Warm tributes have been paid following the sad and sudden passing of a Laois teacher.
Sinéad Ní Nualláin, of The Vale in Graiguecullen, passed away suddenly on Sunday January 31.
Sinead had been a founding member of the Gaelscoil in Athy, where she also served as principal.
She had been working in Gaelscoil Phortlaoise up to her sad passing and principal Dominic O’Braonáin has paid a heartfelt tribute to her.
He said: “It was with great shock and sadness we learned of the untimely passing of our dearest friend and colleague Sinéad Ní Nualláin, or Múinteoir Sinéad as she was affectionately known here in Gaelscoil Phortlaoise.
“Sinéad was a gifted teacher and a true inspiration to all of us. She had a heart of gold and it was an honour to witness first-hand the love, kindness and attention she showered on each and every one of her pupils.
“An invitation to Sinéad’s classroom was sure to be an exhilarating experience, often involving the celebration of a good news story or the declaration that her ‘star’ pupil had just mastered his tricky words or completed his first reader unaided.
“To see the pride in the Múinteoir’s eyes as she regaled these precious milestones was a joy to behold.
“Parents will testify to her kindness and compassion when they needed reassurance. They knew their children were in safe hands and that Múinteoir Sinéad had their back at all times.
“We will greatly miss Sinéad’s bubbly personality and positive disposition in the staffroom, around the playground and on the corridors, her enduring passion for the Irish language, Laois GAA and of course her beloved Graiguecullen.
“Above all we will miss her friendship, her kindness and unlimited generosity.
“Sincerest condolences to her parents Séamus and Jane, her brother James, his partner Magdalena and her beloved niece Emily.
“Codladh sámh, a Shinéad
“Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar d’anam uasail.”
As well as being a much loved teacher, Sinead was also heavily involved in her local GAA club.
She had recently been pushing the promotion of the Irish language strongly in the Graiguecullen GAA club, offering extra lessons to students out of school hours.
This year she had started the process of integrating Graiguecullen GAA into the Joe McDonagh Foundation, a support service provided by Glór na nGael and the GAA to further the Irish language in the community.
The Nolan family are steeped in the Graiguecullen GAA community and Sinéad played a very active role too.
She was particularly involved at juvenile level and in fundraising efforts like Strictly Come Dancing, standing on the gate at matches and supporting the club in their big games in O’Moore Park.
And Graiguecullen have also paid tribute to Sinead on their Facebook page.
They said: “As a club we are heartbroken with the news that we got yesterday afternoon.
“It’s in deep sadness that we have lost our Múinteoir, our sister, daughter and friend to so many people our dear Sinéad Nolan.
“A shinning light to so many people young and old over the last number years Múinteoir Sinéad kindness and love of life would always be inspiring. Our thoughts are with all her family and friends and we think of you all so dearly.
“The proudest Graiguecullen woman we all know and done so much for us all, we are heartbroken.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.”
Sinead is the beloved daughter of Séamus and Jane Nolan, adored sister of James (Danny, Belle, Bob, Maggie, Dotty, Wisp, Katie and Seve), cherished sister-in-law of Magdalena and much loved aunt of Emily, Peter, Kate, Danny, Páraic and Eliza.
She will be sadly missed by grand aunt, many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Sinead was blessed with a wide circle of friends, especially “cuz” Sharon, “her two blisters”, her ladies, school friends, college crew, Gaeilgeoirí and her many wonderful work colleagues, most recently those from Gaelscoil áta í and Gaelscoil Phortlaoise.
Funeral arrangements will be confirmed soon.
May she Rest in Peace.