The Founding Principal

Revd. Sr. Dympna Drury (Sr Moal Hiure)
(10th Feb. 1925-11th Dec. 2022)

Sr. Dympna Drury was born on 10th February 1925. She attended primary school in Dublin and St. Louis Secondary School, Monaghan, Ireland. Dympna entered the novitiate in Monaghan in 1943. Following her first profession in 1946 she was assigned to St. Louis convents in Carrickmacross in Ireland and Aylesbury in England prior to going to University College Dublin where she studied Irish, English and French for her BA degree which she was awarded in 1957.

Sr. Dympna made her Final Profession in 1949. From 1957 to 1960, Sr. Dympna taught in St. Louis Secondary School, Monaghan.
In the latter part of 1960 a new phase began in Dympna’s life when she was missioned to Ibadan, Nigeria to found a secondary school for girls. White habits were made in Ireland while the building of the school and convent began in Ibadan. Sometime in January Dympna and Sr. Marie Jeanne Stanley travelled out by boat and the journey took 3 weeks before arriving in Lagos.

The foundation date of the school is 11th February 1961 when the first students arrived. Sr. Dympna was principal of St. Louis Secondary School, Mokola, Ibadan from 1961 to 1983. She was a most dedicated person, firm but compassionate – always seeking the wellbeing and holistic development of the students entrusted to her care. Sr. Dympna was an outstanding example to staff, parents and children.d

Following her retirement from St. Louis Secondary School, Ibadan, Sr. Dympna enjoyed a sabbatical year in Canterbury in England where she had space and time to nourish her soul and give rest to her body. But Sr. Dympna was not finished with Nigeria yet! She spent 2 years in Ikare- Akoko assisting the community there and teaching in Mount Carmel Sec School.

In 1996 she embarked on a completely new venture in Lagos. She took up the post of English secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio (Ambassador to the Vatican) who required assistance with his speeches as English was not his first language. Being an English teacher Dympna was the best person he could have had to read his scripts and advise him on expression and delivery. Sr. Maire Blair worked in the Embassy as well so they had each other. When the Embassy moved to Abuja in 2002 they both moved and lived in accommodation provided while working in the offices of the Embassy.

Dympna had an enormous interest and care for the less well off and sought to provide them with education to enable them rise above the poverty level at which she found them. This outreach to the poor was combined with a drive towards excellence for each child to reach her potential. This is borne out in what we see today – so many past students of Mokola in professional careers and living with high standards of dedication, honesty and competence.

Whether Dympna worked in school or embassy she always reached beyond these boundaries to the marginalized – always seeking to improve their lot. She was involved in whatever local parish she belonged to and visited the poor in their homes.

Sr Dympna Returned To Ireland

Dympna was 80 years old when she finally completed her work in Nigeria and returned to Ireland in 2005. She lived in St. Louis Convent, Rathmines and celebrated her 90th birthday there in 2015. That day SLOGA – St. Louis Old Girls Association, Ireland branch came to celebrate with her.

It was a truly festive and joyful occasion with the past students of Ibadan showering her with gifts and fitting tributes for the wonderful work she had done particularly for them. One of them said, “we are who we have become because of this great lady and the other Sisters who taught us how to live and be of service in society”.

When Sr. Dympna’s health deteriorated in 2017 she moved to Maryfeld Nursing Home in Chapelizod, Dublin where she was cared for with love and compassion. She was visited regularly by members of SLOGA Ireland who never missed her birthday or Christmas. Sr. Dympna suffered a stroke on the 7th December and died peacefully four days later on the 11th December 2021.

Compiled by Rev. Sr. Mary Connellan, SSL