ATHY’S best loved nun, Sr Consilio Fitzgerald, was awarded an honorary MBE by the Queen of England, in recognition of her services to people with addiction problems in Northern Ireland.
The Sister of Mercy, who founded Cuan Mhuire in Athy over 40 years ago, which is now the largest provider of addiction related services on the Island, said that she accepted the award with deep gratitude on behalf of all of the individuals and families who have been impacted by addiction and related problems including homelessness and social exclusion.
She received the award from Prince Edward in Stormont, Northern Ireland, last Friday.
“It’s nice to get the award and it is recognition for our work in the North of Ireland for the past 26 years,” said Sr Consilio speaking to the Leinster Leader.
“It shows that there is a deep understanding for the work that we do. We first brought Cuan Mhuire up to Newry in 1982 but even from the very early days, over 40 years ago, people came from the North down to our centre in Athy. It was an architect from the North who designed and helped me build the Cuan Mhuire in Newry. We are now building a new centre for Newry which we hope to have opened by early next year.
“I appreciate the award but any award given to Cuain Mhuire is for all who have worked here to make it what it is today,” she said.
According to Sr Consilio every single person and all types of religious groups have come together to help them in Cuan Mhuire in the North. “It shows how people can come together when you have a common vision,” she added.