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Laois man appointed principal of high-profile Limerick secondary school

Diarmuid Mullins

Portlaoise native Diarmuid Mullins has been appointed as principal of the highly-regarded Crescent College in Limerick.

Mullins has taught English and History in the co-ed school of 950 students since 2002 and has been deputy principal since 2017.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to become the new principal of Crescent College Comprehensive. It’s a very prestigious position and I’m really looking forward to getting started in September,” he told the Limerick Leader last week. 

Currently the Limerick minor hurling manager, Mullins has been actively involved in the school’s vibrant sports scene having coached soccer and rugby teams.

He replaces Karin Fleming who has retired after more than a decade in the position and takes over at an unusual time for the school as he hopes the students can return to the school in September having not been in attendance since mid March due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

He will also be at the helm during a major refurbishment of the school’s facility which are based on the Dooradoyle side of the city close to the Garryowen Rugby Club grounds.

”We are really excited with our building project which is starting in the next couple of months,” he added.

“We have almost completed the planning stage. The whole school is going to be refurbished which is a major boost for us.

“There’s not been any major work since 1972 on it. In addition, we’ll have the science block which will really help the students. That’s exciting to see if we can get that completed and in terms of building, I’d hope we can move to a second phase.”

Mullins is a past pupil of Ballyfin College, Mary Immaculate in Limerick and NUI Maynooth.

A former two-time All Ireland minor football winner with Laois in 1996 and 1997, he won senior club hurling medals with Portlaoise in 1998 and 2004 and was part of the club’s football which reached the 2005 All Ireland club final.

Diarmuid’s uncle Brian Mullins was one of the greatest Gaelic football midfielders of all time while his father Sean was a highly-respected engineer with Laois County Council and though now retired he is a very active with local environmental groups.

He later transferred to the Mungret club in Limerick for whom he has played with and managed and is a respected coach across the codes in Limerick.

He has previously been involved with the backroom team with the Limerick senior footballers and is the current minor hurling manager. He guided Limerick to Munster minor hurling glory in 2019.

Crescent is one of just a handful of schools under the patronage of the Jesuits. Belvedere and Gonzaga College in Dublin, Clongowes Wood in Kildare and Colaiste Iognaid in Galway are the others with Crescent and Colaiste Iognaid, known as ‘The Jes’, the only two among them that aren’t fee-paying.

Among Crescent’s many high-profile past pupils are former politicians Donagh and Des O’Malley, actor Richard Harris, comedian Dermot Whelan, Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, BBC presenter Terry Wogan and former Irish rugby internationals Peter Clohessy, Eoin Reddan and the Wallace brothers, Paul, Richard and David.

Of a more recent vintage is Greg O’Shea, who won the reality TV show Love Island last year.

SEE ALSO – Doubts over the future of Portlaoise Leisure Centre as staff meeting called

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.