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Mr. P.D. Brickley

Past Projects On Our Locality > Clonaslee Co-Op

Mr.P.D.Brickley was born in June 1914 when the first world war began. He came from a small farm of good land in Ring Co. Cork. There were five sons in the family. His Grandmother was very interested in education so they all went to college.That was unusual for that time. He became a teacher and worked in Portlaoise for a few weeks. Then he came to Clonaslee when the school opened the 11th of October in 1937, as principal. He taught science, Irish, book-keeping and mathematics.
The builders of the vocational school were the Foynes brothers, Denis and James.In the spring of 1938 the minister of education Mr Derrick officially opened the vocational school. They were three permanent teachers, two part time teachers in two rooms in the beginning. There was twenty one girls and twenty one boys. Mr. James Young Ashbrook was the caretaker. He used to sell cabbage plants all the time. His grandson plays hurling for Laois now. Times were hard. David, his son said that his dad said that he was lucky to land in Clonaslee and to have a good job. So he always wanted to give something back to the community.
He loved Irish culture, Irish language, Irish music and dancing and Gaelic games.
He started Irish classes and Irish dancing classes at night in the vocational school. They were very popular because people got a chance to have a great time and to meet up.The night classes were on four or five times a week. They had many classes at centres such as Roseanallis, Derrylamogue, Clonaheel, Ballyfin, Mountmellick, Reary. It even went across the county border into Mountbolus Co. Offaly.
Mr Brickley saw the twin towers falling on 11th of September when he was in hospital. He said that there are a lot of crazy people in this world. He died some hours later. After he died his family found out that he was a supporter of Amnesty International because he loved fair play and justice. They had a collection for Amnesty at his funeral and raised 1000 euros. We think he would have liked that.

This is where it all began

Original Vocational School, Clonaslee

Original Vocational School, Clonaslee

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