THE official opening of the refurbished Lehinch NS near Hollymount will take place on Easter Sunday evening, April 16, at 5pm. Carnacon native and former Rose of Tralee winner, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, TCD and RTÉ, will preside at the ceremony.
Lehinch NS, built in 1843, is one of the oldest schools in the county. It was extensively damaged by fire in September, 2015. Substantial renovations have since been carried out at the school while a small extension has also been added to incorporate pre-school and improved toilet facilities. There has also been a complete upgrade of the teaching technology in the school.
Along with around 40 national schools in the country, present day Lehinch NS is a one-teacher school and student numbers, while stable, are low. The current principal is Sheila Jennings who took over from long serving principal, Ger McHugh from Carramore, on his retirement in 2015.
Following the opening ceremony, Fr Eamonn Concannon will preside at the blessing and those in attendance will then be taken on a tour of the renovated school and the pre-school.
A tribute will be paid to Mrs Catherine Owens and Mr Ger McHugh for their contributions and commitment over their years of service to Lehinch NS. A presentation will be made to retired caretaker, Noreen Heneghan, for her work at the school over the past 25 years.
All the names of people who sign the visitor’s book on the day will be buried in a time capsule in the school garden. A tree will also be planted in memory of all past pupils who have passed away.
Afterwards, a gathering and celebration evening will be held in Seán Óg’s Bar, Hollymount, where neighbours and friends will gather for a social occasion and share memories and reflections of days spent in Lehinch NS down through the years.