'A foundation for the new Sligo'

Minister for Education leads tributes as the new €13m Summerhill College officially opened, writes Harry Keaney

Harry Keaney

Published 17/09/2013 | 16:27

RTE’s Tommie Gorman, Dr Terri Scott, president of IT Sligo and Rev Alan Mitchell at Summerhill College opening.

"A foundation for the new Sligo."

That's how Education Minister Ruairi Quinn described the brand new €13m Summerhill College.

Speaking to The Sligo Champion after declaring the building officially open, he described it as "a huge occasion".

He added there were so many famous and worthy Summerhill alumni present he felt redundant.

But he said he was honoured to be associated with the college's celebration.

He continued: "Something like this isn't going to happen again for another 100 years.

"This is the foundation for the new Sligo, providing good education, appropriate for the 21st Century.

"Wealth and privilege and all of that are unequally distributed in this country as in Sligo.

"But talent and intelligence are universally equally distributed across the population.

"We've got to mobilise that talent and Summerhill, like all the colleges, has to reach out and get it."

The new 7,466 square metre college consists of a total of 40 classrooms.

That includes special rooms for science, construction studies, art, music, maths, social studies, religious studies and autism unit.

It contains a new PE hall with high quality sprung hardwood floor and an exercise and fitness suite.

And the school has more developments in the pipeline.

Next month, it is expected to launch a new five-year plan.

Also, there is a long-term dream of a privately-funded Father Flanagan Auditorium and Museum.

Presentations of two panoramic photographs by past pupil Ciaran McHugh were made to Minister Quinn and Bishop Jones.

'To the 'Waters and the Wild' was presented to the Minister by his student namesake, Rory Quinn.

And Colm O'Sullivan made the presentation of a view of Sligo from the Summerhill area to Bishop Jones.

Sligo Champion

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