Posted: 5th October 2018

The Class of 1973, miss each other so much now that they can’t wait ten years for a reunion, but must meet ‘quin-annually’. Their latest such gathering took place last weekend, September 28th-30th (despite a clash with the Ryder Cup in Paris) in Athlone. 22 of the year chose the banks of the Shannon over the French capital and our embedded correspondent, Peter Gray sent us this report from the front…

Athlone was the chosen venue for many reasons, not least the affinity of the two organisers with the Shannon. One of the attractions of the gathering was a boat trip on Saturday afternoon onto Lough Ree and around the ‘inner lakes’, with a stop at the Lough Ree Inn on Coosan Point for some lunch and refreshments. The location was also chosen to facilitate David Egan, who suffered a catastrophic neck injury while playing rugby some years after leaving Clongowes and who lives in Athlone. David joined us for dinner on Friday evening and again on Saturday morning, enlivening us with his detailed recollections of the deeds and misdeeds of the 1972 and 1973 years. (In the days before Transition Year, some boys skipped 4th Year [Humanities as it was then] resulting in a division in the year that had started together in 1st Year [Rudiments as it was then] and different terminal dates when leaving Clongowes – Ed)

An eclectic bunch

The class of 1973 were and are an eclectic bunch. Infamous for having lost in the first round of the Senior Cup 0-3 to a certain Jesuit school in Milltown, the year has proven that its talents lay other than on the rugby field. Many doctors (seven?) and lawyers, at least two professors, many successful business people and entrepreneurs (including a Knight of the Realm), a leading French fashion correspondent (from Lurgan!), prominent architects, engineers and developers, several vets etc etc, (not to mention a jazz pianist), all emerged. Were that not enough, thus far four of our number have served on the Clongowes’ Board of Management or the Foundation (these include the author of this piece, who currently chairs the board – Ed). Eclectic!

Sadly, five of our year (that we know of) have passed away, three (Mark Anderson, David Binchy and Roddy O’Driscoll RIP) since our last gathering in 2013. However, two others who had been declared dead were discovered to be alive and well! Robert Sheehan was the harbinger of the news that the no-longer-late Vincent Morrissey was still with us and search parties have been dispatched to Dungarvan to ensure his ‘apparition’ in Clongowes for the 50th in 2023.

Some of the Boys of ’73 called by their alma mater for a look around on their way to Athlone…

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