Yuletide Bonanza!

A TYer reports on their super-successful Christmas Fair:

The TY Christmas tree fair all started in the TY  Room, late October. Each student chose a role and a group to participate in the fair. Last week, the preparations began. Christmas trees were bought in bulk, ranging from 3ft to even 14ft, and were brought into the hall the Friday before the fair. Many TY groups made their own products, such as baked goods and Christmas decor, like logs and wreaths, which sold completely throughout the day. Other groups sold waffles, sausage rolls and Christmas cards.

Saturday, 9th of Dec.,  at 9 o’ clock marked the beginning of our annual fair. By quarter past the school hall was bustling with parents and students alike, many of whom bought Christmas trees right away. The trees were selected, netted by the students and then carried outside where they were drilled. One of the TY parents even organised all the payments and receipts.

The other stalls immediately began making some profit, the Christmas logs and wreaths likely made the most cash on the day, with the confectionary not far behind. By 12pm the Christmas trees were clearing out and many were sent out by delivery, in which two of the TY boys would carry a tree anywhere around Donnybrook and Ballsbridge, and then they set it up in the buyer’s house. Most of us made some money out of tips! Many of the students carried trees all over the local area and even a little further. By 2pm the fair was still going strong, the balloons had sold out and trees were still being delivered. Free tea and coffee were available on the day and some stalls were filled with books and small toys.  At 3pm the were still selling strong and some stands, like the Christmas logs and wreaths had sold out and made maximum profit. The pastries and sausage rolls stocks had also almost depleted… everything was a hit!

The TY students all wore Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, this all added the Christmas cheer and even the parents dressed festively. By 5pm, the fair had almost ended, and everything was pretty much sold out. Many students and parents volunteered to stay behind and clean up. I would hope we raised a great profit as 100% goes to the Uganda fund and the rest goes out to the Parent’s Association who worked very hard to help set up everything.

We’d like to thank everyone involved and all who helped out on the day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A Grand but Tasteful Opening!

St. Conleth’s celebrated its Annual Mass in the new Sports Hall and welcomed back some special guests for the Grand Opening of the Kevin D. Kelleher Extension.  The music, as usual, was amazing with Ms. Fay and DeBhal leading the School Choir and several soloists chiming in.

The con-celebrants- Frs. Paul Lavelle, Michael Collins and Noel Redmond- all have a long, warm relationship with the school and they, and Mr. Odulaing spoke movingly about the great strides made by the school and the great man, Mr. Kelleher, who made it possible.  It was a significant, watershed moment for St. Conleth’s as everyone from Junior Infants to Sixth Year was able to gather comfortably in our newly extended hall and share in the Annual School Mass, a time-honoured tradition of the school.  There were also tours and a Chef Mark-catered lunch for the grandees… and ice cream for the masses!

The Alumnus, The Drummer and The Keeper

Evidently, the fat lady has still not sung….  as Past Pupil and rennaisance man Nick Kelly has continued to push boundaries and mix media in a variety of creative pursuits: first, as the main singer/songwriter of the aforementioned, seminal 1980’s alternative rock band, then as a solo artist and fluid musical collaborator while working a commercial film director and, most recently, as the writer and director of  The Drummer and The Keeper, an innovative and daring look at the issues of autism and mental illness through the captivating story of a young man’s friendship with an ageing rock star.  Nick was kind enough to invite our older students  to a special showing of the movie and then followed it up with a Questions and Answers session back at the school in our new Performance Hall.  It was a fantastic experience for the students, as these issues touch many of our lives and Nick was so open and engaging.  And our film aficionados, such as Cinema Club president Rory Sweeney, particularly enjoyed this chance to hobnob with a professional.  Rory recently spent time working with the Gleesons (Brendan et al) on the shooting and production of a short film and seems destined for a career in the field.  Also on hand was fellow Sixth Year Alex McCarthy, cousin to The Drummer and The Keeper lead, Jacob McCarthy.

 

 

Oops! We Meant the ‘Ireland East Regional’!

Yes, we got a bit carried away about our recent basketball success… apparently we are not actually in the All-Ireland Cup Final but the Ireland East Regional Plate Final.  It is still quite an impressive achievement and we are sure this U16 team will some day fight for national honours.  And there is more bombastic bball news: the U19s defeated Naas to book their place in their own Ireland East Regional Plate Final.   A St. Conleth’s double… so it is just like the old days.  Here are the details of the big day, as dictated by Head of All Sport Gavin Maguire:

The U16s and U19s yet again have reached the East regional Basketball plate finals. The two finals will be played one after the other on Wednesday 13th December. Throw in for the U16s game will be 10am with the throw in for the U19s 11.15am.  The Entry fee for the game is 2 Euro. Buses will be leaving after 1st class. All students will be encouraged to go to the game but must have their 2 euro in by Tuesday morning to confirm their Seat.

So, enjoy another glimpse of all our basketball heroes, and book that seat!

 

 

 

What’s All the Hoopla About?

The glory days of basketball might very well be returning to St. Conleth’s, as Basketball Coaches Ingle and Gahan have guided the U16 Boys to the All-Ireland Cup Final.  We have not had a trip to the NBA for an All-Ireland Final since the heady days of 2012, and not won one since the legendary double of 2008-9, when immortals named Heron, Purcell and Nolan bestrode the paint like colossi.  Now, new names await enshrinement in the St. Conleth’s Sports Hall of Fame: Bolger, Gilleran, Connor, Acosta, Ando, Alves, O’Gorman, Doyle, Patidar and Mulligan.  The U16s have put together an all-mighty cup run, culminating (for now) in the despatching of Castleknock earlier this week.  And now a big day in Tallaght looms, with the busses about to be ordered and the face-point to be applied.

 

 

And our other teams? The U19s may be small in number but they certainly ‘play big’, as they say.   Oisín Gilligan, Conor Power, Ronan Connor, Marlon Marishta and Jack Topliss have had help from the U16s ‘playing up’ as they beat traditional rivals Colaiste Eoin (despite the Irish bonus!) and St. Benildus and lost to basketball power Marian by only 1 point.  The U19s will too be playing in the Dublin Plate Semifinal.  And the U16 girls have transferred some of their gusto from hockey, battling all the way in their first league match and losing only narrowly.  Waiting in the wings: the First and Second Year Teams who have been showing up for training in big numbers and eagerly awaiting the start of their season in the new year.  So, enjoy the pics above and below and stay tuned for news on that trip to the NBA…. and a chance to share in St. Conelth’s sporting immortality!

 

Only 5 More Sleeps! The TY Christmas Fair is This Saturday!

It’s this Saturday!  Only 5 more sleeps till the St. Conleth’s TY Christmas Fair this Saturday, Dec. 9th, from 9 to 5! Tell your friends, family, neighbours… tell everybody!

Pre-Order Now for delivery on Saturday 9th December!

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From: The Christmas Fair Committee, St Conleths Parent’s association 

To whom it may concern,

We would like to introduce you to the St Conleth’s School Annual Christmas Tree Sale. This year it is being held on Saturday 10th December. This is an ideal opportunity to source a Christmas Tree for you or your business and to assist a local school in funding a worthy charity.

Since 2010, St. Conleth’s College has worked directly with the Kitatya Secondary Schoola school in Uganda, and last year with the Ever Green National school in Minali, India. More than €35,000 has been raised at the annual Tree Sale and this money has made a direct impact on the lives of school children and their communities. Projects included solar power, staff accommodation, livestock development and educational subsidies for children.

Students from St. Conleth’s have raised their own funds to travel to the schools, to live within the school communities and to exchange learning in language and culture. The legacy of these wonderful journeys has proven profound and lasting for students.

If you, your staff or customers would like to attend the sale on the 9th of December we’d be delighted to meet you and help select a tree. We will also have snacks, free tea and coffee, a range of stalls from our Transition Year students and a raffle with some great prizes.

For this raffle, we would be very grateful if you could consider donating a small prize. Any donation would be greatly appreciated and raffle proceeds too, go directly to our fund.

We have also some publicity material and would ask you please, to display the poster in your place of business. The help of local retailers and businesses in the Donnybrook and Ballsbridge areas has been invaluable in “spreading the word” every year.

Thank you for your time. If you have any queries about any aspect of the Fair, or indeed would like to pre-order your tree, please email roger.childs@rte.ie. Prices are below.

prices

May we take this opportunity to wish a Happy Christmas to you and yours!

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The So-Young Quartet!

Everyone knows that Conlethians are the coolest of cats and that 28 Clyde Road is hipster heaven but last Friday we reached new heights of hipness as Piano Teacher So-Young invited some of her musical friends by to help out with the accompaniment:  there was Dave Mooney plucking the Double Bass, Conor  Murray keeping the beat on the drums and So-Young herself organising the whole affair.

And who was the fourth member of the quartet?  Why, a whole slew of Conlethian ivory-ticklers, students of So-Young from First Class to Fifth Year took their turn at the piano stool and under the spotlight.  It was a stylishly sonorous affair and, except for the brightness and cleanliness of our brand new Performance Hall, you might have thought you had wandered into some Jazz bar in the depths of Manhattan or Chicago, such was the quality and coolness of the music.  S0-Young was justifiably proud of her students and friends, and the parents and guests were very impressed, indeed, with this tasteful and pitch perfect christening of our new musical space.

An Early Christmas Present… Your Exam Schedule!

At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December!  And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them.  Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page.  We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Christmas and good luck!

Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:

First Year Christmas Exam Schedule 

Second Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Third Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Fifth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Sixth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

 

Abair é! Irish Debaters Win First Round!

You have read  here about our French debaters.  Our English rhetors are currently charging through Leinster (as they have charged through the history of schools debating).  And now Gang Gaeilge have joined the party!  Bainisteoir Fay had the boys and girls well-prepared and Emer Healy-O’Reilly, Conor Power and Oisín Dowling definitely did not let the tribe down and came first of four schools in this opening round match of the DÍOSPÓIREACHTAÍ AN PHIARSAIGH, run by Gael Linn.

 

Irish Debaters win! Ár bhfoireann díospóireachta

 

Perhaps the fact that it was a home fixture helped: the presence of feisty muintir na háite such as Paul Ralph, Harry Mansfield and Gavin Nugent certainly did seem to spur the team onwards.  This being Irish debating (and this being St. Conleth’s), though the competition was fierce, it was also friendly and tae agus plé tar éis na díospóireachta.  Well done to Ms. Fay and the whole team.   They somehow found time and energy to prepare for the debate despite having taken part in another Irish Department outing the previous day, attending a performance of An Triail at UCD: a riveting play, indeed…  but it does tend to be a bit gruama.   It is even more impressive, then, that our team could still find their bronntanas do na gab!  

 

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Tae agus plé tar éis na díospóireachta!

					

Big Bang Theorists!

Edgar Allen Poe opened his ‘Sonnet: To Science’ thus:

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! 

Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes. 

Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart, 

   Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?

 

 

Obviously Poe had a problem with the STEM side of the curriculum but he may not have felt that way if he had Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Phelan as Science teachers!  Our dynamic duo of Chemistry always run their classes and lab sessions with aplomb, but also with plenty of fun… and then they turn their Bunsen burners up a notch for Science Week!  Last week their was a Science Quiz Competition question each day (see below) and all the Science teachers brought ‘hands-on’ lessons to class all week long, as we can see with the ballons and test tubes above.  Fifth and Sixth Year Chemistry kids were especially lucky as they were brought to Kevin St. DIT for a special lecture on Forensics.  So, Mr. Poe, stick to ravens and the like, for Science’s wings are not ‘dull realities’ but imagination and fun!

 

Sisters in Arms!

 

We already were very impressed with Ms. Speller and Ms. Leary’s hockey programme as the girls were turning out in numbers and training and playing with great camaraderie and enthusiasm, but to be honest, we thought that for some time the results would reflect the fact that hockey is just in its infancy at St. Conleth’s and progress would be incremental.  Well, yes, it took time (just a few weeks!) and, yes, progress has been incremental… but as in increments of leaps and bounds!  Both the Junior and First Year teams are burning up the astro and rippling the nets regularly as they are winning matches way ahead of schedule.  The Juniors won last week in a scintillating performance, 3 – 0 over St. Raphael’s, with three different forwards scoring (Mei, Eliza and Vanshika) and Caoimhe, only a First Year, ‘playing up’ and earning the ‘Queen of the Team’ laurel.  Ms. Speller was a bit hoarse from haranguing the kids in History class so, thankfully, Mr. Gahan was there to amplify her in-match instructions!

 

 

And the First Year team keeps rolling along, and rolling over opponents of considerable hockey pedigree, adding a 5-1 victory to their already impressive record.  Sasha and Sydney were joint ‘Ladies of the Match’ and their was an inspiring performance by rookie goalie Siobhan.  Determination and skill were on display by Katya, Jennifer,  Maria, Lucia and Augustina, all up front and scoring goals and there was fantastic midfield play and defending by Caoimhe, Charlotte and Alanna.

With the girls laying claim to much of the school’s recent sporting glory, and this being close to Mr. Kelleher’s year anniversary, we wonder what the great man himself would have made of such a change for St. Conleth’s.  Past Pupil Mary Martin (and mother of Junior team star Elizabeth) observed as such back in October when the girls made their league debut:

I was delighted to be the at the St Conleth’s hockey league debut, both as a proud parent and particularly as a past pupil! I felt quite  emotional, it was awesome.  Mr. Kelleher would have been so proud of all his girl pupils. In St. Conleth’s colours, they tore up and down the pitch fearlessly, and frustrated all St Andrews’ attempts at scoring. They were great. We’ve come a long way from when we handful of girls were indulged by him with a free day off school for Ladies’ Day at the Spring Show!  Today’s match was a fitting tribute to The Boss, in this his first anniversary month.
Beir bua cailini 
Many thanks to all the organisers and coaches,
Mary Martin

With such parental support, inspirational coaching and the spirit and skill of the girls themselves, it is clear that hockey has truly arrived at St. Conleth’s, and is here to stay!

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Poetry!

CityWest was the suitably grand setting for the ceremony at which Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth received her first place prize in the Junior Cycle section of the National Wellread Poetry Award.

 

The prize itself was a very impressive engraved silver plate, but the real treat was the opportunity for Joymarita to read her poem aloud to the gathering of students, teachers and academics.  Joymarita’s English teacher, Mr. Seamus Gallagher, was there, as was her friend and classmate, Julia O’Callaghan.   Instead of us waxing less lyrically about Joymarita’s gifts, we have decided to let her speak for herself.  Her prize-winning poem follows, as well as a video of her reading at the prize-givng ceremony.

 

POETRY

by Joymarita Rajinikanth

I have spent hours upon hours,

Willing it to be,

But the Oh so simple truth is,

I am not made of poetry.

When the script in my head goes blank,

Sweet words fail to roll off my tongue,

In their place come mumbled sorrys,

Sentences not yet carefully strung.

Like that book upon my mantelpiece, untouched for years,

My covers tattered and worn,

But that’s okay because for every loved word,

There stands a page of smudged ink, bedraggled and torn.

My hair never sits prim and proper,

Unlike a poem, sitting neatly on its line.

And occasionally, I feel like a word,

Too complicated for people to define.

I am not a caterpillar discovering its inner butterfly,

Nor am I a bird of prey defeating its competitor.

I’ve realized I’m simply too complex,

To be crammed into one common metaphor.

I like taking my time to think,

Since my thoughts don’t all have to rhyme.

And although a poem once written is eternal,

I have the freedom to change over time.

I contain more emotion than can be written onto a page,

There is no title across my forehead saying ‘This Is Me.’

I can’t be locked into pages of a notebook,

Because I, I am not made of poetry.

Renaissance Women!

We already had a bit of a reputation as a school for ‘culture vultures’: last week’s extracurriculars will only seal it, as all of Sixth Year were treated to ‘La Traviata’ on Tuesday night… and then a good few of them followed it up with ‘Swan Lake’ on Friday!  Long ago, Mrs. Pat Kelleher initiated what has become a beloved Conlethian tradition: the Sheppard-Kelleher family invites Sixth Years out to the opera and all the young men and ladies (and a few select teachers!) get all dickied up and they enjoy a night of civilised, cultural entertainment.  This year it was ‘La Traviata’ at the National Concert Hall and, by all accounts, it was an amazing production, even rendering principal emeritus, and noted opera aficionado, Peter Gallagher, momentarily stunned into silence!  Ms. Fay and Ms. deBahl, our dynamic duo of music, were also duly impressed, but their appetite for the classics was not sated, so they then led their Fifth and Sixth Year music classes up to Belfast on Friday to see ‘Swan Lake’ at the Grand Opera House!  Perhaps all this ‘research’ means something… as rumours are swirling that the Transition Year musical this year (in our brand new performance hall) is to be a full-blown operatic (and/or balletic) version of the Lord of the Rings! Stay tuned!

 

Fencers on a Cross-Border Raid!

If the Conlethian contingent of fencers continue to bring home the booty as they have been doing, there will surely be a border ‘incident’ once Brexit comes in!  So, they had better gather as much ‘shine’ a they can before they are charged duty on it!  And their performance at last Saturday’s inaugural round of the 2017 – 2018 Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series at Grosvenor Grammar showed just those intentions, as their medal hoard was once again quite impressive. The Mixed Under 10 saw Myles Moriarty-Smyth take Gold, with Mathew Sherlock finishing just outside the medals in 5th and the Under 14 Boys had a full St. Conleth’s podium, after another all-second Year Final: Claudio Sosa took Gold and James Moriarty-Smyth, Silver. And another Conlethian, Luke Sherlock, won the Bronze!

Cool Cross Country Kids Cop A Bronze!

Like Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, Mr. Keenan has been leading a bus-full of Conlethian runners (and enthusiastic hangers-on) to various athletics events for some time now.  There have been some significant successes, such as Lucy Colman-Black’s Leinster medal last year, but win or lose, there is always a good-time feel to the trips, due in large part to the presence of such characters as Tomás Clancy, Conor Bourke, Jack Andrews, John Kelleher and Tony Barry.

Senior Cross Country Team rocks the 'Rock', taking Bronze at the Blackrock Invitational!

These boys have been stalwart supporters of every athletics endeavour (and any chance to get of class) over the years, and we are particularly thrilled to see that the miles logged by Tony endlessly pacing the corridors of the school have finally paid off!  In all seriousness, the Senior Boys’ Bronze Medal at the Blackrock College Invitational was a great achievement, as was First Year Sydney Weir McErlean’s placing 13th of 190 in the Minor Girls (top 6%!).   Well done to Shay and his gang and we look forward to more good news from their next athletics adventure!

 

Mr. Keenan's Cross Country army!

Art Nouveau!

It has taken a little while to get the new Art Room settled down, but Ms. Halpin and her art classes are now back up to her already legendary rate of masterpiece production!

 

 

Above and below you will see just a sampling of the pieces produced in just the opening weeks of the term and we hope to bring you more as the year progresses.  Of course, you can also see current and ‘classic’ student pieces adorning every open space in the school.  We are always proud of displaying our students’ best work and loathe to simply hide them way in storage!

 

 

Excusez-moi!

We have been sitting on this report on the St. Conleth’s French Debating Team by Maria Azzia for weeks and we have no excuse for the delay, except that we just can’t take our eyes off France 24.  Maria, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, je suis désolé!

On the 18th of October, the St. Conleth’s French debate team had its first competition of the year. After a few weeks of preparation, together with the help of Mr. Porzadny, Mr. Conroy and Ms. Sheppard, we arrived at the Alliance Française ready to talk. The team’s captain was Oisín Dowling and the other members of the team were Alex Murphy, Conor Power and me, but we also got helped by Simon Pettitt and Tony Barry, who, even if they didn’t have the chance to debate, helped us with our speeches and were very supportive.

The motion we had to support was “Il faudrait interdire les zoos”: “Zoos should be forbidden”. During the two weeks of preparation to the debate, we thought of all the points in favor of the motion, we decided who would have focused on which one, we worked on our speeches, we ran through them and we gave each other advice. Mr. Conroy, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Sheppard have been very important during this process, since they helped us with the French grammar, the pronunciation, the content of our speeches and they gave us advice about our stage presence in front of the judges and the audience.

 

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Every Thursday we had meetings to improve what we wrote and finally the long-awaited Wednesday arrived. The opposing team was the Dominican College Sion Hill. I could feel that tension was a common ground for both the teams before, during and after the debate. Our team did an amazing job: our points were always coherent to the motion, we had a good stage presence, we rebutted efficiently what the other team said and our rebuttals were appropriate as well. But our opponents were quite good too.

