Past Teachers Sr. Beatrice Ruddy, Lorratta Farrell, Renee Murtagh, Sr. Angela Bracken, Mary McDermott and Sr Mary Cassells at the official opening of the new school building at StPhoto: Michelle Ghee.
An afternoon of celebration was held at St Joseph’s NS in Longford town on Friday as staff and pupils gathered with family and friends to officially open the new building.
Principal Orla Egan said it was a great day for the school and one which everyone had been looking forward to.
“We are absolutely delighted; St Joseph’s is an absolutely fabulous school,” she smiled before pointing out that the facility boasted 515 pupils.
“We are delighted with the way the project ran and I want to thank everyone who worked on the building and those who worked hard throughout the year.
“It is a brilliant day for St Joseph’s NS.”
Meanwhile, chairperson of the school’s board of management Frank Gearty paid tribute to those who contributed to and supported the much loved Longford town national school.
He also welcomed those who gathered at the school for the blessing of the building which was officiated by the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, Dr Francis Duffy.
“On behalf of the board of management I want to thank the contractors, project managers and architects for the great work that was done here and for the very efficient way in which that work was carried out,” Mr Gearty smiled, before pointing to the support of the Department of Education and the presence at the event of Minister of State for the OPW, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.
“I want to thank Orla Egan, principal and Ann Harte together with the other staff of this school; this is an incredibly important school and the way in which all you students have presented yourselves today is a tribute to yourselves and your parents and guardians.
“There are over 500 pupils here giving St Joseph’s the title of the biggest national school in Co Longford and the diversity here shows how rich and wonderful Longford is and what it has got to offer to this new nation.”
Cllr John Browne (FG), meanwhile, a local area representative in Longford town said the day was a special one for the school.
He also recalled some fond memories of his late daughter Ann who attended St Joseph’s NS and enjoyed her formative years there.
“This is all very positive; this school has over 500 pupils and there are 30 nationalities represented here, so its place in Longford town is very significant,” Cllr Browne added.
“Terrific work has been done by the principal, board of management and all concerned.”
He went on to say that he felt very proud of St Joseph’s NS.
“I can very much relate to this school - my own family attended St Joseph’s,” the local councillor continued.
“My late daughter Ann was at the school here and she got on extremely well out of it; I feel extremely proud of this school - it embraces the ethos of our town and county.”