Sunday, 21 September 2008

Stabane Gaelscoil Visited by Mary McAleese

A day the Gaelscoil will never forget

During her visit to Strabane yesterday, Mary McAleese described Gaelscoil Ui Dhochartaigh as a 'remarkable achievement'. And it is. Since been founded by a handful of parents in a tiny Barrack Street classroom, the school and indeed the Irish language in Strabane has flourished. Today the Gaelscoil is one of the finest primary educational facilities the North West has to offer.

Now nestled comfortably in the Ballycolman Estate, the Gaelscoil is this year celebrating ten years in existence. And what better way to do it than in the company of the President of Ireland.

The children of the Gaelscoil greeted Mrs McAleese and her husband with the recital of a poem on Tyrone's upcoming battle with Kerry followed by the singing of two songs in Irish. Then it was the turn of the President who, effortlessly switching between Irish and English, paid a great tribute to both staff and parents. 'You don't have a place like this unless people are passionate and have a love of language and culture.

'It is a remarkable thing to have accomplished and a special thanks must go to everyone who has put their lives into creating this opportunity for the young people of the area,' she said. Following much banter on Tyrone's undoubted victory over Kerry on Sunday, a plaque was unveiled to mark Mrs McAleese's historic visit.

Gaelscoil principal Maire Ni Dhochartaigh summed up one in sentence what the occasion meant for the school. 'This is an important day for us and one we will never forget.'

www.strabanechronicle.comStrabane Chronicle - Lthch: Conor Sharkey

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