STUDENTS at Our Lady Queen of Peace Janesboro received a welcome end-of-school-year present: a brand-new astroturf pitch.
The pitch was designed and manufactured by EI Electronics in Shannon and was formally opened by principal Michael Ryan, Mayor of Limerick Michael Sheahan and EI Electronics CEO Mick Guinee on Friday last.
The pitch has been warmly received by students at the school.
Three fourth-class students, Aidan, Dion and Zac, said they were were excited to emulate their idol Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch.
The inaugural game on the pitch was a basketball game between teachers and students, with the teachers squeaking out a win over their pupils.
The school is the alma mater of Ireland hockey World Cup squad member Roisin Upton, and principal Michael Ryan hopes that more of his students follow in her footsteps.
He said: "It is vital for kids to have exercise and movement in their lives and to step away from the mobile phone screens".
Ryan stated that the school has "always had a strong educational heritage in the Janesboro area" and that the pitch reaffirms that belief.
Sister Claire Morrisey, "the first person through the doors of this school in 1954", also turned the first sod on the new €1.9 million extension at the back of the school
Mayor Michael Sheahan gave a speech at the ceremony, recalling that he served as the 6th class teacher during Easter 1972 at the school as part of his training as a teacher.
Mayor Sheahan issued a decree at the end of his speech that there was to be no homework assigned on Monday - much to the delight of students and staff.