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Peter F Durnin, KC*SG, KM, GCHS, "Rosaire", Moneymore, Drogheda, Co Louth. A92 RF6F



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About me

1931 – 2006. Born in Abbeyside, Dungarvan, educationalist. On completing the B.A. and Higher Dip. in Ed in UCC he went to Nigeria as a teacher with the SMA missionary fathers. After two years at Aquinas College, Akure, he returned to Ireland in 1956 and married Sheila Courtney, a fellow-graduate of UCC. They both went to teach in Akure for a further two-year ‘tour’.  After a break in Ireland Aidan accepted the invitation of Chief Akran of Badagry to take on the Principal’s post in his newly set-up secondary school.  Thanks to his energy and dedication the school  achieved the goal of official sanction. Back in Ireland in 1961 the couple with their two young children settled in Sheila’s old home in Cloghane, Co. Kerry, and took the adventurous step of founding a secondary school in the nearby village of Castlegregory. They named the school Meánscoil an Leith-Triúigh to preserve the ancient identity of  an Leith-Triúch. Two years later they opened the doors of their own home – fortunately a spacious one – to their pupils and teaching staff. Their children by now numbered six, so conditions were somewhat cramped. Aidan purchased a minibus in which he ferried pupils daily to and from Castlegregory and the Maharees.  In time a number of pre-fab classrooms were bought, without government aid.  By 2005, Aidan and Sheila had retired and a new school had been built in Castlegregory. At the final school Mass Fr Crean, PP, made the shock announcement that Pope Benedict had bestowed a Papal knighthood of St Sylvester on Aidan and Sheila for their service to community, church and education.  At a special Mass in July, Bishop Bill Murphy presented them with their parchments and insignia. On the 6th of October 2006 Bishop Bill presided at the official opening of the new school. Within an hour of this celebration, Aidan was admitted to the nearby surgery where he died.  Among those who missed him most were the old and lonely who had been cheered by his regular visits to their homes, hospitals or nursing homes. Go gcúití Dia a chineáltas leis. Buried Aghadoe Cemetery, Killarney.