Monday, April 08, 2019

ABOUT a year ago, a photograph of Mountmellick primary school’s tin whistle band from 1979 prompted one former pupil to get them back together again.

Last week, Mick Lynch and some of his former classmates saw their efforts bear fruit, when most of the people in that 40-year-old snap posed for another photo. The original picture was taken by Arnold Crawford.

Mick explained: “There had been a tin whistle band in the school back then. It was coming up to St Patrick’s Day and we were rehearsing to play in the parade. We were given caps and hats to put on and Arnold Crawford was called down to take a photo.

“I suppose I got the idea to try to recreate that photograph after I had helped to organise a secondary school class reunion a few years ago. Nothing has really changed, bar we all have aged. The wall is the same and so is the tarmac. We tried to get the lads and teachers back in the same position as they were photographed in 1979.”

Also is the picture is former school principal Paraic McCabe and teachers Sr Rosario, Denis O’Connor, Seán Mullaney, Anne Courtney and Mick Lenihen.

After recreating the 1979 photograph, the group reassembled in the school’s soup hall for white bread and oxtail soup (just like the old days).

The parents’ council provided tea, cakes and biscuits. In a nod to the 40 years that have passed since ’79, a display of memorabilia from that era included ghetto blasters, CB radios, LPs, school books and even an old Dick & Jim’s plastic shopping bag.

Local parish priest Fr Micheál Murphy deputised for school principal John Murrell. During the celebration, flowers were presented to the three ladies present, Anne Courtney, Florence McCabe and Sr Rosario.

A tour of the classrooms was then conducted along with former teachers.

Some of the past pupils had travelled from Dublin, Cork, Mayo and Kilkenny, while many hadn’t seen one another for almost 38 years.

The night finished off with drinks and finger-food in Turley’s, where a lot of catching up took place and many stories were swapped from 40 years ago.

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