The 9th of March marked the twentieth anniversary of the opening of Coláiste Chaitríona, Ard Mhacha. With an original admission of ten students, the school’s Irish Stream has blossomed into a flourishing extension of Saint Catherine’s College. Aptly, the theme for the occasion was 20 bliain ag fás (20 years a growing).
In attendance at the celebrations were five guests of honour: former Deputy Principal Mr Séamus Mac Dháibhéid, former Principal Mrs Maighréad Uí Mháirtín, former Principal Mrs Deirdre McDonald, CEO of Gael Linn Réamonn Ó Ciaráin and Conor Murphy, MLA Minister for Finance, together with some former staff and some of the first pupils to attend the school.
Current Principal Mrs Noeleen Tiffney speaks of her pride in the realisation of such an achievement for the community: “The real guests of honour were the pupils whose pride in their Irish school is a pleasure to behold. Today, they will all be presented with a special commemorative badge. I am immensely proud of Coláiste Chaitríona and pay tribute to those who have been part of it, past and present.”
Mrs Tiffney paid special tribute to current staff member, Mrs Catherine Blaney: “Her love of the Irish Language, excellent pedagogy and determination to ensure the highest of standards in learning and teaching have been the roots from which our Irish community has been able to grow.”
A Vote of Thanks was offered by Dualtach Mag Fhionnbhairr, Ambassador for Coláiste Chaitríona, accompanied by Eimear Nic Mhathúna, Senior Prefect who welcomed guests and pupils. A special commemorative badge was presented to all in attendance. The guests included some of the original cohort of ten pupils and their parents who fought hard to establish Irish post-primary provision in the area.
The first ten pupils of Coláiste Chaitríona twenty years ago with their teacher Mr S MacDhaibhéid.
The pupils and staff of Coláiste Chaitríona twenty years later.
Special guests Conor Murphy MLA, Minister of Finance, and Reamonn Ó Ciaráin, CEO Gael Linn, are pictured with Coláiste Chaitríona Ambassadors, Dualtach Mag Fhionnbhairr and Eimear McMahon.
Special Guests included: Sean Fearon, ETI, Dr Sean Mac Corraidh, St Mary’s University College Belfast, Reamonn Ó Ciaráin, Gael Linn, Maria Thomasson, Comhairle na Gaelscolaiochta, Conor Murphy MLA, Minister of Finance, Maighréad Uí Mhaitrín, past Principal, Seamus MacDhaibhéid, past Vice Principal.
Current and former Principals (L-R)
Mrs Noeleen Tiffney, Mrs Deirdre McDonald, Mrs Margaret Martin
Former staff of Saint Catherine’s College are pictured with Bn de Bléine (L-R)
Back Row: Mr Gabhain Ó Cochartaigh, Mr Seamus Mac Dhaibhéid
Front Row: Mrs Marie McManus, Mrs Nora Tomany, Mrs Deirdre McDonald,
Mrs Margaret Martin.
Former Vice Principal, Mr Seamus Mac Dhaibhéid with three of his original intake to Coláiste Chaitríona twenty years ago, Diarmuid Mac Manais, Meghan Ní Raifeartaigh and Micheal Ó hAodha.
Current Staff of Coláiste Chaitríona:
Back Row: Mr K McConnell, Mr E Gormley, Mr S Rooney, Mr S Breen.
Middle Row: Mrs M Kernan, Mrs E McKenna, Bn Uí Choinn
Front Row: Ms Á Maguire, Ms M Hunter, Ms K Hastings, Bn de Bléine
Special guests and former parents enjoyed the celebrations
Pupils from Coláiste Chaitríona with Mrs M Kernan (centre), Bn de Bléine and
Mrs E McKenna (front row)
Primary school colleagues from feeder Bunscoileanna also attended the event. Pictured with former pupils are (L-R)
Aileen Nic Iomhair, Bunscoil Eoin Baiste, Orla Uí Mhaoláin, Bunscoil Ard Mhacha, Christiann Uí Again, Scoil N. Prioinsias, Micheal O hAodha.