Retiring local teachers from the INTO union were honoured with a function at the Crown Plaza Hotel last Friday night.
The Dundalk Branch of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation hosted the function for primary teachers from the area who retired during 2018.
In addition to the 11 of the 15 retirees present on the night were the INTO General Secretary John Boyle and District 5 CEC Representative Catherine Flanagan.
Dundalk INTO Chairperson Helen Luccheroni and Branch Secretary Aoibheann Lynch backed by their active committee welcomed all to a pre-function reception before local teacher and musician Ciara McGinnty on the bagpipes led the guests of honour into the function.
Helen Luccheroni and Aoibheann Lynch thanked all who attended on the night and wished the retirees a long and healthy retirement , a sentiments agreed by by CEC Representative Catherine Flanagan. Their services to education and society over the years were very valuable to schools and communities as was their loyalty to the INTO.
John Boyle spoke of the many other "non curricular and voluntary" contributions made by teachers in the areas of promotion of music , choral activities, Green Schools, coaching and games in a variety of codes and athletics among others.
These services, made available to pupils from their early school days, not only enriched their lives, but helped them develop fully in future years. The 2018 retirees had supported the INTO at school and branch level during their careers and John Boyle said the Dundalk INTO branch deserved great credit for recognising their efforts in such a tangible manner at such a prestigious function.
The branch had set a benchmark years ago, which John said was envied by many other branches in honouring their colleagues. He wished them all a healthy future and pointed out that the INTO would continue to promote parity for current and retired members at all times.
Presentations of Waterford Crystal, Bouquet of Flowers and INTO scrolls were then made to the following teachers who retired during 2018:
Teresa Fitzsimmons (Stonetown NS), Monika O'Reilly (Friary Infants), Michael Lambert (CB S Dundalk), Angela McAdam (Blackrock NS), Grainne Gallagher (Scoil Mhuire na nGael), Mary Shaw (Scoil Mhuire na nGael), Harry Marron (Dulargy NS), Anne O'Hare (Dulargy NS), Mary Larney (Dromiskin NS), Patrick Mulligan (Dromiskin NS), Pat Hamilton (Dromiskin NS)
Presentations made in absentia: Mary Murphy (Muchgrange), Helen Lord (Dealgan NS), Brid Ni hAinifin (Knockbridge NS) and Anna Moynagh (Knockbridge N.S) who were unable to attend on the night.
John Boyle made an additional presentation (on behalf of INTO Head Office ) to Pat Hamilton who had served on the Dundalk INTO Branch Committee as a member as an Officer and on District 5 as a delegate during his career.
Speaking on behalf of the Retired teachers Pat Hamilton thanked the Dundalk branch for their generosity on the occasion. He thanked the guest speakers for their sentiments. He urged all serving teachers to encourage greater INTO participation among all their staff members and colleagues as this would make a strong union as a continuing force in Irish Education.
Aoibheann Lynch concluded the formal proceedings by thanking the hotel for the excellent meal and facilities, by paying tribute to the INTO representatives.