The late Emily Rowe (née Seery) from Edenderry

Shock and disbelief at sudden death of young Edenderry teacher

Communities on both sides of the Laois/Offaly border are united in shock and grief this week following the sudden and untimely death of much-loved Edenderry teacher, 34-year-old Emily Rowe on Monday.

The only daughter of well-known Edenderry businessman, Gerry Seery and his wife Yvonne, Emily was a member of the teaching staff of Coláiste Iosagáin secondary school in Portarlington, county Laois for a number of years, and was very much involved in extra-curricular activities at the school, including co-producing two musicals.

Many glowing tributes have been paid to the young teacher who leaves behind her devastated husband, Vinny Rowe and their young son, Louie.

Coláiste Iosagáin described Emily Rowe as “always the professional who was passionate about her subjects and her students” and expressed their “huge shock and sadness” at the devastating news of her untimely passing.

They also shared a series of pictures on their social media pages of the much-loved teacher recalling happier times when she went on French trips with her students and showcasing her involvement in the school musical productions. The school added that she had spent “hours and hours producing wonderful showpieces” for the Portarlington community to enjoy.

This is the second tragedy to strike the Seery family from Fennville, Carrick Road, who own and operate Seery Coach Hire and Sales, following the untimely passing of their only son and Emily’s brother, Billy, some years ago.

There was profound shock and disbelief in the town of Edenderry and across the entire North Offaly area on Monday when news of the sudden death of the Seery’s only daughter began to filter through.

The tragic news was also greeted with shock and disbelief in Rochfortbridge where Emily’s husband, Vinny, is a member of the teaching staff in the local St. Joseph’s Secondary School. In a post on the school website, the management of St. Joseph’s said the entire school community had been “shaken and utterly saddened” at the passing of Emily Rowe and described her as “the much beloved wife of our esteemed colleague, teacher and friend, Vinny Rowe.” They said their “thoughts and prayers” were with Emily’s husband, young son and parents and added that “there are no words to describe how we are feeling at this time.”

As a mark of solidarity, St. Joseph’s Secondary School announced that they would be closing at 1pm tomorrow (Thursday) to allow the school community to attend the funeral of Emily Rowe in Edenderry. A number of Mr. Rowe’s students will represent the school in a Guard of Honour at the funeral as will students from the late Emily Rowe’s classes in Coláiste Iosagáin in Portarlington.

Minister of State, Pippa Hackett, described the untimely and sudden passing of Emily Rowe as “such sad news” and extended her deepest sympathies to her family, friends, students and school colleagues.

Edenderry Town FC also extended their sympathies to her husband and family, and many hundreds of glowing tributes have been paid to the much-loved teacher from her students, fellow teaching colleagues from all over the country and from her many friends and neighbours.

She was described by her students and teaching colleagues as being “a brilliant, professional caring teacher with such style and wit” and as a “lovely, caring, kind and gentle lady.” Other tributes recalled her “beautiful singing voice” and said she had “a contagious laugh and a heart of gold” while yet another said her “style and smile lit up Coláiste Iosagáin.

Emily Rowe is sadly missed and will forever be remembered by her husband and best friend, Vinny, her adored son Louie, parents Gerry and Yvonne, brother Billy (RIP), parents-in-law, Olive and Reggie, brother-in-law David, grandmother Colette, extended family, relatives and many friends.

She will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Edenderry tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) following her funeral Mass in St. Mary’s Church in the town at 2.30pm.