From a small secondary school with just 68 students and four staff members, Christ King Girls’ Secondary School is now the largest girls’ school in Munster — and celebrates 50 years in education this year.

Originally called Sacred Heart, the school opened in Sunview House in September 1965 and by the end of its first decade numbers had increased more than tenfold.

Thousands of young women were educated and and enjoyed sports, and plenty other extra-curricular activities, at the school based at Half Moon Lane on Cork’s South Douglas Road.

Principal Mary Keane welcomed many past pupils to a special reunion celebration at the school recently.

“It is certainly worth celebrating 50 years of our valuable contribution to the development of girls who go on to make their own mark in society,” she said.

A commemorative book was also launched to mark the milestone.

While many of the girls would have been taught by a mix of nuns and lay teachers, there aren’t any Presentation Sisters based at Christ King now.

Past pupils of the school include Olympic athlete, Derval O’Rourke; Professor Deirdre Madden, School of Law, UCC; Edel Barnes, recently retired lecturer at UCC’s Accounting & Finance Department; Jane Anne Rothwell, barrister; Deirdre McCarthy, political assignments editor at RTÉ; Professor Anne Fogarty, head of UCD’s School of English, Drama and Film; RTÉ journalist Sandra Hurley; and singer and actor, Molly Lynch.

Brendan Goggin, former chairman of the school’s board of management and retired CIT registrar, said: “Thousands of women have directly benefitted from the education Christ King has provided and from their broader development within the community.

“The impact they have made throughout all spheres of life and of the economy is immeasurable. But the achievements of Christ King go beyond that. The school has been a major player in the gentle revolution that has taken place in Irish education over the last half century and in the social and economic development resulting from having a world class education system at the heart of the community.”


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