IT’S the end of an era for St Patrick’s Primary School, Aghagallon, as Mrs Eileen Brady retires from work in the kitchen after 40 years service.
Mrs Mary Rodgers, the school’s vice principal said: “St Patrick’s won’t be the same without Mrs Brady”.
Mrs Brady began work in St Patrick’s in January 1971 as a kitchen assistant, she fulfilled this role for ten years before becoming the cook in charge.
Since 1981 she has managed the kitchen and worked with a variety of assistants. Currently Mrs Roisin McCrory is the assistant.
During her career Mrs Brady enjoyed the relationship she had with her colleagues in the school and with the successive generations of children.
As well as a dinner lady she became a friend and confident to so many of the children, Kerrie in P6 remarked: “Mrs Brady always gives good advice.”
Clodagh from P7 said: “She was very kind to all the students in the school.”
However, it was her cooking and management of the kitchen, which really made Mrs Brady stand out from the crowd.
In many schools children opted to have dinner on days when there are chips and pizzas etc, but in St Patrick’s Mrs Brady regularly filled the dining hall when she prepared soups and a variety of other main courses.
It was of course her legendary “Chicken Crumble”, which drew the largest crowd, indeed it proved so popular that last year the school hosted a special lunch when the children brought their grandparents to lunch and on the menu that day, by popular demand, was chicken crumble.
“I was aware very early on in my tenure in St Patrick’s that the dinners were very popular with the children, but it was during rehearsals for the Christmas show in 2006 that I realised just how popular Mrs Brady and her chicken crumble was when the children insisted in writing a line into the script about the popular school dinner
“Since then every P7 class that has moved on to secondary school has indicated in their final assembly that one of the things they will miss most is Mrs Brady’s chicken crumble,” said Mr Kevin O’Hara, the school principal.
The school and the community of Aghagallon paid special tribute to Mrs Brady at the End of School Mass on Monday. The Head Boy, Jack Lenehan and Head Girl Sorcha McCrory presented Mrs Brady with a gift from the parents, children and staff of St Patrick’s.
Mrs Mary Flannery, from the Southern Education and Library Board made a presentation on behalf of the employing authority.
In his address Mr O’Hara thanked Mrs Brady for her many years of dedicated service, for the quality of the work she had carried out and for the many times when her contribution to the life of the school went above and beyond the call of duty.
He concluded by wishing Mrs Brady and her husband Jim a long and happy retirement.