Sunday 17 December 2017

'Hiring a hot new teacher gave us boys a love of French'

Classroom confidential

Chris Barry
Chris Barry

John Costello

Peig Sayers may have given FM104's Chris Barry nightmares, but his hot French teacher helped give him a love of languages. So we spoke with the radio host about his years in the classroom and discovered his shenanigans are not fit to print!

So, were your school years the best of times or the worst of times?

I went to Dalton School on Leinster Road in Rathmines, which sadly is no longer there. And I loved it!

For real?

Yeah, I didn't have any bad experiences there at all. The principal Dr Kelleher was Jewish so the attitude of the school was somewhat different to the Christian Brothers.

In what way?

Well, we had mixed classes before there were mixed classes. And when the principal realised the boys were not paying attention in French class he hired a young good-looking French teacher and that solved the problem.

So, apart from French, what was your favourite subject?

It was back in the day we had to learn Latin [laughs]. But English and languages in general were my favourite subjects.

And your worst?

Well, my Irish was terrible. I think it was quite boring the way it was taught. A friend used to call Peig the old banshee. I had nightmares about Peig.

I still have nightmares about her, dude. But riddle me this – who was your favourite teacher?

Dr Kelleher. He had such strong leadership qualities. Students respected him and it wasn't the type of respect that came from a leather strap.

So were you a goody two-shoes or a rebel?

I was always a bit of a rebel in that I would always question everything. But Dr Kelleher encouraged use to question things.

If you could add one thing to schools throughout the country what would it be?

There is one thing that you cannot train teachers in and that is a certain quality that inspiress. You always need a few teachers in every school that can light a spark inside of the students.

Finally dude, tell is about the naughty shenanigans you got up to at school?

I could not repeat them in a national newspaper! [Laughs] So there is nothing I could possibly comment on. But just use your imagination. – Yikes!

Listen to Chris Barry on The FM104 Phone Show Monday to Thursday evenings from 21:00 to 01:00 and from 22:00 to 00:00 on Friday nights.

Irish Independent

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