Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Fr Andy Leahy congratulates Paddy McInerney prior to his retirement Mass in Ardattin Church after 35 years teaching, of which 33 years were as principal of Ardattin NS. Fr Andy and Paddy  first met as students in St Patricks College in Dublin and again as teachers in Rathvilly NS Pic: Michael O'Rourke

Fr Andy Leahy congratulates Paddy McInerney prior to his retirement Mass in Ardattin Church after 35 years teaching, of which 33 years were as principal of Ardattin NS. Fr Andy and Paddy first met as students in St Patricks College in Dublin and again as teachers in Rathvilly NS
Pic: Michael O’Rourke

PUPILS at Ardattin NS bade a fond farewell to ‘The Master’ recently, as principal Paddy McInerney retired after 32 years at the school.

It was an emotional day for the Cork native, as the school’s 81 pupils and teachers warmly acknowledged his final day and wished him well in his retirement. Mass was celebrated by Fr Andy Leahy, PP, Tullow in the local church, where Paddy was joined by his wife Helen and their sons Patrick and Hugh.

Pupils brought up the gifts and sang during the Mass, while a number of poems were also written in tribute to ‘The Master’, describing his love of sport, his contribution to ArdattinNS over the generations and how much he will be missed by all at the school.

Back at the school, the celebrations continued with cake and refreshments, as well as a presentation of gifts to Mr McInerney. Sixth-class pupils at the school came up with a really novel gift idea for Mr McInerney: a GAA jersey, half-Carlow and half-Cork.

“They came up with the idea and organised it themselves and collected the money themselves,” explained the school’s new principal Laura Bance. “They also got him a pair of wellies and a bucket to feed his pigs,” she smiled.

Mr McInerney thanked the pupils for their wonderful gifts and spoke of how much his time at ArdattinNS had meant to him.

Parents and the wider community of Ardattin will pay their own special tribute to Mr McInerney this Thursday night in the Halfway, Ardattin at 7.30pm, and all are welcome to attend.

Rathvilly native Laura Bance (née Bolger) has been teaching at ArdattinNS for the past nine years and is delighted to take up the post as principal. She is joined on the teaching staff by Niamh Mullaney, who has been at the school for the past ten years. A new teacher is expected to be appointed at the school later this year.

Paddy McInerney with pupils and teachers during his retirement Mass Pic: Michael O'Rourke

Paddy McInerney with pupils and teachers during his retirement Mass
Pic: Michael O’Rourke

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By Suzanne Pender
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