Five or six years ago Brother Tommy McDonnell cfc was inspired to undertake a project to create a Memorial Wall to remember and honour the many young men who joined the Irish Christian Brothers and left Ireland to work in far flung locations in Africa, South America and Asia. Many died and were buried abroad. Brother Tommy headed up a group which researched the project and engaged in fund raising. Westland Row CBS PPU was pleased to support this project with a contribution when Brother Tommy called on us. The Inauguration and Blessing of the Memorial Wall took place on Saturday May 4th. 2019 at the Blessed Edmund Rice Cemetery in Baldoyle, by His Grace Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. PPU Secretary, John Cullen and my self represented the PPU at this ceremony.
I attach below some detail and photographs which show the very impressive wall.
Below are some more photos taken by Patrick Dowling at the PPU Annual Dinner on January 26th.
Congratulations to Stephen Kenny who was presented with a Medal of Honour for his service to the PPU over many years. Unfortunately, Stephen could not attend the Dinner and his award was received by Jim Conway, from PPU President Jerry Carroll, on his behalf.
The AGM of the PPU took place on Thursday March 15th. Unfortunately, the attendance was very small and there is an urgent need to get some new and younger blood into the PPU.
Kate Byrne, School Principal, attended the early part of the meeting and provided very positive information with regard to the management and future of the school.
Kate’s main reason for attending was to thank the PPU for all the support it has given to the school over the years and, in particular, its contribution to fund the Homework Classes, which are now up and running.
2018 was a good year for the school and the PPU. A sum of €15,000 was donated by Ken Doherty. This was used to carry out much needed renovations including replacing windows and a new main door.
The school will obtain very welcome rental income over the next couple of years from the RIAM which needs space whilst it carries out renovations.
The school numbers are increasing and now stand at 150. The pupils are, in general, doing well, with up to 40% expected to progress to third level. Some pupils need strong support, given their backgrounds and, in some cases, the trauma suffered as they left their home countries, Once they leave school the support systems disappear. For this reason Kate has established a club for recent past pupils in an effort to maintain support.
Dan Ferrari, who succeeded Michael O’Sullivan as PPU Treasurer in 2018, gave a very comprehensive Financial Report. The Annual Dinner suffered a loss as usual but this was ameliorated somewhat due to the raffle and prompt payment for the PV Doyle trophy by the Doyle Collection.
We are very grateful to all our sponsors and members who support the raffle. We could not run the dinner without that help.
The President appealed to past pupils to sign Standing Orders for the annual sub as many are slipping through the net at present.
PPU President, Jerry Carroll, gave his review of the year. The following were the highlights –
The very enjoyable evening in the Radisson Hotel in June to commemorate the 21st anniversary of Ken Doherty’s World Championship. Many thanks to Ken for his contribution to the school mentioned above.
The choice of Dr. Pat Felle as Row Person of the Year 2019. Pat visited the school and impressed all. He also made a very good contribution to the Annual Dinner.
The Annual Dinner was a most enjoyable event. News and Photos have been published here and in previous News Blogs.
The Annual Mass for deceased past pupils. This is now joined with St. Andrew’s Day and was celebrated by the Archbishop. It was followed by a very enjoyable lunch in the Grand Canal Hotel.
Officers and Committee 2019
President – Jerry Carroll
Hon. Secretary – John Cullen
Hon Treasurer – Dan Ferrari
Committee – John Costello, Brian Duncan, John Murray, Bryan O’Higgins, Shay Doherty, Michael Casey.
I attach below some more photos taken at the Annual Dinner in January. Many thanks to Patrick Dowling of Rock Photography for his excellent photos as usual.
This year’s dinner was addressed by students, Mohomad Almassry and Zamir Faizi. Both came to the Row from Direct Provision having escaped terrible conditions in Syria and Afghanistan in very harrowing circumstances.
The audience of past pupils and guests present were extremely impressed by the courage and perseverance shown by the two young men. Their language skills and general presentation were a credit to themselves and the great care provided by Kate Byrne and her staff at the Row.
Times have changed, indeed, since most of the audience sat in the school benches but there is still a great sense of pride in the old school.
PPU President, Jerry Carroll, and Committee are pleased to announce that Dr. Pat Felle has been elected ROW Person of the Year 2019. Pat will be presented with the PV Doyle Trophy at the annual dinner on Saturday January 26th. in the Westbury Hotel. Tickets for the Dinner at €60 are still available. contact John Cullen 087 2312728 or Jim Conway 087 2557298. Dr. Pat Felle’s Biography is above.
