Gaelcholáiste Mhuire honours past pupils for pandemic work

Gaelcholáiste Mhuire honours past pupils for pandemic work

‘Cork’s Covid Heroes’, a student art exhibition, in collaboration with Creative Engagement at Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG: From left, students Ronán Ó Broin, Adam MacCraith, Emma Ni Arrachtain, Megan Ní Ruairc, and Jamie O’Conchuir. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

GAELCHOLÁISTE Mhuire AG on Cork’s northside has celebrated its past pupils with an art exhibition.

The ‘Cork’s Covid Heroes’ student art exhibition, in collaboration with Creative Engagement, recognises eight past pupils who have worked in the health service throughout the pandemic.

The artworks, which were created by the now fifth-year students, celebrated the school’s local heroes of the pandemic through a series of portraits, symbols, and expressive printing techniques.

Those who were honoured included Cáit Ní Allúráin, Sinead Ní Chonaire, Darren Breathnach, Lorna Ni Chonaill-Choirc, Megan Ní Shúilleabháin, Aindrias Ó hEibhín, Críostóir Bairéid, and Cian Ó Briain.

Past pupils

Cáit Ní Allúráin works in the neonatal unit at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), caring for premature babies, from as early as 23 weeks and as light as 400g, who require ventilation and respiratory supports. She also cares for older babies recovering from infections, rare conditions, and feeding issues.

Children’s and general nurse Sinead Ní Chonaire continued to provide family-centred care, while adapting to Covid-19 safety guidelines when working as a paediatric nurse at CUH. Senior pharmacist for cancer services at University Hospital Waterford, Darren Breathnach, was recognised for his provision of care and support for both cancer patients and their families during the pandemic.

Lorna Ni Chonaill-Choirc, who qualified from the University of West England in 2017 and worked with the NHS for two years, before she and her husband embarked on a period of worldwide travel with the aim of setting up residence in Australia, was recognised for returning home to work on the Covid-19 ward at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH).

Megan Ní Shúilleabháin, who is a healthcare assistant at Marymount Hospice, was recognised for her day-to-day duties, including observing and monitoring patients, assisting with clinical duties, personal care, and infection prevention.

Aindrias Ó hEibhín and Críostóir Bairéid, who work together in the Department of Microbiology at CUH, were recognised for testing a variety of blood samples, sputum swabs, investigating causes of diseases and researching new treatments for infections, and the analysis of Covid-19 tests.

Emergency manager officer for HSE South, Cian Ó Briain, whose primary role involves the evaluation of potential emergencies and putting major emergency plans in place for the HSE, was recognised by the students for his central involvement in the response to the pandemic, working closely with the Department of Public Health, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, the National Ambulance Service, and all hospitals across Cork and Kerry.

Exhibition

Speaking to The Echo about the exhibition, principal of the school, Dónal Ó Buachalla, said that it was a great event acknowledging the hard work of the school’s past pupils during what he described as “a very hard year for everyone”.

“The school is delighted with the efforts of the students to acknowledge the former pupils who are our Covid heroes.

“It has been a very hard year for everyone and we’d like to acknowledge the great work that our former pupils have done in many different areas, whether it be as doctors or nurses or care assistants or microbiologists,” he said.

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