Guest of Honour
Sister Maria Mullen
Provincial Leader in the Irish Scottish Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart
With the amalgamation of the three schools in Roscrea in 1999 it was time for me to leave Roscrea, after nearly twenty eight years spent in the Convent
Secondary School. These were great years in my life, and I found it hard to part with all those whom I had come to know in those decades.
Sr Maria at the College
In 2000 I went off to Berkeley, California, to follow a course in the School of
Applied Theology. While I was there I was appointed as Provincial Leader in the Irish Scottish Province, and I returned to take up this ministry in August 2001.
Now nearly at the end of this six year appointment, it has been a most interesting time for me. Through visiting our communities in Ireland and Scotland I have got to
know our sisters in a new way, and I have come to admire the vast range of involvement of the sisters in their own place. There are 100 sisters in about
thirty locations. I have also represented the Society of the Sacred Heart at many
gatherings and functions, some of these at international level. Travelling is
something I have very much enjoyed - in Europe and further afield to Korea and
Uganda, and to China where I visited Sister Deirdre O’Brien who was Principal
here in Roscrea before me, and who is now teaching English to medical students
in ChangZhi. Through my contacts with the schools in our province and through my work as a Trustee of Milltown Institute, a constituent College of NUI, I have kept in
touch with the world of education and am always interested in following developments in this field. I am delighted to be visiting Roscrea for the People of the Year Awards, and I look forward to meeting many friends at this event.
Award For: Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Ros Cre.... for years of devotion to the promotion of traditional Irish music among the youth of Roscrea and district.
Born in Warwickshire, England, I moved to Ireland in 1974, finishing my secondary education in the Ursuline Convent in Thurles. I have been running a pre-school for twenty four years, initially in the Community Hall in Kennedy Park, and later from my own home at Willison. I have four children: Emma, Alan, Melanie and Michael and two grand-daughters, Caitlin and Sarah.
As they developed an interest in traditional music I became involved in the local branch of Comhaltas, and with Lucia McCarthy and Mary Maher, helped to organize a small group of young musicians to compete in fleadhanna and Slogadh for a number of years. As this group grew up, there was a need to provide outlets for the younger children and the music that they were learning. Together Dee Hogan and I started a group with eleven or twelve children and now, sixty young people meet to play music two nights a week; Wednesday in Colaiste Phobal and at the weekend to accommodate exam students.
During this time the groups have competed in various competitions. They have
provided entertainment at local fundraisers and concerts, St. Patrick’s Day, for the
local nursing homes and St. Anne’s houses. Each year the junior members take part
in carol singing to raise money for local charities. The group has managed to grow in numbers and participate in so many musical activities because of the great commitment given by all those involved.
Thanks to the senior branch members who continually encourage and guide us.
Thanks also, to the parents who have taken on various responsibilities to prepare the children for these events; to Rose McAuliffe for her help every week; to Pat
Flanagan who looks after the youngest members and to Lucia McCarthy who has
maintained a great interest over the years, providing musical direction and support.
Award For: Having a very full life producing outstanding provincial journalism, and being a committed and loyal worker for Roscrea.
He has had a love of writing and literature since his days at Corville N.S. In fifth class his English reader had an essay by Templemore born Neil Kevin, an excerpt from his book Karrigeen, which impressed Liam. Many years later he would write extensively on Neil Kevin. Love of good English was encouraged too by reading the Daily Telegraph, still his favourite newspaper, and through the local library. (He was a member of the local library from the age of 12, when it was in the southeast
tower at the castle).
Liam pictured with Francisco following Francisco’s graduation from DIT Bolton Street with B.Eng.Tech. degree on Nov. 25th. Francisco was the inauguralRoscrea International Award recipient at the People of Year Awards in January 2004
In secondary school he contributed occasionally to local newspapers. He took over from the late Tom Larkin as local correspondent for the Tipperary Star and Nenagh Guardian in 1975. Subsequently he worked with the now defunct Kilkenny Standard for a few years, before returning to the Nenagh Guardian in November 1980 and worked for the Guardian until taking early retirement in 2006. With the Guardian he covered courts, Council meetings, matches, as well as looking after the paper’s Roscrea page, and the long established Times Past column.
