Limerick teachers put away their dusters for the last time

At the INTO retirements event were Back row (from left): Olive Brislane, Aileen Roche, Christy McNamara, Jack Kelly, Donal O’Gorman, Miriam O’Mahony Middle row: Jan O’Sullivan, Siobhan Doherty, Miriam O’Regan, Marie Keogh, Anne Madden, Catherine Walsh Front row: Connie McMahon, Joe Lyons, INTO President John Driscoll, Mike O’Sullivan, Áine Burke, Breda Kennedy.

THOUSANDS of Limerick locals will remember their days being guided through the modh coinníollach by 60 teachers who put away their dusters last month.

The Limerick City branch of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) held their first honouring of retirees at two functions in the Greenhills Hotel last month in celebration of their contributions to teaching and to the INTO.

Proceedings were opened by branch chairperson Ruairí Walsh, who commended the service and dedication of the retirees being celebrated.

“Throughout your long and devoted careers you have shown enthusiasm and dedication, in educating the hundreds of pupils who were fortunate enough to pass through your classrooms,” Mr Walsh said.

He also emphasised “the commitment you have shown as members of the INTO through the good and more challenging times”, describing how they “helped strengthen our union and have given all your colleagues a wonderful example to follow”.

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He particularly singled out Ann McMahon, who served as branch secretary for many years, Mike O’Sullivan, former chairperson, Catherine Walsh, former branch organiser, and Joe Lyons, who served as media coordinator since the mid-1990s.

“During their long years dedicated to the INTO, they served as  branch executive, as well as being delegates to the District Committee and to annual Congress.

“When teachers needed leadership at difficult times and industrial action was required to protect teachers’ livelihoods, in the 1980s in particular, these people galvanised and activated the membership of this branch.

“These great advocates and champions for teachers’ rights and conditions will be sorely missed within the branch, the INTO, and their respective schools.”