This venerated elderly man, aged ninety three passed away peacefully on Sunday, 24th November. Michael McEniry, Clashdrunsmith, Emly, Co. Tipperary joined the De La Salle Brothers and qualified as a primary teacher. He was a very special person, boyishly shy and one who shunned the limelight and cameras. The Homilist at the funeral Mass described him as gentle, kind, humble, peaceful, eccentric and full of good deeds. He was low of stature with a pleasant high pitched voice. People who lived with him harbour very happy memories of somebody who was different.
Br. Dermot spent forty six years teaching in primary schools in Ballyshannon, Kildare but mostly in Bagnalstown. He was an excellent, caring and imaginative teacher, and a very talented sketcher which he used with great effect. One day his door was ajar and as the teachers were going out after the break they saw the story of the fox and the goose sketched on the blackboard. First the fox was stalking, then the fox running off with the goose and finally the little cubs were feasting on the catch. All his lessons were illustrated. The pupils responded enthusiastically. Because he was himself so quietly spoken the class ethos was; like teacher like pupil. He had no need to resort to discipline. The classes he prepared for First Communion were admired by the congregation for their modesty and reverence.
He did not like being cloistered. During break times instead of going to the staff room he stayed out supervising the yard. Br. Dermot was a class Tipperary hurler who thrilled the Bagnalstown supporters with his expertise at games. He went for long country walks always with the rosary beads in his hands. He spent a lot of time in contemplative prayer and he visited every church that he passed. He was a just man. There was nobody he shunned more than doctors and indeed nurses. He only missed one day from school during his forty six years in the classroom and he blamed the doctor for that!
His favourite saint was St. Brigid. He visited her special tree in Kildare on or near her feast day on 1st February. When he had finished his rounds he would sit under the tree and smoke his pipe. The smoke wafting up through the branches which reminded him of prayer ascending to Heaven. During his final years in Miguel Nursing Home he was quite healthy but still needed some care. He was a happy person and was well able to smile in his own company. Each nurse needs a pet and Br. Dermot was adopted by each of the care staff in Miguel.
He passed away quite serenely in Miguel House on Sunday, 24th November and is laid to rest in the Brothers cemetery in Castletown, Co. Laois.