Bright sunshine bathed the school at 12 noon when President McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese arrived to begin a year of celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the founding of RMC. The Presidential party was greeted at the school gate by our Principal, Ms Margret Corcoran and Head Girl, Ciara Sheehy. President McAleese inspected a guard of honour representing each class in the school and then went on to observe a new sculptural work installed in the school grounds to mark the 50th Anniversary. Entitled ‘Tendimus Excellere’ this artistic piece comprises five stacked volumes representing the first five decades of this school; they are crowned by a sixth opened book representing the years and decades ahead; they are made of brushed steel and copper. Beneath them sprout some copper ‘daisies’ in memory of our foundress Margaret ‘Daisy’ Corrigan. Ranged around the base of the sculpture is a series of mosaics depicting aspects of the school curriculum. This work was designed by a group of Transition Year students as part of the Creative Engagement project sponsored by the NAPD. Some of the design team briefed the President on their work which she greatly admired.
President McAleese was then introduced to representatives of RMC Management, Board of Directors and Parents Council. She entered the school to rapturous applause and went on to tour the school visiting school groups involved in the Lesotho project, Religion, Latin, Chemistry and Home Economics; she also had words of encouragement for the young sportswomen who take on Ursulines, Thurles in the forthcoming Munster ‘A’ Hockey final.
On arrival at the school stage, President McAleese was formally welcomed by our Principal Ms Corcoran who lauded the President as a fine role model for the hundreds of students present; Ms Corcoran praised the courage of our foundress Daisy Corrigan and outlined her educational philosophy. Our school choir and orchestra under the baton of Mrs Rose Beecher entertained all present with their rendition of ‘The Irish Blessing’ arr. Bob Chilcott.
The President then spoke of the school and its founder; ‘She created this school thinking girls like you were worth investing in fifty years ago when she knew none of you’, the President said. ‘Many thousands have gone to this school and we know it has been a very good investment given how much you have achieved.’ It was clear from her words that President McAleese had a very personal response to all aspects of our school.
Head Girl, Ciara Sheehy thanked our distinguished visitors for inaugurating the year of celebrations; she spoke of the President’s life which she said was an inspiration to all the students. Deputy Head Girl Caroline Barry then presented President McAleese with a maquette of the new sculpture as a token of appreciation from all in Regina Mundi College. President McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese departed, again to sustained applause. This was a truly memorable occasion in the history of our school.