The Longford Branch of the INTO made a special presentation to popular former principal of St Joseph’s NS Longford, Loretta Farrell, at a recent meeting in the Sin Bin.
In making the presentation, INTO Branch Chairperson Francis Gray welcomed Loretta: “You are most welcome here tonight as you celebrate with your family, colleagues and Longford INTO, the vast contribution you have given to primary education in St Joseph’s and also your input here at our INTO meetings.”
Francis continued with a brief review of Loretta’s life and times as a teacher and a tribute to her:
“Retirement is only a milestone in life’s journey. Since graduating in 1974, you obtained your first teaching post in Maynooth. Maynooth’s loss came some five years later when Loretta decided to move closer to her roots, and this was definitely a record win for St Joseph’s National School here in town.
“In 1993 the world was alive with Mrs Doubtfire and Jurassic Park filling cinemas, Albert Reynolds was our Taoiseach, Niamh Kavanagh won the Eurovision and Loretta - that year you took the helm at St Joseph’s NS, becoming the first lay principal there.
“In the lyrics of the winning Eurovision song, ‘In Your Eyes’, no doubt a challenging task lay ahead for you. That was one of the many firsts for you at St Joseph’s. During your time there you embraced change in a very calm manner. Engaging with everyday school life, staff changes, curriculum change, building work and most notably the St Patrick’s Day Parade were very much part of the Loretta Farrell principalship. You have led St Joseph’s fruitfully through challenging times.
“Your kind acts and deeds have been highlighted so well through functions at school level. They are testament to the high regard in which the St Joseph’s school community holds you.
“One of Mick Flavin’s albums is entitled ‘Lucky Break’, and tells the story of his career birth. Loretta, you gave me my lucky break into teaching over 12 years ago as a substitute teacher. It was there I received for the first time that coveted teaching number beginning with 9977. I recall your warmth, support and your welcome. The quiet “how are you getting on?” in the corridor reaffirmed in me your kindness to others and effective skills as a school principal.
“Here at INTO Longford, we will miss you from our branch meetings. We wish you well in a life free of SSE, SIP and DEIS Plans. We wish you good health and joy always, as you make your own DEIS plan for retirement.”
Following this tribute a presentation was made to Loretta by INTO District 7 CEC representative, Mr Bryan O’Reilly.