G LENSTAL N EWSLET TER President’s Words If you were one of those who attended the A.G.M. on the 20th October 2002 you will be up-to-date on the developments of your society. The committee achieved sufficient support to ensure that Fr. Andrew was confirmed in his position as permanent secretary, and I was, following a lively campaign, chosen as president for another year. Gearóid Bradley became the new vice-president by a Saddam Hussein style majority, and Peter Crerar has kindly agreed to continue as Golf Secretary. The future of the society was discussed at length. It proved worthwhile. Some of you may remember that the Glenstal Society was established with as its principle objective to assist Glenstal Old boys who fell on hard times. Do you know any such one? If so, please contact Fr. Andrew or myself. Absolute confidence is guaranteed. It may very well be that not everyone has done as well as we might like to think. Some thoughts for the coming year. 1.
A scholarship fund will be established to help at least some of those who cannot afford school/ third level fees.
A sports memorial dedicated to Fr. Peter will be considered and plans advanced.
A Benevolent Fund to help old boys in difficult circumstances remains our principal financial commitment, although the Dickensian title, The Hardship Fund will be reverently dropped.
Ambitious? – I do not think so - particularly at this time of year. Meanwhile I should like to express our very sincere thanks to those who do already contribute so faithfully. Quite literally, we could do nothing without their generous support. There will be a society dinner on March 7th 2003, a golf outing later in the year, and the usual crop of class-group and other get-togethers during the next twelve months. May you and yours have happiness, peace and contentment at Christmas and throughout 2003. Patrick O’Connor (1964-1970) President
SPLENDID NEW GOLF TROPHY At the AGM in October 2002, President Pat O’Connor presented the Society with an exquisite Silver Claret Jug as a Perpetual Trophy to be played for each year at the Old Boys’ annual Golf Outing. Watch out for de-
Christmas Message from Abbot Christopher
he approach of Christmas, in this year of 2002, invites a fairly sober reflection, as much anthropogical as theological, when we consider the risk – even, the folly – of God’s commitment to the Human Project, in setting about the Incarnation. Only two years ago, we dared to proclaim in triumphant tones the dawn of a new age of Christian civilisation. And yet, the intervening litany of human failures in the Church, compounded by horrific political failure and war-mongering throughout the world, has seriously qualified the splendour of that future. God has seen it all before…and still He would be incarnate among us. What, then, are we to look for, or learn, from the Wonder Counsellor and Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, who has come into the world as the son of Mary and Joseph? To begin with, we might learn that things are not what they seem. Who would ever have looked to that insignificant corner of the Roman Empire, in the realm of Herod the Tetrarch, for a salvific message which would set the world afire with hope? We learn, also, to trust that where we are futile, God can be effective, in ways beyond our imagining. For, while we allow ourselves to be impressed and affected by those who strut and posture on the stage of the world, there are many men and women of good
will, who, like the shepherds at Bethlehem or Simeon and Anna in the Temple, are quietly going about their daily business, building up the Kingdom of God’s love. Despite the mess we have made of things, God is forever creative and creating. The return of Christmas, in the midst of our confusion and trouble, is a reminder to us that, despite everything, God is with us – Emmanuel. Something of the same grateful musing proposes itself to us, in the community at Glenstal, as we mark a modest jubilee of the seventy-five years of our existence, on December 18th. We have not always done all things well, but with gratitude in our hearts for the good that has been done, we set ourselves to re-double our efforts to justify our existence as a monastic community. May the Prince of Peace guide you, one and all, through the days and weeks of 2003!
