Bawnboy and Templeport
History Heritage Folklore
by Chris Maguire

About the Author

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 financial means.

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.

Young Chris
photo taken 1937

Chris Maguire
Photo taken about 1986

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Last update: 10 March, 2009 19:33