BACK IN 1988/89, the members of sixth year at the FCJ School in Bunclody held their debs ball at what was then the Five Counties hotel in New Ross. Many of them took part in the production of Seán O'Casey's 'The Plough and The Stars' in the school hall. And Sister Eileen Keane was school principal.
Well, the gang was back together again on Saturday night as the class staged a reunion, cracking many of the same jokes and pulling the same faces as they did two decades ago. They were welcomed to the gathering in the Millrace Hotel by Joan Kenny on behalf of the (all-female) organising committee.
After that, the conversation flowed freely as 60 of the class set about some serious reminiscing over a buffet supper. Unfortunately, there was no sign of the most famous member of the gang, as worldrenowned tenor Anthony Kearns was busy in New York.
However, Pat Kickham flew in from the United States in time to be present and Arthur Forbes arrived hotfoot from Brussels where he works for the EU Commission. Mairead Kilbride (now Mairead Corcoran) has not gone as far, as she now works as school secretary.
The organisers provided homework journals and other memorabilia to make everyone feel at home. There were plenty of old photographs passed around too, many of them showing the FCJ students on their trip to the Delphi adventure centre in Mayo.
The school buddies departed at the end of the evening with a vow to meet again in another 20 years' time – with the men charged with pulling the gang together in 2029!
Inset: Anita Somers and Tanya O'Connell-Deane from Bunclody.