SIXTY white balloons floated up into the radiant blue skies above Magheralough PS to carry skyward the hopes and dreams of all who attended, as part of a dazzling display to mark the closure of the Trillick school.
The emotional open air Mass saw an upwards of 500 people – including past and present pupils and teachers – come along to say goodbye to a place fondly remembered by many as their ‘home away from home’.
The ceremony was held within the walls of the old church ruins on the school site, and with the cloudless skies as the roof, the children from Magheralough PS sang and local musicans played beautifully to entertain the crowd.
“The ceremony marked the end of an era for a school that is loved so much by our past and present pupils,” said school principal, Teresa Kane. “There is no doubt that school will be deepy missed by all who passed through its doors over the decades.”
During the event, Teresa presented all staff members with presents and praised them for their dedication and commitment, while the children presented Mrs Kane with a white stone with their names written on it.
They also gave the popular principal a canvas featuring a thumbprint of all the children she had taught during her four years at Magheralough.
The children further presented a gift to Barney McAnespy – a person who the children called their ‘school grandad’ and who Mrs Kane described as an honorary teacher who brought history to life for the children.
She went on to say that Barney, with his knowledge of townlands instilled a love of place within the
children with his many history talks.
Julie McAnespy, on behalf of the parents, presented all the staff with presents and spoke of Teresa’s exceptional leadership and her love for learning, which she passed on to all her pupils.
To remember all past pupils and staff who have passed away, and to leave a lasting legacy, a cherry blossom tree was also planted in the school’s wild-flower garden.