Mayo nun renowned for her aid work in Africa passes away

The funeral takes place in Dublin tomorrow of Louisburgh born Sister Hilary Lyons, a Holy Rosary Missionary who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Faculty of Public Health by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland some years ago.

The award was given to Sister Hilary in recognition of her contribution to health services in Sierra Leone, where she worked for 42 years.

Born in the townland of Bulnahinch, Louisburgh, Sister Hilary entered the convent immediately after completing the Leaving Certificate in 1943 and went on to study medicine in UCD.

At the age of 29 she was posted to Serabu, a small rural clinic in Sierra Leone. Under Sister Hilary’s guidance the clinic later became a hospital. A second hospital was later set up the Holy Rosary sisters in the eastern province of Sierra Leone.

Sister Hilary also acted as President of the Sierra Leone – Ireland Partnership, leading a delegation in 2003 to meet the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs seeking to have Sierra Leone added as a priority country in the Irish Aid programme.

Sister Hilary passed away on Saturday last in the care of the Holy Rosary Community at Temple Road, Dublin 6.

Burial takes place tomorrow (Wednesday) in Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankhill, Dublin, following Requiem Mass at 11 a.m. in the Church of the Holy Name, Upper Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh.

Predeceased by her parents Richard and Bridget, brothers Josie and Richard, sisters Nola, Nan and Betty, she is deeply regretted by her brothers Tommy, Myles and Michael, sisters and brothers in law, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, her many friends and her Holy Rosary Sisters, to whom sympathy is tendered.

May her gentle soul rest in peace.