Six primary teachers from Nenagh and surrounding districts who recently retired were honoured at a function in the Abbey Court Hotel on Thursday of last week.
Colleagues from all schools were these teachers taught paid glowing tributes to the six people who were made special presentations by the INTO.
Ballinaclough teacher, Una Collins recalled the career of her school colleague, Bridget Gleeson. She said Mrs Gleeson was a great community activist and had made a big impact during her eleven years teaching in Ballinaclough.
Ms Collins pointed out that Mrs Gleeson trained at Carysford College, and for a short time taught at Wicklow before returning to Tipperary to teach in Hollyford; Newtown, Drombane; Gorthnagoona, Templederry; Lissenhall and finally Ballinaclough where she was appointed Principal in 1985.
Puckane staff member, Ann Walsh paid tribute to her colleage Nora O’ Gara who, she said, had been teaching in the village for a total of 37 years. Mrs Walsh, who taught with Mrs O’ Gara for 30 of those years, described her as an inspirational teacher whose spiritual and courageous nature made a big impact on the children and staff.
Portroe teacher, Maria McGarry pointed out that her colleague, Esther O’ Shea had given 40 years of dedicated service to the teaching profession. She described Mrs O’ Shea as a dedicated and fair teacher who was rarely absent. She had
embraced the recent introduction of a second new curriculum with enthusiasm, being a woman who always kept up to date with the most modern methods of teaching. She had a passion and deep knowledge of gardening which she had passed on to many of her pupils and to the staff. One of her abiding legacies to the school at Portroe would be the attractive garden now surrounding the building.
The unions Nenagh branch Chairwoman, Dorothy Morrissey, pointed out that Michael O’ Brien had taught in Lissenhall school since 1966. Two of his past pupils, Billy Grace and Gerry Ryan had followed in his footsteps by becoming principals, Billy in the Silvermines and Gerry at Nenagh CBS.
Ms Morrissey said Mr O’ Brien was now living a very active retirement, being Secretary of County GAA board and very much involved in the promotion of gaelic games both at club and county level. He was deeply committed to providing sporting facilities for young people as was underlined by his central role in developing the GAA grounds at Dolla into a modern amenity, which included a handball alley and top class playing pitches.
Anne Ryan, best known in teaching circles as Bean Ui Riain, brought great humour to the occasion by reading out a light-hearted poem she had penned in honour of her two St Mary’s Convent school collegues, Sister Stephanie and Sr Evelyn.
Both sisters, who hail from the Banner County, began their teaching careers in the Sixties. Bean Ui Riain said Sr Evelyn started her career in the Nenagh convent school, before moving
to Borrisokane. She also spent three years teaching in Kenya.
Sr Stephanine started her teaching career in Ennis. She first came to Nenagh in 1986, having been appointed Principal. Having taken a year’s sabbatical, she was now back leading the school band.
The INTO’s National Executive member Declan Kelleher travelled to Nenagh to present Sister Evelyn and Sister Stephanie with pens to mark their retirement and emblems for long service were presented to the lay-teachers.