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Congratulations to Patrick our Caretaker

This weekend our caretaker Patrick celebrates a very special birthday as well as his recent 40th wedding anniversary with his wife Tina. From all the staff and children at Scoil Bhríde we wish him a wonderful celebration and many years of happiness and good health with his beloved wife Tina. He is a very cherished staff member and an active community member in Straffan. One of our parents started up a Community Chat by email last November and this is shared with many people in Straffan regularly. Recently she did an interview with Patrick which is included below. Here is a message from Orla Fallon if you would like to subscribe before you read Patrick’s interview.

“Hello, my name is Orla Fallon and my youngest is in Scoil Bhríde. Back in about November I started emailing about 300 people in Straffan an email called “Community Chat”. The email was an “interview” with neighbours in Straffan, mostly people who have lived here all their lives. The chat in these emails has given me and others a sense of what Straffan was like in the past and has introduced people to familiar faces that people see out and about. If you would like to get this please email me – Orla at orla.fallon@hotmail.com. Thank you Orla ”

Patrick’s recent interview:

On the eve of his 40th wedding anniversary, today in the hot seat we have Straffan born and bred Patrick Donovan. Patrick is a familiar friendly face to lots in Straffan and now know to even more in his new role as caretaker in Scoil Bhríde Straffan.

Take it away Patrick.

*****************

Hi everyone

My name is Patrick Donovan and I am married to Tina. I met Tina when I started going dancing in Lawlors ballroom Naas. We were very young at the time it was 1977 and we got married the 7th February 1981. We have been very lucky to have 4 great children 3 boys Glen, Steven ,Trevor and our daughter Melissa. We are 40 years married this February And now we have 4 wonderful grandchildren Amber, Dáire, Archie and Aiden .

I was born on the 14th of February 1961 on the boreen the back road to the k club knowing as Straffan house then . I was born at home ( my poor mother rip) . The old cottages were belonged to the Straffan house estate and later on were sold on . Christy Mcbride lived in the house at the time and my father (rip) bought it from him for a 100 pounds . I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters . We had a wonderful childhood playing in the Straffan house estate woods . Myself and my older brother Eddie had to work hard back then as there was no running water or gas fires the old pump is still on the boreen where we carried buckets of water every day as for heating we would go to the wood with our bushman saw for firewood. Every Sunday our father would bring myself and Eddie to the Straffan GAA matches walking down the Boreen he would bring us into the pub for bottle of orange and a bar of chocolate before getting the bus to the game the pub was owned by the Brady family then .great memories. Going to school then no cars no bike we would take the shortcut up the cow lane it went from boreen, just before the cottages to the new road, out opposite Cobb Ireland at pat McKenna house back then it was a right of way.

We moved to the village in 1976 . When I finished Straffan school I went to Naas secondary school. The reason I went to school in Naas was because there was a bus collected us a 8am and left us back 5pm (long day) When I started my working life I was only 15 years old I worked in the carpet mill in Celbridge for a few years I then went to work in Straffan house the owner was Alan Ferguson a gold merchant his wife and daughter ran the stud farm there it was called Honeygrove. After a few years gold hit rock bottom – the end of the Ferguson’s. Time to move on so I went working for Cobb Ireland in Straffan I was there for nearly 30 years doing the maintenance and looking after Mr Lenihan properties. Cobb was a great employer to the Straffan area. Cobb Ireland was a big part of my life all my family worked there and so did my children everyone from Straffan had someone belonging to them in Cobb at some stage . Sadly, Dan passed away 3 years ago (rip Dan) and Cobb is now closed down.

So here I am in Straffan National school as caretaker and I’m loving it. The children are wonderful and very respectful to one another and all staff . When I was going to school teachers would work from 9:20am to 3pm not so now anytime from 8am to 5pm. Our children in Straffan school are very lucky to have such wonderful and dedicated teachers . Growing up in Straffan the GAA was a big part of my life as our father was a great club man and player . I did play myself for a few years wasn’t much good ( a bit of a Christy brown). One of the photos attached is of a hurl I made from an ash tree in Joe Timmons garden – last of 4 houses on left after pub. I also played for our local soccer team .So as the years went by I was joint manager of our very successful GAA second team . Then I got involved on the club committee and later went on to be chairman in 2011 what a privilege a lot of hard work but worth it so we decided to start our development and fundraising we all remember the recession but thanks to our wonderful community we did raise €100.000 I am a very proud GAA man and to see the great work been carried on. Some great sports people I met .golf Christy O’ Connor, Tiger Woods Daren Clark Padraig Harrington. GAA Colm Cooper, Dermot Early Senior and Dermot Early Junior and Johnny Doyle .

Any Lockown tips Patrick?

I am a positive person so my advice is to keep yourself busy doing crossword jigsaws reading and now the spring has sprung sow a few flowers pansies primroses – lovely colours.

How do you feel about the changes to Straffan?

Well for me it’s all positive the village is more vibrant . Our school, the GAA club , soccer club ,gun club , The K club ,Friels and many more will all benefit from our community young /old , new family’s & old family’s . I said it before and will again all our new neighbours are more than welcome to Straffan. Thank you .

From all of us at the school, Happy Birthday Patrick and congratulations to Patrick and Tina on your wedding anniversary.

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