Popular teacher David ‘was more than a teacher’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A POPULAR Lucan Community College teacher has been fondly remembered by staff and students of the school as “one of the most highly and affectionately regarded members” of the school staff, following his untimely death last week, reports Aideen O’Flaherty.

David Byrne was passionate about history, geography and travel, and taught in Dundrum College for ten years, followed by another ten-year stint as a teacher in the European Schools in Brussels, before he joined the staff of Lucan Community College in 2009.

David Byrne compressor

David Byrne

Mr Byrne taught history, economics and geography, and he also took on the pastoral role of year head.

Stephen Brett, the deputy principal of Lucan Community College, said: “David’s passion for teaching was built on his deep knowledge of the world, acquired through his love of both history and geography.

“He was also a truly committed year head for all in his care.

“David was a devoted sportsperson, as a player of both rugby and soccer, as well as a coach of both junior and senior rugby teams in the college.

“David was also instrumental in organising various charity fundraising events for Irish and global charities here in the college through our ‘jersey day’ events.”

David Wright, a 5th year student in the college, remembered his Junior Cert history teacher as person who was “more than a teacher” to his students – he was someone they could all rely on.

“He made such a big impression on me as my teacher,” wrote David in a piece for the school’s website, “that I still would love to talk to him about whatever historical information I find out that I think would interest him.

“He always makes time for his students, to help us with any problem we have.

“We have all missed having Mr Byrne’s company for the past several months. He is an irreplaceable member of staff that means the world to all of us.”

Mr Byrne’s colleague, John O’Connor, who he shared an office with in the school, remembered Mr Byrne as someone who always had time for his students.

“It was a great privilege to observe how he interacted with students,” said Mr O’Connor.

“Even in the most difficult of situations he never lost his cool and never raised his voice.

“Evidence of students’ appreciation of David’s great care was to be seen in the many heartfelt tributes left in the room beside our office.

“David would think them undeserved, but would greatly appreciate them, and he would be tremendously proud of the sensitivity and compassion shown by our students.”

Mr Byrne passed away in the Blackrock Hospice last Thursday, and is survived by his wife, Mary, his children, Kevin and Laura, his parents, Noel and Rita, and his siblings Adrienne, Brian and Ciarán.

Reflecting on how the school community feels about the passing of Mr Byrne, Mr Brett said: “David was a true gentleman, scholar and humanitarian.

“He will be sorely missed by every member of our school community.

“Ar dheis Dé do raibh a anam dilis.”

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