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Acclaimed Omagh drama teacher passes away


Well-known Omagh drama teacher Sr Aengus Fitzpatrick sadly passed away on Thursday morning.

Her contribution to drama and positive impact of thousands of young people in the wider Omagh and Tyrone area cannot be under-stated.

For her dedication Sr Aengus was awarded an MBE for services to the performing arts in 2010.

The Loreto nun set up Hazel Wand in 1993 with a view to providing theatre school for students from both communities.

Prior to that she taught drama at St Brigid’s High School.

The popular nun explained, “Whilst a lot of my students  came with me, I was able to open doors to everyone with the love of art and drama.”

Sr Aengus joined the Loreto Order in Rathfarnham when she was just 17. She went to college in London and Dublin before finally going to the University of Ulster at Coleraine.

“I was sent to the Loreto Convent in Omagh where I went to St Brigid’s HS and taught RE, English and drama.”

Hazel Wand caters for some 200 pupils from the ages of five-19 years. Members do GCSE and A’ levels in Drama and Theatre Studies, or post grad-diplomas. They also enter Feiseanna regularly.

Sr Aengus, previously told the Ulster Herald, “I am not looking for some of my students to make it make big in the film world, though some certainly have done well, but my main aim is to build up the confidence of young boys and girls.”

Hazel Wand puts on a show each year in the Strule Arts Centre, the most recent of which was a double bill of ‘Matilda’ and ‘Shrek’ in February. As always, the shows received rave reviews.

Sr Aengus told us, “The shows provide a platform to show what the children have learned during the year and it does create great excitement.
“I am immensely proud of my students. Their enthusiasm and talents always give me great joy,” said Sr Aengus Fitzpatrick, MBE.

Sr Aengus will be waked at her home (28 Sperrin View, Tamlaght Road) from 7.30pm on Thursday night and during the day on Friday. Het body will be taken to the Sacred Heart Church on Friday evening to arrive at 7pm. Funeral mass is Saturday at 12 noon and burial to Loreto Convent Cemetary, Rathfarnham.

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