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As the family was well settled in Dublin by 1967 when Deirdre was due to start secondary school, she was offered the choice of secondary schools: boarding in Mercy Convent Secondary School, Ballymahon, Co Longford as her older siblings had done or attending as a day pupil in Loreto High school Beaufort, Rathfarnham to support the Loreto sisters as Máire (Sr Ríonach) had joined that order. She opted for boarding in Ballymahon and spent five very happy years there. While not the most dedicated student, Deirdre’s love of music was well cultivated. Piano practice gave a daily reprieve from study and participation in the annual school musical, local concerts and occasional radio performances enhanced the educational experience. Having completed Leaving Cert in 1972, Deirdre pursued a career in education. She spent two years in Carysfort College of Education, graduating as a national school teacher (NT). She returned to her alma mater (Presentation Primary School, Terenure) to teach and spent 25 years teaching there. During that time she continued to study, completing diplomas in religious education in Mater Dei Institute, Dublin and in special education in Carysfort College of Education. She subsequently completed a Bachelor of Education (B Ed) in Trinity College and a Masters in Education (M Ed) in University College Dublin. In 1999, Deirdre moved from teaching to providing professional support for teachers, as part of a national support service. The following year she embarked on a career as a school inspector, becoming a divisional inspector in 2004 and an assistant chief inspector in 2007. She completed a Doctorate in Education in NUI Maynooth in 2010. Deirdre met Harry (Henry Joseph) Mathews in 1973, while they were both working on a summer camp for children in Ballyfermot, Dublin. Harry had worked as a sound technician for BBC in London and Belfast but returned to Dublin in 1973, when “the troubles” in Northern Ireland made it difficult for a southern Irish person to live and work there. Harry joined the Dublin Fire Brigade in 1974, the same year as Deirdre started her teaching career. Deirdre and Harry were married on 4 August 1976 and moved to Knocklyon, a developing suburb in south west Dublin. They were delighted when their daughter, Aisling, was born on 4 February 1979. The delight was short lived, however. When Aisling was only five months old, Harry became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. Within a month, he died on 30 July 1979, aged 26 years. Aisling was the light of Deirdre’s life and helped her to survive as a young widow. She developed a bright and energetic personality and loved being on the go. She attended Presentation primary and secondary schools in Terenure, Dublin and displayed great interest in gymnastics, swimming and music, representing Dublin on gymnastics’ teams and playing the piano and clarinet. Aisling enjoyed a good social life with her school friends while also doing well with her studies.

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Profile for DesignTactics

O'Briens of Bandon - 1875 to 2013  

This is the story of the family of John and Sarah O’Brien of Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland, and their descendants. They had eleven children and...

O'Briens of Bandon - 1875 to 2013  

This is the story of the family of John and Sarah O’Brien of Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland, and their descendants. They had eleven children and...