OBITUARY: Remembering a much loved Donegal teacher with a love for the Irish language

Funeral held recently of Teresa Coyle, Carnagore, Carrigart

Teresa Coyle, Carnagore, Carrigart

The death took place recently of Teresa Coyle, Carnagore, Carrigart

The death took place at the Lakehouse Nursing Home, Portnablagh on Wednesday, May 13 of Mrs. Teresa Coyle, Carnagore, Carrigart.
Teresa (née O’Brien), a former national school teacher was born in Glenhola, Gaoth Dobhair on November 26, 1929. She was one of ten children born to John and Kitt O’Brien, Glenhola, and was the second youngest of that family.
Her sister, Miss Annie O’Brien ex. N.T., passed away at the Falcarragh Community Hospital on March 16 last and Teresa was the last surviving member of the family.
Teresa received her primary education at Scoil Bhríde, Meenacladdy. She was a student at the former Coláiste Bhríde Boarding College in Falcarragh from 1944 to 1948. She decided to pursue a career as a national school teacher and she went on to study at Carysfort Training College, Blackrock, Dublin from 1948 to 1950. Following her graduation in 1950 she taught on a substitution basis in a number of schools including: Termon, Kilmacrennan and Buncrana.

Teaching appointment 
In 1953 she secured a teaching appointment at Cranford National School. It was there Teresa met her future husband, James Coyle and they were married in 1956. After their marriage the couple bought a Public House in Carrigart.
At that time married woman were prohibited from teaching and when this ban was lifted in 1958 she went back teaching. She remained teaching there until a number of local schools were amalgamated in 1971 and she was transferred to the new school, Scoil Eoin Baiste at Umlagh. She continued teaching there until her retirement in 1990.
Teresa was dedicated and a good teacher. She put generations of children through her hands. A fluent Irish speaker she had a great grá for the language and taught Irish songs and poems to her pupils.
She also passed on her skills in knitting and sewing to children. In later years some of her former pupils would visit her to sing lovely Irish songs she taught them many years before.
In 1999 she suffered a terrible blow with the sudden death of her youngest son, Séamus.
But Teresa was a strong and resilient person and lived through it. Her life was well lived and this life was guided by her strong and abiding faith.

Her Requiem Mass was celebrated in St. John the Baptist Church, Carrigart on Thursday, May 14.
The celebrant of the Mass was Very Rev. Fr. Charles Byrne, P.P., who also officiated at the graveside. At the end of the Mass her daughter, Caitríona recited a beautiful poem titled, ‘Mother’s Hands’ which she penned especially in memory of her beloved mother.
Teresa was laid to rest afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
She was predeceased by her husband, James in 2015 and by her son, Séamus in 1999. She was also predeceased by her brothers, Niall, Micí, John, Hughie and Peadar and by Colm who died at birth. She was also predeceased by her sisters, Caitríona, Máire and Annie.
She is survived by her son, Michael, daughters, Caitríona and Carmel, daughter-in-law, Síle, sons-in-law, Frank and Ruairí, grandchildren, Martin, Michelle, Kate and Hollie, great grand children, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends, to all of whom deep condolences are extended in their loss.

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