Scoil Ruain ,Killenaule has enjoyed many momentous sporting victories on the field over the years but one of its greatest triumphs is an off field achievement , one secured after over thirty years of perseverance - the opening of a state of the art E1.4m sports hall.
An indoor sports facility was first mooted for the school back in 1981 and last Thursday the dream of having a modern sports hall was realised when Minister of State for Tourism an d Sport Gerry Ring officially opened the facility.
Described as a red letter day for Killenaule , past and present pupils, teaching staff, parents council, board of management members and representatives of the local community celebrated a marvellous occasion for Killenaule.
In 2010 the Department of Education announced the provision of funding for the project and the hall became a reality in November 2012 and since January the facility has been available to the community for use after school hours.
Minister Ring said it was an honour to be in Killenaule to open the new sports hall at the school.He appealed to the pupils to ensure that the hall was used to its maximum potential and said he was delighted to hear that the facility was also being used by the local community.
“This up to date facility will ensure that the students of Scoil Ruain will continue to achieve their full potential in the challenging and competitive world of today,” he said.
He called on the pupils to avail of the wonderful opportunity that education and the facilities that were available in Scoil Ruain presented for them.He hoped that the new hall would be used and respected by all and that it would be responsible for producing sports stars of the future.
“The importance of physical activity in health and general well-being cannot be overstated.With the daily stresses and strains teenagers face these days,it is more important than ever to encourage as many students as possible to take part in sport,” said the Minister.
Gerry McGill, Principal said the school had a very proud tradition in sport but “this caps it all off,”
The school principal told pupils, staff and invited guests which included Oireachtas members, VEC members and local elected representatives, said such a sports complex had been mooted in school minutes as far back as 1981 and he thanked everybody attached to the school for their support over the years for the project.
“There are many people down through the years that have contribute to securing this building for Scoil Ruain and I would like to thank everyone that has made this possible over the years.We are very proud of the new facility and delighted that the sports hall/gym is open to the public and is of such benefit to the local community,” he said.
He said the first year students would get the most out of the new facilities and said the addition of the new sports hall to the school was a wonderful boost for the pupils and the teaching,administrative and ancillary staff.
He praised the role played by his predecessors in securing the project and staying with it over the years and he thanked the VEC officials and members, board of management and parents council for their tireless efforts in securing the building .
Fionuala McGeever,CEO South Tipperary VEC said they were waiting years for this event to happen and at times people thought it might never take place.She paid tribute to the entire project team for coming in on budget and on time and said the facility greatly enhanced the school which had such a proud record in the sporting arena.
The CEO told the pupils that sport builds character and it was essential that all of the pupils in the school used the fantastic facilities that were now in place.
Susan Meagher,Chairperson of the Board of Management said the official opening of the sports hall was a day for great jubilation in Killenaule .
“After all the years of waiting, today is a very special day for the whole community,” said she.
She paid special tribute to the members of the Vocation Education Committee for supporting the project from its infancy and sticking with the concept despite numerous setbacks over the years.
“They stood four square behind us at all times.We are all so proud of this hall and delighted this day has finally come,” she said.
Susan Meagher said the opening of the sports hall marked a very important day in the history of Slieveardagh.It was a day that the entire community could celebrate.VEC Chairman Cllr.John Fahey said he hoped that the facility would be used by the people of the area and said it was a big addition not only to Scoil Ruain and its pupils and staff but to the community who were now using the facility.South Tipperary County Council Chairman John Crosse said the sports hall was a fantastic addition to the life of the school and the community.