Donegal's Dr Maire Sharkey
Maire was born on July 12, 1971, and was the youngest of four children, to Danny and Maire Sharkey of Elaghbeg, Burnfoot.
She was the only girl with three older brothers, Patrick, John and Donal. Maire attended St Aengus National School in Bridgend and then Scoil Mhuire Secondary School in Buncrana.
She left Ireland at the age of 18 to attend Brunel University, Uxbridge outside London where she obtained a BSc degree in Psychology in 1994. She joined the National Health Service in the UK after graduation and worked for 4 years in and around London working in Psychology services.
She then went to the University of Teeside in 1995 to undertake a three year Doctor of Clinical Psychology post graduate degree course. She was awarded her doctorate in 2001.
She re-joined the NHS in South Tyneside in 2001. This was the start of her life in South Shields in the North East of England where she remained for the rest of her life.
Maire enjoyed her life in South Shields. She loved the people and the community and found her little bit of Donegal in the North East of England.
Maire achieved one of her career aspirations in 2009 becoming a Consultant Clinical Psychologist specialising in Psychology services to older people. In 2018, she joined Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust again as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology Services for older people in Gateshead.
Maire loved her job with both passion and compassion, dedicating her life to caring for others. She was gentle and kind with a soft soothing Irish accent. Maire never lost her connection with Ireland. She generally returned to Donegal at least four times every year to visit her family.
Maire loved her family and was loved by her family. She often travelled south to London for conferences and stayed with her brothers during these events.
Sadly, Maire lost her short battle with Cancer at the young age of 48 on May 12, 2020.
The family are devastated at the loss of Maire at such a young age, but take great comfort knowing that she dedicated her life to helping others through her work.
Several of her colleagues and ex-colleagues wrote tributes to Maire and we would like to thank each and every one of them for their words.
One colleague wrote of Maire’s legacy to all of us: “in Maire’s own words, ‘We should never ever stop trying.’”
Today our hearts feel heavy and sad at the loss of Dr Maire Sharkey, the person and the professional however our hearts are also filled with pride that she was our daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and colleague.
Finally, Maire often described herself as just a “little lass from Donegal” but she was much more than that – she was simply the best of us.
Rest in peace Maire.
Requiem Mass for Marie took place on Tuesday, May 26, at 11.00am in St Aengus’ Church, Burt.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.
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