School thanks to lollipop man Tom

Andrew Hamilton (CGS Pastoral Vice Principal), Ben Sweeney (CGS Deputy Head Boy), Tom O'Kane, Zara Hegarty (CGS Head Girl), Tony McKeown.
Andrew Hamilton (CGS Pastoral Vice Principal), Ben Sweeney (CGS Deputy Head Boy), Tom O'Kane, Zara Hegarty (CGS Head Girl), Tony McKeown.

Coleraine man Tom O’Kane, who recently retired as Castlerock Road ‘lollipop’ man, has received a Highly Commended award from the Northern Ireland Road Safety awards in recognition of his commitment to pupil well-being and road safety awareness.

Mr O’Kane was presented with his award by Tony McKeown, Sales and Marketing Director of Crash Services Limited, at Coleraine Grammar School Assembly (Castlerock Road campus).

Mr O’Kane was the crossing patrol officer on the Castlerock Road for almost ten years. He faithfully ensured that school pupils from Coleraine Grammar School, DH Christie, Loreto and St. John’s could safely cross the road each school day.

Prior to becoming crossing patrol officer, Tom served for 20 years as Caretaker and Bus Driver at Mill Strand Primary School and 25 years before that in hotels in the Triangle area, including the Eglinton Hotel in Portrush. A spokesperson for Coleraine Grammar School said: “He is a great man for a story and his presence and personality on the Castlerock will be sorely missed. We thank Tom for his dedication and service looking after our pupils and wish him and his wife Kathleen every best wish in their much deserved retirement. Tom has been succeeded as Crossing Patrol officer by another well-known Triangle man, Brian Lagan. Mr Lagan was most recently caretaker at

Dominican College for 11 years and also served the community as caretaker at Portrush Catering College

for 18 years before that.”