LIMERICK artist Jim O’Farrell paid a return trip to his alma mater of St Munchin’s College to pick up a cheque the school raised for his work with street children in Calcutta.
First year students in St Munchin’s donated €500 raised through a colours day to the artist and former teacher in John The Baptist community school, Hospital, who has been spending time working with street children since October 2010.
“It was fantastic considering I am gone from St Munchin’s since 1969,” laughed Jim, originally from Corbally but now living in Clarina.
“My years there were extremely happy, I loved art and drawing and I was part of the rugby team and it was a great place to be.
“It was a very generous gift, it really was and came out of the blue. It will have a major impact. That money is worth ten times the amount in Calcutta when it transfers. It is great.”
School principal David Quilter noted that as a student at St Munchin’s, Jim represented the school at senior rugby level and was also the school’s long jump champion.
“Over the years, he has been involved in different initiatives at St Munchin’s and the school is proud to acknowledge Jim’s association with it,” he explained.
Jim, a well known artist in Limerick, goes to Calcutta twice a year to teach art and technical graphics to the children in St George’s school, one of two schools attached to a monastery run by Christian Brothers.
“Some of those kids, even though a lot of them will end up on the street, some will move on to further education,” he explained. “One of the reasons that they come and attend is that they get a free meal during the day. It is a great draw for them.”