Thursday March 26th 2015 will live long in our memories here in Holy Trinity National School, Leopardstown. After nearly twenty years of talk, meetings, planning, drawings and finally construction, we finally celebrated the official school opening and blessing. We were delighted to call on our local government minister, Alex White TD along with our founding parish priest Fr Eamann Cahill to officiate at the wonderful celebration.

The school opened its doors in September 1995 to twenty junior and senior infant children in the small parish room adjacent to our parish church in Sandyford. So it was fitting that Fr Eamann Cahill would be invited back to bless the school he played such a significant role in setting up and guiding for the initial years between 2004 and 2010.

While considering the nature of this celebration the school board and staff were mindful that the school is just about ten years old, and the pupils should be central to the celebration. All 375 pupils were present at the celebration that was based on the theme of ‘New beginnings’. During the preceding weeks, all the pupils produced an art piece based on the theme, and all the pieces of art work exhibited in the school hall. The bright colourful display drew much attention from the assembled guests and each pupil was proud of their own art-piece.

The school Student Council were on hand to greet the Minister and Fr Eamann on their arrival.  We were also joined by school architect Mr Donal Walsh, Mr Billy Mythen from Mythen Construction the principal contractors, along with representatives from the school Board of Management and Staff.

The ceremony started with a short blessing. Fr Eamann lead this short liturgy. The prayer of the faithful was lead by a representative of the school board, a parent, a member of staff and a sixth class pupils. Fr Gerry and Fr Peter lead the reading of scripture pieces. The staff formed a choir especially for the event and performed a beautiful 4-part rendition of ‘Ag Críost an Síol’.

Brianóg Brady Dawson, from the school staff performed the role of compere for the event. During a short interview with Fr Eamonn, he recounted all the nursery rhymes he learned ten years ago while the school was accommodated temporarily in the parochial house. He reminded us that ten years ago he planted an oak tree in the grounds of St Mary’s Church to mark the founding of the school. That tree has since set down strong roots and grown strong just like the school itself.

 Just a few weeks before the event, our parent choir started rehearsals for the big day. Under the direction of Mr Tobin, they performed some of the school’s favourite songs along with the pupils.

School Architect outlined how he had carefully chosen the Tipperary colours for the school interior and this was the most important decision he had to make in designing the building. During his short interview, Donal spoke about the importance he placed in designing the building ‘from the eye of a young child’. This new building is certainly child-friendly and a credit to the design team and builders who ensured its delivery.

Especially for the celebration, a group of parents and friends were gathered together to form our Opening Day Band. Previously this group had performed at school concerts, arts week and carol services. They were chomping at the bit to have another worthy reason to dust down the drum-kit, bass, guitars and keyboards and join in the fun. The band really added to the occasion and provided a fitting accompaniment for the pupils to sing their favourite songs. In keeping with the theme of ‘New Beginnings’, the songs chosen included ‘Here Comes the Sun’, Happy, A Day Like This, Let It Grow, What a Wonderful World.

Principal, James Tobin spoke about the challenges that were met along the way. The successful management of the school building project in addition to attending to the routine school business was a magnificent team achievement.  Mr Tobin paid particular tribute to teaching colleagues who have set high standards for themselves and the school. He praised teachers, singling out Mrs Loretta Redmond for special thanks, as she was on the journey as deputy principal for the entire 10 years. All staff were warmly praised for their dedication and sense of purpose in inspiring the young minds of Holy Trinity.

Minister White was generous in his praise of all the people who were involved in the setting up of the school- the wonderful work of management and staff and in particular the pupils who he considered were richly deserving of a night free of homework.

At the end of the celebration, the boys and girls marched back to their classrooms just in time for the arrival of Teddies ice-cream van. After spending such a long time in the hall on their best behaviour- ice cream was the perfect treat.

Our guests and parents were treated to the usual excellent Holy Trinity hospitality thanks to the efforts of the Parent Association. This was a lovely opportunity for everyone to catch up and share in the joyous occasion marking a new beginning for the school community and celebrating the opening of a fantastic new building which is the best tenth birthday present we could have hoped for.

It was a remarkable day for the whole community, and the organisation of the school opening drew on all the resources of board, parent association, staff, pupils, student council and friends. We thank all of those who helped make our day so memorable. We thank all those who attended and celebrated with us.

We thank Mr Tom Murphy from Murphystone who ensured our foundation stone was ready for the celebration and it takes pride of place at the school entrance. In Holy Trinity we cherish the memories of the remarkable day of March 26th 2015 and look forward to many years of continued success and blessings.