In Memory

Claire Feeley

Died on: 15 February, 2022
Religious Name: Rufina
Date of Birth: 12 August, 1926
Date of Profession: 6 September, 1948
Resting Place: Kilkenny Convent Cemetery


Once again, there was sadness in Sallyville House on the morning of February 15th 2022, as Sisters learned that Sr. Clare Feeley had passed away peacefully during the night. Clare had a long and fulfilled life and while her energy had been gradually ebbing away in recent months, she was mentally clear and alert until a couple of days before her death.

Clare, born on 12th August 1926 was the third of eight children born to Emmett and Molly (nee Mannion) Feeley of Barrybeg, Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon. She attended Ballybay Primary School and later Secondary School in Athlone, after which, on the advice of Fr. Mark Henderson O.F.M. she entered the St. John of God Novitiate in Wexford on 3rd October 1945. At Reception, she received the name “Rufina”, but she later reverted to her Baptismal name.

Following her Final Profession on 6th September 1951, Clare trained as a General Nurse in Wexford Co. Hospital and Mercy Hospital, Cork. She then ministered for five years in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry. Having obtained a Sister Tutor Diploma from U.C.D., she headed for Nigeria in 1962 and remained there until the end of the Biafran war. On her return to Ireland she ministered in the Regional Hospital, Limerick, St. John of God Hospital, Drumcar and the College of Nursing, Craigavon, Co. Down. As Tutor, she took a keen interest in her student nurses, and always encouraged them to pursue their dreams.

In 1984, she was assigned to a leadership role in Cahercalla, Ennis and following that term, she returned as Chaplain to Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry. Later, she joined the Pastoral Care Team in St. John’s Hospice, Newry. Clare retired to St. John of God House, Kilkenny in 2007 and moved to the Convent there a couple of years later. In November 2017 she transferred to Sallyville House, Wexford.

Clare was a committed member of the Congregation throughout her life and was always a willing participant in Congregational gatherings and events. Possessing an enquiring mind, she was equally interested in the politics of the day and the happenings in our world. She enjoyed reading, was a great devotee of the Irish Times and loved to share stories of her  experiences, especially of  her years in Biafra. We all knew that when Clare started a story it would be lengthy and would include many pensive pauses!!

Very Rev. Jim Murphy P.P. was Principal Celebrant at Clare’s Requiem Mass in St. Canice’s Church, Kilkenny. The concelebrants were Rev. Roderick Whearty P.P. St. Patrick’s, Kilkenny and Rev. Charlie Byrne, P.P. Hilltown, Co. Down. Following Mass, Clare was laid to rest in the Sisters’ Plot in Foulkstown Cemetery.

Clare was predeceased by her sisters Mona (Sr. Carmel) and Sadie, and her brothers Fr. Joe, Eugene and Frank. She is sadly missed by her brothers Louis and Noel, her nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, her St. John of God Sisters, extended family, relatives and many friends.

May she now rest peacefully in her eternal home.

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