A year on from the unexpected death of Fermanagh teacher Amanda McManus (née Hall), a group of her family, colleagues, and students will climb four peaks across Fermanagh in her honour.

Amanda died unexpectedly last year on May 12, and her death left a hole in many hearts across Fermanagh, including at her place of work, Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS), where she taught ICT and led the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

Now, those who loved Amanda have come together to raise money in her memory by undertaking a challenge of climbing four of Fermanagh’s peaks.

READ MORE: Fermanagh teacher will live forever in those she held close

ERGS Principal Elizabeth Armstrong said: “In May last year, our whole school community was shocked and deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Amanda McManus, a much-loved and respected teacher and colleague.

“Amanda was such a vital, positive and compassionate force for good in our school community, who delighted in giving to all those around her.

"And so, a year later, we wanted to honour her vitality and giving spirit by undertaking a Four Peaks Challenge in her memory, and in support of her husband, Frainc’s and her family’s chosen charities, Aghavea Parish Church and the Oak Healthy Living Centre in Lisnaskea.

“On Saturday, a group of staff join with members of Amanda’s family and her friends in climbing one or more of the four peaks which give their name to our school houses: Belmore, Benaughlin, Cuilcagh and Trien."

She continued:"We are very grateful to Sinead Johnston and Robin Ferguson, who worked with Amanda in the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, who have planned our route and have led us, together with senior student members of our Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Group, in some much-needed training over the past months.

"We are also delighted that some of Amanda’s former colleagues in Ballyclare High School plan to do a memory walk on the same day also.”

Also welcoming the walk were Amanda’s two sisters, Susan and Wendy, who will be joining the walk. Susan said: “I think it is lovely that so much has been thought of Amanda that people want to now do a memory walk.

“A lot of people are pushing themselves to do something they wouldn’t normally do, in her memory.”

Amanda McManus

Amanda McManus

Her sibling, Wendy, has just returned to Fermanagh from Australia. Sadly, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this is the first time she has come home since Amanda’s death.

In a touching tribute, she will complete the four peaks wearing Amanda’s boots.

Wendy said:“It is much bigger than I realised – it is absolutely amazing that people want to be part of it, and it is a real testament to her memory.”

Members of staff from ERGS have also paid tribute to Amanda, including Aidan Corrigan, who worked alongside Amanda on the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, and who said: “Amanda was kind, generous, thoughtful and the most organised person I have ever met.

"It was my privilege to know and work with such a dedicated lady, and our countryside ramble is the type of challenge she would have relished.”

Friend and fellow teacher Joanne Donald said: “Signing up to and training for the challenge has helped me continue to remember her and cherish happy memories of good times we had together.

"It’s also been such a positive way for our school staff to come together and remember her collectively.”

Believing that Amanda will be looking over the group, Sandra McCordick said: “Amanda was so kind and caring, always looking out for others.

"She loved her girls and Frainc dearly, which was so evident in conversations with her. Saturday will be emotional and tough, but Amanda will be watching over us, and looking out for us, like she always did.”

Concluding, Sally Rees focused on Amanda’s legacy, and said: “Amanda has left a massive hole in our school community, and we feel her absence all the time.

"I know that her spirit lives on, not just in her wonderful, funny, clever daughters, but through the legacy of her kindness and compassion, which inspires us all to be a better version of ourselves.”

If you wish to donate to the Four Peaks Challenge, you can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/f/sbdew.