Coláiste Pobail Osraí opened its doors to its first 13 students, on the 3rd of September 1991. That historic day in Education in Kilkenny was reached, following long negotiations between Co. Kilkenny VEC, the Department of Education and the then Minister for Education, Mary Ó Rourke.
Most of this work was done by a group of courageous, determined parents. It has to be noted that they were the parents of the very first group of students who had completed their primary education through the medium of Irish.
In September 1989 a committee was set up, comprising members of the Gaelscoil Osraí Board of Management.
The committee’s brief was to campaign to bring second level all Irish education to Kilkenny, so that those students who were soon to finish at Gaelscoil Osraí would have the opportunity to continue with their post primary education through Irish.
The chief Executive Officer at that time Mr. Brendan Conway, himself a staunch promoter of the Irish Language, made the introductory contacts and proposals on behalf of the Coiste and the VEC to the Department of Education in May 1990. Mrs Mary Ó Rourke the Minister for Education finally gave the go ahead. The Coiste and the VEC envisaged that an education through Irish should be available to all students who wished to avail of it.
The first Múinteoir i bhFeighil was Cáit Uí Chionnaith who set out the high standards and ethos of the school, along with an enthusiastic staff and motivated students and parents.
The school motto, assembled by Múinteoir i bhfeighil Cait Ní Chionnaith, “Doras Feasa Fiafraí” (Enquiring is the door to knowledge) endures to this day, it is the motto which has been at the heart of all Coláiste Pobail Osraí activities.
Since opening in September 1991, parental commitment, dedicated teaching staff and enthusiastic students have been what carried the school along the road to success. The school owes a debt of gratitude to Caoimhín Ó Conghaile and Póilín Uí Leannáin, two Múinteoirí i bhFeighil two took the school from strength to strength in the 15 years after its foundation.
Further progress was made in 2003 with the support of Rodger Curran and the VEC, and the achievement of independent status in 2007 has set the foundation for the next module in the short history of Coláiste Pobail Osraí. Under the care of Principal Cathnia Ó Muircheartaigh, the provision of a modern and well-equipped building for the students and staff at the current Ormonde Road complex was the next priority. Currently the full range of facilities from expert teaching staff to science laboratories, art, home economics and materials technology room are available to all students, a long way from the 3 initial classrooms on St. Joseph’s on the Waterford Road.
This year, Coláiste Pobail Osraí celebrates its thirtieth year of service. On reaching this significant milestone we celebrate the success, growth and prosperity of our Gaelcholáiste, and look with excitement to the future as we prepare to move to a state of the art campus on the Western Environs in the near future. A huge thanks to all who have been with us along the way.