Monard national school celebrated the official opening of a school building extension recently with the Board of Management inviting the local community and all those associated with the school down through the years to attend a welcoming party.
Principal Catriona O’Connor welcomed everyone to the event and ceremoniously cut the ribbon to the new building extension alongside Fr. John Morris and the teachers at Monard N.S.
“The school has a very interesting history including an historic event in 1959 when the pupils went on strike because they were dissatisfied with the conditions of the building. In the early 1960’s there was very extensive internal renovation and when I came to the school 33 years ago it was a school of three classrooms rather than two and that’s why we had classrooms that were 32m2 whereas now our new room.
Minister of State T.D. Tom Hayes made a speech followed by the blessing by parish priest Fr. John Morris. Also in attendance were T.D. Mattie McGrath and Cllr. John Crosse.
As past and present pupils and their families explored and admired the new building they also had the opportunity to enjoy a photograph exhibition of pupils dating back decades. Ellen Ryan, (70-years old), who now lives in Cappawhite was with her nephew Martin O’Conner and niece Teresa Gammell and was a former pupil of Monard N.S in the 1940’s when Mr. Miller Ryan was the principal.
Former pupils Pat Ryan and Jack Fitzpatrick went to Monard N.S. eighty years ago in September 1933. The longest surviving pupils unveiled the plaque to a huge round of applause from the crowd. “Our teacher was Miss Jo English from Sologhead and the Principal was Edmond Ryan,” explained Pat. “The school was just one big room with 106 boys and there were about 96 girls although we never saw the girls as we were separated.”