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24 Jan 2022

"To say that Sean will be sorely missed is an understatement"

Beloved teacher Sean O'Kane laid to rest 

"To say that Sean will be sorely missed is an understatement"

Mourners gathered this morning at St Columba's Church to pay their respects to beloved Derry teacher, Sean O'Kane

Mourners gathered this morning (January 10) at St Columba's Church to pay their respects to beloved Derry teacher, Sean O'Kane.

The funeral mass was held by Father Paddy Baker who said to say Sean would be missed, 'would be an understatement.'

Father Baker said: "The crowd here at our mass here today is testament to the popularity of Sean. 

"He was very much a Derry man, through and through. And he took huge pride in being a teacher in St. Joseph's and helping the boys in his own community.

"He loved St. Joseph's, he loved the pupils, he loved the staff. He was always encouraging and promoting pupils, both past and present, and this has been reflected in those who came to visit the family these last few days.

"Sean was promoted to Head of Year because of his postural awareness and the genuine care he had for the pupils' well being. 

"He put the pupils' well being to the fore of his work. He had great empathy amongst the past pupils with the kindness, the generosity and the openness with which he treated them.
 
"Sean simply lived for the moment, to say that Sean will be sorely missed is an understatement.

"He has played a huge part in the lives of all the people here in this church today. 

"We offer our deepest sympathy to Sean's family, his extended family and to his many friends who gather here to bid farewell."

Sean was a former St Columb's College pupil. In 1998, he left the College to study for a BA degree in English at Queen's University in Belfast.

Upon completing his undergraduate studies, he stayed on at Queen's to gain a PGCE certificate in teaching. 
 
He then went on to teach both English and Drama at St Joseph's Boys' School in 2005 before becoming Head of Year.

Sean was 41 years old and sadly passed away on Friday after a period of illness.

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