As low glaring spears of sunshine glistened over the roof of the magnificent new €15million Colaiste Dun An Ri Campus in Kingscourt this morning (Friday), 165 students stepped into the annals of education history, as they stepped across the front door threshold for the very first time.
To view a video of students going into the college for the first time, see here.
The superb purpose constructed College is bright and is complimented by spacious classrooms and is located on the edge of the town, just off the Shercock road.
When the students, teachers and principal Fergus Boyle and deputy principal, Tommy McCormack, assembled in the college foyer, an emotional Cllr Clifford Kelly, with tears in his eyes, who had been campaigning for the facility for 40 years, said “this is a very happy day for me”.
“I am delighted we have arrived at this historic day for the town of Kingscourt and surrounding area – we have achieved something that should have been achieved many years ago.
“I wish all you students every success with your future studies in this wonderful campus. You are very fortunate to have the quality of teaching staff are are now working in the college, together with the principal Fergal Boyle and deputy principal, Tommy McCormack.
“This school building is the first of its kind in Ireland, so you young people here today are very fortunate to be entering this modern centre of learning. There is a very bright future ahead of you all.”
The principal Fergal Boyle told the students that Clifford Kelly was a man with a dream, who never gave up pursuit of that dream. "It is an example to us all – when you have a dream, you never ever give up”.
“Look what has happened here today – Clifford, some of your parents, grandparents, relatives and people in the community all around us, did not give up the dream.
“This is a historic and momentous occasion – we are really looking forward to getting down to the business of teaching and learning and producing fine upstanding young men and women for the community,” said Mr Boyle.
For exclusive story and pictures, see next week's Celt.