A sign proudly reminds everyone of St Joseph’s BNS 200-year-old birthday

NOT  many schools get to celebrate reaching the 200-year mark, and fewer still do so with the opening of a new classroom.
However, for St Joseph’s BNS in Clondalkin Village, that was just the case last week when they started their bicentennial with the opening of a new classroom and an extension to their school hall.
Founded by Brothers of the Carmelite Order in 1813, the school has been at the heart of the community in Clondalkin for 200 years, after moving from Monastery Road to its current location on Boot Road 50 years ago.
School principal Niall Desmond told The Gazette that the school is still expanding.
“We are gradually expanding all the time and the opening of the extension is the start of the bicentennial celebrations, which will be going on all year.
“Clondalkin is still growing with an increasing young population, so we still have big numbers coming, along with people on waiting lists.”
Asked to explain the school’s enduring appeal, Niall says that as much as the curriculum, other activities play a huge role in the school’s daily life.
“There is a huge range of activities here, with music being very big. Every student does music in their class and then there is a school band.
“We play a lot of sports; football, hurling and soccer. Those activities help, as well as the fact that the parents are very involved.”
The extension includes a plaque dedicated to Michael Malone, the former vice-principal of the school, who had long campaigned for the extension.
“Michael worked here for nearly 40 years, and retired in December, 2010. It was his dream to extend the hall as he wanted to put on shows and there wasn’t much room for a stage. We put up a plaque in his honour,” said Niall.