Marymount NS pupils letting off steam after the celebration Mass.
Fr. David Bradley who is moving on after serving for 25 years makes a presentation to Marymount NS Principal Maria Torpey who is retiring after 41 years at the school.
The Marymount NS Choir singing at the celebratory Mass
Retiring Marymount NS Principal Maria Torpey says "thank you" to staff, management and pupils at the celebratory Mass.
The Holy Family Church in Ballsgrove was full for the celebratory Mass today.
Jumping for joy after the MArymount NS celebration Mass.
There was joyful singing, laughter and a few tears this morning at a special Mass at in Holy Family Church Ballsgrove which was the beginning of a day of multiple celebrations for Marymount School.
The three important events being celebrated were the retirement of Principal Ms Maria Torpey, the transfer of Fr David Bradley and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school in 1969.
During the Mass the school choir sang beautifully and at the end there was a very moving rendition of “The Parting Glass” which brought tears to quite a few eyes.
It fell to Father David Bradley to make a presentation to Ms Torpey on behalf of the School’s Board of Management of which he is the Chair. He said that he thought the gift chosen by his fellow Board members, a watch, was “most inappropriate” because, during her 41 years in Marymount, Ms Torpey was always so generous with her time.
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Accepting the gift Ms Torpey was gracious in her thanks to all of her staff, board of management and parents but she had a special word for the pupils who she said were the most important people present. “I’m very proud of you all” she said.
There were special words for the staff also. “You have created a hopeful and optimistic atmosphere in the school and instilled confidence in the students. You are amazing” she said.
After the speeches and other formalities there was a parting of the ways with the adults exiting by the back door of the Church for a tea and coffee reception in the Community Centre while the children went out through the front door, and across back to the school for treats and to let off some steam at a dance party.
Maria Torpey has served the Marymount school community for the past 41 years initially as a class teacher, subsequently Home School Community Liaison Teacher and finally as principal. She will be greatly missed as indeed will Fr David who has been at the heart of the parish for the past 25 years.
The school opened in 1969 when the teachers and students from Fatima School on the Dublin Road arrived by bus and established Marymount School which has been serving the local community ever since. Initially an all-girls school, Marymount has recently started to enrol boys which has been very successful and a very positive development for the school.
“We are looking forward with great anticipation to the next fifty years” said Board of Management member and School Community Liaison person Bairbre English.