It was in 1972 after her studies in UCD that Anne O’Donnell, originally from Wexford, arrived in Fethard to teach in Presentation Secondary School. The Presentation Secondary School later amalgamated with the Patrician High School. It was a co-ed school then with separate management-structures. Life was uncomplicated and Anne remembers being interviewed for the job by the Principal, Sr. Alphonsus, in the UCD carpark.
Anne studied English, History and Economics in UCD before completing her H.Dip in 1972. During her time in Fethard, Anne taught all three subjects to Leaving Cert Level with great success and went on to qualify as a Special Needs Teacher in Mary Immaculate College Limerick in 2000. In recent years, she excelled in this area and parents often commented on her sensitive approach to this work. Aspects of Anne’s personality which will be remembered in the school are her gentleness in every situation, her empathy with all members of the school community and her collegial support.
In a recent article for the School Yearbook 2012, Anne wrote: “In September 1972, I had to search for Fethard on the map – in 2012, I can certainly say that Fethard and its people have formed a centre point on the map of my life and the life of my family”. The management, staff, parents and pupils of Patrician/Presentation wish Anne many years of health and happiness in her retirement. Ní bheidh do leithéid arís ann.