O’Dowd officially opens new £6.3million St Clare’s Abbey Primary School

Date published: 11 March 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd has officially opened the new £6.3million St Clare’s Abbey Primary School in Newry.

The new build is an amalgamation of St Colman’s Abbey and St Clare’s Convent Primary School. It is a 15 class school with a single nursery and one moderate learning difficulty unit.

Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony Education Minister John O’Dowd said:

“This is a fantastic day for the pupils, parents, staff and wider community in Newry. Through hard work and total dedication you have reached this momentous stage of gaining a brand new school.

“This new accommodation will provide St Clare’s Abbey with a much needed, state of the art, new school for the current pupils and future generations.

 “The new build represents a significant investment of over £6million and brings us to this successful conclusion and I wish everyone associated with the school every success as you embark on a new chapter for St Clare’s Abbey.”

Welcoming the Minister to the school for the opening, Principal Michelle Monaghan said:

“The community of St Clare’s Abbey is overjoyed with our amazing new school and it’s truly beautiful and unique setting.  We are experiencing rural quietude in the heart of the city of Newry, how rare!

“Our staff and pupils will relish every advantage that this state of the art 21st century building can bring. We are so appreciative of the efforts of all who helped bring this long standing project to fruition. It is indeed true that ‘good things come to those who wait.’ Our 16 year wait has finally come to an end and we look forward to a long and happy tenure in our new environment.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. St Clare’s Abbey Primary School has an enrolment of 504 pupils.
  2. Felix O’Hare and Company completed the construction work.
  3. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education Works for more information.
  4. Watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  5. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  6. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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