Deeply interested in sport, he was the principal figure in the establishment of
Killavilla United. He was associated with juvenile hurling in Toomevara in the
1980s, and was Portumna minor manager in 1995-6. He was also a member of
Ballyegan Cricket Club for a number of years.
He contributed the GAA and athletics section to the CCR centenary history,
Céad Bliain Faoi Rath, (2005) and assisted John Phelan with the history of the
GAA in Borris in Ossory, Kilcotton and Kyle and Laois hurling, “Under the
Shadow of the Goalpost” (2004). Currently Liam is assisting him with the social
history of Borris in Ossory, to be published later this year. He has written on
vocational schools hurling for Galway GAA Annual, and contributed many
articles to Roscrea People. He has lectured on historical matters to various
groups, and is a frequent contributor to Roscrea Miscellany.
Scoil Iósef Naofa, Corville,
‘Mol an Óige is tiocfaidh sí’
(a) for 140 years of outstanding educational service
(b) Patricia Gleeson O’Meara for ‘Memories Never Fade’
Scoil Iosef Naofa has a very strong commitment to working towards the creation of a safe and peaceful learning environment to promote the personal development and wellbeing of the pupils and to foster a sense of care and respect for themselves and others.
Mr. John Slattery is the current Administrative Principal of the school, a co-educational, 118 pupil, ten-teacher school situated on the southern edge of Roscrea. The school is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Killaloe and celebrated 140 years in education in November 2006 which was aptly commemorated by past-pupil Patricia
O’Meara Gleeson who wrote a book called “Memories Never Fade”.
Celebrating 140 years of education at Corville
NS. Plenty of fun at the open day in November.
The staffing arrangement includes six mainstream class-teachers, one resource teacher, one full-time-learning-support teacher, one part-time learning-support teacher and a shared Home School Liaison Co-ordinator who will forge even more positive relationships between home and school. Two special needs assistants provide support for pupils with special educational needs. There is a part-time secretary, caretaker and cleaner. “Our Special Time” Montessori School is an integral part of the school.
There is a great interest in sport in the school with a range of activities for the pupils which encourage participation, achievement and fair play. Hurling, football, soccer, swimming and athletics are all developed. They are very fortunate to have Tadhg O’Connor coach the older pupils in hurling and Kevin McGrath, GPA coach golf. A trained “Rainbows” programme facilitator, Sister Marie Galvin also visits the school weekly to support pupils who have experienced bereavement.
The Board of Management is very strong and committed to working with the staff to
promote curricular and pastoral goals. The school was extended in 2001 with the addition
of two classrooms; further refurbished in 2006 with a 60ft mural depicting a scene of “Noah’s Ark”, which transformed the school into a colourful, joyful and welcoming environment for the children. There are major plans for further extensions to the school and they are pursuing the Green Flag Award which would further enhance the sense of pride in the school and among the entire community.
I was introduced to the world on March 12th, 1971 as the daughter of the late Billy and Anne O’Meara (nee Feehan) both of whom made my childhood wonderful and with whom the seeds of my dreams were sown - the two people who played a very important role in my life and who I believe are celebrating this award also.
Having attended Corville National School from 1975 to 1983, I then completed my
secondary education at Roscrea Vocational School before completing my Accountancy Studies in Dublin. I have been working in the practice of Lupton & Associates for the past sixteen years.
Patricia at home with Tim, Zoe and Claudia.
An ex Director of RCTLC where I was actively involved in its efforts to secure a
swimming pool for Roscrea, I am currently a Director of Roscrea 2000 Ltd and I am a very active member of Roscrea St Cronan's conference of St Vincent de Paul. I am also Secretary of Dromakeenan National School Parents' Association.
Married to Tim who is Retail Sales Manager with Bank of Ireland and a native of
Templederry, Nenagh he is one of the three most important people in my life. As well as being my husband he is my best friend and greatest counsel and without him I have nothing. We have two delightful daughters Zoe (7) and Claudia (2) and with them we have everything!
