New doors open at Firies school
FIRIES National School officially opened three new extensions on Friday to cope with the rise in numbers attending the school in recent years.
The extensions, which include four classrooms, four resource rooms and a staff room, began in 2005 with the development of a prefab. Since this, extensions were constructed in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Principal Eileen Brosnan believes the housing development in Firies is the reason for the increasing numbers in the school.
"In 2005 we had around 145 pupils and now, in 2013, we have 245," said Ms Brosnan. "The development of the village of Firies has brought many more students to our school and we can now accommodate these through our new extensions."
Funding of approximately €500,000 from the Department of Education and Skills allowed the extensions to take place.
The official opening took place on Friday at the school with a mass. Bishop Bill Murphy was to attend the event but was a last-minute cancellation.
The school was built in 1991 and saw an amalgamation of the old Firies National School and Ballyhar National School.
Retired teacher Margaret O'Connor, now a member of the board of management, was the only person to teach in all three schools and was present at the opening on Friday.