One of Our Greats: Raymond Mooney
Ray Mooney, a dedicated and much loved teacher of our school has recently passed away aged 72 on Tuesday 17th January 2017.
Ray Mooney was a native of Skryne. He had a great passion and love for GAA. He was involved with Skryne GFC for over 60 years, attending matches with his father, Tommy, a farmer at Greenpark, was a legendary figure in the club as a player and official, and was vice-chairman of the County Board and chairman of the Minor and Juvenile Boards. Ray’s mother, Bernadette, was a schoolteacher, initially in Dillionsbridge School (now Lismullin), and later Rathfeigh.
Ray attended post-primary school in Mullingar at Saint Finian’s as a boarder. Ray was a college star at school, figuring on the college team beaten in the 1961 Leinster Championship by St. Mel’s, Longford.
After leaving Saint Finian’s in Mullingar Ray went to study in Maynooth. He left Maynooth in 1968 and began to teach in Saint Joseph’s Fairview, Dublin. In 1971 after teaching in Saint Joseph’s Fairview for three years, Ray came to teach in Saint Patrick’s Classical School. He thought Latin, history, geography and career guidance. He retired in 2001 as a result of health issues. But in 2015 he came back to teach Latin as a substitute teacher. In school he was a loyal colleague who particularly loved teaching Latin and a lot of young men around the Navan area will always be thankful for the time he put in, way above the call of duty, to make sure they were catered for jobs, career paths, and learning were all a part of his daily routine for his students.
For over 45 years he was responsible for the juvenile teams. Mr. O’Rourke wrote “that much of Saint Pat’s success at senior level in college football over the last twenty years was directly attributable from the days those young men came into school”. Ray encouraged boys to kick the ball, not to be afraid to make mistakes, and to enjoy themselves. Ray never wanted awards or thanks and he would have been embarrassed by the tributes paid to him. At the end of his playing days, Ray acted as treasurer and secretary for his local club Skryne GFC for a long number of years. He was an expert at lining the pitch and mowing the grass to have it in tip top condition for important games. He looked after underage teams with outstanding success.
“During his illness he never complained; he figured everyone was doing his best for him. As he was stoic in nature and thankful for everything. Every club and every school in Ireland needs a Ray Mooney,” Mr. O’Rourke added. “His likes may never pass this way again for a very long time,” Skryne GFC. Liam Fagan.
From School Principal Colm O Rourke:
As we look forward to 2017 and bigger games beginning we lost one of the great foot-soldiers this week when Raymond Mooney of Skryne, Meath and long serving former Teacher in St Patrick’s Classical school Navan went over the hill. It would be hard to over emphasise Ray`s work in education and his absolute unselfish work for the GAA. He was the ultimate low key man, he did the work while others talked and never expected or wanted thanks. His roles included manager of two championship winning teams in 92 and 93, a team I was fortunate to be part of, which broke a long losing sequence of finals for the Skryne Club. He also painted the gates, sprayed the weeds, collected at the gate, trained the under age teams and anything and everything that was needed. For big games in Pairc Talteann he was there too, always helping out.
In St Pats he spent about forty five years helping out the Juvenile teams and much of the success at Senior level in Colleges football over the last twenty years was directly attributable to his emphasis on skill development from the day those young men came to the school. There was nothing radical or maybe it sounds like that now, he encouraged them to kick the ball, not to be afraid to make mistakes and enjoy themselves. Perhaps that is radical now at senior inter county level where fear of mistakes takes over from free expression. Ray never wanted awards or thanks and would have been embarassed by the tributes paid to him this week. Once he did not bother going to a dinner dance where he was going to get some award. When I asked him why not he just laughed and said “ I heard all those speeches before”.
In School he was a loyal colleague who particularly loved Teaching Latin and a lot of young men around Navan will always be thankful for the time he put in, way above the call of duty to make sure they were catered for. Jobs, career paths and learning were all part of his daily routine for his students. He would be especially happy now that Latin is back on the curriculum in St Pats and proving very popular too.
During his illness he never complained, he figured everyone was doing their best for him. As such he was stoic in nature and thankful for everything. Every Club and every School need a Raymond Mooney, hard working, non confrontational and without ego. He was just a wonderful, decent and generous man.