St. Gabriel's School History

St. Gabriel’s School History


As of April 20th, 2020, we are putting the call out re THE STORY OF ST. GABRIEL’S SCHOOL to any and all current and former families, current and former students, current and former staff members to submit pieces to us for our history project! We want stories, we want photos, we want scéals aplenty! Please send anything you think of or remember to Siobhán at principal@stgabrielsschool.ie

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We have a budding history project emerging at school in Spring 2020! We wish to explore the history of our school in greater detail using photographic sources, student & parent testimonials and primary sources such as staff who worked in the school when it was located at St. Joseph’s. This is a developing project.

1961 – In 1961 Arthur Crabtree, the visionary founder of St.Gabriel’s School & Centre and a group of Limerick business people recognised what few if any facilities were available to help and support families of children with disabilities at that particular time in Limerick. Having come together out of concern to try to bring about change, they set up the Limerick Children’s Handicapped Association, a non-residential treatment centre in St. Joseph’s Street, Limerick. This was the early days of what was later to become known as St. Gabriel’s School & Centre.

After Arthur’s death, Wyn Crabtree, Arthur’s daughter carried on the outstanding work her father had started. Over time and with the support of her voluntary committee, chaired by Dr.Billy Cahill, their determination and commitment to have a special needs school and centre for children with multiple disabilities established in Limerick paid off and a new green-field site in Dooradoyle was purchased.

1997 – In April 1997, a purpose-built special needs school and outpatient centre was opened by the then Minister, Michael Noonan, T.D.

2009 – This marked a new era in the treatment of children with disabilities. Sadly Wyn passed away in March 2009 at the age of 93 however her memory and spirit live on in St.Gabriel’s School today.

Timeline

1961 – early days of St. Gabriel’s School started by Arthur Crabtree and associates

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1983 – Mary Byrnes started working at St. Joseph’s Street.-

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1997 – Opening of purpose built school and outpatient centre.

2009 – Death of Wyn Crabtree who had continued her father’s work.

As you can see, the above is pretty slim. So we are relying on members of staff, members of our Alumni and members of the public to fill in the gaps for us. Ring, write in, text, tweet or email us at principal@stgabrielsschool.ie to join the dots.

It’s a history worth recording and worth celebrating.