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Sunday 21 January 2018

Gerard Haugh

Felix M Larkin remembers a devoted teacher and man of strong Christian faith

Gerard Haugh, who died aged 60 on March 19 after a very short illness, was a gifted teacher of English and history in Belvedere College in Dublin for nearly 40 years.

He will be remembered above all for his productions of plays and musicals at Belvedere -- exactly 100 in total, the last being his own adaptation of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers.

Gerry was proud of being a Dubliner, and a Northsider at that. He lived all his life in his parents' house in Glasnevin, on what is known locally as Washerwoman's Hill. After his parents died, he continued to share the house with his sister; and they cared for each other with a devotion that was exemplary.

Inspired by a strong but unobtrusive Christian faith, he sought simply to make the world a better place for all through personal acts of kindness and charity. That manifested itself most obviously in his long association with the Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society.

The oldest surviving charity in Dublin, founded in 1790, was well known partly because of its iconic former premises in Palace Street (at the entrance to Dublin Castle).

Gerry's father, Desmond, had been a trustee of the society, and, following his father's death, Gerry was invited to join the board of trustees in 1984. He served the society faithfully for 27 years until his own death, and was chairman of the board from 2007 to 2010.

He was unfailingly sympathetic in his consideration of the applications for assistance submitted to the board, and was always the last to acquiesce whenever the board had to decide that an application should be refused.

Gerry Haugh will be greatly missed by his sister and other family members, by his friends, colleagues, students and former students, and by his fellow trustees of the Roomkeepers Society.

Sunday Independent

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