I remember with nostalgia my first day in school when my sister Nora proudly introduced me to her classmates before presenting me at the desk of Miss Babs O’Regan. Miss O’Regan welcomed me in her friendly fashion and I spent four happy years under her capable guidance.
Next I moved on to Miss Julia Monaghan in the other classroom for three years until she retired. Then we were privileged to have a headmaster – a man who fitted the lines of Goldsmith -“and still the wonder grew, how one small head could carry all he knew” – Mr. Timothy O’Regan who instilled in us a love of learning and good literature. His enduring kindness and fairness coupled with strict discipline helped to make school a joy and prepared us to meet the challenges that lay ahead. His unique selection of school books (English), John Mitchell’s “Jail Journal”, “With the Army of O’Neill” and “The Key Above the Door” by Maurice Walsh were all very interesting and of a high literary standard. After every lesson he picked out the words which we did not understand and explained the meaning of each word which was brilliant. He was an intellectual and a true Gael who knew Padraig O’Connaire (“Sean Phádraig” he called him) personally. Tim’s automatic selection of “m’Aasal Beagh Dubh” for Irish class was a winner.
In 1963 my sister (Sr. Rosalie) sent me a book named “The Big Sycamore” by Fr. Maurice Browne P.P., Ballymore Eustace, which I lent to Tim. He obviously enjoyed it immensely and when returning the book he wrote me a lovely letter which I treasure to this day. To our great sorrow Tim died in November 1964. R. 1. P. Thus ended the career of a man beloved by all of us who were privileged to know him.
Written by Paddy Walsh
Published here 05 Feb 2021
Page 048 of The Carnaun Centenary Book
I Remember Lydons of Shop Street
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