WARM tributes have been paid to Limerick secondary school teacher Sarah McGarry, who passed away this week after a brief illness.
Ms McGarry was a PE and English teacher at Colaiste Ide agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale, and a native of the North Circular Road in Limerick who was actively involved in local tennis and golf circles for over twenty years. She passed away this Monday at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
Colaiste Ide agus Iosef closed this Wednesday as a mark of respect for Ms McGarry. In a brief statement, the school described her as “a treasured colleague and valued friend ... she will be greatly missed by the entire school community”.
Ms McGarry is survived by her mother, Sadie, and siblings Ann, Derry, Joan, John and Peter. She is predeceased by her father James.
Ms McGarry previously taught at St Joseph’s Convent secondary school in Abbeyfeale, before it merged with the newly formed Colaiste Ide agus Iosef in 2011. She was an active and popular member of both the Limerick Lawn Tennis Club and Castletroy Golf Club.
Lucy Ryan, a member of the lawn tennis club who knew Ms McGarry for over 20 years, described her as a “marvellous” person.
“She was one of these people who made a huge impression as a person. As a tennis player and a squash player she was enormously gifted, extremely skilled and had a fantastic attitude to the game.
“She was marvellous to have on a team. She served on various committees and helped with administration of various events, including the South of Ireland championships.
“But most of all, I liked her company. She was extremely sharp and witty. She could turn a very ordinary situation, in one sentence, into a hilarious situation. She had this huge personal magnetism”.
Ms McGarry was one of the first leaders of the parks tennis programme, which seeks to develop the sport among young people from disadvantaged areas.
Ms Ryan said that Ms McGarry had a boundless personal energy.
“She could walk into the club on her own, and instantly be a part of whatever was going on. She was a fantastic person to have on a table quiz. She had an enormous knowledge of all sports – rugby, soccer, tennis – as well as literature and music.”
Ms McGarry was laid to rest this Wednesday at Castlemungret cemetery following her funeral Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary church on the Ennis Road.