The publication of Memories Never Fade is a dream come true for me and would not have been possible without the support and efforts of many individuals, but in particular John Lupton, who encouraged me to lift the world onward and upward.
Corville to me was a template of what a school should be. Friends I made there are
lifelong friends, compared to todays’ friends who are TV's/DVD's. Memories Never
Fade is a book not to be read at one go, but to be dipped into whenever you feel like it. Its contents span the generations; so many people have contributed their personal reflections that it has now almost become a social history of the area and I was happy to be able to pull all those threads together and weave them into this publication. Whether it is read in Roscrea or in the sunny climes of Australia or in the rush hour of New York City may it bring back memories and if the odd tear from your eye falls on its pages, it will just remind you that school days are indeed the best days of your life.
Tonight I accept this award with great pride and I thank the editor and his committee for allowing my Memories to Never Fade.
Sacred Heart Primary School
AwardFor: Achieving its Green Flag
Speaking at the celebrations of raising the coveted Green Flag Principal John Devitt said: “Today is the culmination of much hard, but fruitful, work by the whole school community who bought into the
concept of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’.
When our Green School Committee was set up they decided to focus on the following:
• To reduce the amount of waste material leaving
• Reduce all food waste.
• Monitor and reduce litter on the school
• To make each child aware of the benefits of
• To involve each child in recycling activities.
• To educate and raise awareness of the value of
recycling in the school and local community.
• To enhance the appearance of the school
Proud students and guests, including Bishop Willie Walsh, at the raising of the SH Primary School Green Flag.
This, then, was the basis for their action plan. The sold the plan to the whole school and thus began the journey towards the Green Flag. We came up with our own school motto:
“Green Schools are okay Recycle and Reuse today” What does it mean to get the Green Flag? I would like to quote from the writings of a pupil in our school:
“ I want to be in a green school because our school will have pride knowing that we have a green flag to show for all our hard work. By work I mean composting, reducing, reusing, and recycling. If our school gets the green flag everyone will be happy”. Today has happened because everyone in our school community and the broader community worked for
it. Particular thanks to all the pupils, the Green School Committee, co-ordinated by Mrs Shelley, and the dedicated staff in the school for this wonderful achievement. It is no more than they deserved.
I said at the outset that this was the culmination of much hard work, yet it is a new beginning and presents us with the challenge to continue the good work and to maintain the high standards we have set
Award For: Chairman RCTLC and RCDC and tireless worker for social and community issues in Roscrea
Born on August 14th, 1952, the eldest of four sons of Tom and Teena (Byrne), John lived to the age of four in Limerick Street (now Aidan O’Sullivan’s house); then lived in Rosemary St. until he married Eileen Quinlan from Nenagh in 1982. They now live in Willison, Roscrea and have three sons Thomas, John and Harry and one daughter Mary Christeena.
John attended the Convent Primary School, (until his first Communion) then the Boys’ National School, followed by the CBS and University College, Dublin. After graduating with a Commerce degree he studied accountancy and set up an accountancy practice in Rosemary Street in 1980 which was to become Lupton & Associates.
As a teenager he was a cadet with the Knights of Malta, a corporal in the FCA, a volunteer with CLM (an organization in which he acted as one of the teenage hosts bringing handicapped teenagers on holidays). In December 1978 he became a member of Roscrea Junior Chamber and over the following seven years immersed himself locally and nationally in that organization serving locally as chapter PRO, Vice-President and President and Nationally as Regional Director (Midlands), Area Director (Munster), National Finance Director and National Administrative Director. In 1985 the organization honoured him for his services by making him a Senator of Junior Chamber International (Jaycees International),
which confers on him honorary life membership of the Junior Chamber organization.
He was a member of the initial committees of Roscrea Heritage Society and Roscrea Traders’ Association. As a member of the latter with Bernie Colclough and C.P. Walsh, a public meeting was arranged in the then Pathe Hotel, chaired by John, which successfully set up the present Roscrea Tidy Towns organization.
