Celebrating the Legacy of Three Exceptional Teachers at St John's Primary School

Published: 29th Jun, 2023

On Friday 30th June, our school family at St John’s Primary School will bid a fond farewell to three exceptional teachers, Mr Niall Mc Court, Mrs Ethna Bradley and Mr Paddy Tunney, all of whom dedicated over 30 years to the education and pastoral care of children in the local community.

Their vision for education, as a vehicle for positive change and empowerment, dedication and inspiration transformed ordinary classrooms into sanctuaries of learning and safety where curiosity thrived and dreams took flight.

In 1989 Mr McCourt walked through the doors of St John’s P.S. Mr Mc Court forged wonderful relationships with colleagues, parents and children alike. His classroom was a den of books, globes, maps of the world, and precious artefacts. Legend has it that there was an Egyptian Mummy in the cupboard at one point. All children taught by Mr Mc Court benefitted from his love of geography and general knowledge. He also taught the children the important values of respect, self discipline and what it means to be a noble citizen.

Just a year later in 1990, Mrs Ethna Bradley graced St John’s P.S. with her kind, gentle manner and endless smiles. Mrs Bradley was the personification of nurture and an inspirational role model to her colleagues. As a teacher, Mrs Bradley excelled in her ability to obtain the best standards of literacy from every child.

In 1993 Mr Paddy Tunney joined the fold. Mr Tunney will always be

remembered as the greatest of maths teachers - the man whose class discovered the 4-sided triangle! Perhaps Mr Tunney’s most memorable feat was convincing his classes that Art is the same as drawing numbers! So let’s do some Art!

Mr Tunney’s exceptional talent as a musician ensured that Masses, assemblies, cultural shows and events were truly a treasured gift for all audiences. In more recent years Mr Tunney became a green fingered legend whose legacy will live on in the Covid-19 Memorial Pallet Garden and the beautiful grounds he created with his Eco-partner Mrs Darmody.

In an everchanging world where the only constant is change, Mr Mc Court, Mrs Bradley and Mr Tunney adapted to meet the needs of each generation. From the days of chalkboards to the era of interactive digital learning, they navigated the evolving educational landscape intent on doing their absolute best. During the pandemic, they worked tirelessly online to ensure that the children in their care were taught but more importantly sustained personal connection with their classmates and teacher - such was their vocation and unending commitment to the children of St John’s Primary School.

On behalf of the Governors, staff, children and wider school community I extend my deepest gratitude for the years of dedication, wisdom and unwavering loyalty that you have demonstrated throughout your careers.  Please know that your impact will continue to resonate within these walls, carried by the countless children’s and colleagues’ lives you have touched.

Geraldine O’Connor
St John’s PS


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