News Update – 20/01/2023


Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,


Jubilee Concert – Our rescheduled Concert takes place next Monday & Tuesday night at 7:15pm and will be dedicated to the memory of Aisling, Paul and Danny. Please use the correct ticket for the correct night. Junior and senior infants are asked to be onsite at 6:45pm. The audience is asked to be seated at 7pm. All other classes are also to be on the premises at 7pm. The show is in the form of six acts, with three acts either side of a short interval. The show is expected to run for 2.5 hrs. It is important that we start on time. A small souvenir programme will be available on the night.


Raffle & Tuck Shop – The PA will host a raffle, where tickets can be purchased in the foyer. 1 strip = €2 and 3 strips for €5. They have received generous prizes from local businesses as presents each night. The raffle will be completed during the interval. A tuck shop will also be available in the foyer from the start. The PA will send information on this, to parents via ‘Whattsapp.’ Pupils will be supervised elsewhere in the building when not on stage. It is important that children are not entering and exiting the theatre hall during the show. They can do so during the interval.


Relocation to Community Centre – On Monday next the entire school will relocate to the Community Centre in preparation for our Jubilee Concert later that evening. No need for school bags; just lunch and drinks.

  • Parents are asked to drop and collect their children at morning and evening time to and from the Centre.
  • Buses will deliver and collect those on bus runs, to and from the Centre.
  • Those attending Breakfast Club / After School Club will be transported via bus from school to the centre after 9 am and vice-versa before 3 pm.

If a parent needs to contact a child, please contact Rose in the school as normal.


Catholic School’s Week – As Jan 22-Jan 29 represents Catholic Schools Week, we have asked Fr Michael to celebrate ‘Grandparents Day’ for us with a celebratory mass on Wednesday next. We invite our grandparents to FMW church at 10 am which we will all attend. They are then invited back to the school immediately afterwards for some light refreshments.


Ballinameela School Quiz – Well done to our two teams who travelled to Whitechurch NS to partake in a school Quiz on Thursday night. Our boys and girls from Rg 5/6 finished 3rd and 6th out of a total of 52 teams. Maith sibh, Mikey, Charlie, Devin, Taylor, Jack, Aaron, Aoife and Conal.


GAA – We have registered with Deise Óg in its “Let’s Move February” Activity Programme. “A programme which encourages children to be activity champions in helping their entire family to take 15/20 mins activity a day during February. Once notified, we will publicise activities that all the family can do together at home or outdoors.” We will liaise with local clubs in an effort to make this work for families in our community.


HSE Note – A note will follow to the parents of Senior Infant pupils in the next few minutes.


Is mise,


Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal.

News Update – 13/01/2023


Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,


Paul Brunnock RIP – Paul was buried last Sunday morning in his native Rathgormack. Thanks to members of both present and past school communities, who paid their respects physically, sent us cards, messages of support by way of written condolences on our Facebook page and Special thanks to those past pupils / families who joined our guard of honour, for our deceased colleague. It means a lot to us and the wider Brunnock family.


Danny Norris RIP – on Monday last, we held a ‘Balloon Release Ceremony’ for little Danny on the occasion of his month’s mind anniversary. It was a simple, yet uplifting ceremony. A large number also attended FMW church later that night. Again, thanks to all who supported the Norris family and school since Danny’s death.


Bishop – Our Patron, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinane took time out of his busy schedule earlier today to call to our school. He visited all classes to convey his sympathy to the staff and pupils on the death of both Danny & Paul. May they rest in peace.


Jubilee Concert – Our rescheduled concert takes place on Mon 23rd & Tues 24th January at 7:15 pm each night. Tickets purchased prior to Christmas are still valid specific to the particular night. We are now reselling the few additional tickets, to those who expressed a wish for more. If you would like to be added to the list, please contact us on Monday or email over the weekend.

The teachers and their classes will be rehearsing at the Community Centre on a rota basis on Wednesday next and will spend all day Monday 23rd at the Comm. Centre in preparation for that night’s performance. More about this in next week’s email; re: regards drop off and collection times for that day.


