The Minister for Education Ruari Quinn was in Athy first thing Monday morning to officially open the new school building at Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Tomard, Athy, writes Conor McHugh.
The new building, which opened its doors last August in time for the academic year is, for the first time, taking junior infants, and girls, a move from being an all boys school that only took pupils from second class onwards.
There are now 400 pupils in the school
The Minister was met by a guard of honour of the pupils before a prayer service in the hall.
The event was attended by locals and parents.
The Minister and Fr. Tanham spoke at the opening before they unveiled a plaque marking the occasion.
“Then we buried a time capsule and let off balloons,” Principal Catherine Gillis told the Leinster Leader. The capsule will be opened in 25 years.
“We have a lovely bunch of young teachers and parents and they will all be alive to see it being opened,” she noted.
“There’s nothing valuable in it, but it’s filled with bits and pieces of life today.”
“It’s an absolutely wonderful and fantastic facility,” local councillor Aoife Breslin who is on the board of management said.
And she noted that the Minister in his speech, reiterated literacy as one of his big campaigns.
“He was very open to the idea that education is more than just about learning, but a process that embraces the whole of life.”