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Tomás Mac Garra R.I.P.  An Appreciation






Death is a lonely visitor and invariably leaves an empty place, an absence that is felt by all in a variety of ways. So it was with the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague Tom McGarry N.T. in January 2009.

Tom made his presence felt in this life in a very special memorable way in his family life, in his classroom and in the wider community.

Tom touched the lives of many in his own inimitable way and those of us who were blessed and fortunate enough to be involved with him had our lives enormously enriched. While teaching, I often think of Tom “Garden of Get Some Money” translated “Gethsemane”, ‘A sausage triangle – Isosceles triangle, ‘There were dandy lions in the field’ speaks for itself. There were others too. King William and the William Lights (Williamites), The Mediterranean C, and one of his favourites ‘Catholic Imagination’ which translated meant Emancipation. His influence over Peterswell was enormous over the next 34 years. At a time when the 3 R’s dominated the school curriculum, Tom made sure his pupils were introduced to the world of music, science and of course hurling. It was well known if ‘Tipp’ were in the final we had no school on the Monday regardless of the result.
He had an enormous influence on new staff members to whom he was always particularly helpful. I remember my first day in Oct. ’86 in Peterswell. Tom led me to Mrs. Gleeson’s room and said “This is the Infant classroom, I’m not sure what they do there but I’m sure you’ll cope”. He then smiled and turned on his heels towards his room. Many a morning after that I needed help to light the gas heater in the room. He was a loyal, kind and wise colleague, professional to his fingertips and is fondly remembered by us all in Peterswell N.S.



Bhí fíor ghrá riamh ag Tomás don Ghaeilge agus do gach rud a bhain leis. Mhúscáil sé suim agus dea-mhéin don teanga i ngach páiste a tháinig faoina churam. Chaomhnaigh Tomás grá don teanga i measc na daltaí uilig agus bhí an omós a bhí acu do Tom le feiceáil go soiléir ins na sluaite a chruinnigh do Aifreann na marbh. Uaireannta a caithfear smaoineamh ar na gaiscí a dheineann laochra gael mar Tom ins na gnáthscoileanna ar fud na tire i measc na daltaí gur cuma sa diabhal leo gach a bhaineas leis an chultúir Gaelach.

Tom did us the honour of opening our extension in Nov. 2006. In memory of Tom’s legacy we will name our library after him ”Leabharlann Chuimhneacháin Tomás MacGarra”.

Tom retired from the staff in 1999 but remained active in the social outings in order to catch up with friends and colleagues. Tom we will miss your friendship, cigars and extended breaks.

We offer our sincerest symathies to his wife Breda, his daughters Aoife and Sarah and sons Enda and Colie.

Slán a chara, agus in lothlann Dé go gcastar sin arís.

Bríd Bn. Uí Dhomhnaill,
(Príomh-Oide S.N. Naomh Thomáis)