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Cystic Fibrosis Ireland pay tribute as ‘wonderful’ Newry lady who founded charity passes away

"On one occasion she and my grandfather Tommy stood up from the dinner table on Christmas Day to take a sick child to hospital and get them the treatment they needed."

Bridie Maguire

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland have paid tribute to their “wonderful” founding member and first CEO following her passing this week.

Bridie Maguire, of Donabate/Portrane, formerly of Carnagat, Newry, passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Tuesday (October 24) surrounded by her family at the Bon Secours Hospital.

Bridie’s death coincides almost exactly to the day of the 60th anniversary of CFI, which was formed in November 1963.

In a Facebook post the charity said: “Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) deeply regrets the news of the death of the wonderful Bridie Maguire, founding member and first CEO of CFI. We give our sincere condolences to Bridie’s husband Tommy, and all the Maguire family.”

Also paying tribute on social media was Julian Nolan, one of Bridie’s grandchildren.

He wrote: “Today we said goodbye, my dear nanny Bridie Maguire passed peacefully in her sleep in the early hours this morning surrounded by her loved ones.

“My wonderful nanny had a wonderful life with her husband of 70 years Tommy. She was a founding member of the charity Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, a charity now still going strong in its 60th year.

“She devoted her work to break down walls and provide sick children suffering with Cystic Fibrosis the attention they needed.

“On one occasion she and my grandfather Tommy stood up from the dinner table on Christmas Day to take a sick child to hospital and get them the treatment they needed.

“This was a testament to her work ethic and a commitment to supporting others. She was the charity’s first CEO and carried that title travelling the world attending conferences from Mexico to Australia fighting for better resources.”

He added: “But to me she was my rock, she taught me, guided me and supported us all through so many challenges across the years, showing me how to be a better person.

“A woman who was always planning the next trip abroad to their beloved second home of Spain, a place that holds a special place in all of our hearts, including a plane full of family and friends arriving to celebrate her 90th birthday in Benidorm! How many people can say that they have celebrated in such style!

“It’s hard to believe this day has come, however I am so glad that we made endless memories over the last 23 years and that you’ve seen me go into my career. See you in paradise, adios x.”

Philip Watt, CEO of CFI stated: “Bridie Maguire was an amazing woman. In spite of losing two of her daughters to CF when they were at a very young age, Bridie dedicated much of her adult life in the cause of people with Cystic Fibrosis, first as a volunteer and then as the first CEO of what is now Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

“She served the CF community in Ireland for over 30 years. She was a very kind and vibrant person and young at heart – she kept in touch with developments in CF care through her trusty computer tablet and she never forgot friends and family.”

He concluded: “Tommy and her family can be rightfully very proud of her contribution to the early days CF care in Ireland, as we are in CF Ireland. She is a huge loss to all of us who knew and admired her.”

Bridie was the beloved mother of the late Anne Marie, Siobhan and Mark and grandmother of the late baby Lauran.

She is sadly missed by her loving husband Thomas, son Joseph, daughter Louise, daughter-in-law Irene, son-in-law Sean, grandchildren Kate, Niamh, Laura, Emily, Myles, Lucy May and Julian, sisters Mary, Ann and Patricia, brother-in-law John, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Her remains will repose at Rock’s Funeral Home in Swords today (Wednesday) from 5pm to 6pm, before Mass on Thursday morning in St. Patrick’s Church, Donabate arriving for 10am, followed by burial in Balgriffin Cemetery.

Family flowers only have been requested. Donations, if desired to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

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