At the end the president of the Alliance Française declared the winners and we weren’t really happy to hear that the winner was the Sion Hill College. The president also said that we were really close to winning, but I think we didn’t leave that room with a complete defeat, but with a reason to get up again and keep working.

We lost the competition but we didn’t lose our desire to keep debating and improving our French, so we’re not giving up on meeting and working on it. This experience, despite its duration, has been important for us and very useful, because it helped us giving us advice for our future and made us grow.

 

 



					

A New Hall-oween!

We miss Mr. Kelleher everyday at St. Conleth’s but there are certain days on which we miss him more.  Halloween is one: no-one (not even the various vampires, witches and Batmen) enjoyed the annual ‘Spooks’ Parade’ more than Mr. K himself.  He would lead the assorted Junior terrors around the school, invading senior classes with his army of ghouls and delighting in disrupting the humdrum with a burst of creativity and fun.  That this year’s Halloween festivities also marks Mr. Kelleher’s year anniversary seemed especially suitable:  Mr. ODulaing and Fr. Collins presided over an assembly that perfectly mixed the celebration of the holiday with the remembrance of the man who was its ringmaster for so many years.  That this day also coincided with the opening of our new sports hall seems uncanny: no-one over the last 75 years did more to promote the development of the school than Mr. K.  We are not too sure if he would have personally used the ‘Fitness Suite’ (being a bit ‘old skool’ himself regarding his personal fitness regimen) but he would have understood its potential and he certainly would have been delighted with the Performance Hall which is soon to grace the treetops of Clyde Road.  Mr. Kelleher loved to hear the students show their musical talents, and the Halloween assembly provided a tantalising foretaste of the treasures to come, as Eoghan Fitzmaurice’s Dubinersesque ballad and Emer Healy-Kavanagh’s classical harp piece bewitched us all.

 

 

 

The Pro Shots Are In!

Yes, we entertained you with those live-action shots of the Class of 2017 Debutants Ball, but even the iPhone 8+, de riguer at St. Conleth’s, cannot match the skill and touch of a pro.  Here you see a sampling  of the portraits taken on the night by professional photographer Seamus Travers.  If you would like more, in hi-res originals and/or prints, contact him at treamus@gmail.com.  Again, well done to PA Chairman Mr. Mansfield, the Organising Committee and in particular, Alan Collins, Treasurer of the SSPA, on organising such a successful night… and such a talented photographer!

 

Maths Week Unlimited!

This just in from Ms. NiAonghusa, St. Conleth’s Assistant Principal and Maths teacher (and Head Implementer of the Age of Numeracy):

Thanks to Hurricane Ophelia, which travelled in an admirable arc across Ireland but also scuppered our plan to have Maths Professor and past-pupil Colm Mulcahy visit the school to address the students, Maths week is doing a logical shift by two days so the maths fun continues Monday and Tuesday this week.  On Tuesday, we will be having a timed sudoku challenge at lunchtime and the daily puzzles for the whole school will continue. In addition, Ms Hopkins’ maths jokes such as

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are drawing groans from students who read them.   Here are the three maths puzzles from last week. Stay tuned for the last two and remember, all solutions will be posted on Thursday, so everyone needs to get cracking on their responses and post them in the box by reception!

Wednesday’s Maths PuzzleThursday’s Maths PuzzleFriday’s Maths Puzzle

 

 

Drama Kids Rule!

The fencers and the debaters who have dominated the social scene at St. Conleth’s (and these pages) for some time now may have to exit stage left as the drama kids start to stake their claim!  Earlier this term, Fifth Year Joe Gallagher and First Year Ollie West earned rave reviews starring in ‘This is a Room’ at the Project Arts Centre and ‘Hamnet’ at the Abbey, respectively.  Both were sold-out, cutting-edge, edge-of-your-seat contemporary dramas which pushed theatrical and social boundaries.   Second Year Eva Stylianides now takes Conlethian drama kids in a new dimension and a different direction:  singing and dancing in the Billy Barry tribute ‘Her Stars Will Shine’.  Ms. Crowley was privileged to see Eva’s talents first-hand, accompanying a gaggle of Eva’s Second Year classmates to the Gaiety.  Perhaps with our new Performance Hall opening soon,  St. Conleth’s will now be known as a drama school!   As well as a debating school, a fencing school, an art school, a music school, a rugby school, a basketball…

 

A Geordie Joust!

Splendid news from the fencing front! James Moriarty-Smyth ended the Newcastle campaign with Bronze and 3rd place in Boys Under 13 Foil and brother Myles fenced superbly in a higher age group than usual, narrowly missing medal spot and ending the day a very satisfying 6th in Boys Under 11 Foil.  And these impressive results were earned against the notoriously tough, street-smart fencers of Newcastle!

DEMONS, DICE AND DUNGEONS!

Calling all free peoples of Middle-Earth, the Outer Rim and the United Federation of Planets!  It all starts tomorrow (Thursday)!  Come in early give it a toss of the dice!

TABLE-TOP AND BOARD GAMES CLUB

Newcomers of all types welcome! As all games will be explained to new arrivals

Every Monday, Wednesday & Thursday from 7:20 to 8:15 before school starts.

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Venue: Room 4

Monday: Dungeons and Dragons Campaign*

Wednesday: Dungeons and Dragons Campaign

Have a favourite board game at home that you want to share with the club? Bring it in on…

Thursday: Miscellaneous one-off games from home  (just tell us on the previous week)

* If you would like to join our Dungeons and Dragons campaign we will be holding an introductory session on Thursday the 18th of October. After which you should contact us for a personal intro:

Evan and Oisín in 2A!  See you there!

Guidance News!

The Guidance Department at St. Conleth’s never sleeps. You read below about Mr. Carvill’s invitation/shanghaiing of last year’s high-fliers.  Meanwhile, Guidance Counsellor Anne Ryan has been leading 5th Years on a special Mental Health outing and putting together some very useful documents, (which are available here or on the Guidance Page):

The 2018 Sixth Year’s Guide to Further Education (Great for 5th/6th Years!)

A Guide to Leaving Certificate Subject Choice. (Great for Transition Years!)

St. Conleth’s Guidance Programme Per Year Group (For everyone!)

And now, Ms. Ryan’s own account of the 5th Year trip to Zeminar:

On Tuesday 10 October, Mental Health Awareness Day, 5th Year students attended Zeminar in the RDS.  Zeminar is a social enterprise created to bring all those invested in the development and well-being of young people in Ireland to one place. It is an event for Generation Z, particularly those aged between 15 and 20, and their parents, teachers. The philosophy of the event was: “A Life Changing Day” and each speaker, exhibitor, professional and workshop host was tasked to reflect this in their interaction with the attendees. According to research conducted by Headstrong, anxiety, stress, sleep issues, cyber bullying and isolation are some of the difficulties hindering academic and personal growth today. These factors in conjunction with fast-moving technology, academic pressures, unhealthy diets and ever-changing career options present an increasingly complex and challenging environment for young people to navigate. Zeminar offered students the chance to explore the above above issues. They were also introduced to invaluable tools to enable them to live more satisfying and productive lives.

 

 

Zeminar gave students the chance to discuss career opportunities, but what set it aside from the traditional careers fair was the opportunity to listen to inspirational speakers such as The O’Donovan Brothers, The Rubber bandits and Sr. Stan to name but a few and the opportunity to engage with youth focused organisations who are specialists in areas such as mental health, healthy eating, safety, equality, sexuality and the environment.  All in all it was a memorable and fun school outing.

Back to Work!

St. Conleth’s College (Prep, Junior and Senior Schools) is open for all business on Wednesday, October 18th!

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School Also Closed on Tuesday Due to Ophelia

Due to a national directive in response to Hurricane Ophelia, St. Conleth’s College will be closed on Tuesday, October 17th.

 

High-Flyers Point the Way!

As Deadalus once told his son Icarus, steering the middle way is the way to succeed in most enterprises, including getting enough Leaving Cert points for your desired CAO course.  That was the advice, anyway, from some of the high-flyers of the Class of 2017 who, at the behest of Mr. Carvill, came back to their alma mater to inspire the current Fifth Years and Sixth Years.  Each of the current university First Years had their own take on study strategies but all agreed that a sensible balance of schoolwork and a healthy, active lifestyle is the way to go .  And with the point totals and university courses such as these, the youngsters were all ears.   Just don’t tell them where Icarus ended up!  Sean Keane- Points: 613, College Course: Biomedical Science (UCD); Jamie Lawless- 566, Law and History (UCD); Isobel Nugent- 521, Business & Law (UCD); Annalisa Sorensen-554, BESS ( TCD); Ross Murphy- 543, Business & Law (UCD).

 

Mr. Cummiskey Serves Up A Budget Breakfast!

In the suitable setting of the Chartered Accountants House on Pearse Street, Mr. Cummiskey gathered his Fifth and Sixth Year Economic students for a ‘Budget Breakfast’, courtesy of Grant Thornton.  Over his years of teaching Economics at St. Conleth’s,  Mr. Cummiskey has always kept at least one eye on the ‘real world’ economy, supplementing the students’ textbooks with copious cuttings from the Irish Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and, for some light relief, the Guardian.  An annual trip downtown on Budget Day is part and parcel to his attempt to keep his students from getting too ‘macro’ in their studies.  And, of course, getting served up complimentary pastries by a big financial firm is a loss leader with which we can live!  Minister Donohoe’s first budget was the main course of the breakfast but there was plenty of expert analysis and discussion as starters, including the views of  guest speaker Ronan Lyons, Economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft.ie reports, who  presented an overview of the impact of the budget on the wider economy.

 

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Juniors and Seniors Run Away Together!

Mr. Shay Keenan does not do things by halves: when he heard about the happy coincidence that there would be both junior and senior Cross Country races at Morton Stadium in Santry, he hired a bus and welcomed all comers!  ‘The more, the merrier’ is the St. Conleth’s sporting philosophy and so it should be, as participation is the name of the game at our school and we make sure that no-one is ever left out.    Sadly, this trip was the first in a long time which did not include our tracks and field talisman, Tony Barry.  (He was busy… off trying to scupper the Budget!).

 

 

We did worry a bit for Mr. Keenan’s personal safety (and sanity), as filling a bus with Juniors and then throwing in a bunch of First and Second Years at their seasonal hyperactive peak is the not the recipe for a morning ‘milk run’ but Shay is an old hand at these things and the increased proportion of girls certainly helped settle things down (in decibel if not pitch!).  As you can see form our pics above, everyone had a great time  and completed the race in very good times.  There will be more races ahead and if any Seniors are interested, their are efforts being made to get Athletics training up and running again!   Stay tuned!

Le retour des aventuriers!

This just in from Mr. J-Poz, notre meilleur (et seulement!) journaliste:

Quel magnifique weekend!

Sunday the 8th of October, 7:30am, and Clyde road has never felt so quiet.  Apart, maybe, from a little group of students playing basketball in the front yard of the school (who would have ever thought such dedication to a school existed). Little by little, the sidewalk took its share of half sleepy, half smily youngsters. What was happening so early on such a lovely morning?

Sunny Donegal awaits

After a particularly quick 4 hour bus ride, the group of 34 students (a record so far), Mrs. Crowley and myself arrived at the Bundoran Adventure Centre. Collie, the manager of the place, gave one of his famous speeches which quickly set the tone. A quick walk and we then arrived at the fanciest Italian restaurant of the town: La Sabbia awaited us!  The expertise of the chef from Sicily did not fail our hungry students.

French Flair and Fun

Lots of ropes (and infinitives) were used over these 3 days: to swing, to hold, to walk onto, to pull. Fearless as lions the band of brothers (and sisters) faced many challenges. Rain, of course, was not one of them. They surfed the famous west-coast waves, they teamed up to find their way through a maze of mud and they helped one another in French class to make sure “Madame la prof” would come up with plenty of new challenges for them.

Et c’est déjà fini!

Joymarita is Made of Poetry!

Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth has won first place in the Junior Cycle section of the National Wellread Poetry Award!  Joymarita had already repeatedly astounded her English teacher, Mr. Seamus Gallagher, with her creativity and wordplay, and had impressed Dr. Fallon enough to win last year’s overall St. Conleth’s Creative Writing Award, but this is taking it to another level:  winning first prize in a national competition amongst stiff competition.  Instead of us waxing less lyrically about Joymarita’s gifts, we have decided to let her speak for herself.  Her prize-winning poem follows, as will photos after she receives her award on November 7th at a special ceremony!

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POETRY

by Joymarita Rajinikanth

I have spent hours upon hours,

Willing it to be,

But the Oh so simple truth is,

I am not made of poetry.

When the script in my head goes blank,

Sweet words fail to roll off my tongue,

In their place come mumbled sorrys,

Sentences not yet carefully strung.

Like that book upon my mantelpiece, untouched for years,

My covers tattered and worn,

But that’s okay because for every loved word,

There stands a page of smudged ink, bedraggled and torn.

My hair never sits prim and proper,

Unlike a poem, sitting neatly on its line.

And occasionally, I feel like a word,

Too complicated for people to define.

I am not a caterpillar discovering its inner butterfly,

Nor am I a bird of prey defeating its competitor.

I’ve realized I’m simply too complex,

To be crammed into one common metaphor.

I like taking my time to think,

Since my thoughts don’t all have to rhyme.

And although a poem once written is eternal,

I have the freedom to change over time.

I contain more emotion than can be written onto a page,

There is no title across my forehead saying ‘This Is Me.’

I can’t be locked into pages of a notebook,

Because I, I am not made of poetry.

 

Conlethians Simply ‘Own’ the Killanin!

Signs of Autumn in D4: frappuccino sales plummet, Kiely’s sells more hot port, the DART is delayed because of ‘leaf-fall’ (Could not see that coming!) and Conlethian fencers start arriving at school with bags full of swag!   This time, the well-travelled merry swordsmen were closer to home as the St. Conleth’s fencing contingent competed in the Dublin-based Lord Killanin Cup, culminating in an all-Conlethian final in the Under 14 Foil!   Results as follows: Under 10s: Myles Moriarty-Smyth – 1st Place and Gold Medal; Mathew Sherlock – Joint 3rd Place and Bronze Medal; Under 14s: Claudio Sosa -1st Place and Gold Medal James Moriarty-Smyth – 2nd Place and Silver Medal; Luke Sherlock – 5th Place.  And there is promise of more treasure as, next weekend, James and Myles head to the UK to compete in Newcastle as part of the Leon Paul Junior Series.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Aonghus and Friends: The 2017 Debs!

Forgive the delay in reporting on the St. Conleth’s Class of 2017 Debutante Ball.  First there was the little issue with Fireman Sam and then we had the darndest time finding some suitable photos!  PA Chairman Michael Mansfield did his part, sending us a report before the slow set had even started, but then we waited in vain for the avalanche of images to arrive!  So we resorted to trolling (in the old-fashioned sense) Bebo, MySpace, Orkut and various other hip internet chatrooms but all to no avail. Finally, Sixth Year Enya O’Brien hooked us up with some stylish snaps of stylish date Luke Nestor and friends and then we hit the goldmine by raiding Aonghus Hegarty’s Facebook page.  This explains the presence of Aonhgus’s beaming visage in nearly everyone of our photos, but to be honest, one could do worse: Aonghus is one of the most handsome, friendliest and most-missed members of the Class of 2017!

And the evening itself?  A smashing success.  A huge congratulations is due to Mr. Mansfield, the Organising Committee and in particular, Alan Collins, Treasurer of the SSPA who did trojan work behind the scenes to make this happen for the graduates after cancellation of other venue only two weeks ago.  We have been promised more photos (please send to latvisc@stconleths.ie!), including some formal shots, so stay tuned!

 

It’s All in the Mind!

Mr. Porzadny is the starship Enterprise of the St. Conleth’s faculty, bolding going where no Conlethian teacher has gone before…  Staff and pupils have benefitted from his ‘Relaxation’ sessions these last few years, and now he is taking us on the next step to enlightenment, introducing a ‘Mindfulness’ programme which is all the rage at the Department of Education, and for once, something from Marlborough Street actually makes good sense! 

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A sloth…because sometimes it is slow. A cheetah…because it runs very fast. A unicorn…because it is creative. An ‘anti-elephant’…because I forget stuff. A Pikachu…because it is over-rated but still pretty useful.” These are just a sample of the beautiful answers I got from my 1st years yesterday when asking them: “Which animal could we sometimes compare our mind to?” Now you may wonder, why would I ask them such question?  For the simple reason that after “playing with our attention”, but before we will look into “recognising our worries”, we started our next mindfulness lesson to discover how to “tame our animal mind”.

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It is with an immense pleasure that I am able to introduce this year the .b (pronounced ‘dot-be’) Mindfulness Programme to the 1st Year and senior cycle students of St. Conleth’s.

But what is mindfulness? Mindfulness involves training our attention to experience the present moment with greater curiosity and kindness. This helps us to not only to appreciate what is going well but also to respond more skillfully to life’s inevitable challenges. In one word, Mindfulness is all about “possibilities”.

You may have heard of mindfulness or read some of the recent media coverage about it. A great deal of this media interest has arisen because of the growing body of research evidence regarding the potential benefits of mindfulness for young people.

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As Professor Katherine Weare observed in her research summary on Evidence for the Impact  of  Mindfulness on Children and Young  People, schools who engage in mindfulness are likely to see ‘beneficial results on the emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and even the physical health of their students.’

At its most simple .b is an awareness-raising exercise to give all students a taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so.

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.b aims to help young people:

  • To improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others.
  • To fulfil their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, both academically and personally.
  • To experience greater well-being (e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled).
  • To work with difficult mental states such as anxious thoughts and low moods.
  • To cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams, relationships, sleep problems, family issues.
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The feedback from students who took part in other schools in .b is very positive.  If you are interested, there are some Testimonials on the Mindfulness in Schools Project website where you can hear students speaking about their experiences in taking part in the .b programme.

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about mindfulness yourself then please let me know, there are very accessible mindfulness courses for adults taking part on a regular basis here in Ireland.

With warm wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Julien Porzadny

Michael O’Dea: Alumnus, Trustee, Architect and Friend of St. Conleth’s

It is quite an achievement to say that one arrived at St. Conleth’s at the same time as a certain Kevin D. Kelleher and Michael O’Dea was as proud of this distinction as any other in life full of personal and professional distinctions.  Michael’s life, family and legacy are as intertwined with that of St. Conleth’s as was Mr. Kelleher’s, and it is fitting in this time of such great excitement over the new KDK Wing, we also remember the man who did so much over the years to build this great school, both in bricks and mortar and in ethos and spirit.  Ann Sheppard, CEO of St. Conleth’s, remembers Michael’s life-long loyalty and friendship:

 

 

It was with great sadness that we learned that Michael O’ Dea had passed away on Monday evening. Micheal had been a Trustee of St. Conleth’s since the Educational Trust was set up in 2001. He started in St. Conleth’s in 1944 as a nine-year-old pupil, the same year as Kevin started as a teacher and has been a friend to us all ever since. His brother Mark, as well as his four children – Michael, Caroline, Stephen and Joe, his niece and nephews – Ruth O’Dea, Paul, David and Ben Moore, and his grandson Sam O’Dea were all pupils with us and his grand-daughter Eva Stylianides is currently a bright spark in Second Year.  He has been president of the Past Pupils Union, a proud winner (twice) of the Kinlen Cup and many of us will remember his gifts as a public speaker and his memorable voice as the official voice of Lansdowne Road for all interntational rugby matches.
My last official business with him was to seek approval to appoint Peter Gallagher as a Trustee, with which he wholeheartedly agreed.  He had been so disappointed not to be able to attend our Board dinner last year. He has always been so supportive of  St. Conleth’s and interested in all that was going on and thrilled that his granddaughter Eva was in the first bunch of First Year girls and was Pupil of the Year.  Needless to say his contribution to the development of St. Conleth’s, as its architect, has been enormous, starting with the revamp of the kitchen around 1961.  The yellow formica table, around which we all still gather, is still in great nick, a small but fitting legacy to a man who did so much to build the essence of St. Conleth’s.
We will miss him.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Michael’s writings about St. Conleth’s:

Michael’s Tribute to KDK

Memories from the Dawn of St. Conleth’s  (2014)

From Claude Road to Clyde Road (2009)

 

 

 

Campfire Fun!

Do you remember when retreats involved a lot of hushed voices, hastily drawn symbolic etchings and vague expressions of well-being?  Well how about zip-lines, fire-starting, fish-gutting, sing-alongs … and an impromptu birthday party, to boot?

