Tipperary Education and Training Board held the annual Retirees Function on Friday 23rd September, 2016 in the Anner Hotel, Thurles to acknowledge the collective 206 years’ service given by the eight retirees. Ms. Fionuala McGeever, Chief Executive of Tipperary ETB opened the function by welcoming all including the Chairperson Cllr. John Hogan, ETB Committee Members, staff and the retiring staff members along with their families and friends. Unfortunately one retiree was unable to attend. Ms. McGeever thanked all the retirees for being professional, dedicated, committed members of staff and stated how proud we are of them and their service to the organisation. Cllr. John Hogan remarked on their collective 206 years’ service given to Tipperary ETB and how the work of the retirees could be seen through the achievements of the students in the schools. He also thanked them all for their service.
John Carroll retiring part-time cleaner/caretaker from Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré, was the first recipient to listen to kind words being spoken about him. He started on a FÁS scheme and his background in metalwork and welding lent itself well to caretaking duties. The role of caretakers is often understated, but without them large buildings, particularly ones filled with children which have huge amounts of wear and tear, would not function. John was a pleasure to have a conversation with and no doubt it would never be boring. He literally knew every student and was a font of knowledge in the goings on within the student body. The respect that students had for John were evident in their interactions with him and he always went out of his way to facilitate their needs. John was wished every happiness in his retirement.
Patricia Connolly retiring teacher of Accountancy, Business Studies and Economics from Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré was next to receive her award. Patricia started her teaching career in the Sacred Convent in Roscrea in 1982 after completing her studies in University College, Galway. When the amalgamation of the three Roscrea Post-Primary schools occurred in 1999, Patricia became a staff member of Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré and North Tipperary Vocational Education Committee. Patricia taught to the highest standards and had an excellent knowledge of all her subject areas. As a teacher Patricia always produced excellent results. Patricia was highly regarded by her pupils and had a great relationship with them. Her control in the classroom and elsewhere was legendary. Patricia’s students also had great trust in her and would often share their problems with her. She excelled in her role as class tutor and living locally, she had a background knowledge that helped her to go the extra mile with many students. All her students remember her with great affection. Best wishes were extended to Patricia for a happy and healthy retirement.
Flannan Dwan retiring teacher of Irish with General Subjects from Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré. Flannan completed his third level degree in University College, Galway, and started working with North Tipperary Vocational Education Committee in 1983. Flannan spent the first year of his teaching career commuting between Nenagh and Templemore Vocational schools. In 1984, Flannan started working fulltime in Templemore and then in 1985, he moved to Roscrea Vocational School which became Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré in 1999. Flannan taught Irish, English, Geography, Religion and Civic, Social and Political Education. Flannan enjoyed his teaching career. He loved the interaction with students and especially enjoyed working with Leaving Certificate students of Irish and Junior Certificate students of English. Flannan has a great love of the Irish language and Irish culture which he readily imparted to his students. Flannan was wished a very happy and pleasant retirement.
Brendan Greaney retiring teacher of Physical Education from Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré. Brendan came to Roscrea Vocational School in 1980. In 1999, he became a staff member of the three amalgamated schools which is now Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré. Brendan is a graduate of Physical Education from Thomond College, Limerick. He taught Physical Education and Science to Junior Certificate Higher Level. He also taught Chemistry to Leaving Certificate Higher Level. Brendan was also involved in the Leaving Certified Applied (LCA) programme. Brendan worked with the State Examinations Commission as an LCA examiner for many years. In 1984, an extension to Roscrea Vocational School was built which included a Dining/PE Hall, a playing field and basketball ball courts. Brendan spearheaded this endeavour and over his teaching career he saw the PE Department go from zero facilities to today’s fully equipped modern gymnasium with a viewing balcony. Brendan brought many sporting honours to Roscrea during his time in Coláiste Phobal. Brendan was wished a very happy and long retirement with his wife and family as was thanked for his friendship and wonderful contribution to education in Roscrea.
Bridie Malone retiring Horticultural Tutor from Youthreach Roscrea. Bridie is a natural teacher. She manages to connect with the students and she convinces them to get their hands dirty and experience the joy of Horticulture. Bridie taught QQI levels 2-4 Horticulture, Junior Certificate CSPE and a variety of Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) subjects over the years. She was open to change and upskilling and was a valued part of our staff team. Her sense of humour often helped to carry us through change or difficult times. Bridie also taught on our Back To Education Initiative (BTEI) adult programme and also in this capacity she managed to build bonds with people in our community returning to education and often with parents of our students on their return journey through education. Bridie’s commitment went well beyond the 9 to 5 hours of centre life and knowing that she was out in the polytunnel or in the Horticulture room was a very reassuring presence for all concerned. Bridie was thanked for sharing her expertise, experience and care with all in the Centre and the Organisation for the past twenty-two years.
Breda Murphy retiring administrator from the Tipperary Education and Training Board Head Office, Nenagh. Breda started working for North Tipperary VEC, as it was, in 1995 where she gave over 17 years of valued service. Breda worked in Newport College for some time before moving to the Nenagh Office and in no time at all established herself as a warm and caring work colleague, a hardworking, diligent and conscientious member of staff. Breda’s roles were many and varied over the years and she always brought enthusiasm and professionalism to each and every one of them. Breda showed great enthusiasm for her job and was always keen to “do things better”. Her work colleagues will particularly miss her warm and sunny disposition. Above all, Breda has a fantastic sense of humour and often reduced her colleagues to tears with her jokes, stories and love of traditional sayings. She had a knack of seeing the humorous side to situations and was able to cheer up many a colleague when she would spontaneously burst into a song or tell a joke. Breda was wished many year of health and happiness for the future years.
Andy Purcell retiring teacher of Woodwork and Building Construction from Newport College. Andy has been a teacher at Newport College since September 1981 and his professionalism and dedication has been outstanding throughout his entire career. His ambition for each of his students to attain the highest standards has always been his top priority. Andy taught his subjects of Construction Studies and Technical Drawing in a most enthusiastic and encouraging manner. His students greatly benefited from his help and guidance. He carefully guided each student in accordance with their own particular talents and both Andy and his students were always so proud of their creations and various projects. Andy is held in high esteem and fondness among his past pupils. They all appreciate the time and effort he devoted selflessly to each one of them including on so many occasions when he worked with them at lunch times and after school – no clock watching for Andy. He is greatly respected by all who know him. Andy was thanked for his friendship, help and support over the years.
2015/16 saw a total of eight staff members retire. In addition to the above seven retiring staff members who were in attendance at the awards Ms. Luitgard Reith, Teacher at Coláiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir also retired but unfortunately was unable to attend on the night. Each retiring staff member received a commemorative piece of crystal, in appreciation of their years of dedicated service to Tipperary Education and Training Board.
Ms. McGeever wished all the retiring staff members a happy and healthy retirement. She then closed the ceremony and welcomed everyone to join for refreshments.