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In memory of Eileen Fitzpatrick, DIT Careers Service

Posted: 23 May, 2016

The late Eileen Fitzpatrick was central to the establishment of the DIT Career Development Centre and to integrating its services into student life.

Stephen Lawlor and John O’Connor unveil painting in memory of Eileen Fitzpatrick

Eileen was remembered by her family and colleagues at an informal event during which a painting was unveiled to hang in her memory in the new campus at Granegorman.

The Director and Dean of the College of Arts and Tourism, John O’Connor welcomed members of Eileen’s family including her husband Stephen, her sister Breda, brothers Joe and Martin, and her niece Claire and partner Ciaran, and invited the Head of the Careers Development Centre, Dave Kilmartin to speak about Eileen’s contribution the development of the service.  He paid tribute to the ethos with which she had imbued the service that he and his colleagues provide to students now.   He commented that her concern was never on the preparation of a CV but on preparing students for a life.  Dave was joined by Peter Lewis, Carole Kelehan, Christiane Brennan, Susan Russell and Sarah Brown in paying tribute to their former colleague and mentor.

Director and Dean of the College of Arts and Tourism,  DIT colleagues and members of the Fitzpatrick family

Speaking on behalf of the family, Eileen’s husband Stephen said he particularly appreciated that Eileen’s memory was not only being honoured by the beautiful painting which he helped to unveil, but also by the continuation of her work in supporting students so that they can be prepared to live a fulfilling life.

nveiling Camping II, by artist Claire Halpin

The painting by Claire Halpin is entitled Camping II.  Using an oil and photo-transfer technique, it is an exploration of memory.  Writer Lucy White describes the technique as providing “…metaphorical residue of the people, places and experiences that our memory bank decides to either remember or forget.”  Introducing the painting, Kieran Corcoran, Head of the School of Creative Arts, told the group that Claire was an exceptional DIT graduate of Fine Art who has had a continuous record of exhibiton since she completed her degree.  She has also been instrumental in a range of access programmes and community outreach programmes, is a founder member of the Stoneybatter Studio in Dublin 7 and is on the IMMA Artists Panel.

John O’Connor said that following Eileen’s untimely death in 2014, her family made a very generous bequest to the DIT Foundation to be used to support students.  He said that DIT was most grateful for this generosity.  Working with the Foundation, the Careers Service and the Chaplaincy, the family have agreed that the bequest will be disbursed in a number of ways that will have wide impact and immediate practical application.  In memory of Eileen, these will include:

  • Supporting students who have short-term financial difficulties, are affected by an accident or bereavement
  • Contribution to the Student Subsistence Fund 
  • The Eileen Fitzpatrick Erasmus/International Exchange Bursaries which will enable students who require extra support to take advantage of an overseas study experience.
  • A Welcome Fund to be used by the DIT Chaplaincy to provide additional English conversation classes to help students struggling with language as a social barrier.


Dave Kilmartin, Carole Kelehan and Christiane Brennan, DIT Careers Development Centre team with (right) Eileen’s sister Breda and brother Martin; and (left) her niece Claire, brother Joe, husband Stephen.