Brian Kenny with his mother Mary, sisters Ailish, Kay, Sheila, Irene, Elaine and brother Eamon
Brian Kenny, principal of Clonmore National School has retired after twenty-six years of service. A farewell celebration took place in Clonmore Church and afterwards in Fitzpatrick's Country Club on Friday November 15.
The large gathering was testament to the esteem in which he was held by parents, pupils, staff and the wider community.
Canon Hayes celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass, with pupils from the school taking part in the prayers and choir. This was followed by presentations and speeches by representatives of Staff, the Board of Management, Parents Association and Pupils, all introduced by Pádraig Bourke, the new principal.
Mary Madden, Vice-Principal, spoke of the privilege it was to have worked with an outstanding principal, who was a very capable leader of the team, always supportive and encouraging.
He nurtured pride, kindness, openness and good manners in the school community. His motto was, ‘Get up and get on with it’, which ensured positivity and resilience in the pupils.
The school colours of maroon and white were dear to him, often commented on in staffroom banter. In conclusion Mary added, ‘You are a very special person Brian, and you have made a lasting impression on us all - staff and pupils alike. We cherish the great memories of our time together and hope that you will continue to be a friend of Clonmore N.S. for many years to come. Thank you for all you have done, and we wish you a long, happy and healthy retirement. You deserve nothing but the best!’
Carina spoke on behalf of the pupils: ‘Master Kenny, you will always be remembered as a kind, funny, caring principal, who had time for every single child. We learned from you how to play fairly, work hard and always do our best. The infants call you “the boss of the whole school” and every single child’s life was enriched by your influence. We all loved to see you every day and will miss you so much.’
Canon Hayes, on behalf of the Board of Management, thanked Brian for his wonderful contribution to education in Clonmore and his outstanding work with the refurbishment of the school in 2016. Brian wore many hats, teacher, principal and project manager.
Johnny Mason made a presentation on behalf of the Parents Association and thanked Brian for his great work.
In reply to the speakers Brian thanked all concerned with the night. He was overwhelmed and humbled by the extraordinary kindness shown. He spoke of his last day in the school as being particularly emotional for him, when his years in Clonmore were recalled.
Pictured below staff, left to right: Ciara Bourke, Mary Madden, Lesley Hogg, Brian Kenny, Carmel Kenny, Maeve Bourke and Paudie Bourke (Principal) Pictures: Seamus Bourke
He expressed his gratitude to the staff, to all associated with the school down through the years, to Pat Murray, for his support and friendship as Chairman of the Board of Management; the school neighbours, Willie and Margaret Fogarty, and the Kenny and Allen families. He gave special mention to a pupil, Shane and wished him well.
He wished the new principal every success and offered to be of assistance if required. ‘It was an absolute privilege to have worked in Clonmore,’ Brian concluded.