Fáilte ar ais to all staff and students of our Catholic Primary schools as they return to schools and the beginning of a new academic year. 

The return of schools after the long summer break is tinged with sadness  following the dreadful news from Cavan this week. I know that all  our schools will keep the children and staff of the two schools in Ballyjamesduff and Oristown and all affected by this tragedy in your prayers in the coming days. I pray that all affected will know that they are held in God’s hands and in all our prayers throughout this difficult times.

This year there are three new Catholic primary schools opening their doors for the first time, Holy Family Junior and Senior Schools in Portlaoise and Scoil Naomh Eoin Phóil, Ballyroan, Co Laois. The three new schools are the fruit of the amalgamations of Scoil Mhuire, Sacred Heart and St Paul’s in Portlaoise and of Scoil Bhríde and Scoil Faoláin Naofa in Ballyroan. Much work has gone into making these new schools a reality and much work remains to be done but, I know that they will continue the strong and excellent tradition of Catholic education in both areas and wish them every blessing as they start this new chapter in the story of education in their respective parishes.

There are also a number of new principals to welcome as they begin their role of leading our schools in these challenging times for Catholic education. Over the summer months the Patron has appointed principals to Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Prosperous, Bishop Foley NS, Carlow, Scoil Phádraig BNS, Clane, Scoil Chóca Naofa, Kilcock, Presentation Primary, Portarlington, St Colman’s NS, Stradbally, and Fr Cullen Memorial NS. Tinryland.  Our new principals take over from a long line of committed and faithful leaders who helped to shape Catholic schools of which we are justly proud. 

 I wish you well in your new roles and look forward to meeting you in the coming months. 

Bishop Denis Nulty