 

 

Yes, we believe that the Sixth Year Retreat to Ovoca House in Avoca has been a change for the better.  Never before have we heard a 100% approval rating from the students involved and it was not just because the hosts kept them moving with fun-filled and challenging activities: the boys and girls did do proper, traditional retreat stiff too, such as team-building, goal-setting and reflection.  It was just that the whole overnight trip was so well-planned and well implemented,  it satisfied both the needs and the wants of those involved.  And, of course, Alex (and his friends) enjoyed the birthday cake and the resultant craic.  A big thank-you to Ms. deBhal and Mr. Carvill for taking part so enthusiastically!

 

 

Ladies Who Brunch!

It is recently established tradition at St. Conleth’s whereby each September, after the dust settles, the girls are invited to a hobbit-like ‘second breakfast’, or ‘brunch’ if you like, in the school canteen.   Such are the numbers of girls at St. Conleth’s these days, we now do two sittings: one for the blue jumpers, and one for the green.  Vice Captain Emer Healy-O’Reilly organised the little fêtes this year, and as with everything she does, she did it with efficiency and with good humour.  The pastries were passed around, the coffee and tea were poured out and the chatter soon took off.  We are not privy to the actual topics of conversation but we assume particular individuals in that other noted group of Conlethian students, ‘the sons of Catholic (and other) gentleman’, came up.   And at the same time of these polite little gatherings, said gentlemen’s sons were in class, gnashing their teeth in jealousy and whinging about the privileges of St. Conleth’s now significant minority!  Who knows? Perhaps some day we will be taking out-numbered boys out for some special treatment, scones and cream!

 

A Historic Goal!

Never mind the final result (a respectable 3-1 loss to Our Lady’s Grove)…. never mind the fact that the girls, during the half-time talk, looked like they were awaiting their turn with the guillotine…  never mind that the swish new St. Conleth’s ‘skorts’ will not be in till next week… this was still one of the proudest days in St. Conleth’s sporting history!  Ms. Springer and Ms. Leary’s U16 Hockey players gave it their all in their full pitch debut (at UCD), in a proper match and against a team from a higher division, and they scored a historic first hockey goal for St. Conleth’s:  Elizabeth Counihane charged through the midfield, retrieved the ball and crossed it to Eva Stylianides, who buried it in the back of the net.  Everyone gave it their all, with Julia Huckfeldt shadowing the opponent’s best player and Eliza Flynn logging the most milage on the pitch.  Overall, a great start to this first official season for St. Conleth’s hockey!

 

Captain Trevor Leads the Way!

Second Year Trevor Bolger continues to make waves in the world of junior competitive sailing.  Last year he won the inaugural St. Conleth’s ‘Sailor of the Year’ Award.  And just last weekend he captained the Royal Saint George racing team as it represented Ireland at the Warsaw Invitational Regatta. The Royal St. George team were invited to represent their country along with the Royal Cork Yacht Club team, the two top Optimist racing teams in the country.  With Trevor ‘at the helm’ the RSGYC made the finals and came 4th overall, quite an achievement for Irish sailing.  Of course, St. Conleth’s knows the RSGYC very well, as it is there that our Fifth and Sixth Formers go sailing on Fridays, hoping to follow in Trevor’s wake to sailing glory!  Below you will Trevor and his team as well as our Juniors as they hit the water, with none other than Past Pupil Evan O’Connor, showing them the ropes, and the knots!

 

A Friend Remembers Ishan

This past Thursday, St. Conleth’s held a memorial prayer service and informal get-together to remember and honour the recently deceased Ishan Prasai.  Fr. Michael Collins presided over a sad but heart-warming recollection of the huge impact made by Ishan on all of us in just a few short years.  Several students, including Ciara McCracken and Matthew Hassett, gave eloquent testimony to their feelings of sadness but also of pride and good humour regarding their personal memories of Ishan.  Oisín Herbots, School Captain of the Class of 2017, and a good friend of Ishan’s wrote this testimony:

Ishan was a wonderful person and a loyal friend.  I did not  discover this till we became good friends in the stressful atmosphere of 6th Year. I wonder how Ishan and I actually became such good friends because I made not just one faux pas but two when I first met him.

I was studying Plutarch’s Alexander the Great when I had my first conversation with Ishan. It was all thanks to Plutarch we became friends.  Alexander never lost a battle, except to his own men.  They had conquered the known world but had refused to conquer what remained of India for fear of having to face the King of Praesii.  I could not believe my luck: could I be in school with a descendant of the King that  Alexander the Great never conquered?  While Ishan was from Nepal, this was a country that borders India.  Could Ishan be a descendent of a great king? At lunch I disclosed my findings to him: his royal lineage.

Ishan, solo and a capella.

I surprised him by establishing that he could be from a family nearly 3,500 years old.   I remember him looking at me ‘as if I had two heads’. “Oisín do you know how to spell my surname?” he asked me. “No” I replied, feeling my excitement pop like a bubble. In truth I had never seen his name but heard it only from roll calls. “It is not Praesii; it is Prasai” he told me. I felt terribly embarrassed; but Ishan realising this did not take offence; instead, he invited me out for lunch.   On the way to Baggot Street we chatted about school and how tough 6th Year was. Ishan, having a huge interest in astronomy but especially the Zodiac signs, asked if I was a Sagittarian. I suprised him when I told thim that in fact I was a Capricorn. Ishan was surprised because this was the first time he had ever misjudged someone.

I asked Ishan a safe question, or so I thought: “what’s your favourite band?”. Nirvana he screamed. I am not a musical person but I knew of the band so before Ishan could get another word in, I interrupted him. Trying to establish a common interest, I told him I loved their songs too, especially “Smells like teen sweat”. I could see his face twisting and then lowering. ‘What did I do now?’ I thought. For the second time today I had stepped into the metaphorical caca. Ishan laughed for a full minute; he laughed in the middle of Baggot street. When he recovered from his fits of laughter he told me it was ‘teen spirit’ not ‘teen sweat’.  How we ever became friends after that, I do not know. But since that day we spent most of our lunch times together.

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Ishan was a super chilled guy with a calming effect when you were with him. It was great to spend lunch with him as you could just talk and forget about the stress of the Leaving Cert. Ishan was quiet; but when he spoke I listened. He told me he couldn’t wait for university and the freedom that came with it. So, it is heart breaking to think he did not get a chance to enjoy that freedom.   But Ishan was a positive guy and so he should be remembered.

My favorite memory of Ishan was at the Captain’s party: a house party that the entire graduating year and teachers were invited too.  As the host, and a proud Northsider, the entire year had to trek out to the forbidden part of the city.  The party started at 7.30pm (which really meant 8.30), but by 10 pm there were only a handful of people in my living room and I was afraid the party was a dud and a huge failure.  Ishan had been one of the first to arrive.  It is no secret that at a party, Ishan was not the same quiet person we knew from school. Oh no; Ishan knew how to party.   I’ll miss him.  He told me if we put on some music it might disguise the silence: a terrible sound for a party.  As Ishan worked on the sound with my brother; the doorbell rang.  I opened it expecting one or two late going partiers; instead there were thirty people from my year. I learned afterwards that they had all managed to take the same bus up to the party (perhaps a little scared to come to ‘DNS’ alone).  Talk about scared southsiders sticking together. They all made their way into my house. As the new group joined the party and the old smaller group of classmates there was a moment of silence. Then the music played. It was the perfect song, it was Ishan’s song, it was ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.

On his own volition, Ishan organised and managed a fundraiser cake sale, raising more than €4000 for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal.

Seeing everyone dance to the music, not needing much encouragement (as they had come from pre-drinks) made me so happy. It was not only my fondest memory of Ishan, it was the highlight of the year for me and Ishan made it possible. Watching Matt and Christian give it their all on the dance floor and hearing the year yell out the lyrics like wild hooligans was superb. It was the right song for the right moment and it put the life back into the party. That night he followed the lyrics to a tea and entertained us all. Ishan saved not only my night and the party but my reputation as a good school captain. Only after the song died down and another one replaced it did Ishan find me in the mass of people. He told me in ecstasy “Oisín that was my song they played, my song!” Ishan that was your song. From now on whenever I hear it, till the day I play my last tune, I’ll think of you and that perfect moment and all the fun memories we had together.

And another stellar, solo performance.

Jolly Hockey Sticks!

The old line, ‘Jolly Hockey Sticks!’, may have been originally intended as a ‘reverse snobbery’ slur by the begrudgers against the over-enthusiastic elite but at St. Conleth’s it is quite accurate and we actually take it as a straight compliment!  Our hockey players really are jolly and enthusiastic!  One year on from a historic tip-off in Herbert Park, hockey is now enjoyed by dozens of girls in both the Junior and Senior Schools and, though it is still early days, Coaches Leary and Speller have pushed the girls so hard in their development that the big hockey schools have started to take notice of those plucky players from 28 Clyde Road.  The Senior School girls now practise twice a week (Tue. and Thur.), once on the full, proper pitch at Pembroke Hockey Club, where they get professional guidance from the Club coaches as well as the attention of St. Conleth’s Strength and Fitness Guru Shane Robinson.   And the Junior School girls recently had their first hockey session down on the astro… another sign that co-education and girls sports are two aspects of St. Conleth’s destined for further growth and success!

 

 

 

Ishan Prasai, 1999-2017: An Appreciation

It was with a sense of disbelief and then heavy hearts that we heard the news that Ishan Prasai, a member of the Class of 2017, had passed away in his native Nepal after a short illness.  Ishan was a quiet but vibrant member of the St. Conleth’s community for three years, and we have nothing but the fondest memories of his time with us.  Friendly, good-humoured and talented, Ishan was one of those rare people who could light up a room without raising his voice, but when he did, everyone listened.  Ishan was a good friend to those in his inner circle but he was also a good friend to those in the wider circle of St. Conleth’s.  Schools, like any other group of people, tend to split into cliques of people who share similar interests.  Ishan moved between these groups with consummate ease and impeccable manners.  Just one demonstration of the extent and depth of Ishan’s influence is that when the news filtered through of his passing, several of the  younger Conlethians were visibly upset when they connected the name with the Transition Year boy who had so gently and kindly tutored them during their Junior School days.

 

 

This active kindness was also on display when Ishan, inspired by the suffering in Nepal after a devastating earthquake, organised and managed the single most successful charitable fundraiser in the history of St. Conleth’s.  He spurred his fellow Transition Years to raise over €4,000, showing that, yes, there is something that can be done in the face of tragedy and that you do not need to be loud to be a leader.   Of course, it is also with music which we associate Ishan.  From his stunning solo performance at Transition Year Night through his starring role during the Graduation Ceremony, Ishan was at the musical heart of St. Conleth’s.  He was a member of the school choir which performed at nearly all our events and went out into the community, especially to sing  yuletide carols at the local nursing home.  For someone from a non-Christian background, Ishan was particularly good at spreading Christmas cheer!  One of Ishan’s standout performances at our school concerts was his solo rendition of Hozier’s ‘Take me to Church’, during which he radiated passion and humility.  Ishan’s vocal and musical performances matched the way he lived among us: with sincerity and grace.

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.”

Junior Cert? Oh Yes, I remember that…

Remnants of Irma were threatening on the horizon but the sun shone down in eye-blinking brilliance as our current Transition Years came through those familiar doors, clutching the first significant document of their young adult lives.  And yes, of course, the boys and girls were nervous and excited, but even just two weeks of TY under Co-ordinator Mr. Trenier had already adjusted their world view to the point that the biggest exam of their lives, so far, assumed its proper proportions.  When the seals were broken, and the As and Bs and ‘High Merits’ were brought to light, smiles wiped away whatever worry there was, and for some, a few hard-fought Cs and passes brought an equally justified sense of satisfaction.  Lunches with parents and friends awaited and perhaps a bracing cup of tea later in the evening, but after the results and celebrations were digested, all were eager to get back to TY business.  We were especially proud of our first ever Junior Certificate girls: Well done to Emily, Lola and Katya.  You paved and braved the way for that gang of girls now bursting from the locker-room!

 

Words of Wisdom

Alumni (and alumnae) are constantly dropping in at 28 Clyde Road, and the door is always open to those past pupils who would like to stop in for a visit or a chat or a character reference for the gardai…  Sadly, Mr. Kelleher, a mainstay of these reunions for so many years, is no longer with us, and though we could never match Mr. K’s uncanny ability to remember the faces and names which go with them from the past 70 years, we do our best.  When Michael O’Dwyer (2010) recently dropped in, no arduous memory-trawl was necessary, such was the impact he made on St. Conleth’s.  Captain of that memorable Class of 2010, winner (with Cathy McShane) of the All-Ireland Debating Championship and all-around smart (but nice) guy, Michael made an indelible impression on his classmates and teachers while he graced these halls.   And he continued to impress when he left for Law and Economics at UCD, the European University Debating Finals and the illustrious start of a legal career with the prestigious law firm of Slaughter and May in London (and Singapore!).  The teachers were thrilled to see one of our best return but the current Sixth Years also benefitted: Michael was dropped into an impromptu lecturer/guidance counsellor position, from where he offered our nervous young men and women some warm words of wisdom about the year ahead and the looming, two-headed behemoth of the CAO/Leaving Certificate, somehow managing to be both reassuring and inspiring.  It was great to see a Conlethian who had done so well come back and help nudge others along the same road to success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Rest For Our Fencers!

While other kids their age were home lost in the Amazing World of Gumball, the Moriarty-Smyths were living real-life adventures as they continued with their fencing forays on the continent:

Not content to rest on the laurels won earlier this year, the summer holidays saw the boys again continue their campaigning season into Europe; in early June they headed into deepest Gallia to attend the two day 2017 Mini Foil International Marathon hosted by CEP Paris. Both fenced extremely well and their efforts clearly showed the progress made by each of them over the season. Saturday saw Myles compete in the Boys’ Under 10  which followed an unusual four rounds of poule format with elimination after each round; multiple victories ensured he made all four rounds before going out just prior to DE. He ended the day ranked an extremely impressive 38th out of a field of 68 fencers, having after Round 3 reached a rank of 19!  James fenced Boys’ Under 13 and similarly had to contended with elimination after each poule. Having made the 1st cut he likewise narrowly went out just prior to DE stage, placing a strong 55th out of 68.  Stay-tuned as the Conethian fencers continue their international careers!

 

Back with a Bang!

Alas, the Kevin D. Kelleher Wing is not quite finished (builders and their promises!) and we must wait a little while longer for all those architectural goodies, but school started with some style, nonetheless.  The Junior and Senior Infants seemed distinctly unperturbed by the scaffolding, getting right to work (and play) under the watchful eye and encouraging words of Ms. Kelly and Ms. Redmond, and First Form seemed delighted with their new teacher, Ms. Leary, while the older Junior Forms also seemed happy to be back amongst welcoming faces and in friendly places.  First Years admittedly seemed a bit nervous, as did our new arrivals in the other Senior Years but the ice was quickly broken by a few classroom quips and canteen-queue tussles and by close of business on Thursday, fledgling friendships were flourishing in the proverbial Conlethian calm.

 

Welcome to St. Conleth’s!

We are sure all our students, old and new, are eagerly looking forward to the start of school (and perhaps their parents even more so!) so we are going to give you all the information necessary to make it a great start.   Click for start of school dates and times for the Junior/Preparatory and Senior Schools.  Booklists and information on the uniform and the canteen are always available under Calendars and Information, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior) to our uniform supplier, and our Canteen deposit page on Easy Payments Plus.  And below are the Booklists, along with the welcome letters sent earlier this summer. Enjoy this last weekend and we will see you next week, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at 28 Clyde Road!

Preparatory and Junior School:

Junior Infants: Welcome Letter, Booklist

Senior Infants: Welcome Letter, Booklist

First Form: Welcome Letter, Booklist

Second Form through Fifth Form Welcome Letter

Second Form Booklist

Third Form Booklist

Fourth Form Booklist

Fifth Form Booklist

Sixth Form Booklist

Senior School:

First Year: Welcome Letter, Booklist

(For First Years we also have a special publication: A Guide to First Year)

Second Year: Welcome Letter, Booklist

Third Year: Welcome Letter, Booklist

Transition Year: Welcome Letter, Booklist

Fifth Year: Welcome Letter, Booklist

Sixth Year: Welcome Letter, Booklist

High Points and Even More Important Points!

It is understandable that students and their parents and teachers get obsessed with the ‘points race’ when it comes to the Leaving Certificate: for better or worse, that mid-August sum is quite significant when it comes to plotting one’s immediate future.   And this year’s Results Day was particularly nerve-wracking, as a new system of grades was instituted with Hs and Os replacing ABCs and totals no longer finishing in multiples of 5.  Mr. ODulaing and even Ms. Hopkins were pushed to their arithmetical limits mastering the new arcane numerology necessary to find out if you were likely to be doing Medicine at UCD with Sean Pettitt or Basketweaving in Bangor with the kid from the next estate.  We will soon do further number-crunching of the results overall but we can say already that there were many satisfied smiles on the day, as you can see below!

 

 

St. Conleth’s recognises the value of those CAO points but we also know there is much more to the education and development of children and young men and women.  Coincidentally, on that day of the cut-and-dry points totals, we also received a letter from parents, Irene Bloemraad and David St-Jean, who wished to thank St. Conleth’s for all the good things that made up their son Maxime’s year at the school.  We will leave you with their points!

We write to express our thanks for everything the school has done during our year in Ireland. Please feel free to share our very positive experience with other prospective families. 

St. Conleth’s College was a wonderful school. It is not easy, as a teenager, to transition to a new school, especially when this involves moving to a new country and learning a new educational system. Maxime’s experience was made more of a challenge by the fact that he was coming into Third Year and had to catch up on two years of material for his Junior Certificate exam. His teachers were very supportive in making sure that he succeeded. 

The St. Conleth’s students deserve special praise. They welcomed Maxime without question, including him in their activities, and provided a warm, friendly community. St. Conleth’s small school environment meant that he quickly felt comfortable. The students have a strong ethos of embracing the unique interests and talents of their peers—letting them be individuals—while including and accepting everyone within the community. 

Despite being a small school, Maxime had the opportunity to try new activities that he had never done before. He was welcomed into the rugby team and enjoyed learning and playing the sport. He participated in a math challenge team. He became involved in debating and really enjoyed participating in regional debating tournaments. He has now developed an enthusiasm for debating that he plans to take to his next school…

 

Thank you Irene and David, and best of luck to you and Maxime!

From East Wicklow to East Africa!

Inveterate explorer, Gav Maguire,  is at it again: he is deep into preparations with a group of select Conlethian students and the expedition company Earth’s Edge getting ready for a trip next summer to East Africa.  Over the summer the gang have been walking up and down the hills of the Dublin and Wicklow Coast in preparation for the slightly higher (and drier) topography of East Africa.

 

 

The planning started as soon as Gav landed back from India last summer (their last destination) and the students have been busy all year working to raise funds for the trip.  And over the last few weeks Gav has led the group from Bray to Greystones (and Greystones to Bray) and to the top of Howth Head.  Check out the pics above and below from these hikes and stay tuned for more information of the latest chapter in a now long-established Conlethian tradition of partcipation in exploration and develomemet around the world.

 

Where Do the Builders Go in August?

28 Clyde Road, Apparently!  Only our older students will remember personally the last, heady days of the Celtic Tiger when cranes crowded the horizon and a postage stamp apartment near Five Lamps cost a half a million.  Another feature of the high times was the absolute scarcity of tradesmen and builders, especially during August, the traditional month of “builders’ holidays”, when you had a better chance of getting a chippy named Murphy or a sparky named Kelly on the Costa da Sol then in Phibsborough.  Well, as we all know, times have changed, and that is good news regarding the construction of the Kevin D. Kelleher Wing.   Our Fundraising and Development specialist, Mr. Carvill, has been keeping an eye on things better than a quantity surveyor from Cavan, and he reports back that the bricks and beams are going in on schedule and that the coming weeks will certainly see our new gymnasium, performance hall and fitness suite taking shape.  Enjoy the pics below and stay tuned as we get closer to  opening day!

 

 

 

St. Conleth’s Marches Onwards!

Mr. Kelleher would surely be proud of the drive and efficiency with which Robert Quinn Ltd. have taken to the construction of the new wing which is to bear his illustrious name.   It is interesting that Mr. K’s most famous rugby feat has been in the news again thanks to ‘Sonny’ Bill Williams’s recent misdemeanours against the Lions.  Mr. K was justly proud of sending Colin Meads to the showers all those years ago, and was not shy about recounting the event over the breakfast table, but he was never one to dwell solely on the past.  He knew that those who stand still inevitably get left behind.   Mr. K., himself, oversaw several expansions to St. Conleth’s and we know he would be thrilled with the next step in development, now taken by CEO Ann Sheppard, Principals Donal ODulaing and Tony Kilcommons and the Board of Trustees.

