Our memorable year: Kathleen Gormley and Marie Lindsay

Image caption,
A proud Marie Lindsay opens the new St Mary's College in Derry

As the year draws to a close, Freya McClements from BBC News speaks to a selection of people from Northern Ireland who had a year to remember in 2010.

Marie Linsday and Kathleen Gormley are the principals of two Londonderry girls' schools, St Mary's College and St Cecilia's College.

Both schools opened in brand new buildings in 2010.

"It's a year of mixed emotions," said Marie Lindsay, "because the first part of the year saw St Mary's leave its beloved site in Fanad Drive and that was a big wrench, not only for the pupils and staff but also for the community in Creggan.

"But the second half of the year saw us move into our fabulous new building on Northland Road.

"We can hardly remember what life was like before this stunning new facility opened its doors to us.

"We feel a great sense of blessing in our lives, that we have this wonderful new facility and have had the opportunity to get everyone so well settled in.

"It's just been a dream beginning.

"I think we're now in a very exciting phase in the life of St Mary's at Northland Road.

"We're settling into a new community and we've lots of new connections to make.

'Very fortunate'

"We're beginning to welcome groups in to use the school on a regular basis in the evenings, so it's a very exciting, and of course at the same time we want to retain our links not just with St Cecilia's on Bligh's Lane but with the whole community in Creggan.

"Achieving these two fabulous new schools was a great achievement, but Kathleen and I will not stop there.

"There's more to be done and there's more the young people of Derry can achieve."

Kathleen Gormley agreed both schools had a "very fortunate" year.

"We started off the year by winding down in Northland Road on our borrowed site in the former Templemore Secondary school where we've been for five years.

"That was a feat in itself to move there, and in the summer when we moved back, well, try to imagine moving house and multiply that by 100.

"For the two schools to become operational so quickly in September was a real achievement for the staff, for the people who built the schools, and the pupils and parents who believed in us that the school would be ready.

"The first day I walked into the new school and looked out over the city and thought, did we dream this?

"It's been a year for dreams to come true for the two colleges."

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