DWYER O’Hagan, a man who brought enthusiasm and energy into everything he did, was above all a loving husband, a devoted father, a caring son and brother and a great friend to all who knew him.
Born in 1953, Dwyer was the eldest son of Donald and Mary O’Hagan and with his sister and brothers grew up on the Belfast Road, Lurgan.
Educated at Tannaghmore Primary School and Greenpark CBS, Armagh, Dwyer progressed to the De La Salle Teacher Training College in Manchester where he specialized in English and Drama. On returning to Northern Ireland in 1975, he took up his first teaching post in St. Anthony’s Primary School, Craigavon, where he remained for 20 years, before being appointed Principal of St. Mary’s PS, Maghery. Having inspired an entire ‘generation’ of primary school children during the seven years of his principalship there, he returned as Principal to St. Anthony’s Primary School, the school in which his teaching career had begun.
As a teacher, Dwyer was driven by the belief that every child should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential through education. He strove to bring out the best in every pupil and Dwyer always found a talent and a way of nurturing it so that children could value their self worth. During the 35 years of his career, the interest he took in each pupil was outstanding and his ability to remember details of their school life, years after they had left the classroom, was testament to his care and commitment to them. Former pupils often relished the opportunity to recall favorite poems, glorious victories on the sports field and amusing incidents from their school days: and their pleasure in telling those stories was matched by Dwyer’s enjoyment in hearing them.
Dwyer lived for his family and home and thoroughly enjoyed cooking and gardening. A talented raconteur, who loved telling stories to children and adults alike, he was also a Quiz Master par excellence, renowned for the quizzes he compiled for family occasions and get togethers. Dwyer took a keen interest in all types of sports and was a passionate supporter of the Armagh Gaelic team and Glasgow Celtic. Following the Armagh team, in good times and bad, around the counties of Ireland was a great source of family fun and joy.
Retirement gave him more time to spend outdoors doing the things he loved. As a gardener, he took pride in his ability to provide his family with fresh vegetables and produce from the garden and greenhouse; his tomatoes were his pride and joy. Always a keen walker, he and his wife Marion were able to enjoy more challenging walks with a well earned picnic at the end of the day. In the evenings they could be found burling and twirling at ballroom dancing classes in The Town Hall and Dwyer’s love of language and literature was enriched by his study of the Irish language at the Gaelic League in North Street.
Dwyer was a man of integrity and strong faith. He possessed a warm and wry sense of humour which remained with him, even during the illness that he bore with great dignity and courage. He is sadly missed by his wife Marion, sons Niall and Colm and daughter Nuala, his mother Mary, sister Roisin and brothers Turlough and Fergal and all his friends.