Monday 18 December 2017

Ex-pupils of St John's in special art project

Hubert Murphy on the success of the cottage market and how it's providing a vital outlet for so many artists

All past pupils of St John's National School in Rathmullen are being invited back for a unique celebration over the weekend of May 13 and 14.

The school is being knocked down later this year but before that happens, the management want former students to leave their mark on the past.

The school will open for that weekend in May and those who attended St John's since 1979 are asked to come along and paint their name on the walls of the corridors where they once stood.

When the school is demolished, the rubble will be used as the base for the new playground, 'building the future on the past', as principal Dymphna MacKenna stated at the launch of the event last week.

She spoke of the early days of the school - the late Mary Fairclough being the first principal - and how it proved a focal point for the community of Rathmullen, Ballsgrove and Marley's Lane.

In the 1990s, they had to rally around when it looked as if the school would be no more, but they came through that period.

Fiona Gunn, who has been part of the school for 25 years, said the building meant a lot to her as her children also went to school there.

'A lot have passed through here and we want to make something visible from this', she stated.

The May project will see different years given time slots to come up and paint their names. She hopes it will also help reunite old friends from those years.

'It will be extraordinary and an incredible roll call over 40 years and 4,500 names', Ms MacKenna added.

The likes of Murtagh's paints, Peter McKinney and Image have helped out with donations already for the weekend.

The school has begun a worldwide campaign to get as many people as possible to the school for May 13 and 14 for one last look around.

As the principal remarked, 'Be a part of it'.

Drogheda Independent

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