Autumn 1961 to Autumn 1962 an eventful year. I began my Inter Cert year in September in Jack O’Conner’s School in Rathkeale Library. We were not by a violent hurricane later in the month. We suffered another violent winter storm in November. My older sister Mary emigrated to New York before Christmas at the age of 17. Early in ’62 I had to wear glasses ‘cos of my poor sight. That ended any asperations I had of becoming a hurling star, ( well one can dream). I sat the Inter in June and looked forward to a joyful summer. However, my grandmother’s health failed and she passed away on a beautiful sunny July 15. I was fortunate to have spoken to her a couple of hours before she died and she was full of chat for an 85 year old. Shortly after that her friend Jack O’Connor died suddenly and as a result his daughters Breda and Nita decided to close the school. I spent August in Aras Ida Foynes ag leabhairt an Gaeilge. On my way home from the colaiste I learned that the foundations for our new house in Kyletaun were being laid. School? The new vocational school surely. No way. St. Mary’s Secondary School in the Library on the banks of the Deel was my destination. Thankfully I just about managed the Inter because my new classmates were well ahead of me. So September ’62 I was off to meet my new teachers, Mrs Hawkes, Mrs O’Mahony, Miss Fitzgibbon, and Miss O’Sullivan with whom I travelled.
Our class was small, five girls and five boys. I hope I can still remember the names. Vera Nestor, Margaret Tuttle, Eleanor Enright, Rosie Doupe and Ann McCarthy. John Sheehy, George Ranahan, Tim Shiels, Larry Culhane and myself. The rest? That’s another yearl