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  Retirement Function for Former Island School Principal Máire Uí Drisceoil

Sunday 26 October last saw a timely and very special event take place on Cape Clear Island when Island community members and past pupils of Scoil Náisiúnta Inis Chléire gathered in Club Cléire to celebrate the retirement of former Principal Máire Uí Drisceoil. While many well deserved tributes were paid to Máire, the most telling was the large number of past pupils who were present to acknowledge the very positive part she had played in their formative years, both as teacher and later principal. Máire herself, in a well-polished speech clearly remembered every one of them and is very proud of their many achievements in so many different spheres. She expressed herself very fortunate to have had a vocation that was a source of great joy to her and was very appreciative of the efforts of all those who contribute to the smooth running of the school, parents, other teachers and staff members, the Board, those in the Diocesan Office with a special emphasis on the most important group of all, the pupils. Máire was presented with a number of appropriate gifts including a specially commissioned portrait by local Artist Ann Mc Innerney on behalf of the school board,  a holiday voucher by the Island community, a specially engraved plate made commissioned from Island Potter, Catherine Ryan, flowers and a memory book completed by present and former pupils. All present enjoyed a sumptuous spread prepared by Stephen Wing and Neil O Regan followed by a range of home baking brought by various island families. Various families also made individual gifts to mark this special milestone in her life.

And this clearly is a milestone in the life of Oileán Chléire, as one Islander put it, it’s hard to imagine that over thirty years have flown by since Máire first came to the school and a new era beckons under new Principal Roisín Ní Chochláin, who has also a long connection to the Island since she first came with Coláiste Phobal Chléire. In recent times Roisín and her husband Fiachra have contributed to the renewed musical tradition within the school and community and this was evident in the concert provided by the young people after the presentations. There followed some rousing tunes performed on a  range of instruments, singing and sean nós dancing, each and every student involved and indeed joined by some former students. As one Islander put it “Every time I hear them they just get better”.

On a personal note and as Chairman of the Board, I noted a very special ingredient that makes Scoil Naisiúnta Inis Chléire so special, it not just the excellent quality of the teaching in a well-run establishment that understands and  respects  its role within the community, all these would be good enough but there is something more and that is the very warm and supportive atmosphere that has and continues to prevail thanks to the kind leadership of Máire and those others to whom has been entrusted this very important responsibility.

Guím saol fada agus sonas ar Mháire agus gach rath ar Scoil Naisiunta Inis Chléire.


Séamus Ó Drisceoil,

Chairman of School Board.

email:   telephone: 028 41923