The RTÉ 1 programme Would You Believe tonight at 10.30pm looks at the life and remarkable work of Brosna native, Eileen Fitzgerald, who is better known as Sr. Consilio of Cuan Mhuire.
Eileen Fitzgerald was born on January 9th 1937. And it’s on the cusp of her 80th birthday that RTÉ and the Would You Believe team are focusing on her work in dealing with victims of addictions of all kinds.
She was the fifth child, of three brothers and three sisters, born to Maurice and Mary Agnes Fitzgerald.
Convent of Mercy, Abbeyfeale
Sr. Consilio was raised on a farm in Clougvoula, Brosna, Co. Kerry. She went to secondary school in at the Convent of Mercy in Abbeyfeale.
After completing her leaving certificate she began training as a nurse in the North Infirmary Hospital in Cork. The hospital was run by The Sisters of Charity.
The order encouraged their nurses to do visitations of the sick or needy in the Gurranabraher area and the local housing estates.
The nurses who chose to do so, went in pairs and were easily recognisable in their navy uniform coats.
Sr. Consilio spent most of her off duty in Gurranabraher where she got to know and love the people. Years later when she was doing her midwifery in St. Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork she found herself once more in Gurranabraher – this time in the capacity of a midwife.
Answer Her Calling
Upon completion of Sr. Consilio’s training as a nurse, she took steps to answer her calling in life and she joined the Sisters of Mercy, in Athy, Co. Kildare on September 8th 1959.
As part of her training as a nun she taught second class at Primary School level. In her second year she taught infant boys and fifth class.
She also got her first taste of work in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Athy. The Matron, Sr. Dominic, was her mentor and she had a profound and long term effect on the young Sr. Consilio.
If you missed last night’s Would You Believe special on Sr. Consilio you can see it here with a click on the link: http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/would-you-believe-785/10655292/
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