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WATCH: Guard of honour as popular Limerick principal retires

CHILDREN and teachers at a Caherdavin school gave their retiring principal a rousing send-off as he retires after almost 40 years service.

Pat Millane has worked at Christ the King Boys National School since 1982, and was its principal from 2009.

To round off the autumn term, and provide a well-deserved send off to the Clare man, students at the city school formed a guard of honour for the popular principal.

A plaque was erected at the entrance to the school, containing one of Mr Millane's famous philosophies in teaching, while passers by also offered their congratulations.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader after the send-off, the teacher was quite overwhelmed.

He said: "It was a hugely emotional day. To come and in and see the send off all the boys and staff had organised for me. It was hugely emotional to walk through the corridors I had walked thousands of miles over the years. The affirmation of your colleagues and students, you couldn't ask for more. I remember as a young lad, listening to Brian McMahon on the Late Late Show talking about how teachers had a positive impact on a community, and their influence reaching out, the good they did."

"I never thought people would think that of me, and I'm very humbled. I'm blown away by all this," he said.

One of Mr Millane's proudest achievements during his tenure as principal was the opening of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) unit in the school, raising millions of euro for the project in the process.

Taking up the reins is Shane O'Neill, who hurls with South Liberties GAA.

He said his boss has provided him with a tough act to follow.

"I've learnt a lot from him over the past 10 years. I'm looking forward to the challenge, and it's something I'm cherishing as well. We've a great team behind us. I know we'll all take the next step together. As head of the posse, I'm looking forward to it, but I know I have a lot of great staff behind me," he added.

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