Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Ingrid O’Donaghue, died 6 July 2014

Traveller and Secretary of the BA General Studies Alumni Association 1992-1996.

Born in Coleraine and educated at Coleraine High School, Ingrid qualified as a State Registered Nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1957. She returned to education and obtained a BA in  General Studies in 1992 at QUB.

She went to nurse in USA in the late 1950’s and travelled extensively around its eastern sea board. A proposal of marriage from a dashing young solicitor Austin drew her back home. Married with two young children, Ingrid devoted her time and talents to running the home and supporting her husband, who rose to become a partner in a leading Belfast law firm.

Travelling was the passion of Ingrid’s and Austin’s lives, and the newlyweds spent most weekends and other holidays, criss- crossing Europe in a four seater plane, accompanied  by another young couple. With Austin navigating and Ingrid young and carefree, the sights and scenes of the Continent became almost as familiar as the landscape of home. Later on they developed a love affair with the Holy Lands and they spent their summers soaking up its sunshine exploring its antiquities.

As a skilled administrator she organised the Alumni’s annual lecture, and during her tenure of office, pro-vice-chancellor Mary McAleese (President of Ireland 1997-2011) and Dennis Kennedy, journalist, academic and head of the Belfast Office of European Commission addressed the gathering. Ingrid was quite a talented actress and excelled in some of the gripping performances put on by the General Studies’ Alumni.

Predeceased by her husband in 2006, and in failing health and wheel chair bound, Ingrid was always animated by visits from former neighbours, school and nursing friends and those who had studied with her at Queens.

A member of the Linen hall Library and an avid news print reader, Ingrid was a superb conversationalist, and the world of politics was her forte. Possessed of a warm and caring personality, she was in her element when attending re-unions of her old school and nursing college.

She doted on her grand-daughters Sinead and Niamh, and had been recently thrilled by the news of Sinead’s selection to take part in rowing event at the famous Eton College. Despite been in failing health, Ingrid’s indomitable spirit drove her on and before she died she had been planning to return to Queens to complete a course on creative writing.

She is survived by her daughter Fiona, son in law Marty both GPs in Glasgow and son Michael in the IT Dept. at Ulster Television.

  Back to list

Top of Page