 

 

Indeed, St. Conleth’s never sits still… and continuous development is so important to the school that Mr. John Carvill has taken on a new position which will allow him the time to organise and co-ordinate the fundraising which is essential to the future development of the school.  Read all about it in Mr. Carvill’s Development Newsletter and check out the photos and video of the early stages of construction.  Stay tuned for more news as St. Conleth’s strives to be bigger and better from the very first day of school this autumn!

 

St. Conleth’s ‘School Self-Evaluation’

Those highly paid and well-benefitted civil servants of the Department of Education are certainly earning their keep!  We recently enjoyed a one-day ‘drive-by’ inspection and earned an overwhelmingly positive appraisal (Inspector’s feedback), with the girls and boys of 1B (and their teachers) impressing their official visitor…for six class periods in a row!   This follows several subject specific inspections and a ‘Whole School Evaluation’ not too long ago, all of which may be read about in previous ‘News’ posts.  But the sun may be setting on the ‘Age of the Cigera’ as the Department is now promoting ‘School Self-Evaluation’ as the way forward.  Or as they say themselves: School self-evaluation (SSE) is a collaborative, reflective process of internal school review. It provides teachers with a means of systematically looking at how they teach and how pupils learn and helps schools and teachers to improve outcomes for learners (link).  And St. Conleth’s has responded enthusiastically to this challenge, with Assistant Principal Ms. NiAonghusa leading the way with a comprehensive survey of students and parents about their perception of the overall effectiveness of the school, with special emphasis on assessment and learning, numeracy and literacy.  Ms. NiAonghusa’s report on her findings can be found here and please do stay tuned for more news and information from St. Conleth’s implementation of School Self-Evaluation.

 

2017-18 Junior and Senior School Calendars are Here!

Rumour has it that the tiger is back and with it, for the lucky ones, the custom of multiple, exotic, annual family holidays! So, to help you plan that mid-term adventure in Thailand (and/or the long weekend in Bundoran) we attach the school calendars for next year.

Junior (and Preparatory) School Calendar 2017-18

Senior School Calendar 2017-18

So it Begins…

Yes, the sun is shining once more for the beginning of State Exam Season!  Remember, showing up is half the battle, so here are your JC and LC schedules.  Good luck and remember, as your official Examination Aide, Mr. Trenier is at your beck and call!

2017 Junior Certificate Schedule

2017 Leaving Certificate Schedule

The New Parents Association Newsletter Is Here!

The Parents’ Associations not only do loads for the school: they also write it up and publish it in a slick, attractive and easily digestible package!  Michael Mansfield and Peter O’Neill, Chairpersons of the Senior and Junior School Parents’ Associations, and Paul Allen, Chairperson Emeritus and Editor in Chief, organised a small army of active parents and once again they have finished it off just in time for you to pack it away for some beach reading!  Click below and enjoy!

Parents Association Newsletter- May 2017

 

And the Winner is…

Mr. ODulaing avoided any Oscars-style adventures at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the ivory-tinkling of Sam Lynch and the rather oddly verbose speechifying by DOS (Direct of Sport) Gavin Maguire, he presided over a dignified yet joyous affair.  It was great to see so many students rewarded for their talents and effort but even more pleasing was the general bonhomie and good sportsmanship which characterised the event: we like to win at St. Conleth’s but we know that friendship and teamwork are more important.  Without further ado, here are the individual winners of awards:

 

 

And lest we forget the people who will soon run the world (or turn on the machines that do), we also have some group shots of STEM stars, who tend to stick together in groups like the ionic pawns of a crystal lattice structure… obviously for the banter and scientifically themed similes!

 

 

TY’s Rockin’ Finale!

Our School Concert this past Spring was once again a magnificent spectacle of student musical talent but we did notice a decline in the number of shouting and jumping, hairy retro-rock aficionados who used to frequent and shake the stage (and our eardrums).  We had at least thirteen tasteful classical piano solos but not a single note of grungy reverb!  So, Transition Year took it on themselves to bring back all three chords of modern music and ‘rock the Casbah’, staging their very own version of the classic Jack Black vehicle, ‘School of Rock.’  Maestros deBhal and Gallagher concocted a daring, ‘fourth-wall-breaking’ Ionescuesque pastiche, with multiple stages and plays within plays and concerts within concerts.  And the boys and girls responded with a veritable explosion of enthusiasm for stage-stomping, hip-shaking, concert-shirt-wearing, chorus-crooning and cross-dressing!

 

 

The last, of course, is a long-standing St. Conleth’s tradition and earlier in the year the male TYs were beside themselves with worry that the presence of females in TY might eliminate the need for them to break free from their La Cage aux Folles.  But turns out they had nothing to fear as Mr. Trenier, TY Co-ordinator, runs a very tight camp indeed, but it is quite a camp camp!  In all seriousness, Mr. T. did a brilliant job integrating the girls as smoothly as possible this year and further fine-tuning an already impressive programme, from trips all over Dublin (see recent pics from the Viking Splash Tour below), through pushing the boys and girls to the completion of their various courses, projects and competitions and dragging them over the Wicklow Mountains to complete their Gaisce Hike.  It was a great year with a fitting finale.  Check out the snaps of their performance and the individual TY Awards winners, above.

 

That’s No Moon… It’s Your Summer Exam Schedule!

Yes, they are looming on the horizon like the Deathstar… but with plenty of study and a bit of the force, you will do fine!  Here are the Exam Schedules for each year, as well as Third Year Block Classes:

First Year Exam Schedule

Second Year Exam Schedule

Third Year Block Classes

Fifth Year Exam Schedule

Junior Certificate 2017  Timetable

Leaving Certificate 2017  Timetable

(All exam info such as this is always available under the headings ‘Information’/ ‘Senior Calendar’.)

Latina in Gramina!

‘filia, consuetis ut erat comitata puellis, errabat nudo per sua prata pede…‘  So begins one of the most famous sections of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  ‘Attended, as was usual, by her friends, her daughter wandered barefoot through the familiar meadows…’  Well, our First Year Latin class decided to emulate Proserpina and headed off to Herbert Park ‘with their usual companions’ and a bag full of pomegranates, grapes and wine (gums).  As you can see from the photos below, the mezzogiorno climate on the day helped instil the proper mood and the ‘puerique puellae‘ frolicked to their hearts’ content, and they even learned some Latin, reinforcing their first conjugation endings in a special ‘Latin Relay’.  Only the ‘girls-only’ pyramid (barely) stood the test of time but fair is fair when Greco-Romans start messing with Egyptian architecture!

 

 

 

 

Grand Designs

Somewhere back in the mists of time, not long after the Norman invasion itself, Mr. Peter Gallagher inaugurated a Castle-building Competition amongst the First Years at St. Conleth’s and over the subsequent centuries it has developed into one of the most prestigious competitive events at the school. The rules are simple: build a castle (by yourself, not with your parents or your architect auntie!) and earn points for historical accuracy and creativity. We always enjoy the influx of inspired and even outlandish concoctions which for a few weeks take up every horizontal surface in the school. Yes, apparently not all Conlethians build their castles merely out of air!  This year, Dr. Fallon and Mr. Ahern were in charge and the latter, having been raised in a fortified tower house in the badlands of County Limerick, certainly had the required experience to draw the best from the boys. We had castles made of Lego, wood, styrofoam, cardboard and something edible (at least we hope it was!). And who is the 2017 ‘King of the Castle’?  You will have to wait till the Awards Ceremony on Thursday for the dramatic announcement.  In the meantime, enjoy the pictures below of the semi-finalists and finalists and if you have a spare farthing, Mr. Ahern is running a book, for purely charitable purposes- of course.

 

A Lyrical Leaving for the Class of 2017

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.  

 

 

 

TY Nuacht: Cáiliúil!

Mr. Ahern has made up for the disappointment amongst his many fans for not extending his scoring streak in the Staff/6th Year Soccer Match by orchestrating the creation and publication of ‘TY Nuacht’, a newsletter as Gaeilge by Transition Year Irish students which covers all that has been happening in the school, particularly regarding Transition Year.  The masthead says it all:

Picture6

See some excerpts below or get the full newsletter here.  It is a snazzy looking mag and we trust the grammar is spot-on and the humour to the wry side, if we know Mr. Ahern at all.

 

 

 

Great Sports!

The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at breaktime, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of Ringsend and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday.  All the usual suspects were there: Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire, witty yet deadly efficient Head of All Sport and Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Keenan, our rightly selective Bestower of Medals; the famous Herbots Belgian Waffle franchise; various teachers, now old hands at their various athletic stations; and, of course, hordes of waffle-fuelled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with adrenalin and competitive zeal.  This last group spent the day, or at least the mid-afternoon, running, jumping and throwing things with glee and either winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns.  Yes, we said running

 

 

jumping…

 

 

throwing…

 

 

winning…

 

 

or just hanging out!

 

Straight Outta Conleth’s: Chess Playas With Attitude!

We are not sure with which gang Charlie and James are associated, but we are happy that they have a chess-playing ‘wing’!   James recently faced off against Antonia in a late-round match-up of the Annual St. Conleth’s Chess Tournament, run by Chess Moderator Ms. NiAonghusa, and even though James’s wingman, Charlie, was there wearing his colours and flashing some intimidating signs, Anontonia was not to be cowed so easily and she almost pulled off the upset.  The tournament is nearing its business end so both participants should be proud of getting this far, where guys named Suyash and Mati roam with true chess swagger.  Stay tuned for the finale and if you want more TY posing and posturing, make sure you catch James, Charlie, Antonia and all the gang in the musical ‘School of Rock’, premiering next Wednesday evening!

 

Action from the Annual St. Conleth's Chess Tournament: Antonia loses narrowly to James.

Fencing for Free!

Whenever chess makes the headlines, the other great Conlethian tradition, fencing, is sure to follow!  Luke Sherlock, Sixth Form and Claudio Sosa, First Year, have both been awarded an Adrian Lee & Partners Fencing scholarship for 2017.  Adrian Lee is both a past pupil and a past parent of St. Conleth’s.  These scholarships are based solely on competitive fencing performance to date and potential to perform in the future.  This  annual scholarship covers fencing expenses such as memberships fees,  lessons, competition expenses such as entries and transportation.  Stay tuned as Luke moves into the Senior School and joins Claudio and other notable fencers such as James Moriarty-Smyth and Michael Li.   More medals and trophies are sure to come St. Conleth’s way!

 

 

 

Conlethian Chessmen Making Moves for Ireland!

More great news on the chess front!  Both Junior and Senior School teams have been hitting the headlines with regularity this year and now two of our inter-school competition regulars have earned international distinction. Sixth Form Eoin Hunter and First Year Utkarsh Gupta have been selected to play for Ireland in the U-14 section of the annual Glorney Gilbert International – a world renowned tournament which involves the ‘five nations’ of chess: Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and France.  The event is being hosted this year by the Welsh Chess Union in Cardiff from the 23rd to the 27th July. It is a great achievement for St. Conleth’s to have two representatives at the international level!

 

Goblet Retained: Staff Survive 6th Year Skullduggery!

Things did not look good for the Staff Team in the moments leading up to kick-off.  Yes, we had retained the legendary ‘Goblet of Fire’ for over ten years.  Yes, we always play a stylish sort of football, which leaves the various Irish national teams which frequent the Irishtown facility gnashing their teeth in jealousy on the sidelines.  And yes, the current 6th Year soccer-heads did not look remotely capable of organising the proverbial beverage imbibery in a brewery.  And yet, doubts had sneaked in and multiplied as the team news leaked onto Twitter:  Willie Malone, an absolute beast between the posts,  was indeed staying retired.  Mr. ODulaing, our Paul McGrath, was unavailable.  Mike Travers, the quintessential ‘modern fullback’, was out with an ICT injury.  Mr. Stephen Sheridan was busy at his new school, playing croquet and cricket.  Our talisman, Mr. Ahern, he who had somehow scored three times without using his feet or head, was likewise unavailable.  And everyone, especially Mr. Bolger, was a year older.  But Pat McGrath, our Director of Football showed up and steadied the ship and we soldiered on, taking heart in some of the newer blood: literally in the case of Mr. Gleeson, who left copious amounts of his in puddles where he had withstood the vicious lunges of various 6th Years.  Also answering the call were Mr. Tony ‘Adams’ Kilcommons, ‘Twelvetrees’  Trenier and Mr. ‘Show-Me’ Sheridan, the anchors of our defence; Mr. Magee, an agile giant between the sticks; Mr. O’Brien, who somehow brought his skater-punk ethic and fashion to the right wing; two eager young Latvii; Mr. Sweeney, our Maths ace in the hole who had all the angles measured; and the surprise signee from Brazil via the canteen, Zay, whose flickery and trickery amazed the opposition’s rugby grunts.  Supersub Gav Maguire’s last expedition must have followed Ponce de Léon, as he played like a man half his near forty years.  And tirelessly running, or jogging, everything down up front was the soon-not-to-be-so-lonely figure of Mr. Bolger.

 

 

But the real star of the show was Mr. Lonergan: like Steve Sidwell in his prime, or Neil Lennon slightly after his, our top Tipp man was everywhere, chasing down the ball, taking every single dead-ball kick, tackling with abandon and making sure to tell everyone else exactly what they should be doing, even our august referee, Shay Keenan.  ‘Ubiquitous’ you say?  At one point Mr. Lonergan not only took a corner, but he was also there on the other end, trying to head it in.  If you slow down the replay, you can just barely see a flash of ginger charging at light-speed into the box!   Which brings us to Christian, surely the most annoying member of the 6th Year team, and that is saying something!  Christian actually scored quite a stylish goal but quickly reminded us who he was with his ridiculous celebration.  To give the students their due, they did push, kick, grab, fall down, and moan much better than we expected.  And after matching Fernando Torres for magnitude of miss, Oscar ‘Hamlet’ Harley-Monks did balance the ledger.  Our major complaint was that at the end of full time, they begged us not to play extra-time, as they had had enough.  We kindly acquiesced and kept the goblet!

Friday Night Lights!

In Texas, if you ain’t at the high-school football game on a Friday night, you’re either a communist or something worse…  Similarly, amongst the St. Conleth’s mathematicians, if you are not attending a maths quiz or Pi party on a Friday night, people start to talk.  Well, Ms. NiAonghusa for one is certainly beyond suspicion!  You read here previously about the Sixth and Third Years’ after-hours mathematics, well this time it was the First Years’ turn as  Joymarita and Trevor qualified for the Finals of the IMTA (Irish Maths Teachers Association) Maths Competition. The format is an hour of tricky mind-bending maths problems (even tougher after a long week of school!).  The Finals were held at Oatlands College and Joymarita and Trevor more than held their own against some of the biggest brainiacs in Leinster.  The UCD professor who awarded the prizes dubbed them all- ‘Problem solvers of the future’.  And the accompanying Ms. NiAonghusa definitely had more fun than her colleagues who were at the same time at Crowe’s Mathematical Think-Tank, analysing the vectors of Gav Maguire’s scintillating (and mathematically impossible) runs during the Staff/6th Year Soccer Match.

 

Cross-Curricular Creativity!

Ms. Killen’s class recently completed a cross-curricular project on a topic that is very much in the news lately: secret sugar consumption.  Second Years Nollaig, Matthew and Nickolay combined Science, Maths and Health in their investigation into how much sugar students at St. Conleth’s are actually consuming when lunching in the canteen or gobbling down goodies from the Tuck Shop at break-time (and during certain classes- but certainly not Ms. Killen’s!).   The results were shocking and can clearly be seen in their project which is on display in the ground floor corridor.  Interestingly, the project had to be done twice: the first time, the boys actually measured, bagged and displayed the sugar present in each item, but then some particularly desperate Conlethian sugar junkie went and siphoned off most of the display!  Now, there are just the safer figures on view, but we implore the person responsible to get some help and, above all, stop sucking down those Capri Suns (18 grams of sugar)!

 

2’nd Years Hike Ahead in CSPE! (with new photos!)

Our 3rd Years recently completed their CSPE Action Project and though it was a smashing success, it is something that all schools do.  But St. Conleth’s CSPE Czar Ronan Bolger is not happy with just having his subject taught like it is art any other school, so this week he took 2nd Years on a pre-Action Project!  Yes, 2nd Years- those oft neglected middle children between the over-coddled 1st Years and the exam-oriented 3rd Years.  Well, Mr. Bolger and Mr. Maguire, quickly developing into our very own Bear Grylls, took the boys and girls of 2nd Year on the hike of their life in the Wicklow Mountains, taking advantage of the beautiful weather and turning it to a good cause- raising money for Dogs’ Trust.

 

 

Along the way, Mr. Maguire thought it would be great to run a competition and asked the kids to bombard us with emailed photographs of the splendid scenery: you can see the impressive results below.  There were several stunning pics, but we believe the last one above, taken by Sophie Lee, is the deserved winner!

 

She Blinded Them With Science! (updated!)

We never really knew what Thomas Dolby meant with that synthy hit of his in the 80s, but Julia O’Callaghan’s extraordinary win at the SciFest Science Fair has finally brought it home.  First Year Julia stunned the judges with the coolest science project ever (it was about Super Cooling Liquids) and after the panel of renowned researchers recovered their senses, they awarded her first prize in the  Junior Physical Sciences section.  And as you can see in the pics below, Julia had plenty of Conlethian company at the competition, with Ms. Phelan and Mr. Callaghan having helped prompt and prepare a veritable army of little Prof. Frinks!  Alexis Peers and Eva Stylianides examined Trypophobia  which is not the fear of giving it a go in popular music but the more important ‘fear of small holes’.  Keane Acosta and Sophie Lee titled their project ‘Bubblrific’ which sounds like one of those expensive plastic  ‘crafty’ toys your kids see advertised during Scooby-Doo and will absolutely die for but it is actually a very serious study of the science of bubble blowing.  Daniel Coady, Anthony Steyn and Rory Clarke put their musical talents and knowledge to use- ‘Using Pitch to measure Volume of a liquid in a glass’.  Second Years Max Brennan, Matthew Lynch and Fergal McCullagh got all synaesthesic on us with ‘The Wonderful Taste of Colour’, wondering if colour makes a difference to taste (and we have to say their presentation was both sweet and savoury). And, old pro at science fairs, Stephen Rockett dared to rhyme at a STEM gathering, titling his project  ‘Perception Deception’:  we noticed the judges lingered long over this one!  Ms. Phelan noticed that not only did all the students perform top-notch science but they also demonstrated great ability to communicate their ideas to the judges.  So, well done to their English teachers, too!

 

 

Stephen Rockett’s eye-witness report:

Scifest is a national competition for second-level students in science, technology, engineering and maths. This year St Conleth’s was represented by no less than 11 students from first and second year across individual and group competitions.
We exhibited our projects at the Helix, DCU, and the judges visited each of our stands and spoke to us. I enjoyed explaining my project, which was about subliminally influencing people, and though three of the judges were very enthusiastic, one of them didn’t really get it. Although I didn’t get a prize in my section (junior life science) this year, I was delighted that Julia O’Callaghan from first year won the junior physical sciences section.
After lunch (of free sandwiches) there were a number of presentations given by different scientists. The woman who spoke about being a chemist was particularly interesting, such that I think I might pursue a career in chemistry. It was a great day and a big thanks to Ms Phelan and Mr Callaghan.

 

Lucy Lights Up The East Leinsters!

Mr. Keenan’s track and field boys were at it again, but this time at the East Leinsters, there were also some Conlethian girls there to show them how it was done!  Fifth Year Lucy Colman-Black shook up the competition with her mighty shot putts and then lit up Morton Stadium with her smile as she received her Bronze Medal.  This storied athletics venue also witnessed our boys relay team making it to the semi-finals and dozens of Conlethian athletes giving it there all in a variety of events, from the long jump to the race-walk.  It was a great accomplishment for the boys and a ringing endorsement of Mr. Keenan and Mr. Maguire’s efforts to mix athletics into the sports schedule this past few years.  Stay tuned for the Leinsters!

It’s Gonna Be A Bright, Bright Sun-Shiny Day!

