AT 12 seconds past 12 minutes past 12, on 12/12/12, Bishop of Meath Michael Smith cut the red ribbon at the official opening of St Mary's Parish Primary school.
If the precision of the timekeeping last Wednesday is anything to go by, the 988 pupils of the amalgamation of Fatima and St Mary's NS will indeed be very punctual each morning.
For certain, it will be a lasting memory for everyone present on that remarkable date, and marked the blessing for the largest school in the country, which opened its doors in September. Hundreds of parents crammed into the spacious gymnasium - along with Deputy Mayor Linda Bell-Woods, and other dignitaries - as the state of the art technology allowed the ceremony to be beamed live to all the classrooms.
It was a day Principal Philip Ward thought he might never see. ' Even though we are here since September 3rd, this is the day where we pause, draw breath and see where we are,' he said proudly.
'We are the large school with the small school feeling, and we have to acknowledge the hard work of the parents, steering committee and all the staff for bringing us to this special day. In introducing Fr Denis Nulty - St Mary's Parish Priest and chairperson of the New School Steering Committee - he was described as the one person who 'ate, drank, lived and breathed this project'.
' This special date, all the twelves, will be forever etched in our memories as the date we unveiled the plaque to the school, but it is also the Feast of St Finian, the patron saint of the Diocese, who was himself a great educator,' he said.
'It was a long journey, from when the land was purchased back in 1978, to this great date, and to all involved, I say a huge thank you, not just for those in the school now, but for future generations.'
Assembled parents, staff and guests were treated to a selection of songs and hymns from the newly formed St Mary's NS Choir, a union of talent from both former schools, and following a short ceremony of dedication and blessing from the Most Rev Michael Smith, at precisely the desired time, the ribbon was cut to the impressive glass front doors. A truly memorable beginning after a lifetime of waiting.