Theresa Smith f.c.J., 1970

Some Memories of UCD at Belfield

When I began in September 1967, some FCJ Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, were in their third year in Science. One had graduated and was doing further studies in chemistry.  Hence, I had help in finding my way around the campus.

The “lads” in Mathematical Physics were very friendly and many were a lot of fun. Fergus Conheady and Martin McGuire in particular asked me several questions one day during chemistry lab.  Finally I realized that they were not really looking for information but that they wanted to hear my Canadian accent.  I also recall Wallace Sheridan helping me with some words that were unfamiliar to me such as “decant”.

Sr. Maria Goretti (Catherine) Comerford from the Sisters of Mercy, Sr. Brigid O’Dea and Sr. Diego (Dorothy) McMahon of the St. Louis Sisters of Monahan, Sr. De Montfort (Brigid) Carroll of the St. John of God Sisters and Sr. Rosaria King of the Presentation Sisters were all good friends throughout the three years in Belfield.  Sr. Dorothy taught me my first Irish phrases which I practised over and over on the bus to say to the community when I got home. Dia dhuit a Mháthair and Oscloídh mé an doras dhuit.

One afternoon the chemistry lecture theatre was full and waiting for Dr. Gowan and Mr. Start to present their audiovisual. I imagine that those professors went on to develop more AV in the following years. What was amusing was one Dublin student calling out, “When is it gowan to start?”

Dr. Steirt, (spelling?) Dr. Hoey and Dr. Baird are professors I remember as being personally interested in the students. I enjoyed the maths lectures but am sorry that I do not remember the name of the man who taught us. Fr. Ciaran Ryan was the professor for first year Maths Physics and was extremely kind. He offered tutorials to help those of us who did not have experience with calculus and trigonometry. Sometime after we graduated, he was killed in an accident in the Swiss Alps. RIP.

These are some of my memories. Best wishes to all who were in UCD from 1967 to 1970.

Theresa Smith f.c.J.

(living at Sacred Heart Convent, Calgary, Alberta doing archival work, vocation promotion and serving as chair of the Assembly of Women Religious in the Diocese of Calgary)