'A person so filled with light' - Laois playschool's tribute to deceased retired employee

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

'A person so filled with light' - Laois playschool's tribute to deceased retired employee

The late Nina McEvoy

A Portlaoise playschool has paid tribute to a beloved former employee who has passed away this week.

Nina McEvoy (née Mulhare) from Woodview, Stradbally passed away on Tuesday, April 28 in Portlaoise hospital, in the company of her loving family. 

She had worked with Kilminchy School House on the Dublin Road for many years, and had also worked in the Kolbe Centre in Portlaoise.

Sonya Duggan from Kilminchy Schoolhouse has written a beautiful tribute to Nina on social media.

"It is with a distraught and heavy heart, that we learned that our dearest Nina McEvoy (nèe- Mulhare) friend and colleague passed away. I was only speaking to her last week and she was in great form, positive and hopeful. Nina would be celebrating her 64th Birthday next week," she said.

"We always knew what an amazing, thoughtful, kind and caring woman she was. I honestly do not know how I can adequately describe Nina with words. She lived her life the best way she could and always tried to see the positive in everything," she said.

"Nina encouraged others to do the same and no matter what she was going through, she kept the bright side out. Nina cared deeply for everyone she knew, whether you were her family, friend, colleague or a member of the community. Nina was always willing to help out someone in need. She had the kindest heart of anyone we knew, the children loved her- we all loved her. We were always made feel welcome when we would go to visit her and her family and we all enjoyed our chats in the school staff room over tea, toast and lots of biscuits. Everyone confided in her and sought words of wisdom and advice and vice versa," Sonya said.

"Nina was a person so filled with light. Everyone knew her. Everyone loved her and she always had a smile and hug. She was like an institution in Kilminchy School House for many years. Nina first came to KSH possibly back in 2003 ( I stand to be corrected!), when she was completing her Childcare training and we were immensely proud of her," the owner said.

"Nina remained with us for many years working part-time and as a relief member of staff, assisting with all age groups at our service up to maybe 2016/2017, when due to ill health, she had to retire. Nina also worked in the Kolbe Centre for years. We never lost that connection and Nina continued to join us at the Dunamaise Arts Centre for our Christmas and Graduation Shows, as aka 'the Elite Tea Ladies' with my mum Val, and other special events, trips and staff get-togethers at school up until last Summer, June 2019," she said.

"Nina was a generous, loving, supportive and unselfish woman who always put other people before herself. She adored her grandchildren Ryan and Aaron and her sons Paul and Mark and son Sean who passed away sadly in 2013. Our deepest and sincerest condolences to Nicholas and her sons who have been a great strength to Nina these past months and to all her family".

"We will miss her with all of our hearts and will always cherish the times we spent together. (One of our memories was getting her rigged out for Linda's Wedding and she looked a million dollars).

Nina's 'Go To Song' at Circle Time was ' Grandma's in the kitchen, doing a bit of knitting, how many stictches will she do?'' and consequently, Nina over the past few years became very proficient at knitting!".

"Nina has touched the lives of so many people and even though she is gone, her memory will live on in all of our hearts forever. Her spirit has not left us. To ensure we keep Nina's memory alive, we will have to add to our puppet collection and Christen one ' Nanny Nina'," she said.

"So I leave you with a quote from The Wizard of Oz… A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others. God Bless you Nina, you are now united with Sean. Sleep Well. RIP. From Sonya and all the KSH Team xxxx," the tribute ended.

Nina McEvoy was predeceased by her son Sean and brothers Michael and Brendan. She is mourned by her husband Nicholas, sons Paul and Mark, grandchildren Ryan and Aaron. Also sadly missed by her sisters Margaret Marron, Toni Deegan, Elizabeth Reddin and Breda Dolan, brothers Joe and David, relatives, neighbours and friends.