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John O'Dowd MLA
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John Monaghan Principal of St. Colman's Bann P.S. welcomed John to the school:


"It is a great honour for me to offer a very warm welcome to all our guests, in particular, The Minister for Education Mr John O’Dowd and his assistants, the members of the Board of Governors who were able to join us today and a special welcome to our retired colleagues Mrs Maeve O’Hare and Mrs Carmel McGivern  who have both devoted a great deal of their lives to our school and community throughout the years, which included teaching a good number of the adults present here from the staff and the Board of Governors. (I think 9 in total)

Many years ago, when those adults were children,  they played in what is now the car park of the community centre next door, - but back then it was the playground of Bann Primary School. This included Miss McCann and I.  We played along with many happy children, including the O’Dowd family, one being the Minister. Back then we would have thought of him as one of the “wee ones”... My, how things have changed!

Miss McCann and I would never have believed back then, that we would someday be the Vice-Principal and Principal of the school.                                                             
 And now, one of the “wee ones” has outgrown us by becoming the Minister for Education!

Being just back to school, we haven’t yet started our Pupil of the Week Awards,  but under these special circumstances we have made the Minister our Star “Past Pupil of the Week” on the back notice board.

Thank you John for coming here today, we are very proud that you, as a past pupil and a former member of our parish and community are the Minister for Education.

It really is great to have you and all of our invited guests here today.   

We would like you all to relax now and enjoy some entertainment from our pupils."                   


For full text of John O'Dowd's speech, click here



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The school choir sang beautifully



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Master Monaghan presented the Minister with a inscribed plaque: 
"Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí."  -
"Praise the young and they will flourish"


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The  Minister recalled his own happy school days in Laurencetown

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The plaque will take pride of place in the Minister of Education's office.

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