The Patrician Secondary School’s Jubliee celebrations continued last Saturday night with a Golden Jubliee Dinner Dance at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge.
Described as a night of ‘craic and memories’ it was well attended by past pupils and staff alike.
Reflecting on the school’s history over the past 50 years, principal Peter O’Reilly said the the Patrician Brothers came to Newbridge in 1939 and founded the Patrician Primary School.
“The demand to provide a second level school increased in the 1950’s, and in 1958 the secondary was begun as part of the primary school. In 1960 the Patrician Secondary opened its doors in Charlotte Street in what’s now known as the Parish centre. The teachers were Br Silvarious Heffernan Principal, Br Maurice Murphy, Mr Michael Mc Dermott and Mr PJ Kennedy. Since that time it has grown into the caring teaching establishment it is today with 750 pupils and 55 staff.”
The school moved to its present site on the banks of the Liffey in 1970.
“Br Joseph Doheny RIP managed the move from Charlotte Street. Br James O’ Rourke took over as principal in 1979 and oversaw a number a number of changes,” he added.
“The first Board of Management was established in 1985. The playing pitches in College Park were purchased with the help of funds raised by the Parents Association and the school community. Seamus Mullooly a teacher in the school since 1963 then became principal in 1963. Seamus was the first lay principal in 1994 and the Patrician vision and Mission continues into the new millennium,” Mr O’Reilly said.
Meanwhile the Education Act of 1998 introduced a number of changes to the school which improved the variety of subjects on offer.
“During that time also the school continued to grow and a new annex with specialist rooms Art Room, Construction Room, Music Room, Chemistry Room, Guidance Suite and Technology room was opened in 2001. I took over as Principal in 2004 and thanks to the school’s solid foundation it is now a well established as a vibrant teaching and learning community,” Mr O’Reilly said.