Kilcornan NS celebrates 70 years in style

Stella Gleeson and principal Shirley Balfry celebrate 70 years of Kilcornan National School. Photos: Brendan Gleeson.

70 YEARS ago, Ireland was gearing up for a general election, but in one sleepy County Limerick hamlet, there was excitement of a different kind.

Kilcornan National School, situated next to the beautiful Curragh Chase Forest Park along the N69, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this academic year.

The current school building was opened in September 1953. In the 1970s, a new double pre-fab was added. Extensive renovations were carried out in the early 1990s and two new classrooms were added.

The school is now awaiting a further two new classrooms and two SET rooms, sanctioned by the Department of Education and Skills.

Parents, pupils, and staff celebrated the milestone anniversary. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Last weekend, the school community in Kilcornan celebrated the national school’s big year with a children’s art exhibition and auction in the hall.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Pupils created art pieces based on what Kilcornan National School means to them. This included many memories of teachers, friends, Green Flag awards, sports, school tours, Christmas shows, grandparents’ days, and music.

The special anniversary celebration also included a wonderful photo display of the school and its pupils over the years.

Old photographs were found in the school archives and many local people and past pupils, teachers, and parents donated photographs to the display from their personal collections.

Since 1953, there have been six principals of Kilcornan National School: Susan Madden, Padraig ‘Master’ O’Shea, Marie ‘Miss’ O’Sullivan, John Doyle, and Kathleen Wixted.

Parents, pupils, and staff celebrated the milestone anniversary. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

The Limerick Post spoke to current school Principal Shirley Balfry, who said that “the anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the school and its community today, as well as commemorating the wonderful memories of the past 70 years”.

Kilcornan National School will be burying a time capsule under a tree on the school grounds to mark the anniversary that will be dug up at the school’s 100th anniversary.

The school pupils’ pictures, fact files of each class, and symbols to be placed into the capsule were on display last weekend, as well as a wishing tree for wishes for the future of the school to be put on.

The school pupils also worked very hard with their Music Generation tutors Aoife and Nora to compose and perform a school anthem in honour of the anniversary.