Much loved Ms. Hughes to be laid to rest on Saturday

St. Columb's College teacher, Ms. Patricia Hughes.
St. Columb's College teacher, Ms. Patricia Hughes.

The Requiem Mass of much loved St. Columb’s College teacher, Ms. Patricia Hughes, will take place on Saturday in St. Eugene’s Cathedral at 10.00 a.m..

Ms. Hughes died suddenly on Wednesday and news of her death has sent shock waves through the Derry area.

“The governors, staff and students have been deeply saddened at the sudden death of Ms. Hughes,” said St. Columb’s College principal,” Mr. Finbar Madden yesterday.

He said Ms. Hughes was “passionately committed to St. Columb’s College and was someone who had been a constant within the school for the past 24 years.”

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, describing Mrs. Hughes as “a friend” said like so many others throughout Derry, he was deeply shocked when he learned of her tragic death.

“As a highly respected educator, Patrica was someone who inspired and enriched the lives of countless young people throughout this city and beyond,” he said.

St. Columb's College Principal, Finbar Madden.

St. Columb's College Principal, Finbar Madden.

Ms. Hughes’ remains will be taken from her home, 4 Westend Terrace tomorrow morning at 9.20a.m.

St. Columb’s College remained closed on Friday as a mark of respect to Ms. Hughes.

Ms. Hughes was a teacher at the school for the past 24 years where she was much loved and respected by both staff and pupils.

“First and foremost the entire school community would like to extend heartfelt sympathy to Patricia’s family; her sister Mary, brothers Tom and John, nephew, Padraig and to her many friends. We pray that they may receive some comfort and peace from our prayers in these difficult and dark days,” added Mr. Madden.

“As a teacher, as a Subject Leader and as a Senior Teacher, Patricia worked closely with every member of the College Community, both staff and students. She was someone that we all spent time with; someone we laughed with; someone we learned with - and from; someone we faced challenges with; someone we celebrated with. We will forever cherish those memories,” he added.

The Education Authority’s Critical Incident Team will be in St. Columb’s College to offer emotional support to the school’s staff and pupils.

“Due to her gentle and caring nature, Patricia’s loss will also be keenly felt by so many of our pupils, young men to whom she gave everything over the past 24 years,” continued Mr. Madden.

“Already much has been written and said by those students as they reflect upon the legacy of a passionate teacher.”

As a mark of respect the school will remain closed for pupils in Years 8 to 11 today (Friday).

The only students expected to attend will be those undertaking GCSE or A-level examinations. Following the conclusion of those examinations the school building will close at 2.00p.m.

Deputy First Minister and Sinn Fein MLA Martin McGuinness described Ms. Hughes as a “friend” and said he was “deeply shocked” when he heard the news of her death.

“Patricia was a neighbour and friend so, like many others throughout Derry, I was deeply shocked when I learned of this tragic news.

“As a highly respected educator Patricia was someone who inspired and enriched the lives of countless young people throughout this city and beyond.

“She will be desperately missed and my thoughts are with her family and friends and all the pupils and staff at St. Columb’s College where she made such a massive contribution over many years,” said Mr. McGuinness.

SDLP MLA for Foyle and St. Columb’s College past pupil, Mark H. Durkan described Ms. Hughes as an inspiring teacher.

“The sad and shocking passing of Ms. Hughes will send shock waves through the city.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and the wider St Columb’s family, staff and pupils past and present.

“Patricia educated and inspired thousands with her love of literature and love of life. “