The day of the Christmas 2015 holidays was a very special one at Loughfouder National School. Principal, Micheál Herlihy called time on his 36 year career as a teacher and on the almost 29 years he spent at the two-teacher school near Brosna and Knocknagoshel.
There wasn’t a square inch of car-parking space unoccupied in the school yard or on the road outside. Pupils and their parents, grandparents and past pupils gathered to bid a fond farewell to the popular principal and Knocknagoshel native.
A Year in America
Micheál Herlihy trained in St. Patricks College in Drumcondra from 1975 to 1978 and he started teaching on 1st July 1978 in Virgin Mary Boys’ National School in Ballymun and spent two years there. He took a break and went to America for a year and a half.
“ I returned in December 1981 and commenced teaching in St. Lawrence O’Toole’s C.B.S. in Seville Place, Dublin. I taught there from 7th January 1982 to 1st of July 1982.
On 1st of September 1982 I got a teaching position in Newmarket Boys’ National School, Co. Cork and spent five years there,” said Micheál.
“I started teaching in Loughfouder National School on 6th of April 1987 and have spent nearly 29 years there. Maura Sheehan was principal at the time and we worked side by side for 13 years.
She retired in October 2000 and was replaced by Elizabeth Lane. I have worked with Liz for over 15 years. I had a great working relationship with both of them. I really enjoyed my time there. The children were wonderful, always very courteous and well behaved.
“I had a great relationship with the parents and the Board of Management and we all worked together for the good of the school.
“I have seen a lot of changes over the years. In the early years there were no school uniforms. The children wore their normal clothes. Now all schools have uniforms.
“Probably the biggest change is the introduction of technology to schools. The photocopier made life much easier for teachers. Now the blackboard and chalk is gone.
“You have computers, interactive whiteboards and visualisers and a lot of the text books are available online. In a couple of years text books will be a thing of the past and will be replaced by e-books.
“I have really enjoyed my 36 years teaching and I am now looking forward to what I hope will be a happy and healthy retirement,” Micheál concluded.