25 November 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Graham Norton returned to his old school today to launch a new book “Bandon Grammar School – A History”, written by the school’s Principal Ian Coombes. Upwards of 1200 past and present pupils, parents and staff are expected to give Norton a tremendous reception, his first time back at the school since he opened a new classroom block in 2012. As a pupil, it will come as no surprise that he excelled in Public Speaking, Acting and Debating, and there are records of him partaking in interschool competitions with motions such as “The Scientist has contributed more to Mankind than the Artist” and “Automation is the enemy of Mankind”. What would Graham’s views on these issues be now?
“Bandon Grammar School – A History” took Ian Coombes three years to write but many more years of research and traces the history of the school which goes back to 1642. Published in hardback stretching to over 440 pages and packed with photos, it is beautifully finished and a must for historians and anyone with an association with the school. Selling for €30, all proceeds go towards the school’s Development Fund, as plans are afoot to further enhance the superb facilities at the school in preparation for the next generation of Bandon Grammar School students.
In addition to launching the book, Norton also brought attention to a worthwhile project, with a Secret Postcard Auction in aid of The Burren Chernobyl Project. Past pupils and members of the public were invited to contribute a piece of Art for auction, and they include pieces from rugby player Darren Sweetnam, actress Jennifer Barry of Young Offenders fame, soccer player Conor Hourihane, in addition to many well-known artists.