She was greeted at North Presentation Primary School, in the shadows of the North Cathedral and the famous St Anne’s Church of Shandon, by Jade Sutton and Calvin Curtin, who are the fourth and third generations of their families to attend North Pres.
She was welcomed in 40 different languages, where almost three quarters of pupils are part of Cork’s ‘new Irish’ community, before hearing a song about Annie Moore in Ellis Island, New York, the landing place for emigrants 150 years ago.
“Today it is Ireland that is the Isle of Hope for many of our new pupils and we are confident that all our North Pres pupils will grow to be full and proud Irish citizens contributing to the growth and prosperity of our nation,” said principal Kathleen Haverty.
Nano Nagle founded four schools in the parish in the 1770s and Sr Angela Ryan, chair of the Presentation sisters’ school board, said the spirit in which it was founded is kept alive by dedicated staff.
Just to prove how many things stay unchanged, the principal read from a 1917 school inspectors’ report about how frosty weather had led to a broken boiler. Ms O’Sullivan took the hint and told pupils and staff she hopes to have good news on their application for emergency funding to fix their latest heating problems.
The minister later saw building work at St Angela’s College, a girls’ secondary school with a long history in the north inner city. She also officially opened Ashton Comprehensive School, whose 520 students moved to new accommodation on its Blackrock Road campus in 2013.
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