Monday, July 30, 2018

Sr Monica recalls Kilcullen memories

Sr Monica Byrne, centre, with Noel Clare and Mary Orford, at CPC yesterday.
A special visitor to CPC yesterday was Sr Monica Byrne, a Cross and Passion sister since she left school back in the 1940s, writes Brian Byrne. A former pupil, she was shown through the school by Noel Clare, who retired as Deputy Principal in 2016.

Sr Monica is the daughter of the late Paddy Byrne NT, formerly the head teacher in Kilcullen Boys School (now the Community Library).

She joined the order following her Leaving Cert in 1946 and subsequently qualified as a Science teacher. As Sr Alexia, she spent most of her working life at Mount St Joseph Secondary School in Bolton, established in 1905 by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion and catholics of the area.

Sr Monica was the guest of Mary Orford over the weekend, and shared memories of growing up at the family home in Beechville, on the Old Carlow Road. She also spoke of the non-teaching work of her father, who served as a Labour member of Kildare County Council, and was very active in social and political affairs, prompted by the poverty and social conditions of the time.

The trip to Kilcullen is part of Sr Monica's celebration of her recent 90th birthday, and over the weekend she shared a belated slice of birthday cake at Mary Orford's home with former classmate Rita Nugent.

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