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Leinster Leader, June 21st 1958

Lackagh’s New School

Tuesday, June 17 was a memorable day for Lackagh Parish, Monasterevan. It marked the opening of a new National School, which was blessed and dedicated to St. Brigid, by Very Rev. T.H. Burbage, P.P, V.F.
Set adjacent to the old school in a rampart field on the Monastervan-Rathangan Road-the new building is the meeting point of two centuries of history, one ending the other beginning. The history of one recorded in tradition, the other unwritten glistening in the freshness of the dawn. For the ceremonies which began at 12 ‘o clock hundreds of parishioners and children assembled. Many farmers left their work to attend. At a specially erected altar in the corridor of the new building Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Hughes, C.C. Nurney.
Monasterevan’s C.B.S. Flageolet Band (30 Strong) under the direction of Rev. Brother O’Connor played “Faith of Our Fathers” and “Hail Queen of Heaven” the congregation joining in the singing of the hymns. After the blessing of the ceremonies closed with the playing with the National Anthem. Clergy assisting were Rev. Father McSuibhne, P.P. Kildare; Rev. J. Hayden C.C. Rath; Rev. J. McDonald, C.C. Monasterevan; Rev. K. O’Byrne C.C. Portarlington; Rev. Brother Conleth O’ Carm, Kildare.
Father Burbage, addressing the congregation from the steps of the school building said the invoking of God’s blessing on the opening of a new school was a reason for rejoicing anywhere in the world but especially in the land of ours that was famed for centuries for being an island of saints and scholars. The fact that our nation had a brilliant past is a stimulant to achieve an equally brilliant future.
At one time the sons of Ireland carried culture and learning to Britain and the Continent, became teachers of whole nations and Councillors of Kings and Emperors. That spirit would be flourishing here to-day, he said was it not that a barbarous nation invaded trampled our people underfoot for a century and made the acquiring of religious and secular knowledge a capital crime. The old school that is replaced is a grim reminder of these facts. It was built at a time when our people were plunged in poverty, and famine was devastating the land.
Father Burbage said thee were facts that our children should be taught-so that they may face life without any inferiority complex. Not only should our people be made aware of the glories of the past, they should be informed of the colossal sacrifices they had to struggle against, and which they eventually overcame. Lackagh is rich in information of this kind and the people are fortunate in having local historians who have made such information available. He congratulated the priests of the parish and the people who had worked hand in hand to gather the necessary funds.
Mr. Boyd-Barrett, Architect said: “From to-day this school belongs to people of the parish. It is your heritage, the State has nothing to do with it. It is parochial property, and like the churches it should be kept in first-class repair.”
Returning thanks to Very Rev. Father Burbage, Rev. J. McDonald, C.C. Monasterevan, said Fr. Burbage’s name was cherished and dear to every home in the parish. He is a true Irishman and distinguished scholar and a great priest.
He congratulated Mr. Boyd-Barrett, Messrs. McDermott and McDonnell, Brannextown, Contractors, and that men for the efficiency of the work.

An article from the Leinster Leader, June 21st 1958 about the opening of a new school in Lackagh, Monasterevan.

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