On Friday, 7th September, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, travelled to Ballymoney National School near Ballineen, County Cork to dedicate and open not one, not two, but three extensions to the school. He told the community ‘Every time I planned to come to visit you to open one extension the visit was postponed as you had started work on another one. Well done!’ There has been a small school serving this rural school since 1839. The move to a new building was made in 1958.
The Bishop paid tribute to the leadership of school principal, Shireen Rountree, and to the partnership of pupils, parents and guardians, the local parish (Kinneigh Union), the staff, the parents’ association, the Diocesan Education Committee, and the Department of Education and Skills. Special mention was made of the chairperson of the Board of Management, Mrs Jean Buttimer, who, in one capacity or another, has served on the school board for 43 years. Ms Rountree made a presentation to Mrs Buttimer on behalf of the community.
Before the official opening the Bishop attended a Service in the school led by the Rector, the Reverend Stella Jones, and the pupils. Afterwards be spoke to the children about the things in the classroom that he recognised from his time at school, and about the things in the room that didn’t exist when he was at school. He told the children “By the time you are finished your formal education – primary, post-primary and third level – there will be things in use in school classrooms that haven’t been invented yet, and some of you may have invented them!’
Following a tour of the school parents and invited guests arrived for the dedication and official opening by the Bishop outside, and afterwards everyone adjourned to the old school house (opened in 1839) for refreshments. An ice cream van had been arranged for the young and not so young!