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15 Aug 2022

In Pictures: Retirement marks end of an era at Limerick school

A LIMERICK teacher with over 50 years of family ties to one city-based primary school waved an emotional farewell to staff and students on her final day.

Just before the summer holidays, the bell tolled one last time for Grainne D’alton at Scoil Chriost Rí Boys NS in Caherdavin, as she called time on a wonderful 37-year career teaching in the school.

“The staff and students gave me an amazing sendoff,” she said, speaking after her final day, where the cheers of 310 children greeted her through the gates one last time.

The Caherdavin woman, who first began teaching at the all-boys national school in 1985, is retiring with her family name thoroughly etched into the foundations of the building.

Her father, Padraig Ó Cathalláin, was the founding member of Christ the King Boys National School and was the school’s very first acting principal.

Upon arriving, her focus was on teaching both hurling and football to the students, even coaching sporting stars like Limerick hurlers Peter Casey and Shane Dowling in their early days.

In recent years, she moved over from sports to the school’s very successful choir, with parents singing the group’s praises under her guidance.

While parting ways through teary-eyes, Grainne believes that the school is in excellent hands and as always, has the “tremendous support” of the community of Caherdavin.

She paid particular thanks to principal Shane O’Neil as well as to his predecessor Pat Millane, for supporting her throughout her time at the school.

“Throughout the years, parents and even grandparents of the children were always amazing, coming into the school, to play music and to help coach the teams,” she told Limerick Live.

“This is what keeps the amazing community connection going,” she added.

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