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There were smiles galore and much excitement and that was just from the parents! The children in Rathcormac on Tuesday morning took moving from their old school into their brand, spanking new one in their stride.
Before they left the old school to make the short journey across the road to the new one, principal Margaret Howard told them and the parents, staff and members of the Board of Management and Parents' Association assembled, that it was a very historic day and a wonderful day for Rathcormac and the village community.
"School is much more than a building, it is a community of people coming together to educate children," she said.
She asked those assembled to remember all the school's past pupils, many of them now living and working abroad and to remember also former staff members, parents and the wider community who had supported the school down through the years.
"In Scoil Bhride it's about doing the best we can with what we have and we always did that," the Principal said. She thanked the community of Rathcormac for all their support down through the years. She asked the children to remember that day when they moved from the old school to the new, saying it was an historic one. And, she told them, with their new 'halla', "the rain won't bother us, we can have PE when we want!"
Past pupil Fiona O'Flynn played the pipes as the children prepared to walk across to their new school. She then made her way across and piped them into the new building. Teacher Rory Gibbon's 4th class led the singing of the National Anthem before student Ben Hogan, carrying the national flag, led the classes the short distance to the new school.
It was a poignant day for principal Margaret Howard and deputy principal Dave McCurtin. Margaret joined staff at the school in 1990, teaching the infant classes. She became principal in 1998. Tuesday was the culmination of a more than 20-year long campaign to have a new school built in Rathcormac. The site was purchased in 2006 by the Department of Education but the project was stalled for a number of years because of budget cuts. In the meantime every available bit of space, including cloakrooms, were pressed into service in the old school which was built in 1948. A number of portacabins were installed for use as extra classrooms and conditions throughout were cramped, with no indoor hall or general purposes area.
All that was put behind them on Tuesday though as children and staff settled into their bright, airy and spacious new two storey school.
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