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Longford principal lands plum job

March 21, 2017

Gaelscoil Longfoirt principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú has told of her “great honour” at being elected president of a leading educational body for Irish language speaking schools.

Ms Ní Mhurchú was elevated to the top table of national Irish organisation Gaelscoileanna Teo, the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish, following a recently held meeting in Kilkenny.

In her new position, the Newtownforbes mother of one is already revelling in her role in representing more than 300 primary schools and 70 secondary schools currently providing education through the medium of Irish both inside and outside Gaeltacht areas.

“It is an honour and a very big honour to be appointed,” she said.Asked what may have prompted her appointment, Ms Ni Mhurchú pointed to her near two decade long association with Gaelscoil Longfoirt, a period which has seen it grow from around 20 students to the 200 strong facility it is today.

“I suppose I have been there and know all about the building blocks that’s needed to build up a school,” she said, while stressing Gaelscoileanna Teo was also recognised as an educational partner with the Department of Education.

“Having been there and experienced all of that I believe I am well placed to offer advice to other schools and represent them at national level.”


Longford given green light for new Gaelscoil

January 5, 2015

A brand new, state of the art Gaelscoil is on the cards for Longford town, the Department of Education & Skills revelaed this week.

Details of the announcement were made by Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan as part of a €2.2bn government investment package.

Building work on the new Gaelscoil an Longfoirt at Farneyhoogan will get underway next year in accordance with a five year blueprint to meet changing infrastructural and rising population demands.

One of over 270 new school projects, a Department of Education spokeswoman confirmed the new school is likely to be completed as early as 2016.

The finer points of the project, including costs and its anticipated duration were not disclosed for fear of jeopardising the tendering process.

Local Fine Gael TD James Bannon said the news could not have come at a better time for teachers and parents alike.

Equally, the spin-off benefits to the local economy would be numerous, he said.

“I am absolutely delighted that construction on a new school for Gaelscoil an Longfoirt, Fearann Úi Dhuagain will get underway in 2015,” said Deputy Bannon.

“I have no doubt that the construction of a new school will have a positive impact on the teachers, pupils and the local community; equally it will also provide a significant boost in terms of construction jobs.”

The Legan TD paid tribute to principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú for her own efforts in helping to bring the project to fruition.

“Gaelscoil an Longfoirt, Farneyhoogan and its Principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú have campaigned over a long number of years for upgraded facilities.

“I compliment them on their efforts, which have culminated in today’s announcement.”

Speaking to the Leader, Ms Ní Mhurchú said the latest developments amounted to a “great news story” for Longford.

She also added, “this is an indication that the Department of Education & Skills is investing in Irish language education”.

She went on to say that a number of sites were currently in the pipeline and it would be the Department and Longford Co Council that would eventually determine which site was the most suitable for a new school.

“Thank God the funding is secure for the new school; in the New Year we will get the site determined and we will then have the design team and architects on board,” she continued.

“The money has been ring fenced and the Department is putting money into Irish education here in Longford. We anticipate at this stage that the new school will take six to 12 months to complete. We are looking forward to the next 12 to 18 months.”


Remembrance Service for Jessica

July 3, 2014

There were heartbreaking scenes at Gaelscoil Longfoirt this afternoon where a service was held to remember Jessica Jeeti (10).

Jessica died alongside her mother Pat and two family friends after a car accident close to Bunbrosna on Saturday morning.

Teachers, pupils and parents gathered with Jessica’s uncle, Evan, and family friends at the school to commemorate the little girl’s life earlier today.

“We are gathered here to remember Jessica who was a vibrant, fine, smart, bubbly and popular girl at our school,” Principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú said.

Fr Brendan Sullivan who officiated proceedings, pointed to sorrow of her classmates and to the important role that they played in Jessica’s family. “Jessica’s class were like her little family,” he added. “It is important to have a place of welcome and a sense of belonging and her class here was part of that.”

Described by her teacher as “playful, fun loving, musical and artistic”, the talented 10 year-old was firmly on the minds of all those who gathered to celebrate her short, but enriching life. “Jessica really valued her friendships and she had great friends; she cherished her friends dearly,” the teacher added.

