New Carrick Primary School in Burren unveiled by Minister

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Friday, March 8th, 2013
Wednesday 6th March 2013 saw one of the most memorable days in Carrick Primary School’s history. Minister for Education, John O’Dowd officially opened the new Carrick Primary School in front of a host of very happy pupils, staff members, Governors, parents, grandparents and members of the Burren community. Special guests also included Jim Clarke, Chief Executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and Right Reverend Monsignor Aiden Hamill, Vicar General of the Diocese of Dromore. With 401 pupils currently enrolled and 40 staff, this rural school has been an invaluable resource for the local community for more than 70 years. The Friends of Carrick Fundraising Association has raised in excess of £5000 each year and this has enabled the school to purchase additional resources for the pupils. Minster for Education John O’Dowd attended the event and marked the official opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. The Minister was assisted by John Moan and Juliana Kelly, the school’s Head Boy and Head Girl. Minister for Education John O’Dowd said, “I welcome the opportunity to officially open a new £3 million school for Carrick Primary. This substantial investment by my Department will go a long way to addressing the needs of children in the Newry and Mourne area. The Minister continued, “The new building marks the start of a new era for Carrick Primary School and will present exciting opportunities for its pupils, their families and the wider community. “Thanks must go to the staff and pupils for their commitment and patience they have shown throughout the procurement and construction of this state-of-the-art building. “The school is now well equipped to enable it to deliver the curriculum and meet the needs of its pupils for many years to come. I wish all involved with the school every success for the future.” Carrick Primary School Principal Anne Cassidy added, “On behalf of the pupils, staff and Governors of Carrick Primary School, I would like to welcome everyone here today, on what is such an historic event in the life of our school and of the Burren community. “We are delighted to have moved into a new school, which offers state-of-the-art facilities for pupils and for staff and it is great to know that future generations will also avail of these wonderful facilities. “We are deeply indebted to many within the Department of Education, CCMS, SELB and the Burren community who have made this new school a reality. Our heartfelt thanks go to the parents and the community of Burren who provide us with such unwavering support and cooperation.” Jim Clarke, Chief Executive of the CCMS also commented, “A new building is a symbol of change which is easy for all of us to grasp. Education by its nature is about both responding to change but also creating change. “We all learn something every day but children outpace us all in their learning. A new school is clearly about change but it is the DNA of a school that remains. That is what infuses this wonderful new building with the ethos that makes this Carrick Primary School.” At the opening event Mrs. Marian Hanna, the school’s Principal from 1998 to 2007 planted a Camelia at the entrance to the school, to symbolise the continued growth and development of the school. This was followed by Mrs Sally McArdle, wife of former Principal Mr. Patsy McArdle, presenting a bible for the Patsy McArdle Library. Guests were entertained by the school choir, instrumentalists and the school’s very talented Irish Dancers.
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