Farewell to a Teacher and Friend
 It was with great sadness we learned of the death of Mrs. Margaret Eyres of Kildysart on Friday evening Oct 25th. Mrs. Eyres was one of West Clare's greatest teachers and will be forever remembered. As a teacher she was ‘like a second mother'. She came from an old and respected family of the Quealy surname in Dromelihy, Cooraclare and was a brilliant student in her college days. At school, I can vividly remember her driving her Anglia car to Coolmeen National School where she taught for over twenty years. Mrs. Eyres was a teacher ahead of her time and along with the daily subjects she taught us art, mechanical drawing, gardening, algebra etc!. She was always kind and caring even providing tea at lunchtime for her pupils. She emphasised the importance of good hand writing using the fountain pen, correct spelling, good grammar and obedience, special interest was given to singing classes. Mrs Eyres taught us some old songs both in Irish and English. The girls in the classroom were taught needle work. Our class was fortunate to have Mrs. Eyres all through our primary school days, this was due to her appointed as Principal one year after we left the junior class room; resulting in we being under her for the duration of our senior cycle. The memories of being prepared for First Holy Communion, Confirmation and of the May Altar prayers are so clear. Mrs. Eyres was respected and held in high esteem by pupils, past pupils and parents not only during her teaching years but right through her retirement. This was very true for all communities in Labasheeda, Gortlass and Coolmeen where she taught. The many fine careers chosen and obtained by her past pupils are attributed to Mrs. Eyres. Her deep catholic faith was an example to us all, her attendance at daily mass, recitation of the rosary right up to her final days on earth was an inspiration. There is no doubt Mrs. Eyres was very close to God. During her retirement she had many interests for example - reading, writing, knitting, sewing, crosswords and exchanging books at the library. Mrs Eyres had a special love for history, the Irish language and folklore, this she shared with many historians. She loved nature and set up feeding baskets for the wild birds in her back garden, she took a keen interest in her family and extended family and loved to see them doing well in life. She had a great interest in sport and could recall results of all her past pupils and the next generation. While on the subject of sport in her own youth she participated in cycling, camogie and drama. When one needed advice Mrs Eyres was always there only too glad to help her past pupils. I can safely say I have never known any person with such a positive outlook to life. I must say we have lovely memories of this lady who has been called to her eternal reward. The great numbers that attended her 90th Birthday celebration in Kildysart in February 2012 is one example then we had her school retirement party and the centenary school celebrations. In conclusion I can only say this is the end of an era; we have lost a friend, teacher and mother to all, God has called you home Mrs. Eyres - He has surely prepared a banquet for you; a worthy entrant to His paradise. I have no doubt this kind woman will continue to look after us from Heaven above and one day we will see you again. Sympathies to Terence, Sean, Mary, Thomas, Patrick, Martin, Peggy and the extended family.
Solas na bhflaitheas dá hanam uasal dílis agus i leaba na naomh go raibh sí.
Paul Markham.

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