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Retirement Function - Christmas 1998


The staff in Athenry Vocational School, as well as many of those that taught in the school over the years, organised a function and made a presentation to Mr Seamus Cullinane to mark the occasion of his retirement as principal of the school.

Miss Ann Ruane, school Principal, made the presentation and said that Mr Cullinane was recognised throughout Ireland as an outstanding leader whose hallmark was discipline and it was her prime ambition that the school would continue to perform with these high standards.  A special mention to his wife Ann who also taught in the school.

Mr. Malachy Naughton outlined the great achievements over the years by Mr. Cullinane from when Athenry Vocational School opened in September 1969 with just thirty students to the time he retired with 770 students.  Seamus Cullinane devoted all his time to providing facilities and options for an ever-increasing student population.  The school was officially opened in 1973 and a further extension in 1982.  A new canteen/gym was completed just prior to his retirement.  He utilised his resources so as to benefit all students giving special attention to one with learning difficulties.

During his term as Principal education and industry experienced the latest rate of change in technology but he recognised the challenge and kept in line with it while at the same time preserving our culture and Gaelic traditions.  Despite all this his greatest achievements are probably not recorded at all because a helping hand often has to be given in a subtle way to a student experiencing difficulty – the corner stone of which is confidentiality.

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Written by Seamus Hynes

Published here 03 Apr 2023 and originally published Christmas 1998

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