TAOISEACH Micheál Martin met North Monastery Primary School’s first junior infant girl on Tuesday in what was described as a “historical moment”.
Mr Martin attended the school to open Páistí Rís special education needs class with the help of pupils Lauren Daly, Jack White, Conor Hurley and Jacob Collins who were “the real stars of the show”.
Vice Principal Colin Daly said that the Taoiseach’s visit marked “a new era in the school” as it goes forward with a co-educational model from September of this year with the enrollment of both girls and boys at junior infants age.
“It was a special occasion for the Taoiseach to meet the first-ever North Mon girl Lauren.
“The school was established in 1811 so to have the first girl here is very special. Lauren doesn’t know at the moment because of her age but she’s a little trailblazer and she’s really making history.
“The response from the community has been fantastic, it has been something that has been in demand in the community for a long time. Thankfully we’re in a situation where we can welcome junior infants girls and boys into the school and cater to a need that is in the community.
“We have two secondary schools on the campus, one of which is co-educational as well, so the campus as a whole now caters for children from junior infants all the way up to their Leaving Cert, both girls and boys for the first time ever,” he said.
Mr Daly said that Mr Martin and his office were “instrumental” in the establishment of the new special education needs classroom at the school and that he was “fully committed to ensuring that the facility would be made available to the kids in the community”.
“Our shared ambition is to build a modern and sustainable school infrastructure that provides a safe and inspiring physical learning environment for all our children,” Mr Martin said.
Also in attendance to give his blessing to the new classroom was Bishop of Cork and Ross Most Rev Fintan Gavin in what Mr Daly described as “such a special occasion” for all involved.