Presidential visit is a ‘huge boost’

by Gazette Reporter

After months of preparation, students and staff welcomed President Michael D Higgins to their school making it the one of the most memorable events in its 40 year history.
Last October the school got confirmation that the President of Ireland would visit and he did, on Friday, May 17.
Richard Carroll, deputy principal at Coolmine Community School said it was an “incredible day”.
“I am here over 20 years at this stage, and I think it was one of the most pleasant occasions we had in the school – it was really good.
“We had been planning it since last October when we got confirmation that President Higgins was coming.
“We had a committee organised and we have been working solid over the last number of months and it all came together so well on the day.
“The students were brilliant; they were so enthusiastic and just so genuinely taken by the event.
“They really reacted to his warmth towards them, he was great with them and took such an interest in them. He gave a lovely speech, which they were able to pick a lot out of, it wasn’t just something that was directed at adults, and the students got an awful lot out of it.
“Thinking after the event we all agreed that everything had gone so well,” he said.
According to Richard the event has given the school a “huge boost” and was a great way to end their milestone celebrations.
“It will be very difficult to top that, maybe we will have to wait until the 50th,” he joked.
For many it will probably be a once off, “it’s not very often you meet the President,” Richard continued.
Commending him on his interactions with the students, Richard said he didn’t just go through the motions but took time to chat to students.
“He shook hands with students, talked to musicians and met a number of different groups.
“When he arrived he met the community care students, he would have met our sports stars and he would have met a group of our students – the Meitheal – who helped first years with the transition from primary school to secondary school.
“He also met the student council as well. He was speaking to them and asking them about the role – he really took an interest in them.
“I would like to thank him for coming, for taking the time out of his busy schedule to be with us that day and celebrating with us.
“I think the organising committee were brilliant and the students were great, they really took part and were involved in the whole event,” he added.

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