IN 1938 the doors of the new ‘Technical School’ were first opened on the grounds of the Old Infirmary in Ennis. Now home to Ennis Community College, Gaelcholáiste an Chláir and the Ennis College of Further Education, the school will celebrate its monumental 75th year anniversary next week.
At a cost of £11,000 the school was originally established the meet the need for a permanent technical school in County Clare following the passing of the Vocational Education Act in 1930. The eventual opening of the school came following a concerted effort by the Vocational Education Committee to secure a site.
When the school opened, The Clare Champion reported on the enrolling of 120 boys and girls in the vocational classes in the “handsome” new school.
The school has certainly come along way from its early days of offering classes such as manual work for boys and domestic economy to girls, vital skills in helping young Clare people secure paid employment at the time.
The Harmony Row site is now occupied by Ennis Community College, co-located with Ennis College of Further Education, providing a range of certified training courses for adult learners and with Gaelcholaiste an Chlair, Clare’s only Irish medium secondary school. The school operates under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.
And on Thursday, February 13 of this year, the growth of the school in Ennis over the decades will be celebrated. An open day will be held at the school from 5pm to 7pm that evening and past pupils are welcome to come along and see their old classrooms, as well as catch up with some old friends.
The event will be a celebration of the school’s past as well as its current successes. Following the open evening, there will also be a meal in the Temple Gate Hotel, with a number of past staff attending. Tickets for the event, including the meal and entertainment are available from the school.
Margaret Moynihan, PRO for Ennis Community College and Gaelcholaiste an Chlair, explained, “The school has a long history and we are very proud of it. We are delighted to be able to celebrate 75 years in existence in Ennis, educating students from across the county.”