A profound sense of grief for all working in Kilkenny College swept across this community on Friday 17th June on the death of Ms. Joan Costigan, Senior Administrative Secretary, following a short period of illness. In the immediacy of the moment it was hard to comprehend that a colleague so central to the life of this College had died. Across all areas of the College activity and among former colleagues there was a deep sadness on learning of Ms. Costigan’s death.

Joan Costigan was the most loyal, dedicated, trusted and hard-working colleague one could wish to work with. Everyone associated with Kilkenny College knew Joan and admired and respected her. To work with Joan was a blessing.

Ms. Costigan and Kilkenny College are intertwined with each other. Over the course of 39 years Ms. Costigan has served Kilkenny College with great distinction. Students, parents, boards and colleagues all knew Ms. Costigan as the first point of contact for anything to do with our school. Whether the matter was serious or trivial Joan attended to it with care, concern and attention to detail.

Joan was the key link between the day-to-day organisation of the school, all working in the school, and the Department of Education. Ms. Costigan managed the navigation and confirmation of all matters regarding the DES for families, staff and Principals with clarity and precision at all times.

So many domains of College activity were dependent on Ms. Costigan’s coordination and input. Open Days, Prize Days, Scholarship Exams, State Exams, school Reports, the issuing of Certificate Results, administrative returns to the DES on a weekly, term and annual basis, all these and more were managed with calm and confidence on behalf of us all.

Ms. Costigan gave her wisdom, support, advice and friendship to all without question every day. Six Principals of Kilkenny College have been the beneficiaries of her professional expertise and personal kindness. Each of them knew how crucial the support, guidance and advice Joan provided was to the successful fulfilment of their own responsibilities.

Joan Costigan led the administrative team in the College and is held in the highest regard by all who have worked with her as administrative colleagues. Possessing a warm sense of humour the administration area of the College was a place of happiness, collegial support and friendship.

Ms. Costigan took personal pride in the development and attainment of our students. Her empathy for students and colleagues was clear and humane. Joan could read the mood of the College community at any point in time and offered practical and positive advice whenever she saw a matter of concern.

All at Kilkenny College offer our sincere condolences to Ms. Costigan’s husband Liam, daughter Catherine, her siblings and wider family circle. We believe that Joan is at Peace and secure in the arms of the Lord, but we grieve deeply for her loss and offer our prayers and support to her family.

Simon Thompson
Kilkenny College
Secretary to the Board of Management