Coláiste na Rinne was presented with the Q-Mark at a ceremony in the County Waterford Irish language school last Sunday.

Founded in 1905, the college continues to provide education through the medium of Irish to this day. Over 1,300 students attend summer courses, staying in the college and houses in the locality. They enjoy a full programme of classes, games and other pastimes, all organised through the medium of Irish. “Beatha teanga í a labhairt” – The life of a language is to speak it.

The sister Scoil na Leanaí was founded in Ring in 1919 as a full-time Irish language boarding school. There students learn to develop to use their mental, moral and physical powers.

It provides a high standard of education, including a wide range of extra-curricular activities, a secure and caring environment and an opportunity to learn Irish in a natural setting.

Coláiste na Rinne, whose former students include former Taoiseach, Dr Garrett Fitzgerald, is the first school in Ireland to be awarded the Q-Mark since the Excellence Ireland Quality Association introduced the scheme in 1982. It is also the first Irish organisation to receive the honour through the medium of the Irish language.

The Q-Mark assessor stated: “This is Coláiste na Rinne’s first Q-Mark assessment and since the team undertook their journey towards excellence, they have worked diligently to develop systems and processes… Coláiste na Rinne [] has a thorough knowledge of legislation pertinent to the operation of the boarding school… At the heart of the college is a love for the Irish Language and Irish Culture and the college has taken great steps in making a national contribution to both”.

The assessor added that the staff’s “overriding priority is the welfare of the children in their care and several approaches by the college are recognised as best practice”.