Tributes paid to popular Derry teacher Sean O'Kane

Tributes have been paid to the popular Derry teacher Sean O'Kane who sadly passed away this morning.

By Kevin Mullan
Friday, 7th January 2022, 3:35 pm
The late Sean O'Kane who passed away this morning.
The late Sean O'Kane who passed away this morning.

St. Joseph's Boys' School said Mr. O'Kane had been an outstanding mentor to his pupils and a dear friend and colleague to the Creggan school's staff cohort.

Announcing Mr. O'Kane's death after a period of illness on Friday, the school said: "It is with the greatness sadness that we are informing you of the death of our most esteemed teacher and a very valued member of our English Department, Mr. Sean O Kane RIP who passed away earlier today.

"We ask that you keep Mr. O Kane in your thoughts and prayers and remember all that he has brought to St. Joseph's Boys' School as a teacher, mentor, football coach, drama teacher colleague and a dear friend to many staff.

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"Mr. O Kane was outstanding in his role and particularly his support to the boys both in and out of the class. He will be sorely missed by all our pupils, staff, Governors and the wider community that he was such a part of."

The school asked for the school community to keep Mr O Kane’s family in their prayers.

"We will remember Mr. O Kane with great fondness and appreciation for the person and advocate for all St. Joseph's Boys, who have had the privilege of having him as their teacher, and for everything he brought to his role and to the school. May he rest in peace."

The Long Tower parish also paid tribute.

"We offer our deepest sympathy to the O'Kane family on the death of their son, Sean. Sean, a former pupil of Long Tower Primary School and St. Columb's College Derry, was a teacher of English and Drama in St. Joseph's Boys' School," the parish said in a statement.

Mr. O'Kane's local parish referred to his love of football and particularly Glasgow Celtic.

"As well as being an excellent and dedicated teacher, Sean was a major facilitator of extra-curricular activities in the school, particularly football, in which he coached many successful teams.

"He regularly organised school trips to watch his beloved Glasgow Celtic football club play. He also played a leading role in organizing school shows. Sean was truly passionate about the educational and spiritual welfare of young people and he lived out Gospel values in all that he did.

"He will be greatly missed, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched. May he rest peacefully in God's embrace.

"The Funeral will take place on Monday, January 10 in the Long Tower at 11.00am. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines."