BY EMMA CONNOLLY
WARM tributes have been paid to Dr Paule Cotter who passed away last week and who has been remembered as a talented medic and avid supporter of the arts in West Cork.
Dr Cotter, originally from Bantry and living in Sunday’s Well, died at the city’s Mercy Hospital and the funeral takes place this week in her home town.
A leading consultant haematologist, she gave a lifetime of service to CUH after taking up a position there in 1979.
She was the head of the haemophilia treatment service in Cork during the Aids crisis in the 1980s and gave evidence to the Lindsay Tribunal into the blood transfusion scandal.
Married to former priest and UCC lecturer in philosophy PJ McGrath, who died in 2011, she was very involved in West Cork’s Chamber Music Festival, along with PJ.
Dr Cotter sat on the West Cork Music board which, as well as the Chamber Music Festival, oversees the local literary festival and the Masters of Tradition event.
Fellow board member, UCC librarian John Fitzgerald remembered her fondly as the ‘doyenne of the Literary Festival’ in terms of her vast experience.
‘She always presided over it very graciously. She was also a wonderful hostess and very hospitable, with many meetings taking place in her home.’
John added: ‘She was very wise. When she spoke, you listened. She had a huge knowledge – especially in music –and was very supportive and helpful. She was also a very warm and human presence on the board.’
Her brother Denis, a GP based in Bantry, said his sister was his inspiration for embarking on a medical career.
‘Paule had always wanted to be a doctor – since she was as young as three. She was truly dedicated and lived for being a doctor. She saved many lives. She was my inspiration for becoming a doctor,’ he remembered.
He recalled how his sister was ‘the golden girl’ of his family and ‘was blessed with many great gifts, which she used well.’
As well as a loved sibling, he said she was an adored aunt and godmother.
Dr Cotter’s funeral takes place on Thursday, October 12th, at noon at St Finbarr’s Church, Bantry followed by burial in the local Abbey Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, to the Haematology Dept, CUH.