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“Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossom’d furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill ’d to rule,
The village master taught his little school.. . . ”

Like everyone else, I was not over-fond of school. It took up precious time that could have been spent in more pleasurable pursuits. Now I think of it, that gentle and kindly soul, Master O’Regan, must have been a saint. Otherwise, how could he have shown so much patience, tolerance and understanding in trying to put some learning into always unwilling and sometimes “thick heads”.

I never went any further than National School but somehow Master O’Regan instilled in me a hunger for learning and a thirst for self-improvement that benefitted me greatly in London as my late husband and myself struggled in the early years to keep our fledgling business afloat. The basic principles instilled in my none too willing brain so many years before by that good man enabled me to master ledgers, accounts, tax and V.A.T. returns and all the paraphernalia attached to the running of a business in a rough and tough world.

As I write this I am preparing to transfer back to Athenry and the business I have established in the town. The memory of Master O’Regan and the part he has played in my life becomes clearer and
clearer. He has a special place in my heart and hopefully a special seat in Heaven.
As I finish, may I say that I cannot pay a greater tribute than:

“And still they gaz’d and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew”.

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Written by Peggy O’Sullivan (Nee Williams)

Published here 05 Feb 2021

Page 207 of The Carnaun Centenary Book

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