Every year in early May, as the TYs trudge onto the coach for the Gaisce hike, the irrepressible Gav Maguire treats them to a virtuoso performance of the Johnny Nash/Jimmy Cliff classic ‘I Can See Clearly Now’.  He nimbly cavorts up and down the aisle of the bus, effortlessly reaching the high notes and hi-fiving and back-slapping as he predicts a ‘sun-shiny day’… and lies through his mellifluous teeth!  Because, despite Gav’s upbeat and sunny disposition, it always rains on the TY Gaisce hike!  And not just a ‘soft day’ drizzle…the boys usually get the kind of downpour which turns the Wicklow mountains into a series of torrents and mudslides.  Well this year, the clubs came and went, but it was a bright, bright sun-shiny day in the end and even notorious curmudgeons Mark, Charlie and James begrudgingly admitted that they enjoyed the experience, completing 31km over two days!  Well done, Gav, on the singing and the hiking!

 

 

Worried About Internet Safety?

Well, whom better to ask then the kids themselves?  Vodaphone and the ISPCC have teamed up in a new initiative to get teenagers together in a symposium to discuss all the complicated issues around internet safety and come up with some potential solutions.  Last week 10 of our 5th Years went along with Mr. Porzadny, our resident ICT and  meditation guru, to Vodafone headquarters to take part in one such meeting, and all involved agreed that it was an interesting and useful experience.  We look forward to hearing the ideas discussed and perhaps implementing some of the symposium’s suggestions.  We hope they do not include the blocking of school websites with an inherently bad sense of humour!

 

 

Shocker as Stylish Staff Team Loses to 6th Year Yahoos!

In the annals of basketball there are a few upsets that stand out for their utter, incomprehensible unpredictability: the 1994 defeat of the Lakers in the NBA Finals by the Detroit Pistons, the recent defeat of the supposedly undefeatable Connecticut ladies team by Mississippi State in the NCAAs, and, now, the loss by the St. Conleth’s Staff Basketball Team to a ragtag gang of Sixth Year louts.  If points were awarded for style, it would not have been close, as player-coach ‘Noctor J’ had assembled a collection of basketballing excellence and artistry not seen since the 1988 NBA Dunk Contest, with the doctor running the point himself, Louis Magee and Mr. Sheridan elegantly patrolling the paint, Mr. ‘Swish’ Sweeney shooting out the lights and Mark Ryan doing a very creditable Lebron James imitation.  Where did it all go wrong? Well, West Brom do beat Arsenal once in a while!  Referee Luke Gilligan did his best to call a tight game but it was a combination of Christian Foul-rell’s thug life defence, birthday boy Oscar Harley-Monk’s incredibly fortuitous outside shooting, Ross Murphy’s illegal occupation of the key and the sneaky slinkiness of Jamie Connolly and Tim O’Gorman which combined with the Dellavedova-like tenacity of Shane Byrne and Kerrie-Ann McGrath to scrape a one point win.   Not since the Bad Boys of 1980’s Detroit have we seen a victory so devoid of style!  After the match, the Staff team immediately began preparations for next week’s victory in soccer and the Sixth Years resorted to cavorting about the court, dabbing and pulling whips, not believing their luck.  And somewhere, we know, the basketball gods were crying…

 

Orator Maximus!

Like a true Classical gentleman, St. Conleth’s Third Year Maxime St-Jean can best you both in the gymnasium and at the rostrum.  Joining a long list of Conlethian debating stars, Maxime was crowned last night as the individual winner of the UCD Leinster Junior Debating Competition.  The competition ran from last September until now, and has had nearly 300 speakers from across Leinster. He won in opposition to the motion ‘This House Supports the Increase in Satirical Commentary on Right Wing Politic’, a position which may make his re-entry into his native ‘Republic of Berkeley’ nigh impossible, but Maxime could always repatriate to Texas!  Since his arrival at St. Conleth’s, Maxime has impressed everyone with his impeccable manners and apparent limitless talents and the fact that he has developed into a world class debater without the usual Conlethian route of taking over every classroom discussion!  Credit is also due to Debating Moderator Mr. Carvill, whose request for a ‘Debating Wing’ in the new extension suddenly seems more plausible, and alumnus Debating Coach Conor White, who somehow balances a workload that includes coaching our debaters, lunching with political elites, keeping a watchful eye on the lurking neo-con threat and excelling in his Business and Law course at UCD to the degree that he is now an Ad Astra scholar.  Ad astra, indeed!

 

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No Falling at this Last Fence!

Last Sunday saw the St. Conleth’s fencers foray north for the final competition of the 2016- 2017 Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Once again, the merry band returned with medals aplenty and trophies galore:  In the Under 14 Boys Foil, Claudio Sosa won the Gold and James Moriarty-Smyth took the Bronze, with the pair having met at Semi-Final stage.  In the Under 12 Boys Foil, Luke Sherlock won the Gold and in the Under 10 Mixed Foil, Myles Moriarty-Smyth won the Bronze and Matthew Sherlock placed 5th.  Well done to the boys (and their tireless parents) on a tremendous year of multiple trophies in multiple countries and the continuation of a proud Conlethian tradition!

 

The Zorin Brothers: Technology for All!

St. Conleth’s alumni brothers, Kyrill (2012) and Artyom Zorin (2013), were the Wozniak and Jobs of their time when they graced the halls of 28 Clyde Road, winning the Technology Section of the Young Scientist competition and repeatedly amazing their teachers and classmates with their rare combination of technological genius, common sense and honest enthusiasm.  Their old school project, Zorin OS, is now a global project and Artyom fills us in on what is happening with our favourite social, digital entrepreneurs:

We’ve been constantly working to make our operating system even better over the past 4 years since we finished school. Kyrill graduated from Trinity this past December, but I decided to defer from university to focus on the business.

After nearly 9 years of development and 12 versions on, Zorin OS is on track to reach its 17 millionth download next week. We have users in homes, schools, businesses and even governments around the world. Last summer we got word that a city in Italy began moving its entire municipality from Windows to Zorin OS. We’re now working on new tools that will allow even more organisations and schools to make the switch to Zorin OS. They will help fund the next phase of our company: building the computing platform for the developing world.

Computers could have an enormous impact on people in countries like India and China. However, the price of traditional PCs have always been out of reach of the people than could benefit from them most.

More importantly than merely creating the most affordable PC on the market, we’re re-imagining its software to be as useful as possible for our users. As most of the people we target won’t have reliable access to the Internet, we’ll be pre-loading the most important parts of the Internet onto the computer itself. They will finally have access to the tools and software to let them work and run their businesses. Even more meaningful will be the educational content shipped with every PC: Wikipedia, videos from Khan Academy, textbooks, resources about health and apps to teach a full school curriculum, just to name a bit.

With this new venture, we want to provide billions of people tools & knowledge with the power to improve their opportunities, their livelihoods and their lives.

 

 

For more information on Zorin OS, see the brothers’ website https://zorinos.com or on Facebook:  https://zorinos.com.

Tennis Teams Approaching the Net!

The rugby and basketball teams have thrilled us with their multiple finals and semi-finals, falling honorably at the last hurdles.  The chess team reached new heights in its inter-school competition and is now involved in the internecine battles of their labyrinthine in-house tournament.  The fencers, having fought all over Europe this year, were last seen heading outside to settle, like true gentlemen, an argument about Bratislavan history.  That leaves it to Mr. Keenan’s tennis teams to take the Conleth’s colours into the other courts of Leinster and, as usual, the teams are battling at the very highest level.   St. Conleth’s Tennis Captain Alex Murphy has able assistants in Girls Captain Lois Kelleher, 2nd/3rd Year Captain Michael Cook and 1st Year Captain Sthitoprogyo Deb as they prepare for the gruelling Leinster Cup.  Look below at the fixture list, and you will see that tennis is one sport where we just do not do ‘developmental’ or ‘special achievment’.  We just play tennis, and we do it against the best and we do it well!

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PDF of Fixture List

Good News: There is an Afterlife!

Well, those of us fully infused with the ethos of St. Conleth’s never had a doubt, but, still, it is great to see budding young intellectuals such as Hugh Etchingham-Coll and the Oisín Dowling use logic and wit to back up a basic tenet of all the old time religions.  The motion at the 2017 Bouchier-Hayes Debate was actually more about the positive practical results of a belief in the afterlife (regardless of its existence) but the debate quickly encompassed all the related ‘big’ questions, especially relevant at this time when religious fanaticism implies more than just horrendous traffic jams at the Galway novena.  The Bouchier-Hayes family, long associated with the school and the sponsors of this award, would have been proud at the deep-thinking and repartee tossed around the Conference Room, as would the past winners of the prize, from Frank Kennedy and Barry Ward, currently crossing rhetorical swords at the rostrum of the Dublin City Council or Michael O’Dwyer, Philip McDonald and Ian Hastings, now further intricating the intricacies of tort in various world capitals at law firms such as Slaughter and May.  As you can see from the pictures below, all our debaters were in fine effusive flow, and used hand gestures and raised eyebrows with such emphasis that the actual spoken words were almost superfluous to the point!  On hand to adjudicate were Debating Czar John Carvill and alumnus Christopher Costigan, currently studying History and Politics at TCD, as well as an unnamed, cloaked representative of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.   They did not find it easy picking a winner of this team award, with Harry Mansfield proving the best individual speaker and everyone scoring points against each other, including some devastating tidbits from the History Boys, Oisín Herbots and Sean Moiselle, and a much-anticipated showdown between the Pettitt Brothers, which made that Iron Man/Captain America tiff seem trite in comparison.  In the end, the winners the Bouchier-Hayes Plate for Impromptu Debating 2017 were Dean McElree and Simon Pettitt, who argued so forcefully about the benefits of the afterlife that they themselves experienced Pauline conversions and, at the close of debate, shed their wordy possessions and left to join the Trappist monks.  Just wait till Simon hears about the vow of silence!

 

Sammy Sings us into Summer!

Do you remember ‘Right Said Fred’?  Musical tastes change with the times, and sometimes quite quickly, especially at St. Conleth’s, where maestros Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal provide clear and inspirational leadership but also allow their musical minions quite a bit of creative independence.  So, each year we know the performances will be top quality but we could get anything from the stage-stomping heavy metal (2011) through a show-tune piano medley (2014) to a boy-band croonfest (various).  This year, things took a decidedly subdued, classical turn (that is, until the last act).

 

 

We had pianists aplenty, each performing with exquisite talent and gusto: Ciara McCracken played “Barbed Wire Blues”; Muireann Dempsey – ‘A Thousand Years’;  Mark Connor accompanied the sweetly-singing  Colin Bolger on “Say Something”; Siobhan Moriarty- Chopin’s ‘Nocturne’; Elizabeth Counihan – “Pirates of the Caribbean”;  Sam Lynch – “The River Flows in You”;  Annalisa Sorenson played (and sang!) ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me” and brave Sean Moran tackled (and conquered) “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  Stephen Rockett continued the classical theme, charming us on violin, and Johanna Drager was once again consummate on the cello, playing ‘Danny Boy’ with Ciara Cole (flute), Lucy Colman-Black (piano) and Emer Healy-O’Reilly (harp), as well as backing Emer and Luke McKay’s rumour-stirring version of  “Viva la Vida”.

 

 

Yes, there was some pop music!  Notably Kerri-Ann McGrath’s pitch-perfect ‘Writing on the Wall’ by Sam Smyth and Ishan Prasai’s individual take on “Take Me to Church” by Hozier.   There was also plenty of traditional and folk music with 1st Years reprising their ‘Riptide’ as Gaeilge; Louis Cullen, Evan Power and Oisín Power wondering “What will we do with the drunken sailor?”; Holly Stanley and Annalise teaming seamlessly with ‘Travellin’ Soldier’ and Ms. DeBhál, Cian O’Connor and Sean Keane (who else?) once again beguiling us with their trad talent, this time on “Eleanor Plunkett”.  And marking, we believe, the first appearance of a trumpet at the concert, Daniel Coady blowing it like the Horn of Gondor, and melding beautifully with Rory Clarke and Joymarita on  “A Thousand Years”.    Of course, every team needs an ‘All Star’, and ours was once again the impishly infectious Sammy Butler: the crowd rose as one in camaraderie and delight, as Sammy sang and swayed us into Summer!

 

 

Destination 2018: East Africa!

Mr. Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire is at it again: he is deep into preparations with a group of select Conlethian students and the expedition company Earth’s Edge getting ready for a trip in 2018 to East Africa.  The planning started as soon as Gav landed back from India last summer (the last destination) and the students have been busy all year working to raise funds for the trip.  Last Thursday was a particularly exciting day for those involved: Earth’s Edge representatives were in the Conference Room with their maps out and the routes marked in.  You could practically smell the DEET!  Gav and Dolores Kelly have been leading student expeditions for years and the overwhelmingly positive results for both travellers and hosts are beyond doubt.  Check out the pics from the planning meeting and some previous expeditions, below.  Specifics for East Africa 2018 are here and on Earth’s Edge’s St. Conleth’s dedicated page.  Support the boys and girls who are involved and take it easy on them this summer.  They will need all their energy come June 2018!

 

 

 

Mr. Bolger: The Beast of CSPE!

Some teachers dodge the ‘alphabety’ subjects like CSPE, SPHE, LCVP and even PE (on rainy days) like they are IEDs but Mr. Bolger is like an ornery badger when he gets his teeth into one of these subjects.  Take CSPE, for example.  Some teachers are happy to just repeatedly show the students pictures of Angela Merkel so that when her hoary visage shows up on the famous ‘pick the politician’ section of the exam, the kids do not get all confused about their continental masters and tick Jean-Claude Juncker instead!  But Mr. Bolger takes the old Civics seriously:  recently he began a reinvigoration of our Green School policy by replacing all our green and red bins and sending out an ‘Environmental Co-operation Encouragement Group’ of muscular TYs to make sure the message was delivered.  (Rumours that one First Year who carelessly dropped a banana skin into the green bin was he himself subsequently ‘recycled’ by are unconfirmed.)   And Mr. Bolger certainly takes the CSPE Action Project seriously.  This year he decided to ditch the bicycles, due to technical and developmental issues, and lead the Third Years by foot into the Wicklow Mountains so that the students could conduct collect their data and conduct their research for their projects.   A great day away from screens and out in nature was enjoyed by all involved but some serious work was also done… inevitably when Mr. Bolger is at the helm!

 

Pass that Baton!

Conlethian kids are many things… intelligent, athletic, creative, devilishly handsome, knowledgeable about LOTR and Star Wars trivia… all the important things, but one thing that most of them are not, is shy.  Conlethians are always eager to put up their hands (or just call out) when questions are asked or volunteers sought, even if the outcome of said volunteerism is still in doubt.  In other words, there is no doubt that if St. Conelth’s was around in 71 BC, Crassus would have had even more work to do after asking, ‘Who is Spartacus?’  Luckily, the questions asked nowadays at St. Conelth’s, not far from the Appian Way, are more like: ‘Who would like to be a guest conductor of the No. 1 Army Band?’   And the response was so overwhelming that a section process was then employed, with Second Year Jack O’Connor correctly guessing the regular conductor’s nation of origin (Australia).  Jack was joined by several Junior and Senior School students in taking their turn directing the wind, strings and percussion.   Our visitors, from the captain conductor to the fourth trombone, were, as always, friendly, good-humoured and, above all, extremely talented: a credit to an Irish Army institution that dates back to 1923.  A brilliant performance, with plenty of booming bass, to stretch the auditorium for the School Concert soon to come!

 

Classics Kids Rock the Rostrum!

And bag the booty! The classical Romans and Greeks possessed an honest materialism which was as refreshing as it was intense, and the Classical Association of Ireland Teachers’ Annual Speech Competition follows suit by giving real cash monies as its prizes. Leave those cheap, tawdry medals to the ‘everybody wins’ sportsdays of Educate Together schools: classicists can handle the rough-and-tumble competition of the gymnasium, the forum and, as we witnessed last night, the rostrum. Our small but mighty team was welcomed to the august halls of Trinity College by two Conleth’s Classics Whiz-kid alumni: Alistair Daly, current TCD Ancient Greek student and inveterate herbal tea imbiber and Phillip O’Hanrahan, History and Politics student and reigning Trinity College Mario Kart Champion.  Phillip is a past winner of this competition, Alistair is the competition’s current Ancient Greek judge and both were members of the last Conlethian team to capture the ‘Ides of March’ Classics Table Quiz title, a prize so honoured by classicists that Alistair claims he has yet to pay for one for his ginseng infusions when out knocking them back with the Greek and Latin crowd on a Friday night.

 

 

As usual, the Gonzagans were strutting around exchanging pleasantries amongst themselves in Etruscan and texting Sanskrit to their relatives busy hunting tigers in the Punjab, and once again the jebbies dominated the laurels: there is no denying the classical scholarship of that ad maiorem dei gloriam crowd!  But the Conlethian cohort was not to be denied its fair share:  Saul ‘Damascus’ Burgess adopted a split personality to recreate the infamous last conversation of Achilles and Hector, perfectly channelling the anger of the former and the poignant resignation of the latter and finishing second in a tough LC Classics Division.  Anna Celant read from the Aeneid Book II in flawless Latin and channelled Thucydides so well, she took second place in Ancient Greek!  (Anna also had the honour of being the only female amongst the 48 Latin and Greek competitors!)  Anna’s classmate, and countryman, Eduardo Donnini, was so flawless in his metrical fluency with Aeneid Book VI that the judges were lulled asleep!  And brave Joe Downey, who only recently barely survived a skirmish at the back of the phalanx during the ‘Ides of March’ quiz, was chosen by lot to be the very first man ‘over the wall’!   Not to be daunted, even by the presence of several baying Holy Faith-Clontarf girls, Joe delivered a spirited rendition of Phaedrus’s Errans in Silva.  Not only did these four think the evening was a instant classic but so did the contingent of fellow Conlethian students who did not compete but formed a protective praetorian guard, made up of a wide range of characters from the Commodus-like Eoin MacNally to the Stoic Paul Ralph.  Ad majorem St. Conleth’s gloriam!

 

The Offensive Continues!

The Conleth’s fencing contingent has been in action again both domestically and abroad. Saturday 25th March saw James, Myles and Claudio fence in Poland at the Challenge Wratislava.  Claudio ended the day ranked a tremendous 30th in the U-13 Boys Foil while James finished 192nd out of the field of 230 fencers. Myles competed in the Under 11s and ranked an impressive 106th out of 172.  Seven days later,  and all three plus the Sherlock brothers were back on piste, this time competing in the Irish Nation Youth Open held at Loreto Abbey Dalkey and marking the end of the domestic season. Again results were impressive: Myles took Gold in the Mixed Under 10s with Mathew taking Bronze. It was a similar story in the Under 14 Boys with Claudio taking Gold and James the Bronze. Luke finished 6th in the Under 12 Boys category.  The St. Conleth’s fencers have once again laid down the gauntlet for the chessmen and the debaters!

 

 

 

 

 

A Week in the Life…

… of St. Conleth’s.  The pupils and teachers of both the Junior and Senior Schools have us run ragged trying to keep up!  Look what they get up to in just a week: Emilio won the St. Conleth’s Spelling Bee and made the 4th Round of the Eason’s Dublin Final, with several classmates in attendance; Our Junior School swimmers competed gamely at the Willow Park Swimming; Mr. Bolger and the TYs began their Green School Re-invogaration programme; Mr. Keenan continued his integration of gymnastics into the PE curriculum; 6th Year took a healthy stroll around Herbert Park and refuelled at Lolly and Cooks; Ms. Long continued to inspire the Juniors in the art room; Mr. Lonergan led his 6th Years on their Geography Fieldwork and Mr. Porzadny encouraged 3rd Forms to get moving in the Conference Room.  And stay tuned for the week ahead: more Orals, Confession, Confirmation and the School Spring Concert are all on the agenda!

 

Port Out, Starboard Home!

The luxurious setting for the Parents Associations Annual Social Event was the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire and the Conlethian parents came with the fashion to match.  The fare was robust as well as genteel with an old-fashioned hog roast the centre-piece (along with Fianna Fáil Councillor and alumnus Frank Kennedy) and an array of haute cuisine making up the surrounding buffet.  But the stunning style and gourmet gastronomy were only the appetisers to the real event: the easy, friendly mixing of St. Conleth’s parents and the accompanying conversation and craic.  It is no coincidence that the same cozy yet exciting atmosphere is the most defining attribute of the school, itself.  Well done to chairmen Peter O’Neill and Michael Mansfield and all the PA Committee members on another smashing success!

 

 

 

Barbarians at the Gate!

