More Home Thoughts from Ray Behan

Ray, who hails from the Pearse St. area and who was in the ROW between 1970 and 1980, recently posted a photograph of his Confirmation group (in 1974) on the PPU Facebook page. It was not just a photograph, however, as Ray used his IT skills to set it to music and to insert the names, accompanied by a kind word for each classmate, as the camera seemed to zoom in on each face as it passed along. The still photo is below but you will have to view the photograph in CBS Westland Row PPU Facebook page to get the full effect.

Ray now lives in Australia, and has carved out an interesting career as you will see from the brief biography below as wellas his websites and publications.

Ray is an international speaker and educator with special attention on quantum physics, quantum mechanics, biology and the body’s ability to heal itself through meditation, neuroplasticity and the phenomenon of ‘interconnectedness’.

Ray’s story has been featured on 266 global media outlets. As a speaker, he is known for thrilling audiences with his unique presentations and is an author on enhancing the mind body connection.

He studied quantum phenomena, biology and cosmic consciousness for many years including the works of some of the greatest educators in the field of personal development. He is the main producer and contributor to Think and Grow Global Education.

Ray did not come from a privileged background however. At 7 years of age he had an accident which resulted in a major head injury, which impacted the rest of his life. When he returned to school after the accident, he discovered that his ability to learn, communicate and speak as well as to retain information, was seriously affected as a consequence of the accident. The resulting stress brought on temporal lobe epilepsy and he was placed on Tegretol medication, which he would need to take for life.

Years later Ray went on a journey of self education. He used his new knowledge in neuroplasticity, quantum physics and meditation to rewire and repair his own brain. Ray is now free from the need for medication.

Ray is another ROW past pupil who has “done” good and it is great to hear his story. We hope he continues to stay healthy and to help many people through his work.

If you wish to see the names of all the above have a look at our Facebook page CBS Westland Row PPU.

This News Blog was published by Jim Conway (Class of 62). If past pupils wish to contribute any stories, photos or videos for publication on the News Blog please email The PPU also has a Facebook page called CBS Westland Row PPU.

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Christmas Message from PPU President

As we approach the end of another year, I wish all past pupils and their families every blessing for Christmas and the New Year.

At this time of reflection, we remember those no longer with us and our PPU colleagues who sadly, passed away during the last twelve months. A number of past pupils were prayed for during our annual Mass at the end of November. Their obituaries, including photos were published in News Blog on November 30th. To see that and other news items click on the following link

Best wishes also to school Principal, Kate Byrne and her colleagues who continue to do extraordinary work under difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic. Congratulations to Cathriona O’Sullivan on her appointment as Deputy Principal and good luck in the new position.

Best wishes also to all the students who will hope to enjoy a short holiday before resuming their studies in the New Year.

For the second year in a row, the PPU activities were again restricted by the pandemic. However, we continued to hold committee meetings by Zoom and we kept in touch with the school throughout the year. We were delighted to award bursaries to Genoveva Menes and Kristians Locmelis to help with their third level education in Trinity and TUD respectively.

Finally, as we adjust to the latest restrictions to our daily lives , let us remember again all our frontline workers and thank them for their dedication and continued service to our communities.

Slan is Beannacht, Dan Ferrari.

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Annual Mass

The St. Andrews Day Mass was celebrated in Westland Row on Sunday November 28th. The main celebrant was Archbishop Dermot Farrell. Our PPU Chaplain, Fr. Eugene McCarthy, was a co-celebrant and eight past pupils who died during the last 12 months were remembered in the prayers.

John Murray was present with his trusty camera and the following are a selection of his photographs.

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New Ways to Pay

The PPU recently undertook a review of its banking arrangements with a view to making it easier for members to pay their subscriptions and make donations. the old “cheque book and pen” system stood us in good stead over the years and many past pupils were very generous in responding to requests to complete Standing Order Mandates and make donations in response to numerous appeals.

Banking methods have changed a lot in recent years and many people now use on line banking facilities. The PPU is currently making arrangements to bank on line and we are making additional facilities available through our website Members can continue to use the Standing Order Mandate for payment of the annual sub (complete and send to your own bank branch) and we now have a PayPal option to pay the sub by debit/credit card using PayPal (as a guest) or directly through PayPal for members with a PayPal account.

Donations can also be made using your debit/credit card or PayPal or directly from the donor’s bank account to the PPU bank account by the Electric Fund Transfer (or SEPA) system.

The website contains full instructions on how to access and use the new systems. After entering the website, by clicking on the old school bell, click on Annual Subscription and/or Donate and click on the drop down boxes to get all the information.

Whilst we would encourage members to use the new facilities if at all possible, don’t worry if you are not comfortable with the new technology. You can always send a cheque to the Hon. Treasurer, Jim Conway at 23 Orchardstown Park, D14 R7A4. If you need to update your Standing Order and don’t wish to download one from the website you can get one by texting me on 087 2557298. Don’t forget to include your address.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me, Jim Conway, on or phone/txt as above.

