Tel: (+353) 53 9377308

RETIREMENTS

In her speech at the end of the Graduation Mass, the principal, Ms. Frances Threadgold, spoke of the retirement of two members of the teaching staff:   “This is a very significant day for our school as we bid farewell to our esteemed colleagues Ms. Caitriona Caulfield and Mr. John O’Neill.

Ms. Caulfield came to FCJ Bunclody in 1981 – 35 years ago – to a school with about 500 students, including girls who were Boarders.   One person told me she arrived from Dublin, straight out of college, smiling and youthful and indeed I think that description still applies to Ms. Caulfield today!     Teachers then wore black gowns when in the classroom so Ms. Caulfield, and another PE teacher at the time, Mr. Kinsella, set about convincing the principal, a nun, Sr. Margaret Quirke, that they were worn out changing into gowns from track suits and vice versa so the principal relented and they were allowed to teach in the classroom in their PE gear – big news in those days!! But don’t you students start getting any ideas now about being let stay in your PE gear instead of uniform…….

Ms Caulfield not only taught PE but was also a highly respected teacher of Irish. In a few short years after she came to Bunclody FCJ teams were winning all round them …… winning 5 Leinster Senior A Camogie titles in a row, playing in 2 All Ireland finals in Croke Park on the same day and of course winning an All Ireland in 1993.    But it is in Hockey that Ms Caulfield really excels. Did you know she is a superb Hockey player having played for County and The South East on many occasions. Her love of the game and her skills meant that she was inspirational in creating the same love of the game in her students and of course it wasn’t long before the FCJ hockey teams were winning leagues and eventually reaching the All Ireland Senior Hockey Final in 1983. As significant and all as that is I was really taken with an account of one of the students playing on that day. The past pupil recounted that while Mr. Kinsella was on high doh in the dressing room it was Ms. Caulfield who was cool, calm and collected and       settled everyone’s nerves. And when they lost 1-0 it was Ms Caulfield’s care, consideration and compassion for the players that stood out.   And indeed Caitriona that is what still stands out today. I continuously admire your calm    reassuring approach when students attempt to act up or when they are injured and in pain or upset. You have that unique quality of playing things down, not creating any fuss, but all the while taking control of the situation in hand.

Of course we will miss that Caitriona but I wish you all the best in your many years of retirement and may you enjoy many long coastal walks in South      Wexford and many years happiness with your husband and family.     I now invite the Head Boy and Head Girl to make a presentation to you._MG_9027a

 

“And so to Mr. O’Neill well where do I begin??…….

1976 would be as good as any year I suppose – 40 years ago, when Mr. O’Neill came to teach in F.C.J. Bunclody to a school of around 450 students. That’s just over half of what we will be next year when we will have 870 students in our school.  Mr. O’Neill didn’t come straight into teaching. He worked in a Government Department in the Civil Service and not only has he a degree in History but also a degree in Geography and Economics too!   I am not sure why he eventually chose the path of teaching but I am very glad he did and extremely glad that he spent his entire teaching career in FCJ Bunclody.

When he started work with us he was one of only four male teachers and indeed was landed with teaching a variety of subjects. At one stage Mr. O’Neill taught History, Maths ….. well you were expecting those… but also Geography,         English, R.E., Business Studies and Tech. Graphics (then called Mechanical Drawing). As you can imagine he excelled at them all and the school secretary of the time told me that he used to have to check his timetable every time the bell rang to make sure he was going to the right class, but more importantly that he was bringing the right books and equipment!! Funnily enough an Inspector arrived during that time and happened to go to Mr. O’Neill’s Mechanical Drawing class. Needless to say his report was excellent.

Mr. O’Neill has been an inspirational teacher who has the gift of encouraging his students and creating in them a love of the subject. In fact he has always taught in the enquiring manner that we are all encouraged to do nowadays. Many students have gone on to study History at 3rd level as a direct result of having being taught by Mr. O’Neill. What greater accolade is there in teaching? So quite simply Mr. O’Neill you are a legend!

