Vince Galvin Promotion
Class of 1973-50th Anniversary
Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel-Nov 12 & 13, 2023
15 members of the Class of 1973 attended the 50th Anniversary reunion and were joined by former Lecturer, Frank McMahon.
A few of our classmates could not attend- John & Margaret Neeson, Claire Munnelly, Carmel Nevin, Frank Cassidy but were included as part of our celebrations.
We also remembered our colleagues who have passed since graduation-John Caffrey 2008 -Michael Anderson 2010-Liz Sinnott 2015 and the most recent Hervé Goulet- September 2023. Hervé believed he would make it to the Kilkenny reunion, sadly it did not happen for him.
They were missed. May they all Rest in Peace.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1973, events were held during the couple of days in Kilkenny. Richard Butler who lives in Kilkenny did a brilliant job in organizing our reunion.
We all met at Tynan Bar (Biddy & Mileys local in Riordan’s) on arrival night for welcome cocktails on the Sunday evening and then went back to the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel Brasserie for dinner.
On Monday, Richard arranged a walking tour of Kilkenny with SCHM Graduate John Britton-2003 as our tour guide. John runs Ormonde Language Tours -www. ormondelanguagetours.com company in Kilkenny and gives tours in English, French and German. This tour was outstanding thanks to John’s history of Kilkenny and his unique storytelling.
We visited Kilkenny Castle
The Castle became the seat of a very powerful family, the Butlers of Ormonde. Our colleague Richard Butler makes no claim to be related as they were born on the wrong side of the blanket.
The Butler family (who changed their name from FitzWalter in 1185) arrived in Ireland with the Norman invasion. They originally settled in Gowran where James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond built Gowran Castle in 1385. The family had become wealthy and James bought Kilkenny Castle in 1391 and established himself as ruler of the area. The Butler dynasty then ruled the surrounding area for centuries. Many of the family, including James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond are buried in St Mary’s.
Among the many notable members of the Butler family was Lady Margaret Butler (c. 1454 or 1465–1539) the Irish noblewoman, the daughter of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond. Lady Margaret Butler was born in Kilkenny Castle. She married Sir William Boleyn and was the paternal grandmother of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England.
We ended our Kilkenny City Walking Tour at the Smithwick’s Experience
This was fitting as it involved sampling all their wonderful brews. Pretty normal for SCHM students even after 50 years.
Smithwick’s had heard of our drinking reputation from our Shannon days and were well stocked to handle the onslaught. SCHM Class of 1973 is still able to handle their liquor. Bill Croke looks very anxious awaiting his pint in this photo.
Our afternoon was free, and the Gala Dinner was also at the Kilkenny Ormonde hotel where Mr. Colin Ahern, GM and his team looked after us so well.
Class of 1973 Gala Dinner at Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel-Nov 13, 2023
It was wonderful to see our fellow classmates after so many years, we all have changed, but what has not changed was the great camaraderie that existed in our class that is still relevant after 50 years. So many stories of our great days at SCHM, parties in the hostels, nights at Durty Nelly’s, working at Dromoland Castle. Wine tour to Hennesy Cognac, France and Pedro Domecq in Jerez, Spain and our years’ experience in Switzerland with Movenpick.
As we look back on the past 50 years, we can take pride in all that we have accomplished, both individually and as a group. We have made a difference in the world, and we continue to do so today.
The reunion was a time of joy, reflection, and celebration for all the class. We honored the past, embraced the present, and look forward to the future with hope and optimism.
One highlight of the weekend was the presence of Frank McMahon, Lecturer who arrived at SCHM during our years in Shannon. He was most engaging and brought great enthusiasm to the gathering.
During the Gala Dinner our Class Prefect Bill Croke
made some wonderful remarks and reflected on the past 50 years, remembering those who have departed and those who could not attend. He mentioned Hervé Goulet in particular as he was so looking forward to the reunion and seeing everyone again. He also reflected on the wives of the classmates who were so much part of our lives- Ruth Butler-Joan Cunningham-Lilly Terry. He thanked Frank McMahon for attending.
He acknowledged Peadar Cunningham for setting up WhatsApp several years ago, which has kept us all connected, and Peter O’Colmain for the lovely individually crafted pens he made for each of his colleagues. He presented Joe Ruddy with a pint of Guinness as he had travelled the furthest with his wife Wowie from the Philippines.
And finally, special thanks to Richard Butler for organizing the great time in Kilkenny with assistance from James Enright and expert guidance at the beginning from Peadar Cunningham who organized the 25th & 30th Class of 1973 reunions.
All Class of 1973 members received a gift of Kilkenny Crystal in remembrance of the get together.
James Enright presented Richard with a 2023 Christmas White House Ornament as a Thank you for all his hard work in organizing the events in Kilkenny.
We had a fabulous time and decided that we would not wait for another 5 years but would meet again in 2026.