PPU Annual General Meeting

The AGM took place in the school on March 30th. with a very small attendance of only nine past pupils. The President, Brian Duncan, said that he was disappointed with the failure of the committee to attract new members in his first year of office but he welcomed John McKennedy. John is Principal of Knocklyon Community School and is already making a valuable contribution to the PPU. Brian is determined to continue the goal of attracting new members and he deals with that and other matters in his “Message” which you can see on the website under the PPU drop-down box.
New Committee
The committee for 2017/2018 is
President – Brian Duncan
Hon. Sec. – John Cullen
Hon. Treasurer – Position Vacant
Committee –
Jerry Carroll
John Costello
John McKennedy
John Murray
Bryan O’Higgins
Jim Conway
Chaplin – Fr. Eugene McCarthy

President Brian Duncan (right) started his second year at the 2017 AGM on March 30.

Jim Conway has stepped down as Hon. Sec and has been replaced by John Cullen. Michael O’ Sullivan stepped down as Treasurer but there were no nominations for that position. Michael has agreed to “keep the books” pending a new appointment. This matter is dealt with in the President’s message mentioned above.

The President reminded the meeting that May 5th 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of Ken Doherty’s winning the World Snooker Championship and the PPU will mark the occasion during the year.


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Museum Opening

PPU President declared open the refurbished and restocked Museum in the school on Friday January 27th 2017. This project was undertaken by the Transition Year students with their teacher Susanne Lawlor. The quantity of material on display, some dating back many years, is truly amazing. The students did a great job in collating the items and displaying them in a very attractive way. President Brian congratulated Susanne and all the pupils on a job very well done.Below are some photos of the event courtesy of John Murray.


Teacher Susanne Lawlor and Transition Year Students, who worked on the project,, get ready for the ribbon cutting


Deputy Principal, Eddie Kelly, gave a very interesting and witty account of the historical items in the Pearse Museum


President Brian congratulates all concerned and limbers up for the ribbon cutting


President Brian happy that he will be able to tackle the ribbon


One two three cut


job done. we never doubted you Brian


Transition Year student, Robin Delaney, ready to capture the happy event


Eddie Kelly relaxes with Michael Casey and John Cullen.


John Sheridan looks for his place in history


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Yet More Dinner Photos

I am putting up the final raft of photos from the dinner. Many thanks again to Patrick Dowling for such quality and quantity. Remember to give Patrick a shout at Rock Photography if you want to get your mugshot done.


Des Donnelly claps home yet another winner


In the bag – Mattie Wallace puts Robin to work


Fr. Myles and Jerry Carroll agree to share a raffle prize


Fr. Myles with Sean McCaughey and Fr. Eugene


Juan De Vivero tells it like it is


President Brian with Fr. Myles and the P V Doyle Trophy


Robin Delaney has them eating out of her hand

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More Dinner Photos

In my last News Blog I mentioned the very generous donation made by the Flax Trust America to the school. I must correct a small typo; I mentioned that the cheque was for €10K but that should have been $10K. There is little difference nowadays. Below are some more photos taken by Patrick Dowling, Rock Photography.


Fr> Myles with John Sheridan and Frank Whelan


John Sheridan busy studying form


Denis Kane watches the birdie whilst his friends worry about their dinner


Class of 76 and 77 get anxiously await their dinner


John Cullen and his mates from 64 raise a toast to the school


Denis Kane won the cock and Mattie Wallace explains how it works!!


Fr. Eugene says Grace

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Inspirational Row Man

PPU President, Brian Duncan, presented the P V Doyle Trophy to Row Person of the Year 2017 Fr. Myles Kavanagh CP (see NEWS BLOG December 15th 2016) at the PPU annual dinner on Saturday January 28th. at the Westbury hotel. In his acceptance speech Fr. Myles started by quoting the words of James Connolly “the weakest link is ignorance” and he proceeded, in a riveting address, to remind his audience of the important contributions made by people like Nano Nagle, Catherine McAuley, Mother Mary Aikenhead and Blessed Edmund Rice in breaking the chain of ignorance, which made slaves of the people of Ireland, in their times and later. Fr. Myles said that attending a Christian Brothers School like Westland Row inspired him to become a priest.

