Chris Maguire was born on
Christmas Day 1916, the sixth of twelve children; Delia
RIP, Dinny Joe RIP, Kathleen RIP, Sonnie RIP, John James
RIP, Chris, Gerard RIP, Basil, Rita, Syl RIP, Alo and Josephine,
to Charles Maguire and Margaret, née Rooney of Killea.
Until 1922 his family lived in Kiltyclogher
where his parents had a shop in a rented house. The family
then moved to Gortnaderry where his father had built a house
on a small farm of poor quality land. He grew up in a hard
working rural community and has abiding memories of the
storytelling traditions, fiddle playing, Irish history discussions,
abstruse science and mathematical problem solving, and good
neighbourliness. Family life was very important. His father
as a decent hardworking man, with an active interest in
current affairs, had a strong influence on his life, while
his mother with a love of music, poetry and dressmaking,
devoted great attention to her children’s education.
Chris attended Kiltyclogher National School
where Master Denis Gallagher and Mrs McGillen taught. His
success in winning a Preparatory scholarship to Coláiste
Einde, Dublin (now in Galway), he attributes to the influence
of Master Gallagher, who prepared so many pupils successfully
for scholarships which were so important to those without
After attending St Patrick’s Teacher
Training College from 1935 – 1937 he spent his life
teaching in the parish of Templeport: Tomena (1937-42),
Munlough (1942-48), Tomena (1948-56), Bawnboy (1956-82).
He was throughout, unreservedly committed to those in his
charge and like Master Gallagher worked diligently to obtain
scholarships for his pupils, and endeavoured to help them
realise their true potential.
Throughout his life Chris has been passionately
interested in sport and is modest about his achievements.
Due to a scarcity of players, Kiltyclogher club collapsed
and he was recruited by Glenfarne, where he won two Leitrim
Junior Championships 1936 and 1937. As a student, he played
Senior football for two years in the Dublin League and Championship
with Erin’s Hope – the training college team.
With Cavan County Seniors, he won two Ulster Championship
medals in 1939 and 1940 and also played on the Cavan Junior
County team in 1939. With Templeport he won a Junior Championship
medal in 1942 and he was a member of the team which won
the Senior League Title in 1945. Chris came to golf slightly
late in his career but mastered it with zest and determination
(and a technical relationship with Christy O’Connor
Senior in Bundoran). He won four Captains Prizes and holds
an enviable record of two holes-in-one. An understanding
of the complexity of the golf swing, made him a great adviser
to many enthusiastic golfers.
Chris married Philomena O’Dowd in
1942. Also a teacher, together they worked in the local
schools with a strong sense of commitment to children’s
education and families of the community. They both played
an active role in local affairs, while raising a family
of two boys and six girls: Ciaran, Fidelma, Eithne, Ita,
Aideen, Dympna, Mary and Cathal. Philomena’s untimely
death in 1970 came as a huge blow to Chris. The support
that he receives from his family is of some consolation.
It is from his love of literature and history
and deep interest in local life, with its characters and
folklore, that Chris has gathered this wide-ranging collection
of fascinating stories. In this publication of Bawnboy and
Templeport lore, he presents the fruits of his studies,
and he hopes that you enjoy what you find in these pages.
photo taken 1937