While Mr O’Neill’s dedication to teaching is well known many people may not be aware of his commitment to our trips abroad, student exchanges and our Music Dept. Mr. O’Neill’s contribution to the Transition Year trips has meant that he has acted as tour guide on many occasions and he has added hugely to the experience to Paris and in more recent years to Italy.

I was delighted to witness last week Mr. O’Neill being honoured by Mr. Hennessy and the Senior Orchestra at our annual concert. Apart from being MC at many concerts and for shows for the past seven years, he has been involved in every journey the orchestras have made since the 1990s. All the local ones to Enniscorthy and Ferns, to the Waterfront in Belfast, Laurel Hill in Limerick, and the big Dublin venues of the National Concert Hall and the Helix. And of course he has travelled abroad including being a huge part of the American Exchange. Not only did he work on the exchange in America he also worked with the Americans when they visited here, going to the Aran Islands for the fifth time this year as happily as he did for the first time. This year was also his fifth journey to Mount St Charles Academy where he was a most caring, watchful and friendly chaperone of the students in his charge and a delight to his hosts.

Mr. O’Neill’s dedication and commitment to this school has been extraordinary. He has been a friend and confidante to his colleagues, a most obliging and good humoured staff member who has always been ready to help management, staff and students.

John I will miss your humour, your jokes, your friendly face and your wonderful presence in all our lives. I know you will embrace this new chapter in your life with the same energy, positivity and enthusiasm that you bring to your teaching. I wish you the best of good health to enjoy every day of the bright future that lies ahead.  Again I call on the Head Boy and Head Girl to make a presentation to you._MG_9032a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“And so to Mr. O’Neill well where do I begin??…….

1976 would be as good as any year I suppose – 40 years ago, when Mr. O’Neill came to teach in F.C.J. Bunclody to a school of around 450 students. That’s just over half of what we will be next year when we will have 870 students in our school.  Mr. O’Neill didn’t come straight into teaching. He worked in a Government Department in the Civil Service and not only has he a degree in History but also a degree in Geography and Economics too!   I am not sure why he eventually chose the path of teaching but I am very glad he did and extremely glad that he spent his entire teaching career in FCJ Bunclody.

When he started work with us he was one of only four male teachers and indeed was landed with teaching a variety of subjects. At one stage Mr. O’Neill taught History, Maths ….. well you were expecting those… but also Geography,              English, R.E., Business Studies and Tech. Graphics (then called Mechanical Drawing). As you can imagine he excelled at them all and the school secretary of the time told me that he used to have to check his timetable every time the bell rang to make sure he was going to the right class, but more importantly that

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“And so to Mr. O’Neill well where do I begin??…….

1976 would be as good as any year I suppose – 40 years ago, when Mr. O’Neill came to teach in F.C.J. Bunclody to a school of around 450 students. That’s just over half of what we will be next year when we will have 870 students in our school.  Mr. O’Neill didn’t come straight into teaching. He worked in a Government Department in the Civil Service and not only has he a degree in History but also a degree in Geography and Economics too!   I am not sure why he eventually chose the path of teaching but I am very glad he did and extremely glad that he spent his entire teaching career in FCJ Bunclody.

When he started work with us he was one of only four male teachers and indeed was landed with teaching a variety of subjects. At one stage Mr. O’Neill taught History, Maths ….. well you were expecting those… but also Geography,              English, R.E., Business Studies and Tech. Graphics (then called Mechanical Drawing). As you can imagine he excelled at them all and the school secretary of the time told me that he used to have to check his timetable every time the bell rang to make sure he was going to the right class, but more importantly that

Leave a Reply

Contact Us

FCJ Secondary School,
Bunclody,
Enniscorthy,
Co. Wexford
Tel: (+353)53-9377308
App: FCJ Bunclody