THE former Principal of Dean Maguirc College in Carrickmore, Peter Curran, who died on Friday, has been praised for his efforts in turning the school from having a small enrollment to being among the best in the country.
Mr Curran, who was aged in his 80s, was headmaster of the school in the 1980s and 1990s. Former pupils and members of the local community formed a guard of honour outside the St Mary’s Church in Loughmacrory yesterday (Sunday).
Speaking at requiem funeral Mass, Fr Thomas Mallon, said Mr Curran also played a key role in developing the community of Loughmacrory through his work as an architect, joiner, teacher, handball coach, musician and founder of the local Credit Union.
“As Principal of Dean Maguirc School he turned a small Intermediate school with a couple of hundred pupils and made it into one of the best in the country. He made that school to help develop the potential of every one of its pupils,” he said.
“Peter’s faith from his childhood in the 1940s was the inspiration for the wonderful part that he played in the life of our community. Right from his early days he was a man of many talents,” Fr Mallon said.
“He was able to move easily from being a teacher to an architect, joiner and handball coach and was someone willing to use all his talents for the benefits of others and the community.
“In his early days he drew up the plans for many of the houses in this parish and beyond. He gave leadership in founding the running Loughmacrory Youth Club, handball and handball facilities and in providing a community centre. He founded and led the Loughmacrory Accordion Band, bringing them to play all over the country and was a founder of the local Credit Union which provided so much financial direction for families.
“Peter also helped develop gaelic culture and was a lifelong pioneer of 68 years. I was amazed to see the part he played in the development of this community through education, sport, culture and community life.
Dean Maguirc College said its school community was deeply saddened by the passing of their former Principal.
“Peter was a great community person and a man of great vision who worked tirelessly to ensure that all his pupils were given every opportunity to further themselves. The positive impact of his hard work still lives on in the Dean.”
Loughmacrory Handball club, of whom Mr Curran was a founder member, described him as a ‘true glentleman’ who inspired decades of the sport in the community.
“A founding member of the Loughmacrory Community Development Association and Youth Club, in addition to so many other groups in the area, including Termonmaguirc Credit Union, as well as Principal of Dean Maguirc,
Peter was also the significant driving force behind our cherished Community Centre.”