
She spent the next sixteen years in the Maternity Hospital. She took great care of the babies in the isolation unit and was especially kind to the mothers who had problems and had to remain in hospital until they delivered. During her time there she was also the midwife on call with the Flying Squad, bringing emergencies to the hospital.
Gabriel was very down to earth and was interested in everything that was going on. The mothers in Nigeria and in the maternity hospital in Drogheda appreciated her care and the poor had a special place in her heart.A quiet person, she was known as a woman of prayer, and made a holy hour every day for Sisters overseas. Her friends knew how important it was to her and ensured their visits did not interfere with this time.
When Gabriel retired from nursing she saw a great need for chiropody and in 1987 she went for training. Using her newly acquired skills she relieved many an aching foot from pain and discomfort. She helped out in various house duties in Beechgrove, Drogheda until, for health reasons, she moved to Áras Mhuire in 2004.
She suffered greatly in her later years, and she bore it all with dignity and patience. She was confined to a wheelchair most of time but was able to take care of many of her own needs and was as independent as possible.
Over the years she loved visits from her sister Roisin and her two daughters, Anne and Marie, but they lived in England and they couldn’t visit very often. Her friends in Drogheda came regularly to see her.
She died on 29 February 2012.