SCHOOL ‘round the corner: Kildare schools get set to amalgate

There are big changes set to take place this week as the primary school boys and girls in Kildare town will be mixed into the same classes for the first time ever.

There are big changes set to take place this week as the primary school boys and girls in Kildare town will be mixed into the same classes for the first time ever.

For the last day of the term on Friday June 28, the pupils will go to their new classrooms and meet their new teachers in preparation for the amalgamation in September.

The idea is to ensure the pupils know what to expect when school returns in September.

The new school, which will be called St. Brigid’s Primary School, will be run by principal Donal Fleming, who is currently principal of Scoil na Mainistreach De La Salle. Aidan Mckeon is taking on the role as Deputy Principal.

Principal of Scoil Bhride Naofa, Paula Watters is retiring after 39 years at the Scoil Bhride Naofa - 13 as principal.

St. Brigid’s will be one of the top ten biggest primary schools in Ireland with 950 boys and girls.

A week and a half ago open days were held in both primary schools to celebrate their achievements and history. On Saturday June 15 the De La Salle primary school welcomed past pupils, parents, new pupils and current pupils. Projects were on display and a photo exhibition of over 400 photos attracted huge attention.

On Sunday June 16, a special mass to mark the end of the Scoil Bhride Naofa chapter was held. There was an open day with exhibitions and a performance from the school band. The flags were lowered and the last school bell was rung.

Vice principal, Paula Lindstrom is also retiring, as is Home School Liaison Officer, Sr. Brid. Ms Lindstrom has amassed 15 years of service at the school while Sr Brid has been in Kildare for 13 years.

Large crowds turned out for both events as past pupils, pupils, parents, teachers and community members mingled and caught up with old friends. There was a memory board for past pupils to recount their fond stories of their days at Scoil Bhride Naofa.

To mark the end of the De La Salle era in Kildare town, a special celebration was held at the school after the end of year mass last Friday June 21.

Fr. Adrian Carbery celebrated mass along with Fr. Flanagan and Fr. Gasper. The contribution of the Brothers to education in Kildare was praised and a large number of past pupils attended the event including Mick Leavy, Johnny Fitzgerald, Ned and Mick Treacy.

Brothers Cyril and Ciaran returned along with Br. Damien from the De La Salle order.

The Boards of Management and the Parents Associations were singled out for their hard work over the years.

Principal Donal Fleming also thanked the staff for all their endeavours through out the years .

Former principals Br. Ciaran and Shay Nolan were also present. Members from local community groups and sports clubs also attended to mark the end of a chapter in Kildare town’s history.

- Niamh O’Donoghue