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Address of Bishop Denis at the CPSMA Dinner and presentation of the Sr Eileen Randles Award to Br Camillus Regan

Citation in honour of Br. Camillus Regan

Recipient of Sr. Eileen Randles Award

23 May 2022 – CPSMA Dinner – Cavan

Thank you to Anne and the CPSMA team for inviting me here this evening to present this award. I’m honoured to do so. The man I am to present this Sr. Eileen Randles Award was born in Cahir, south Tipp, we won’t linger long on Tipp, it hasn’t been their best hurling championship! This man was born in 1935, the same year as Elvis Presley and Luciano Pavarotti. At the age of 14 he entered the juvenate of the Patrician Brothers in Mount St. Joseph in Tullow, now we know it as Mount Wolseley! There is a photograph at a ceremony in Mount Wolseley in 2008 when the Patricians won the Carlow International Award of him pointing out to Ronan Collins where he used to dig the garden, today it’s the hotel’s function room!

After completing his Leaving Cert he trained as a Primary Teacher in De Le Salle College in Waterford, teaching in Galway from 1953-1957, when he was transferred to Carrickmacross. He taught there until 1966, when he was appointed vocations promoter and novice master until the late 1970’s. He taught in Mountrath from 1983-1985. Then he was transferred to Tullow, the birthplace of the Patricians, founded by Bishop Daniel Delany in 1808. He was Principal in Tullow until he retired in 1994. When it comes to leadership in the Patricians, this man is currently on his fourth term, sharing such an honour alongside Viktor Orban and Angela Merkel! CPSMA delegates and friends, I speak of Br. Camillus Regan.

At the invitation of Mgr. Brendan Byrne, Camillus was invited to take over the role of support for Primary Schools just prior to the passing of the Education Act of 1998. He has done enormous work as Diocesan Secretary of CPSMA since those days – this has involved many hours of work each week dealing with appointments and training of BOM’s, the appointment of teachers – Principals and other Posts – detailed work for several summer months on the panel (supplementary and main). Camillus has attendedCPSMA meetings and congresses – working towards the resolution of innumerable disputes in schools throughout Kildare & Leighlin always with wisdom, generosity and humour. I know that Boards, Principals, Teachers & Priests are indebted to him.

Today he continues to be a most valued member of the Diocesan Education Council and works closely alongside Maeve and Bryan in supporting our schools. The area he concentrates on today is vetting procedures for all school personnel. He loves vetting and takes pleasure in informing us at our meetings about the numbers he has vetted! It’s a little like the Ukrainian popular vote in the Eurovision!

Camillus, like Presley and Pavarotti loves singing, often ending our meetings with a song, as the choir in the Church of the Most Holy Rosary in Tullow will attest – perhaps this comes from his days as Novice Master in Ballykealy – he was a producer of drama there including ‘Tops of the Town’ in Ballon Community centre. He is a member of the Delany Trust, an archive shared with the diocese, the Patricians, the Brigidines, the Kiltegans and Carlow College, St. Patricks. He like all the Patricians has a keen interest in sport. In the Seoul Olympics in 1988 one third of the Kenyan athletes were coached by Patrician brothers. All Camillus’ work is done in a voluntary capacity in a week and a time when we honour volunteers who are at the backbone of every local initiative.

I presented him with a Bene Merenti Medal from Pope Francis on February 25th 2017. Tonight it gives me great pleasure the second Sr. Eileen Randles Awards to Br. Camillus Regan in recognition of the sterling work he has done on behalf of education in Kildare & Leighlin diocese and on this island.