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Home Thoughts From Australia

Conor Dwyer (class of 1962) was prompted to write, from his home near Brisbane, with some memories of our days at the ROW, when he learned of the passing of our old friend Eamonn O’Malley RIP.

Conor hailed from the Shelbourne Road/South Lotts Road area and, like many lads at the ROW, was a keen soccer player. He played with Home Farm and his talents were recognised at an early age as he was capped for Ireland against England at under 16 level.

Conor remembers the late Eamonn and Tony Rowe very well. Tony and Pat Canavan were also keen soccer players and, of course, in those times they played on the school Gaelic Football team as well. He recalls one incident very clearly. In September 1958 Bro. Hickey called Gaelic training on a Saturday which corresponded to the start of the Soccer schoolboys under 14 season. Conor was picked to play for Home Farm. Tony and Pat were both picked to play for Bolton Athletic in Ringsend. Unbeknown to each other the lads decided to line out with their Soccer clubs as the Gaelic was only a training spin.

The next Monday at 12 noon, Hickey called the three lads up to the top of the class and informed them that Bro. Moynihan required their presence in the science room immediately. The lads, sheepishly, presented themselves before “Billy” who stood in typical pose, with hands in cummerbund, asking why they had not shown up for Gaelic training. The boys explained their positions and were told that, if they ever missed training again, they would be expelled from the school.

Another “football” incident recalled by Conor, occurred in a Gaelic match against Drimnagh Castle at Island Bridge. The Brothers in charge were Treacy, the American and a young Collins. We won the match but a highlight was when Pat Canavan secured victory with a goal which he coolly headed to the net. All hell broke loose for the wrong reason; not joy at winning but anger at the manner of scoring the goal. The charge was led by Treacy, who had a reputation for toughness, but the boys stood their ground and demanded to see where, in the rules of Gaelic Football, did it state that a goal could not be scored by the ball being struck by the head of the scorer. The authorities were stumped but, of course, the mutterings about the “influence of foreign games” lingered for a time.

After Leaving Cert, Conor joined Irish National Insurance company. He later emigrated to England and from there he went to Australia where he worked for Sun Alliance and Stenhouse Insurance Brokers. He later opened his own brokerage based on the Gold Coast. Conor retired from the Insurance Industry in 2006 and lived, with his wife Marlene, in Robina on the Gold Coast. Conor and Marlene were great hosts when my wife, Teresa and myself visited them in Robina in 2014. Conor gave us a tour of Brisbane and introduced us to some of his Irish friends there. We were there on a St. Patrick’s weekend and the craic was at least as good as that which we enjoy at home. There was only one difference; the weather was lovely and we were able to watch the parade in tee shirts and shorts.

Conor and Marlene recently downsized to a Retirement Living Apartment north of Brisbane. The complex is near Moreton Bay. Conor sent a couple of photos taken from his balcony just to make us all jealous as we shiver in our winter weather. However, we have to say that it looks great and we wish Conor and Marlene long life and health in their new abode.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the above or if memories of schooldays are stirred by the blog.

If any of our readers are away from Ireland and would like to contribute any “Home Thoughts” we would be delighted to hear from you. You can email Jim Conway, at

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Recent Funerals

The funeral Masses for two of our old classmates, Tony Rowe and Eamonn O’Malley, took place recently, may they rest in peace. We bid them a fond farewell and attach below copy of the covers of their Mass leaflets as a memento.

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Eamonn O’Malley RIP

It is with great sadness that the PPU announces the passing, on November 25th, of Eamonn (Class of ’62). Eamonn was a larger than life character who supported many PPU events especially the Golf outings and the annual dinner. His good humour and wit lit up many an evening at the ’62 table at the Westbury and no round of golf was dull when Eamonn was in the fourball.

Eamonn went to work with the Irish Aviation Authority when he finished his education and he had a long and distinguished career there.

We send our sincere sympathies to Eamonn’s wife Rita, his daughter Aisling and his sons Brian and Peter.

At the time of writing Eamonn’s Death Notice is on but the funral arrangements are yet to be advised. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

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Deceased Past Pupils 2021

November is, traditionally, the month when we pray for our relatives and friends who have passed away. The Past Pupils Union has, for many years, arranged for Mass to be celebrated for past pupils who died during the year. For many years, the Mass was said in the Monastery in Westland Row but, when the building was sold and the remaining Brothers moved out, the Administrator of St. Andrews agreed to include our deceased past pupils names in the St. Andrew’s Day Mass, which is usually celebrated by the Archbishop on the Sunday closest to St. Andrew’s feast day, which is the 30th of November annually. This year, 2021, the Mass will be celebrated by the newly appointed Archbishop of Dublin, Most Reverend Dermot Farrell, on Sunday November 28th at 11.30am. We are hoping that our chaplain, Fr. Eugene McCarthy will be able to be a co-celebrant.

