"Simply irreplaceable" Mrs Nuala Higgins has pulled down the shutters in the Errigal College canteen for the last time.

Nuala has retired after thirty years keeping the students happy and well fed.

Organised by Errigal College Principal, Mr Charlie Cannon, a surprise function was held on Wednesday.

Nuala was taken to a classroom where she was greeted by her family, John and Sandra, Martin and Stephanie, Danny and Cathy.

A huge crowd came to say thank you and goodbye to Errigal College’s ‘mammy’.

The invited guests included former Errigal College Principal, Mrs Anne McHugh, C.E.O. Co Donegal E.T.B. She was joined by former Principals Mr Hugh Dorrian and Mr Paddy O’Connor.

Retired Principal Mr Hugh Dorrian and current teacher Mr Hugo Dorrian with Nuala

The function was also attended by retired Errigal College teacher, Mrs Eileen Maguire, and by Nuala’s former Errigal College colleagues, Mary McKelvey , Margaret Vaughan and Theresa Houston , Tommy Kerr, Pat Mullen and Barney McMonagle.

The current Errigal College staff and many of the students also attended.

The first speaker was retired Principal Mr Hugh Dorrian and he stressed how important a role Nuala had played in the lives of school staff and students.

“She was a counsellor as well as running an excellent canteen. She could read people and knew when people needed a shoulder to lean on and a good cup of tea.”

Nuala is a woman of ‘Principals’: Mrs Anne McHugh, Mr Hugh Dorrian, Mr
Paddy O’Connor and current Principal Mr Charlie Cannon

Mr O’Connor agreed and C.E.O. Anne McHugh recalled how dependable Nuala was and how she always knew in advance what everybody wanted.

Co Donegal ETB CEO Mrs Anne McHugh, Margaret Russell, Michelle
O’Reilly, Nuala and Elaine McGettigan

Many others spoke in praise of Nuala Higgins and two of her qualities were repeated by everyone. Mr Cannon and Mr O’Connor stressed what a good, kind person Nuala has always been. Mr Dorrian and Mrs McHugh, C.E.O. described Nuala as Errigal College’s mother figure.

Errigal College teacher, Hugo Dorrian told Nuala that he had really enjoyed her retirement function and couldn’t wait until next year’s function: “I can’t believe Nuala is going to be retired, won’t be here. It doesn’t matter who takes over because Nuala Higgins is simply irreplaceable. Thank you so much Nuala for all you have done for our school over the last thirty years”.