The end of an era brings a new day for St Patrick’s Academy
By ELEANOR McGILLIE
THE countdown is now well and truly on for a gala night which will mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for one of County Tyrone’s biggest schools.
St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon has been preparing for An Evening of Celebration for months, and, this Saturday, hundreds of people will gather for An Evening of Celebration – an event which will also see the launch of the Academy Alumni Association.
The event will feature a series of artists who are past pupils of the school, will welcome Gold and Corporate Sponsors as well as the school’s special guest speaker – Sean O’Neill, the Chief Reporter for The Times newspaper.
Sean was born and brought up in Dungannon and left the Academy in 1983 after taking A-levels in English, History and Economics. He took his degree at the London School of Economics and then returned home to work for the Tyrone Democrat for about two years. He then worked in London for City Limits magazine before a stint as a freelance journalist and landing his first national newspaper job with the Daily Telegraph in 1992. In 2004, Sean moved to The Times where he has worked as a senior reporter, then Crime Editor and is now paper’s Chief Reporter.
Speaking ahead of this Saturday’s event, principal Fintan Donnelly congratulated the organising team and has described An Evening of Celebration as “the start of a new beginning” for the school.
He said: “So much work has gone on behind the scenes to organise this event which will be a fantastic celebration of our school, its past achievements, its future, and, as well as that, it will be a momentous occasion for our past pupils to network with each other. So thank you to everyone who has participated.
“I would also like to publicly thank our Gold Sponsors – Bachus Group, Cara Pharmacy, CavanaghKelly, Danske, Keystone Group, Mallaghans, McAleer & Rushe, McAvoy Group, Newell Stores, Niavac and Sanville Group. The support from these local businesses is fantastic and the school is grateful.
“An Evening of Celebration will mark the launch of the Academy Alumni Association (AAA) on Saturday night (February 3). This event is well and truly the start of a new beginning. Our new £27million school looks fantastic and we look forward to announcing who will be leading the Alumni Association.”
Acts such as Broadway actor Fra Fee, composer and musician Ryan Molloy, winner of The Voice UK Andrea Begley, soprano Gemma Prince, baritone Karl McGuckin, singer/songwriter Mairéad Duffy, brothers Ronan and Ruairi Stewart of Cúig and Harry Lambert will perform on stage. The band for the evening will be HouseM8s.
Mr Donnelly added: “The talent which has come out of this school is so impressive and we are delighted that so many past pupils will showcase those talents on the stage on Saturday night at the Armagh City Hotel.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone to An Evening of Celebration.”
Notes To Editor:
- St Patrick’s Academy was established in 1891 and is a voluntary grammar school based in Dungannon, Co Tyrone. The new £27million school will be opened in February 2018 after An Evening of Celebration and the launch of the Academy Alumni Association (AAA).
- For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts