Largest school building in Ireland will facilitate 1,600 students in Knocklyon

By Laura Lyne

THE STUDENTS and staff of St Colmcille's Junior and Senior national schools in Knocklyon were joined by over 500 people that included parents, members and associates of the local parish, local representatives and friends last Friday as the schools officially opened their new building – the largest in Ireland.

Following blessing ceremonies by Fr Jimmy Murray with students and staff from the junior and senior schools, the official opening ceremony took place with a blessing from Bishop Eamonn Walsh and speeches from senior school principal Lynn Corcoran and junior school principal John Boyle.

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During his speech, junior school principal John Boyle said: “This bright, airy, eco-friendly, spacious building with its flexible, adaptable learning spaces and its expansive external environment allows us to tap into the naturally occurring curiosities of our pupils, so that we can awaken their interest in independent learning.

“Our two schools have always believed in the concept of learning community. This new building makes it so much easier to develop, strengthen and extend that community.

“In the last twelve months, I’ve observed that all members of our school community - our pupils, parents, staff and even visitors to the school had a real pep in their steps. Our hearts have been lifted.”

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD, was also in attendance and helped to cut the tape and unveil the plague with Bishop Walsh to commemorate the opening.

Other guests at the ceremony included former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, who officiated the opening of the original St Colmcille's school building in 1977 along with Archbishop Ryan.

The new St Colmcille's school building serves 1,600 students and employs 80 teachers, 23 special needs assistants and 11 ancillary staff.

It is a result of a €14 million investment by the Department of Education and includes 58 classrooms, 12 teaching support rooms, four meeting rooms, two IT rooms, roof gardens and canteens.

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