Find your parish Donate

Bishop Denis’ address at the opening & blessing of the extension to Tiermohan NS

Opening of Extension to Tiermohan NS:                                                           03.05.24

Tánaiste Mícheál, Principal Brian, Deputy Principal Sabrina, Chair of the Board of Management Denis, Fr. George, Fr. Kolwani, Staff Members, Parents, Design Team and most of all the 116 wonderful young people who make Scoil Náisiúnta Thír Mocháin, the school it is today.

Hands up Junior Infants … Senior … First … Second … Third … Fourth … Fifth … Sixth!

I looked up your website before my visit today to bless your lovely school extension. It’s great to see all the activities that make up the life of the school here – I saw mention of all kinds of sport from basketball to GAA to Cross-Country. It’s great to see past pupils back who have excelled in their fields of sport. It shows every pupil here what is possible.

There was mention of a ‘Pet Day’ in the school, all kinds of animals graced the yard outside from cats to lambs to turtles. Of course your excellent ‘Green Schools’ initiatives as well as photographs from sacramental moments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

There was one section that caught my eye titled ‘Sixth Class Farewells’ with classes featuring from 2018 to 2023. I noted the comment by Jamie, who was part of that class last year and under the class Confirmation Photograph he wrote: “we made our Confirmation with the Bishop. The Bishop was really tall … and he had an outrageous/great sense of humour”. I was glad Jamie clarified the word ‘outrageous’!

Tánaiste, we are delighted you are here in Tiermohan today. St. Joseph’s NS in the road in Kilcock was privileged to have our former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, while he was Tánaiste in October 2022, at its opening. Obviously Kilcock Parish is well in with Tánaistí.

I take this opportunity to also warmly welcome our other public representatives for the constituency, who do great work at ensuring the issues close to the hearts of the people of Kildare are voiced in Leinster House and elsewhere.

Tánaiste, your recent very moving visit particularly to the Rafah border crossing and the surrounding Middle East gave voice to the war that is being relentlessly raged. Our prayers continue for a just peace, and an immediate humanitarian effort that is desperately needed. The indiscriminate bombing of women and children is unconscionable. I shudder to think how long it will take to remove the rubble that such indiscriminate bombings have left in its wake.

That is why a day like today for a community in rural Kildare here in Tiermohan is so important. A day when facilities for staff and pupils and those who will come in future years is greatly enhanced.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing commitment of the State enabling parents who choose faith based schools, if that is their desire to have that choice respected. 78% of parents want the Church to continue to be involved in shaping the ethos of a school according to the Genesis Report of 2022. More recently GRACE produced its report suggesting we as patrons need to support more deeply that understanding of ethos.

I am delighted that Maeve Mahon is present, our Diocesan Coordinator for Primary Education, who does huge work supporting our schools, living their ethos.

The good news of the excellence of our faith-based schools needs to be heard, while welcoming divestment to patron bodies and parental choice, we need to ensure those who choose a faith-based education are guaranteed its provision.

A special word of thanks to my name-sake Denis McGlynn and the Tiermohan Board of Management. You have done sterling work to ensure this extension became a reality. Thank you for the willingness of all who serve on our school boards. That commitment to your locality and parish is deeply appreciated.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of boards. Our boards are fit for purpose, because we resource, train and support them. I acknowledged Maeve earlier and I include Bryan O’Reilly, Patron Secretary and the support of CPSMA. In the past fifty years approximately 17,000 people have volunteered to serve on school boards across our diocese. That’s a huge number of volunteers. While welcoming the advances school meals and free books, perhaps it’s time for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to move towards equivalent capitation funding at primary and post-primary levels in Octobers budget, so that no child is disadvantaged.

Today, we celebrate another chapter in the story of Tiermohan, a story that has roots as far back as 1790, a story that Brian, the staff, the pupils, the parents, the Board of Management and all of you should be rightly proud of. Thank you for the invitation to be with you. Every blessing.

And now to the blessing …