Pupils from north's oldest Irish language school form guard of honour in tribute to founding father ahead of funeral

Pupils from Bunscoil Phobal Feirste form a guard of honour at the funeral of Seán Mac Aindreasa who helped set up the school in 1971. Picture by Mal McCann
John Monaghan

PUPILS from the north's oldest Irish language school formed a guard of honour in the Gaeltacht area in west Belfast in a tribute to one of the school's founding fathers ahead of his funeral.

Children from Bunscoil Phobal Feirste lined the street as the coffin of Seán Mac Aindreasa was carried from his home on the Shaws Road yesterday.

Mr Mac Aindreasa, who helped set up the school in 1971 and the Gaeltacht area on the Shaws Road, died on Sunday aged 77. His late wife, Áine, was one of the first teachers at the school.

Requiem Mass for Mr Mac Aindreasa was celebrated in Irish in St Mary's Church in Chapel Lane in Belfast city centre followed by burial in Milltown Cemetery.

A father of four and grandfather, he was also a former editor of the Irish newspaper Lá.

Bunscoil Phobal Feirste said that Mr Mac Aindreasa "raised money and helped organise events before the school got official recognition from the government".

"Seán worked diligently for the school ever since it was set up, offering support in the difficult early years and ever since. Seán himself came from the lower Falls and he always had a great interest in the Irish language, travelling to Gaeltacht colleges when he was a boy."

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