John was President of Roscrea Chamber of Commerce (1994 – 96), during which time the Chamber set up RCTLC, RCDC and Roscrea 2000 and also, with Birr Chamber and Shannon Development, Ely O’Carroll Tourism was set up. To this day John has remained actively involved on the committees of RCTLC, Roscrea 2000 and RCDC and also continues as chairperson or RCTLC and is serving another term as RCDC chairman.
He has been a member of the local conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society for twenty four years, serving as President in the mid 1990’s; a member of Roscrea Parish Council and Parish Finance Committee; a former member of the County Development Board; a former and founder member of Ely O’Carroll Tourism; Executive member and founding chairman of North Tipperary Community and Voluntary Association (CAVA) and its treasurer at present; member of the Auditing committee of the Board of Civil Defence; was chairman of
the Roscrea Hospital Action Committee; a member of the Task Force set up by the
Government on the closure of Offray Ribbon and a former National Executive member of the CBS Past Pupils Union.
Roscrea People of the Year International Award
Sisters Eileen and Mona
Maher, Annegrove and
Award For: Working selflessly in Uganda for over 35 years
Srs Eileen and Mona Maher are daughters of the late Toby and Kathleen Maher of
Annegrove. They both studied in Clonlisk National School at the time when the late
Mrs Bergin of Clonaganna and Mr Howe were the teachers. They then attended the Sacred Heart Secondary Top in Roscrea and later joined the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary and Joseph with a desire to serve in Africa later. After science studies at UCD and teachers’ Diplomas in London, they went to the missions in Uganda in 1970 and 1972 respectively.
Srs Eileen and Mona Maher at the Convent in Uganda
Eileen taught Science and Needlework in a girls’ Secondary boarding school for many years. She saw the value of educating girls in a country where boys are always given the first place. Later she moved to a Secretarial College for girls who had completed the equivalent of Junior Certificate and tried to find employment for the girls on completion of the course. Presently she is again teaching needlework to students in a large Secondary school where there are 260 students in the first year. Although thirty five years in Uganda, she says that the years have flown by amidst warm-hearted people and a beautiful climate.
Mona taught maths and science to girls in Teacher Training college and Secondary
School for twelve years before becoming farm manager of the Sisters’ farm for eighteen
years. Although from a farming background it was a challenge to establish a dairy herd
with no machinery, no electricity, and no running water. Both sisters have been overwhelmed by the enormous generosity of the people of Roscrea and surrounds towards the Uganda Mission fund, which was set up three years ago for the education of children. They find it wonderful that some schools now have many of their pupils being educated by the sponsorship money from this fund.
Special Roscrea People of the Year Awards
Mrs Eileen Ryan
A hail and hearty Mrs Eileen Ryan, Railway View, Roscrea, celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday the 14th of October along with a large gathering of family, friends and in particular her “younger sister” Lucy at 93 years of age.
Fr Michael Collins presented Eileen with a letter of congratulations from President Mary McAleese and Fr Tom Corbett made a presentation on behalf of the Parish of Roscrea.
Eileen was born in 1906 at Ballinlough, Roscrea and christened in Kilcolman Church, Sharavogue. One of six sisters, Sheila, Lucy, Kathleen, May and Esther, the family later moved to Roscrea and settled in Glentara.
In 1928, Eileen married Denis Ryan, son of John Ryan of Ashbury and Bridget Dooley. Eileen and Dinny had four boys and seven girls: John, Denis, Billy, Michael, Mena, Helen, Mary, Kathleen, Sheila, Lucy and Noelie. The wider family includes 53 grand children, 77 great-grand children and two great-great-grand children.
A woman very involved in her hometown, she was a founder member of the ICA in Roscrea. She vividly recalls the early discussions to set up a local branch of the organisation in Lily and Kitty O’Connor’s house in Grove Street. She attended the inaugural meeting in the YMCA Hall in Rosemary Street at which a lady from Fethard outlined the principles and aims of the ICA. Her knitting prowess benifitted family and neighbours alike until her late eighties.
