Sunday, February 03, 2008

Who's that beside Eugene O'Loughlin?

For five years (1972 - 1977) I attended boarding school at Cistercian College Roscrea (CCR). I have reasonably happy memories of the School, though these are fading somewhat over time. I sometimes try to think of what I did each day during those five years - memories have faded over the last 30 years. The picture to the right (click on it for larger view) is our class photo taken at the end of 6th year - that's me in the middle of the second row from the back. Look at the three-piece suit, and the hair!

My good memories of CCR were: listening to football commentaries on BBC Radio 2 on Saturdays, playing in goal, saving a penalty, films on Sunday nights, visits from my parents, any trip outside the school, golf, coming second in a debating competition, Niall Duff, French classes, the bread, being in the Guest House Dorm in 5th year, being a prefect in 6th year (nearly everyone was!), common rooms in 5th and 6th year, shows and plays.

My not so good memories of CCR were: the food (except the bread), bullying by older boys (especially one Kerry bastard), missing home, the cold and having to wear a coat, cold water for washing (until 5th year), rugby, running out of clean socks (laundry was only once a week), getting thrown out of the Guest House Dorm in 5th year, the toilets, Fr √Čanna, being caught with a "dirty" book.

One thing I should point out in the photo above - the lad to my left. Can you guess who this is? I sometimes bore people who visit the house with showing them the photo and asking the same question.

The lad is a very slim and youthful Brian Cowan - our current Minister for Finance and most probably future Taoiseach. He was a popular boy in CCR, very bright, good in class, and an excellent sportsman - I liked him. There was nothing in my mind back then that would have singled him out as a future Taoiseach. His father (Ber) was TD, but I didn't know this at the time.

Two of the other lads are sadly dead. Kieran Egan (5th from right in 3rd row) died in a car accident in the early 1980s. Enda Nolan (2nd from left in 3rd row) died of cancer last year. Of the others - I rarely meet any of them other than at a re-union. Mark Ryan (4th from right on back row) works in Accenture in the IFSC near NCI - I've bumped into him a few times. I occasionally meet Barry O'Shea (2nd from right in back row) - last time was at a coin fair in the RDS. I've met Liam Lenihan (fourth from right - second row) a few times as he is married to a daughter of a friend of my in-laws. The next meeting could be at the traditional 40th anniversary re-union gathering in 10 years time.

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