Micheal O Cochlain’s retirement party

On Friday, September 30th 2011 Micheál Ó Cochláin took early retirement after 37 years of service. Micheál was born in Newcastlewest and his family moved to Cork when he was 3 years oldHe began his primary school education in Eason’s Hill where his father was principal and he completed his education in Scoil Chríost Rí.  He spent his secondary school years in Farranferris where he was successful in hurling and football, winning a Harty Cup medal and an All Ireland Football Senior Schoolboys medal.

On leaving St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College, Micheál returned to Blackpool Boys’ Primary School to teach where his father also taught for a number of years.  He taught there for nine years and during this time studied for a B.A. and a H.Dip.  In 1983 he moved to Scoil Oilibheir and enjoyed teaching there for 14 years.  During this time he completed a Diploma in Educational Administration  and a Masters in Arts. Micheál has a great love of the Gaeilge and had been Ard Mhaistir in Castlemartyr for many years.  In 1997 he became principal of New Inn Primary School.

Micheál’s contribution to teaching has been immense, culminating in the setting up of Scoil Niocláis where he was appointed founding principal.  The school opened its doors on 18th September 2000 with 31 pupils and was located in prefabricated buildings in grounds behind the church.  Today, Scoil Niocláis educates 880 pupils with 45 teachers.  The success of the school is due in no small measure to Micheál’s enthusiasm, energy and dedication to quality education, not only in the classroom but on the sports field and in the many musical dramas he has produced over the years.  Scoil Niocláis’ pupils have distinguished themselves in the sporting, cultural and academic fields.  They have enjoyed success in swimming galas, Cork City Sports, Sciath na Scol, Ringaskiddy Drama Festival, Art, Science, History and Engineering competitions.

Driven by Micheál’s desire for best practice Scoil Niocláis has become progressive and forward looking with a state of the art school building, where the pupils and teachers play an integral part in the Frankfield/Grange community.  Micheál was extremely hardworking, very thorough and always ready to launch and support innovative teaching practices.  He was the driving force behind the introduction of Critical Thinking for children in Scoil Niocláis and has an avid interest in the use of information technologies in the enhancing of children’s learning.

Micheál has also played a very active role in the Irish Primary Principal’s Network and has supported many principals dealing with challenges over the years.  Chaith sé go fial le tuismitheoiri, daltaí agus foireann na scoile.  Bhí sé shíor ag moladh, ag griosadh, agus ag tabhairt dúshlán doibh uile.  On behalf of pupils, parents, teachers, Boards of Management and the Community of Frankfield/Grange, we Thank You, Micheál, for the happy and successful years which we have journeyed together and we wish you and your family many blessings in future years.  Áth mór ort i rith do bhlianta scoir.

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