The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, was in Edgeworthstown on Thursday last to officially open the new St Mary’s National School campus.
Addressing an audience comprising of past and present pupils, parents, and local representatives, the Minister said she was delighted to celebrate the opening of a new school in a town with “a fantastic history of education”.
Addressing the school’s pupils, she went on to say, “You deserve this school. What we want for all of you is to be the best you can be and this school will nourish you in that regard.
“We’re celebrating this new school, we’re celebrating those who attend it, and celebrating those who support it.”
Minister O’Sullivan then made an announcement which was met with gleeful approval by the children: “Seeing as it’s such a special day, as Minister for Education I can confirm you will have no homework tonight!”
The ceremony also involved a blessing by Bishop Francis Duffy and during his speech he paid tribute to “the volunteerism and professionalism and the eagerness to do good in the community in seeing this fantastic school right through to completion”.
“The Department of Education has delivered handsomely to the area down through the years and now you have this wonderfully bright, spacious, modern, school.”
Helen O’Gorman, Principal of St Mary’s NS, added: “This day has been a long time coming.”
Referring to the temporary accommodation the school had been using during the construction phase, she smiled as she declared, “‘‘Pre-Fab City’ is now defunct”, before praising the “excellent” staff at St Mary’s NS.
“We’re looking forward to continuing the high standards we have set in the new building,” she concluded.
Also speaking at the event was the Chairperson of the school’s Board of Management, Tom Victory, who said: “This was started many years ago by people with foresight who acquired the property. A lot of planning and effort went into it.”