Marie Meets: Colm says farewell to The Mon as he begins new role
The Presentation Monastery Primary School was an exciting place to be last week as Minister for Education, Norma Foley officially opened the brand new extension at the school complete with multi-sensory room, two new special needs rooms, a vibrant spacious hall and an outdoor classroom dedicated to the memory of the very popular and much loved Dott Henggeler, who represented Washington in 2011 at the Rose of Tralee.
I thought to myself as I walked through the vibrant, revamped building what a wonderful achievement and a fantastic note to go out on for Principal Colm Ó Súilleabháin, who was completing his last week at The Mon before taking up his new role as Principal at St Oliver's NS in Ballycasheen. It really is a work of art, so bright and spacious.
“Minister Foley’s visit was a great high for us here at The Mon. She was a very impressive lady, speaking without the aid of notes and she was extremely knowledgeable of the school and its history. It was an honour to have her officially open the new building,” Colm said.
“I am Principal at The Mon for 13 years now Marie and I loved every day of it. I was working at Tralee CBS under Denis Coleman and thought to apply for the position to gain interview experience. I was absolutely thrilled to get the position, I really was. We are young staff, a close knit family who have grown up together here at The Mon. We have celebrated many events together down through the years. Sure enough the Principal is the person you think to go to as the higher point of contact but I have been blessed with a fantastic team behind me from the pupils to the parents, the Board of Management, the teachers and all the staff. It was the togetherness and drive of all of these people that made the extension at The Mon possible. In some ways the pandemic helped. Our community fundraiser ‘The MONster Raffle’ gave focus and we worked together as a unit to make it happen. And together we did it, to the tune of €40,000. It really is amazing. Every donation counted, from the local businesses, to past pupils, pensioners, including generous donations from abroad would you believe? We are very grateful to everyone who donated to the raffle.”
“So tell me about the big move Colm. Are you excited about it?” I asked. “I am hugely excited Marie. When the position at St Oliver’s arose, I didn’t give it a great amount of thought but after a friend suggested I go for it I let the notion sit with me and a few days later submitted my application,” Colm explained. Nothing like a fresh pair of eyes and the encouragement and good intentions of a close friend to get the ball rolling I thought. Everyone should have one of those.
“I was absolutely thrilled to get the job and the community have been so kind to me. I am very grateful to Principal Rory D’Arcy and Vice Principal Tim Horgan at St Oliver's NS for all their time, support and advice. Many within the community have stopped me in the street to wish me well, so much so that my daughter asked if I now had celebrity status,” Colm laughed. At this point I realised I didn’t know too much about Colm and his family. “My wife is Breda and I have two boys and two girls all attending Gaelscoil Faithleann Marie - Aodhagán (11), Orlaith (9), Muireann (7) and Colm Óg (5).
“We have great history at The Mon and I have learned so much through the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society. In 2013 it was the 175th anniversary of the Presentation Brothers of Education and we conducted a fancy dress parade in full costume through the town of Killarney finishing up at the Arbutus Hotel where the first Monastery Primary School was established in the upstairs building. There is so much history attached to this school, and now with the new building there is a bright and wonderful future for all attending and for future generations of The Mon,” Colm concluded.
And an equally great future for Mr Ó Súilleabháin at St Oliver’s I thought. On my way out I noticed the corridors had also been painted to tie in with the new ‘good vibe’ theme that I got at The Presentation Monastery Primary School.
Thank you for having me Principal Colm Ó Súilleabháin and the very best of luck for your new position as Principal at St Oliver’s NS next week.
Strong connections made at tourism tradeshow
Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry. Held in the INEC, 450 Irish businesses pitched to over 230 international […]
Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry.
Held in the INEC, 450 Irish businesses pitched to over 230 international buyers from 17 countries at Fáilte Ireland’s flagship trade event.
Running since 1975, Meitheal is organised in partnership with Tourism Ireland to provide Irish tourism businesses with the opportunity to sell directly to top international buyers and tour operators.
The best of what is on offer across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin, were showcased with the aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators.
Key themes and trends emerging this year are sustainable travel options, immersive outdoor experiences and festivals.
Speaking about the importance of developing a future pipeline of tourism business, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said that “creating a strong pipeline of future business is key for the recovery of tourism”.
“Seeing the demand for the Irish tourism product with international buyers at Meitheal is fantastic. Each international buyer represents tens of thousands of possible visitors to Ireland, and their business will be hugely important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland as we continue to work towards recovery,” he said.
Outdoor dining area officially opens in town
A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday). The project, which was supported with €605,000 in funding from Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing and […]
A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday).
The project, which was supported with €605,000 in funding from Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Infrastructure Scheme, provides an attractive outdoor dining option for locals and visitors to Killarney.
“This is a really wonderful addition to Killarney’s tourism infrastructure and will prove a great asset throughout the year and particularly during the forthcoming tourist season,” said Cllr Kelleher, Cathaoirleach of the Killarney Municipal District, who did the honours.
“One of the effects of the recent pandemic was the need to utilise and maximise outdoor dining options and this infrastructure shows what can be achieved in an imaginative way. It will greatly enhance Killarney’s reputation as a destination for top quality tourism experiences.”
The project has been operational since last October but the official opening was timed to coincide with the Meitheal 2023 tourism industry showcase that was organised by Fáilte Ireland at the INEC this week.
“It is fantastic to see Killarney’s outdoor dining infrastructure being so well received by trade and visitors alike,” Miriam Kennedy, Head of Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said.
Councillors in the Killarney Municipal District approved planning permission for the infrastructure which was completed by Daniel Canty Construction.
Strong connections made at tourism tradeshow
Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry. Held...
Outdoor dining area officially opens in town
A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday). The project, which was supported with €605,000 in...
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