President McAleese spent a considerable time viewing the Art Exhibition and expressed her amazement and wonder at such a wonderful display of creativity and skill.
To the Junior Cert science students, she expressed her delight with a secondary school system that allows them to continue with a wide range of subjects to Leaving Cert, unlike herself who was forced to choose between the humanities and the sciences at a very early age.
75 years of
Excellence in Education
President McAleese visits Loreto Crumlin
To mark the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Loreto College Crumlin Road , a group of art students from 1 st to 6 th year produced a series of paintings celebrating the history of the school, both past and present, from Mother Pauline's vision in 1930 to the reality of everyday life in Loreto Crumlin in 2005.
The fifteen pieces of art, in a variety of mediums, show scenes of the early days in Loreto Crumlin; Mother Pauline surrounded by green fields full of cattle, the Sisters cleaning and getting the convent ready, Mother Pauline writing the name of the first student, Ursula Healy in the roll book, a typewriter from the commercial college and so on, up to a lunchtime scene in today's Loreto College complete with the packet of Skips and the student doing her homework; and other images of a note being passed in science class and buns burning in the Home Economics kitchen!
The Art Exhibition was officially launched on 12th April 2005 by Sr Eileen Randles, Chairperson of the Board of Management in the presence of the artists, their parents and a large number of teachers.
On Wednesday 13th April, President Mary McAleese visited the school to view the Exhibition and to join in our Jubilee celebrations. She visited a number of classes, listened to the Jubilee choir singing “The Lord Bless me and Keep me” (John Rutter) and then addressed an assembly of students, parents and staff.
In the 5th Year History class, where the students were examining 20 th century events through newspapers of the day, Mrs McAleese shared with the girls her great sense of awe and history at being in St Peter's Square for Pope John Paul II's funeral. She had a lively chat with them about her visits to Poland and other Eastern European countries and her impressions of life there as well as the current anti-Japan demonstrations in China .
After her introduction by Ms Donagh, a welcome from the Head Girl, Orla Rooney, and an explanation of the art work by Leanne Gaffney, President McAleese addressed the students, parent's representatives and staff in the Hall. She spoke warmly of the vision of Mary Ward and the Loreto Sisters and how today that vision has been largely realised; women today are doing much, just as Mary Ward predicted in the 17th century. She praised the founding Loreto sisters for opening up a school that would explore “the genius of women”. She urged the students to seize the opportunities available to them and to follow their dreams, even to aspire to her own job which she highly recommended! “This school has spent 75 years investing in the uniqueness of every young girl who has crossed the threshold here” she said. “People like the Loreto Sisters pushed open the doors that were closed to them and many of us would still be fighting for chances if they hadn't”.
Nothing is impossible now for young women who can choose to enter any college or career they wish, unlike many of their parents and grandparents. “We are in the business of using all our potential and you will be the first generation who will live in an Ireland that realises that potential” she continued.
President Mc Aleese complimented the Sisters and the staff on a job well done in Loreto Crumlin, saying the school was ‘glowing' in every sense and she didn't only mean the floors which she described as the shiniest she had ever seen!
President McAleese also visited 2nd Year Home Economics students who were working on their Junior Cert craft work and a Transition Year art class who were making puppets. Many were so true to life, that when she came across the ‘politician' made by one student she decided it was wise not to ask too much about him!
Before she left, President McAleese was presented with a bouquet of flowers.