SOCIETY DINNER FRIDAY 7TH MARCH 2003 AT 7.30 P.M. (eve of Ire v France match) Westbury Hotel, Dublin Tickets: €80 (€40 for those who left Glenstal after June 1992) As in previous years, ladies are very welcome. Please book your table/tickets NOW Contact the President at email@example.com or “The Old House”, Market Street, Swinford, Co. Mayo
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A N A USSIE O DDESSEY So, three years, four fundraising events, five hundred raffle tickets, thousands of air miles and two dodgy Qantas in-flight dinners on from the last Glenstal Abbey Rugby Tour of Australia in ’99 and we were finally there – the great wide brown and mysterious land Down Under. What we were about to embark on was the fruit of years of hard training and hard work on the part of players and management (not to mention hard cash on the part of the parents!) and was to be, in the words of Tour manager and coach Br Denis, ‘the trip of a lifetime’. The Aussie odyssey began in Surfer’s Paradise, a concrete jungle skirted by golden beaches and gentle Pacific waters, halfway along the east coast of Australia. The squad stayed in Beachfront Apartments where, in a surprisingly trusting or else just plain naïve move by management, we were allotted an apartment (complete with soon-to-be-stocked fridges) for every four players. Beachfront was a stone’s throw from the beach and bungee-jump park across the road and a short walk from the town centre brimming with restaurants, pubs and clubs. Training began that day with a half hour run out to stretch the legs and get in the right frame of mind for the Gold Coast Rugby Carnival, starting on Monday 1st July in the nearby Southport School. Glenstal fielded two teams, a senior and development side. Both produced some genuinely stirring performances, which earned acclaim from many neutral onlookers. Wednesday the 3rd was especially memorable, with each side defeating respectively a highly prominent Australian or
New Zealand school with exceptional displays of skill, determination and team spirit. Tough going, with teams playing two forty minute matches in mid-day Southern Hemisphere heat. What would Roy Keane have made of those pitches - hard with very little grass, a primary cause of injuries! The Carnival closed on Friday 5th with Mark Coghlan and Ed Tynan selected as Tournament Barbarians for their exploits on the field throughout the week. On to Brisbane, via Wet ‘n’ Wild and Warner Brothers’ Movie World – a sort of WB version of Disneyland, where we posed for photographs with Wonder Woman and Batgirl! The Brisbane Sevens Tournament was a one day affair at a local club ground. We fielded three sides, under 16, Development, and Senior. Each played three group games. Considering this was the first time we had played sevens competitively, we did ourselves proud. The Seniors won their first two matches before being outclassed by the eventual winners of the tournament, while the Development and u-16 sides got great satisfaction from beating their English and Australian opposition. A good learning experience, and a heightened test of fitness and tactical awareness. After a final dinner out in Brissie, it was back to the hotel to rest our weary bones before a long day of travel, which Leo assured us would be ‘the worst day of the entire Tour’.
BY BARRY LYSAGHT
Leo doesn’t lie: Rise. 6.30am, lavish breakfast (eaten on the bus) of painau-chocolat Aussie style and a portion of pineapple juice that couldn’t drown a fly. “Cheer up!” cried the management “we’ve only seven and a half hours to go!” Mutiny was averted by a delicious lunch of salads and freshly barbecued steaks at Coolmore Stud. Back on the bus for the remainder of the journey, after management insisted we pick up ‘supplies’ in the famous Hunter Valley vineyards, we ended up in Port Macquarie where we stayed with our first billet host families from the 9th to the 11th of July. We played two matches, against neighbouring clubs ‘The Pirates’ and Kempse y, beating both convincingly. The Brushdance, aka the Irish Haka, was performed to slightly baffled but appreciative applause at the end of the matches. Thursday July 11th saw us continuing southwards to our second billeting families for our matches against the Central Coast Grammar School. Three seasons before, CCGS, on tour themselves, had visited us in Murroe where we beat them. Our history of never losing to CCGS was brought to bear in the pre-match teamtalks, and, while Denis fielded younger sides in both gamest, the Seniors won 20-5, while the Development XV finished 10-0, leaving our winning re-
