The people of Wexford were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of popular schoolteacher Máire Higgins who passed away aged 40 on February 6 following a long battle with cancer.
Originally from Elphin, Roscommon, Máire moved to Wexford Town in 2004 where she lived with her beloved husband Breen. Breen and Máire's relationship began when they were next door neighbours in Roscommon and it soon flourished into a loving partnership. The pair went on to marry in 2001 and they had three children Donnacha (8), Donal (6) and Laoise (3). On moving to Wexford, Máire worked in Gaelscoil Charman and was known by staff and students as a wonderful and dedicated teacher. Teaching and the Irish language were her two main passions and she inspired both pupils and fellow colleagues with her approach to learning and to life in general.
Máire thrived in the outdoors and particularly loved hillwalking and gardening. She caught the travel bug early on in her life and enjoyed many exciting adventures around the globe.
Máire was an outgoing, lovable and positive person with a great zest for life. She lived her life to the full, even throughout the years of her illness. Despite her healthy lifestyle, she contracted lung cancer in 2013. Her family and friends stuck by her during her long battle, particularly her adoring husband Breen who cared for her at home along with a palliative team.
Máire was extremely close to her family and also had a wide circle of friends. Her popularity was illustrated by the enormous crowds who came to her funeral mass at Rowe Street Church. A second funeral and burial, which was held in her hometown of Elphin, was one of the largest funerals that the town has ever seen.
In a touching tribute on their website, Scoil Charman said that Máire was a fantastic teacher whose influence will live on in the school for many years to come. Principal of the school Aine Gannon also honoured Máire with a speech at her funeral mass in Wexford. She echoed the thoughts of everyone who was in attendance when she said that Máire's passing was a huge loss to the community.
Máire is survived by her parents Siobhan and Paddy; her husband Breen, children Donnacha, Dónal and Laoise; sister Kate; brothers Thomas and Dennis, extended family and a large circle of friends.
May she rest in peace.
Máire was a dedicated teacher whose influence will live on