THE Maureen Carrig Student Bursary has been established by The Atlantic School of English and Active Leisure (Atlantic Seal), to honour the memory of Maureen Carrig of Schull, who died suddenly in 2019, leaving behind a stunned community and heartbroken husband and two sons.
‘We are grateful to have known Maureen and for her family who kept our students safe and comfortable while engaging them socially and culturally for a full and rounded experience of West Cork,’ said Barbara Connelly, director of Atlantic Seal.
Maureen and Jim Carrig became one of the school’s first host families when Atlantic Seal was established in 1999 for international students to live and learn English in West Cork.
‘Hosting students was a joint project,’ reflects Jim. ‘We discussed everything together,’ he says giving the impression that this was the case in all things, not just hosting students. ‘But she was in charge.’
Maureen is remembered as an accomplished table quiz player and Munster Rugby follower. ‘Other than me, her first love was Munster Rugby,’ muses Jim, whose nephew played for Munster. ‘We went through hell and high water to follow Munster.’
Back in the day, the rugby players liked to come to Schull on their time off. They were in town one weekend, drinking in the Courtyard, and word got to Maureen. ‘Well, she dropped everything to get down there and meet them … she took one look up at Frankie Sheahan and says, “you don’t look as big now as you do on the telly!”’
What would Maureen think if she knew there was a bursary award named in her honour?
‘She would say no!’ Her husband doesn’t hesitate to answer. ‘“For what?” she would say, “I’ve done nothing”.’ Maureen didn’t want any fuss or undue attention.
She was just kind and unassuming. There was the time they went out for dinner and Maureen noticed a couple struggling to enjoy their meal with their young children and fussy baby. ‘Maureen went over and said, “give me the baby or you’ll never get to eat.” And Maureen walked around with that baby so that the mother could eat in peace with no peep out of that baby … and that is just the way she was.’
Maureen was born in Crookhaven, attended Crookhaven NS and the Convent in Skibbereen before moving to London with her father who left Ireland for work. She met Jim on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend, who her future husband knew from his homeplace in Limerick. Whether it was love at first sight, Jim shied away from saying, but they married in London and had two boys before returning to West Cork and settling in Ardmanagh, Schull in the 1970s.
Loyalty is the word that springs to mind when Mr and Mrs O’Keeffe of James Lyons O’Keefe Estate Agents in Schull think of Maureen, ‘who would be considered as an associate, rather than an employee, in all aspects of our business. Diligent, meticulous, discreet and forever remembered with affection.’
The €1,000 Maureen Carrig Student Bursary will award €500 each to two separate third level students nominated by an Atlantic Seal host. Closing date for applications is Friday, September 29th. There will be an awards ceremony in early October at The Atlantic School of English
and Active Leisure in Schull where Maureen’s family will be in attendance. For more information on the bursary contact [email protected]
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