Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Eileen Cooley, BA, MSc, 1965 (died October 25 2017, aged 72)

Extract from obituary in the Irish News; a full version of the article is available here.

Eileen was the only child of Anna and Francis Cooley and grew up in Halftown.

She received her education in The Convent – St Joseph’s, Lisburn – where she proudly returned as chair of its board of governors as soon as she retired – followed by The Convent Grammar and Queen’s University, where she gained a BA in Geography.

Eileen made people feel safe, welcome and important in her presence. She had the ability to listen, offered sound advice and put you back on the right path, while the warmth of her ever-beaming smile lifted your spirits.

Perhaps it was these innate gifts which led her into the teaching profession, where she was considered an exemplary practitioner not only in St Patrick’s High School, Lisburn but by geography teachers throughout Northern Ireland in her role as a curriculum moderator.

In St Patrick’s High School she was totally committed not only to the education of her pupils but their social and emotional development. Eileen loved her job and saw it as a vocation which extended beyond the school into the community of Lisburn.

When Eileen retired 14 years ago, she started bringing her expertise as a volunteer to many organisations. She organised and acted as secretary, treasurer or chairperson, whether it was the Soroptimists, Queen’s Women’s Graduates, the NAHT Retired Members Association, the Talking Newspaper, or boards of governors of St Joseph's PS, Lisburn and St Colm’s High School, Twinbrook or exams co-ordinator in St Louise’s Comprehensive College and Queen's.

Although she had no family of her own, she loved her numerous friendship groups which were diverse, cross-community and of all ages, and their presence throughout her illness exemplified the esteem in which she was held.

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