Marisa Reidy

OLD acquaintances and lost friendships were rekindled in the north Kerry village of Causeway at the weekend, as over 70 past pupils of Causeway Comprehensive gathered at McHales Bar on Friday night for a much anticipated school reunion.

The event, which was organised for those who started at the school in 1974 and left in 1979, will be remembered for a long time to come, according to joint organiser Mary O'Halloran. She, along with Mary O'Sullivan, Catherine Goggin and Ann Marie O'Sullivan had been planning the event for months, and were overwhelmed with its success.

"We had the most amazing night and it was just like being back at school," she said. "Everyone talked about how lucky they were to be there, and how it was great to catch up, and the best part was that there were no questions about what people were doing or weren't doing, we just had such a laugh."

As well as the 70 or so students who gathered for the event, former principal John O'Regan also joined in the celebrations, as did Sr Ailbe who taught the class domestic science.

At the end of the evening, a special class reunion banner which was signed by all in attendance was bought by former student, Tommy O'Mahony from Ballyheigue. There was also another great surprise in store for the organisers when it was announced that an anonymous donor had paid for the food and entertainment - leaving in excess of €500 raised by the classmates to be distributed to a number of local charities.

Mary explained that she had been keen to host reunion for well over 10 years, and finally got round to it this year with the help of the other ladies. After they obtained the old roll books - and translated them from Irish to English - they set about writing to all the past pupils.

"In hindsight we should probably have waited for the 40th anniversary of the class of 1974, but who knows where we'd all be this time next year," Mary said. Once we got the ball rolling, we just went with it and It was an absolutely brilliant night. We couldn't have asked for more."