A candle was then lit in memory of the little girl and handed to Jessica’s Uncle to bring to the family home. The service was attended by over 100 people who heard Fr Brendan conclude by saying, “Our life is a gift of God; it is measured not in years, but one day at a time. Yesterday is gone never to return; tomorrow is not assured, only today is ours”.

Jessica Jeeti is survived by her father Jim, brothers Geoffrey, Jamie and Jack, extended family, relatives and friends. May she Rest in Peace.


Gaelscoil Longfoirt remembrance service for ‘lovely and bright’ crash victim Jessica

July 1, 2014

A remembrance service will be held at Gaelscoil Longfoirt at 12.30pm today for 10-year-old Jessica Jeeti, a fourth class pupil at the school who died in a car accident at the weekend alongside her mother Pat and their friends Queenent Amenaghawon Olige-esezobor and her sister Fanny Oraweme Akenbor.

Jessica’s three brothers also attended the school and Principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú said that the family were a fine example of “bilingual education”.

“We have never lost a child at our school and Jessica was a wonderful child,” a clearly emotional Ms Ní Mhurchú said, adding “she was one of four children from the same family attending the Gaelscoil.”

The local principal went on to say that Jessica was a very popular young girl who was ‘able and bright’.

“I could give her any job to do and she would carry it out to the best of her ability,” remarked Ms Ní Mhurchú. “Jessica was from a fabulous family who are a prime example of bilingual education. She was such a lovely little girl and had lovely little friends.”

Today’s service will be attended by pupils of the schools and their families; Jessica’s friends, teachers and staff, clergy and members of the community.

Psychologists from the school programme NEPS will also be on hand to assist the children in any way they can.


Sean Óg celebrates with Gaelscoil Longfoirt on its 15th anniversary

February 17, 2014

There was much to be excited about in Longford last Friday as Gaelscoil Longfoirt celebrated its 15th anniversary at the heart of education.

To add to proceedings, the large crowds that gathered to join in the celebrations waited in anticipation for the guest of honour, himself – Séan Óg Ó hAilpín – left no stone unturned when it came to encouraging the children before him, and highlighting the important role that Gaelscoil’s have in the Irish education system.

Speaking in both Irish and English, the All-Ireland winning Cork hurler, who attended a Gaelscoil himself, said that while he had attended many places during his career, it gave him the “greatest pleasure” going to Gaelscoils. “I started off in a Gaelscoil; I was 10 years old when I came to Ireland and it has been a journey that has made me an incredibly better person,” he added.

“When I look back now at my own parents and their hopes and dreams for me, the two most important aspects were my involvement in sport and going to a Gaelscoil. If we claim ourselves to be Irish, then we must speak our native tongue. Yes, there are people who say what is the point of learning Irish because when you move on, you don’t use it, but I don’t see that argument; Irish is our native language and we should be proud to speak it.”

Mr Ó hAilpín went to encourage the pupils to achieve thier full potential.

“You have a talent that is a gift from God, but what you do with that gift is your gift back to God,” he continued.

“We all need people like our parents and teachers in our lives because it is they who help to bring out those gifts in us. One of the proudest moments in my life was to bring the All Ireland Cup back to my old Gaelscoil; to see the smiles of the teachers that day- everyone was so happy and proud and I knew that I had fulfilled my talent that day.

“ You must fulfil your talents; it may be a sport or it may be academic , but whatever it is find it and fulfill it.”

Amid plenty of cheering and beautiful singing by the pupils of Gaelscoil Longfoirt to mark the special occasion, Mr Ó hAilpín also pointed to his earliest sporting memories of Co Longford.

“I remember the great Dessie Barry – the great left footer, the legend for Longford – you too can be a Longford legend,” he concluded.

The Cork hurling star then planted a tree to commemorate the event and principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú concluded by saying, “I want to thank all the staff and volunteers, and everyone who made this possible”.

“The next step for us is to secure a new school building within the next couple of years and we are confident that this is going to happen,” she added.

“Irish is alive and well and Gaelscoil Longfoirt proves that we can conduct our daily lives in Irish now.

“I hope that we have instilled pride and loyalty in our past students and I wish everyone associated with Gaelscoil Longfoirt the very best future possible.”