Young and old collaborate to celebrate Scoil an Ghleanna

Tadhg Evans

Scoil an Ghleanna in Ballinskelligs is getting ready to mark the 45th anniversary of its new school in some style - and preparations have already ample some cause for smiles

The old school in the Glen opened in 1862, but the school we knew today opened over a century later, in 1973. On August 11 at 8pm, a dinner dance will take place in the Ring of Kerry Hotel, and many pupils past and present are sure to be in the Cahersiveen hotel on the night itself.

The night will include a four-course meal, followed by musical entertainment by 'Dominic and Joe', and 'The Country DJ'. The following afternoon, at 2pm, there will be a sports day at the Glen pitch.

In the run-up to these events, there was a heart-warming morning in the school as its two youngest pupils, Emma Ní Chéilleachair and Féilim Ó Súilleabháin, presented Patsy Ó Sé and Máire Uí Chinnéide, the two eldest surviving former primary school pupils of the Glen, with their tickets to the big night.

"It was a lovely morning," Gerardette Kelleher, mum to Emma and cousin to Féilim, said of the occasion. "It was a chance as well for Patsy and Máire to reminisce on their own school days."

Gerardette explained that she and her brother, Anthony, have worked hard in organising the upcoming celebrations, and she hopes the night, as well as the following afternoon's sports day, will provide a wonderful chance for all to remember their school days fondly. "It's a kind of reunion for past pupils and friends," she said. "But it's a chance, also, to bring the next generation together.

"Part of the reason for having the sports day is that the kids of former pupils still living in the Glen, and kids of former pupils no longer living in the Glen, will get to meet each other and have the craic."