Mary I chief to retire this year

THE President of Mary Immaculate College Prof Peader Cremin is set to retire this summer after 12 years at the helm, it has been revealed.

THE President of Mary Immaculate College Prof Peader Cremin is set to retire this summer after 12 years at the helm, it has been revealed.

Prof Cremin became president in September 1999, and has overseen a number of developments in the South Circular Road college. He has overseen the college’s development from a mainly teacher training centre, to an institution which caters for students from a number of different educational backgrounds.

He has also overseen a massive overhaul of the respected college, including notably securing funding for the €24m Tara building, now the home of the Mary Immaculate College students union, formerly the gym.

After moving from Cork in 1976, Prof Cremin lived on the Ashbourne Avenue, near Mary Immaculate College for 20 years, before moving to Adare some 12 years ago.

President of the Mary Immaculate College students union Mairead Collins described Prof Cremin as being “approachable, open to new ideas, and above all, as pro student as we are.”

She added: “Students Unions across Ireland would give anything to be in our position. Anyone could call into Prof Cremin’s office and he would make time to listen to what they had to say. He has been instrumental in our success as well as that of the college.”

The student union presented Prof Cremin with a specially commissioned piece of cut glass in the shape of a flame, bearing the inscription ‘Dar gCara O Aontas na Mac Lein’ - which represents the student union’s motto ‘Giving you a voice, Helping you to use it, Enriching your college Experience’.

College chaplain Fr Mick Wall, chair of the network for student support and development at Mary Immaculate College, described Prof Cremin as “a man of courage and vision”.

He praised the president for the “political skill” to secure €24m for the new Tara building, which houses the Mary Immaculate College Student Union.

“When I came here in 2000, the old gym stood on this site. Look at it now - a magnificent building! Peader had a dream and it has come to fruition: a campus worthy of our tradition in the field of education. This has happened despite the downturn in the economy. Looking back on it, it was nothing short of amazing,” he recalled.