Sod turned on site for new Cork secondary school

Sod turned on site for new Cork secondary school

The Bishop of Cloyne, Most Reverend William Crean turns the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Co Cork. Also included are Deputy Vice Principal, Cathal Dodd and Principal Padraig Sheehan and Jennifer Forde, Deputy Vice Principal. Picture Dan Linehan

THERE was great excitement in Scoil Mhuire gan Smál secondary school this morning as the sod was turned for their new secondary school in Blarney.

The Catholic Bishop of Cloyne Most Reverend William Crean along with the two youngest first-year students Shauna O’Sullivan and Jason Kolom turned the sod for the new state-of-the-art secondary school building.

 First year pupils, Shauna O'Sullivan and Jason Kolom, who along with the Bishop of Cloyne, Most Reverend William Crean turned the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Co Cork. Also included are Deputy Vice Principal, Cathal Dodd and Principal Padraig Sheehan and Jennifer Forde, Deputy Vice Principal. Picture Dan Linehan
First year pupils, Shauna O'Sullivan and Jason Kolom, who along with the Bishop of Cloyne, Most Reverend William Crean turned the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Co Cork. Also included are Deputy Vice Principal, Cathal Dodd and Principal Padraig Sheehan and Jennifer Forde, Deputy Vice Principal. Picture Dan Linehan

The building work on their new secondary school is due to commence on June 21, 2021 and the new 3 storey build is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2023. 

School principal Padraig Sheehan said today was an ‘historical’ day for the school. 

“The existing school will be knocked down. A new three-storey school is being built on the backfield. This is a historical day for the school. It is the start of a new era. We are all looking forward to the completed build,” he said.

 At the turning of the od for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Co Cork Jennifer Forde and Cathal Dodd both Deputy Vice Principals with ( centre ) Principal Padraig Sheehan Picture Dan Linehan
At the turning of the od for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Co Cork Jennifer Forde and Cathal Dodd both Deputy Vice Principals with ( centre ) Principal Padraig Sheehan Picture Dan Linehan

Mr Sheehan, who has been principal of Scoil Mhuire gan Smál said he and his fellow teachers are looking forward to utilsing the new facilities in the new secondary school. 

“We are looking forward to teaching the students with much better resources and in a state-of-the-art building. 

"We will have plenty of space and the new facilities will be fabulous. We are putting in a lot of extra resources. We will have a big concert area with 400 seats that can be pulled in and out depending on the need."

 At the turning of the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Cork, were staff members Liz O'Sullivan, Claire Collins, Eleanor Kiely, Hazel Egan, Deirdre Spratt, Breda Barrett and Susan O'Brien. Picture Dan Linehan
At the turning of the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Cork, were staff members Liz O'Sullivan, Claire Collins, Eleanor Kiely, Hazel Egan, Deirdre Spratt, Breda Barrett and Susan O'Brien. Picture Dan Linehan

“The present school will be knocked down. They will be building a car park where the current school is located. There is a lot of history attached to it. I nearly know the bricks on the wall at this stage. I was a student in first year when the school opened here in 1970. We built a big expansion in 1981 and I was teaching here by then,” he added.

Mr Sheehan said the turning of the sod represents a ‘seismic’ moment for the co-educational secondary school. 

 At the turning of the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Cork, were Board of Management members, Kate Durrant, Sean Foley, Susanna O'Neill and Pater French. Picture Dan Linehan
At the turning of the sod for the new Scoil Mhuire gan Smál School in Blarney, Cork, were Board of Management members, Kate Durrant, Sean Foley, Susanna O'Neill and Pater French. Picture Dan Linehan

“It is the right move. It is a seismic moment for the school. We currently have over 850 students. It was originally built for 450 students. There will be no more prefabs going forward. The numbers are increasing all the time. The population of the local area will only get bigger,” he added.

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