The first dentist to practice in Castlewellan passes away after a battle with cancer.
Marie Ita Colgan (94) passed away peacefully at her home in Ballynahinch on 9 December 2020 due to pancreatic cancer
She was born in the townland of Knockans, Finvoy, Co. Antrim to PT and Nora O’Hare. She succumbed to the charms of her fellow dental student Alphonsus Liguori Colgan(Alphy) and they were married September 1955. Alphy preceded her in death February 2020.
Marie was born minutes after her twin sister Nora and had an older brother Henry (Harry) and two younger brothers Noel and Patrick (Paddy). Owing to her father’s work as an Agricultural Inspector the family moved several times to Ballymena, Lisburn and Belfast.
Following graduation Marie first worked as a dentist in Enniskillen before moving to Castlewellan after Alphy and she were wed.
She opened her own practice in rooms within their large house, and was the first dentist to bring modern practices to the town.
Living on site she regularly responded to urgent cases outside of opening hours. Later Marie practiced as a school dentist prior to her retirement when they moved to Ballynahinch for the next exciting chapter of her life.
Marie and her beloved Alphy enjoyed life to the full together. They were inseparable. The devotion Marie showed to Alphy during his life was an inspiration to everyone who watched on as she lovingly assisted him for many years until his death in February 2020, Marie attended to his needs with joy and love in her heart.
Throughout her life Marie was always involved in the community be it from her work on the Castlewellan Show committee or with Self Help Africa, working many years in the local store and going on a fact finding tour to India on their behalf.
Marie was always available to assist her Church and was lauded for her flower arranging skills, with her most recent arrangements prepared with love for Confirmation 2020.
Marie was actively involved in sports at Queens University playing for the Camogie team competing in inter-University competitions throughout Ireland.
And her love of horse racing saw Alphy and her regulars at many courses from Cheltenham to Downpatrick. Like everything Marie got involved in her entry into greyhound racing was undertaken with style. Alphy relied on her eye for picking winning pups and sure enough the trophies followed.
Marie touched many lives and will be sadly missed by her and Alphy’s loving families, friends and neighbours.