Sister Majella McCarron passed peacefully to her heavenly reward on Saturday, 30th March 2024, at Marymount Hospice, Cork. She leaves behind a legacy of environmental activism and human rights advocacy. Her unwavering dedication to justice saw her fighting for the rights of the Ogoni people in Nigeria, against the environmental degradation caused by oil production, and later advocating for social and environmental issues in Ireland, including the ‘Shell to Sea’ campaign and opposition to fracking. Sister Majella’s life was marked by her deep compassion, her relentless pursuit of justice, and her ability to inspire those around her to act for the greater good. Her funeral, held at the Convent on Tuesday, brought together a community of activists, friends, and family members touched by her extraordinary life and commitment to making the world a more just and sustainable place.
Sr. Majella, formerly of Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh, is deeply missed by her brothers Dermott and Noel, Sisters-in-law, Brother-in-law, Nieces, Nephews, extended family, friends, colleagues, and all of our OLA Sisters and staff. She was predeceased by her parents, Mary Ann and Thomas, her brother Aidan, Sister Nuala, and Niece Sinead.
As we celebrate her legacy, we share the words of our District Leader, Mary Crowley:


Farewell to Sr. Majella McCarron, 30 March 2024


Good afternoon and welcome, everyone.

We are gathered here today to thank God and bid farewell to Sr. Majella McCarron, a remarkable woman who lived her missionary life to the full.

We entrust her to God as she goes to her final resting place to join her parents, Mary Ann and Thomas, her brother Aidan, her sister Nuala, and her niece Sinead.

Here with us today are Sr. Majella’s brothers Dermot and Noel, her relatives and friends, our OLA Sisters, and our Infirmary Staff. Thank you all for being here. Thank you too for the love and care you have shown to Majella over the years.

Welcome and thanks to the SMA Fathers for your presence here and to Fr. Paddy O’Rourke, our chief celebrant.

Here with us also are many people who worked with Majella in the struggle for justice whether for migrants and refugees or for environmental issues, you are all very welcome.

I like to acknowledge the many emails and letters of condolences that we have received from Nigeria and here in Ireland.

A special word of gratitude to our OLA Sisters, Ardfoyle Infirmary staff, the staff of Marymount Hospice who cared so lovingly and compassionately for Majella.

We are, of course, saddened to see such a fine woman taken from us, but we are grateful for her vibrant and fruitful OLA missionary life and her impact on so many people especially in Nigeria and in Ireland.

Sr. Majella was from Lisnaskea, in County Fermanagh. She has been taken from us just a few months before her 85th birthday. She has been with the OLA Sisters for sixty-eight years, and we are very sad to bid her farewell today.

Sr. Majella made her first profession in 1959, and after this, she did a degree in Science at UCC. When she finished college in 1964, she was sent to Nigeria, where she was to spend the next thirty years. She taught in St Teresa’s College Ibadan, the Pastoral Institute in Ibadan, the Teacher Training College in Lagos, and in the University of Lagos. She was very much involved with the Africa, European, Faith and Justice Network. She witnessed the devastating impact of the Royal Dutch Shell Oil company on the land of the Ogoni people in Nigeria and the great poverty of the local people. She was supported in this struggle by Ken Saro Wiwa, an Environmental Activist.

She returned to Ireland in 1994 and she has lived in Dublin, Claremorris, Rostrevor, and in Ardfoyle.

She continued her mission to Africa through Justice Advocacy, as well as Accompanying Asylum Seekers, especially African migrants, and refugees. She worked as OLA Justice Coordinator and with the Irish Missionary Union and the Pontifical Mission Society.

She was involved with many organizations such as Trocaire, the Jesuit Refugee Centre, Shell to Sea in Mayo, Love Leitrim, Greencastle People’s Office, and Save Our Sperrin.

She kept the issues of the exploitation caused by multi-nationals, especially in the Niger Delta, always to the fore. She was involved in organizing the annual memorial seminars for Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 9.

She received 28 letters and 27 poems from Ken Saro Wiwa while he was in prison. These were donated to Maynooth University in 2011 and were published in a book called “Silence Would be Treason”. This is deeply appreciated by the University and continues to be a source of research and advocacy.

Those who have known and lived with Majella, whether in Ireland or in Nigeria, know that as an OLA Missionary Sister, Africa was her love: and Justice was her vision and her goal. She gave her all, courageously, and generously, in that struggle.

We thank God for the life and mission of Sr. Majella and we trust that she will rest forever in God’s Reign of Justice and Peace.

I now hand you over to Fr. Paddy O’Rourke SMA, who will lead us in our Eucharist celebration.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.