IT IS the summer holidays for teachers but Limerick corner back Richie English was back in the classroom on Friday.
He was the special guest at Gaelcholaiste Cill Churnáin. It is like Irish college only in Kilcornan. Everything is done as Gaeilge. Catherine Cantillon marked her 15th year of running the school with a record number of students – 150 – aged from five to 15.
“It is wonderful to keep our culture, language, heritage, music, and sports alive and to have them accessible for everybody,” said Catherine. Richie presented the awards for excellence to the boys and girls. Catherine and her pupils also had a very special gift for Richie - they honoured the memory of his late father Paddy. The Doon man passed away in April aged 61.
“Áine Twomey, a fourth class pupil from Shountrade NS, played a beautiful tribute piece for his father Paddy. She performed An Gaoth Aneas on the harp,” said Catherine. She said Richie was visibly moved.
“Richie knew nothing about this. He was very touched. Paddy must have been so proud to have such an accomplished son, such a gentleman with wisdom beyond his years,” sad Catherine. They celebrated the All-Star hurler’s playing talents with a performance by the Kilcornan Ceili Band. Boys and girls in Cappagh NS won the Ger McDonnell perpetual shield for their participation across the week.
“The combination of classroom and sport and activities works beautifully together,” said Catherine.