Michael John Kilgannon was born in Liscune, Ballymacward in 1940. He was educated at Liscune National School and later at St. Cuan’s College, where his Classmates included long serving Pearses stalwart Tim Byrnes and Pearses Scór Producer, John Corbett. All three graduated from St. Cuan’s with high grade Leaving Certs. Michael John got a call to Primary Teaching at St. Patrick’s College of Education in Drumcondra, Dublin; where he graduated and his two colleagues Tim and John later went to University and qualified as Secondary Teachers, both returning to their Alma Mater in St. Cuan’s, where they both taught for many years.
Michael John Kilgannon’s first appointment was to a rural school in Co. Cavan, back in 1961. He was anxious to return home and was appointed as Principal Teacher in Cloonkeenkerrill N.S. (Colemanstown/Gurteen) in 1962, moving to Esker N.S. (Ballymacward), becoming Principal there in 1966. Five years later, he became Principal in Liscune N.S., where he originally attended Primary School. In 1974, he became Principal of the new Ballymacward Central National School, which was an amalgamation of the old Esker, Garafine and Liscune National Schools. He held this position until his retirement in 2005.
After the formation of Padraig Pearses G.A.A. Club in 1966, he became a Member of the Club and a promoter of Gaelic Games in Ballymacward School, which has since produced many quality School Teams in Hurling, Camogie and Gaelic Football. Indeed in 1966 Michael John donated ‘The Kilgannon Cup’ which was played for by the various National Schools in the parish at the time, Garafine were the first winners. He immersed himself in Club Affairs, becoming a Member of the Club’s Management Committee and was appointed a Trustee of the Club’s Grounds – “Páirc na nGael” in Ballymacward, back in 1976.
Michael John was always involved in many Community activities and joined the Local Branch of Macra na Feirme. He became a valued Member of the Ballymacward Macra Debating team alongwith his former Classmate Tim Byrnes, Nicholas Byrnes and Gerry Murray. This team, who were coached by Michael John’s predecessor, former School Principal, Mr. Seamus Duffy, went on to win the County Macra Debating Final in 1960. Born to be a Community Activist, Michael John led and became involved in many Community Campaigns, both locally and throughout the wider Western Region.
Pearses G.A.A. Club this week, express their deepest sympathy to Mrs. Maureen Kilgannon and her six Children, on the death of Michael J. Kilgannon. May his noble soul rest in peace. Ar Dheis Lámh Dé go raibh sé.
Funeral Arrangements: Reposing at St. Peter andamp;amp; Paul’s Mortuary Chapel, Ballymacward on Saturday, January 21st, from 2-6pm. Funeral Mass Sunday, January 22nd at 1pm. Burial afterwards to Ballymacward New Cemetery. House private.
Text by Noel Treacy.