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The Passing of Margaret Synge

(opens in a new window)Margaret Synge (née Lancaster, 1930-2022)

Those readers whose first year university geography experiences were in UCD during much of the 1970s and in Maynooth for some time later may be sorry to learn of the death of Margaret Synge at the age of 92. For many of them, Margaret may have mediated their introduction to map-work and map interpretation, and the rolling accent of this good-humoured and proud Scotswoman may well be still resonating in the recesses of their minds. Some at least will remember how she shepherded them through the challenges of their practical classes.

A geography graduate, Margaret came to Ireland in 1968 following her marriage to the glacial geomorphologist, Francis Millington Synge. Francis had spent some years as a lecturer in Aberdeen prior to his return to Ireland to work with the Geological Survey of Ireland. A dedicated field-worker with an unparalleled knowledge of many parts of Ireland, gained from many years of systematic field-work, Francis died at the untimely age of 56. Margaret chose to remain on in Ireland to bring up her young son, Ian, only deciding to return to Scotland in 1996, after Ian had moved there to attend university.

Margaret died in Aberdeen on 30 September 2022. A thanksgiving service is being held at Midstocket Church, Aberdeen on Wednesday 12 October at 2 p.m. Her contribution to Irish geography lies not in research projects but in her role as a teacher and guide to students. She deserves to be remembered. Aye!

By Arnold Horner