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Plans for new state-of-the-art Killarney school out to tender

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WELCOME NEWS: Thrilled with the news this week that St Brigid's Secondary is to get a state-of-the-art school were students Elaine Parker, Mahima Sujan and Kara Huggard with Principal Roísín Moore. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Plans are currently out to tender for a brand new state-of-the-art secondary school for Killarney town which could be competed within five years. After a five year campaign for new facilities to accommodate the school's growing numbers - which sees many students undergoing classes in the school's current 18 prefabs - St Brigid's Presentation Secondary School which currently has 720 students, is set to get 29 general classrooms, two Home Economics Rooms, two Art and Craft rooms, six specialist rooms, four science labs, a GP room and ancillary accommodation as part of the new build. The project has been approved for delivery under the Department’s Major Capital Programme as part of Project Ireland 2040.

 

The ambitious project, announced by Minister for Education Norma Foley, is believed to cost upwards of €15m. It will be built beside the current PE Hall from lands kindly donated by the Presentation Sisters. The PE Hall, originally built in 1985 and funded by the Sisters, is also set to get an upgrade and will include new windows, shower and toilet facilities.

There'll also be a new ASD unit with two classrooms, a therapy room and an multi-sensory room, which accommodate 12 students, doubling the current number.

Principal Roísín Moore said that they are thrilled that preparations are finally underway for the much needed facility.

“We’re thrilled,” Róisín told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s been a long battle. We’ve been in negotiations in excess of five years. The school has grown rapidly and we’ve tried to accommodate students. It’ll be great to have all students back in one building again which is great. It certainly secures the future of the school."

She added that none of this would be possible without the help and support of the Presentation Sisters who donated the site, and the work of the Board of Management amongst others.

“We’re delighted that we’re also going to be remaining in the town. We’re currently in the process of tendering and hope to have tenders in in the next two months.”

However, she said there’s one regret that remains.

“The one regret is that our current students are unlikely to benefit from the announcement.”

Minister Foley this week said that a Service Level Agreement between CEIST and the Department has been agreed and the process of the appointment of a design team to deliver the project is underway.

“I am very pleased to announce the news that a new school has been sanctioned for St Brigid’s Secondary School, Killarney. This is a welcome development for the entire school community at St Brigid’s Presentation, Killarney and a recognition of their long service and tradition of excellence in providing education for girls in Killarney town and its hinterland.”

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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