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Building a school community from the inside out

A programme aimed at developing empathy among pupils is gaining traction, writes Katherine Donnelly

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Rachel McGrath (centre left), Principal of Griffeen Community College, pictured with Michelle Stowe of Connect RP and pupils from fifth class of Lucan CNS and second year of Griffeen CC during a Restorative Practice meeting. Photo: Frank McGrath

Rachel McGrath (centre left), Principal of Griffeen Community College, pictured with Michelle Stowe of Connect RP and pupils from fifth class of Lucan CNS and second year of Griffeen CC during a Restorative Practice meeting. Photo: Frank McGrath

Rachel McGrath (centre left), Principal of Griffeen Community College, pictured with Michelle Stowe of Connect RP and pupils from fifth class of Lucan CNS and second year of Griffeen CC during a Restorative Practice meeting. Photo: Frank McGrath

When principal Rachel McGrath faced the challenge of starting up a new second-level school in 2017, she had to factor in not having a home to call their own. Not even a temporary, stand-alone building with its own front door.

Despite the well-flagged need to educate an expanding teen population, the school building programme is lagging far behind.

Two years on, Griffeen Community College (CC) in Lucan continues to function in 'virtual' mode, occupying the third floor of another school, its 140 current pupils in six classrooms on a single corridor.


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