From an inch to six miles, Tulla man Ray McInerney’s career began at a school with just 29 pupils. He is currently in charge of 375 young learners but next month he takes over at the helm of the county’s largest national school that boasts a roll of almost twice that number.
“I am looking forward to it but it will pose a number of challenges; the building project, doing as much as we can in the current school building for the children attending now and the whole challenge of running a school in the economic climate we are currently in,” he told The Clare Champion.
“Another major challenge will be familiarity with the pupils, the parents and the staff. Becoming familiar with the people and the community will be a slow process but I am looking forward to that element of the move too,” he added.
The 39-year-old began his career in Inch after completing his bachelor of education in Limerick’s Mary Immaculate College. Four years ago he began work at Sixmilebridge National School and it is with mixed emotions he leaves his role in that community.
“Making the decision to leave Sixmilebridge and go to Ennis National School was a very big decision to make because we have a fabulous school here in Sixmilebridge. There are very generous and very enthusiastic teachers and a very supportive board of management, Parents Association and local community,” Ray said.
Ennis National School is in transition. “Obviously the school project has moved on significantly in recent times with the appointment of a design team and I am delighted that that could be achieved before Garry Stack retired as principal, considering the amount of time and effort he has spent delivering that project. I will be endeavouring with the board of management and the local community to bring the project to fruition in accordance with the planned time scale,” Ray said.
“The school has a very proud tradition and has a fantastic reputation and it is a privilege to be appointed to the post of principal in Ennis National School. The board of management has placed a lot of trust in me by making me principal of the school. I feel a certain obligation and pressure to live up to the belief that has been invested in me,” he said.
Ray McInerney takes on the role of principal in Ennis National School on November 2.