Invited by Joe Lanigan to become a member of Vincent de Paul she gave her time willingly and was also a committee member of the Community Centre.
“We walk this path but once.
Any kindness that we can show or
good that we can
do, let us do it
now, for we shall
not pass this way
again” – a belief
practised for a
life time and a
lesson to us all.
Mrs Georgina Hodgins
Georgina was born the youngest of thirteen children on 27th November, 1906, to Mary Ellen and John Fairbrother, Hollymount, Roscrea.
At the age of thirteen, they moved to Derrymore House, Roscrea. She and her siblings joined their parents working on the farm – something she enjoyed and continued to do when she met and married her husband Samuel Hodgins – of Coolroe, Golden Grove, Roscrea. There she and Samuel brought up their five children, Fred, Ellen Jane, Georgina and George. Sadness came when little Ellen took ill and after battling her illness passed away at the tender age of three. A heartbreak for Georgina and Samuel, and to this day with failing memory she still talks of her little one.
She was a familiar figure on the road to Roscrea town, to do her shopping, first in the pony and trap and in later years on the bicycle.
Mrs Hodgins celebrating her 100th
with members of her family.
When Samuel died in 1963, she continued to farm in Coolroe with the support of her family. Music was one of her great passions. She came from a very musical family. Nearly all of her siblings could play any instrument. Georgina loved the button accordion, piano and organ; she also loves to sing. In 1992 she moved to Birr Nursing Unit, where she receives excellent care and attention, and remains there happy and content under their care and enjoys and looks forward to the weekly visits from her family.
Mrs Mary Callaghan
Born on 6th May, 1906 in Church Street, Templemore, Mary was baptized in the Sacred Heart Church in Templemore. Her education started at Templemore NS and ended at Castleiney school when she was eleven years old.
She still enjoys good health and easily relates with a clear mind and vision the events and happenings that punctuated her long life. In 1917, when she was eleven, Mary started work on Philip
Mackey’s farm at Kilmore doing all kinds of jobs. A year later she moved to the farm of Willie Cullen in Clune. Work in this era was done the hard way, there being no electricity, running water, central heating, motor car, tractor or telephone. In 1920 she met Ned Callaghan. He worked in Fitzpatrick’s farm near Clonmore. In 1925, she travelled by motor car for the first time to her next employment, Dick Melbourne’s farm near the Horse and Jockey. In the
meantime Ned Callaghan had moved to work on Tom Gleeson’s farm at Newgrove House, Rathnavague, Dunkerrin. Mary had become lonely and was unable to settle, but who should arrive to see her only Ned Callaghan. He carried her the twenty six miles to Rathnavague where she remains to the present day, residing in the parish of Dunkerrin within the border lands of Offaly and
Tipperary. For the next ten years, she was to work and reside with Tom and Hanore Gleeson. The many tasks that fell to her included milking cows, churning butter, feeding calves, thinning root crops and saving hay. Both she and Ned worked long hard days as was the case on farms that time. At this stage she had lived through World War 1, the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. On July 1st 1928 Mary and Ned got married. They moved into their new home, built by the North Tipperary County Council on a plot of land provided by their employers the Gleesons, on the 13th September, 1935. The rent was fixed at nine shillings per month. Mary and Ned had thirteen children. The Second World War, with its ration books and shortages, increased the struggle for Mary to find clothes and nurture her growing family. In 1962 her husband died at the age of sixty five She remembers how “the great and genuine generosity of her neighbours” helped her through this sad and painful episode.
Today Mary still travels to Roscrea to shop and meet her friends. She has no hesitation in recommending what she believes is the recipe for a long life: baked soda cake; for meat, wild fowl, rabbit and hare and sometimes hare soup; a hot toddy once a week. Along with this body nourishment she places great importance in reciting her two daily rosaries. She readily acknowledges that this spiritual nourishment gave her the faith and courage to persevere through the bleaker times of her life.
As the old saying goes in this locality, “There will not be a dull day in Rathnavague. Long may Mary Callaghan live!”
