The staff and students of Balbriggan Community College wish our friend and colleague Cait Shirran all the best in her retirement.
After an incredible 42 years, Cait is closing the door to her office on Friday for the last time, and heading for pastures new.
Cait has been a dear friend to all staff, present and past. Patient and kind in equal measure, with a laugh that fills our staff room, Cait is a larger than life presence in our school, and someone people naturally gravitated towards.
If ever you needed anything, Cait—despite always having something else to be doing—would put it on hold and help you first. Her office door was always open, and her patience and kindness knew no bounds.
Cait was the first person new staff coming in for interviews would meet. Over the years her relaxing demeanour has eased hundreds of staff into life at the Community College.
All students, whether late, or sick, or needing to call home, have been looked after by Cait over decades and generations.
Parents too would have met Cait as their first point of contact with the school. Dropping in lunches or forgotten ingredients, boots for sports, application forms or just for meetings, Cait was always the first kind voice, the first pleasant smile to greet them. She has literally been the voice and face of our school, quietly and unassumingly for decades.
And that is why Cait’s departure will be keenly felt not only in the school community, but in the wider community also.
Because for 42 years, Cait has served our school, and our town and its people, with integrity and grace, and always with kindness and an air of calm.
In the last 42 years the town has changed dramatically outside the campus of the Community College. One thing that has remained a reassuring constant in the town’s fabric has been Cait’s composed voice answering the school phone with, “hello, Balbriggan Community College,” and then setting everything right.
When Cait hangs up that phone for the last time, logs out and exits her office on Friday, all the staff, students and wider community will be sad to see her take her final trip down the corridor. However, we will all be delighted to have had the chance to have known her, worked with her and laughed with her while she was here.
We look forward to Cait’s postcards from wherever it is she may roam!
From everyone at Balbriggan Community College, we say thank you for everything Cait, and all the best for the future.