Mother of Fair Love School celebrates 50 years in the city

Mother of Fair Love School celebrates 50 years in the city
Mary Cody @marygcody

Hundreds of people gathered in St Mary's Cathedral on Monday morning for the 50th Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving of the Mother of Fair Love School.

The mass was jointly concelebrated by the recently retired Bishop Seamus Freeman and the chairman of the Board of Management, Reverend Kieron Kennedy.

The choir performed a number of hymns and finished mass with a rousing rendition of 'Let it Shine'. Students and staff, past and present, took part in the Mass.

The first principal of the Mother of Fair Love, Paddy McAlinney spoke to the congregation.

He recalled the early Summer of 1966 after he had been appointed principal.

“I asked Bishop Birch what would the name of the school be and he said that he had decided to call the school the Mother of Fair Love School which meant beautiful in biblical times,” he said.

The retired principal remembered how the school started with just three teachers and 40 pupils.

“It was the first school of its kind outside of the big cities and it was an exciting time for special education,” he said adding that 'innovation and experimentation was the name of the game'.

Mr McAlinney said that he believes the school plays 'a crucial role in education' and wished that all pupils, staff, volunteers and all those involved with the school remain young at hear and 'continue to provide an excellent education service to Kilkenny and the children of Ossory'.

Retired Bishop Seamus Freeman blessed the congregation who then retired for refreshments.