SISTER Clair was born Annie Clair in Cork in 1928 and joined MMM in 1951.
After training as a nurse-midwife she was assigned to Nigeria in 1958. She returned to Ireland in 1961 to train as a nursing tutor and then taught nursing in Nigeria for 3 more years.
She became a senior nurse tutor and in 1970 was assigned as principal in the IMTH School of Nursing. She spent a further 7 years in Nigeria, as principal of the nursing school in Afikpo and then as matron.
In 1982 Clair was assigned to Chicago, where she did mission awareness work and fundraising for 3 years.
This was followed by 7 years in Tanzania, first as a hospital matron and then as an in-service trainer for senior nursing personnel.
After another year doing mission awareness work in the USA, she returned to Ireland in 1992. She was chairperson of the Aras Mhuire Board of Management and also served in MMM leadership.
In 1995, Sr. Clair was assigned to England where she was involved in a number of roles, including manager of an international students’ hostel for 5 years.
She was assigned to the MMM Motherhouse in 2003, where she helped with general duties.
Sr. Clair moved to Aras Mhuire in October 2017 for nursing care and died there peacefully on 21 January 2018.
A story from December 1970 probably summed up her role in Drogheda at that time.
‘When student nurses from the International Missionary Training Hospital sat recently in Drogheda for the Preliminary and Final State Nursing examinations, the examination hall was like a mini league of nations.
Irish girls sat side by side with Dutch girls, Britons, Nigerians, Kenyans and other Africans. And every single one of the 50 students passed with flying colours.
There were 26 girls sitting for the preliminary tests, and 24 doing their finals. Many religious orders were represented in the grouping.
This 100 per cent success is due mainly to the tireless efforts of senior tutor, Sr. Claire O’Leary and matron, Sr, Elizabeth Dooley.
For the past couple of years the I.M.T.H. has been achieving 100 per cent successes in these State examinations.’
The late Sr Clair O’Leary