Fr. Myles concluded by presenting a cheque for €10,000 from the Flax Trust America to school Principal Kate Byrne. President ,Brian Duncan, congratulated Fr. Myles thanked him for his extremely generous contribution.

Many thanks to Patrick Dowling of Rock Photography who, as usual, took many excellent photos on the night. A few are included below and more will follow in later News Blogs.


All smiles – Fr. Myles presents cheque to Principal Kate.

Fr. Myles wows the audience

Fr. Myles wows the audience


Jack Phelan, Ney Kindlon, Tony Ryan, Alan O’Connor Snr and Alan Jnr listen to the President


Paddy Coyle, O’Connells, Sean O’Connell,St. Josephs and Damian Byrne line up with Row President Brian Duncan.


Director of Finance, Michael O’Sullivan, Merchandising Director, John Cullen work their magic on Brian Whelan


Mary O’Callaghan (sister of Fr. Myles) watches admiringly as President Brian Duncan presents the P V Doyle Trophy)


Brothers in arms John and Brenard Murray sample the local brew.


President and Robin Delaney, Transition Year student. Robin and Juan De Vivero told of their experiences in Transition Year and we all wished we could go back and enrol in the Row again.


Fr. Myles, President Brian and veteran MC Frank Whelan look happy with their lot.


Maurice Culhane and PPU Chaplain, Fr. Eugene McCarthy. Fr. Eugene is a colleague of Fr. Myles in the Cross and Passion order and also works in Belfast. we are indebted to Fr. Eugene for nominating Fr. Myles for Row Person 2017.

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Museum Opening Friday January 27th.

I attach below an Invitation from the 5th. Class Applied to all past pupils for Friday January 27th. I suggest that we try to be in the school for 11.30am when we will have the opening ceremony performed by PPU President, Brian Duncan. We will then avail of the kind offer of light refreshments and introduce Fr. Myles Kavanagh CP, Row Person of the Year 2017. Looking forward to seeing you there.

PS. As you know, our Annual Dinner is scheduled for Saturday January 28th in the Westbury Hotel. We very much depend on a successful raffle after the dinner to cover our overheads and we ask to bring something for the raffle. Past pupils have been very generous in the past and we have received many prizes of “bottles” and other valuable items. We are appealing for the same again this year. If you can’t make the dinner but will be in the school on January 27th this would be an opportunity to bring a donation. Alternatively, prizes can be left in the Westbury at any time with the Westland Row PPU name and date of dinner on them. Many thanks


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PPU News January 2017

Happy New Year to all. I hope everybody had a good Christmas.
Sad News
Sorry to kick off 2017 with sad news but I recently learned of the passing of two ROW stalwarts, Noel McKenna and John Doran. Noel graduated back around 1948. Happily we still have a few of that vintage with us. I’m thinking of Gerry Dolan, Cyril Stirrat, Martin Conway and Joe Quinn. I attended John Doran’s funeral this morning. John was 93. He and his brother Bill RIP, were great ROW supporters in their day. John was a great sportsman being one of 4 brothers to play soccer with Rathfarnham Utd. He was a keen golfer and was Captain of Slade Valley of which club he was a founder member. John’s father founded Doran Printers and the family continue to work in it to this day. The company, now called Typecraft, printed our 150 yearbook Cuimhneachan and sponsored tickets etc. for many years. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anamnacha dhilis.
Upcoming Events
Annual Dinner – Booking is now open for the Dinner which will be held in the Westbury on Saturday January 28th. Tickets are priced at E60 each. You can book with any committee member or with me on 087 2557298.
Row Person of the Year 2017 – Our new Row Person, Fr. Myles Kavanagh, will pay a short visit to the school on Friday January 27th. at 12 noon. All past pupils are invited. Light refreshments will be provided. This is also an opportunity to have a look around the school and to view the additions to the Pearse Museum as well as other mementos of 1916.

