Eilin has Passed Away

Eilin in Portugal 2004

Eilin has left us.......

It is with deep regret that we have to inform all of our friends and students of the passing of our beloved registrar and co-founder of the college, Eilin Ni Riordain (Eilín Ní Riordáin).

This page has been put together in haste to give some small tribute to her life and to express the gratitude all of us who have been influenced by her feel for her having lit up our lives. More will be added over the next few weeks as information and photos become available from anyone willing to contribute.

Here are the notices appearing in the press:

Eilín Ní Ríordáin, Castleblakeney / Cuil Aodha

At her residence Wednesday, 21 April, 2010.

Lovingly remembered by Bruce, Réitseal and Seán, family and friends.

Reposing at home from 7 - 9pm Wednesday.

Removal to Cuil Aodha, Co. Cork, Thursday 11am.

Reposing in Cuil Aodha church 6.30 - 8.30pm Thursday.

Mass Friday 10.30am - to crematorium, Little Island, Cork, 1pm.

Family flowers only. Donations Hospice Foundation, Renmore, Galway.

Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam.

Irish Version

Eilín Ní Riordáin, Gallach / Cúil Aodha

Ina tigh cónaithe Dé Céadaoin, 21 Aibreán, 2010.

I mbuan cuimhne Bruce, Réitseal agus Seán, a muintir agus a cairde araon. Á tórramh sa bhaile ó 7 – 9in, Dé Céadaoin.

Á haistriú go Cúil Aodha, Co. Chorcaí, ar an Déardaoin, ar a 11rn.

Á tórramh i Séipéal Chúil Aodha, 6.30 - 8.30in ar an Déardaoin.

Aifreann sochraide 10.30rn – go créamatóiriam, Chorcaí 1in.

Bláthanna ón gclann amháin. Tabhartais don Fhoras Ospíse, An Rinn Mhór, Gaillimh.

Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam.

Go to Notice on RIP.ie


Eilin was born and grew up in Cuil Aodha near Baile Mhuirne in West Cork, the Gaeltacht home of composer Seán O'Ríada. A native speaker of Irish, she grew up exposed to the rich cultural influences of her area. Her musical career began at the age of four, when she took up the 2 row button accordion. Under the tutelage of her father and grandfather, she quickly mastered the slides and polkas of west Cork, playing in the delightful old "press and draw" style, which lends itself well to the great dance music of Uibh Laoighre, Slíabh Lúachra and Muskerry.

Contribution to Music

She left home at 20 to teach art, music and dance with Maire Ni Dhuibhir at An Gael Acadamh in Conamara, she traveled the Gaeltacht teaching and adjusting to the canuint (idiom) of the area which is markedly different to that of West Cork. She was interviewed regularly on Radio na Galetachta and appeared frequently on Irish television on traditional music shows and Irish language chat shows discussing music, dance and health matters. She made a number of international tours to Europe, and even as far afield as Australia to play music and for many years, adjudicated dancing and instrumental music for Slógadh.

Ballinasloe Station with Seán 2004

While still at school, she was lead-musician in the Award winning group from Colaiste Ide in Dingle at Slogadh, 1972.

She played in numerous different musical groups e.g.: Na Fainleoga who represented Ireland from the Limerick Civic week in Camper, Britanny in 1980. The group consisted of Seamus Creag fiddle, Mary Bergin whistle, Bruce Du Ve uilleann pipes, Sean O Loinsigh bazouki and Eilin on accordion.

During the 1980's, she toured in Australia, Sweden, Denmark with Mary Bergin. In 1988 she toured Sweden, denmark and Northern Ireland with another group called “The Irish Oak Tree band” with Terance O Reilly, Paraic Mc Donnchadha, Fiontan O Meachair, Henry Benagh and Sean Smyth.

Eilin was a living national treasure in the field of traditional music and her passing is a great loss to our country in that area alone.

With Bruce at the wedding of John Kennedy and Karen Brosnan 2004


She studied art at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork, apprenticed as a silversmith, became a teacher, then an entrepreneur. She set up a screen printing business in Spiddal in her early 20's where her work was significant enough to attract the attention of collectors.

With Willie at Toltec Training 2006

Other Cultural Contributions

She co-founded Cuiamhnas an organisation dedicated to the preservation of Irish language and culture with Joe Connolly and Bruce Du Ve in Spiddal. During the 1980's, Cuiamhnas was responsible for the restoration of the Sean Ceibh (old harbour) in Spiddal and sailing courses were run in various parts of Connamarra, giving many people young and old the opportunity to gain experience in the traditional sailing craft of the area, the unique "Galway Hookers". Some of those students have gone on to build or restore boats of their own and participate in the regular regattas that take place all over Connamara during the summer months.

