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Borrisokane Community College celebrates 75th anniversary

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Borrisokane Community College celebrates 75th anniversary thumbnailBorrisokane Community College celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the school on Friday night last at a special function held in the school.

BORRISOKANE Community College celebrated the 75thAnniversary of its foundation with a special function held in the school on Friday night last.
The occasion was marked by the official opening of the third renovated workhouse building which houses a games room, library, resource rooms and extra class rooms. The celebrations also included the launch of a book by T.J. Egan, a retired teacher from the school. T.J. has worked relentlessly over the last two years compiling this book of old photographs going back over 75 years of life in the school.
Also on the agenda was the recognition of the heritage committee which was set up in 2015. This has encouraged students through various subjects to complete research projects on the Borrisokane Workhouse. Wooden bilingual signs have been mounted on all the historic buildings. Workhouse window frames have been restored and display archived historical documents. A model of the workhouse was on display. Another section of the workhouse still remains and at some stage it is hoped that this will be restored to its original state and left for visitors and locals to view.
Principal Matthew Carr thanked the four remaining people from the first class in 1942, Mary Healy, Jonathan Dann, Eamon Harte and Betty Heenan along with the two first year students Joe Farrell and Brina O'Slattery, who officially opened the third section of the workhouse. He mentioned the official opening of the new school in 2014 and since then the involvement in the new section.
He went on to give an account of how the construction/renovation took shape and he thanked everyone involved in the process including the parents.
Fionuala McGeever (Chief Executive Tipp ETB) told the large attendance "we have come a long way since 1936 when the VEC at the time chose the current site for the development of a school. In fact," she continued, "in 1941 the then caretaker Ned Brophy was appointed to prepare the workhouse building for classrooms".
When the school opened in 1942, 48 pupils were on the roll book. Today, 600 students attend the school. Ms McGeever mentioned said that "since 2013 a total of €8.5 million has been spent of this fine school" and she said it was a lovely environment for students to learn and staff to work in". She complimented everyone involved in the process to date and said "Tipperary ETB look forward to completing the final part of the jigsaw for the school which is the refurbishment of the building to the front previously functioning as the courthouse and council offices."
"Borrisokane, this school and Tipperary means a lot to me," said former past student and former Tipperary hurling manager Eamon O'Shea. "I had two great loves in my life, one was learning and the other was hurling, so I came to the right place for that," he said. "I formed great friendships here, genuine friendships." He mentioned his "great feeling of belonging to this place" and how honoured he was to launch T.J. Egan's book on the school over the last 75 years. He jokingly told of how he would "trade" with fellow students, he would help with maths and they would cut timber for him in a woodwork class. "I was encouraged," he said, "to develop my interests and to leave the school more confident than when I entered. It's very important for any young person," he said, "when people keep believing in you".
Speaking of his present lecturing job in Galway, he mentioned how confident young people are now entering third level education and he said "working with young people keeps you young" and he mentioned the amount of opportunity there is today for young people compared to when he was a young man. In summing up he said "be proud of where you are from and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here tonight".

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