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Thursday 23 October 2014

Sr. Delia was 'as revered as Mother Teresa' in Sligo

Published 25/12/2012 | 14:54

SHE WAS a Galway native who took Sligo and its poor to her heart.

As Bishop Christopher Jones said in his Homily at her funeral Mass: "Sr. Delia Conneely certainly was as revered in Sligo as Mother Teresa was revered in Calcutta."

Sr. Delia at first cycled to the poor in the housing estates of Sligo.

She carried large parcels of food and clothing.

Slowly but surely she earned the admiration of the entire Sligo community.

number of people came together to contribute to the purchase of a Mini-Minor for Sr. Delia and covered the running costs.

Now, she could bring more parcels and visit more homes.

Bishop Jones said: "You would meet her bringing individuals and families to and from hospital, Health Care Centres and occasionally to and from Knock.

"These were people who had no access to public transport and no friends who owned private cars."

One of Sr. Delia's methods of making money was to recycle old clothes into dusters and sell them to garages.

Sr. Delia was born in Salthill on July 2nd, 1916.

In 1939, aged 23, she left her family in Galway to travel to the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition Novitiate in Marseille, France.

Her first profession came in 1941.

With the outbreak of World War II, Sr. Delia was unable to return to England.

She spent the next six years caring for the wounded and prisoners of War.

Sr. Delia returned to the UK and completed her nurse training.

She made her final profession in 1947.

She worked in Manchester, Oxford, and Bowdon Vale.

Sr. Delia came to Sligo in 1968.

The community at Garden Hill asked her to serve the poorest of the poor in Sligo town, and beyond.

She cared for the sick and housebound in their own homes and worked with the poor for many, many years.

Sr. Delia died at Teaghlach Uilinn Nursing Home, Moycullen. She was aged 96. Bishop Jones described her as "one of the most humble people I ever met."

He said: "Her mercy will live on in all our hearts for many years to come."

After Mass of the Resurrection in Sligo Cathedral, interment took place in the community plot at Sligo Cemetery.

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