cord intact. The following day was free and many of the Tour party were brought to the local reptile park by their billets where we got to view the notorious funnel web spider, birdeater tarantulas, dingoes, wombats, boa constrictors, and Tasmanian Devils up close and personal, not forgetting Eric the five metre crocodile at feeding time! It was a prime opportunity to pet free roaming kangaroos and capture the occasion on camera. A nice memory, I reckon, when you’re tucking into your medium rare kangaroo steak at the barbie afterwards! By Sunday the 14th July we had completed our last trip south, down to amazing Sydney, where the atmosphere still buzzes from having hosted the Olympics two summers before. We had an hour free to explore and see the sights before our ferry came in – some headed straight for the worldfamous Opera House while others went on a speed-dingy ride zipping around the harbour. Crossing by ferry to our billets at St Augustine’s school in Manly, our long journey was forgotten. As we passed the spectacular Harbour Bridge and Opera House, with Central Tower the centre piece of the skyline, the old excitement was rekindled. We stayed with billet families for three nights, sharing the homes of guys we were expected to go out and destroy the following day! The Development side staged a fantastic second half fight back in their game, going from trailing 0-17 at half time to come back and win 2117! The Seniors, consistent as ever, took their
W INTER 2002 opponents apart and ended up winning by yet another convincing margin. The following day was spent at leisure in and around Sydney doing the tourist thing – taking photos, visiting landmarks, buying didgeridoos; the usual! A great chance to kick back and see the sights after a gruelling three weeks of rugby and travel. The following morning we once more said goodbye and headed to our fourth and final billet family, way up north in Townsville. But not before a bit of public self-humiliation! Arriving bleary-eyed at the management’s plush hotel at 6.30 a.m., we got the news that our bus had conked out. If we were to make our flight we’d have to jump-start it by pushing ! Scrum formation was assumed and, after a 50 metre push up the road, the engine spluttered into life. Alleluia! We were back on track. Thankfully, the trip to Townsville by bus was too long, even by our standards. So, having said goodbye to Greg Ashe, we took a plane from Sydney to Townsville and travelled out to the school to meet our final billet families. At this stage we were all a bit tired of constant travel and repeatedly introducing our-selves to new billeting families. But an end was in sight. Gritting our teeth, we did it one last time. This was our last match of the Tour: it was also, for many, their last game ever in Glenstal colours.This added incentive saw both Glenstal sides produce near-faultless displays against Townsville, playing the best rugby of the Tour – Denis said it was some of the greatest rugby he had ever seen from a Glenstal side. The Development team were up first and, despite some nearcomically atrocious refereeing, came through 17-13
P AGE 3 winners. The Senior team didn’t disappoint either, playing what can only be described as champagne rugby, winning 37-7. For most of us it was the last game we would ever play for Glenstal Abbey School, but we ensured that we went out on a very high note indeed. We had one last excursion, to a holiday resort in Cairns. By now, most of the Tour party were suffering from some degree of burnout. Cairns was an ideal chance to just relax and wind down from a very demanding, though ultimately very rewarding, Tour. White-water rafting on Tully River, a trip to Green Island and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef were staple diet for our final few days in Australia. Then the last Tour dinner and the presentation of awards. Richie Magnier capped three weeks of super displays by winning the Best 6th Year prize, with Neil Shee and Mark Cosgrave picking up best 5th and 4th year awards respectively. Stephen Fuller showed once TRIALS again why HUNTER he’s the people’s choice by winning the ‘Tourist of the Tour’ award – that’ll be one for the CV surely! The Glenstal Abbey School Rugby Tour of Australia 2002 picked up where the Tour of ‘99 left off, and brought it on a bit further. Whether we were playing outstanding rugby, seeing famous places, making new friends or even breaking some hearts – everyone who was there will always remember the Oz Tour 2002. Huge credit is due to Denis, Leo, Greg and everybody everywhere who gave up their time, money, or both, to make this the trip of a lifetime. The Australian Tour Squad of 2002 thanks you for the opportunity and for the memories.
