CARETAKER Tom Hannon; Ailish Nolan, teacher; Emma O’Malley, Principal; Anne Gilleran, Deputy Principal; and Secretary Anna Burke of Colaiste Mhuire, Ballygar, which is celebrating 75 years. Photo: Ray Ryan

Peeling back the years

School plans to mark its 75th anniversary

THERE are countless tales throughout history of successful projects and ventures of humble beginnings, but few, one suspects, like that of Coláiste Mhuire, Ballygar, or St Mary’s College, as it is also known.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the school has a unique position in the Irish educational system, given, of the country’s 700 plus secondary schools, it is one of just over a dozen that is wholly community-owned. It operates independently outside the remit of the likes of CEIST, Galway-Roscommon Educational Training Board (GRETB), Diocesan schools, among others, although, of course, it is under the umbrella of the Department of Education.

The school has a fascinating history, in that its establishment was spearheaded by an unlikely hero — a potato inspector named Tadhg O’Connor.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops or online here