Coveted award for Sr.Orla Treacy working in South Sudan

Article posted on August 30, 2017 by author John O’Mahony .

A LORETO nun who has dedicated much of her life to helping those in need in South Sudan is to be the recipient of the 2017 Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award.

Sr Orla Treacy, from Bray, Co Wicklow, will be presented with the award by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher, at a ceremony in the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Saturday, November 4.

Born in 1973, Orla’s family moved to Tralee where her father, Blaise Treacy, took up the position of Kerry County Secretary. She was educated initially at Presentation Convent, Tralee until at the age of six when her family moved to Wicklow, where she attended Loreto in Bray, completing her Leaving Cert in 1991.

Having studied at the Mater Dei Institute she subsequently taught in Presentation College Cork, Loreto Letterkenny, St Muredach’s Ballina and Loreto Crumlin. After spending summer in India with the Loreto Sisters, at the age of 24, she decided to join the order.

Based at the Loreto Convent in Rathfarnham, she was professed in September 2005 but within a year she headed to the large African state of Sudan with four other Loreto nuns to establish a mission in a diocese the size of Italy with just two secondary schools.

She has spent the last 11 years in Sudan, experiencing the trauma of South Sudan becoming an autonomous independent state in 2011 followed by civil war in 2013. South Sudan is now widely considered one of the most fragile states in the world with continuing conflict and unrest.

Sr Orla is currently the principal of Loreto Secondary School in Rumbek in Lakes State, in South Sudan which caters for over 500 boys and girls.

Chairperson of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Committee, Jerry O’Grady, said

‘Sr Orla possesses and displays the bravery and humanitarian commitment they have come to associate with the recipients of the award.

At a young age and with a bright future ahead of her in Ireland, she decided instead to dedicate her life to those in need in what was already then a virtual war zone’.

This year marks the tenth year of the memorial commemoration of the monsignor, organised to raise awareness of his great humanitarian work. To find out more infrmation about Mons.Hugh O’Flaherty visit the following link: