Home News Deep sadness as much beloved Laois school principal passes away

Deep sadness as much beloved Laois school principal passes away

The death has taken place of Ted Laffey from Irishtown, Mountmellick. He was 62 years of age.

Ted was the much beloved and highly respected former principal of Scoil Bhríde in Knockmay, Portlaoise. He had also previously taught in Sacred Heart Boys NS in Ballygall, Dublin.

As principal of Scoil Bhríde he was one of the pioneering figures in the development of the school and one of the driving forces in ensuring that Scoil Bhríde got its much needed new school to cater for its growing numbers and expansion, at a time when hundreds of the school population were accommodated in prefabs on the school playground.

He was a progressive and patient principal who led by example and ensured inclusion for students of all persuasions and from many parts of the world, as well as children from all over Portlaoise parish.

Ted is fondly remembered by scores of past pupils and highly regarded by parents, colleagues and pupils alike.

He encouraged widespread participation in the school’s affairs with the parent’s council and was highly active within the Board of Management of the school.

Despite numerous setbacks he persevered with the campaign and planning for a new school and in the end his constructive approach along with others led to ultimate success.

Ted took early retirement on health grounds when he contracted cancer, but even this did not diminish his commitment to Scoil Bhríde, his interest in the welfare of others and his overall passion for life.

Undeterred, he retained an active interest in the progress of the new school building with his successor, staff and board of management at Scoil Bhríde.

When possible, Ted pursued his past times and was an avid gardener. He took courses in horticulture and found great joy from propagating fruit, flowers and vegetables in his polytunnel.

He had a great love of nature and also liked to take trips with his family in their motorhome.

Mary Manning and Ted Laffey at The Dunamaise Arts Centre for the opening of Gemma Guihan’s exhibition in 2008,
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Never one to complain he faced his long illness with great dignity and courage and always with a smile.

Ted passed away very peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Ted is survived by his best friend and wife Mary, loving sisters Anne and Mary, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, many friends and colleagues.

Pupils from Scoil Bhride, Portlaoise who received their First Communion on Saturday pictured here with teacher Ms. Sarah Wall-Coughlan and principal Mr. Ted Laffey in 2005.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

For those wishing to pay their respects Ted will be reposing at Moloney’s Funeral Home, Mountmellick today, Monday, July 8, from 5 to 8pm.

An ecumenical funeral liturgy will be held in St. Joseph’s Church, Mountmellick at 11am tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9, followed by private cremation.

No flowers by request. Donations if desired to Laois Home Care. House strictly private.

At the Scoil Bhride, Portlaoise sports awards night are Jack Scully, Christopher Higgins and Craig Scully, former pupils who are on the Irish under 15 basketball squad. Included are Mr. John Fennell, teacher and Mr. Ted Laffey, principal in 2003.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

May he rest in peace.

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John Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country's flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company. He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla - Camper Heaven.