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Row Person of the Year 2017

The President and committee of the Past Pupils Union are pleased to announce that they have elected Fr. Myles Kavanagh CP to be Row Person of the Year 2017. Fr. Myles will be presented with the P.V. Doyle memorial trophy at the annual dinner which will be held at the Westbury Hotel on Saturday January 28th 2017.

fr-myles-kavanagh-cp15122016Fr. Myles, for 53 years now, has lived and worked in one of Northern Ireland’s “black spots”, the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, which has experienced more killings, more inter-community strife and has higher levels of unemployment than perhaps any other area of Northern Ireland.

In 1977 he set up the Flax Trust to bring about reconciliation through economic development. Since then he has been responsible for establishing a wide variety of projects and providing help to many charities, an incubation system which produced over 300 new businesses in 5 years. 1995 saw the Short Brothers/Flax Trust (SBFT) partnership developed. This is a 50/50 joint venture to provide apprenticeship training in Interpoint, a neutral site. Interpoint was used for the first coming together of the N.I politicians in the N.I Forum, for the Patton Commission on policing and the Novatech Centre for technology transfer.

Fr. Myles took his message to America and founded the Flax Trust/America in 1980.

The following is a list of Fr. Myles’ additional achievements in his on-going battle against social deprivation and unemployment –

  • Developing a Housing Association to address the needs of homeless young people and a sheltered dwelling for the elderly including 700 units of social housing.
  • The setting up of a training school to meet the educational and training needs of local youth.
  • The establishment of an Open Learning Centre providing training and educational opportunities for adults.
  • A Shopping Centre, Day Care Centre for local Pensioners which also provide meals on wheels.
  • Setting up a Medical Centre.
  • The establishment of Ulster Community Investment Trust to provide funds for the community economic sector in N.I and the border counties.
  • The establishment of the school for Social Enterprises to foster a professionally qualified leadership for community enterprise.
  • The most recent venture was the setting up of the Flax Trust Academy for Musical Excellence which is providing great opportunities for young aspiring musicians and vocalists.

In addition to holding Directorships in Northern Ireland and North America, Fr. Myles is a member of the International Economic Development Council (North America) and the Ireland US Council. His knowledge and expertise in the field of community economics means that he is frequently invited as a guest speaker to conferences in Europe and North America.

The International Economic Development Council (North America) this year presented Fr. Myles with their Life Time Achievement Award.

Fr. Myles Kavanagh is clearly a very worthy winner of the Row Person of the Year award and we look forward to welcoming here to the dinner on January 28th.

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A Team For All Seasons

The photograph below was kindly sent to us by Margaret Flood who found it amongst her grandfather’s effects. It shows a Junior Football team from 1930 and the great thing about it is that her Grandad had the foresight to write the names of the boys, together with any clubs they were associated with in later life. We can, for instance, see a very young Jackie Carey of Manchester United and Ireland fame and Row Man of the Year 1987 in the front row, left. Joe Cunningham of Shamrock Rovers fame is also to be seen in the middle row on the right. If the photo jogs any memories of other past pupils why not let us have a comment.


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Westland Row PPU Golfing Society

President Des Donnelly about to set out for some "course ranging" at Stephen Kenny's Captains Prize at Newlands on September 14tn 2015

President Des Donnelly about to set out for some “course ranging” at Stephen Kenny’s Cmaptains Prize at Newlands on September 14tn 2015

President, Des Donnelly, hosted his 2016 prize at Woodbrook GC on Friday May 20th. There was a good turnout and the prize was won by last year’s PPU President John Cullen (Class of 64). John is shown below (left) handing over the chain of office to Brian Duncan at the PPU AGM .

The next outing will take place at Newlands GC on Friday August 12th for the Captain’s (Alan O’Connor Jnr.) Prize. Tee Times are 1.40pm to 2.44pm and the fee for green fee and meal is €55.

The final outing of 2016, for the Pat McGrath Memorial Trophy, will take place at Foxrock GC on Thursday October 13th. The tee times are 12.30pm to 2.00pm. The fee will be €60.

Booking for outings should be made with Tony Kenny (087 2623700) or Brian  Donnelly (086 6183651) – phone or text.


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