Thousands of students have received the benefit of the unique educational experience that Belfast and the North’s only Irish medium secondary school has to offer, and to celebrate 20 years since the founding of the school the staff, pupils and past pupils of Coláiste Feirste will celebrate at a gala dinner in the Europa Hotel on September 24.
The nine students and two staff who started in the fledgling Meánscoil Feirste in September 1991 would not recognise the state-of-the-art new school building and modern facilities that the Coláiste now has.
The cramped rooms of the Cultúrlann have now been replaced with a 21st-century school building at Beechmount, overlooking the Falls Road. Over 550 young Gaels are currently enrolled in the school and Coláiste Feirste is now the biggest Irish medium school on the island.
Pádraig Mac Cathail, who attended Coláiste Feirste and who now teaches at the school, is a member of the celebration organising committee.
“A group of us decided to organise this event to celebrate 20 years of Coláiste Feirste,” he told the Andersonstown News.
“Some of us have the advantage of working within the sector and still have a daily connection to Coláiste Feirste, but like all schools there are past pupils and staff who have moved on to live abroad or who we have not had contact with since they left the school and this event will be an opportunity to meet up, reconnect with old friends and have a bit of craic as well.
“The ballroom in the Europa is fairly big but the difficulty will be making sure that everyone who would like to be there gets a ticket.”
News of the reunion has begun to spread with a Facebook page already devoted to spreading the word. Past pupils from near and far have contacted the school to buy tickets and over 250 tickets have been snapped up so far.
While there will be plenty of past pupils selling tickets in the community you can also obtain tickets from the general office in Coláiste Feirste on 028 90320707.