See caption in the body of the story below
The Sacred Heart Primary School in Roscrea celebrates 180 years of education this June.
Continuous education has taken place on the site of the school since Mother Croft bought Sacred Heart education to Roscrea, the first seat of Sacred Heart education in Ireland in 1842.
Pupils, teachers, Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart, neighbours and friends gathered in the school to celebrate the special occasion.
Mass was concelebrated by school chaplain Fr Pat Treacy, Fr Lawrence Walsh and Dom Malachy Thompson.
Fr Lawrence, a past pupil of the school and Dom Malachy were welcome guests from neighbouring Cistercian College which has long had links with the Sacred Heart School.
Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart, the founding order of the school visited for the occasion.
Although the sisters have divested their participation in the school its Sacred Heart ethos remains.
In her opening remarks school principal Mrs Sutton outlined the history of the school, its place in the community and its commitment to the education of the children of the parish. Mass was celebrated in the school hall with special words from Fr Lawrence who, at 93 years is possibly the oldest living past pupil of the school.
Sister Dairne McHenry, Provincial of the Society of the Sacred Heart in Ireland thanked the staff for their continuing hard work and commitment to Sacred Heart education, which, she said, was so obvious throughout the day.
Mrs Noreen Heenan, Network Co ordinator of the Sacred Heart schools in Ireland, Scotland and Malta, presented certificates to the children who received sacraments this year as the mass concluded.
After refreshments Mr George Cunningham, local bibliophile and also a past pupil of the school gave the visiting sisters a tour of the school garden which included trees planted in memory of all the sisters who gave their services to the school throughout its 180 year history and past pupils, including Dr Aisling Butler, after whom the school library is named.
The celebrations continued as an ice cream van visited and the children enjoyed entertainment and games.
The sun shone on the occasion and a great day was had by all.
Caption for picture above: George Cunningham, Fr Lawrence Walsh, Dom Malachy Thompson, Mrs Caitriona Sutton, Sr Trish McCarthy, Sr Mary Sheils, Sr Nora Burke, Mrs Nora Loughnane, Sr Maria Mullen, Mrs Noreen Heenan, Sr Dairne McHenry, Sr Kathleen Cronin and Ms Camilla Hannon marking 180 years of Sacred Heart education in Roscrea
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