Limerick school marks bicentenary with gala ball

Villiers School students line up to to mark the school's 200th anniversary. Photo: Conor Murphy

ALTHOUGH it may be two years after the actual event, Limerick’s Villiers School will celebrate the bicentenary of its foundation with a gala ball in the Strand Hotel on Saturday, September 30.

Founded in 1821 under the will of Hannah Villiers, the North Circular Road school started out on Henry Street as a Protestant-ethos educational facility for 30 students who were living with their destitute mothers in sheltered accommodation.

Villiers Homes, which were also provided by Hannah Villiers, were the forerunner to the Villiers Housing Association which continues to provide housing to adults in need.

The school itself is now a thriving multi-denominational and international community of over 600 students. A co-educational boarding and day school, Villiers prides itself on the family-like atmosphere in the school.

Around 20 per cent of the students are international, enriching the diverse community that makes up the school. Villiers is the only school in Ireland outside the greater Dublin area to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme as an option instead of the Leaving Certificate.

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Speaking at the launch of the Bicentenary Ball, Villiers Head of School, Jill Storey described it is a unique school, with a long and fascinating history.

“The school operates as a charity and as such has a commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion. We are fortunate to have a school population coming from many walks of life. Our staff is exceptional in the care and opportunity it provides to meet the individual needs of each member of the Villiers family.

The Gala Ball is being organised by Villiers Alumni Association and the Parent Teacher Association whose Chairperson Barry Long who said they are delighted to have the opportunity to mark the special anniversary with a huge celebration.

“Villiers School has been part of the fabric of Limerick for over 200 years. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and history of the school. Many people in Limerick will remember it as the one with girls with red socks. This celebration will reinforce the genuine family feeling of Villiers School – a family you are always part of and proud of”.

Earlier on the afternoon of the ball, past students are also invited to visit the school for a trip down memory lane, with some light refreshments.

Proceeds of the event will go towards a new multimedia room, further adding to the school’s offering for current and new students.

Tickets for the event, priced at €100, are available here 

Jessica McNamara, Lauren Coghlan, Barry Long, Dearbhla Acheson and Jill Storey announcing details of the Villiers School’s bicentenary ball.