GREGORIAN GREETINGS At the moment (early December) I am in Glenstal, collecting my books and other belongings, having spent three months attending a language school in central Italy. The weather there this summer was almost as bad as in Ireland but that was an added incentive to work hard at Italian grammar! I will be in Rome for Christmas, preparing lectures in Italian, to begin teaching in the new year. My subject will be Greek Orthodox theology but there are plans afoot to specialise also in Lutheranism, an old interest of mine. Sant' Anselmo, the Benedictine house of studies in Rome, is a large international monastery on the Aventine, with around 125 theology students, of whom about 95 are monks. It is an exciting time to be involved in Orthodox studies, as the transformation of Eastern Europe means that many oriental catholics are now able to come to Rome. Traditionally, they have a great affinity with Bendictines, thanks to our common eastern roots. I have also been involved here in publicising my recent book on icons which went to no. 2 in the bestsellers list, and in completing another book, due to appear in the Spring. As I depart for Rome I wish Br. Denis the very best for his time of service, and ask you all to pray for me in the future. I have happymemories of my years in the school (both as junior housemaster and headmaster) and pray every day for all of you: students, staff and parents. Happy Christmas! Gregory Collins OSB
Wedding Bells Philip How (87-93) and Caoilinn Monks Adrian Marshall (65-70) and Ruth Simpson Dillon Nugent (83-89) and Kendra Bevans Duncan Sleeman (65-70) and Clare Murray Barry Vaughan (83-89) and Olga O’Reilly Jonathan Hackett (77-81) and Janet Mold David Wachman (85-89) and Kate Magnier Gus Legge (82-88) and Katie Murray-Hayden Paddy Hyland (77-83) and Louise Hogan Paddy Sleeman (66-72) and Penny Wray Mark Saunders (80-86) and Sheena Curneen Brian Markey (87-91) and Karen Quinn
For current school news check out www.glenstal.ie/theraven
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SIMON COLLINS 1982 – 86 Currently Country Director for the aid agency GOAL in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was in London last January when the news media reported a volcanic eruption that threatened to destroy the town of Goma, situated on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. It seemed a surreal and perverse new chapter in a series of calamities visited upon what had until recently been a picturesque location on the shores of Lake Kivu, one of Central Africa’s Great Lakes. The town had coped with a vast refugee influx following the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the effects of the war in eastern Congo since 1997, and now it was about to be engulfed by a wave of lava. Amazingly the people of the town survived – just. The population had enough time to flee across the border to Rwanda. When I drive to work as usual tomorrow I will travel down the main street, up eight feet on to and across a few hundred metres of solidified lava and down the other side to reach the part of town where my office is located. It is a commute with a difference. While the lava flow did indeed bisect the centre of town on its way to Lake Kivu last January, many structures survived and now local residents are rebuilding – on the cooled, black rock. I should not be surprised that I’m here. One of the attractions of working for an aid agency is the unpredictability of where you might be sent next and the knowledge that today’s crisis on television at home may become tomorrow’s workplace for several months. I had escaped to London to do a Masters in Development Studies having spent two years in Southern Sudan with the aid agency GOAL. No sooner had I
returned home last July than the phone started ringing once again. “Would you spend a few weeks in DRC?” GOAL’s initial post-volcano response (the construction of several much-needed schools) was replaced by a sizeable feeding and roads repair project in the province of Katanga, 450 miles south of Goma – an initiative that became possible in the wake of a UN-monitored ceasefire in DRC’s civil war. A small group of GOAL staff are now co-ordinating assistance being directed at a population of 500,000 in an area the size of Munster. The problem with this kind of work is that once you gain experience in one country, your employer will always be able to persuade you that you are well qualified for another prospective posting. It becomes harder to say “no”. I suspended my work as a General Practitioner in Ireland a few years ago to pursue a vague notion that originated during my time at Glenstal – the idea that it might be worthwhile to try humanitarian work in Africa for a few years. I don’t know where the idea came from, but I am glad I listened to that ‘inner voice’. I have no idea where I am headed, but I have read somewhere that “the journey is the destination”. The journey, at least for the moment, has become much more vibrant. HOWARD REDDY 1989 – 95 From business and law to Mozart and Verdi. I always loved to sing, whether during my time at Glenstal, in Hartigans after a few quiet pints or in a more formal setting, but how and why did I end up deciding to pursue a career as a singer ? I entertained the idea briefly when filling out my CAO form, however I made the correct decision at that time
