Tour guides Ethan O' Donnell and Mohammed Kabir look on as first class teacher Vickie Norris welcomes visitors to the first class classroom to see the children working on PICTURE: EAMON ANDREWS
IT was a golden day in Mungret as the ribbon was cut at the area’s newest school.
Staff, students, as well as former teachers and pupils were all present in Mungret Park as a new educational chapter opened for Limerick Educate Together national school.
The two storey 16-classroom primary school was opened last August, marking the end of a 13 year nomadic existence for the school, which can count students from around the world in its number.
As well as the classrooms, the ‘rapid-build’ school has a library, PE hall, large yard, sensory gardens and three special classes for children with autistic spectrum disorder.
A marquee was set up outside the school as sun beamed down on the site, and there were plenty of smiling faces from the students present.
One of them, Caoimhe O’Routrke from sixth class said: “Our teachers are what has made this school so welcoming, and happy. They are always smiling and always greet with with a hello, or a Dia Dhuit,” she said.
Staff & pupils at new Limerick ET school in Mungret are preparing time capsule to be buried. Following its opening earlier today, weekend edition of @Limerick_Leader will be included, as will @Jess_JCasey's fabulous profile of the school. Full story: https://t.co/elYJKVtI1C pic.twitter.com/UgzA3sIsxj— Nick Rabbitts (@Nick468official) May 31, 2018
The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Pauline Ryan, the school’s founding principal, and someone who has played a key role in bringing the school from temporary premises at a former bar in Young Munsters to today.
Soon after the Department of Education gave her school permission to move to Mungret Park, she took a well-earned retirement.
But she was back this Thursday to cut the ribbon and formally open the school, home to 311 students and 35 staff.
She said: “I’m quite emotional today. Lets has become a big part of my life. I can honestly say delivering this was the biggest challenge I ever made in my life. I couldn’t have done it without all of you.”
Pauline thanked the Department of Education and Educate Together for “taking a leap of faith” for the school.
“The constant feeling is this was going to become a great school. It’s a magical place with children who are genuinely loved by the staff,” she told the crowd.
Her successor in the role, Michael Queely added: “We have an amazing new school with wonderful facilities and grounds in this fabulous setting in the heart of Mungret. As you can see, we are surrounded by nature and this plays a big part in teaching and learning here. You couldn’t have picked a better site, and you should be so proud of your achievement.”
Following the formalities, attendees at the opening – including Mayor Stephen Keary – were afforded a tour of the school.
Among the classes which take place in Limerick Educate Together National School are a unique mix of yoga and mindfullness meditation.
Educate Together Schools, two of which reside in Limerick, are unique in that children are accepted regardless of where they live, and religious belief.