It was a special and busy day in St. Brigid’s National School in Ardaghy, Omeath last week when the school held its opening day along with the blessing of the school and a memorial bench to commemorate Patrick James McGivern, the schools late care taker.
The school was a hive of activity before the ceremony begun with school principal Teresa Preston, making sure all the last minute details were in order and the pupils were ready.
Father Brian Mac Raois PP performed the blessing and Father Jim Shevlin PE AP was also present at the ceremony and said a few words.
The blessing started off outside and Principal Teresa Preston welcomed everyone to the school and explained that the water used to bless the school had been taken from St. Brigid’s Well in Faughart, whom their school is dedicated to.
The pupils sang and danced before Father Mac Raois led the procession around the back of the school where the rest of the ceremony was performed.
Principal Teresa Preston spoke of the schools growth since it first opened 58 years ago in 1955.
“After various funding applications and fundraisers we have managed to secure a safe parking area for our school and in 2011 and 2012, the school was given two extensions, including the prefab ‘Seomra Aine’ which is named after Louth’s last native Irish speaker.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping our school grow into the great learning facility it is today.
“This September we will also add not only one but two teachers to the school staff, one of which will be a learning support teacher.”
The rest of the ceremony was a joy to behold as all the pupils of the school participated in one way or another, singing, playing the violin, telling stories of St. Brigid and Irish dancing.
A candle was lit for the late PJ McGivern and he was remembered for being a “gentle soul” and the “outstanding way in which he took care of the school and parish.”
Finally Father Mac Raois led the procession around the front of the school where the memorial bench in commemoration of PJ McGivern was blessed and the children performed a song one last time.
A great day was had by all and the school looks forward to welcoming the latest additions to it’s teaching staff in September.