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In pictures: Kenmare primary school pays tribute to much-loved member of staff

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Principal of St John's NS, Barry O'Leary, presenting flowers and a photo-book to the parents of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, Mary-Agnes and Tadhg, on her Memorial Dayat St John's NS on Friday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Principal of St John's NS, Barry O'Leary, presenting flowers and a photo-book to the parents of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, Mary-Agnes and Tadhg, on her Memorial Dayat St John's NS on Friday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Niece of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, Caoimhe, and St John's NS Principal Barry O'Leary cutting the ribbon on Memorial Day for former teacher Órnait Ni Loingsigh. Photo: Tatyana McGough.

Niece of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, Caoimhe, and St John's NS Principal Barry O'Leary cutting the ribbon on Memorial Day for former teacher Órnait Ni Loingsigh. Photo: Tatyana McGough.

Members of Órnait Ni Loingsigh Family: (l to r )Brothers Finnian and Loman, Aghna (sister), Caoimhe(niece),Cathal (Brother), Mary-Agnes (Mother) and Tadhg (Father). Memorial Day for a former teacher Órnait Ni Loingsigh, who passed away. Kenmare St John's NS Friday, 27th May 2022. Photo:Tatyana McGough

Members of Órnait Ni Loingsigh Family: (l to r )Brothers Finnian and Loman, Aghna (sister), Caoimhe(niece),Cathal (Brother), Mary-Agnes (Mother) and Tadhg (Father). Memorial Day for a former teacher Órnait Ni Loingsigh, who passed away. Kenmare St John's NS Friday, 27th May 2022. Photo:Tatyana McGough

Pupils of St John's NS singing and playing music in memory of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, former teacheR, who passed away. Photo: Tayana McGough

Pupils of St John's NS singing and playing music in memory of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, former teacheR, who passed away. Photo: Tayana McGough

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Principal of St John's NS, Barry O'Leary, presenting flowers and a photo-book to the parents of Órnait Ni Loingsigh, Mary-Agnes and Tadhg, on her Memorial Dayat St John's NS on Friday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

kerryman

Last Friday could already be chalked down as a busy one for St John’s National School in Kenmare, which played an integral part in welcoming President Michael D Higgins to the town, not least by signing our national anthem at an event marking the occasion.

But on the same day, the school also paid tribute to a “gentle, caring, and humble” member of staff one year on from her passing.

Órnait Ní Loingsigh was a former deputy principal at the school, and the regard in which she was held there was in evidence again on Friday. Órnait died last June but, owing to COVID restrictions, the school was not then able to pay the kind of tribute it would have wished to.

But that wasn’t going to stop the school in its tracks as it ploughed on with commemorative plans, plans which came to fruition in recent days.

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Órnait’s family – including her parents, Mary-Agnes and Tadhg; and siblings, Loman, Aghna, Finnian, and Cathal – were invited to and duly attended last week’s proceedings, which saw a stone seat, complete with a plaque in Órnait’s name, unveiled on the school grounds.

The school also held the official opening of an outdoor learning space, with Órnait’s niece, Caoimhe, cutting the ribbon in the company of principal Barry O’Leary. Fr George Hayes was on hand to bless the memorials.

Mr O’Leary spoke on the day of the fond memories of Órnait that continue to abound, while former principal Denis Courtney spoke of a “gentle, caring, and humble” woman who is, clearly, sadly missed by many.


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