Sunday, December 03, 2017

40 Years Ago #ccr

Outside CCR Front Door.
I spent yesterday evening in the wonderful company of about 30 lads in their late 50s who all did their Leaving Certificate in 1977 in Cistercian College Roscrea. We were marking the 40th anniversary of finishing secondary school there. While I see some of the lads reasonably regularly, it was brilliant to meet up with two who I have not seen since June 1977 (PB and TO'T).

We were met in the College for a reception where the biggest treat for me was to meet my French teacher John Shanahan. I told him that I had written about him in my blog when I posted about My Introduction to Learning Technology - September, 1972, and again about My Favourite Teachers - thank you Mrs Keating, Mr Hallahan, Mr Ó Riordáin, Mr Shanahan, Mr O'Loughlin, and Dr Jeal #thankateacherWe had a great chat about Voix et Image and how he was a pioneer of technology in education. Si jamais vous arrivez à voir ce message, merci M. Shanahan pour votre inspiration avec la technologie!

So - walking around the College we were given a tour by the House Captains. A lot has changed in 40 years, though the cold rooms and corridors remain the same. We even attended Mass celebrated by Fr Kevin in the school chapel. In the evening we adjourned to the County Arms in Birr for a super meal, a few beers, and of course more chat. Memories flooded back of our time in CCR 40 years ago - lots of shared stories of bunking mass, robbing orchards, fights, hair cuts, the leather, Roscrea girls, listening to the radio on Saturday afternoons with Tosh, tuck shop, rugby, and of course the bread which kept us all alive. 

I spent just 5 out of my 58 years in Roscrea - yet it is a valued connection when 30 lads can celebrate together and spend an evening in each others company as if we were best friends. We all have had different life experiences with (please God) lots more to come. We vowed we would meet up for a 50th anniversary, though I felt a little sad leaving everybody this morning.

I'd like to give a big shout out to current Roscrea student Manus Heenan who as part of his Transition Year studies has created a mini-business making and selling bread using the original recipe from the monastery. He had the clever idea of selling his goods to a captive audience like us during our reception in the College.  I bought a pack of his ready-to-go bread mix. Details of Manus's business can be found at, and he even has a great YouTube "How To" video showing us how to make Roscrea's famous bread.


  1. From another Eugene, lets agree 10 years is to long to wait a second "gathering" maybe in 2018, I spoke to loads of lads who would be up for it. Someone said to me yesterday, if you picked up the phone to any of these lads and said " Can you help.......?" they would ! 40 years on and there still is a bond of joint sharing joint experiences, it was wonderful...

  2. Wholeheartedly agree with the two Eugenes about having another meet-up somewhere in 2018. Really enjoyed catching up with so many from the class of 72-77.

    I think the College is a much better place now that the students don't have to wait eight weeks before they can return home. It's gone from almost a jail forty years ago to almost a four star hotel today !