The community of Rathcormac was left in shock this week following the unexpected passing of Elma Twomey on Sunday at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
The teacher, friend and community stalwart will be sadly missed by all who have crossed her path over the years.
Elma, or Ellie as she was known to friends and family, has made a significantly positive impact on her local community in Rathcormac through her voluntary work with the Rathcormac Community Council as well as in her school community in Carrignafoy Community College in Cobh where she held the role of Deputy Principal.
Elma also held a teaching role and was the Home School Community Liason Officer at Mitchelstown's Colaiste Fionnchua in the recent past and was a very influential member of staff who had a great rapport with both colleagues and students.
Tributes to Elma have been flooding in and all in her hometown of Rathcormac are finding it hard to come to terms with her untimely death.
“It was with great sadness and shock that we learned of Elma's untimely death," reads a statement from Rathcormac Community Council.
"Elma served as Chairperson, Hon Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant PRO on the Community Council over a long number of years. In each of these roles, she was exceptional and determined to resolve every challenge that she faced.
"Elma was the ultimate people person, her forte was in building relationships with politicians, Cork County Council, Government Departments and sponsors. She was a very positive person and Elma never took no for an answer when she was looking for funding, sponsorship or support of any kind.
"Her attention to detail was second to none and she always prepared to the nth degree for every meeting; her motto being 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'. The purchase of our community field will forever stand as a testimony to Elma’s hard work and dedication and will be an amenity for all for years to come."
The statement goes on: "Elma is sadly missed by all in the community of Rathcormac, Kildinan, Bartlemy and further afield. She will be forever remembered by us for her wit, kindness and caring personality as well as her professionalism, hard work and forward thinking.
"Thank you Elma for all of your trojan work, tireless energy and endless achievements. You will be sorely missed beyond measure. The saying “Ní bheidh a leithéid ann aris” has never been so true.
"At this sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with her mother Helen, sisters, Norma, Greta and Joey, her brother Noel, her nephew, nieces and her many, many friends."
Aoife O’Keeffe, Deputy Principal at Coláiste Fionnchua in Mitchelstown also expressed her sympathies on behalf of the school to all who have been affected by Elma’s passing. “We are profoundly saddened at the death of our friend and former work colleague. Elma had an immediate positive impact when she joined our school community in 2004."
Aoife said Elma's caring nature and concern for others led her to take up the role of Home School Community Liaison officer at St Fanahan’s College.
"Her kindness and care for each and every student was exemplary and her support for her teaching colleagues was greatly valued. We will miss Elma for her wonderful sense of humour and lively spirit. The staff and students both present and past, extend deepest sympathy to her family, friends and work colleagues. “
Frank Donovan, Principal at Carrignafoy Community College in Cobh where Elma had been working as deputy principal, opened the doors of the school prayer room on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to all the people of Cobh who may have needed a space for quiet reflection.
“Due to complications during heart surgery, our esteemed colleague and friend Elma was taken from us at an untimely age in her life.
She will be remembered for her professionalism, compassion, kindness and care. At this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues at Carrignafoy Community College. May she rest in peace.”
Fr Liam Kelleher, who is based in the parish of Cobh was also deeply saddened to hear of Elma’s passing. “My thoughts and prayers are with Elma Twomey’s family and friends and the principal, staff and pupils of her beloved St Carrignafoy Community College in Cobh,” he said.
Reposing at Ronayne’s Funeral Home Fermoy on this Thursday from 5pm until 7.30pm, Elma will be laid to rest following Requiem Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathcormac at 12 noon on Friday.
She will be greatly missed by her mother Helen, her sisters Norma, Greta and Joey; her brother Noel, brothers-in-law Donal, John and Richard, nephew Conor, nieces Keira and Abby, relatives, neighbours and many friends to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.