Carlow mourns the passing of Sr Anna
There was widespread shock and sadness across Carlow as news emerged of the passing of Sr Anna Hyland.
Sr Anna was extremely well-known and well-loved in the local community and over the years contributed greatly to various events in Carlow over the years.
Originally from County Laois, Sr Anna came to Carlow in 1963 to teach at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal and over the years she was adopted into and became an integral part of the fabric of the local community, in which she played many roles.
Sr Anna was a wonderful educator and she took great pride in teaching generations of Carlow children. She went on to become principal of Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, a role in which she held with great pride right up until she stepped down in 2007.
However, that was not the end of her involvement with the school and she stayed on as home liaison officer.
One of Sr Anna's greatest loves was music. In 1968, then known as Sr Savio, she took charge of all music at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal and founded the Presentation School Band which went onto to achieve national and even global acclaim.
The band represented Carlow at events in London, Birmingham and New York to name but a few places, all under the wonderful leadership of Sr Anna.
In fact, there are very few festivals or ceremonial occasions that have taken place in Carlow without the presence of Sr Anna and the band.
Over the years, Sr Anna met and organised performances for a vast amount of dignitaries, including President Mary Robinson on several occasions, and even Pope John Paul, when three members of the band performed for him in Rome, something of which she was very proud.
Over the years, the band has travelled all over Ireland and further afield and won countless awards, none of which could have happened without the commitment and dedication of Sr Anna.
The news of Sr Anna's passing was greeted with great shock in the local community.
'I was principal of Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach when Sr Anna was Principal of Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal,' said Bríde De Roiste. 'She was an absolutely wonderful teacher and principal. She did so much for Carlow and always gave her time freely and she was extremely dedicated to her work with the Presentation School Band.'