Drogheda is known for the Laurence Gate, an impressive medieval barbican, and the imposing fortress of the Millmount, with all its dark Cromwellian associations, but of what Drogheda is most proud, and justifiably so, is simply that it is not Dundalk.  Well, now, Droghedans, specifically the boys of St. Mary’s DS and their kick-aes Classics Department, have something else to crow about, as their yearly Visigothian migration southwards to more settled lands has finally yielded the desired booty of First Place Laurel in the Annual ‘Ides of March’ Table Quiz, organised by the Classics and Latin Teachers Association.  Long ago, Proconsul and Classics Teacher Tom Giblin took a posting on the frontiers and, like the legendary Sertorius, he soon ‘went native’, training up a superior fighting force which welded his own sophisticated tactics with the local ferocity.

 

 

We knew that it was only a matter of time before this motley band sent the patricians of Gonzaga, various Loretos and, yes, even St. Conleth’s, running for the protection of the Praetorian Guard.  All credit to the Mary’s boys, as they showed up with swagger and style and set the tone for the evening even before the first flaming arrow was launched to commence battle.   Led by an impressive figure, wearing the native war-dress of a three-piece suit and gold-tinted glasses and known simply and ominously as ‘Pento’, the winning team clearly knew their peristyles and Pantheon and the difference between Pompey and Pompeii.  Our own three full Conlethian teams competed honourably, one of which, led by Centurion Eoin MacNally, bravely took the noble but thankless position of rear guard, selflessly foregoing many correct answers while concentrating on protecting their colleagues’ flanks and backsides.  Thankless, yes, but quite necessary with so many Droghedans around!

 

Now, Take a Deep Breath and…

…just relax!  Yes, it may seem funny to those Junior and Leaving Certificate students who are stuck right in the middle of orals and practicals season, but at St. Conleth’s we take a holistic and ‘whole child’ approach to education, and though there are no ‘points’ for Healthines or Happiness, we like to think that every one of our students takes them both at the Higher Level!  In recognition and evidence of this emphasis, Mr. ODulaing is spearheaded the planning and implementation of St. Conleth’s second annual Health Awareness Week, which ran last week and included activities targeting both physical and mental health.  It all started with teachers leading their classes down to Herbert Park for an invigorating but relaxing stroll.  Then, Mr. Porzadny continued his one-man revolution teaching relaxation and thoughtfulness techniques to both students and staff.   There was Healthy (but Tasty) Eating Info from Chef Mark and students were able to assemble their own super-salads.   There was also a special guest speaker for the occasion, but we will let our Guidance Counsellor Anne Ryan, who is so instrumental in bringing so many career and guidance professionals in to talk to our students, explain:

 

 

For Mental Health Week which runs from 21 June to 24 June 2017, Tracy Geraghty, Life Coach, will talk to each year group. Tracy aims to give young people the skills and confidence they need to cope with their mental health. Some good coping skills include: meditation and relaxation techniques, physical activity, friendshipsleeping and nutrition.   Obtaining and maintaining good coping skills takes time and practice but utilizing these skills becomes easier over time. Good coping skills make for good mental health. Negative coping skills such as drugs, excessive alcohol use or self -harm can hinder progress in dealing positively with stress. These actions offer only temporary relief, if any. Tracy will teach strategies for breaking up negative thought processes. She will encourage students not to ignore or cover up how they feel.  Teachers and other staff in St. Conleth’s are always available to listen and to ensure that no young person feels alone, isolated or disconnected from others around them.

 

TY Info Night, Tonight!

What have these guys and girls been up to? Lots!  From their daily classroom-based projects through their Thursday trips around Dublin and beyond to tutoring local primary students and the recent Build-A-Bank Regional Finals, Mr. Trenier’s charges  have ‘livin’ large’ and getting the most out of Transition Year.  Check out the photos and below, and if you are a Third Year parent wondering what is in store for next year, come along to the Conference Room tonight and see what’s cooking…and what’s kicking…and who’s sailing….and who’s speaking Mandarin…and…

 

 

 

What’s All the Hoopla About?

Well, it is about Coach Eoin ‘Noctor J’ and his basketballers, both Junior and Senior School versions, shaking things up on the Irish Schools Basketball scene.  We have had the pleasure of attending four different SDBL and Dublin U19 and U16 Finals and our First and Second Year teams are following in their ‘eurosteps’ with Second Years winning a thriller recently in OT and then a close, quality loss by 3 points in the Dublin Plate Final.  First Years had a respectable close loss to perennial power Pres.-Bray and are into the SDBL play-off ladder.  But most impressive of all was the Junior School’s team victory over Castlepark earlier in the season and then close loss to the same team in the AIJS Tournament Final.  We have been going to this tournament for years and this was by far our best finish.  Just wait till the new extension is built and we have a full-sized basketball court on which to practice.  The boys and girls will be leaping to new heights and shooting out the lights!

 

 

Seachtain na Gaeilge, An Dara Cuid!

Ms. Fay, for one, certainly has had enough Gaeilge for a thousand seachtaine, after tirelessly leading the various year groups through  Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada, Tae agus Plé and, with Ms. deBhal, Coirnéal na Ceoltóirí Sráide.  The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities.  Enjoy the pictures below, but as the Tráth Na gCeist and the Poc Fada were particularly hotly contested this year, we must also include some official results.

 

 

Winners of Tráth na gCeist: 1ú Bhliain
Oisín Thornton
Morton Ainscough
Daniel Weatherly
Darrach Smyth
Tráth na gCeist – 6ú Bliain
Jack Groves
Oscar Byrne Carty
Jamie Connolly
Matt Finn
Christian Farrell
Tráth na gCeist – 5ú Bliain
Oisín Gilligan
Oisín Dowling
Gavin Nugent
Eoin McNally
Poc Fada – 5ú
1. Tim Leary
2. Alex Murphy
3. Oisín Gilligan
Poc Fada, 5ú, Comórtas na gCailíní
1. Lucy Coleman
2. Ciara (from America)
3. Enya O’Brien

 

What’s Going On? Orals, Practicals and a New Calendar!

As you can tell if you visit these pages often, things never stand still at St. Conleth’s, especially as the year turns and the balmy heat of the Irish spring begins to seep in through the windows… at least in the school library, it does!   We are smack in the middle of Seachtain na Gaeilge (see below) and the Junior Cert Orals with Spanish in the bag and Irish (15-16/3) and French (23-24/3) on the near horizon.  The LC students have a bit of a St. Patrick’s Day breather but their orals and practicals are quickly approaching.  You can see the full schedule here and below, or on our newly revised ‘Rest of the Year’ calendar.  Of course, both are also available under the Calendar and Information menu and in our Daily Events.  Have a look and you will see that aside from all that state exams stuff, there are is also plenty of fun on the agenda, with concerts, sports days and outings galore!

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Seachtain Gaeilge, Stíl St. Conleth’s: Píosa a hAon!

For years St. Conleth’s múinteoirí Gaeilge  have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the whole school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine, but they certainly déan a ndícheall leading up to St. Patrick’s Day!  Both our Junior and Senior School teachers have crammed i bhfad níos mó into 28 Clyde Road, turning it into the  Gaeltacht is galánta this side of Carna!  The páistí beaga  gathered in the Conference Room with Mr. Ahern and Mr. Sheridan, a dynamic duo of Senior and Junior teachers, for Tráth Na gCeist, answering questions (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from MacBride to Macklemore while the déagóiríall took part in the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians.  Bhí sceitimíní ag teacht ar na déagóirí  their own table quizzes on Irish themes and First Years are particularly busy rehearsing with Ms. Fay for a special ‘Busker’s Corner’ on Thursday:  Coirnéal na Ceoltóirí Sráide.  So stay tuned for more nuacht na hÉireann at St. Conleth’s!

 

 

Check Mates

At some schools, the rugby guys are the BMOCs (Big Men on Campus) and they swagger around the place, throwing their weight around and occasionally  getting into towell-whipping incidents in the locker rooms with the basketball or Gaelic guys. At St. Conleth’s, though the rugby and B-ball teams do more than hold their own (more on them later), it is rather the chess team guys who truly rule the roost and fill their dance-cards first at homecoming.  No-one dares mess with the sanctity of the Tuesday lunchtime Chess Club and when these warriors amble down the hallwaySeni, everyone gives them a wide berth!  We have read how the Junior School Chess teams dominate their leagues and now Ms. NiAonghusa is driving her troops towards similar heights.  This past weekend, her First Years played in their first Leinster Finals in years, qualifying as one of the four semi-finalists from a field of over forty teams.  It is an especially impressive feat, considering that our local qualifying group includes both Gonzaga and St. Benildus’s, two of the national chess powers.   Despite this perennial handicap, this particularly young team stormed into the finals and battled honourably against both Gonzaga and Colaiste Eoin, finishing fourth in Leinster and showing considerable promise for the future.  Rumour has it that the other Conlethian BMOCs, namely the debating and fencing posses, are spoiling for a turf war but I would not bet against these young knights!

 

 

The PPU Dinner Photos Are In…

…and there is no need to call your lawyer!  Yes, we know how you usually spend the morning after the Past Pupils Union Dinner in a cringing state of apprehension of some social media outlet’s pictorial display of you nocturnal misadventures, but you can relax and go ahead and get that modem boinging because all the photos that we have seen merely capture the good, old-fashioned fun of the festivities! Joe Barnes and Paul Allen were our photographers of choice on the evening and both showed the good taste of forwarding only the ones which portray ourselves as we truly are: upstanding (or at least standing), relatively sober and with both eyes (mostly) open.  Enjoy them and sign up with the PPU on Facebook too see even more.  Oh yes, there is also the little issue of the negatives from the Photo-Booth.  Those are a bit more interesting and may be obtained with a small donation payable to your alma mater.  That extension is not going to build itself!

 

Francophonic Fun!

We must admit that sometimes here at stconleths.ie we enter the ‘post-truth’ media world, especially when we are fed only the barest bones of a story and must do our best to flesh it up with some realistic but imaginary details!  The French Department, however, always give us the full story, verité.  And, once again, Mr. Porzadny has sent us his own account of his and Ms. Crowley’s Tintin-like adventures, written up with the panache of Rimbaud and the moral strength of Hugo:

 

 

Let’s take some cacti, and some flying fish, stir it all with a bit of “Edith Piaf” sauce and add some spicy notes of “Noir Désir”… Tada!! You get a nice punchy smoothy of French musical juiciness! This morning, the 3rd Year students got the chance to be part of the 2nd edition of the French song workshop for the Month of the Francophonie. It took place at the Royal Irish Academy of Music on Westland Row. A picture near the canal, a little warm-up in Merrion Square on the way and we were all ready to put our vocals to good use!  Singer Caroline Moreau and musician Mr Alain (with his “Cetera” – a Corsican sort of banjo) led the workshop with enthusiasm and good rhythm. Liam Reilly and Mr Porzadny stood on stage to lead the crowd for the “Belle Isabelle” song and Michael Cooke became a master puppeteer for few minutes with his excellent steering of the flying pig… Yes you have read properly: a flying pig! I hope the pictures will help you put these words into context. It was with a smile, with the belly full of “pains au chocolat” and “croissants”, walking back and humming some of the newly discovered songs, that our happy crowd made it back to school right on time for Mark’s delicious… French onion soup… or was it vegetable?

They’re Baaaack!

Preparations for the annual Past Pupils Dinner is quite similar to those made before the visit of a head of state from a Caucasian ‘republic’: the hedges are clipped back, the recycling bins are surreptitiously emptied into the Dodder, the good silverware is well hidden, extra security cameras are wired up and Willie takes up his customary position on the roof with his high-powered sniper’s rifle.  You just do not take chances when this crowd come to town!  On a serious note, this year’s dinner will simply not be the same without Mr. Kelleher there to greet every single alumnus by name, cajole them and good-naturedly threaten them with retroactive expulsion.   Mr. KDK would be justifiably proud, though, of the record-breaking numbers at this year’s dinner, many no doubt coming to mark the passing of ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s.’  Ronan O’Kelley has been keeping his Thatcherite schedule compiling lists, making mildly threatening Tweets and rolling his eyes when another current teacher joins the ‘comped’ list.  Surely it will all be okay on the night and rumours that ‘The ROK’ plans on sitting ‘Black’ Tom Moylan and those troublesome 2007s out in the gazebo are just that… for now!  Well the first salvo of polite applause for this year’s guest speaker is just hours away but until then amuse yourself with these class photos of Conlethians in those halcyon, hirsute days:

 

 

 

 

A-macing! Conleth’s Win UCD Schools Debate Again!

Yes, we used to be known as the ‘Barcelona’ of Schools Debating, but considering recent results in the Champions League, we may need a new metaphor for our outrageous dominance of both the domestic and international school debating scenes.  Conor White- debating coach, School Captain alumnus, ad astra member and hob-nobber with infamous, well-pensioned retired European bureaucrats- reports on our latest coup at the rostra:

 

 

 

Following four rounds, the teams of Harry Mansfield and Tomás Clancy, and Seán and Simon Pettitt reached the final of the competition, with the brothers Pettitt speaking in 2nd Proposition and Harry and Tomás speaking in 2nd Opposition.  For the purpose of the debate, they were given the following details:

The United States has elected an autocratic leader as President. The following has occurred:

– Large scale imprisonment and executions

– The Constitution and the Courts have been suspended

– Diplomatic ties have been cut and the UN has been expelled from New York

– Heavy censorship of the media has been introduced

– They have declared themselves as Dictator for Life

The motion for the final was This House Believes that the International Community Should Invade the United States of America.  Tomás and Harry won the final, with Seán and Simon being declared the runners up.  This is the fourth year in a row of St. Conleth’s winning a senior cycle schools mace in UCD. In other debating news, Conor Power has progressed to the final of the Leinster Schools Debating Competition which will be held soon.

 

Bronze Blade Buddies!

Under the watchful eye of Maître David Couper, our Senior School Fencing Captain Michael Li put Stephen Rockett through his fencing ‘paces’ and awarded him with the Irish Academy of Arms’ Bronze Blade Award which “recognises the progression of fencers in their learning and expertise in fencing.”  Michael is a recent earner of the award himself and he has worked tirelessly to expand the fencing fraternity at St. Conleth’s. Did I say fraternity?  Well, also pictured below are Francesca Chanco and Colleen Mulligan, two recent devotees of the ancient art.  They will surely soon join Michael, Stephen, the famous ‘band of Moriarty and Sherlock brothers’ and Claudio Sosa who are currently maintaining St. Conleth’s long-held reputation as the pre-eminent fencing school in Ireland.

 

 

 

Conor White: St. Conleth’s Chuck Norris?

Back in the days before our culture evolved to the heights of meme creation, we used to pass around little ironic jokes that made us feel smart and smile. Sometimes we even said these jokes face-to-face, and not on Skype or Facetime.   A common theme was the omnipotence of certain individuals: Demba Ba and Chuck Norris most notably.  Well, if anyone deserves to make that a trinity of awesomeness, especially from a Conlethian perspective, it is Conor White… and in this case, drop the irony.  Conor White can actually unscramble eggs.   And, yes, Conor White did count to infinity… twice.  When he was serving as School Captain in 2014-2015, the administration basically turned the keys over to him and he ran the school.  Apparently, UCD has now done the same: he was recently spotted showing the infamous Jean-Claude Trichet around UCD… and giving him tips about post-Brexit fiscal policy.   Somehow, perhaps through the saintly power of bi-location, Conor also found time to run our Debating Seminar for incoming Senior School students and coach Fifth Year duo Harry Mansfield and Tomás Clancy into the Oxford Schools Debating Finals.  Oh yes, he also picked up his Ad Astra award, the prestigious scholarship for academic excellence, university involvement and leadership.   Just another week for Conor White, the only man on earth who can speak Braille…and make onions cry…and make a snowman out of rain…

 

All Aboard! Sailing Starting Soon!

Head of Sport Gavin Maguire’s mighty realm extends over both land and sea:

Last year we ran a successful sailing club with the INSS and due to its success we are doing the same again this year. The sailing club is open to everyone from 1st to 4th year and caters for all abilities. It is run for 8th Saturdays, March – 4th,11th, 18th, April – 1st,8th, May 6th  13th, 20th . 
The cost is €160 for the 8 weeks. If you would like your son to do it please sign up on the Google form which is linked below.  Once we get enough numbers I will send more information. 

https://goo.gl/forms/2pN9GFy8yDbS3qM42

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Regards,
Gavin Maguire (maguireg@stconleths.ie)

 

A beautiful day for sailing at the Royal George.

Ethos Affirmed!

With students and teachers from across the globe, it is very evident that have a diverse community at St. Conleth’s and we are very proud of it.  This, of course, does not mean that we have no common ground (or double negatives): our agreed ethos, rooted in the lay Catholic tradition but welcoming to all, assures a unity that underlies any difference in opinion or particular of debate.  Last week was Catholic Schools Week in Ireland and St. Conleth’s did its part to reaffirm this great tradition of education and faith.  The Religion teachers engaged their classes with activities based upon Pope Francis’s Laudato Si and we all gathered for a special assembly.  Mr. Hickey, our Pastoral Director, outlined the significance of the week and the special emphasis made by the Pope and our bishops.  Mr. Gallagher tied it all in to the Celtic calendar and the legacy of St. Brigid and Mr. ODulaing made an impassioned connection between our greater mission and our everyday school life.  Student took part through their Prayers of the Faithful and special musical performances by Sam Lynch, Tim Leary and the old reliables, Cian O’Connor and Sean Keane.  In a time of global fracture and uncertainty, it was reassuring to see our little community of  St.Conleth’s so multifaceted but united and at peace with itself.

 

TYs Spin Tales… and Earn Praise!

Some Transition Years are quick to spin a tale or two when asked why they were late for class and perhaps this inventiveness came to the fore these last few weeks as a specially selected group of them took part in Project Storytellers down at our near neighbours, St. Brigid’s Primary School.  We have been involved in this learning partnership these last few years in which Transition Year pupils head down early on Friday mornings to the school on Haddington Road and take part in small group reading and story sessions with the younger classes.  Every year it is a thrill for all the children involved, from four to sixteen year olds, and, in particular, the story-tellers come away feeling privileged to have witnessed (and even helped) emerging literacy, a most commonplace but still miraculous event.

 

 

And those at St. Brigid’s value our TYs’ contributions, as evidenced in a testimony by the school’s principal:

The feedback I am getting from our teachers is very positive; they are very impressed with this group of students and how well they are getting on with the children. They are fully engaged and very enthusiastic. As we had so much interest from the subs, we have included them and so adjustments have been made to how we’ve operated in the classroom.
While some of the students are reading with the children as planned, others are working on station teaching and individual reading, under the guidance of the teachers. There is a great buzz in each room!
It would be great if you could come and visit the students when they come back to us again on March 3rd ….you would be very proud of them!
Thank you again for your continued cooperation and support for the Storytellers Project.
Best wishes,
Annemarie Hogan
Principal
St Brigid’s Primary School
Haddington Road

Cross Country Army!

Mr. Keenan does not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, he practises what we preach and issues an open invite to all students to join him on his Track and Field outings.  As you can see from the photo below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years.  And we do not just do quantity : there were some quality runners hidden amongst this horde of student athletes which Mr. Keenan led over the mountains and through the trees to the East Leinster Cross Country Championships at Avondale.  3rd year Craig Davis qualified outright for the Leinster Finals and 5th Years Tim Lear and Rory Sweeney came a very respectable 24th and 26th respectfully and Elizabeth Counihan just missed out on qualifying in the girls’ race.  The 1st Years had a blast and Tony Barry continued his mysterious sylvan explorations.  It was a long day out in harsh weather but Mr. Keenan, for one, did not succumb to the elements and is already rounding up the troops for the Spring running season!

 

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A Galaxy of Career Opportunities

Rumours are flying through cyberspace and at youngling classes all over the galaxy that this year’s CAO numbers are to be the biggest on record, and barring an unexpected mass exodus to the Outer Rim Territories, next year’s Leaving Certificate class will be even larger!  So, there is even more reason to start taking your university and career planning seriously, especially if you are Fifth Year.  Our dedicated Career and Guidance Counsellor Anne Ryan is always busy meeting with the students in groups and individually, working wonders finding the right course for each of them: it might be Engineering at UCD or Politics at St. Andrew’s or Psychology at Dagobah University…whatever it is, Ms. Ryan usually finds the perfect fit for each Sixth Year who comes into her, even the ones who list  ‘Netflix’ and ‘chilling’ as skills on their CV.  But why leave it till next year?  Ms. Ryan is encouraging current Fifth Years to get a head-start on the university and career decision-making process by taking part in a special career assessment, now.  We will let the professional explain the details herself:

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I am writing to inform you that a psychometric career assessment – rightcareers4me.com – will be administered to 5th Year students during the month of February.

