School retirements mark end of an era in Portarlington

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan

School retirements mark end of an era in Portarlington

Retiring staff Sr Maureen O'Rourke and Jimmy Kevins (centre) with senior staff from Coláiste Iosagáin Portarlington. Pics: Michael Scully

Colaiste Iosagain in Portarlington held a special gathering recently to mark the retirement of four staff members who between them gave nearly 100 years of service to the school.

Jimmy Kevins a native of Monasterevin taught Irish and Geography in the school since 1982. He was on the staff of St Joseph's CBS before the school amalgamated with Scoil Mhuire to form Coláiste Iosagáin in 2000.

Sr Maureen O'Rourke, a Presentation Sister transferred to Coláiste Iosagáin in 2003 from Scoil Mhuire Clane where she also taught English and Religion.

She has retired after 36 years teaching (16 of them in Portarlington) and is one of the last few Presentation Sisters still to have been teaching in Ireland.

“As Coláiste Iosagáin as historic connections to both the Christian Brothers and Presentation Sisters Sr Maureen was an important link with the school's roots. Thankfully while retired she is staying on to continue to serve the school as chaplain,” said Justin Brown.

Front: Margaret Nolan, Sr Maureen and Catherine Hooban. Back:Christopher Lynch, Nicholas Bergin and Justin Brown.

Clare Nolan was also a former staff member of St Joseph's CBS and became the guidance counsellor in Coláiste Iosagáin in 2003 while Angela Rice wore two hats in that she was part of the administrative and ancillary staff for many years.

Above:Teachers Ciara Hutchinson, Eimear Cribbin, Sr Maureen O'Rourke (retired) and Caroline Keating. 

On Thursday night October 24 present and former staff gathered in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard to acknowledge the retirement of their valued colleagues.

Seamus Bennett, Principal spoke about the important contribution that Jimmy, Sr Maureen, Clare and Angela made to the school and wished them well as they embarked on a new chapter in their life.

He thanked them for their loyal and committed service and shared some of his own memories and stories about each retiree.

He also acknowledged the school's own social committee who organised the memorable evening.

The Presentation Sisters from Portlaoise also attended the function.

Sr Maureen O'Rourke (centre- seated) pictured with colleagues at her retirement function in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard. Front: Sr Trinita, Sr Maureen and Sr Muriel. Back: Fr Pat Hughes PP, Sr Ann, Sr Evelyn, Sr Kathleen and Fr Tom O'Byrne.

Jimmy Kevins (3rd left front) with former CBS Portarlington colleagues. Front: Jackie Kaye, Martin Lyons and Geraldine Tynan. Back: Seamus Mac Gearailt, Karen Walsh, Frank Smith, Noel Reilly and Gay Mc Manus.