President praises Christian Brothers for contribution to education in Cork

The establishment of CBC school in 1888 was a ‘statement in favour of democracy’

 

President Michael D Higgins today paid tribute to the Christian Brothers for their contribution to Irish education when he attended a ceremony to mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of their school in Cork city.

Among the many Corkonians to attend CBC Cork were former Tánaiste Peter Barry, Irish Examiner owner Ted Crosbie, former UCC president Gerry Wrixon, former UL president Ed Walsh and rugby players Donal Lenehan, Noel Murphy and Donncha O’Callaghan.

The school’s principal, Dr Larry Jordan, said the school was particularly grateful to President Higgins for visiting.

“His presence adds immeasurably to our celebrations and ensures this day will stand out as one of the most memorable in the annals of the college.”

Sculpture
To mark the establishment of the school by the order in 1888, President Higgins unveiled a limestone and bronze sculpture made in the shape of an arch. Sculpted by artist Mick Wilkins, it stands in the grounds of the school at Sidney Hill, Wellington Road.

“The Christian Brothers took over the management of this school from the Vincentian Order in 1888 at the invitation of the Bishop of Cork,” the President said.

“You can see the foundation of the school as a powerful statement in favour of democracy.

“It is right and proper to acknowledge those who offered education to those least likely to afford it, and from the very outset there was a commitment of education and the promotion of Christian values and the education of the person in terms of a whole character,” he added.


Past pupils
Addressing the approximately 1,000 students who attend CBC primary and secondary schools, as well as many past pupils and staff, President Higgins said he was confident that the education the current group of students received at CBC would stand them in good stead.

“Wherever they find themselves in the world, they will benefit from the education and character and skills and indeed friendships that they have received here.”

President Higgins was accompanied on the visit by his wife Sabina.

The President spoke of the strong links between the school and its past pupils, and also noted that former CBC pupils had excelled in every sector of Irish society, from politics and business to the arts and sport.

This reflected well on the education they received at the school, he said.

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