Tributes have been paid to the former principal of St Joseph’s Boys school Niall McCafferty who passed away at the weekend.
Mr McCafferty was the principal of St Joseph’s Boys from 1986 to 1996. He was a member of staff at the school from the day it opened its doors in 1963, becoming vice principal in 1974 and later principal in 1986.
Throughout his time at St. Joseph’s, Niall fiercely opposed the selective education system and regularly spoke at length on the need for an inclusive approach as opposed to an exclusive one and equal opportunities for all students.
Retired Bishop of Derry Dr Edward Daly described Niall McCafferty as an exemplary person and a great champion of Catholic education. Bishop Daly said Mr. McCafferty was deeply and passionately committed to the ending of the transfer tests from primary to second level schools.
“He regularly featured in the letters column of the Derry Journal and other newspapers and publications on this particular subject,” he said. “He had a very keen social conscience and was deeply committed to justice and to those who were less well off.
“Niall was an excellent teacher and gave outstanding service as principal.
“He was an exemplary person in every way, dedicated to his wife, Dolores, and his family and to the wider community, to education and the Church. May he rest in peace.”
Tributes on facebook stated: “One of the best, knew how to get the best out of you with kindness, rest in peace sir.” “A lot of us that went on to higher education owe a lot to him, had the privilege of having been his pupil and then a colleague.” “Was such a gentleman and a great teacher .... RIP Sir!!”
Mr McCafferty’s Requiem Mass will take place tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at 11.30 a.m. at St Eugene’s Cathedral. He is survived by his wife Dolores and four children.