With Lorna at Toltec Training, Aherlow 2007

Personal Growth

From 1986, Eilin trained in and taught many systems of personal development and spiritual growth. She studied the Outlook, Essence, Summit courses with Tony Wiseman, Avatar with Jim Quinlan and Harry Palmer, the Four Agreements by don Miguil Ruiz with don Luis Molinar. She also worked with Bob Proctor and most recently, studied in Ireland and South Africa with Dr John Demartini, undertaking his certification program and other advanced trainings.

Complementary Medicine

Eilín graduated in Acupuncture in 1986 and had an extended career in Chinese Medicine. She initially trained and interned in 1986 at the Kalubowila Hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. On her return to Ireland, she passed the rather grueling day-long theoretical and practical examination which was required at that time for membership of the Association of Irish Acupuncturists.

She went on to co-found and direct the Galway Clinic of Wholistic Medicine until 2001. She and her partner Bruce Du Ve opened second practice in Athlone in 1986 and a third in Dublin in 1993.

She was not afraid to use her own medicine and In 1991 she gave birth by Acupuncture Anesthesia to her daughter Reitseal. Two years later in 1993, she gave birth in the same way to her son Sean.

The College

Eilin co-founded CMATCM with Dr. John O. Bourke and Bruce Du Ve in Barrington’s hospital in Limerick in 1995. Later, she arranged the purchase and preparation of the dedicated college premises in Shannon. As the course coordinator, she was the backbone of the team.

Despite her cancer, Eilin has remained active in the administration of the college until her passing.

With Lorna, Ronan and Jenny at Toltec Training Aherlow, 2007

Other Achievements

In Sept 2006 she set up and opened a practise and shop with her business partner Sandra Walshe, “Living Well” in Mountbellew. The following month Oct 2006, she travelled to Sri Lanka where she took an avid interest in helping with the aftermath of the tsunami and bought a 10 acre farm in Kataragama with the intention of contributing to the repair of the lives of children whose families were shattered by the disaster.

The Living Well Clinic (Click on Picture to go to Site)

The Living Well Clinic

Her Illness

On Valentines day Feb 14th 2007 eilin was diagnosed with breast cancer. She worked with a medical team she respected and admired, Dr. Colm Brady and Prof Hill. With the exception of an initial lumpectomy, her choices of therapy were largely within the holistic domain. Despite having bone and lung secondaries, she refused chemotherapy and radiation, but none the less survived almost a year longer than could have been expected. She recovered from several potentially fatal events and did not need to resort to medication for pain or insomnia until the final couple of days and then only required very light dosage. She was clear, lucid, making jokes and reassuring us all right up to the last hour or so of her time on this earth. Her courage, positive outlook and determination have been keystones of her exemplary and productive life.

Wengen, Switzerland on the way to see her friend Dr. Olaf Kuhnke, 2007

On the Way Coming Home from Pretoria - Slowly.......


For a girl from a small village in Ireland, Eilin has done her fair share of traveling, often solo and unaccompanied. Some of the countries and cities she has visited to play music, to study and teach are:

England, France, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Sardinia, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

In Australia she travelled from Perth to Adelaide, Echuca, Melbourne, Bendigo, Sydney, etc.

In Sri Lanka, she studied in Colombo and travelled to Newralya, Kataragama, Gale etc.

In the USA: Orlando Florida, Raleigh North Carolina, San Diego, Las Vegas, Boston and Miami.

She travelled and studied in Mexico City, Tijuana, Teotihuacan.

In South Africa, Cape town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. In Argentina, Buenos Aires and Cordoba. In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.

In Turkey, Istanbul and other cities.

In South East Asia - Bali, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpa.

With Eileen Munroe - Avatar Kilarney 2007

With her children Seán and Réitiseal Orlando 2005

Mexican Nellie on the Summit of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán

On an evening out in Mexico City 2005

A new Friend

The Pyramid of the Sun - Teotihuacán, Mexico

On Avatar Course with Bruce, Inch, Kerry 2005


In the last 25 years Eilin has worked and studied with countless great people. She particularly wanted to mention and give credit to the following:

Barbara Wren,

Vasillis Gegas,

Tony Wiseman,

Namkahi Norbu Rimpoche,

Harry Palmer,

Dr. Van Tharpe,

Pat, Eileen, Stephen and Gemma Stranney,

Don Luis Molinar,

Charlotte Gerson,

Bob Proctor,

Dr. John Demartini and

her partner Bruce W. Du Ve.

With Dr. John Demartini, Johannesburg, December 2008

Thank you Eilin for your phenomenal determination, inspiring dedication, heartfelt communicating and cutting edge healing methods and messages that you have displayed or shared before so many lives that you have reached and touched. Thank you for your presence and continued existence in our hearts for years to come.

Love & Gratitude Dr. John Demartini

With Anna Shilina, Johannesburg, December 2008

Eilin's Legacy

So many of us would like to leave a legacy behind us when we go, but how many of us actually get around to creating so much of value for others than ourselves, that our lives will continue to be such a shining example of true humanity as Eilin's has been?

