IN the year of the Gathering, CBS Sexton Street are getting in on the act and preparing to welcome home their own ‘diaspora’.
The secondary school this week launched a reunion event of past pupils to take place in October in the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel and are hoping to see large numbers of former students return to their alma mater.
Principal Tom Prendergast explained that the event would serve to reunite the school’s alumni, while also raising much needed funds for its operation.
“We hope that as many former pupils as possible will support the reunion,” he said.
“We would feel that the school has such numbers of past-pupils - every day I meet people with connections to the school. The parents council have done huge work for it and it was their foresight to have this in the year of the Gathering,” he added.
Mr Prendergast acknowledged the many well-known faces who have passed through the school and who might return for the event.
Former principal Noel Earlie, who retired in December 2011, returned to the school along with former old boys Karl Spain, Mayor of Limerick Cllr Gerry McLoughlin and international rugby player David Wallace - the latter not a past-pupil but keen to lend a hand - to promote the event.
“I started school here in 1961 as a little fella in short pants,” laughed Mr Earlie, principal from 1999 to 2011.
“I was here all my life really and enjoyed every minute of it.”
Mr Earlie said it would be great to see “old faces” at the October event.
“When you leave school you think you will see these guys constantly, but it doesn’t happen like that. It will be great to see old faces coming back and renewing relationships and thinking about old memories,” he said.
Comedian Karl Spain joked that he “wasn’t the best student, but did have a good time” at the Sexton Street school.
“I was in the top class but I was very much battling relegation most seasons,” he laughed. “I had a great time here and made a lot of friends. It is weird coming back and seeing all the changes and how different it is but it is a great school and I am sure the reunion will be a big success.”
Mayor McLoughlin, who sat his Leaving Certificate in CBS in 1969 and taught in the school until 1981 said he had “very happy memories of my time here”.
The CBS Sexton Street Gathering will take place on October 18 in the Kilmurry Lodge. Contact the school on 061-416628 for details.