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Dundalk after dark: CBS class of 1967 take trip down memory lane

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Eamon Fergus and Terry Doherty at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

Eamon Fergus and Terry Doherty at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

Gerry Kelly and Damien McGahon at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

Gerry Kelly and Damien McGahon at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

Owen Clarke and Pat McArdle at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

Owen Clarke and Pat McArdle at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

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Eamon Fergus and Terry Doherty at the Colaiste Rís class of 1967 reunion night.

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On Friday evening I headed for Coláiste Rís for a rather special reunion for the C.B.S. class of 1967 who had come from far and wide to commemorate their 6th year which and taken place 50 years ago and was the brainchild of Oliver Nixon from The Laurels, Frank McArdle from Park Avenue and Ted Connolly originally from Barrack Street now living in Enniskillen and a good crowd of old classmates gathered in the canteen for light refreshments before being taken on a tour of the school by current principal Padraig Hamill.

Many of the group had made it to the 40th year celebrations and were delighted to be back to see all the changes that had taken place in the school since then.

I wasn't too long in the door when I met up with Owen Clarke originally from Kilkerley now living in Navan and Pat McArdle also from Kilkerley now hanging his hat in Dublin and the lads told me they were looking forward to the tour and said that there were plenty of similarities, but since their departure all those years ago, it was all lay teachers (and principal) and there were now girls in the school too, but they weren't too sure how the ladies were going to improve the school's football prowess!

Also in their company were Jim Short from Rassan who said it was his first time returning to the school and he was chatting to Jack Curran from St. Alphonsus Villas now living in Perpignan who told me his studying German and Latin were absolutely no use when he moved to the French city, but he had managed to pick up a smattering of French while working in in construction in Africa. They were delighted to be back with their classmates and were looking forward to the tour of the school and the meal in the Jockeys afterwards.

Not too far away I then caught up with Al Hearty originally from St. Marys Road but now resident in Blackrock, Tom Cunningham originally from Annagassan who had come from Carlow specially for the reunion and Pat Murphy from Bellurgan who had made his way from Athy specially to be there. They told me they recognised all the faces, but the names were taking a little longer and were really looking forward to the tour to see all the changes made to the school.

After this I headed over for a quick word with Terry Doherty from Point Road who told me after he finished in the school, went on to be

a teacher for three years in the C.B.S. primary school where he had taught 3rd class in the same class where he had gone into the primary school as a pupil in 3rd class! He eventually went on to teach in Kilsaran NS for 35 years and was responsible for the all conquering Liby Dynamites basketball team.

I was then told that not all the crew were there for the tour and they would be joined by Declan McCartney, John Muckian from Ardee Terrace, Tommy Kelly from Pearse Park, Noel Murphy from York Street (two doors away from the school) now living in Ballymascanlon and James Brennan from Chapel Street when they went for a meal in the Jockeys later on.

I then headed over for a quick word with Gerry Kelly from Mary Street North, now living in Blackrock who spent most of his life working in Holland, England and South Africa, before retiring to the seaside haven that is 'the Rock' and told me he was full-back on the victorious Dalton Cup team of 1966-'67.

Not too long later I had the pleasure of meeting Eamon Fergus originally from Pearse Park but now from Laytown who hadn't seen the rest of the class for 10 years but was looking forward to catching up.

We were well into the tour when I caught up with Michael Kennedy from Lower Faughart, now living in Dun Laoghaire who said he too had been at the 40t, but I wouldn't find his photo on the walls around the school because he didn't play football, but was delighted to be back having a laugh with all his old schoolmates.

Finally, before I departed to let the lads get on with the tour I met up with Damien McGahon from Castle Road who told me they had done all their subjects through Irish, including English, Maths and French, which proved a little hard when they went on to study in University and knew everything through Irish, but through English then became a little problem! He said they were looking forward to the rest of the tour, the night in the Jockeys and then back for the 60th celebrations!


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