Tributes to sister who helped thousands

Kathleen Duffy
Kathleen Duffy
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Tributes have been paid to a popular nurse who helped thousands of people at the town’s hospital and through volunteering work.

Kathleen Duffy, who spent her entire working life in the A&E department at Providence Hospital, died last week aged 85 after a short illness.

I’m told she always managed to administer just the right amount of sympathy, without maki patients feel too sorry for themselves

Council leader Barrie Grunewald

Known to many people as Sister Duffy, Kathleen moved to St Helens from her native Republic of Ireland aged 19 and became famous for her no-nonsense way of treating rugby league players, with some Saints stars even taking to referring to wayward balls as; “Sister Duffy passes”.

She also had a deep Roman Catholic faith and was given the prestigious Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award by Pope John Paul II as well as being given the freedom of St Helens.

St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “So manypeople across the borough have fond memories of Sister Duffy , who achieved almost legendary status at the former Providence Hospital.

“I’m told she always managed to administer just the right amount of sympathy, without maki patients feel too sorry for themselves.

“She was made a Freeman of the Borough in 2000 in recognition of her outstanding service and everyone at the council is saddened to hear of her passing.”

After retiring Sister Duffy volunteered helping young people and the blind as well as workingin the Millennium Centre.

She also made many pilgrimages to Lourdes and attended daily mass, serving in the church as a eucharistic minister and a sacristan.

The eldest of five children born on a farm in Mullingar in Westmeath, she enjoyed seeing family and friends and also liked cards and horse racing.