Sr Ann retiring from St Aidan's CS this week after 25 years

By Mary Dennehy

A QUARTER of a century ago Sr Ann O’ Donoghue came to teach in St Aidan’s Community School and moved into a small community of Loreto nuns in Tallaght – who were based where Lidl on Fortunestown Way now stands.

Originally from Tipperary, Sr Ann is retiring as Principal of St Aidan’s Community School this week – after coming to the Brookfield school 25 years ago and serving as teacher, chaplain, deputy principal and finally, principal.

sr anne st aidans cs 2
A forward-thinker, Sr Ann has been part of St Aidan’s progressive growth – which has seen the vibrant school not only embrace education but also “outside of the box”, creative learning.

Speaking to The Echo, Sr Ann said: “When I came to this community first there was no Citywest shopping centre, no hotel, no business campus, no Luas.

“When I came to Tallaght I lived in a house in Fortunestown with a small community of Loreto sisters and the house was literally located on a dark, country lane - which is hard to imagine now as it’s the spot where Lidl now stands on Fortunestown Way.

“Since then the development that has happened has been wonderful and hugely important to the area.

“The Luas has been a major development and it has made a huge difference to the lives of local people – who now have a great transport system, shops, leisure facilities and more on their doorstep.”

She added: “Thousands of students have passed through St Aidan’s while I have been here.

“We have members from the Traveller community and the local community and from East European countries and Africa, with St Aidan’s adopting an open door policy and growing into an international school – where diversity is totally accepted and respected.

“The school has grown from strength to strength and that’s a credit to the teachers, the students, the surrounding community and local businesses who have all contributed to making the school such a diverse and unique place to learn.

“Alongside placing a strong emphasis on teaching and learning, here at St Aidan’s we also like to think outside the box and give innovative opportunities to young people – all of whom have done us proud over the years and went on to third level, apprenticeships or even to open up their own businesses.

“The saddest part of retiring is leaving people behind you…the school and wider community has been amazing and so supportive over the years, I’ll really miss everyone.”

Sr Ann confirmed that Deputy Principal Karen Quigley will take over the reins as principal and according to Sr Ann the school “has a bright future under Karen’s leadership”.

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