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New school building after 20-year wait

A DUBLIN school that's almost 150 years old has opened a new school building - with one of its most famous past pupils returning to do the honours.

Tanaiste Joan Burton was back on Stanhope Street on the northside of the city to open the facility that staff and parents have been seeking for 20 years.

"Getting this building is a great achievement for this school. I came to this school and so did my mother. I came here in first or second class," Ms Burton said.


"It was a great place to learn and grow up in. It's always had a great sense of contribution to the local community and a great sense of friendliness between staff and the students of the school.

"This school has a great tradition in terms of social progress and equality issues, and in looking after the elderly, particularly in the local area of Stoneybatter, Manor Street, King Street and Constitution Hill."

The school was first opened by the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1867.

It's decades since the school - whose other famous alumni include broadcaster Pat Kenny and Oscar-winning actress Brenda Fricker - was upgraded.

Ms Burton was joined by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, school principal Leslie Gleeson and its 319 pupils to open the new building.

Ms Gleeson said she felt "privileged" to be leading the school "into the future in a state-of-the-art building which will provide excellent educational facilities for present and future pupils".

The school is located beside an all-girls secondary school of the same name.

Almost a third of the pupils are male, but the boys are required to leave the school upon making their first holy communion - when they're around seven or eight.


The pupils attending the unveiling of the new building were delighted with the result.

"We love our new school," said fifth-class child Alexandra.

"I love the computer room because I can listen to Beethoven on the headphones," said another pupil, Aisling.

After the address by the Tanaiste and Archbishop Martin the staff revealed the next big project planned for the school centres on building a school garden.