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Kildare’s Second Champion School of Sanctuary

Coláiste Chiaráin, a KWETB school in Leixlip, became County Kildare’s second Champion School of Sanctuary on Thursday Nov 23rd, following the visit of a SoSI monitoring team.

The Sanctuary lead in the school, Ms. Mairéad McDonnell had, with the support of colleagues, arranged for us to meet principal Mark Neville, DP Louise Doran and parent representatives as well as other staff members. It is always welcomed by SoSI to meet parent representatives like this, to nurture the community support for the Sanctuary message.


The ‘main event’ of the visit was the meeting with the school’s Diversity Committee to hear about the work that has been ongoing and future plans. 🙌👍😊

The committee are particularly proud of the success of their Intercultural Day this year, which boasted 35 different ‘stalls’, a tripling of the number in the 2022 event. The students are also working hard to draft an anti-racism policy for the school and they spoke with great maturity and seriousness about the importance of that.

The schools boasts a huge variety of charitable (Action Zambia) and inclusion initiatives, as evidenced in their Sanctuary portfolio and as presented to the monitoring team with great pride by the Diversity Committee members. It was also heartening to hear how students had watched the film The Swimmers earlier in the year in school and had used that as a springboard to do projects and reflections on it, and then going on to engage with the case of Sean Binder and Sarah Mardini.

SoSI’s monitoring team was a big one and we took over the school library for half of the day. Apologies for the disruption! We were delighted to have representatives from Maynooth University, Naas CBS (Champion SoS), Kildare Centre of Mission (St Brigid’s Cathedral) and Sanctuary Ambassadors as well as a teacher from Le Chéile Secondary School Tyrellstown.

“Thank you for the privilege of involvement in this initiative. I feel truly blessed to have witnessed such commitment to making a positive difference in society and hope to continue to support in whatever manner I can”

Monitoring Team Member: Kelley Bermingham,  Pioneer Evangelist, Kildare Centre of Mission based at Saint Brigid’s Cathedral