I am welcoming you to St Columba’s College in unprecedented times. We return to an altered reality, where rules and social interaction are different. As Coronavirus infiltrates our lives, this is a time for us to stay close together as a school, as colleagues and as friends. As a group, we need to be united and be attentive to each other, and especially to the vulnerable amongst us and to our extended families and the wider community.

The coronavirus will continue to impact on our lives, but we should keep in mind that the problems and issues we grappled with before lockdown have not gone away, in fact, most have been exacerbated. Every day more people slip into poverty, our planet continues to get sicker and our society is becoming more divided.

Here at St Columba’s, I believe we can make a difference, and we should all welcome the recent external review of racism as the first step towards positive change. I hope you will all join me in making a commitment to embrace the changes proposed in this review, but also to go further and to stand up against all forms of discrimination and prejudice. Let us do this with open hearts and a willingness to see what we can do individually, and as a community, to make Columba’s a place we are proud to call our school, and a microcosm of the world we want to live in.

This year, more than any other, it’s imperative at St Columba’s that we are kind to each other, that we are inclusive, that we value and enjoy each other’s company and make the most of the year ahead.

St Columba’s in 2020 can be a school at the forefront of change in Ireland, and I am very proud to be invited to lead you on this exciting journey.

Éile Ní Chíanáin, Senior Prefect 2020 / 2021