Brother Patrick Victorinus Noonan

The Nationalist, Oct 16, 1995


The death occurred this week of Brother Noonan, who had a long association with Cashel. He taught as a primary teacher from 1962 to 1973 and returned again from 1986-90. During both periods he did more than most to promote Gaelic games in the town,

A native of Grange, Newcastlewest he attended to local primary school before going to Charleville C.B.S. for his secondary education. Later he joined the Christian Brothers and was trained as a primary teacher in Marino. His first job was in Inchicore, after which he was to spend periods of time in Tipperary, Mount Sion, Portarlington and O'Connell Schools before coming to Cashel. He was in Tralee between 1973 and 1986 and after his second stint in Cashel he went to Thurles for three years before retiring to Baldoyle in 1993.

On his arrival in Cashel in 1962 he devoted his after school hours to preparing children for the County Council scholarships. His work was successful and there were a number of successful candidates. When free education was introduced in 1967the scholarships were abolished and Brother Noonan found another outlet for his energies.

He decided to run a football league, non-stop, from September 1 to November 1. There were five teams of twelve each and games were played every evening, weather permitting.Operations were closed down from December to February when a similar league in hurling was begun and carried through to June, when the finals and play-offs took place. The boys developed a tremendous interest in the leagues and enjoyed them immensely. Brother Noonan subsidised the hurleys, selling them at half-price, with help from Cashel King Cormac's and Coiste lomana.

His efforts paid enormous dividends and translated into spectacular success for Cashel King Cormac juvenile teams in divisional and county hurling and football championships. The club qualified for the county under-13 hurling and football finals in 1969, losing the hurling to Ballina but winning the football against Thurles. In the following years there was continued success, culminating with a great county minor double in 1974. Many of these underage players, tutored by Brother Noonan, such as John and Tommy Grogan, Pa Fitzelle, Tony Slattery and others made names for themselves at senior and inter-county level later.

On the occasion of his death it is important to recall Brother Noonan's major contribution to the development of Gaelic games in the town. His contribution was part of a great and generous service by the Christian Brothers to the promotion of things Irish and placing emphasis on our culture and our games.

When he returned for a second time in 1986 he willingly offered his services again for the promotion of Gaelic games. It was typical of the man who was always generous of his time and who believed strongly in the value of Gaelic games to the youth of the town. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dílis.