Moyne Community School marked the end of an era recently as a key figure in the history and development of the school, Bridie (Brady) Mulligan, retired as school secretary after a record forty-four years of service.
It had to happen some day, and that day finally arrived on Friday, April 7, 2017.
Such was Bridie’s intimate knowledge of the system and of Department regulations, and her close professional relationship with pupils and staff that it has been rightly said she could run the school on her own!
A local girl from Crott, Moyne, Bridie was appointed school secretary in 1973 by Fr Phil McGee, the school’s first principal. The present building opened its doors in September 1974.
Since Fr McGee’s sudden death in January 1975, Bridie has served under three other principals and three deputy principals.
During all those years she has been a key, solid, abiding presence and a most influential one at the very heart of school life. In fact her name has become synonymous with that of Moyne.
Of the thousands of students who have passed through Moyne, it is fairly safe to say that she knows or remembers every one of them. They recall her as a friend who could advise or guide at critical moments in their lives.
Newly-appointed teachers and established staff also received her support and friendship at critical times during the school year. Former staff returning for a visit were always assured of a friendly welcome.
Bridie’s organisational skills, efficiency and remarkable memory are known far and wide. A tireless worker, she was at all times completely dedicated to the good name and smooth running of the school. Her secretarial work for the Board of Management was always of the highest standard. Board members and parents appreciated her strong work ethic, her expertise and support.
In recognition of her hard work and dedication, it was entirely appropriate that the President of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, Ms Antoinette Nic Gearailt, along with the CEO of Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board Dr Christy Duffy and Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois all took time out of their busy schedules to attend her farewell presentation and meal.
Bridie’s retirement will leave an immense void in Moyne Community School, though she is leaving behind an excellently-trained office team.
However, she will be missed for her ready wit, her efficiency, her ability, her integrity and the other personal qualities which rendered her a legend over the years and an almost indispensable figure, not only today, but in contributing immensely to the growth of Moyne as a modern educational powerhouse.
All at Moyne CS wish her a well-deserved retirement with her husband Padraig and their two daughters, Geraldine and Marian, and no doubt she will remain active and involved in Drumreilly. That is her nature.