On 9th February 2018, Stanhope Street Primary School celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the school. The real date was 2nd October, but for a number of reasons, the celebration was deferred until Friday 9th February.
It was a very joyful occasion, as the whole school community, together with former principals, deputy principals, chairpersons, members of the Provincial Leadership Team, Sr Mary Christian and guests, assembled in the new school hall for a special celebration liturgy.
Sr Mary Roche (former Principal) gave a short history of the school, reminding us that outside the building, there is a road called Stoneybatter, ‘Bóthar na Clochan’, the stony bóthar, one of the oldest streets in Europe. In olden times, it ran the whole way to Royal Tara, where the High Kings of Ireland lived.
In our liturgy, we remembered all who had been associated with the school since those early beginnings, especially deceased staff, parents and board members. Symbols presented during the liturgy included an old roll book, a reminder of the thousands of pupils who were taught in the school, and a project on the life of Mary Aikenhead.
Between 1867 and 1977, the old school building was enlarged and extended on a number of occasions. In 2002, the school moved to temporary prefab accommodation on a site close by. In March 2010, the old school building was demolished and in May 2013, work began on the construction of a beautiful new school. September 1st 2014 marked a great milestone, when the new school opened its doors to staff, pupils and parents. The new school is built on the original site of the old school, thus marking 150 years of education in the Stoneybatter area.
Since those early beginnings, the school has grown and developed. Pupils from the local area and from many different nationalities create a vibrant school community. The school takes great pride in creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and a happy learning environment for the teachers and pupils. The new school building has ‘state of the art’ facilities to offer pupils. Children are given the opportunity to reach their potential in a safe and happy environment. In the spirit of Mary Aikenhead, the school will continue to offer a standard of excellence in education to all its pupils into the future.
Mary Kernan RSC
PHOTO: Ms Mary Meaney (Principal) with former Principals, Sr Mary Roche, Lesley Gleeson and Marian O’Connor