Mary ‘Ma’ O’Driscoll, UCG Lady Dean of Residence

The death occurred a number of weeks ago of the much-loved Mary ‘Ma’ O’Driscoll, the Lady Dean of Residence at UCG for many years.
Even for us in the late 1970s, she was very much a throwback to a long vanished and more innocent era when a 'Lady Superintendent' watched over female students to ensure that they behaved properly at all times.
She told me once of her early days as a Dean of Residence in the college when she would be traditionally presented with a bouquet of flowers by female attendees at a college dance before taking her high seat at the top of the hall when she, along with the Catholic chaplain, kept a close eye on the night's proceedings to ensure that no 'inappropriate' close dancing or 'hanky panky' went on! Which was made even more difficult for the youngsters by the fact that, in those far-off days, women had to back at their college-sanctioned lodgings by 10am.

By the mid 1970s, the world had changed beyond recognition with late night discos, house parties, music pubs, feminism and gay rights becoming part of the Galway student scene. But 'Ma', as she was affectionately known, still provided a sympathetic ear and friendly support to generations of students.
She will always be remembered with great fondness by all those that knew her.
May she rest if peace

No comments: