by Ward Gahan
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Celebrating Our Educators - National Teacher’s Day 5/5


With the pandemic, we see and hear about heroes emerging from the day's chaos. The doctors, nurses, hospital janitorial staff and the food service workers are each playing a critical role in our world’s recovery. And while we are thankful for these essential workers on the front lines dealing with the health emergencies, another breed of essential work is starting to be recognized for the critical job they do as well - it’s our teachers!

As schools have been shuttered and students are required to be homeschooled, it is becoming increasingly more evident that our teachers are unsung heroes as well. In preparation for National Teachers Day on May 5th, we thought we’d give educators a virtual pat on the back for all that they do for our children every day. National Teacher’s Day was created by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a teacher herself. Her love of education began at a young age and no matter where her life’s journey took Eleanor, she never forgot her fellow teachers.

So that got me thinking about my education and the teachers in my life. Not being able to venture outside much these days gives one a bit more time to think, so I began to reminisce about my childhood in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. It’s been a while since I had thought about school but the memories came flooding back.

My elementary education started at  St. Mary’s CBS - Christian Brothers School. It was a fairly new school at the time and I recall that discipline was HUGE. Perhaps this is my mind playing tricks on me, but I recall some tenacious teachers who used fear (also known as the leather strap) to maintain control. For the most part, it was pretty feckin’ effective. Some were very empathetic and of course, most did it for the right reasons. So perhaps we’ll see some of this old school discipline emerge in the home schools? Thankfully, our kids are grown!

St. Mary's Christian Brother's School

We had a sports field a block away. The field had sheep on it along with big holes and divots. The brothers used to warn us about swearing during a game or practice..."Boys this is Holy Ground." It sure is Brother! There's one hole there and another over there'd twist an ankle on them. But it was also that kind of smart remark that usually earned me a slap of a hurley! It’s another example of that discipline I was mentioning earlier.

During my high school years, I attended CBS High School in Clonmel. I was, what you might call, a “messer” in school. You may know of that kid who was easily bored, highly distracted and a little disruptive. Yes, that was me. (I bet those of you who know me are really shocked right now!) This was an all boys school, so you’d always see me get a bit more engaged when we got a chance to intermingle with the ladies. Oh, to this day, I still love Pirates of Penzance because we got to “collaborate” with the girls from the Presentation Convent! You might say, I found my motivation.

CBS High School Clonmel

After high school, I attended the University of Limerick and graduated with a Bachelors of Engineering Degree in Electronics. I have always been interested in tech and gadgets. That’s how I make sense of my career choice being an engineer who owns an online store. It was my love of Ireland and the draw of the web that lured me into creating Biddy Murphy.

Ah, but my mind was wandering again. Back to the original intent of this post - the educators! I would have to say that it was my teacher, Mr. Brendan Granville, who made a lasting impression on me. I loved Geography and  Civics (or whatever we call it now). Mr. Granville really engaged us by listening to stories about our travels and our early teen opinions about geo-politics. He inspired a love of worldly experiences within me that is still present today.

We want to recognize Mr. Granville and all of the educators out there who are dedicated to their work, forging the minds of our youth. If you are so moved and would like to get your favorite teacher an authentic Irish gift from your favorite Irish store, we recommend checking out our selection of Irish journals or throw blankets always make a lovely gift and they aren’t visible underneath the desk during a class video conference. If you are homeschooling your own kids and are struggling, we recommend our whiskey-related items like our Connemara Marble Whiskey Stones to help keep your adult beverage cold. 😄

We’d love to hear about your favorite teacher, so please feel free to recognize them with a comment below.

Slán go fóill - Bye for now, 


Ward's School Notes

by Ward Gahan


Kathleen Wolf
Kathleen Wolf

My favorite teacher was Mr. Farac. He was my English teacher in 8th grade and speech teacher in 9th grade. Like Mr. Grandville, Mr. Farac would encourage me to write and craft speeches about the things that interested me. At that time, much of what I wrote or spoke about were boys with curly hair. But he indulged me and instilled a love of writing. I do a lot of public speaking in my career and I credit Mr. Farac for much of my success today.

Thanks for recognizing our educators. They surely have a tough job! Thanks to teachers everywhere.

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