‘Confirming Our Children’ – The next round of masses for Rang 6 pupils making their confirmation will take place on Sunday in Fourmilewater during the 9am mass. Please follow instructions as outlined by Mrs Byrne to her class this week. Confirmation locally takes place on Thursday 30th March next in FMW & Touraneena.


Mid-Year Academic Calendar – A hard copy of our academic calendar for the remainder of the year has been distributed to pupils today. Please discard older versions and put in a prominent place.


Defibrillator – The Board of Management has purchased a defibrillator for the school. This will be erected on the school grounds in the very near future and staff will be afforded training in its use.


Enrolment – Our enrolment process is still open for Junior Infant intake September 2023. If you know of someone interested in sending their child / children to our school, please remind them to contact us or download an Application Form from our website. Closing date is Wed 1st March 2023.


Catholic School’s Week – This is scheduled to take place between Sunday 22nd and Sunday 29th January. We will celebrate Grandparents’ Day on Wednesday 25th with a mass at FMW church, where all grandparents are invited. More about this next in next week’s issue.


Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal.

News Update – 06/01/2023



Dear Parent / Guardian / Parent of Past Pupil / Colleague / Board Member,


Welcome back to school to one and all and those in secondary school.


Mr. Brunnock – RIP

As you are already aware, we will lay to rest our colleague Paul, this Sunday in Rathgormack. Even though only with us for two years, Paul was already a great colleague and gentleman with many strings to his bow. He will be greatly missed at our school. Paul’s two classes have now entered secondary school and we have notified their families of his untimely death. The family and indeed ourselves appreciate the many kind tributes published by people on this side of the Comeraghs, in memory of Paul, on our Facebook page or indeed at

Paul’s remains will repose at the family home, 2 Landsend, Abbeyside, Dungarvan (Eircode X35 H603), on Saturday, 7th of January, from 4pm to 7pm. Arriving for Requiem mass in Rathgormack Church on Sunday, the 8th of January, at 12pm followed by burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

His teaching colleagues here will form a Guard of Honour at Rathgormack cemetery after mass on Sunday afternoon. If you or your child would like to attend, you are welcome to join us along the route.

Paul’s Mass can be viewed live on Clonea Rathgormack Parish Notes Facebook page. The complete obituary notice can be viewed here. – Death Notice Mr. Paul Brunnock May he rest in peace. +

On a related and similarly sad note, the Norris family and Fr Michael have been in touch as regards Danny’s Month’s Mind Remembrance Mass. It will be celebrated on Monday, 9th January at 7pm in Fourmilewater and all are welcome to attend.


Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal

Mr. Paul Brunnock – RIP.

Mr. Paul Brunnock 

Member of staff at Ballymacarbry N.S. 

Died Monday 02/01/2023


It is with a very sad heart that I announce the death of our colleague Mr. Paul Brunnock late of Seapark, Abbeyside and formerly of Ballythomas, Rathgormack. Paul’s sister Elaine rang me last evening to say that her brother Paul was found dead in his bed on Monday morning. It was the ultimate sad news to start off the new year.

Today, our staff is in shock at Paul’s untimely death as Paul seamlessly fitted in here on arrival. All staff members have good memories of Paul and the gentleman that he was.

Paul joined our staff in September 2020 and made an enormous contribution in his short time here, especially during the remote teaching and learning phase of Covid. Paul was a regular in the school building, interacting with his pupils through the medium of zoom. He made most use of the technology at his disposal and was eager to incorporate it into his teaching.

Paul had a keen interest in music and regularly was accompanied by the guitar to the school. He also had an avid interest in athletics and became a top-class athlete in ultra-marathons with West Waterford Athletics Club. Regularly he took to the roads and forest paths around here after school or at weekends to train, be it on foot or on the bicycle. He managed the school ladies’ team to Western A Final Success in 2021.

