A lifetime in law: Maureen Fegan retires after 48 years

​Newry law firm McShanes has said goodbye to their longest-serving staff member.
Staff at McShanes with Mrs Maureen Fegan as she marked her retirement.Staff at McShanes with Mrs Maureen Fegan as she marked her retirement.
Staff at McShanes with Mrs Maureen Fegan as she marked her retirement.

Maureen Fegan has been with McShanes Solicitors for 48 years, joining the local law firm in 1975.

McShanes was founded two years earlier by Rory McShane and recently celebrated its 50th birthday.

Reflecting on Maureen’s half a decade at McShanes, Rory recalls, “Maureen joined McShanes straight from school. Initially, she began work as a shorthand typist.”

“Yes,” he laughs, “shorthand was a thing in those days, but it’s long since unfashionable.”

But Maureen’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances was extraordinary.

“As technology developed with fax machines, modern photocopying machines, mobile phones and email, Maureen readily adapted and took all this in her stride,” he says.

Maureen’s natural ability and excellent typing and organisation skills meant that she quickly became proficient in court work, preparing briefs for barristers in County Court and High Court proceedings, as well as criminal defence work.

Rory continues, “Maureen’s dedication and commitment to the practice has been enormous over the years.

“She developed great relationships with clients who got to know her extremely well and would ask to speak to her when coming to the office.”

As Maureen progressed in the firm, she eventually became the Office Manager and had responsibility for HR.

Rory explains, “As a team leader, she was exceptional. As a trainer and mentor for new staff, she was exceptional, too. She was a great team player throughout her time at McShanes.”

Alongside the legal work, Maureen has been at the heart of all promotional activity for McShanes over the years.

One day, she could be organising and printing brochures for the firm; the next day, she could be helping with the drafting of new websites.

Maureen also provided newspaper reports for successful cases.

Rory continues, “Maureen has also been the leader in organising public relations evenings for the firm. She was the lead person for contacting the sports clubs and charities we’ve supported over the years.”

Rory points to Maureen’s ability to forge excellent relationships with people as one of her many redeeming qualities.

“Maureen has built strong relationships with clients throughout her career.

“She is on first-name terms with many of them and is warmly greeted by them when she meets them in non-work-related settings outside the office.

“Clients regularly tell the firm’s partners about Maureen's contributions and how much they respect her.”

Aoife McShane, Partner at McShanes, echoes these sentiments.

“Maureen has been incredibly loyal to McShanes Solicitors, initially as a legal secretary specialising in litigation and then promoted to Office Manager.

“She has been central to the firm's growth and was an excellent Office Manager.

“Maureen was always professional, loyal and dedicated to her job,” she adds.

Rory continues, “Maureen managed to work for us for 48 years, married Val and alongside that, reared three boys, Adrian, Conrad and Darren, who were all given a fine education and have gone on to do exceptionally well in their chosen fields.”

Looking ahead to Maureen’s retirement, Rory reckons she will be very busy.“Maureen will undoubtedly be involved in charity work and her passion for Gaelic football –an avid Mayobridge and Down fan – but also spending quality time with her family and many grandchildren.”

He adds, “We’d all like to wish Maureen a happy retirement and wish her all the best.”

To find out more about McShanes Solicitors, visit www.mcshaneandco.com.

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