Br. David was a brilliant teacher, coach and man
PAST PUPILS and staff at Presentation College Bray have been recalling memories of the late Brother David Morrissey since news of his passing at the age of 87 became known locally.
Br. David who taught at Pres Bray for 22 years died in Birr, Co. Offaly on August 18 and his month’s mind remembrance takes place this week in Cork. Br. David had moved to Birr in 2003 after the closure of the Presentation Brothers house in Bray.
A former colleague of Br. David this week recalled his kindness towards his students. ‘When I remember Br. David I think of total commitment, total dedication. Evening after evening he was there on the front pitch coaching his junior rugby players. Some players lived a long distance away or lived in places with an infrequent bus service. I remember well that he used to drive those players home especially in wet, wintry weather. He was totally dedicated to the players and their welfare.
‘Br. David loved Pres Bray. He was totally involved in the life there: in his own community of Brothers; in his teaching and class work; in his rugby teams; in athletics and sports of all kinds; in debating; in the maintenance of the grounds. He was a superb gar- dener. He grew fruit trees of all kinds, vegetables and flowers. He gave 100 per cent to everything he did. I am sure many people remember his difficulty breathing sometimes but it never slowed him down or interfered with the work in hand. His students always regarded him as an excellent teacher. He was so proud of Pres when the Certificate Exam results came out each year.’
Br. David was one of eleven children born to John and Annie Morrissey, Barnaderg in the Parish of Killererin, Co. Galway. He made his first Profession as a Presentation Brother in 1942 and his final Profession in 1945 having attended the Brothers Juniorate school and novitiate in Cork city. He graduated from University College Cork in 1945 and did his H DIp in UCD in 1955.
As a young Brother he had serious health problems requiring a prolonged stay in hospital and surgery involving the removal of a lung. He taught in several schools including Presentation College Cork, Pre- sentation College Glasthule and Presentation College Bray.
His principal teaching subject was English and he also taught Irish, Latin and Mathematics. In addition to being a brilliant teacher, he was a gift- ed coach in hurling, rugby and athletics.
He retired from teaching at Pres Bray in 1987 but remained involved in the school and also gave practical support and help to students with learning difficulties. He joined the Birr community in 2003 when th e house in Bray wa s closed. In May of this year, on t h e advice of his doctor, he went into a nursing home. He took ill on August 14 and was moved to hospital where he died a few days later. The funeral Mass for Br David took place in St Brendan’s Church in Birr and he was laid to rest at the Presentation Brothers cemetery at Mount Saint Joseph in Cork city.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.