Longford's Year in Review: August 2020

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Story of the month: Huge relief as local school secures site

A Longford secondary school revealed that reopening its doors to students in early September would have been “impossible” but for Department of Education chiefs sanctioning an eleventh hour bid to lease a former commercial premises in the county town.

Meán Scoil Muire principal Aoife Mulrennan told of how the school had to be forced to go to extraordinary lengths in safeguarding its return, among which included securing a tenancy agreement to provide additional classroom space at the former Turner’s Printing premises on Earl Street.

Two further rooms in the Temperance Hall were also secured, she revealed, alongside a string of other costly modifications to its existing Convent Road headquarters in a desperate bid to ensure stringent health and safety protocols linked to Covid-19 were adhered to.

“Preparing for back to school this year has been an impossible scenario for Meán Scoil Mhuire,” she said, while referencing the ongoing efforts and lobbying attempts which have been made to try and secure approval for a new school campus.

The Meán Scoil Mhuire principal revealed how management had been left with little option but to try and source alternative accommodation owing to the fact many of its current classrooms could only hold between 14 to 17 students at any one time.

“With 570 students to accommodate, we could not fit everyone onto our existing site,” she said.

When completed, the Turners building provided a base for up to 150 Meán Scoil Mhuire students and is still in use by the school.

US role for TikTok guru

A Longford man and senior figure behind the rise of social networking giant TikTok landed a plum role with one of the world’s most lucrative human resource based organisations.

Newtownforbes native, Thomas Dalton was accepted into Forbes Human Resources Council, a leading US invitation only organisation for senior human resource executives across all industries.

The son of Marian and well-known local auctioneer Sean Dalton secured the role courtesy of his own successes as a recruiting leader at TikTok.

Tribute to John Hume

The Northern Ireland Peace Process would not have been brought about in such resolute and steadfast fashion without the input of John Hume, according to Longford based author and fellow founding SDLP member Seamus McRory.

The retired schoolteacher made the contention after the death of his longterm friend and political comrade at the age of 83. Mr McRory, whose friendship with the former SDLP dates back over 50 years, said the part played by the Nobel laureate would never be erased from Ireland’s socio-political psyche.

Two fires in Longford

Gardaí were trawling through CCTV footage as part of an investigation into a fire which broke out in an apartment complex in Cúirt An Óir, Longford town, which they believed may have been started deliberately.

Fire crews managed to contain the fire before a second incident occurred a short time later. Garda investigators were trying to establish if an accelerant was used in either fire.