Friends School Principal Elizabeth
Dickson, Mayor Trevor Lunn, Martin McAleese,
President Mary McAleese, Head Boy Michael
Pollock, Head Girl Holly Lyons, Mayoress
Laureen Lunn and Chairman of the Governors
Aidan Pearson. US2507-111A0
DURING her visit to Lisburn President McAleese told pupils at
Friends she remembered visiting the school as a young person to
take part in debating competitions. Even then, she said, she was
impressed by the name 'Friends' and all that it stood for.
Quakers, she added, had worked for peace in Northern Ireland and
Friends represented the friendship and harmony needed right
across the community.
Mrs. McAleese told pupils they had the skills and qualities to
build on the peace that had been formed. She added she was
looking forward to the 'new and better society' the next
generation would create.
President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin with pupils of
Friends School. US2507-114A0
The President went onto meet pupils in the library where members
of the School Council spoke about their work. She was
particularly interested in their role in policy making. She also
met Model United Nations delegates and asked about the work of
the nations they represented on global warming.
Teacher Marian Mateer introduced Mrs. McAleese to Alison Clarke
who designed the Friends School flag taken recently to the
summit of Mount Everest by former pupil Dr. Roger McMorrow.
The President was interested to hear of Marian's experiences
when she visited Everest Base Camp at Easter.
Also present were pupils who, along with their Collect Teacher
Donal O'Hagan, organised the sponsorship of Ugandan children
through the Fields of Life Project. Year 11 pupil Reuben
Steenson told Mrs. McAleese about his winning entry in the Sky
Young Journalist of the Year Competition.
Music was provided by the Senior Instrumental Ensemble and one
of the choirs. She praised their musicianship and said it was a
product of not just individual skill but of everyone working
together in harmony.
Mrs. McAleese and her husband Martin were accompanied on their
visit by the Mayor and Mayoress.
The party was welcomed by Governors Chairman Aidan Pearson,
Principal Elizabeth Dickson and Head Boy and Head Girl Michael
Pollock and Holly Lyons.
A special call on the relatives
(President) Mary McAleese meets up with relatives in Lisburn.
US2507-116A0 Picture By; Aidan O'Reilly
WHEN President Mary McAleese was in Lisburn on Monday she had
one very special call to make.
Her uncle is Pat Dorrian, who was an Alliance councillor in the
mid 1970s and she went to visit him after the special lunch.
Now 90, Mr Dorrian spoke of his pride after his niece addressed
a special meeting of the council.
Mr Dorrian recalled that at the time he was on the council
attitudes were 'much more hardline' and he felt Mrs. McAleese's
ground breaking speech to a Unionist dominated council was a
sign of how the political situation had moved forward.
"I am very proud Mary was up at the Council. It was a great
tonic for us," he added.
"I am really impressed with the way the situation has
progressed. It is much more mellow now than when I was a
"In those days things were very orange and green. There really
was no in between."
Mrs. McAleese and her husband Martin took time out of their busy
schedule on Monday to call with Mr. Dorrian and his wife Cathy.
The couple said they thoroughly enjoyed the visit as their
niece's move to Dublin meant they now saw her much less
They also recalled how the President spent many of her childhood
Sunday evenings at the Dorrian family home. Mrs. Dorrian, who is
83, said it was now difficult for her and her husband to travel
However, she said they thoroughly enjoyed visits they had made
to Mrs. McAleese's official resident in Phoenix Park Aras
n'Uchturain including one very special gathering. "She held a
great big party of us all - her 60 cousins as she calls us. It
was a really wonderful occasion," Mrs. Dorrian said.
'Proud day' for St Colm's
Donna-Marie McParland is presented
with a Certificate of Exellence by President Mary
McAleese on a visit to St Colm's Also pictured is
principal Imelda Jordan Pic Mal McCann
President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin
are greeted by head boy Paul Cassidy and head girl Lisa Donaghy
at St Colm's HS Pic Mal McCann
THE Principal of St. Colm's High in Twinbrook described Mary
McAleese's visit on Monday as 'a very proud day for the school'.
Mrs. Imelda Jordan said parents, pupils and staff had been
'delighted' to have the President in their midst. Mrs. McAleese
presented certificates to pupils which recognised achievements
in terms of work, behaviour and general attitude.
"She very kindly joined the platform party on the stage and
presented each individual pupil with their certificate," Mrs.
"Photographs were taken and then she addressed the pupils and
parents. "I have to say this was a very warm and inspirational
speech. It encouraged and motivated the young people to live out
the school motto by doing their best."
Before leaving St. Colm's Mrs. McAleese had one final duty to
She presented a trophy to pupil Peter Brady who achieved success
for Ireland in the European Boxing Championships which took
place last weekend.
Mrs. Jordan also paid a warm tribute to the Mayor Councillor
Trevor Lunn. She said his presence along with that of his wife
Laureen had also made the day "very special.
"They have been great supporters of the school and it was nice
they took time to come here with President McAleese during the
last few days of his Mayorship," she concluded.
President speaks of visit to Messines with DUP councillor
PRESIDENT Mary McAleese spoke movingly at Lisburn Council on
Monday of a recent visit she made to Messines in Belgium along
with Lagan Valley DUP MLA Alderman Edwin Poots, who is the
province's Minister for Arts, Culture and Leisure.
She explained they had visited the site of the First World War
battle during which the 36th Ulster Division and 16th Irish
Division "sacrificed their lives in hundreds and thousands.
"It was very moving on that day to have the two jurisdictions
represented," she added.
Mrs. McAleese said because of the turbulent times in Ireland
which followed the First World War these memories had been
'stored in shoe boxes' but had now been restored to the respect
She also spoke of a nationalist soldier in the battle, William
Redmond of the 16th Irish Division, who was mortally wounded in
"As he lay dying he was held in the arms of soldiers from the
36th Ulster Division," she added. On a different note the
President spoke of how impressed she was by the Lagan Valley
Island Civic Centre.
She explained it was the first time she had seen the building
but had "heard a lot about it". "One of the things about being
President is you get to visit a lot of council chambers," she
added. "I have never been 'in a council chamber as beautiful as
this. You have cornered the market in beautiful. This is an
absolute credit to all those who planned it.".
She recalled how her uncle, Pat Dorrian had been a member of
Lisburn Council and referred to the Civic Centre's location on
the banks of the River Lagan.
This was also symbolic, she said, as she had a "special affinity
with the Lagan".
"My mother's family come from Slieve Croob which is the source
of the river," she explained. However, the President's links
with Lisburn's annual Half Marathon and Fun Run are even more
"My husband Martin is a former participant in the Half Marathon
and he tells me it was one of his greatest triumphs," she said.