Jim Farrelly, newly elected ROW person of the Year 2018 paid a visit to the school on Friday January 26th when he met many of the present pupils, teachers and past pupils. Jim had an informal chat with current pupils and imparted words of wisdom from which the students will surely benefit in the years ahead. As always, John Murray was present with his trusty camera and he sent us a few snaps to remind us of the occasion. Thanks John.
Deputy Principal Eddie Kelly and Jim consultant the oracle
Jim holds forth with the transition year class
PPU Secretary John Cullen presents Jim with a PPU tie and Cuimhneachan.
The Annual Mass for deceased Past Pupils of the school was said in St. Andrews Westland Row on Sunday December 3rd 2017. The chief celebrant was the Papal Nuncio, Fr. Jude Thaddeus Okolo and he was assisted by the Administrator Westland Row, Fr. Enda Cunningham, school Chaplain Fr. Eugene McCarthy and Deacon Dermot McCarthy. Past pupils who died during the year were Noel McKenna, John Doran, Thomas Malone, Adrian Ryan, Eamonn Corrigan and Paul Donnelly. May they and all deceased past pupils rest in peace. There was a sizeable attendance of current and past pupils present at he Mass and afterwards at lunch in the Grand Canal Hotel. John Murray had his camera at the ready and below are a few of the photographs taken. Many thanks John.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland
PPU President Brian Duncan has a word of wisdom for Joe Ryan, not sure if this was before or after the Mass.
Michael O’Sullivan ans his wife Irene with John Costello were at the Mass.
Congratulations to Jerry Carroll who has been elected President of the PPU for the two year period commencing March 2018. Outgoing President, Brian Duncan handed over the historic chain of office at the AGM on Thursday March 22nd in the school. Jerry graduated from the ROW in 1962 and enjoyed an outstanding career in the Civil Service in various departments. in 1998 Jerry was appointed Director of the Bar Council of Ireland and he retired from there in the last couple of years. Jerry has been an outstanding worker for the preservation and development of the school having served as Chairman of the Board of Management for many years. He was also highly influential in securing the visit of the Taoiseach for the 150 celebrations in 2015.Jerry was elected ROW Person of the Year in 2012. He is the fourth past pupil of the Class of 1962 to be elected President, surely a record which will not be beaten by any other class group. Many thanks also to outgoing President Brian Duncan for his hard work and efforts on behalf of the PPU over the past couple of years.
The AGM took place in the school on March 30th. with a very small attendance of only nine past pupils. The President, Brian Duncan, said that he was disappointed with the failure of the committee to attract new members in his first year of office but he welcomed John McKennedy. John is Principal of Knocklyon Community School and is already making a valuable contribution to the PPU. Brian is determined to continue the goal of attracting new members and he deals with that and other matters in his “Message” which you can see on the website under the PPU drop-down box. New Committee
The committee for 2017/2018 is
President – Brian Duncan
Hon. Sec. – John Cullen
Hon. Treasurer – Position Vacant
Chaplin – Fr. Eugene McCarthy
President Brian Duncan (right) started his second year at the 2017 AGM on March 30.
Jim Conway has stepped down as Hon. Sec and has been replaced by John Cullen. Michael O’ Sullivan stepped down as Treasurer but there were no nominations for that position. Michael has agreed to “keep the books” pending a new appointment. This matter is dealt with in the President’s message mentioned above.
The President reminded the meeting that May 5th 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of Ken Doherty’s winning the World Snooker Championship and the PPU will mark the occasion during the year.
PPU President declared open the refurbished and restocked Museum in the school on Friday January 27th 2017. This project was undertaken by the Transition Year students with their teacher Susanne Lawlor. The quantity of material on display, some dating back many years, is truly amazing. The students did a great job in collating the items and displaying them in a very attractive way. President Brian congratulated Susanne and all the pupils on a job very well done.Below are some photos of the event courtesy of John Murray.
Teacher Susanne Lawlor and Transition Year Students, who worked on the project,, get ready for the ribbon cutting
Deputy Principal, Eddie Kelly, gave a very interesting and witty account of the historical items in the Pearse Museum
President Brian congratulates all concerned and limbers up for the ribbon cutting
President Brian happy that he will be able to tackle the ribbon
One two three cut
job done. we never doubted you Brian
Transition Year student, Robin Delaney, ready to capture the happy event
Eddie Kelly relaxes with Michael Casey and John Cullen.