Dublin footballers stats man Frankie retires after 39 years teaching in Clonburris school

By Aura McMenamin

CLONBURRIS National School will bid farewell to one of their founding teachers this month, as he leaves behind a legacy of GAA greatness and 39 years of service.

Frank Roebuck was 20-years-old when he began teaching at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Clonburris National School in Clondalkin, after the school opened on Dunawley Avenue in 1978.

FRANK JIM GAVIN CLONBURRIS cropped

Clonburris National School after winning the Corn Clonmore Cumann na mBunscol title in Croke Park in 1981

A year earlier, the fledgling school was waiting for their new building and had to be based in two rented classrooms in Talbot Senior School in Bawnogue.

The life-long Clondalkin native, who comes from a family of primary school teachers, continued at Clonburris NS for decades until this month, watching it grow vastly to 560 pupils today, with 32 teachers.

Mr Roebuck told The Echo this week: “Over the years, we saw an influx of families from different places, from outside of Dublin, settle down (in the area).

“Few teachers in the school left over the years, which added to the stability of the school. It’s a testament to the school that we have so many past pupil’s children attend the school.”

Under Mr Roebuck, who is a member of the Clondalkin Round Tower GAA Club, Clonburris NS developed a strong and reputable GAA programme. One of the school’s better-known alumni is Jim Gavin, manager of the Dublin Senior Team.

Under Mr Roebuck’s guidance, Mr Gavin became a recognised footballer and hurler.

Frank Roebuck Retirement 09

Frank Roebuck with his brother Johnny, who is a teacher in Moyle Park, at the celebration

Mr Roebuck said: “Jim would have been one of the few children who won six out of six Cumann na mBunscol finals in Croke Park.”

Frank, who has been an analyst for the Dublin team for the past ten years, continued: “The school had strong links with community groups. The school’s GAA had humble beginnings - my involvement with Round Tower allowed us to get the equipment, jerseys, etc.”

Mr Roebuck says that aside from sporting achievements, the school has a reputable music club and choir - with the annual Christmas concert to celebrate their 40th birthday next year.

The school clearly had a lifelong impact on the self-described ‘Clondalkin Boy’. Twenty years ago, he met his future wife, Fiona Morley, who began teaching in the school in 1998.

After such a long time in the school, Mr Roebuck now looks forward to spending time with his three daughters, Eibhlín, Bronagh and Aisling, who all attended the school as children.

“My wife is the only one of us who is left in the school now,” he joked. See more photos on page 61.

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