Ranelagh school rallies to immortalise retired headmistress

by Rachel Darcy

The community of a Gaelscoil in Ranelagh are rallying together to raise funds to commemorate its beloved headmistress following her retirement.

Aine Nic an tSíthigh has been headmistress of Lios na nÓg since it first opened its doors 23 years ago and announced her retirement last June.

Now, to commemorate the role she has played in the formation of the school and the lives of its pupils, the parents association are looking to fundraise for a stained-glass window to be erected in her honour.

Geraline McCabe Cole, who is the parent of three former pupils, a current pupil and is head of the parent’s association, told Dublin Gazette that the mark Aine has left on the school is immeasurable.

“Last June, Aine retired after 23 years of service. she’s loved in the neighbourhood and the area for building up this fantastic Irish speaking school, but also leading the charge on preserving Collinswood House.”

Aine was the driving force behind the renovations of Collinswood House – formally used as a school by Padraig Pearse – which was donated to the school by a local group who took responsibility for the building.

“It was a run down building, so over the years through parents but led in force by Aine the house has been totally transformed, and it’s now a school.

“When she was leaving, all the parents wanted to get her a gift, and we came up with the idea of leaving something in the school for her, so that her name would always be associated with the building and the school,” Geraline said.

“There’s a beautiful plain archway above the main door, and she loves stained glass, so we thought if we got a stained-glass artist to design a piece for the house it would add to the appeal of the building.

“We have a former parent, Róisín de Buitléar, a well-known Irish glass artist, who is going to design it for us when we get the money. She’s one of the people who would have been part of the founding team who set up the school initially [in 1996], so it’s come full circle.”

“Aine’s originally from Kerry, she’s got beautiful Irish and now in the middle of the city, she’s grown a community of people, of children who speak Irish, who love Irish music and will now always have a love for it.

“I think people came up with this idea because she has left our children with something so special, so we would love to give it back to her in some small way.”

If you are a past or present pupil, or parent of a pupil, and are interested in donating, visit the GoFundMe page here – https://www.gofundme.com/f/fuinneog-do-aine

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