Sr. Mairead Gorman MMM

Sr. Mairead Gorman MMM

Sr. Mairead Gorman was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland in February 1931 and baptised Bridget. She came from a family of six, four girls and two boys. She had her schooling locally and in secondary school concentrated on secretarial skills. She went on to study this later in Belfast. After leaving school, Bridget worked for seven years as a shorthand typist and telephonist in Armagh before deciding to join MMM in 1957.

After her initial religious formation, she made profession of vows in 1959, taking the name Mairead. As she was already a qualified secretary and telephonist her skills were well used in the convent office in Drogheda for the first ten years of her missionary life.

In 1968 she travelled to Uganda, her first overseas assignment. After three years she asked to study for nursing and she returned to London where she did a nursing course in the North London School of Nursing, followed by midwifery studies in Drogheda.

On qualifying as a nurse midwife, Sr. Mairead was then assigned to Tanzania for two years before moving on the Ethiopia where she stayed for over twenty years and where she said she had left her heart. Initially she worked in the south of the country in famine relief and when that was brought under control, she moved to Dadim and worked with the Borana nomadic people for many years. She loved Ethiopia, the people, the work, and the climate. Her personality blossomed there, and she even learnt two of the native languages, Sidamo and Oromo. She spent 24 years of her life working in a variety of roles in different MMM missions, in Mikke and Awasa as well as Dadim, mainly nursing but also coordinating “Women in Development” programmes, Clinic and Community Health programmes and, in later years, AIDS programmes.

On her return to Ireland in 2005, Sr. Mairead lived in the community in Ashleigh Heights, Drogheda for several years before moving to the Motherhouse in 2017. In 2010 she did return to Ethiopia briefly to help close the mission in Addis Ababa. While living in Beechgrove, she was working in Aras Mhuire Nursing Home, helping in the office.

Sr. Mairead was noted for her gentleness and her ability to do small acts of kindness, almost unnoticed. She was wise, and in decision-making always weighed up the pros and cons carefully before coming to a conclusion. She enjoyed family visits and generally kept a positive attitude even during the years when her health needs increased. She had a good sense of humour but was often stubborn to change her mind once she was convinced of something! She was a good listener and not a gossiper.

For full time nursing care, she moved to Aras Mhuire Nursing home in May 2022, and she finally died there after a long illness on February 11th, 2024, just three days after her 93rd birthday. She is buried in Drogheda.

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