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Principal pays tribute to Fr Paddy and school's 'small army' of helpers

St Eithne's Primary School principal, Terence McDowell, pays tribute to the local parish priest who had been a “constant support” to the school

Principal pays tribute to Fr Paddy and school's 'small army' of helpers

Group pictured at the official opening of St Eithne's PS, from left, parish priest Fr Paddy O'Kane, Education Minister Martin McGuinness, Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty and Gerry Cosgrove, principal.

St Eithne's Primary School principal, Terence McDowell, paid tribute to the local parish priest saying Fr Paddy O'Kane had been a “constant support” to the school.

"Fr O'Kane has been involved with St Eithne's since the idea of a second school for the parish was first suggested.

"He was there through the years of planning and, no doubt,  fought for finances from the Western Education and Library Board and Department of Education.

"Fr O'Kane was has been here for St Eithne's as a constant  support to the entire school community as well as being a wonderful ambassador for the school.

PICTURED: Fr Paddy O'Kane, right, checking on the progress of the building of the new school.

"I know that St Eithne's is very much in the heart of Fr Paddy as Fr Paddy is very much at the heart of the school.

“I would like to thank him for  all that he has done for the school and for his continued support in the future."

From its small beginnings with a staggered intake of children in 1998 the school has now grown to over 350 pupils, 14 teachers and 10 classroom assistants.

"Everyone has a part to play. We have parents and parents of former pupils who volunteer with us too and grandparents that are making all the costumes for the school show and have made a beautiful quilt for the 20th anniversary.

PICTURED: The original staff of St Eithne's Primary School with principal, Gerry Cosgrove, seated centre.

"This small army of helpers continue to provide a vital support to staff and our children, directly through support in class and indirectly by providing many resources for our school.

"They are always on hand to help and I know that whenever I need something for the school or for the children I can lift the phone and be assured that help is always at hand, and that is so very much appreciated."

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