MARTIN Brennan’s near lifetime association with the De La Salle will come to an end this August when he steps down as principal.
Mr Brennan, who hails from Edmondstown just outside Ardee, was a student of the De La Salle in Ardee during his school days before going on to work for the local secondary school in Dundalk.
Having joined the school 38 years ago, Mr Brennan has played a large part in the history of the De La Salle Secondary School, which was established in its current format 40 years ago this year.
A teacher at the school for many years, the Knockbridge man was deputy principal for five years before spending the last eight of his tenure as principal – the first lay person to fulfil the role after succeeding Brother Gregory
Martin has certainly given a lifetime committment to the school but he insists he is looking forward to bringing his outstanding service to an end this summer, saying “I’ve done my time.”
“I’m very happy to be making this decision,” he said.
“It’s only something I decided in the last couple of months. I think I’ve done my time now after 38 years but I’ve absolutely enjoyed every minute of it.
“The school was established in its present status in 1971 so I’ve been nearly there from the start.
“I attended secondary school myself in the De La Salle in Ardee so the De La Salle is kind of in my blood at this stage. I will miss it, of course, but I’m also looking forward to retirement.”
Mr Brennan said that he had many highlights from his time at the school but insisted he was particularly proud of the growth the De La Salle had made in his eight years in charge.
“The staff were always very good with me. If you have good, dedicated people behind you then it’s great and I always had that.
“Change is good for a school though.
“I’ve been particularly proud of the growth of the school in recent years. We’ve probably increased in size by about 25pc in the last eight years and there have also been a number of improvements in the school environment.”
It’ll be the end of an era when Martin Brennan steps aside on August 31 but he can look back on his time at the De La Salle with pride. The school has come a long way since being set up in 1971 and he played a huge part in that. There’s plenty of work to be done before he retires though and he insists he is looking forward to the school’s annual awards night in The Fairways Hotel on May 23.