There was widespread sadness in the Belturbet area and well beyond when news filtered out last Sunday that the former distinguished principal of St Bricin’s College, Liam MacEnri from Erne Hill, had passed away at Cavan General Hospital.
The affable Liam hailed from Eyre Square in Galway City and first arrived to Cavan in 1968 when he took up a teaching post in St Mogue’s College in Bawnboy.
A year later, he moved to the staff of Belturbet Vocational School, now known as St Bricin’s College.
He immediately made a decided impression in the school and inspired all his English students down through the years. I am proud to say I was one of his students and his word pictures brought a very enlightened form of learning to the English language.
He was an avid Man United supporter and loved his game of golf in Belturbet Golf Club and it was in that venue that he first encountered his future wife, the then Town Clerk, Eileen O’Grady.
The school scooped top awards in the Young Scientist competition on his watch and the esteem in which he was held in the school and community was duly recognised in 1980, when he assumed the prestigious role of Principal, following the retirement of Eamon McDonald.
Liam carried out his role with superb dedication and vision until he retired in 2001. Together with other staff in the school, he oversaw the introduction of computerisation to the school community.
All those fortunate enough to encounter Liam along life’s way were always impressed with his very positive outlook on life. Even though he was a wheelchair user in the later stages of his life, Liam never complained and his gregarious and upbeat demeanour continued to shine brightly.
He loved reading and enjoyed reading on his kindle and had a great interest in current affairs. His gentlemanly ways and sense of humour also endeared him to people right across the spectrum of life.
Liam was also heavily involved in various aspect of life in Belturbet over the years and one of the highlights was the twinning of Erneside Town with Cavan in Brittany. His wife Eileen, in her role as Town Clerk, was also highly involved in this civic initiative.
Liam is survived by his wife Eileen, sons Garrett and Tomas and daughters Orla and Dervla. He was predeceased by his sister Maxi MacEnri.
The huge representative attendances at both his removal on Monday evening and his funeral mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Belturbet on Tuesday were a reflection of the favourable impact he made on so many lives. He was laid to rest in Annagh Cemetery.