Minister for Finance returns to his alma mater in Passage West

Michael McGrath joins in anniversary celebrations at former school
Minister for Finance returns to his alma mater in Passage West

Michael McGrath, T.D., (second from right) Minister for Finance, with his mother Marie and brother Cllr. Seamus McGrath; school principal, Tony McSweeney, (left) and Blánid Quane, deputy principal, during the minister's visit to his former school, St. Peter's Community School, Passage West, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

FINANCE Minister Michael McGrath returned to his alma mater, St Peter’s Community School in Passage West, yesterday morning to kickstart its 35th anniversary celebrations.

The visit from the Cork TD and former student also represented his first visit to the Cork secondary school since he was appointed as minister for finance last December.

School principal Tony McSweeney said the school has great ties with the minister. “It was a real celebratory event because it was a return to St Peter’s for one of our own who has gone on to achieve great things professionally,” he said.

“Minister McGrath was a first year student in the opening year of St Peter’s in 1988. The school has great ties with Michael. He is Passage born and bred. The minister said it felt great to ‘come home’.

“He made a very positive impact. The minister’s speech resonated with the students. He urged them to continue to work hard, follow their dreams and not to set a bar on their potential. He was able to talk about where he came from and it was the same park as a lot of the students in front of him.

“During the course of his speech, he touched on many different aspects of his time in the secondary school as he looked back on the many positive memories from his school days.

“He commented on the strong reputation the school has for academia and sport. He also talked about the positive role the school played in helping him throughout his career.

“The minister was very interested to hear from the staff and students about our student leadership programme. He also remarked on the high-quality teaching, learning, and positive student experience in the school.

“After his speech, he toured the school. He also met members of the student council, board members and parents.”

Mr McSweeney said the school will hold a series of celebrations to mark the anniversary.

“The visit of Minister McGrath is the start of the celebrations,” he said.

“Our progression this week to our stage 1 submission on our €30m building was great news to share with the minister. He was very impressed with our plans for the school.”

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