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Skibbereen's Rossa College marks start of new era with open evening

May 25th, 2016 10:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

School kids at Rossa College in Skibbereen in the 80s

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TO mark the end of second level education on the site, Rossa College in Skibbereen is hosting an open evening for all past and present pupils, parents, staff and members of the Board of Management, next week.

Photographs dating from the 1930s to the present day will be on display, along with roll books and other memorabilia. 

Former staff will also attend, as will the CEO of the Cork Education and Training Board, Ted Owens. The College has also put together a collection of photos and memories from former staff in a publication which will be available on the night for those wishing to purchase it, at €5.

Technical or vocational education has had an official presence in the town of Skibbereen since 1901. Pioneered by Bishop Kelly, courses were delivered in rented accommodation until 1926 when the Bishop Kelly Memorial Technical School was opened – in what is now the local library. 

In 1930 the Vocational Education Committee took over the school, and over the years many changes occurred, with extensions being built and additional buildings purchased. 

The 1960s and 1970s saw significant changes, as free education led to a huge demand for school places. The Technical School was unable to cope and a new school, Rossa College, was built to accommodate the ever increasing number of pupils. 

This school officially opened in 1984, under the leadership of Finbarr Williams, who had succeeded the late Peadar Hayes as principal. 

The school has continued to provide second level education to the present day and has diversified into the area of adult and post-Leaving Cert (PLC) provision. 

This PLC provision will continue in Rossa College going forward. 

Second level classes will now be amalgamated into the new Skibbereen Community School at Gortnaclohy.

Anyone who has been associated with vocational education in the town is invited to attend next Thursday, May 26th from 7pm. 

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