Abbey Seniors 1977

Class List 7L Abbey Grammar School, Newry 1976 – 1977

Austin, Liam Anthony

Blair, Hugh William

Brunker, Shane Pio

Dillon, Martin

Loughran, Brendan

Mc Alinden Kevin James

Mc Allister, Seamus Anthony RIP

Mc Caul, John Noel

Mc Clorey, John Joseph

Mc Dermott, Peter

Mc Stay, Kevin

Magill, Daniel Joseph

O’Neill, Mark Thomas

O’ Sullivan, William

Rodgers, Bernard Anthony

Smyth, Francis Joseph

Sweeney, Peter John (Jan)

Tumilty, Daniel



I’ll now attempt to fill you in on ‘where are they now’.



Liam Austin

Currently teaching in St. Mark’s  Warrenpoint.  Liam was our Head Boy.  He made his Senior debut for Down in 1976 and in 1977, captained the best Abbey team never to win the Mc Rory Cup.  Liam went on to add a number of important medals to his collection, culminating with a Senior All- Ireland in 1991.

Liam Blair

Another exceptional footballer, Liam graduated from Manchester University in 1980.

For many years he worked for the Confederation of Community Groups and edited the seminal ‘Brass Tacks’, a voice for local people which also gave a platform to people like Tony Bagnall and Ian Heaney.  Liam is now a primary schoolteacher: he  still likes his music and still supports his beloved Manchester United.

Shane Brunker

Shane also played in the disappointment at Casement in 1977 but went on to collect an All – Ireland Minor winner’s medal later the same year.  Another music lover, Shane currently teaches in the FE sector in Derry.

Martin Dillon

Martin graduated from Queen’s in 1980.  He is now one of the top men working for the local Health Trust.  Martin remains the scorer of one of the best goals I’ve ever seen.  Created a character called Jacques Ongsna who apparently is ‘le roi du monde’.  ‘Revered and respected by those who hold his name in high esteem’.

Brendan Loughran

Rather than go to university, Brendan opted for a position in the local tax office, where he has been ever since.  Brendan paled in the 1977 Mc Rory final and also picked up a winner’s gong with Down Minors the following September.  If you meet Brendan, he is liable to talk you through any of the goals he scored in his distinguished career.

Kevin Mc Alinden

Began working for the Post Office in September 1977 but is rumoured to be now living somewhere in England.

Tony Mc Allister RIP

Dubbed by Danny Tumilty ‘Alister Mc Allister – an fear is deise in Eireann’, Tony graduated from Manchester University in 1980.  He was one of the most popular pupils in the school and one of the funniest and most generous people I’ve ever met.  A number of us remained friendly with him right up until his untimely death a few months after his 40th birthday.

John Mc Caul

I’m still in Newry and teach at the Southern Regional College.  I’m married to Mary and have four wonderful boys.  I still like my music and Manchester United and take part in quizzes.  I do some voluntary work for PAPA, a local autism charity.  Attended 188 days out of 188 in my final year.

Sean McClorey

I spent three weeks in Sean’s company in the Gaeltacht in the summer of 1976.  A graduate in Irish from Coleraine University, Sean is not only an expert teacher but also a gifted writer and dramatist.  On a par with former Abbey teacher Hugh Murphy for brilliance, Sean taught in Enniskillen, the Sacred Heart and the Abbey.  St. Mary’s teacher training college is the current recipient of this man’s expertise.

Peter Mc Dermott

Peter hailed from Loughbrickland and wanted to be a pilot.  Don’t know if he ever fulfilled that particular ambition.  I haven’t seen Peter since we left school and wonder what he is up to now.

Kevin Mc Stay

I first met Kevin at primary school and was at Queen’s with him also.  Kevin spent some time in France and, as far as I know, is teaching French in Enniskillen.

Dan Magill, (or ‘Denny’ as Sr. Dolores called him)

A Poyntzpass citizen, Dan spent some time in London before moving to South America.

Dan also went with Sean Mc Clorey, Kevin Mc Stay and me to the Gaeltacht for three weeks.

Joe Murphy

One of Silverbridge’s finest, Joe was one of the first pupils I know to take a gap year after his studies.  Joe also played on the Mc Rory cup – losing team. He went on to represent Armagh, at least at minor level.

Mark O’Neill

Still remains one of my closest friends.  Mark graduated in Art and Design from Liverpool Polytechnic.  He works in graphic design in Dublin and is married with two boys.  He still plays a mean round of golf.

Billy O’ Sullivan

From Rostrevor, the man who introduced me to Steeley Dan went, I think, to study English at Coleraine.  I haven’t seen the creator of Piers Parsley and Wolf- Wolf Mc Gonigall since departing our alma mater.

Brian Rodgers

Known to his friends as ‘Bernard’ and to the library as the man who inscribed ‘Rod Stewart and the Faces’ on one of its desks, Brian also went on to study Art and Design before making it big in the rag trade.

Francy Smyth

Another music buff, Francy was the man who turned me on to the delights of punk rock.

He is another gentleman I continue to keep in contact with.  Francy teaches in St, Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen.

Jan Sweeney

I attended Queen’s with Jan , who, incidentally, shares the same birthday as Sir Alex Ferguson.

Jan was anther punk rock fan and works for the Housing Executive.

Danny Tumilty

The multi – talented Banbridge man was Showaddywaddy’s greatest fan.  Danny was a brilliant exponent of soccer and karate and single-handedly invented the ‘Tim Riva Shuffle’.  Danny joined the AIB after school and was last seen by me in Newry in 1981.  It is rumoured that Danny now plays a mean game of bowls.

It would be great to meet up with these boys again. In fact the late Tony Mc Allister always said that the best thing about the American education system was their reunions.  Maybe this article might generate some interest.


Le meas

John McCaul

 … more …

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.