The late Thomas Maguire
Conor McHugh firstname.lastname@example.org @Leader_conor
Warm tributes have been paid to the late Tom Maguire, a former vice-principal of Naas CBS, by a number of his past pupils — including one of Ireland’s most notable up and coming poets.
Keith Payne, who sat his Leaving Cert at the school in 1992, noted that his late English teacher “exceeded himself in decency” when “faced with a crowd of bowsies like us”.
“I always believe in speaking ill of the dead when they deserve it — and there’s plenty do — but in this case there’s nothing to be said for Tucker (Mr Maguire’s nickname in the school) ‘cept ‘great teacher’.
“He taught me Joyce — I still have the graffitied copy of Portrait here on the shelf - and exceeded himself in decency, which is no easy thing with facing a crowd of bowsies like us every day.
“He even made it into a poem of mine, although I changed him from ‘vice’ to ‘principal’,” he remarked. “But then I’m sure he’d allow for the licence.”
The former Naas CBS vice-principal, Thomas (Tom) Maguire passed away on Friday, March 3.
Living at the Kilcullen Road, Naas, he taught English and Latin to generations of Naas students, often to several generations of the same families. Originally from Ardclough, he played senior football for Kildare. He had many interests including golf and was captain of Naas Golf Club in 1981 and secretary for four years.
Keith Payne was named in early 2016 as the recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary award.
“He was always a decent skin, a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. May the sod rest lightly on him,” was how former student Alan Garvey recalled him.
Another student, Jason Hand recalled the late Mr Maguire “trying to convince us from the moment we are born, we are dying! Always liked him. RIP”.
Derek Coyle, now a lecturer in English Literature, Irish Studies and Creative Writing in St Patrick’s College, Carlow remarked: “Ah gosh, a genuine character in the old-fashioned sense.
“We recall him cycling to school each day, in his suit, with old fashioned bicycle clips keeping his trousers from becoming ensnared in the chain and wheels”.
His daughter Fionnuala recalled him as a great father, a loving husband, a brother and a caring grandfather.
“He was an inspiring teacher, a golfer, a great gardener and DIY man.
“One fond memory we have is of him digging the garden sporting a tea cosy on his head to keep warm. Appearances didn’t matter to Dad. He would do anything for anyone and always had time for a chat and called a spade a spade.”