Paul forever spoke of his love for this area, the school, the pupils, the staff and his new classroom with a panoramic view from the Comeraghs to the Knockmealdowns. He was forever singing its praises and grateful of the chance to continue his teaching career here. He kept saying that he had big shoes to fill, but would endeavour to do so.

Paul was a friend to all on staff and went about his work daily, regularly being the first on site and again the last to depart. His Corolla was a regular feature, directly outside the school gate. I remember him coming to school with back pain so severe that he could barely walk, but his interest was in his pupils and their education and he didn’t want to take time off nor didn’t want to be the martyr for it either. To quote a line from W.B Yeats – He “weighed so lightly what he gave.”

Paul had a meticulous way about him, his writing was so perfect, almost calligrapher like. He was the go-to person on staff for handwriting. He saw it as an artform, as he saw music and the visual arts hereby creating some great pieces as a class. I know he passed on these traits to some of his pupils during his all too short time with us.

To me, Paul was a solid member of staff and a good person for advice, having spent over twenty years a principal in his native parish. He was a good confidant. However, he never overstepped the mark and was more than happy to pursue his role as class teacher.

Days which stand out would be the online graduation which he planned in 2021, our trip to the Nire Lakes that same year and indeed our Senior School Tour to the University of Limerick last year.

We will certainly miss Paul’s presence in our school, his calming nature and complimentary words, his guitar playing and song singing. We are glad to have been his colleagues for an all too brief 21 months. Allan Bloom, an American philosopher once stated, “Education is the movement from darkness to light.” Paul exhibited this through his teaching and now has gone to eternal light himself.

Paul is predeceased by his late mother Maura, and his sister Joanne. We extend the heartfelt sympathy of our entire school community to his family; his children Moylan, Megan, Rory and Daithi, their mother Anne Marie, his father Johnny, his brothers Paddy and Johnny and his sister Elaine and indeed all the extended Brunnock family

Bishop Alphonsus Cullinane, himself a former teacher, has contacted me by phone to express the sympathy of the Patron and this Diocese to our school at this sad time.

Along with members of his own family, Paul is now in the company of the saints and angels including his own past pupil, Aisling Kennedy and our late pupil, Danny Norris.

Leaba i measca na naomh go raibh ag Paul agus ceol na n-aingeal go gcloise sé.

Paul’s funeral arrangements are yet to be published and once known to us, we will forward to you at our earliest convenience.

We have uploaded some photos of Paul’s time with us on our Facebook page.



News Update – 21/12/2022


Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,


Advent – The white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and lit on Christmas Eve. This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and represents the life of Christ. The colour white is for purity—because Christ is our sinless, pure Saviour. This ends the period of Advent and begins the ‘Twelve days of Christmas’


Carol Service – On Tuesday, our pupils performed a Carol Service at Fourmilewater Church. Thanks to all who facilitated this at short notice, including staff and pupils. All our pupils wore panda badges in memory of Danny. Clips of this can be accessed on our Facebook page. Thanks also to those families who contributed to Crumlin Hospital in lieu of giving Christmas gifts to their teacher this year.


Santa Visit – Thanks to Aoife and the P.A. for organising Santa Claus to come to school today and every year and thanks to them also for organising selection boxes for each child. Please see Facebook for photographs of the occasion.


Hamper Appeal – Our ‘Wear Red to School Day’ amassed €341 to go towards West Waterford Lions Club Christmas Hamper Appeal. Thanks to one and all, most sincerely.


Date for your diary. – Our Jubilee Concert has been rescheduled to Monday 23rd & Tuesday 24th January next. We are now in the process of distributing unclaimed tickets to those who requested additional ones.


Local Newsletter – A full review of our year’s activities is documented in the recently published, Nire & Ballymacarbry Newsletter. Thanks to Claire Bridle for allowing us to promote the school and its calendar year activities by way of article and multiple photographs. It is on sale locally for €7


All that remains for me to do is to thank our entire school community and to wish you all a merry Christmas. Nollaig Shona Daoibh go Léir.


School will reopen on Thursday 5th January next at 9:20 am.

is Mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal