Friday 26 April 2019

Give up yer oul' sins, or give up yer oul' name . . . that is the dilemma

Aine Kerr

A CENTURY old school featured in the TV documentary 'Give Up Yer Oul Sins' is on the move.

Rutland Street National School in Dublin's north inner-city will be vacated in 2007 when pupils move to the first primary school to be built in the area in almost 20 years.

Built in 1912, the school has been the subject of continuous refurbishment but after years of enduring windows which won't open and excessive heating bills, it is to be relocated to a new address.

Principal Eileen Adams, who has been teaching in the school for over 34 years, said the decrepit appearance from outside "failed to do justice to a vibrant and welcoming school".

She added: "The school is like a sponge. It absolutely soaks money.

"The school yard has been a nightmare because a school was actually built on the school yard some time ago and I recently counted 35 pillars on the yard.

"The department has always tried to meet our needs but really it was only a case of sticking plaster so we could simply survive."

Yesterday however, a planning notice describing the new site and attributes of the new school was met by excitement and sadness, for it is the end of an ear for a school celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 'Give up Yer Oul Sins' documentary. If the timescale is followed, other schools will look on in envy in 2007 when Rutland Street National School and Holy Child pre-school move to a three-storey building off Sean McDermott Street.

On this site, which is only minutes from Rutland Street, they will take ownership of a fully equipped playground, a roof top terrace which boasts a basketball court and a sensory garden. Schools' board of management head, Fr Michael Casey, said that there had been several different plans for the school, including an underground car park.

The dilemma now facing staff, parents and the local community of Rutland Street National School is whether to retain the name despite its new address. "On the one hand, the school is so steeped in history it would be a shame to lose its name, yet the new school is a new beginning, it's about moving forward," said Ms Adams.

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