Letters: Bobby a guiding light in a time of social darkness

Sir, The recent obituary in The Kerryman for former Causeway Tech Headmaster Bobby Buckley evoked a nostalgic memory of the school on the hill, which opened its doors in September 1957. For many who could not afford a secondary education it offered access to running water, flush toilets and an opportunity to mix husbandry skills with a splash of Shakespeare. It was an era on the cusp of change from the bicycle and horse drawn plough to the isolated TV sets and orbiting satellites

Equality was still an unborn pupa where boys learnt manly skills like woodwork and science and dough-encrusted girls learnt the pleasures of domesticity. It should have been a dull era - but it wasn't. Many pupils, in their early teens, attended the weekly dances where the idols of the era played loud music almost till daybreak

Despite Bobby Buckley's encouragement we didn't take sport seriously. We rarely trained and few had a full kit. Miss-matched socks, odd jerseys and FCA boots gave us a menancing tooth-gapped swagger of indifference. The 'townie' teams of Tralee and Killarney broke our hearts. They were the racehorses, light on their feet with bursts of lightning speed. They filled us with misery before the referee mercifully blew the final whistle.

A number of students left before taking any exams, to emigrate as 15 and 16 year olds to the building sites of London and Birmingham. For those who completed the final exams it was an uneasy wait for the public disclosure in a full page spread of The Kerryman. The twin evils of physical and mental poverty held society in an embracing grip. This was the yoke that Bobby Buckley did so much to alleviate and install the concepts of self belief and choice. May he rest in peace.


Dan Costello,


Co.Cork .