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It was with deep sadness and regret that we heard the news of the passing of our former colleague and friend Mr John McCarthy, a post-primary teacher of Science and Maths in Skibbereen Community School, and formerly of Rossa College.

John taught in both of these schools for the past number of years and also served as advising examiner in Higher Leaving Cert Maths with the State Examinations Commission.

John had a great way with students who found school difficult. He stopped and chatted to give a supportive word or talked about sport and encouraged many to stick with it.

John’s contribution was not confined to the academic as he was also an avid sportsman. In his younger years in London, John played with Crystal Palace. Later he shared and imparted that knowledge and skills in different areas of West Cork, notably, Lyre Soccer Club, MICC, Rossa College and Skibbereen Community School. John prepared those underage teams, enjoying much success and more recently was ably assisted by one of his students Sean Finn Gallagher who coached the teams under his guidance.

John was very actively involved in the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) and was a member of the National Treasury and former Treasurer and auditor of the Co. Cork Branch. He regularly attended meetings and was a great support to younger members entering the teaching profession.

John was a devoted family man and enjoyed many events with his three sons Tadhg, Conor and Michael, together with his wife Ruth. These people were always foremost in his mind and this was so evident with the recent birth of his grandson Michael-John. It is testament to his character that he made the long flight to Australia during the mid-term break to welcome this family addition.

John will be deeply missed by his friends, colleagues, family, and all of us in Skibbereen Community School.