Kathleen Roche, widow of the late Jim Roche (b. 1937, former principal)
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Kathleen Roche, widow of the late Jim Roche (b. 1937, former principal)


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Kathleen Roche, née O’Callaghan, was born and reared in McCurtain Street, Cork, was educated at St Aloysius School and completed a commercial course at Skerries College, Patrick’s Hill. Her career began at the Cork Spinning Company, a subsidiary of Sunbeam Wolsey. Kathleen explains how she met her future husband who was a neighbour. She crossed the street to congratulate Jim Roche, who had just graduated with a M.Sc., and had been photographed for ‘The Echo’. He invited her to the pictures at the Pavilion for their first outing together, and the rest is history. The couple married in 1960 and moved to Waterford where Jim was employed by Waterford Glass. A year later they came back to Cork where Jim took up a post as a Class 3 teacher at the Crawford Municipal Technical Institute. He was later appointed Head of the Physics Department at Kevin Street Dublin, where he was to remain for five years. In 1968 the position of principal at the Crawford became available, and he was appointed to the post. Kathleen remembers that this appointment was met with some opposition but declares that Jim was a man who enjoyed a challenge. At this time plans were afoot to move to Bishopstown and Jim Roche was very much involved in this major change. During his time as principal of the RTC in the earlier days, he worked assiduously in attempting to put in place the four degree courses. Kathleen clearly recalls the many stumbling blocks placed in the way of Jim Roche and his academic colleagues. He was also on the governing body of the University of Limerick and watched very keenly the rapid growth of that institution. Kathleen recalls the tragic evening on which her husband became unwell and died suddenly while they were attending a social function.

Additional information



Audio series:

Cork Institute of Technology


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

35.01 MB

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Memories of a passionate educator

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe