Tributes paid after death of Offaly school principal
An Edenderry school has led tributes following the untimely passing of its principal.
Mr Gerry Connolly, principal of Oaklands Community College in Edenderry, passed away on Monday following a battle with illness.
The Westmeath man moved to Oaklands in 2008 and was a much-loved principal, educator, friend and colleague to the students and staff there. He has been remembered today for his dedication and kind nature.
Gerry passed away peacefully in the presence of his loving family in the care of the staff of Saint Luke's Hospital, Rathgar.
PICTURED: The late Gerry Connolly
He is predeceased by his beloved daughter Emma, parents Jim and Anne and brother Michael. He will be missed by his loving wife Caroline (née Maxwell) and son Stephen, as well as his friends and extended family.
Oaklands Community College led tributes on Tuesday by saying: "Gerry's life has touched us all for the better in so many different ways. We are truly fortunate to have had Gerry as our Principal, colleague and friend for the past 11 years."
"Our sincere condolences to Gerry's wife Caroline, his son Stephen, his brothers and sister at this difficult time."
A number of friends and locals also extended tributes.
Eamon Quinn described him as "a true gentleman and professional at his job," adding, "he will be a huge loss, sincere sympathies to his family, work colleagues and students."
Elizabeth McNevin said: "Mr Connolly was a fantastic principal and man who genuinely cared for everybody. He always had time for his students and to help them through difficult teenage years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, colleagues and everybody whose heart he touched."
Andrea O'Connell said: "He genuinely cared about the students and was a lovely man to deal with. He helped shape Oaklands into the fantastic school it is today."
Sandra Farrell added: "A true gentleman gone too soon. He always made time for his students and parents alike. He was a pleasure to deal with. His legacy will live on in Oaklands; he has touched so many lives."
Reposing at his home (Eircode N91 N9T8) on Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm. Removal to Saint Nicholas' Church, Multyfarnham, on Thursday for Funeral Mass at 11am. Private cremation will take place on Friday. Family flowers only. Donations if desired to The Friends of Saint Luke's.