Monday 18 December 2017

New book reflects on 50 years of education at Colmcille's Boys' NS

Dan O’Reilly and Ciara Brangan at the St Colmcille’s Boy’s NS book launch
Dan O’Reilly and Ciara Brangan at the St Colmcille’s Boy’s NS book launch

A book has been launched to celebrate 50 years of education at St Colmcille's Boys' National school in Swords.

As part of its celebrations, the school has already hosted the visit of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, performed at the Peace Proms in the RDS, staged a concert and held a photographic exhibition.

Its final initiative of this very significant year is the publication of a book entitled, Celebrating 50 Years which was launched on Wednesday, 21 June at a very well-attended event in the school hall.

From the magnificent artwork on the front and back covers to the lovely quotations from the pupils on the inside of the back cover, this is a wonderful celebration of a very proud school.

It was established in 1966 because of the amalgamation of the New Borough Infant Boys' N.S. and the New Borough Senior Boys' N.S. with its first Principal being Mr Brendan Kavanagh.

Among the teachers in 1966 were Mr Denis Connolly, Mrs Susan Keane, Mrs Josephine Mc Cague, Miss Maureen Faherty and Mr Dan O' Reilly. Mr Paddy O' Neill, the renowned historian, joined the staff in 1967 when St Patrick's N. S., Cloghran was closed.

Two schools, St Colmcille's B.N.S. and St Colmcille's G.N.S., shared the new building on Chapel Lane and there was a very fine hall located between the two corridors. The hall was used for concerts - Brendan Grace made his debut there, Frank Patterson sang at a charity concert, bingo was held there every Friday night and there were ballet classes on Saturdays.

In the early sections of the book, we meet former past pupils such as Michael Rock, a Swords businessman, Kieran Duff, All -Ireland medal winner Declan Power, Principal Designate of Holy Family J.N.S., River Valley, Caoimhin O' Croidheáin, artist and author, Stephen Sheridan, professional musician, Paul Flynn, All-Star and All-Ireland medals winner, Keith Ward, professional footballer, Alan O' Sullivan, Youth International footballer, Ciaran Bambrick, a student at D.C.U. and Kieran McLoughlin, a student at Portmarnock Community College.

An effective Board of Management is a pre-requisite for an effective school, and St Colmcille's B.N.S., has been blessed with the tremendous support which the various Board members have given to the school over the years. Miss Veronica Mc Dermott, the present Chairperson and Mr Matthew Ladrigan, the Treasurer of the Board, give their insights into the workings of the Board and Ms Michelle Kelly outlines the role of the Parents' Association.

The present-day pupils have organised interviews with former Principals, former Deputy Principals and former teachers, and these interviews are complemented by articles from current staff members.

The importance of co-curricular activities and events is reflected in the photographs and reports on Gaelic Football, soccer, hurling, athletics, cross-country and a whole range of other sports.

Fingal Independent

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