Sr. Eithne was born in Dublin in 1934, the only girl in a family of five. She received her early education there and later studied household management in Cathal Brugha Street. She then went to Jersey, where she qualified as a state registered nurse (SRN) and to Edinburgh where she did her midwifery training. She joined MMM in 1961.
Early assignments included helping with the annual MMM Dublin Sale of Work for a number of winters, staffing for short periods in the maternity hospital, and driving the flying squad ambulance, which provides care and transport for women in complicated labour.
Her first overseas assignment was to Rome in 1964, staffing in a clinic run by MMM. She learned Italian for this assignment. After about a year back in Ireland, she was assigned to Angola. To prepare for this she went to Lisbon to learn Portuguese. She worked in hospitals and when she was sufficiently fluent she did her nurse tutorship in the University of Lisbon.
She finally arrived in Angola in 1970 and set up the nursing school in the Catholic mission of Chiulo, in the south of the country. Her graduates were known throughout the country for their excellent training in nursing and preparation for life.
Eithne returned to Ireland in 1980, where she served in leadership in the Motherhouse. She spent sixteen years as administrative sister in the maternity hospital, where she was noted for her kindness to mothers and staff.
A woman of many talents, she worked with asylum seekers and refugees in Mosney. She helped as a Portuguese translator during the Special Olympics in Dublin. From 2001 she was the organist, and later directed the choir, in the Motherhouse. She introduced hairdressing services for the Sisters. She relieved Sisters in Brazil and Uganda for short periods.
Eithne’s illness came as a huge shock to everyone. She was admitted to Áras Mhuire for nursing care in November 2011 and died on 23 February 2012.