“I could also sense that those gathered there were in their own way creating history – the history of what is to be the newest secondary school in Athlone – Coláiste Chiaráin.”
On September 9th last, I had the privilege of travelling by boat from Athlone, down the Shannon, to the site of the monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise to celebrate the feast day of St. Ciarán (c516-c549). On the journey with me were the first year boys from St. Aloysius College and the first year girls from St Joseph’s College – both wearing the same uniform bearing the crest of the new Coláiste Chiaráin
As we gathered with the students and their teachers for a brief prayer service in the chapel – I could sense the very real history of the monastic site over which Ciarán was Abbot and the tradition of faith and learning about the place. I could also sense that those gathered there were in their own way creating history – the history of what is to be newest secondary school in Athlone – Coláiste Chiaráin.
Now the time has come for the first students to enrol as the new school opens its doors on September 1st 2017 and we are very excited indeed. Coláiste Chiaráin will not only preserve the excellent educational traditions of both St. Aloysius College and St. Joseph’s College, but it will also build upon them. It will allow for an enhanced range of subjects, educational programmes, greater provision for students with special educational needs and more extracurricular activities that parents would rightly wish for their children in the years to come.
By September 1st 2017, renovations and renewals will have been made to the large Summerhill site to comfortably receive students and staff. In 2015, the Department of Education and Skills announced major capital funding for the amalgamation of St. Aloysius College and St. Joseph’s College as part of the new programme of capital investment in schools 2016 to 2021. The work has already begun on planning for the building of a brand new school campus that will bring with it some of the best educational facilities in the country.
I thank all those who have worked so hard to bring the project to this important stage and I wish them every blessing in bringing this work to a fruitful conclusion. I wish God’s blessings on all those boys and girls who will enrol in the new school this year and are making their own history by being the first students of Coláiste Chiaráin, Athlone.
Bishop of Elphin, College Patron