They came from Rome, and from Paris, and from all over Europe, for the official opening of the new St Mary’s College school building in Dundalk. Fr John Hannan Superior General of the Marist Fathers and a former pupil, came from Rome and Fr Hubert Bonnet-Eymard, European Provincial came from Paris.
Many past pupils, and people representing much of the community, attended the Mass in the new school gym celebrated by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All-Ireland. In his blessing Archbishop Martin thanked the business community, the Government and the Department of Education, voluntary organisers and the Marist Fathers, for their combined contribution towards the building project.
The old school building was originally a house, Church Hill House, opposite the Green Church, and it was from here that a procession, led by the Marist Marian icon, made its way to the new building.
Archbishop Martin chatted on the way to pupils, who formed a guard of honour, and local people and later said that he could feel a real sense of the significance of the occasion. It was indeed another historic moment in the history of St Mary’s College Dundalk.
The site for the school building was provided by the Marist Fathers. The eco-friendly building is expected to reduce energy costs and the classrooms and teaching spaces include specialised rooms for the teaching of a broad curriculum.
“This new building is an exciting renewal of St Mary’s College, a part of Dundalk for over 150 years,” Mr Con McGinley, Principal, St Mary’s College said. “We will continue to provide excellence in education for all our students.”