The assessments measure values, interests, personality, skills and 6 aptitudes.  The results of these tests will provide students and their parents with an in depth psychometric profile which will enable students to scientifically identify the right careers and courses.

A comprehensive personalized Careers Report will be issued to each student and this will be followed by a one to one interview with the Guidance Counsellor to discuss the outcomes of the psychometric profile.

The school has negotiated a special price of €45 (normally €100).  If you would like your son/daughter to have the benefit of this assessment, please pay through Easy Payment Plus before 10 February 2017

I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.   It will enable your son/daughter to make informed and confident decisions about their future.

Yours sincerely,

Anne Ryan

Guidance Counsellor

 

 

Are You Ready for Chess and Debating in Secondary School?

Chances are that if you are a Fifth or Sixth Class student, you are a bit nervous about making that transition into secondary school, and if you are not, your parents certainly are!  You have already seen our Guide to First Year.  Now we are running two seminars on Senior School activities for 5th and 6th Class Conlethians who plan on attending our Senior School and those from other primary schools who are interested.  And we have chosen two activities which have become synonymous with St. Conleth’s: Debating and Chess.

First up, this Saturday, February 4th, 12:00-14:00, is our ‘Introduction to Debating and Public Speaking’.  If you know St. Conleth’s at all, you know that we have dominated Irish school debating for the last decade decade and a half, winning multiple Leinster and All-Ireland titles and basically serving as a feeder school for the Irish Student Debating Team.  Read all about our recent rhetorical exploits here but register for Saturday’s workshop to get hands-on instruction from two of our most decorated debating alumni.

debate

 

Then, on Saturday, February 11th,  12:00 to 2:00, Grandmaster Alex Baburin will lead the St. Conleth’s College Secondary School Chess Workshop.  Alex has been representing Ireland as its No. 1 ranked chess player for years, and he has also been passing on those skills to our Juniors as an after-school Chess teacher.   The fact that St. Conleth’s Junior School are current Leinster and All-Ireland Chess Champions attests to his talent and teaching ability.  Now, in this seminar, Alex will demonstrate how moving to secondary school affects your chess game (and vice versa!).

 

debating

 

St. Conleth’s Senior School is a greta place to be and debating and chess play big parts in the fun and the learning experience!

All Aboard for the Parents’ Social Event!

St. Conleth’s parents are tireless in their support of the school, from concerts to fundraisers to chaperoning excursions to classroom presentations, and they deserve a night of their own, where they can just enjoy each other’s company and perhaps do a wee bit of networking.  Our intrepid PA Chairmen, Peter O’Neill and Michael Mansfield, have arranged a Social Event on March 24th for both Junior and Senior School Parents in the salubrious setting of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.  Judging by the mouth-watering details below, it seems sure to be a hit and places are limited, so buy your tickets early (through Easypayments) to assure your place.

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And here are some pics from last year’s event.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

 

 

 

Young Knights of St. Conleth’s

You have to admit: the fencing crowd comes up with some pretty wicked names for their competitions and trophies.  This past weekend, for example, the Conlethian contingent of young fencers were competing in the ‘Excalibur Cup‎’.   How cool is that?  You surely feel more Harry Pottery or Tolkienesque competing for the Excalibur Cup‎, rather than the Johnstone Paint Trophy, for instance, or dare I say, the Vinnie Murray Cup.  And as is becoming quite the norm, the St. Conleth’s cohort of fencers left the Excalibur Cup with a considerable collection of trophies and medals (and a good bit of swag):

 

 

Under 10 Mixed Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth- Bronze Medal, Mathew Sherlock- 7th Place

Under 12 Mixed Foil: Luke Sherlock-Gold Medal

Under 14 Mixed Foil: Claudio Sosa-Gold Medal, James Moriarty-Smyth-Bronze Medal

 

 

 

Alumnae Illuminatae

With the St. Conleth’s Past Pupil’s Dinner just around the corner (March 3rd: tickets), we thought this might be the appropriate time to catch up with two particular alumni, or alumnae if you will, who reached new heights in their respective careers in 2016.  And with St. Conleth’s quickly becoming fully co-educational, what better role models for the school’s current girls than two women who walked the same hallways,  learned in the same classrooms and laughed at the similar buffoonery of their male peers?   They come from two very different disciplines, Classics and Engineering, but perhaps that too is a credit to their alma mater, where both sides of the brain are nourished and the only truly required course is having an open mind.

Diana Spencer, St. Conleth’s Class of 1987 and Professor of Classics & Dean of Liberal Arts at the University of Birmingham,  delivered her Inaugural lecture “What I found there: Reading Classical Landscapes” (video).  This is just the latest academic honour for Diana, who studied at Trinity College, the University of London and Cambridge University after leaving St. Conleth’s and has already forged a spectacular career in the Classics (bio).  On hand in Birmingham to hear Diana’s lecture and celebrate with her was none other than Peter Gallagher, St. Conleth’s principal emeritus.  Peter is busy himself these days as a practicing barrister but it may well have been one of those riveting History or Latin classes of his that helped first send Diana down the Appian Way.

Dervilla Mitchell CBE, Class of 1976 and a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland, was awarded an honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by UCD (link).  Dervilla has been committed to addressing the gender balance in science, engineering and technology throughout her career.  It would be a topic she knows something about: when she graduated from UCD with a BSc Engineering in 1980, she was one of only four women in a graduating year of 200!   In 2014, Engineers Ireland awarded Dervilla with the ESB Outstanding Contribution to Engineering Award. In 2011, she received the Women of Outstanding Achievement Award for Inspiration and Leadership in Business and Industry.  Dervilla was also her company’s design management lead for Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 project, the largest construction project in Europe at the time, and is currently the company’s project director on the £2 billion Abu Dhabi Midfield terminal development.

 

So, whether it is in the landscapes of ancient Rome or on the infrastructure of the contemporary Middle East, you will find Conlethian women at work!

Basketball Alumni Reunion in Tallaght

It might not be the first place you would expect a gathering of St. Conleth’s alumni, but this past weekend Tallaght was the site of an impromptu reunion, as four of the UCD-Marian basketball team playing in the NICC Cup Final also used to ply their trade in the gymnasium of 28 Clyde Road.  They were joined by many fellow Conlethian alumni in the stands but as their behaviour as supporters was so raucous that CCTV footage is currently being reviewed, we will only mention Scott, Lorcan and Ross who, as they say, are already ‘known by the authorities’.   Former Ireland player Mark Ryan (Class of 2014) was clearly the class athlete on the court, soaring above his earth-bound opponents, and Jack ‘Mahoraj’ Nolan (2011) once again displayed the hands and uncanny court sense that made him a schools basketball legend, grinding his way to a ‘double-double’.  Liam Purcell (2010) showed that the acquisition of a full beard has not slowed him down aerodynamically at all, and it was a pleasant surprise to see that he has now added passing to his game- his shooting prowess already well-established. And waiting in the wings was none other than Eoin Noctor (2011), our current Head Basketball Coach and strategist supremo.  UCD-Marian lost the game, 78-72, but this national cup final appearance for four alumni is still a proud accomplishment for St. Conleth’s basketball.

 

 

On That Point!

We teachers at St. Conleth’s should get extra battle pay, but not quite for the same reason that they pay a bonus to the brave souls who venture into the toughest schools in the toughest slums of Chicago or Baltimore; rather, we should get some ‘encouragement’ money for facing the mighty rhetorical weaponry of some of these Conlethian student debaters.   They may save their most impressive ‘Points of Information’ and bits of rebuttal for the prestigious competitions, but it is in classroom discussions where they sharpen those points and tip-toe along the line between enthusiastic participation and barracking!  Ah well, it is all for the best and I guess we can put up with the thesis-length response to ‘Did you do your homework?’ if it helps our debaters to continue to dominate all the significant competitions.

 

 

You read here earlier how Frank Knowles and Joe Downey have qualified for the prestigious  Cambridge International Debate Final.  Now they have gone through as a team into the Leinster Finals of the Junior School Mace Competition, which will be held at St. Conleth’s March 3rd.  They will be joined, as an individual qualifier, by James Hastings-Raftery, who once famously responded to a request to move his chair in After-School Study with a diatribe about ‘the modes of production and bourgeois control of proletarian freedom of movement’.  On the Senior level, Harry Mansfield and Tomás Clancy have gone through to the Semifinals of the Leinster Schools, with Conor Power, Oisin Dowling and Simon Pettitt qualifying as Individuals.  Other schools would break out the band and slaughter the fatted calf for such accomplishments, but at St. Conleth’s we simply expect such a level of excellence.  A big part of that confidence is the way in which Debating Moderator Mr. Carvill brings back decorated alumni debaters as coaches: currently Conor White and Daniel Gilligan are whipping them (just rhetorically, we assume) into parliamentary shape while pursuing their own debating careers at the third level.  Daniel has just qualified for the Finals of the Irish Times Debate, the pre-eminent third level debating completion in the country.  Past competitors include many Conlethian alumni, most notably Liam Trophy who talked away with the trophy in 2013.

Active Maths!

Maths whizzes from all over Leinster had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year maths competition at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths team ready to rock (and Rolle’s theorem)!   We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s.  Just look at our recent results and departmental inspection report.  And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the boys earning a very respectable joint 6th place (of 41 teams) finish.  The problem for our reporting staff is that the Maths team members are usually not as loquacious as… let’s say… the school’s debaters, who will continue explaining, correcting and pontificating long after we have run out of room in our notebook, put down our pen and silently walked away.  The Maths Team kids of the past tended to give monosyllabic responses, often in binary, or answer with emissions of short electronic sounds, sort of like R2D2 but not as polyphonic.  So it was a pleasant surprise to see this year’s line-up of Sean Pettitt, Oscar Byrne-Carty, Colin Duffy and Aonghus Hegarty.  Not only are they geniuses at the old adding and carrying over but they also are able and willing to enthusiastically and animatedly describe these numerical adventures…. with words!.  More C3PO than R2, indeed, and we look forward to hearing all about it!

 

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The Basketball Diaries

Coach Eoin, aka ‘Noctor J’, is justifiably proud of his U16 and U19 Basketball teams (both boys and girls!) as they recently closed out very successful seasons.  Just this week, our U16 Boys narrowly lost to old foes (and friends) St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final, a trophy of which they were the proud holders.  It was a close battle all the way with all our usual suspects doing their usual jobs: Tommy grinding it out in the paint, Luke doing his ‘big man point guard’ thing and Colin letting fly from way out.  And when Jack Topliss sank his glorious moonshot trey we thought the basketball gods were on our side, but it was not to be.  This time.  Someone who definitely wasn’t on our side was the referee in the U19 SDBL Semifinal vs. Newark.  Shane Byrne scored 36 for us in a very narrow loss but he should have scored 50: he was bumped, hacked and dragged down all over the court.  Nothing however will tarnish Shane’s legacy: he ends his Conlethian career as one of the school’s all-time greats.  Herron, Purcell, Nolan and Ryan must now make some room for him in the Conlethian Emeritus All-Star Locker-room.  Just before Christmas both teams made it to the Dublin Plate Finals where they competed manfully but lost to much bigger schools.  Noctor’s boys are getting used to playing finals!  And never mind ‘manfully’ as girls basketball is also on the rise at St. Conleth’s: Our U19s enjoyed a memorable blow-out win in their first game of the season and our U16s are eagerly awaiting next year, when there will be enough girls to compete officially in their age group.  Well, now the these ballers are turning to their books and taking centre-court are our First and Second Years, full of talent and enthusiasm.  They started their season with a double victory over the revered Marian and here is an updated schedule of their remaining matches.  The St. Conleth’s basketball bounce continues!

 

 

 

DELF Days Are Here Again!

Is that a whiff of Chanel mixing with the scent of curry wafting from the cafeteria?  Did a well-dressed and stylishly-coiffed professeur just douse her cigarette and sweep through reception en route to the Conference Room? If so, it can only mean one thing: DELF days are here again!

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Prendre le train en marche?  Yes, schools all over the country are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ and getting into ‘DELF’ these days, but do remember that St. Conleth’s was the first school in Ireland to have its students sit this prestigious French exam.  Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley worked tirelessly with Nathalie-Zoé Fabert , the Attachée de Coopération pour le Français en Irlande, to complete the quintessentially French labyrinth of paperwork to bring the DELF to St. Conleth’s last year and they made Trojan efforts again this week, and to be fair to the Transition Years, they responded to their teachers’ efforts and enthusiasm in kind, displaying both zeal and talent on the written and oral exams.  Soon we will have the results and a little soirée to celebrate!

Brian Mooney to Address TY Parents on Subject Choice

Our previous post regarding Fifth Year subject choice may have scared you with all its talk about precipes, cataracts and the like, so we decided to bring in someone who can calm all the nerves and answer all the questions: Brian Mooney, noted Guidance Counsellor, author and all-around career guru.  He is the ‘go-to guy’ regarding career guidance and subject choice in Ireland, having written the definitive guide on the subject and authored the Irish Times series of articles on the subject.  So come along tonight (Monday 23rd) and ask your questions… and don’t blame us when you find out belatedly that your son needed Physics to do Basket-Weaving at Carlow IT!

St. Conleth’s Subject Choice Guide

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French Debaters Edged Out In Quarters

Ms. Crowley reports back from the front lines of the Joutes Oratoires competition:

Yet again, a smashing performance from our French debating team, this time arguing that “Le service civique devrait être obligatoire en Irlande”.  Our courageous debaters fought till the end rebutting the opposition with style and showing their passions and preparation, but in the end it was their opponents, the Haywood Community School, who had the better hand.  Their rather theatrical performance bamboozled the judges and put an end to our Joutes Oratoires this year.  A great big thank-you is owed to Mr. Porzadny and his well-drilled team of debaters for providing us such enlightening entertainment.  Our students once again showed their ability to deal with whatever nuance of grammar or vocabulary was thrown their way, standing and competing proudly in the name of St. Conleth’s.

 

 

 

 

Chemistry or Classics? LC Subject Choice Help!

Our previous post dealt with the many questions which arise with the transition from primary to secondary school but  the move into the LC years can be just as confusing, particularly when it comes to subject choice.  Sixteen-year-olds all over the country (and their parents) are currently drifting blithely and contentedly towards the culmination of their Transition Year, but little do they know that dead ahead, and approaching rapidly, is the roaring cataract of Leaving Certificate Subject choice!   Pick the wrong subject and you are doomed to a lifetime of career stagnation and regret!  Okay, we exaggerate slightly… in fact, there is no need to panic at all, because attached here is the St. Conleth’s Guidance Department’s Guide to Choosing Leaving Certificate Subjects, a rather straightforward little tome that does exactly what it says on the tin.  So, relax, TYs: have a read, listen to the presentations for each subject which will be made next week, discuss it with your parents and teachers and choose with confidence.  Yes, it is very important, but you will now be well-informed and in the perfect position to take this first step towards your Leaving Certificate years at St. Conleth’s.

 

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A Guide to First Year at St. Conleth’s

Whenever we wield our camera through the hallowed halls of St. Conleth’s, all the teachers sensibly dive for cover but most of the students flock to the lens like moths to a flame.  There are, of course, some kids are on the shy side (less and less very year…) but they are able to quietly slip away as their classmates begin to struggle for prime ‘dabbing’ position, all of which makes life difficult for the teacher whose class we have interrupted but quite easy for the aspiring photojournalist!  Attached here is the newest version of the First Year Guide, a little publication we issue to incoming First Year students and their parents to provide them with the essential but perhaps not obvious information for those exciting but potentially stressful first days of secondary school.   It will also be of interest to current First Year parents:  they can see what has been going on this year and the pics will surely serve as cherished mementos (and perhaps for blackmail) in years to come!

 

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The Offensive Continues…

Our fencers obviously did not fill up on too many mince pies this Christmas break, as they have picked up right where they left off in 2016, parrying and pointing their way up the Irish ranks.  Robert Smyth reports:   Saturday saw the St. Conleth’s fencing contingent head North once more,  this time for Round 3 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. As is customary, they returned with a fine hoard of medals:  Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Bronze in the Mixed Under 10s, with Luke Sherlock and Claudio Sosa taking Gold in Under 12 and Under 14 Boys respectively.  Mathew Sherlock attained 7th place in Mixed Under 10s while James  Moriarty-Smyth ended the day in 5th spot, narrowly missing medal position in Under 14 Boys: a tremendous result given his recent six week stint on crutches!

 

 

 

Mock Exams! Communion! Basketball! Put These In Your Diary!

As always, you can check our Events section for all the regular and special events that make up the typical busy week at St. Conleth’s, but as there are loads of Communion and other events on the way, we have also updated the one-page Junior School Calendar which can be found here or under ‘Calendar + Information’.  An updated Senior one will soon follow but here is the list of remaining Senior School basketball fixtures and, of course, the schedules for the Mock Exams are also of great interest (and dread).  They can be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ as well as here (JC, LC) and below:

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LC

 

 

SCT Set for Historic Cup Match!

We knew that matching last year’s ‘golden season’ would be an impossible task for this year’s edition of the Ballsbridge Motors-sponsored SCT and, frankly, we had worries that there would be a rather sudden ‘crashing back to earth’ after the giddy heights of 2015-2016.  We lost a veritable pantheon of rugby gods by name of Dolan, Pogatchnick, Doggett et al and we knew that his time around everyone would be ready for us… and eager to put us back in our supposed place!  But Gav Maguire and the boys in black and green have confounded expectations by having a very strong year and now take another historic first step for St. Conleth’s rugby, as the man himself explains:

This years SCT have done fantastically well this season. They are the first St. Conleth’s SCT team to pre-qualify for the Vinnie Murray Cup. Their first round game is against CUS at 4pm in Donnybrook on Thursday 12th January. Captain Ross Murphy and the team would really appreciate as much support as they can get, so please if you are free please make the short stroll to Donnybrook Stadium.  Last year there was a great atmosphere at the three games we had there and we would like to replicate it again.   Admission is €2 per student and €5 per adult.   Coach Gavin Maguire.

The SCT: all set for our Vinnie Murray Cup showdown with CUS in Donnybrook!

Tractor or Barbie? Young Scientists Want to Know!

The coaches from the midlands and the outer rim territories will soon be pulling in, filling the cafes of Ballsbridge with very bright if slightly awkward membership of the Brian Cox Fan Club… yes, it is Young Scientists week at the RDS!   And both Conlethian Senior and Junior students are involved, so before that kid from Cork starts yodelling about the beneficial bacteria involved in beet production, read our very own Zachary Carr’s account of his and Sophie Lee’s project involving the influence of childhood play on career choice. 

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Last September we set out to understand if the choice of toy we play with as children, influences our choice of course in Third Level Education.  Our proposed methodology of using both an online survey as well as face-to-face interviews on the campus of University College Dublin.  What we ultimately prove is that, more often than not, favourite childhood toy choice is directly linked to future college course choice, often in surprising ways.  For example, we found that gender, normally very important in children’s choice of toy, played very little role for students of Architecture and Engineering. Students on these courses almost all had a common favourite toy which was a construction toy, such as Lego, regardless of gender.  We discovered that Business Students overwhelmingly loved to play with action figures and dolls, perhaps hinting at a future desire to manage and lead.  We uncovered just how predictable our childhood behaviour can be, for example, almost every Agricultural Science student, including Mr. Trenier, favoured his or her toy tractor over any other toy.  Our study was a fascinating project to work on and we learned a lot about getting busy students to talk!  We’d love if you could come along and see us at the RDS this week.

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Sophie and I asking a student for our face-to-face survey in UCD.

 

 

New Year’s Resolution: Supervised Study!

We all tend to the aspirational rather than the practical when it comes to New Year’s resolutions but here is one which is very appropriate and achievable for our students: supervised study.  There are two ‘programmes’:  Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’ runs from 6:30-9:00 on Monday and Thursday (except for this week: Wednesday instead).  You pay for each particular night through Easypayments Plus on this website.  Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ (click for details) runs for 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed.  Again, you pay through Easypayments Plus but it is a full term fee of €360 (or €260 for those with school activities such as rugby on at least two days a week).  Study starts on the very first day back (Monday, Jan. 9th) so put away those crackers and start packing those books!

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Christmas Crooners

The Senior School Choir is at the heart of everything that we do musically  at St. Conleth’s- in fact, it is at the heart of the school community itself, recently evidenced by the central role it played in the celebration of Mr. Kelleher’s life.  But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to deadly effect- Sidewinder, The Backdoor Boys, Head 6 and the various incarnations headed by Evan Kennedy come to mind.

