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Ian bows out after 23 years at helm of Bandon Grammar

June 14th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Ian Coombes, principal of Bandon Grammar School, seen here overseeing the first day of this year’s Leaving and Junior Cert exams, is retiring at the end of the school year. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A WATERFORD woman, who has strong links with West Cork, is to become the first female principal of Bandon Grammar School this September.

Niamh McShane, who was the principal of Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham in Co Westmeath for the past six years, takes over from Ian Coombes, who is retiring this year from the 700-pupil private school.

The mum-of-three is a former graduate of UL (science education) and also holds a masters from NUI Galway. She previously taught science and maths at Alexandra College in Dublin. She was also deputy principal of Temple Carrig School in Greystones, before she took up the principal’s post at Wilson’s Hospital School in 2016.

Ian Coombes told The Southern Star that Niamh’s appointment has been ‘warmly welcomed.’

‘The announcement was made to staff, students and parents in recent weeks and the board and staff expressed delight at the appointment of such an experienced person,’ said Ian, who plans to do some well-earned travelling following his retirement after being principal at the school for the past 23 years. Ian spent four-and-a-half years as principal at the Grammar’s sister school, Kilkenny College.

At their recent end-of-year service, with Bishop Colton in attendance, students made a presentation to Mr Coombes to mark  his retirement.

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