History Of St. Aidan’s
The History of Our School
St. Aidan’s N.S. was established in 1982 to cater for the expanding population in the Tullyvarraga area of Shannon. The areas designated to the new school were Finian Park, Aidan Park and Rossbracken, as taking pupils from these areas would alleviate the problem of overcrowding in St. Conaire’s N.S.
The school started on the 1st September 1982 with two classes – Junior and Seniors Infants – in Tullyvarraga Hall where it was sited until 1987 when, following a long campaign, the new school building was completed in Smithstown on a 3.5 acre site.
The school is an eight classroom building complete with G.P. room, office, remedial room and staff room. It is one of the most modern and comfortable national Schools in this area having an ideal location and structure.
St. Aidan’s is a co-educational Catholic school catering for children from Junior Infants to Sixth Class, at present we have 280+ pupils, 13 full time teachers, one part time teacher and two Special Needs Assistants. Due to the rapid growth in housing in the Ballycasey area of Shannon, the school is full to capacity as the demand for places increases every year.
Our crest is divided into four quadrants: the book, the horse shoe, the stag and the ruined castle. Each quadrant represents something that is significant to our school and our local area.
The Book represents knowledge and learning which is central to St. Aidan’s.
The Horseshoe represents Smithstown, the townland on which our school is built. Smithstown was once home to a blacksmith who made many horseshoes during his time. We have a horseshoe above the door of our hall as a reminder of our areas heritage.
The Castle ruin is Smithstown castle which still stands today. It harks back to a rich Norman tradition of castle building. Another example can be seen in our neighbouring parish of Bunratty.
Finally, the Stag represents our patron saint, Aidan. He was a kind and caring man. He cared about people, particularly the poor and animals. A legend is told of how St.Aidan, while out walking one day saw a stag that was being pursued by hunters. Wishing to spare the animals life, it is said that St.Aidan sheltered the animal until the hunters had passed. When it was safe to do so, St. Aidan released the stag and he rejoined his herd and sprinted back to the safety of the forest.
History of Shannon by Kennie Simons)
When you ‘pour oil on troubled water’ you’ve St. Aidan to thank for the expression. Once he gave a flask of consecrated oil to a priest who was to escort a young girl. They would sail to Northumbria where she would marry King Oswin. During the voyage a violent storm swept the waves high as houses and threatened to wreck the boat. However, the priest emptied St. Aidan’s flask over the water and immediately the sea calmed.
There is very little known about St. Aidan before he went to Iona around 630. It is thought that he studied under St. Senan on Scattery Island , which lies at the mouth of the River Shannon near Kilrush in Co. Clare ,and was placed as the Bishop of Clogher. He later resigned and became a monk in Iona , an island off the coast of Scotland, instead.
St. Aidan founded churches and monasteries. He lived in poverty but this helped him understand poor people more. Whenever he received gifts St. Aidan gave them away to the poor.
St. Aidan asked all those who travelled with him to read the bible and learn the psalms by heart, and he always travelled on foot.
St. Aidan was initially buried in the graveyard at Lindisfarne, which is now known as Holy Island, an island off the coast of north east England. However, his bones were later moved and buried in the church. The bishop of Lindisfarne brought some of his bones back to Ireland .
St. Aidan’s feast day is 31st August.
(Picture St. Aidan’s Statue, Holy Island Priory Northumberland England)
Origin/meaning: The main theme of the arms is Shannon’s world famous airport.
The tips of the piles or elongated triangles are ‘florried’ with portion of the fleur-de-lis or ‘flower of light’ to give the effect of aircraft on the wing. The masoned effect in the base of the shield is to convey the idea of houses and walls to represent the town of Shannon and not just the Airport. The basic tinctures of blue and gold are the colours of Clare County.
The motto – Ad Altiora – (Towards Higher Things) represents the aims of both the airport and the town.