Head of first Gaelscoil in Waterford city with passion for Irish language, music
TREASA NÍ EACHTHIGHEARNN:Treasa Ní Eachthighearnn’s lasting memorial is that education through Irish is firmly established in Waterford city.
She was first head of Gaelscoil Phort Láirge, the first Gaelscoil in the city. It began in 1985 with 20 pupils in a basement. Classes were often interrupted by rain flooding the accommodation. The Gaelscoil is now housed in a purpose-built school with 224 pupils.
After retiring, she continued to train the school choirs.
She was passionate about the Irish language and music. Her instrument of choice was the flute, she was organist in her local church and she was a more than useful fiddle player. At the time of her death she was learning the concertina.
Her passion for music sent her up and down the country to traditional music events. She collected tunes and loved finding rare verses of songs.
Her passion for music was infectious, being passed on to her pupils. The choir of Gaelscoil Phort Láirge has always had a high standard, winning several major competitions.
She followed Waterford hurlers; to her, John Mullane was one of the all-time greats.
Treasa was born Teresa Hearne in 1943 in Clogheen, Co Tipperary, the third child and only daughter to teacher William Hearne, a Wexford man, and his wife Kathleen (Sheehan), from Cork city.
Having attended the secondary school in the Convent of Mercy in Wexford, she spent over a decade as a Mercy nun, including teaching science in Carrick-on-Suir for a period. During that time, she studied for a degree in Irish at UCC.
In the 1970s, she took the difficult decision to leave religious life. Training as a primary teacher, she taught in Stradbally, Co Waterford, then Duncannon, Co Wexford, before helping to establish the Gaelscoil.
Treasa is survived by her brothers Thomas, Billy, Eugene, Martin and Colum.
TREASA NÍ EACHTHIGHEARNN:Born September 19th, 1943 Died December 9th, 2012