School of Rock’s true colours

The principal may be caught between a rock and a hard place, but his 400-plus pupils are on a winner no matter which side prevails in the All Ireland hurling final replay tomorrow evening.

School of Rock’s true colours

Rock Kirwan, who is principal at Kilrush NS in Co Clare, is a Corkman and is surrounded by a sea of saffron and blue.

Despite being heavily out-numbered he’s enjoying the good natured banter in the lead-up to the big match.

The St Luke’s-born man said that if Clare win the local teachers will ensure their classes don’t get homework the following Monday.

“But if Cork win I’ll make sure they have no homework either,” he said.

However, Mr Kirwan believes the teams are so finely balanced that it could well be another draw — even if it ends up going to extra time.

“I’ve been principal here for 21 years and I never thought I’d see the day when Cork would play Clare in an All Ireland hurling final,” he said.

His sixth-year pupils have decorated the school entrance in Clare colours.

“The staff also decorated my car in their colours. I’d be up and down to Cork a lot so I had to take them off when travelling,” he said.

“Some of the students did put the Cork colours on my office door, but in the last few days they are being slowly eclipsed by people adding Clare colours incrementally to it. In fairness there’s some very good banter and good fun going on.”

Mr Kirwan had an agonising wait up to yesterday to get his hands on a much-prized ticket.

“I managed to source one in Dublin so I’ll be travelling up for the game. It’s hard to believe that the replay will be as good as the initial game, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“I wouldn’t begrudge Clare if they won, but I’ll be rooting for Cork,” Mr Kirwan said.

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