103-year-old Limerick nun, who beat Covid-19, sadly passes away

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan



103-year-old Limerick nun, who beat Covid-19, sadly passes away

The late Sr Martha (Mary) Hickey, aged 103, of Ballingarry

IRELAND’S oldest coronavirus survivor has now passed away peacefully from natural causes.

Sr Martha (Mary) Hickey, aged 103, of Ballingarry, went to her God on Tuesday.

In March, Sr Martha, of the Infant Jesus Sisters (Drishane), contracted Covid-19 in a nursing home in Cork. After battling the virus in hospital for three weeks the nun was discharged, astounding doctors in the process. 

Sr Martha then moved to Beech Lodge Care Facility in Bruree - only a few miles from her homeplace - where she has been a popular and much-loved resident.

Born in 1917, she joined the order located near Millstreet at 19-years-of-age. She devoted her life to God and the countless children she taught. Outside of the classroom and the church, Sr Martha loved hurling and rugby.

Anne Maria Moore, proprietor of Beech Lodge Care Facility, said it had been a privilege to care for Sr Martha.

"She was a lady to her fingertips. She was very gentle, absolutely lovely and so well up on everything. She was an amazing lady. 

"Her nephews and nieces absolutely adored her as did all her religious Sisters," said Mrs Moore. Sr Martha was joined by six more Drishane Sisters in Beech Lodge.

"They had their own little community here. They were very, very fond of her and are very sad at her passing," said Mrs Moore.

The death notice reads: "Sr Martha passed away very peacefully in her 104th year, in the tender and loving care of the Matron and staff of Beech Lodge Care Facility, Bruree. Predeceased by her brothers Jim, Maurice, Tadhg, Sean and her sisters Sheila, Bridie and Monica."

Very deeply regretted by the Infant Jesus Sisters (Drishane) and her community at St. Joseph's, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, great-grandnephews, great-grandnieces of the Maloney, Keane and Hickey families.

In compliance with current guidelines, Sr Martha's funeral will be confined to family and close friends. Reposing at Daffy's Funeral Home, Kilmallock, this Wednesday evening from 6pm followed by evening prayer at 7pm. 

Funeral arriving Thursday for noon Requiem Mass at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bruree, followed by burial afterwards at the Drishane Cemetery, Millstreet.

May she rest in peace.