By Kieran O’Mahony
IT was a welcome return to Coláiste na Toirbhirte in Bandon last Friday week for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who last visited the school as Minister for Education & Science, 18 years ago.
Deputy Martin was invited to give a key note address to a large attendance in the PE Hall to celebrate the school’s 25 years at its present site at Ard Aoibhinn, overlooking the town.
‘The college here in Bandon is a very fine home-grown educational institution, one with a venerable tradition of excellence in teaching and learning,’ said Deputy Martin.
‘When I look around here today I see the huge pride that the school community has in what has been built on this site in the past 25 years, as well as in its origins and traditions.’
Deputy Martin also praised the ethos and culture of the school and said Coláiste na Toirbhirte serves as a truly remarkable example of what can be achieved with a hugely dedicated staff and strong community backing.
Hundreds of pupils, past and present, as well as current and former staff members, filled the hall to capacity. Special guests included the Presentation Sisters, local TDs Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Aindrias Moynihan and Chief Superintendent of Cork West Garda Division, Con Cadogan.
Following his address, Deputy Martin unveiled a stunning commemorative batik, made by Transition Year pupils, to symbolise the deep connection with the Presentation Sisters in Bandon.
The festivities included Mass, which was celebrated by the Very Reverend Fr John Kingston, and this was followed by a high-energy musical medley, showcasing some of the many musicals performed by the school over the years.