Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2017’s time at St. Conleth’s and the marking of a bittersweet historical moment for the school: 2017 was the first class to not benefit at their graduation from the personal warmth and wit of KD Kelleher. Unsurprisingly, however, Mr. Kelleher’s physical absence only highlighted his spiritual presence in terms of the legacy which he has left behind and which was so evident on the night: of a school which is ‘a home away from home’.
Some of the boys have been at the school since First Class (Christian, Matt and Elliot) while the girls joined us just two years ago, but all involved seemed full of bittersweet emotions at leaving a place which for them had very much become a second home. Mr. Hickey’s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a warm and welcoming place and the speeches and awards which followed both recalled the good times of the past and the promising deeds of the future. Of course, this being St. Conleth’s where we are never at a loss for words, the musical challenge (detailed below) was more than met on the rhetorical front by Captain Oisín Herbots, Vice Captains Mati Remi and Isobel Nugent, Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU President Donal Milmo-Penny. Their speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Mati’s carefully composed and hilarious (even slanderous!) slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings. Of course, awards were on the agenda and the The Mr. Porzadny Show is getting so popular we fear we may soon lose him to the Oscars, such is his talent of combining genuine warmth, good humour and technical wizardry. You can see our winners and their prizes on the slider below. And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with succinct words of celebration (and surely making Mr. K proud!).
It is certainly no coincidence that a new music room cum performance hall is the central feature of this summer’s building plans. Music is now at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s, including last Friday’s beautiful graduation ceremony. In both the religious ceremony and the awards and speeches event that followed, with maestro Ms. DeBhal pulling the strings, music was the perfect accompaniment for the prayers, thoughts and memories, from the delicate opening piano piece of Muireann Dempsey through the poignancy of Kerrie-Anne’s ‘May it Be’, accompanied on piano by her father, and Holly Stanley and Siobhán Moriarty’s ‘Let it Be’ and Ishan Prasai & Cian O’Connor’s ‘We Are Young’ to the familiar (and now to be sorely missed) traditional duo of Cian O’Connor and Sean Keane, with Ms. DeBhal truly ‘pulling the strings’ on her harp, and pitch perfect solo piano pieces by Siobhán, Ciara McCracken and Sean Moran, Annalisa Sorenson & Lois Kelleher’s duet (with timely TY help), Eoin Collins’s brave ‘Proud of the Boy’ (We are sure they are!), group performances by Matt Finn, Kerrie Anne McGrath and Cian O’Connor and the whole Sixth Year Music class, culminating in the rousing whole-class rendition of ‘Mr. Blue Sky’. And then it was outside for our first ever graduation class photo in front of our gazebo and on to the RDS for a classy dinner for students and staff and surely some classy activities afterwards downtown. For specifics of those nocturnal celebrations you must, carefully, check social media, but for pics of the ceremony and details of the award-winners look above and below. And here is the Graduation Booklet, a testament to the hard work put in by Messrs. Carvill, Porzadny, Hickey and Ms. DeBhal and Ms. Hopkins.