Local TD and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald has officially opened the new school for St Finian’s National School, Newcastle. The event was attended by Bishop Eamonn Walsh and local parish priest Fr. Aidan who blessed the new school, teachers, parents and locals from the community and Principal Eamon Scully.
Speaking at the opening Fitzgerald stated she was “delighted to join with the teachers, staff, parents and most importantly pupils on this joyous celebration.
“I want to particularly commend Eamon for his hard work and perseverance on the campaign for this new building. I wish you the best of luck in your retirement and in the future. Thank you for your dedication to the pupils, staff and community here in Newcastle over the past number of years.
“We are celebrating today this fantastic new building, a wonderful, colourful, state-of-the-art home for your school. The hard work and determination of the staff and parents has brought this project to fruition today.
“It was over 16 years since the process for this new school building began. And in this time, there were a lot of issues to overcome until you finally moved in at the end of last year.
“I visited the school's previously cramped and ageing facilities on a number of occasions and I know that the school community has displayed plenty of patience and perseverance in that time. As Minister and local TD, I am proud of the fact that the Government I serve on was able to deliver for you.
“But today we are not just celebrating a new school building; we are celebrating St. Finian’s National School as an institution and pillar of the community for 190 years, since 1825! From serving a historic village in rural West County Dublin, your school has now developed to serving not just the traditional community of Newcastle and the surrounding areas, but also the many new estates within the village. What was a rural school is now a suburban school, serving a new, diverse community.
“As the village with the fastest growing population in the country, and a large population of children, Newcastle has seen many changes over recent years with many new people moving into the area. But nonetheless the community remains inclusive and welcoming, with a place for everybody.
“This is another addition to the new schools opened throughout the area in the past number of months. Over the past number of months, I attended the official opening of new school buildings in Esker Educate Together in Lucan and St Mary’s Saggart. I also joined pupils and parents of St Andrews Church of Ireland NS in Lucan to celebrate moving into their new building last week. These state-of-the-art schools are not only investments in our children and their futures, but investments in our local communities.
Concluding, Fitzgerald said “I want to once again say well done and keep up the good work to the teachers and staff of this school, led so ably by Eamon Scully. I congratulate the children on their performances, both dancing and singing and I wish the staff and their students the very best in this new school.”