End of De La Salle era in Kildare as school closes

The end of the De La Salle era in Kildare town was marked with a special celebration following the school’s end of year mass last Friday June 21.

The end of the De La Salle era in Kildare town was marked with a special celebration following the school’s end of year mass last Friday June 21.

Past sporting feats, fond school day memories and friendships were discussed as former principal Br. Ciaran Creedon and former teacher, Br. Cyril returned to a warm welcome.

Eamon Cullagh, Chairman of the Board of Management spoke of the unsung heros who had worked hard throughout the years at Scoil na Mainistreach De La Salle. He thanked the parents associations, boards of management, staff, sports clubs, and the business community including the Credit Union and the banks who gave support through sponsorship.

“In 1884, when the De La Salle Brothers came to this town, there were around 1,100 people living here, the cathedral was in ruins, the current parish church had a tower, there was no sewerage system, or running water. There was no military barracks back then,” he remarked.

He said the Brothers did a very difficult job in very tough times. He stressed the new school would have numbers close to the entire population of the town back then. He said Principal Donal Fleming and Deputy Principal Aidan McKeown had a challenge ahead of them. However, he said they would be up for that challenge and he praised all of the staff for their co-operation and hard work in making the transition.

“I hope the new school will make families in this town as proud as they have been of this school in the past,” he added.

Past pupils, Johnny Fitzgerald, Mick Leavy, and Ned and Mick Treacy got special mention as they returned to their former classrooms. Also present was TD, Sean O’Fearghail, who is also a past pupil of the school and Deputy Martin Heydon. Br. Ciaran recalled his 10 year tenure as principal.

“It’s a fabulous place. There was a real sense of togetherness. There was fabulous support from the parents and they were always very very interested in education.” Mr. Fleming thanked everyone who supported the school throughout the years including the staff.

- Niamh O’Donoghue