Launch of Kennedy College

December 4, 2015

Patrick Grennan, Kennedy Homestead, Jim Moore WWETB, Suzanne Barrett, Principal, Pat Kennedy, Denis Kennedy BOM

Launch of Kennedy College 25th November 2015

Kennedy College was founded in 1905 as Technical School to provide its students with training in woodwork for local community workforce trades and progressed to include needlework to serve the local community workforce. This grew to provide a wider variety of training in trades until 1932 with the introduction of the Vocational Education Act. The subsequent introduction of the Co Wexford Vocational Education committees gave them the responsibility to run the now named Vocational School New Ross. The school has grown away from the roots of preparing students for a trade to providing a broad general education to both second level and adult learners.

In 2013 Wexford Vocational Education Committee was amalgamated with Waterford City and County Waterford Vocational Education Committees to form Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board. As a result it was decided to survey the stakeholders of the school to get the views as to whether to retain the school name or to choose a new name to reflect the changing provision from the vocational emphasis, to the broad education that we now provide. The survey voted overwhelmingly to change our name and Kennedy College was voted as being the most suitable new name for the college.

The college community is proud of the link of the Kennedy name to New Ross especially as President John F Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy all campaigned for equality in and through education. New Ross is proud also of the Kennedy family who left New Ross as an emigrant family and through hard work, education and motivation succeeded as the most successful Irish American family in United States of America.

Patrick Grennan the curator of the Kennedy Homestead in Dunganstown is a past student of the college and a direct descendant of the Kennedy family. Kennedy College are proud that Patrick, along with Patrick Kennedy, cousin of President Kennedy, launched their new name by unveiling a painting of the school crest which was created by Art teacher Jamie Ellen Doyle and senior Art students. Congressman Joe Kennedy, grandson of Senator Ted Kennedy sent a video message to the college where he stated that he is humbled that the Kennedy name is being associated with the school and looks forward to links between the Kennedy family and Kennedy College in New Ross in the future. As President Kennedy stated “the Goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth”.

Patrick’s brother Jim is also a past student of the school. He worked on the building of the Dunbrody Famine ship and crewed on it on its maiden voyage.

In attendance at the launch were members of Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board, representatives of Kennedy College board of management, representatives of Kennedy college Parents Association, current and past staff, principals of local primary and secondary schools, parents, students, and local business representatives. Speakers were Cllr Jim Moore, chairman Waterford and Wexford Education and Training board, Denis Kennedy Chairman of Kennedy College Board of Management, Michael Sheehan Cathaoirleach New Ross Municipal District, Patrick Grennan, Curator of Kennedy Homestead, Julie Anne Murphy, Parents Association, Kevin Doyle, Vanessa Connick 6th year students and Cindy Bolger PLC student. The whole student and teaching body were in attendance along with members of Chamber of Commerce, Sean Connick of Dunbrody, local councillors Anthony Connick, Oisin OConnell, John Fleming, Barbara Anne Murphy as well as principals of local schools, sponsors ,past staff and parents.

Past principal John Duggan was unable to attend the launch but has presented Kennedy College with a photograph taken in 1963 at the arrival in New Ross of President John F Kennedy before giving his speech to the towns people of New Ross. John Duggan is in the photo with President Kennedy along with some of the Vocational School students who sang in the schools’ choir.

New Ross and Kennedy College are very proud of its Kennedy connection and the values that the Kennedy name represents. The Kennedy family are testimony to how one can all achieve one’s dreams through education and hard work. The Kennedy family in USA have campaigned for equality in education and Kennedy College aims to achieve equality through education. The Kennedy family achieved their greatness through family working together on the election campaign, Kennedy College also values teamwork as key to achieving each students potential.

Please click here for a message from Congressman Joe Kennedy III

The name Kennedy College brings the education provided at the college into the 21st century –where education is inclusive, it is life changing and is all about the development of every student’s potential. As President Kennedy reached out to all communities in the USA Kennedy College also reaches out to all New Ross communities to provide the best education to help every person to achieve.

To use the words of President Kennedy during his visit to New Ross in 1963.

“Our future is as promising as our past is proud”

Kennedy College reflects on the successes of its past and will continue to build on that for its future

It will continue to provide an excellent education and all of the students and staff are proud to be members of the Kennedy College community and will be proud of their Kennedy College roots in their future.

Dominic Hearne Suzanne Barrett Patrick Grennan

Dominic Hearne, Deputy Principal, Suzanne Barrett, Principal, Patrick Grennan, Kennedy Homestead

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