It may have been cold and foggy but the weather failed to dampen the spirits of those at Lanesboro Community School last Thursday afternoon.
Parents, students, teachers and dignitaries gathered together to celebrate the official opening of two new classrooms at the school, both of which will be used to teach Irish and the aptly named ‘Aras na Gaeilge’.
Dr Christy Duffy, CEO of Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board (ETB) carried out the official duties on the day and Principal, Jimmy Flanagan paid tribute to all those involved in bringing the project to fruition.
“We speak of a whole community here at Lanesboro Community College,” added Mr Flanagan.
“We have the ETB, the board of management, parents, teachers and students all associated and the welfare of our students here has always been to the fore. It is the hard work and dedication by all those associated with Lanesboro Community College that has gotten us here today and we are very grateful to everyone for all their help.”
Mr Flanagan went on to say that 90% of last year’s Leaving Cert class graduated to third level while the school boasts the highest Junior Certificate results in the county this year.
“Every student - from day one at this school - is enabled to be a valuable member of our school and next year we are introducing Transition Year at Lanesboro Community College,” he added. “School is not just about academic achievements, it is also about the personal development of the student and I am enthused for our school; our school is a living, vibrant community.”
Before officially opening the new school building Dr Duffy addressed the students. “This is a special occasion for you the students of Lanesboro Community College,” he added.
“I listened to your principal speak of a lovely, vibrant school and I wish I was young again so that I could be a student here.”
The ETB CEO went on to say that there had never been a better time in Ireland to be a student than now, because of all the opportunities that were available to young people.
“All the opportunities and possibilities you have; we are opening a building here today, but we are also celebrating a living community,” he continued.
“Our vision is of a building and a school which is at the heart of a community and I am a firm believer in the value of smaller schools and the value of community.”
After the blessing, chairman of the school board of management, Adie Farrell concluded proceedings by saying, “This school is doing very well since 2001. This school looks good for the future and the numbers are up, so long may it continue.”
He then paid tribute to Dr Duffy, Mr Flanagan, the students of Lanesboro Community College and all those associated with its success.
Photos: page 68 & 69