The Archaeology Department at Queen’s University Belfast has paid tribute to one of their PhD students from Newry who passed away on Monday following a long illness.
Dr Judith Findlater (nee Quinn), passed away peacefully at St. John’s House, Newry. Her remains will be cremated at 12pm on Thursday in Lakelands Crematorium, Cavan.
She was the beloved daughter of Francis and Philomena Quinn and loving sister of Michael.
In a statement, the department said Judith was “wholeheartedly dedicated” to her research, even in spite of her serious illness, which she “battled to the very end”.
The tribute continued: “We were hugely proud of her when she graduated during the summer with her PhD. Her thesis was entitled ‘Feeding Medieval Carrickfergus: A Multi-proxy Study of Livestock Husbandry in a Frontier Town’ and was funded through an AHRC Northern Bridge collaborative studentship with the Historic Environment Division.
“Judith had a long connection with ArcPal, graduating with a BSc in Archaeology-Palaeoecology in 1999. During this time she worked on excavations at some of our premier archaeological sites, including Ballynahatty and Navan Fort.
“She undertook an MSc in Osteoarchaeology at Bournemouth University in 2002, which was followed by a prolonged period of working in the National Construction College (CITB), Bircham Newton, Norfolk.”
It added: “She returned to Northern Ireland and her true passion of archaeology in 2017 and worked with Farrimond MacManus Ltd and John Cronin and Associates for several months before gaining a contract to process collections of bones with the Historic Environment Division which she did until she commenced her PhD research in 2020.
“Judith was passionate about Irish zooarchaeology and archaeology in general. She was determined to ensure that goats were brought to prominence in our understanding of animal husbandry in Medieval Ireland, even obtaining funding from the Royal Irish Academy to pursue this research. She enjoyed regaling the medical personnel she encountered with stories about the ancient goats and cats she studied.
“Her strong spirit and great sense of humour will be greatly missed by all her friends in ArcPal and our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.”
Also paying tribute was the Ulster Archaeological Society, who said: “The UAS is incredibly saddened to share the news that Dr. Judith Findlater has passed away. She was a fantastic UAS member and the postgraduate representative on the UAS committee until she graduated with her PhD this past summer. Her cheerful presence at UAS meetings and events will be greatly missed.”
Judith’s passing is deeply regretted by her sorrowing parents, brother, sister-in-law Karen, nieces Lucy and Rebecca, aunts, uncles, family circle and friends.
Family flowers only, donations in lieu, if desired to Southern Area Hospice Services c/o Charles Digney and Sons.