PICTURES: SHELLEY CORCORAN
Cnoc Mhuire, Granard celebrated it’s Leaving Cert graduation in a novel way last Wednesday afternoon, June 3, an unprecedented event for unprecedented times.
Instead of students sitting their Leaving Certificate Home Economics exam, they were gathered in their cars with their parents, tuned in to 107.8 on their stereos for a socially distant graduation on the school pitch.
Yearhead Mr Devine had an instrumental part in organising the event and co-ordinating it with the aid of staff, propelled by his desire that the students had a fitting goodbye after their five or six years in Cnoc Mhuire.
It didn’t take much persuasion for the Board of Management and staff to agree to hold the event and pay tribute to the class of 2020 who were no ordinary year-group.
Hosting an outdoor event posed some challenges but luckily the day remained beautifully sunny and the blustery winds were ignored.
Students tied their fondest memories to the railings on entering the school which was ablaze with balloons, bunting and GAA flags from the neighbouring clubs.
A big screen broadcast slideshows and video snippets which were pre-recorded by teacher Mr Carroll over the previous three weeks.
Mr Carroll spent countless hours collating video footage, baby photos and trawling through the archives to produce a wonderful compilation that will serve as a beautiful memento.
Principal Pauline McBrien welcomed the students as they donned their uniforms for the very last time and wished them the very best in whatever route they should travel.
She also thanked parents for their unwavering support over the years.
Each student released a balloon during the emotional event as they were unable to hug or congregate.
Car horns blared in lieu of a round of applause.
Sorcha Dawson was named Student of the Year and the annual Spirit of Mercy Award went to Grace Ross.
Two students achieved 100% attendance for the duration of their time in Cnoc Mhuire: Ellen McGuiness for six years and Chloe McNally for five years.
The moving finale witnessed the teachers forming a guard of honour on the driveway, wishing the students well as they exited the school gates into a new future.