Photo:Old Deele 85 - Pupils from Raphoe Vocational School pictured on a school outing in 1985. The school is hoping that former staff and students can unearth many more old photos and pieces of memorabilia ahead of the 50th anniversary celebrations in March.

With hundreds of people set to return to their homes in Donegal over Christmas, the organisers of the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations at Raphoe Technical-Vocational School/Deele College, are hoping many will be marking a second return fairly soon!

“Christmas is a time when lots of people come back home for a few days and many take the opportunity to meet up with old friends. What we’re hoping now is that when they do meet up people will remember the upcoming celebrations in March and make a date to come home once again,” Deele College Principal Joe Boyle said.

Indeed, with a special 50th anniversary publication planned for the celebrations (due to take place on the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day - March 13th/14th), the school is appealing for anyone with old photographs or other school memorabilia to get in touch with them.

"Even though people did not have the ready access to cameras we see in these days of camera phones, I’m sure over the fifty years there must be still hundreds of old photographs around from school shows, tours and other events. The photos are a great way of generating discussion and rekindling memories and we really would love if people would let us scan and return any old photos or other memorabilia they might have.”

The celebration weekend will see a number of events at the school including a planned open day and a reunion event.

“Over the years the school has developed a fantastic family atmosphere with a great rapport between students and staff and we’re hoping that the celebrations will give people an opportunity to meet up with former school-friends and staff members and reminisce about days gone by.”

Further plans for the weekend are set to be unveiled in the New Year, but for now the school is hoping that current and former students and staff members will keep spreading the word so that as many people as possible can be part of the celebrations.

“We kicked off the 50th anniversary celebrations in colourful fashion with a fantastic parade to the Diamond in October and in recent weeks the school’s Strictly Come Dancing contest and annual Carol Service carried on the festivities.

Hopefully now we can get as many old photos, stories and other pieces of information gathered up quickly for a publication that local journalists and past-pupils Chris McNulty and Liam Porter have agreed to help us with.”

If you have any old photos or information you can send them by e.mail to [email protected] while you can keep up to date with all of the events planned for the school’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on their Facebook Page -


If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.