A kind, supportive and calm person who lived for his family is how staff at Coláiste an Átha in Kilmuckridge will remember their former colleague Fintan Hughes, who passed away last week after an illness.
Speaking on behalf of the school, Principal Elizabeth Martin said that current and former staff at the school were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the retired teacher’s passing, adding that he will be remembered with great fondness by his former students and fellow teachers.
A native of Castlecomer, Fintan started working at the school in 1981 as a maths, science and physics teacher and was the first and only physics teacher in the school. He was known for always having the most up-to-date technology and was usually the person behind the camera at events.
Those who knew Fintan will remember him as a fantastic colleague and teacher, said Elizabeth.
"He was always willing to help his students and wanted them to do well,” she said. “He was also such a fantastic colleague and was always there to support new teachers.”
In addition to his calm demeanour and willingness to help others, Fintan will be remembered by all for his passion for soccer. Throughout his time as a teacher, he trained and managed the school soccer teams, unforgettably leading them to win a final in 1999.
"They were so lucky to have a mentor like him,” said Elizabeth.
Perhaps above all, Fintan will be remembered by his former colleagues at Coláiste an Átha as a man who ‘lived for his family’. He had one granddaughter whom he absolutely adored.
After 33 years of teaching and coaching, Fintan retired in 2014. He shared this milestone with his colleague and close friend Phillip O’Neill, who marked his own retirement at the same time.
Tributes from former students, colleagues and friends have been flooding in for Fintan in recent days, said Elizabeth, with ‘trustworthy’, ‘a great listener’ and ‘a person who always managed to say the right thing’ just some of the many ways he has been described.
"So many past students have paid lovely tributes and made beautiful comments in recent days,” said Elizabeth. “It is a great tribute to him.”
All at Coláiste an Átha want to wish their deepest sympathies to Fintan’s family including his wife Ellie, three children Louise, Jack and Jeff, siblings Tom, Mossie and Katherine, grandaughter Molly and the extended Hughes family.