A NEW school uniform appeared in Portlaoise last Tuesday when Dunamase College opened its doors for the first time.
Mid-blue-coloured uniformed first-year students took their seats in the post-primary school on Railway Street as their mums and dads photographed the historic occasion.
Almost 40 first years began their secondary education at the new school, which has undergone a refurbishment over the summer months.
College principal Aoife Elster said: “It is such a historic day for Portlaoise, where we welcome the very first students into the school. In years to come, the community will look back and note who were our first group of learners.
“The school will have a strong pastoral, science and digital focus, something required in the modern era and in the modern economy,” added Ms Elster.
Chief executive Joe Cunningham of Laois/Offaly Education Training Board – the body responsible for Dunamase College – also mentioned that the historic occasion involves two strands of students learning under the same roof.
He said: “We have a group of students who will follow their course of learning through the medium of Irish and another group who will follow their learning route through the English language. This school will be a model for many, as it incorporates both groups within the one school building. In particular, I want to welcome the new students, their parents and, indeed, the new teachers who will facilitate the student learning in the years ahead. We are very excited about our new school and wish it well in the years ahead.”