Tributes paid to much loved former Limerick primary school principal

Jess Casey

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Jess Casey

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jess.casey@limerickleader.ie

Tributes paid to much loved former principal of Limerick primary school

The late Donal Ryan who passed away this week PICTURE: ADRIAN BUTLER

TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-respected principal of Limerick primary school, a “gentle giant” that knew every child by name, who passed away this week. 

Donal Ryan, formerly of Pery Square and former principal of An Mhodhscoil on O’Connell Avenue, passed away on December 18 peacefully at Milford Care Centre. 

Trained in St Patrick’s, Mr Ryan began his teaching career in St John’s in Limerick before he joined staff at An Mhodhscoil Boys School in the eighties. 

He became principal of the newly amalgamated school in 1986, retiring in 1992. 

“Donie was a Limerick man, out and out,” said Seamus Hynes, who taught at An Mhodhscoil while Mr Ryan was principal. 

“Everybody called him a gentle giant. He knew every child by name, he was very respectful of everybody and very respectful of every child.” 

“If you ever met him after you left, he would know the names of people and how they got on. He was great to talk to people.” 

“There was huge respect for him in the school, all of his colleagues. He was very interested in people, interested in every pupil. He is much missed and it is with sadness we’ve learned of his loss.” 

Newly appointed principal of An Mhodhscoil Éibhear Ó Déaghaidh extended sympathies on behalf of the school community to Mr Ryan’s family. 

“All members of the community are thinking of his family at this time and remembering Mr Ryan with great fondness,” Mr Ó Déaghaidh said. 

Limerick city TD Willie O’Dea also extended his sympathies. 

“He was a very successful principal, very innovative,” Deputy O’Dea said. 

“Mr Ryan was highly regarded and he played a significant part in the development of education in Limerick city.” 

Beloved husband of the late Maureen, Mr Ryan is survived by his children John, Conor and Micil, and sadly missed by his daughter-in-law Majella, son-in-law Ralph, grandchildren Adam, Donal, Lucia, Andrew and Sena, sister Getta, sisters-in-law Mary and Ginny, family friend Eve nephews, nieces, extended family and friends.

Reposing at Milford Care Centre this Thursday evening from 6pm to 7.30pm, followed by removal to Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Castletroy. 

Requiem Mass on Friday at 11am with burial afterwards in Kilmurry Cemetery. 

Family flowers only. Donations if desired to St Vincent de Paul.