Villiers Celebrates 200. Past pupils Jessica McNamara, Lauren Coghlan, Science and Home Economics teacher, Barry Long, Chairperson, Parent Teacher Association, Dearbhla Acheson and Jill Storey, Head of School. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22
An Anniversary Gala Ball fit for its bicentennial bash will be held by Villiers as it celebrates 200 years
Villiers School is celebrating 200 years, and to mark the bicentenary of the school’s foundation in 1821, an Anniversary Gala Ball will be held in the Strand Hotel, Limerick on Saturday, September 30th 2023.
The Black Tie Gala event was officially launched in Villiers School on Friday, March 10th.
The school is looking forward to a wonderful evening to celebrate the anniversary and is extending a warm welcome to parents of current and past students, as well as to its Alumni, to join the milestone event at the end of September this year. Earlier on the afternoon of the ball, past students are also invited to visit the school for a trip down memory lane, with some light refreshments.
Villiers School was founded in 1821 under the will of Hannah Villiers. It is located on the North Circular Road in Limerick. The school began life on Henry Street, Limerick as a Protestant-ethos educational facility for 30 students who were living with their destitute mothers in sheltered accommodation also provided for by Hannah Villiers, Villiers Homes. Villiers Homes continue to provide housing to adults in need. Now in its 200th year, the school is a thriving multi-denominational and international community of over 600 students.
A co-educational boarding and day school, Villiers prides itself on the family-like atmosphere in the school and the Villiers family is central to the school spirit. Uniquely, approximately 20% of the school’s current students are international, enriching the diverse community that makes up the school. Villiers is the only school in Ireland outside the greater Dublin area to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme as an option instead of the Leaving Certificate.
Speaking at the launch of the 200 Years Gala Ball, Villiers Head of School, Jill Storey commented, “It is amazing to be part of this celebration. Villiers is a unique school, with a long and fascinating history. The school operates as a charity and as such has a commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion. We are fortunate to have a school population coming from many walks of life.
“Our staff is exceptional in the care and opportunity it provides to meet the individual needs of each member of the Villiers family. I am honoured to be Head of School at this time, and mindful of the work of all those who both work with me and who have gone before me to ensure that the school is one which continues to evolve and thrive.”
The Gala Ball is being organised by Villiers School Parent Teacher Association and the Alumni
Association. Chairperson of the PTA, Barry Long, said they are delighted to have the opportunity to mark the special anniversary with a huge celebration. “Being a past pupil and now a parent of a student, I am delighted, along with the PTA, to support this celebration. Villiers School has been part of the fabric of Limerick for over 200 years. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and history of the school. Many people in Limerick will remember it as the one with girls with red socks. This celebration will reinforce the genuine family feeling of Villiers School – a family you are always part of and proud of”.
200 present students of Villiers School were delighted to help announce the launch of the event – representing a remarkable 200 years since the first students attended the school.
Guests at the event will be treated to a prosecco reception before the main event and will be entertained by musicians from the Villiers school community, as well as by an 80s disco, provided by the excellent James Sexton’s Hiya Entertainment.
Proceeds of the Gala Ball will go towards the addition to the school of a new state-of-the-art Multimedia Room, further adding to the school’s offering for current and new students.