to do a degree in business and legal studies in UCD. In order to pursue an international singing career at the highest professional level, the lifestyle is all consuming, something which I have only recently fully realised. College days in Dublin were great, unforgettable times with some occasions difficult to remember. Thank you Arthur Guinness. The Veronica Dunne 8.30 am telephone call was as certain as the need for a solpadeine. "Lovey get to the Academy by 10" My two scheduled lessons a week invariably became four or five. Her energy and enthusiasm ensured that I kept my voice in relatively good shape. I always got a buzz when I sang well. I really built up my strength as a singer with Ronny, and her influence was powerful. The summer before my last year in UCD, I decided to take one month to sing exclusively. While in Italy I met Mikael Eliesan who was and continues as head of the Opera Department at the Curtis Institute of Music. This encounter ultimately led to an audition, and I now study here in preparation for what I hope is a long and rewarding career. Singing is an extremely special form of communication. In coaching sessions I have often been asked, what were you feeling when you sang that phrase ? Many times explaining the feeling verbally is impossible. That is what makes it so worthwhile. It also allows the listener the opportunity to engage emotionally with the music without setting down any specific limitations on what the listener should feel. I am sure many times you have been moved by music and could not fully explain why. It is communicating through music in this way that is at the core of my passion for this career. In opera I get to interpret so many char-
acters. From the young charming Don Giovanni to the mature parental Germont, a singer has a host of characters to portray. I have already met so many wonderful people from all over the world. We share the same music however it is constantly reinvented by each person. All these factors continually motivate me on a daily basis to strive to perfect my ability as a singer. I am extremely grateful that I have this unique and fulfilling opportunity. There will always be a song to sing and a jig to dance, I'll stick to the singing. Visit www.curtis.edu to hear Howard in The Marriage of Figaro BARRÉ FITZPATRICK 1966-72 Being a Management Philosopher ‘Management’ is taken to mean the world of production schedules, timesheets, meetings, powerpoint presentations, appraisals and multinationals. ‘Business’ is seen as the world of pursuing profit at all costs, of marketing and branding and the bull market. And ‘Philosophy’ is caricatured as men with beards pondering abstractions like ‘truth’ and ‘goodness’. So what is ‘management philosophy’ about? What is lost in the clichés about management and business is any sense of the world of work as having an inherent dignity and real interest. Not just as an object of study for the anthropologist, but as a field of action, of encountering each other, of suffering, and of transformation. And philosophy is more than its history – it is a practice. I teach a class on ‘Philosophy Applied’ in the Milltown Institute of Philosophy, and define the subject as a ‘discipline of reflection on experience’. It is quite re-
W INTER 2002 markable to see people cycling and driving through the rain at night to engage in this discipline, and discuss topics such as ‘paying attention’. There is a real appetite for philosophical thought in Ireland today. Philosophy applied must ask questions, especially ‘why?’, ‘what purpose does it serve?’ For some time I offered my clients a 3-step approach in consulting assignments:
P AGE 5 Kutuzov in War and Peace, some of the biggest decisions are not consciously made at all. My role in situations like these (though a lot less exalted!) is to maintain the openness to uncertainty for as long as possible, until a pattern emerges. There is so little time for reflection that its scarcity enhances its value.
