Last night the people of Urris came together to celebrate 100 years of Tiernasligo national school, and to honour the service the school has provided in the local area for the century.
Local priest, and past pupil, Fr Michael Canny believes this is just not a chance to celebrate the building having survived on this site for 100 years, but also a chance to celebrate the life of the people, many now dead, and others in different corners of the world as well as those who are still living in Ireland and the locality.
Speaking yesterday Fr Canny said: “This evening we reflect and give thanks for the past 100 years of this school building and the past that has made all who were educated here the people that we are. School and education on this site has helped to mould and shape each of us.
“We all have mixed memories of our school days. Hopefully as we look back on our days here or next door we will appreciate that not only did we receive information but that Tiernasligo National School also played a big role in forming us into the people and community that we are today.
“Here in Urris the local school is a Christian and Catholic school, an extension of the Catholic faith lived in the local homes and celebrated in the local church. So the school not only equipped those who came through its doors for living in the bigger world it also played a big part in passing on Christian values and faith in Jesus Christ.”
Fr Canny said the school has been an extension of many homes in the local area.
“While the home is the first educators of children in all aspects of life the school is an extension of the home and as a result has a big role not only in imparting information and motivating young people but also in forming them into well rounded adults who are able to cope with the many trials of daily living.”
Sueanne McGonigle, one of the organisers of the centenary celebrations, said the committee specifically chose this weekend to hold the celebrations myself.
“As a past pupil myself, we were all very aware the of centenary coming up so we knew we wanted to do something to mark the occasion. So we decided to hold the festivities in and around the time of the Clonmany festival as we knew a lot of former pupils living away come back to the area for the festival.”
Following last night’s opening and dance, the school will be open again on Saturday 1 - 4pm to give people a chance to go back in time and explore.
“We will open the classrooms and role books for inspection which I believe a lot of people will find partially interesting to look back in time and see who attended the school. There have been huge changes even since I was at the school, so it’ll give the kids today a chance to see what it was like when their parents and grandparents were younger, or what it was like to go to school in bare feet!”