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Caretaker Tony Ralph retires after long career

Keys jangling, a smile and a kind word for everyone, a mischievous grin and love of a practical joke and a willingness to help anyone who needed it. These are just some of the characteristics that Lucan Community College will miss about our long time caretaker Tony Ralph.

Tony started working with previous caretaker John Dobbs on a community employment scheme in August 2007 and was soon an essential part of the team under the leadership of Seamus O’Neill and Paddy McDermott who were Principal and Deputy Principal at that time. Tony started out his career as an apprentice car mechanic and retained his love of cars and his ability to help out staff and family members with car issues throughout his working life. He changed careers to work in The Glass Centre and Lucan Glass as a glazier and subsequently put these and his many other skills to use around the school for many years.

Tony brought a sense of fun to the workplace, enjoying a laugh and practical joke with his colleagues. He worked long hours, sometimes staying 14 hours in the college from opening time until the end of Evening classes when he was the sole caretaker. Tony wore a step tracker for a while and clocked up as many as 14km in a day as he walked around the building responding to the various needs of staff members (fixing leaks in the roof, shelving, locks, bins, deliveries, fixing a puncture, cutting the pitch for a match, etc.) and students (fixing lockers, finding lost property, fixing a bike, mending a toilet, etc.).

Tony’s family were also connected with the school as his five children all attended the college. In fact when Tony retires it will be the first time in nearly 30 years that there has not been a member of the Ralph family in our college. We thank Tony, as well as his family: Esther, Pamela, Julie, Amy, Rebecca and Shane for the many hours of service that Tony has given to the school community over the years, for his generosity of time, for sharing his skills and for his jovial personality that brought a smile to our faces on our busiest of days.

Wishing Tony the best of good health and happiness in his retirement.

From all at Lucan Community College

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