The following are a few examples of valuable contributions on Eilin's part which continue to help and inspire others in spite of her absence.


The College was not set up as a business venture, but as the result of shared passion by its founders to produce something of true excellence. Simply, that was to offer a level of training to aspiring acupuncturists which would enable them to move as close as possible to the greatest aspiration of any healer, in the words of Samuel Hahnemann "to cure their patients of their maladies, gently, rapidly and permanently".

This vision, while not always completely attainable, must none the less remain the summum bonum that guides the efforts of anyone who truly wishes to continue to grow as a practitioner or teacher of the various medical arts.

Eilin was from the beginning a powerful, driving influence in the research, the formation of the structures and management of the immense load of behind-the-scenes contingencies which bedevil any enterprise. To her final day, Eilin remained actively involved in the running of the college in spite of there being willing help available to her. Such was her degree of not mere tenacity but genuine willingness and determination to throw her every effort into any project she took on, regardless of the personal price to her.

The outcome of her efforts today, is an efficient, mutually supportive team of teachers and administration who continue to produce a stream of new practitioners who enter health care as competent professionals. The positive feedback we receive from our associate university, The Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese medicine, regarding the quality of the students we send for clinical training, stands as a continuing testimony the effectiveness of the efforts of our faculty members.

Eilin's continuing passion for excellence over the years is the bedrock on which this edifice has been erected.

Simona Dhar now carries on Eilin's work in her capacity as Registrar and Administrator.

The Galway Clinic of Wholistic Medicine

In the early 1980's, long before complementary medicine had become popular or publicly accepted, Eilin and her partner Bruce took the initiative to set up a small clinic at 34 Upper Abbeygate Street, Galway. The choice of name was an epigrammatic expansion incorporating the meaning of the words "holistic" and "whole" into a trading name. The vision of the practice was to offer a safe environment in which the public could have access to the best practise of traditional and modern complementary therapies.

In the pursuit of this goal, Eilin continued to travel worldwide and study tirelessly through three decades. What she brought to the practise was something intangible but profound. Yesterday at the wake in her home, patients she had treated and whose entire families were influenced by her kindness and inspiration arrived in streams, giving testimony to the immensity of the impact she had had on their lives. People called the clinic from all over Ireland and abroad, some desperate that they were unable to travel to be here with her on account of the flight restrictions.

So many people from the small community of Castleblakeney where she lived in County Galway said the same words as they came to the door - "Whatever are we going to do without her".

The little practice she started in Abbeygate Street still continues at the same address after nearly thirty years. It is currently operated by three of Eilin's students whom she greatly loved and admired, Karen Clancy, Niamh O'Neill and Lorna Carr. They share her wonderful capacity for heartfelt service, kindness, thoroughness, continuing education and self improvement and continue to nurture Eilin's legacy in the same spirit she did when she was still with us. They stood quietly just inside the door last night as the mourners came to see Eilin. There was a sense of grace about them.

Karen - Manager of the Galway Clinic

Family Matters

Eilin was like a second mother to Colm and Ailbhe, the two older children of Bruce's marriage with Mary Bergin. The two families remained very close and often went on holidays and trips together. So Seán and Réitseál grew up with two mums as well. Seán when asked who Mary was used to say "She is my mother in law."

Mary's Graduation from CMATCM 2005

With Ailbhe, 2004

Ailbhe was in North Africa when Eilín passed away. She was dreadfully upset at not being able to make the funeral, but she wrote a tribute which Colm read at the Mass in Cúil Áodha chapel.

Mo Eilin beag mo ghra, beidh tu i gconai i mo chroi  

Thankyou for our cherished friendship, I am blessed to have had you in my life. You were always willing to guide and support me.  

Your heart was always open and your generosity so great. So many people have been touched by and have benefited greatly from your kindness.  

You were so much fun, so playful agus Dàna!! I wish i could have seen you graduate from Clown school! You made us laugh with the wide mouthed frog and made us wise with the king and the cabbage.  

The lovely cards you used to send, no other reason but to tell me how much you loved me...I know Im not the only one who received these!  

I wish that i could be there today, but i feel you and i know that you are here with me in my heart.  

Mo Eilin beag, mo ghra, beidh tu i gconai i mo chroi

Eilin's Last Word

It is amazing just how many people have said over the past few days, that something EIlin said to them off the cuff, years ago, utterly transformed their lives.

A week before her passing, Eilín said that she would be having a birthday party on the following Friday, the day as it later turned out of her funeral.

Shortly before she died, Eilin had these words written down.

.........when I look at my life, I did enjoy top-quality pleasures,

I have great taste and I attract amazing people, situations, opportunities, gifts, affection, love, and pleasures into my life.

I want everyone to choose a quality of mine at the birthday party and tell me.

You have two birthdays. The day you were born and the day you find out why.

My life was fantastic, drastic, full of miracles everyday.........

Gra mo chroi go deo.........

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