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.