In 2015, students from first year took part in a one day workshop with Limerick artist Eoin Barry. Organised through JCSP, the workshop helped to explain the notion of division of labour and the broader issues that revolve around this subject. The workshop used art (particularly the silk-screening process) and also drew on student skills and knowledge from an array of subjects ranging from Maths, Economics, Irish and C.S.P.E.
Having discussed the wider issues of where many of our everyday items are manufactured, the students went about making their own bags, sewing the material together before ironing them and then printing the design on to it. At the end of the workshop they set a price and organised to sell the bags to the wider school community with any proceeds going to local charity. Students were delighted with the event with very positive feedback from all.
Over 850 people gathered in Colaiste Ide agus Iosef on December 11th to attend a ceremony marking the official opening of the Community College. Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan T.D attended the event and addressed the gathering of students, staff and guests from the locality. The Minister also unveiled a piece of art commissioned for the new Community College under the “Per Cent for Art Scheme”. The art work entitled “Planting a Seed” involved active participation from the students and wider community.
Speaking at the start of the ceremony on Friday, Principal Jim Tierney outlined the sometimes ‘daunting’ challenge when the amalgamation happened and all were “charged with preserving a distinguished heritage and continuing a long and proud provision of educational excellence in the locality”. Through the “determination, diligence and dedication” of the school community he believed that this had been achieved. He thanked those who helped make this happen and emphasised this saying that Colaiste Ide agus Iosef was “A community college for all of the community”.
Mayor of Limerick City and County Liam Galvin also referenced this inclusive theme. Speaking as a native of the parish he described how the school “is the focal point of our town”. He also commended the enormous efforts put in by many to make the school happen in 2011.
Minister Jan O Sullivan, explained how she also had an Abbeyfeale connection through marriage. In advance of speaking to the large crowd she spoke individually to over a dozen students who talked to her about life in the school. This impressed upon her, that Colaiste Ide agus Iosef is “an ideal school where everybody comes to school together and where you can bring all of the different qualities that are here in this community”. Looking at the list of school achievements she knew that it “is a school that embraces the whole person”.
Following on Minister O'Sullivan, George O Callaghan C.E. of LCETB spoke and in particular he drew attention to the many that had worked so hard on the project to bring the ‘dream’ to fruition. Particular praise was reserved for Mr. Sean Burke and his trojan work in the run up to the amalgamation. Charlotte Collins, Ceannaire of the school spoke as the democratically elected representative of the students. She spoke about the “huge hinterland” of the school and the great pride students felt for their school.
Four students then outlined the Per cent for Art project “Planting a Seed”. The centre piece of this is a bronze sculpture situated inside the entrance. It is made up of branches of apple trees from all over the Abbeyfeale area. The artists Carol Anne Connolly and Augustine O’ Donoghue worked closely with students in a number of workshops during 2014-15. Carol Anne and Augustine wanted to bring the theme of excellence in Education and Science into the project and felt Newton represented such excellence. The pair also visited Woolsthrope Manor in Lincolnshire, the birthplace of Newton and the place where he made his most important discoveries. There the artists were presented with seeds from the infamous 400 year old Flower of Kent apple tree (under which Newton had his ‘Eureka’ moment) to bring back to Abbeyfeale.
The theme of trees re-emerged in the next stage of the ceremony where a wooden bowl crafted by Abbeyfeale’s Liam Flynn was presented to the Minister by principal, Jim Tierney. The ash used in the making of the piece was sourced from a tree felled in the grounds of the old Vocational School.
The ceremony finished when Fr. Tony Mullins representing the Bishop of Limerick spoke of the long process involved in the establishment of the school but commended the commitment shown by many in achieving it. He then led the crowd in some prayers for all those connected with the school. The school band brought proceedings to a close with a selection of Irish music.
Students from fifth year, who recently completed and passed a course in Kickboxing. Pictured with the students are Instructors Pa Sullivan (Head coach, Rebel Kickboxing, Meelin, Newmarket) Damien Goad (head coach, Fisticuffs kickboxing, Abbeyfeale) along with Principal Jim Tierney and Vice Principal Liam Murphy.
Kristal Tiivas with Professor Gupta after winning the Christmas card competition, organised by the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation. This project was aimed at raising awareness of the great services and supports that this organisation provide. Christmas cards by Kristal and other winners in the county were on sale in the school this week. All proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Foundation
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