Scoil Phádraig is an integral part of the community of Corduff . The newly built Scoil Phádraig opened its doors in 1986 to its first pupils. Although this was an extremely joyous occasion for Corduff, it was also tinged with sadness as it also signified the end of an era following the closure of the old School House at Corduff Church car park and the national School at Sreenty.
The Tricolour and Papal Flags fluttered at the entrance way to the new school and its spacious play-area with bunting bedecking the building when the Corduff/Raferagh Youth Band in the neat green uniform led the parade from the church, following the Mass of Thanksgiving, to the new school premises. The band had already given a lovely recital outside the church after the mass.
The solemn blessing of the building was performed by Rev. Dean Morris. Rev. Fr Beggan presided at the ceremony and formally welcomed the Minister and other distinguished guests and all the parents, teachers, pupils, families and friends who had come to join in this historic event. Rev. Dean Morris read a special prayer, in which he expressed that the new school would always be the “home of truth and wisdom”. Then the Minister for Health, Carrickmacross man, Dr. Rory O’ Hanlon TD performed the official opening, by cutting the tape spanning the distance. Other officials who attended the ceremonies were; Padraig Mc Nally MCC, Patrick Jones MCC, Bill Cotter MCC, Rosaleen O’ Hanlon MCC and Tom Freeman MCC and other guests included Michael Cooke Div. Inspector, Dept of Education, Gerry Fuller Clerk of Works, OPW Dundalk, Alan Smith Architect, OPW Dundalk, John Clarke of the building company John Clarke & Sons LTD, Ardee, who were the main contractors and Mark O’ Callaghan Executive Engineer, Monaghan Co. Council.
Dr. O’Hanlon said that the spirit of a community was of vital importance-“It is very important that a community identifies and provides for its needs-nowhere is there more evidence of this than here in Corduff”. He spoke of the great social transformation which had been a feature of recent times in the district, such as the establishment of the fine Community Centre, the GAA grounds, a great musical tradition from which the Pipe Band and Youth Band had made a great impact in the area and not least Corduff’s success of the previous years in winning of the Dr. Ward Cup.
Master Brian McDermott, School Principal thanked the distinguished visitors including the Minister, Department and OPW representatives, clergy and parents, as well as the local councillors and local people, all of whom shared in the pleasure of their achievement. He said he owed a great debt of gratitude to the people of Corduff, Sreenty and the surrounding areas who had provided such first class school facilities in which he and the teachers were now teaching (Mrs Brigid Mc Nally, Mrs Kathleen Murray, Mrs Margaret Duffy). He also thanked the local Ladies Committee who looked after the catering of the excellent refreshments provided for all after the ceremony.
At the conclusion, Fr Beggan stated that it was a great achievement for all involved to provide such a fine school and that he was pleased that so many of those who had contributed to the project in one way or another had joined them for the official opening.
Our new state of the art National School now sits proudly on an elevated site, another part of what was previously Mc Keown’s farm bordering the Community Centre. It comprises of four classrooms, a general purpose room and ancillary accommodation overlooking the spot where the old School House once stood, both now bulldozed away to make way for the new car park. It’s incredible to think that the parishoners raised 10% of the costs equating IR£20,000 and that their fundraising was practically running alongside the community fundraising for the Playing Field and Centre. The demand on the neighbourhood was huge, however their support for both projects was and still is immeasurable. We take this opportunity again on behalf of the School Patrons to thank one and all sincerely for their support in every way and especially Fr. Peter Mc Guinness whose terrific negotiating and organising efforts contributed to making this dream of a new school a reality. (This exerpt was taken from the book ’30 Year A Growing’, which gives a detailed account of the history of Corduff from 1980-2010)
The teachers, parents and Board of Management of Corduff are committed to the continued provision of a quality education to all the children of our parish, in a caring, catholic community, providing opportunities for academic development and a wide variety of cultural and artistic programmes.
Our school is named after the Patron Saint of Ireland. Here is a link to The Story of St. Patrick.