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The Re-Union – Crinkle National School 2009

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A School Re-Union in Crinkle
Sure I’ll go and spend a while
Perhaps I’ll recognise some old faces
50 years they say –
Am I really that old?

Off I drove into the evening
The turn for Mullingar lay in front
Yes, Mullingar! –
A good drive from Dublin
And even further from Crinkle

A long long road into Birr
And then at last the road to school
Yes, I took a wrong turn somewhere
Along route but no more of that

As I prepare for Mass -
A Mass to open our School Re-union
Cars were parked tightly along the road

I turned into the Thatch car park
And there waiting for me
Was the last space

The Celebration was well started
Better that way I thought
I’ll stand at the back
And have time to catch my breath
After all I am back in school

A young Priest spoke
And welcomed us all
From days gone by
And proudly spoke of many
Nationalities in Crinkle today

Children in uniform sat still
Whilst us old children silently
Reflected on tougher days gone by
In the same schoolyard
Young and old shared that day

The Headmistress, Ms Dolan
Welcomed all past pupils
Who had come to pray
And thanked all who had
Brought about a School Re-union

John Carroll a pupil of old
Spoke of all the good things
In schools today
He welcomed all pupils
And teachers from his childhood years

He paused for a moment
As he recalled the Headmaster
And just like John
That’s all I will say
It’s best to leave it that way

Mass being ended we stepped inside
To see what we would find -
Besides a cuppa and a cake or two
The Keoghs were there
And we chatted a while

Pat Milne, his sisters and
Some others I remembered well
But sorry Jim Murray you don’t ring a bell

Sure what does it matter
It was grand to say ‘hello’

Fidelma Hayes reflected
That Marian Keogh was the
Princess Di of days long ago
Ms O’Donoghue was there
A fine teacher to us all back then

Photos on the wall
I scoured for a memory
There I was, my brother Martin
And two sisters as well
All of us in a play by Mr Mee

As I stepped into the room
Where the old registers lay
I saw the Headmaster’s picture
I swear the room grew colder
As I let out a sigh!

I searched the registers and there
I read my older brother’s name
1st July 1957 – Ten years later –
1st July 1967 he went to Heaven
He would have been proud of this day

For me, the Re-union was stepping
Into the shadows of yesteryear -
Shadows where no more I need hide
For I am proud to be from Crinkle
The village of my childhood years

Thank You Ms Dolan, Priests
And all who made our School Re-union
Special for young and for old -
We may travel far and travel wide
But it’s always good to go back home!

T A Keane 29th August 2009