There are 6 names, so far, on our list of deceased past pupils this year, Tom Butler, Ken Beaton, Shay Healy, Gerry Mackey, Jim Bradley and Tony Rowe. May they all rest in peace.

Four of the above were former Row Men of the Year, Ken Beaton in 1989, Shay Healy in 1983, Gerry Mackey in 1988 and Jim Bradley in 2005. This is an unprecedented number of “the old guard” to pass on in one year and, by way of tribute to them, it is worth looking at a brief biography of the six as follows –

Ken Beaton

Ken entered stockbroking with the firm of Butler Briscoe when he left school in the 1950s. Having risen to the top of his profession, Ken spent most of his career arranging the allocation of Government stocks from the Dept. of Finance through to their ultimate buyers – the financial institutions.

Ken was a key player in the market when gilts boomed in the in the 1980s. He was at the helm when Black Monday hit the markets in 1987 and stocks crashed. Ken and Butler Briscoe survived. Today his old firm still thrives under the name Dolmen Securities.

Shay Healy

Shay (or Ogie as he was known) graduated from The ROW in 1961 and embarked on an outstanding career in the World of music and entertainment. A special News Blog tribute to Shay was published on April 20th 2021.

Gerry Mackey

Gerry was an outstanding Soccer player. H commenced his career with Johnville and captained the Irish Schoolboys and Youth International teams before joining Shamrock Rovers in 1951. Gerry won every honour in the game as well as captaining the League of Ireland and Irish International teams. Gerry had a very successful career in business with Irish Shell and BP.

Jim Bradley

Jim, who started his education with the Brothers in Wexford, before moving to the ROW, had an outstanding career in business with Rowntree Ltd, Cadbury Ireland and C&C. Jim became President of the Beverage Council of Ireland and was also elected to the Board of Governors of the Marino Institute. He also held a number of non-executive directorships.

He was very active in past pupil affairs. He was Chairman of the committee which organised the commemorative concert at Dublin’s Convention Centre to mark the 250th anniversary of the birthday of Blessed Edmond Ignatius Rice in 2012.

Tony Rowe

Tony died recently at his home in England. He was born in 1944 and lived in Markievicz House. He left the ROW after Inter Cert and joined the British Army. He was posted to the Royal Army Signals Corp due to his “high level of education” and served in Aden and Germany where he became proficient in the language. Tony later suffered from Alcohol addiction but, following counselling he turned his life around and later became a counsellor himself. This brought him all over the UK where he spoke at seminars and was credited with helping a huge number of people to turn their lives around.

Tom Butler

Tom graduated from the ROW in the late fifties. He was a great supporter of the ROW Golf Society outings and won regularly over the years. Unfortunately, at the time of going to press, I have been unable to get details of Tom’s career. Jerry Carroll says that he has memories of Tom when they both served as altar boys in St. Andrews. The priests treated the boys to an annual outing to Red Island holiday camp in Skerries and Jerry recalls one year when Tom entertained all present with songs from the stage.

If anyone has memories of Tom or, indeed, any of deceased past pupils, why not leave a comment using the facility available on this blog.

This News Blog has been compiled and posted by Jim Conway who can be contacted on

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Student Bursaries 2021 Presented

The PPU recently presented bursaries of €1,000 each to Geneveva Memes and Kristians Locmelis to assist in their third level education commencing in 2021. The presentation ceremony, which took place in the school on Monday November 15th was attended by school Principal, Kate Byrne, Deputy Principal, Cathriona O’Sullivan, Careers Guidance teacher, John Davids, PPU President, Dan Ferrari, Secretary, John Cullen and Treasurer, Jim Conway.

Genoveva achieved 625 points in the Leaving Cert and is now studying medicine in Trinity. Kristians is studying Biomedical Molecular Diagnostics in TUD, Grangegorman.

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Annual Mass for deceased Past Pupils 2021

Past pupils of Westland Row CBS, who passed away during the last twelve months will be prayed for during Mass, which will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Reverend Dermot Farrell, on Sunday November 28th at 11.30am as part of the St. Andrew’s Day celebrations in Westland Row church. All past pupils are invited to attend.

Photo taken at the Mass celebrated by the Papal Nuncio, deputising for the Archbishop, in 2017

We already have 5 deceased past pupils on the list this year; Tom Butler, Ken Beaton, Shay Healy, Gerry Mackey and Jim Bradley. If anyone is aware of other past pupils who passed away in recent times please text their names to Jim Conway on 087 2557298. If anyone is in touch with any family members of deceased past pupils please pass on the Mass details in case they would like to attend.

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