PORTLAOISE native Jim Keating was recently elected President of the Past Pupils Union of the Cistercian College Roscrea. Donning the chain of office of one of the largest and most active past pupils union in Ireland is but the latest step of an already illustrious career.
Jim is a native of Bridge Street, Portlaoise where his parents (Eamon and Rose) sent eight of their family of nine, to boarding school. He played Junior and Senior rugby, Jim was successful in winning both the Junior and Senior Javelin, in the Leinster Schoolboys Annual Athletics.
He also set a college record of 147 feet. In his 6th year, along with fellow students, Sean Mccann and Liam Spooner, he was selected to compete in the international schoolboys athletic meeting in Santry, Dublin. Aside from sport, Jim was elected House Captain of the College for the class of 1963-‘68. His classmates at the time included Dick Spring, Bill O’Brien, Sean Leyden, and Noel O’Callaghan.
Upon leaving school he worked for his father’s industrial painting business until 1971, whereupon he went to London and started working for International Computers ltd.
As a trainee computer operator, Jim proceeded quickly through the ranks. Leaving London in 1974 he continued his career in the budding IT field, by joining a subsidiary of the Ulster Bank group of companies in Dublin. He remained there until 1983 when he returned to live in Laois, and started work as a Project Manager for JA. Lumley & son, Tullamore, successfully implementing a computerised point-of-sale and accounts system for their Cash & Carry.
This in turn led to the securing of a computer consultancy work for clients who also belonged to the homestead group of Cash & Carrys. In 1987, Jim joined Shaw’s almost nationwide as IT. Manager for their branch network. He stayed here until 1991 when he formed his own software company.
In 1996 he was employed as IT manager by Central Garage Mmountmellick to undertake the computerisation of their expanding network of six branches in the midlands. In 2005, he made a change of career move, and started work for Dunne & Mcdonald motors as a customer relations executive, until being made redundant in 2009 when the Kildare firm of Fitzpatricks took over the Toyota dealership.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.