Over 440 children to walk in a very special parade in Laois today

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Over 440 children to walk in a very special parade in Laois today

St Patrick's Boys national school at Mass to mark the move to their new building. Photo: Michael Scully

A huge and very special parade will take place in a Laois Offaly town this morning.

Over 500 people will take part in a long parade through Portarlington, in what is a momentous day for it's young boys.

The 440 schoolboys of St Patrick's BNS will parade from their old school to their new school as it opens for their first day today Tuesday May 7.

The parade of 500 people including teachers and staff will set off at 11am this morning on a 2.5km parade from their school on Patrick Street, to their brand new building on Canal Road.

With big crowds expected to turn out to support them, the Principal Pat Galvin has requested that people stand on the footpaths to cheer them on, rather than join them on the street, on safety advice from Portarlington's Garda Sergeant.

"Only the teachers, staff and pupils will have access to the school grounds upon arrival," Mr Galvin has said.

Families and the public will get their chance to view the new school soon.

"Our public open day will be on Saturday May 18 and we look forward to welcoming you all to visit our new school and see our wonderful grounds and facilities for yourselves," the Principal said.

"This is a momentous and exciting day for us all and we appreciate your co operation and patience as we get our new systems in place," he said.

School will new finish at the new time of 2.20 pm. Parents are asked to follow collection guidelines.

"We would once again ask that you pick up your son/s from the designated set down spaces as detailed in the attached map. There is a one-way traffic system around the school, you will drive in the gate at the Lidl end of Canal Road and exit from the gate at the Lea Road end. Please collect your son from the designated set down areas and move along as soon as you pick up to make room for another car, please refrain from parking in these areas. For those on foot, you may pick up your son from one of the entrances nearest to their designated parking spot. There are two new pedestrian crossings on the Canal Road and these must be used to cross over to the footpaths".

Below: St Patrick's BNS new school, where lessons will start today Tuesday May 7.