Great excitement in Scoil Ursula as special guests pay us a visit!
It was all of these very important people that the whole of the Scoil Ursula Family welcomed with open arms on Monday. Flowers festooned the steps to the school and the children’s work was displayed in the Hall for all to see and admire.
The school Principal, Mr. Gallagher, welcomed everyone to the Hall for the auspicious occasion and thanked all of the staff, parents and pupils for their hard work and dedication in helping to bring about the extension. Thanks was also expressed to the Department of Education and Skills for funding the project, Rhatigan and Co. for their work as project planners and managers and to Castlelough Corporation Construction Company.
Mr. Gallagher spoke of the many changes that have taken place in education over the past number of years including the many initiatives, curriculum changes and other progressive improvements in primary education. While acknowledging all of these as positives he also urged An Taoiseach to use his influence to prevent a rise in class sizes in primary education and the loss of one or more teachers in Scoil Ursula along with a loss of services for children with special educational needs. The principal spoke highly of his predecessors, past staff and indeed the founders of the Ursuline order and committed, in St. Angela’s words to:
“put our whole soul into the undertaking we have chosen”
In his address Bishop Jones praised the work of the Ursuline Order in founding Scoil Ursula and the staff and principals, both Sisters and lay people, down through the years that kept up the Ursuline ethos of holistic child centred education that always aimed for excellence. He also reminded all those present that while the building the school is in is important, it is the people inside that make a school what it is. Bishop Christy also spoke of how much school life has changed since he was young and of his delight to see happiness being at the centre of what takes place in school nowadays.
The Chairperson of the Board of Management also spoke welcoming and thanking all for their presence. While extolling the virtues of an Ursuline school committed to linking with the community and the wider world and the excellence in education that it provides, Mrs. Moore also compared the new modern extension to the older buildings of the school. These, she said, addressing the Taoiseach, are falling into disrepair and need proper maintenance with the finances to go along with it. She asked that
“...you Taoiseach and our elected representatives to continue to put the needs of our children and the importance of education high on your agenda”
An Taoiseach went on to respond to the Chairperson’s speech with the hope that soon there would be some more flexibility in future budgets for school building and maintenance projects like the one outlined by Mrs. Moore for Scoil Ursula. He also noted that there was €13 billion to be spent on capital projects nationally between now and 2015 and that had to be split up between various departments. He also stated that both he and the Department of Education would work with school management to improve the buildings. He asked the Chairperson to keep in contact so that they could plot the progress together.
Click play to hear our school choir sing for An Taoiseach and Bishop Jones
Following this the assembled guests were led out to the new extension where An Taoiseach officially opened it and Bishop Christy prayed for God’s Blessing on it. They were joined there by the pupils from Ms. Cogan and Ms. Mitchell’s who have their classes in the new rooms. Both An Taoiseach and the Bishop were presented with gifts and cards by the children.
It was a wonderful day for our school and we are so happy to share it with the whole school community. Thanks are due to so many people for their help and support throughout the project and in the lead up to the official opening. So to one and all we say Thanks!
We hope that this will be a stepping stone to further upgrades, improvements and successes for the school and the boys and girls of Scoil Ursula.
- Ocean FM: An Taoiseach to Visit Sligo Today (including an interview with the Principal Mr. Gallagher)
- Sligo Today: Taoiseach for Sligo Visit Today
- Irish Independent: Enda Back to School After Lesson from Voters
- Sligo Champion (see below)