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School plans memorial for tragic Darren

Darren Sutherland's former school are considering establishing a tribute to the tragic boxer.

Principal Eamonn Gaffney of St Peter's Community College at Dunboyne in Co Meath said that they have discussed creating some sort of memorial to the Olympian who took his own life last year.

The boxer returned from England to sit his Leaving Certificate as a mature student at the St Peter's College, which is currently the focus of RTE documentary, The School.

"We might go that direction," Principal Gaffney commented. "He was a tremendous young man."

"He was not afraid to get back into the uniform and study. He did very well in his Leaving Cert and went on to study in DCU."

Mr Gaffney noted that it was particularly "poignant" that a visit by Darren was featured in last week's episode of the documentary.

"He was an amazing young man," he said. "The students were taking such an interest in the fact that he was working hard for what he wanted."



inspiring

"He came when he was a professional boxer but also when he won the Olympic medal.

He spoke for 30 minutes to the students and he was very inspiring."

The school with almost 1,000 pupils was founded in 1994 can also count former Miss Ireland, Sinead Noonan, among their past pupils.

"We have both brawn and beauty," Mr Gaffney said. "There are a lot of talented people in the school."

In this week's episode, the focus will be on the students as they prepare for their mock state exams.

Mr Gaffney said that the reaction has been positive so far but he was concerned that there was an emphasis on the difficulties in the school.

"We are quite pleased with it," he said. "Some people felt that it was overly negative and showed a lot of the problems.

"The people who know the school very well would say that it was a little top heavy on the difficulties.

"It's important to see the whole package," he added.

The School airs on RTE 1 tonight at 9.35pm.


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