Official Opening of
New Development 2021

Opening 2021

The official opening of the extension and restoration of Knockbeg College (2017-2020 )was held on the 10th of September 2021. Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Leighlin and Kildare, blessed the buildings, with Charlie Flanagan, president of the past pupils’ union, cutting the ribbon. Due to Covid restrictions, there were two hundred invited guests in attendance. 


Fr John Dunphy, Chairperson of the BOM, Bishop Denis Nulty, TD Charlie Flanagan, and Principal Michael Carew all spoke in a ceremony that was presented by teacher Mr Jarleth Bolger.

Mr Flanagan, who is also the current President of the Past Pupils’ Union, is very proud of his Knockbeg routes.

He said: “I am really honoured and delighted for a number of reasons to be here today on this historic occasion.

“I am honoured as a past pupil, honoured by being President of the Past Pupil’s Union, honoured for being a TD for Laois and Offaly.

“While I am also honoured because of my close personal connection to Knockbeg. My mother’s home was an adjoining farm at the top of the road. 

“I am in admiration at the splendour of the work that has been done and I want to add my congratulations to the various teams who played their part in this wonderful project.” 

The former Minister for Justice also had some very special words for the current students in the school.

He said: “My final words go to the students of Knockbeg – especially those who have just arrived.

“May you enjoy your time here and know that many of the friends you make here, are likely to be your friends for life.

“As a student of Knockbeg, your future options are without limits in terms of opportunity and success.”



Current Principal Michael Carew explained how the regeneration project has revitalised the school.

He said: “The restoration and renovation of Knockbeg College took a long time to come to fruition – not for the want of effort from all of our school community.

“But now that we are here, I can say that the finished project is a joy to behold.

“The view as you drive down the avenue is breath-taking. The front building and original Knockbeg House has been restored to its former glory.

“The 1960s block, formerly known as ‘Siberia’, is apparently too warm now. But it does look like it belongs exactly where it is.

“All the extensions have been married carefully together to offer us a campus of the highest quality which is the envy of many schools far and wide.

“Before I move away, I want to thank three people who I can assure you that without, we would not be standing here where we are today.

“Charlie Flanagan moved mountains at different occasions to get this project started and we are very appreciative.

“Fr John Dunphy, as head of the Board of Management, has enabled us to do so many things and I want to thank him sincerely.

“And we simply could not have a better supporter than Bishop Denis Nulty. Without him, we certainly would not be where we are.”

Following the speeches, there was a ceremonial ringing of bells by former principals John Curtis and Cyril Hughes plus Chris Conway – who is a former student and current teacher.

Bishop Denis Nulty then blessed the buildings before the extraordinarily talented Ms Donna Roche performed the closing hymn.

Charlie Flanagan, President of Past Pupils Union and two of our students – Mark Mc Dermott (Leaving 1) and John Julian (1st Year), who are both fourth generation attendees at Knockbeg, unveiled the plaque marking the day our new school was officially opened.

School Principal Michael Carew On KCLR Live

A great day, as Knockbeg College Carlow celebrates the opening of their upgraded school building.

Principal Michael Carew shares his excitement with Eimear.

Listen back here:

Annemarie Dawson-Hogan, Eleanor Fenelon, Bríd Saruwatari and Aoibhinn Foley were at the official opening

Fr John Dunphy (chairperson, board of management), John Curtis (lay principal), Charlie Flanagan TD, Bishop Denis Nulty, former rector Mgr Brendan Byrne, Cyril Hughes (lay principal) and school principal Michael Carew

John Julian, Chris Conway and Martin Byrne.

Bishop Denis Nulty performs the blessing at the official opening

Donna Roche sings the closing hymn

The view up the driveway

Prefect Kyle Nolan addresses the guests