Wicklow ETSS stunned at death of teacher Colm

The Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School have been left stunned at the sudden death of Principal Colm Kehoe.

Mr Kehoe died suddenly at his home in Gorey over the Bank-Holiday weekend, he had been principal at the school since 2019.

The students teachers and friends will hold a gathering at the school in Wicklow town on Friday at 4pm and will form a guard of honour at Colm’s funeral in Tramore, County Waterford on Sunday.

CEO Emer Nowlan said:

“We were all shocked and deeply saddened to hear this terrible news. Colm was an outstanding school leader – his dedication to young people and passion for student-centred learning were clearly visible to all who knew him. In three short years, Colm has built a vibrant, happy school community in ETSS Wicklow, where students are at the centre of everything, and educational innovation and creativity are the norm. And every step of the way, Colm put students first – his quiet modesty was in contrast to his enormous achievements as an educator and school principal.“

Colm’s contribution to education is immeasurable and we will all miss his quiet passion for education, his creative ideas and his commitment to equality and student-centred learning. That he has left us at such a young age is tragic, and all of us in the Educate Together network join with his family and the ETSS Wicklow community in mourning his terrible loss. His impact has been huge in the lives of students, staff and volunteers he worked with, and in setting ETSS Wicklow on the right course, he leaves a lasting and tangible legacy.”

Chair of the Board of Management of Wicklow ETSS, Danny Haskins, expressed the profound sadness of the whole school community on the loss of Colm:

“As the leader of our new school community, Colm built strong relationships with students, parents, staff and board members over the past three years, and we are devastated at his loss. He was a committed professional, a highly-valued colleague and a much-loved teacher who brought Educate Together’s student-centred and democratic ethos to life in ETSS Wicklow over the past three years.”

Colm’s achievements during his career as a teacher and school leader were many. Just in the past three years, he established the Wicklow Model United Nations within months of opening a brand new secondary school, inviting students from around the region to ETSS Wicklow to discuss global issues and develop leadership and other important skills. He then successfully moved this initiative online, providing important engagement and connections for students during the pandemic and ensuring continuity of learning. He also created the first all-Ireland Educate Together debating competition and engaged the whole national Educate Together second-level school network in this uplifting and educational online event.

Colm Kehoe returned to Ireland from Belgium in 2019 to take up the role of school principal in ETSS Wicklow, having spent ten years as a teacher of English with the European Schools and two years as coordinator of Model United Nations conferences in Brussels. He had worked in education in five countries – Ireland, England, Spain, Belgium and Guatemala – and held Bachelors Degrees in Arts and Law and Masters Degrees in International Law and Educational Leadership and Management.

“Colm’s contribution to education is immeasurable and we will all miss his quiet passion for education, his creative ideas and his commitment to equality and student-centred learning. That he has left us at such a young age is tragic, and all of us in the Educate Together network join with his family and the ETSS Wicklow community in mourning his terrible loss. His impact has been huge in the lives of students, staff and volunteers he worked with, and in setting ETSS Wicklow on the right course, he leaves a lasting and tangible legacy.”

Cathaoirleach of the Wicklow Municipal District gail Dunne said “The whole town is in shock at the news of Colm’s death, he will be a massive loss to the school and indeed the community, I would like to offer condolences on behalf of myself and the Municipal District to Colm’s family”

Funeral arrangements

Colm’s remains will be reposing at his family residence in Tramore Heights, from 3 pm to 7 pm on Saturday the 11th of June, with prayers at 5 pm. All are welcome.

Colm’s Requiem Mass will take place on Sunday the 12th of June, at 12 noon at the Holy Cross Church, Tramore, with burial immediately afterwards in St. Declan’s Cemetery. For those who wish to participate remotely at Colm’s Requiem Mass, please follow the link below:

Colm’s Requiem Mass

Colm’s funeral cortège will leave his residence at approximately 11:20 am, and will walk from Tramore Credit Union to the Holy Cross Church, Tramore, for his Requiem Mass.

Family flowers only. If you wish to leave a message of support for Colm’s family, we suggest using the online condolences page below to offer your sympathies. Donations, if desired, are welcomed to Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Service by following the link below:

Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Service Link

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