Peter O’Meara (OC’88) and his wife Hilary were very proud parents on Union Day when their son Rory (Elements) collected the Clongowes Union medal for Third Line Debating along with an Academic medal. When Rory returned to Mallow he brought the medals to his grandfather Patrick O’Meara who left Clongowes in 1938, the last of ten brothers to attend the school.
Rory’s grandfather produced a Clongowes Union medal from 1915, which was presented to his eldest brother Jack (John J) who went on to become a Jesuit and left Clongowes in 1915 exactly 100 years ago. The inscription on the back of the medal declares that Uncle Jack won the medal for English Composition. He also showed Rory a medal won by uncle Jack in 1915, for first in English, 1915 Senior Grade awarded by The Board of Intermediate Education of Ireland.
For the record the names of the ten brothers that went to CWC were Jack, Barry, Jim, Tom, Billy, David, Mick, Charlie and twins Dermot and Paddy. These are not in the correct order. First and second and ninth and 10th are! Paddy (Rory’s granddad) is the last remaining member of the family alive, aged 95. Three of the brothers, Jack, Tom and Mick became Jesuits whilst another, David, became a priest and then Monsignor.
Fr Jack spent most of his life in China and Hong Kong, Father Tom spent most of his in Zambia, while Father Mick spent most of his time in Clongowes and the Crescent. He was also a chaplain in World War II and was on the 1926 cup winning team. There were two sisters as well, Tess and Mary, who went to the Ursuline Convent in Cork. Tess married Frank Purcell and had nine children, which led to another long strain of the extended family attending the school.