1. Telos: what is the purpose of the organisation?
Class of ‘72
2. Ethos: what are its values and beliefs?
30 Years On 14th Sept 2002
3. Praxis: the application of these values to decisions and activities. While this was nice and neat, no one ever bought it! Instead, I found myself in the midst of strategy exercises, and ‘awaydays’ as a ‘facilitator’, and had to do a certain amount of performance. There was to be no high road to philosophy. The image of business is of decisive executives rolling out global strategies in curtain-window offices. But I tend to work with people who are swimming in a pool of uncertainty. I think this may be more typical. Not knowing for sure, always exposed to an element of risk. The rhetoric of business minimises this messiness, making use of stories of the heroic leader or some retrospective theory. For a particularly interesting example of this inherent messiness, look at the transcripts of the White House Cuban Missile Crisis tapes. 5 men sweating over the interpretation of a couple of Kruschev’s telegrams while the world waits. Far from having a sensible conversation, the exchanges seem to be mostly a matter of people talking to re-assure themselves. Hardly a sentence is finished, with interruptions, repetition, back-tracking. Many decisions are made in such conditions of uncertainty and rationalised afterwards. And, like Marshall
he Dunraven Arms was the scene for the advanced guard of the Class of ’72 who were rehearsing for their 31st anniversary reunion to be held at the same venue next year. About a quarter of the class attended and were joined by Fr Andrew and Br Timothy to swop old lies and invent new stories of the great moments of our shared past! Thus did Michael Counahan, Joey Dwyer, Barré Fitzpatrick, Martin Joyce, Terry Leggett, Nick O’Kelly, Cyril Ryan and Peter Williams defeat the Beef Wellington at the Adare Waterloo leaving the wounded James Duff in the field hospital above ruminating on and rusticating the prawns from the previous evening’s skirmish. The gathering, its good humour and joviality, augured well for the real event next year! The wine was excellent as well! Timothy McGrath O.S.B.
2002 Debs Photos of the merry bunch can be viewed at www.glenstal.ie/debs2002
The Class of 1992 Reunion Twenty-two veterans of the campaign of ’92 gathered in Lahinch for golf and reminiscences on the weekend of 1214 September. Joe Knightly performed a Herculean task in tracking down classmates dispersed across three continents. He trumped this by block-booking Lahinch golf course on a Saturday, finding a Michelin three-star restaurant (almost) in the darkest and most westerly corner of Ireland, and ordering three days of uninterrupted sunshine at the end of our latest “wettest summer in living memory”. Leo McGrath, former waker-upper and rugby drillsergeant, and Fr Simon Sleeman, another former wakerupper and later headmaster and unihoc junkie, represented the old school. The weather played its part. The west coast in an Indian summer is Ireland at its most splendid. Half of the old boys played a marathon session of golf on the Lahinch links. Some brave souls who arrived late had the idea to go for a swim after the long drive down, but they thought better of it after they bumped into the rest of the nongolfers drinking pints on the strand. It was easy to slip back into the schoolboy mode after ten years. Many of us had not seen each other since the Debs, but we quickly picked up the threads of decade-old jousts and debates. A few of us had married, some even had little ones, probably already enrolled for Glenstal in 2014. Wisely, perhaps, the married old boys chose to leave their spouses behind and spare them the sight of 28-year-olds transformed back into teenagers. Leo brought the 1986 Junior House photo albums; someone else had a bunch of photographs spanning all six years. Those youths pictured ten years before – as they tramped down to a rugby match or introduced some Juniors to the Chapel Lake – had turned into academics and artists, bankers, barristers and bureaucrats, diplomats, travellers and escapees, pub philosophers and pop economists, environmentalists-turned-businessmen, doctors, scientists, cynics and optimists, and everyone wiser and more tolerant but above all as opinionated as ever. Much of this to the credit of the Benedictine way of schooling.
