O’Rourke – doing it his own way

After 32 years teaching PE at St Joseph’s College, Malachy O’Rourke decided his term was up last June as he waved goodbye to the one and only school he has ever taught in and looked forward to his early retirement.

O’Rourke turned 56 a few weeks ago and is relishing his time away from the classroom, albeit he enjoyed that part of his life for over three decades as well;

“I always felt that I’d love to get out having a wee bit of energy to do other things and lucky enough I was able to do that.

“I really enjoyed it (teaching) and it was a great school. I really enjoyed the boys in it and great staff in it, 32 great years,” recalled the Derrylin native.

O’Rourke has long been regarded as one of the top coaches in Gaelic football and it spans back to 2001 when he started with Monaghan side Tyholland.

In his first season, he got them promoted to senior grade for the first time. Two years later, he took charge of Derry side, Loup, and brought them to their first senior championship in 68 years, followed by a first-ever Ulster senior title.

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