The Bishop of Derry Most Rev. Dr Donal McKeown has led the local tributes to Derry born Sister Marie Duddy, one of the two Sisters of Mercy who died in a traffic accident outside Newry on Tuesday.
Sister Marie, who was brought up in the Westland area of Derry was a former pupil of Thornhill College and left the city in the 1960s to join the Sisters of Mercy. Her brother Brendan is a Jesuit priest, based in Dublin.
Describing Sister Marie “as a highly intelligent woman who devoted her life to education and teaching”, Bishop McKeown said he first encountered her in the late 1960’s when he was a student and she was teaching at St Mary’s Training College in Belfast.
“She was always so kind to us students, interested in what we we doing and keen to help, She was someone who was devoted to education and to young people.”
Bishop McKeown said he often crossed paths with Sister Marie during the 30 years he spent in North Belfast and even when she retired she continued to be involved in education, cross-community work and inter-faith dialogue, especially with those of the Jewish faith.
Sister Marie and Sister Francis were killed on Tuesday morning as they travelled from Belfast to the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre in Newry
Both were based at Ballysillan House, Crumlin Road, Belfast and Bishop McKeown visited the Belfast convent this week to express his sympathy to the other members of their Sisters of Mercy community.
Sister Marie and Sister Frances will be buried todayfollowing 12 noon Requiem Mass in Holy Cross Church, Ardyone.