The death took place on Juen 6 of Oliver McMahon, Roan, Killenaule
Oliver joined the staff of St Marys, Central NS when the school first opened its doors in 1970 following the amalgamation of the local Killenaule boys and girls National school with those of Ballinonty and Graystown.
He previously held the position of Principal teacher of Graystown NS and on his redeployment to St Marys a position he held until unfortunately ill health forced him to retire.
Those who remember Oliver in his capacity as educator will know that his role was a multifaceted one with the various special interests that he took great pleasure in teaching.
He was a devotee of the national sciences in which he was certainly a pioneer as science was a major part of the education of pupils in St Marys long before the introduction of Science in to the National curriculum. As part of this branch of learning he was a knowledgeable botanist who passed on his expertise to both pupils and staff. There are pupils and colleagues who can to this day name the local flora of Killenaule.
For Oliver, maths was another subject he enjoyed teaching as he passed on a set of mathematical skills to his pupils which left a lasting impression on them we are sure the reverberations of the “the sum of the square on the hypotenuse” can still be heard in their musings.He believed in a pride in your locality which was demonstrated in and outside the classroom. Oliver constantly strove to improve the physical environment of the school community. He was instrumental in the reconfiguration of the school entrance, the extension of the playground area, the provision of sheds to provide shelter for the children and the planting of shrubs and trees along the perimeter. Indeed some of the earliest successes in the tidy schools competition date from his efforts in this regard.
Oliver may be best remembered for his avid interest in local history and his devotion to sourcing a living museum within the school. He was well known for his ability to source an array of artefacts and resources for the educational advancement of the pupils. He had a wonderful aptitude for finding these resources from various retail outlets in the car boot sales of Fethard and Cuffesgrange.
Oliver believed in the passing of the light of knowledge to the pupils in his care and in the words of WB Yeats “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a Fire”.
Oliver was always very proud of the pupils of Graystown NS and St Marys Central and followed their achievements throughout their school years and beyond.
Oliver’s sudden passing came as a great shock to his family,friends and neighbours and he will be sadly missed.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasail Olibhéir