St Mary's High School Midleton Gathering

St. Mary's High School, Midleton, Co. Cork pupils and staff opened their doors to welcome over 200 past pupils and retired teachers last Friday night May 8th. Past Pupils who travelled from as far as New York to reconnect with old friends, shared memories of happy days and close scrapes while visiting their old classrooms, science laboratories and the library. Present pupils who were guiding the guests looked on bemused as thirty-somethings sitting in their old desks howled with laughter.

All were entertained by music recitals from past and present pupils including Deborah Desmond and her daughter Kate.

After a sociable cup of tea, the guests assembled in the hall for a poetry recital and a speakers address from Principal Donal Cronin and Past Pupil Sinead McSweeney.

Mr. Cronin recounted publications of Past Pupil Associations from the 1960s and showed an old medal worn by the Committee of the day. He also challenged the assembled group to reactivate the PPU to continue the tradition of old.

The next address was from a past pupil who has risen to the top echelons of Twitter’s global executive ranks. Sinead McSweeney, Senior Director of Public Policy EMEA @Twitter, former director of communications for Garda Síochána and PSNI and political advisor entertained the group recalling her days in St. Mary's.

She commended St. Mary's tradition of encouraging girls and expecting excellence in STEM subjects, offering Higher Level Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics at a time when these subjects were commonly taught only in boys schools. She humorously hankered after the days of no nonsense ‘Shape up or Ship out’ attitude from formidable old teachers, a far cry from the positive affirming appraisals required in the work place today.

Local businesses generously donated prizes that were drawn for some lucky winners. Two thousand euro was raised for the St. Mary’s High School Cultural fund.

A great night was had by all and all were glad that they took part in this heart-warming evening in their old Alma Mater.

Photos from the Gathering

A group of past pupils pictured at the gathering.

Principal Donal Cronin pictured with past pupils of the school. 

Pictured above are musical performers on the night.

Past Pupils pictured with first year students.

Pictured above are the past pupil union committee members.

TY Students who were event guides for the gathering. 

Pictured above Sr Jenny (Past Principal) - pink and black jacket, Helen Finn (Teacher), Sheila Rooney(Past Teacher). 

Mary Walsh (Deputy Principal), Charlie Hayes (Past Teacher) and Sr. Mairead (Past Teacher).