Roscrea People Citations
Adding to their People of the Year Awards from former years
St Anne’s SNS
Award For: Achieving all three stages of the Green Flag and so becoming the first Special School in Ireland to do so.
In February 2007 St Anne’s Special School became the first Special School in Ireland, the first National School in Tipperary North and one of the four Primary Schools nationally, to be awarded a Third Green Flag for the conservation of Water by An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland. Green Flags are awarded to schools
who successfully participate in An Taisce’s Green Schools’ Programme, which aims to raise students’ awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues through classroom studies. A hard working committee comprised of school personnel, students and parents devised an Action Plan to reduce the volume of water used in the school and to develop a culture of minimizing water wastage.
A proud moment at St Anne’s when Minister
Mary Hanafin raised the 3rd Green Flag.
This involved an environmental review of water usage in the school, establishing the source of water supply and destination of waste water, the installation of basins in all classrooms, providing access information on the website for
saving water, the installation of one litre containers in toilet cisterns, providing a
Fact Sheet to parents and many more worthwhile activities.
Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, TD, who attended the Official
Hoisting of our Green Flag in May 2006, stated that, “....to earn one Green Flag is a
great achievement for any school. To earn two Green Flags shows the commitment of a school to caring for their environment, but to earn three Green Flags is truly exceptional – well done everyone!”
On behalf of everyone associated with St Anne’s school I would like to thank all
concerned for the Roscrea People Citation to add to our much coveted People of the
Year Award James McMahon, Principal.
Killavilla United at
Award For: Having the vision and creating of Engtek Park
Killavilla United football club was founded in 1969 to cater for the needs of young people showing a great interest in the “nouveau game” of soccer in Roscrea.
Among the founding members were: Paddy Feehan, Emmet Arrigan, Liam Doran, Dixie Fairbrother, Tom Stapleton, Harry Feehan, David Craig to name but a few.
In 1970 the club entered a team in Division Three Counties of the Leinster Junior League. Local auctioneer and business man Mr Victor Mitchell gave the use of one of his fields at Mountbutler and this was named “VILLA” Park. Mr Mitchell gave his land “Free Gratis” up to 2006 and without his support it is possible the club might not have developed into the magnificent club it is today.
That season the team won the subsidary cup of the division, known as the Connie
Featherstonhaugh Trophy and Michael “Mike Mike”Moloney was the first captain to lift a trophy on behalf of Killavilla United. Over the years the club has won every competition they competed in other than the F.A.I. Junior Cup and Leinster Junior Cup in which they were runners up in 2005.
In 1996 approx. 14 acres of land were up for sale at Timeighter, Roscrea. The then committee of Eddie Noonan, (Chairman) Sean Hogan,(Treasurer) and Noel Collins (Secretary) decided to purchase the grounds with a loan secured from Roscrea Credit Union. After the purchase the club became a Limited Company with a board of directors. In 2002 Engtek, local architects, designed a plan for the site. The club then approached Tom Stapleton, Tony Mason, Billy O’Connor and Pat Carroll, all former players, and asked them to help in the development. The development committee comprised the following: Tom Stapleton, Chairman, Billy O’Connor, Secretary; Eddie Noonan, Noel Collins, Sean Hogan, Michael Hogan, Pat Carroll, Eamonn Phelan, Tony Mason, Donal O’Sullivan, Martin Doherty,
To date the club have constructed :clubhouse, main playing pitch and three all weather floodlit pitches. The next phase will see construction of two further pitches and an all weather floodlit athletic track. Total cost of developments to date €970,000 and to complete will cost a further €300,000.
Teams representing the club are :
U10 Boys; U11 Boys; U12 Boys; U14 Boys; U16 Boys
Senior teams: 1st and 2nd.
Girls U13 and Senior girls.
On Saturday mornings there is training for girls and boys U 6 to 9. Total number playing is about 250.
The club is indebted and grateful to the ROSCREA PEOPLE for their support over the years and
also to our main sponsors Engtek and Roscrea Credit Union.