Let us remember those who have died since our last Newsletter Harry Harte-Barry (1951-1957) Kevin Murphy (1950-1955) Henry Murphy (1948-1952) Denis Murphy (1946-1951) John Riggs-Miller (1942-1943) James Lavery (1938-1943) Finbarr Dowdall 1942-1948) Pat Dempsey, wife of Gerry (1940-1946) Alison Hoppen, wife of Theo (1953-1958) Padraig Grennan, father of Owen (1st Year)
LET US REMEMBER BARNEY NAGLE 1954-1959 I first met Barney in September 1954 when I came to Glenstal, thus sowing the seeds for a lifelong friendship which I have truly valued and enjoyed. Academically, Barney was not in the gold card brigade, but this was probably due to the fact that green and blue, as he always insisted, were his favourite colours. At school he had a wicked sense of humour complemented by a razor-sharp wit, and rebelled against authority with all the dignity of a man going off to war. His greatest success was on the athletic field where his great power and speed won him many a trophy including the Junior All Round Cup. He could have been a fine Rugby player but efforts to encourage him always met the reply that the weather conditions did not suit him. On completing his secondary education, he joined the Munster and Leinster Bank, as it was then called. One afternoon he decided to take a half-day. Two years later he sent the bank a postcard from RTE in Dublin to say he wasn’t coming back. A well-known figure in RTE for over twenty years, Barney endeared himself to all his colleagues. His work behind the scenes for events like the Eurovision Song Contest was monumental. He was known affectionately by all who worked with him as Mr. Fixit. Those of our children who got the grand tour of RTE have never forgotten it. Barney’s love, care, and dedication to his girlfriend Mary when she was terminally ill had to be seen to be believed.
He was a giver not a taker, and this was reflected in his week-end trips home to care for his mother. His love and devotion for his sisters, brothers, nephews and nieces knew no bounds. Barney’s last holiday was spent with me in Amsterdam where we stayed with my daughter. Little did we know what was coming next. Four weeks later, on December 17th 2000, the lights dimmed for Barney, and finally went out on November 26th 2001. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, and an entire lifetime to forget them. Tony Roche (1954-1959)
DENIS J. MURPHY 1946-1951 I met Denis on our first day at Glenstal in September 1946. Both of us coming from Cork had a lot in common. He spent five happy years at school where he excelled at everything, particularly rugby and athletics. After he left school he went to Leeds University to study textiles and then returned to manage his family’s business St. Patrick’s Woollen Mills. That alone was not enough for Denis and he branched out into knitwear, fish processing and retailing. He was made local director of A.I.B. at a young age. His business career involved everything from shipping to retailing and directorships of various companies too numerous to mention.
He had great gifts of communication. honesty and integrity, these he brought to every endeavour no matter how small. I)enis and I hunted for many years with the South Union Hunt of which he later became Master and at a later stage became Master of the United Hunt. In the early 6O’s Denis bought a house at Sandycove near Kinsale where he spent the summer months from May to September. A converted ship’s life boat was used for fishing and expeditions up the Bandon River. Here Denis entertained his wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Some years later he sold the house and bought a copy of a Brixham sailing trawler called the “Ulula”. Many exciting voyages were made to West Cork and to the South Coast of England. Denis is survived by his wife Ann and his two children Denis and Jennifer who brought him so much joy and pleasure during the short few years he had with them.. Tony Meagher (l946 1952)
JOHN RIGGS-MILLER 1942-1943 The town of Nenagh came to a standstill last July for the funeral of John RiggsMiller. His popularity in the area was immense because he brought joy and happiness to everybody he met. He truly believed that you pass this way only once and that you should make that passing a happy one both for yourself and for every-body else. Behind his quick wit and repartee there was a kind heart, which meant
that nobody was ever hurt or offended. In 1943, while still at Glenstal, John took up acting with the newly-formed Nenagh Players. He later trod the boards as a professional actor for half a dozen years with various Irish touring companies, such as those of Anew McMaster, Ronnie Ibbs, and Lord Longford, before he returned to take up running the ancestral farm near Nenagh. He continued to perform with the Nenagh Players and the Choral Society until shortly before his death, delighting audiences with his superb and lighthearted acting. He was particularly famous for his pantomime roles. John treasured his frequent contacts with Glenstal and his many friendships with members of the Community. His son Tommy followed his footsteps to Glenstal and now combines veterinary practice with farming. We share with Nancy, Tommy, Jennifer, and Dorothy a very deep sense of loss and profound gratitude for John’s life. Billy Hederman (1942-1945)
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