 

 

Well, judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. Fay’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist- who knows which of the names below is destined to join Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage?  In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together. (Thanks to Joe, Rory and Eoin for their photographic work this term!)

 

Carols agus Ceol!

Over the past few weeks our classroom lectures, discussions and slumbers have been pleasantly accompanied by the sweet notes wafting down to us from the Music Room, where Ms. Fay has bravely and tirelessly presided over the conducting of choirs and the marshalling of musicians in preparation for the end-0f-year musical frenzy which always marks a St. Conleth’s Christmas.  With her usual partner in song, Ms. deBhal, temporarily out of harp-strumming action, Ms. Fay has done Trojan work stirring, coaxing and sometimes straining the pool of student talent which somehow always seems to replenish itself, no matter how many prima donnas and maestros graduate the May before.   First up is the annual trip to the St. Mary’s Home, our next-door neighbours on Pembroke Park.  Ms. Fay once again led the Senior School Choir (with select musical accompaniment) down to visit the old folks for some carol singing, fiddle-playing and general yuletide bonhomie.  The residents were overjoyed with the performance and the visit as a whole as the boys and girls charmed them with their talents, manners and friendliness.  The feeling was certainly mutual as Ms. Fay and company returned with that special look on their faces that seems to only come at Christmastime: that of a job well done and a gift both given and received.

 

Mr. Bolger Leads the Race to Christmas!

If Tiny Tim had somehow managed to hobble out the Kylemore Road, use his crutch as pole vault to hop the fence of the Go-Karting centre there and drag himself onto the track, we would like to think that Mr. Bolger would at least slow down and swerve a bit to avoid a collision, perhaps taking a few seconds off his lap time but still winning the race by a mile… but we are not so sure.

 

 

Every year we allow each class to go on a local trip to celebrate Christmas and mark the end of their exams.  This year we managed to do them all on the same day and although St. Conleth’s was left a peaceful oasis (aside from 200 Junior kids belting out Country & Western songs in the hall), Dublin and the surrounding counties were invaded by high-spirited hooligans in holiday mood!  The aforementioned Speed-Racer Bolger took Fifth Years Go-Karting and everyone involved had a ball but I don’t need to tell you who took home the trophy (and presented it to his mother so it could go on the over-burdened awards shelf over the fireplace in the good room and under the portrait of himself).   First, Third and Fourth Years went to the cinema and Eddie Rocket’s for lunch, while Second Years hit the bowling lanes and Sixth Years hit each other with high velocity paintballs.  A seasonal good time was had by all but it was back to classes on Tuesday!

 

 

 

TYs Work To Please The Birds

No sooner have the TYs wrapped up their extraordinarily successful Christmas Fair then they get to work on their next project!  The Morehampton Road Wildlife Sanctuary (aka ‘The Grove’) is that mysterious parcel of land on the corner of Morehampton and Wellington Lane which has ivory-coloured crumbling stone walls and wrought-iron gates and is overflowing with creepers, vines, branches and the sounds of the jungle!  You might hurry by in the morning, mistaking the sounds of wildlife for those of lowlife but it is actually a little bit of David Attenborough Land, a healthy mini-ecosystem forever preserved for nature and its observers by the will of a deceased benefactor (and the meanderings of the underground Swan River).  Mr. Keenan has been feeding the birds there for years but now the TYs have volunteered to help by carefully and select fully cleaning the place up and making it even more suitable for the diverse resident wildlife including various nesting birds, foxes, squirrels, frogs and the occasional alumnus who could not make it all the way home after the PPU Dinner!

 

Christmas Brain!

The kids know it… formally loquacious teachers who previously lectured continuously (if tangentially) for the full forty minutes of every class are now staring blankly ahead at a place somewhere between the tops of their charges’ well-coiffed heads and phantasms of Aunt Hilda’s much-desired tiramisu until the rescue of the nervous cough… others are referring insistently to students by the names of their long-graduated older brothers or even fathers… some are even drifting back to their own Christmas schooldays and warning recalcitrants that Sr. Bathilda awaits down the hallway, ruler in hand…yes, Christmas is almost here and everyone who is over the age of 17 and not teaching differential equations is suffering from….Christmas Brain!   Luckily there is still a lot to do to help keep us focused, especially for the music teachers: Ms. Fay is doing Trojan work readying Senior School singers and musicians for our Christmas Carol service on Wednesday and Mr. Howe and Ms. Hartnett are working tirelessly with the Junior School’s acting and vocal talents in preparation for Wednesday’s premiere of The Lemonade Kid and Thursday’s nativity play.  Of course, regular classes are still going on (especially for exam years) but everyone is getting a special Christmas day trip, whether it is go-Karting, bowling or the cinema.  Photos are sure to arrive soon but in the meantime check out these snapshots of what is going on regarding our festive preparations:

 

Happy Christm… ouch! Fencers Not Quite in Holiday Mode

It is the time of year when we are cheery with everyone: we actually discuss the weather with strangers at bus-stops, indulgently sign away our future earnings on a direct debit to ‘Save the Arctic Fox’ and let bygones be bygones with the in-laws… until that fourth mug of fortified egg-nog.  That is unless you are a St. Conleth’s fencer:  for these boys, the giving season is still on hold, unless you mean the ‘giving’ of a foil point in your armpit!  Here is a report from Robert Smyth on the St. Conleth’s young fencers’ latest moves:

 

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Last Saturday saw the St. Conleth’s contingent once again head north, this time to partake in Round 2 of the NI Junior Foil Series. Medals for the Senior School abounded as Luke Sherlock and Claudio Sosa respectively took Gold in the Boys Under 12 and Under 14 Foil. Mathew Sherlock and Myles Moriarty-Smyth fought valiantly to preserve Junior School honour, which was preserved by Myles taking Bronze once again in the Mixed Under 10s. Older brother James was hors de combat courtesy of injury incurred on the rugby field but he proved his coaching potential by guiding his sibling throughout the day!

TYs’ Yuletide Bonanza!

Harry Rooney, TY and Padawan, reports on the record-breaking haul from the TY Christmas Tree Sale and Fair:

The TY Christmas tree fair all started in the 4th year Business room, late October. Each student chose a role and a group to participate in the fair. Last Monday, 5th of Dec., the preparations began. Christmas trees were bought in bulk, ranging from 3ft to even 14ft, and were brought into the hall the Friday before the fair. Many TY groups made their own products, such as baked goods and Christmas decor, like logs and wreaths, which sold completely throughout the day. Other groups sold waffles, sausage rolls and even Christmas themed balloons.

 

 

Saturday, 10th of Dec.,  at 9 o’ clock marked the beginning of our annual fair. By quarter past the school hall was bustling with parents and students alike, many of whom bought Christmas trees right away. The trees were selected, netted by the students and then carried outside where they were drilled. One of the TY parents even organised all the payments and receipts.

The other stalls immediately began making some profit, the Christmas logs and wreaths likely made the most cash on the day, with the confectionary not far behind. By 12pm the Christmas trees were clearing out and many were sent out by delivery, in which two of the TY boys would carry a tree anywhere around Donnybrook and Ballsbridge, and then they set it up in the buyer’s house. Most of us made some money out of tips! Many of the students carried trees all over the local area and even a little further. By 2pm the fair was still going strong, the balloons had sold out and trees were still being delivered. Free tea and coffee were available on the day and some stalls were filled with books and small toys.

 

 

At 3pm the were still selling strong and some stands, like the Christmas logs and wreaths had sold out and made maximum profit. The pastries and sausage rolls stocks had also almost depleted… everything was a hit!

The TY students all wore Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, this all added the Christmas cheer and even the parents dressed festively. By 5pm, the fair had almost ended, and everything was pretty much sold out. Many students and parents volunteered to stay behind and clean up. I would hope we raised a great profit as 75% goes to the Uganda fund and the rest goes out to the Parent’s Association who worked very hard to help set up everything.

We’d like to thank everyone involved and all who helped out on the day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Le droit de vote devrait être accordé à 16 ans!

That was the motion of the latest round of Joutes Oratoires, the French language debating competition in which St. Conelth’s has a proud and winning tradition. Here is Mr. Porzadny’s report of his team’s latest win:
“Bonsoir messieurs dames, l’équipe de l’opposition, membres du jury et Madame le président. Je m’appelle Lois et nous, l’équipe de la proposition, sommes completement pour la these de ce soir…”  Opening the floor for her fellow team-mates, Lois Kelleher gave a very meticulous speech which set the proper tone for the rest of the evening. It was a very intense debate and, as the Jury mentioned in the end, both team came well prepared. Historical facts, statistics and fierce rebuttals were common ground on the night.  Following Lois, Isobel Nugent brought forward pristine French pronunciation: on this night, confidence was her middle name.   Sean Keane then joined the party and filled the room with words full of strength and poetry.   Soon after, “l’autre Sean“- Sean Pettit,  stood up and defended each of his point with the vitality of the lioness defending her cubs. Finally, and despite being sick on that night, Lois stood up one last time and poured all her remaining energy in a conclusion that was bound to convince the most skeptical members of the jury.  Hence, despite facing an excellent team from The King’s Hospital, St Conleth’s eventually got the win!

Quarterfinals, here we come!

 

One More Sleep! The St. Conleth’s TY Christmas Fair & Tree Sale Is Tomorrow!

It’s tomorrow!  Only one sleep till the St. Conleth’s Christmas Fair this Saturday, from 9 to 5! Tell your friends, family, neighbours… tell everybody!

It’s that time of year. Christmas and the holiday beckon. But first, thanks to the TY students and the elves of the Parent’s Association, there’s the matter of the Christmas Fair & Tree Sale!

Saturday 10th of December is the date. The trees are on their way, more than 120 of them, ranging in size from 3 to 14 feet. Posters have gone out to the local community; to businesses and householders. Wreaths, Poinsettas, Tree Stands, Foodstalls, TY mini-businesses, free tea and coffee and the ever popular Waffles are all in the works, waiting for parents, friends and students alike.

 

 

This is an ideal opportunity to source a Christmas Tree and to assist the school in funding a worthy charity.

Since 2010, St. Conleth’s has worked directly with the Kitatya Secondary School in Uganda, and last year with the Ever Green National school in Minali, India. More than €35,000 has been raised through the Tree Sale. On behalf of the whole St Conleths community this money has been used to fund a diverse range of projects including solar power, staff accommodation, livestock development and educational subsidies for local children who would otherwise not be able to access education.

Students have raised their own funds to travel to the schools, to live within their communities and to exchange learning in language and culture. The effect of these wonderful journeys has been profound and lasting.

A lot of organisation goes into the fair and it would be remiss not to thank the students both for their work so far and for what’s to come, all of the teachers who have given so much help, especially Mr Trenier, Ms Long and Ms Killen and the members of the parents’ committee.

So please. Come along to the sale on Saturday 10th December. We’ll help you find the right tree, drill it, net it and even deliver it if you like. If you already have your tree, come anyway, have a cuppa and a bite – and bring a few euros!

Enquiries to JP Coakley (087)679-5565

Poster PDF

Where the money goes! PDF

Banchorman: The Ledger Continues… Get it?

We have been punished over the years with various build-a-bank names which play upon famous film franchises (remember The Empire Strikes Bank…and its sequel…Return of the Jedi’s Cheque?) but we have to admit that Banchorman: The Ledger Continues really pays dividends.  It works so well that we have forwarded the photos and promotional pieces to Dreamworks, the movie’s production company, and they said that their lawyers will soon be in touch…obviously to congratulate Mr.Trenier and his TYs!  In the meantime enjoy the pics below of the bank’s launch.  The professionals from AIB were around to provide shrewd advice and to assure due diligence but the show was all the boys’ alone, as Tomás Clancy, Hugh Downes, Eve Harvey-Graham, Ian O’Neill, Jonathan Dillon and Stephen Allen launched their student bank with consummate skill and a good bit of panache.  The competitions and freebies drew the youngsters in and, like with many a third-mortgage-taker in days gone by, when the smoke had cleared and the confetti had settled, the signatures were somehow on the bottom line!   Seriously, a generous bonus was provided by AIB for openers of student accounts and it was a win-win situation: the TY boys gained valuable business experience and the general student body got a whiff of the financial sector’s profits while still learning the value of saving and austerity.

Your Full Exam Schedule

Here it is, your full Christmas exam schedule.   It is also available, in a daily form, under Events and with the School Calendar under Information.

First and Second Years:      (Click for PDF)

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Third, Fifth and Sixth  (Click for PDF)

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I Hope You Have Studied For Your Exams!

Yes, it seems like just yesterday when we were skipping up the sidewalks of Clyde Road, singing little ditties of joy, as we returned to school in late August…and now it is already Christmas Exam time!  Below is Monday’s exam schedule for all years and, as always, our Events section will carry the details of each day’s exams.  The schedule for Tuesday and the rest of the week will soon follow, as we have had a happy ‘hiccup’ to our plans due to both our 16s and 19s basketball teams making the Dublin Plate Finals.  They will be playing on Wednesday and the whole school is expected to attend…a nice break in the auld owls!

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Monday’s Schedule PDF

Buskers’ Corner 2: Third Years Step Up!

First Years started off the St. Conleth’s busking season with a bang but now Third Years have put forward their own band of stars in the making.  It has taken us a while to track down the photos form the latest session of Buskers’ Corner, our regular lunchtime student concert series, but below you finally see some of the boys in action.  The line-up shows the variety of talents and musical tastes on show:  Jack Topliss-The Rose in the Garden on guitar; James McGowan- Old French Song on piano; Tadhg Harnett- Allegro on guitar; James Hastings Rafferty- Titanic on piano; Daragh Collins- on saxophone, Jamie Kirkpatrick- Falling Slowly on guitar; Josh Bergin- Blackbird on guitar; Alex Reynolds- Glimpse of New York on piano; Liam Carr- The 6th Lute- a Renaissance Piece on guitar; Michael Cooke- a  Spanish piece on guitar and Manus MacGerailt- Manfred Schmitz on the piano.  Another Year will take the spotlight at the next Buskers’ Corner and we will see and hear the whole school in musical and vocal action at our annual Christmas Carol service!

 

 

 

Class of 2016 Clean Up At Trinity and UCD!

We know we punch above our weight in rugby and the recent run by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results.  You have already seen our PPU-produced chart with all the percentages but just recently there was even more tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess:  Last week, Mr. ODulaing sat down for lunch with Paddy Cahill (Economics and Finance), Sean Frison-Roche (Medicine) and Harvey Gleeson (Science) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their excellent LC results.  This week, Mr. ODulaing sampled the wine and hors d’oeuvres at Trinity College where he joined Exhibition Award winners Phillip O’Hanrahan (History and Politics) and Simon Ghose (Computer Science).   Our other Entrance Award winners, Daniel Gilligan (Law and Politics) and Paul Mooney (Science) were unfortunately off debating the Trumpian political landscape and studying recombinant DNA, respectively.  So, that’s 7 entrance scholars from 52 graduates… ‘Small enough to care, large enough to challenge’…indeed!

 

 

 

Conlethian Fencers Now Conquer Germany!

You have read here before about the international exploits of various Conlethian fencers, from alumnus Philip Cripwell climbing the Senior rankings to the Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock brothers consistently scoring points and taking points abroad.  Now, First Year Claudio Sosa has joined the gang, taking Gold in the U14 category and Bronze in the U17 In a fencing competition in Marburg, Germany.  In our own gym, around the island of Ireland and in far flung destinations, St. Conleth’s fencers continue to show why their sport is at the very heart of our school!

 

 

 

Coach ‘Noctor J’ Brings the Bling and the Baskets

As a young basketballer himself at St. Conleth’s, Eoin Noctor cultivated an image of urban cool and chic insouciance but as Head Basketball Coach he has brought an unforeseen level of enthusiasm and dedication to the various teams under his guidance, while still maintaining a bit of the essential swag.  Here he reports on the recent upswing in results:

Thursday the 17th of November saw the u16s get their first win of the season in a southside derby game against Newpark in UCD. The second years proved to both teams why they deserve their place on the team with Luke Gilleran (he lead all scorers with 18 of St. Conleth’s 35 points) and Colin Bolger (7 points) bringing much to the table on both offensive and defensive ends of the floor. With 4 of the starters representing 3 different clubs, UCD Marian, Oblate and Eanna, the u16s are going from strength to strength this year and play The High School in the Dublin B Plate semi-final in the National Basketball Arena on Wednesday the 23rd.

Final score – St Conleth’s 35 Newpark 27.

The u19s, although losing captain and usual top scorer Shane ‘Buckets’ Byrne in the first quarter, showed they’re more than a one man show. 6th year’s Oscar ‘Hamlet’ Harley Monks and Christian Farrell showed up and showed out with the two combining for 26 of the Ballsbridge Mostly Blacks’ 45 points. Although the u19s came away with the loss it was a true learning experience and shows that Conleth’s can stare in the face of tough competition and fight until the final whistle.

Final score – St Conleth’s 45 Newpark 61.

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The girls, in their first ever outing in the South Dublin Basketball League were victorious as they were away to Loreto Abbey Dalkey. Spanish import Carol Lopez Garcia showed up and was relentless as she led the ‘equipo’ in scores, steals and rebounds and punished Dalkey’s nonchalance. Their next outing is Wednesday away to Columbus where they hope to keep the newly formed streak alive.

Final score – St Conleth’s 39 Loreto Abbey Dalkey 24

 

Conlethian Grapples Gold in Judo!

Maxime St-Jean, current St. Conleth’s Third Year and recent arrival from California, made all the right moves, throws and holds at the recent All-Ireland Annual Schools Judo Championships, representing St. Conleth’s. He won the gold medal in Junior Boys, Under 16, for the 55 kilo and Underweight category.  Maxime’s polite enthusiasm had already been a welcome addition to the classrooms of St. Conleth’s and now we learn that has quite a spectacular hidden talent.  We applaud his efforts and accomplishments and we have a sneaky feeling that Maxime may have a bit extra space for himself on that canteen queue.  See the photos below of Maxime below, competing under the name of St. Conleth’s, but in the gi of the USA, proving that you can have the best of both worlds!

 

 

…and it’s Good!

Can you imagine the pressure on young Liam Reilly’s shoulders as he lined up his conversion attempt in the waning seconds of the JCT’s first Cup match of the season?  The distance was considerable, the angle was ridiculous and hopes were perhaps unrealistically high… After all, the team had just fought back from a rough start with a tremendous second-half rally against an ostensibly superior team, capped by Craig Davis’s scintillating pitch-length run and try.  Surely, St. Conleth’s would walk away as they often had in the past, taking pride in a job well-done: the moral victors but not the actual victors…  But something happened last year when Gav Maguire’s SCT won a historic treble of titles and scared the bejesus out of several traditional rugby ‘powers’, galvanising our sporting spirit:  St. Conleth’s rugby are no longer just the plucky little guys who play stylish, inspiring rugby but inevitably bow to greater size and numbers.  St. Conleth’s now play stylish, inspiring rugby… and run over you en route to the try-line and then stick a dagger in your team’s heart with a soaring, time-stopping touchline conversion!  Full credit to St. Columba’s for playing the game right and accepting the result like the young gentlemen that they are, but let us rejoice with Coaches Louis Magee and Jonathan Ingles and the whole team, and especially Craig and Liam.  They are surely destined for even greater feats in sports and in life, but we will never forget this one that they so heroically provided: one afternoon in November in Ballsbridge when the underdog team fought back against the odds, scored a memorable injury-time try…and the kick was good!

 

JCT stun Columba's in Cup opening round, 19-17, with injury-time try and spectacular conversion!

 

 

 

‘O’ For October But ‘A’ For Effort!

Head Basketball Coach Eoin ‘Noctor J’ reports on the roundball season so far:   October was a month of near misses with no team managing to successfully pull out a W. In true St. Conleth’s fashion though the u16 and u19 boys’ and u19 girls’ teams went out and put it up to the often heavy favourite opposition. The senior girls’ first game was away to Colaiste Mhuire and, having gone down 20 to a very strong side, the girls, led by veteran 6th year Kerrie Ann McGrath, rallied in the 4th quarter and cut the lead to 5.  But with time against them, they couldn’t manage to close the gap yet came away with high hopes for future endeavours. Their next game is Friday November 18th when they will play the basketball factory that is Loreto Abbey- Dalkey.

The boys All Ireland Cup journey began so well… with 3 walk-overs, the u16s and u19s managed to progress to the quarter final and second round of their respective competitions without the need to ever step on a basketball court. Unfortunately, this meant that the first cup games were against battle-tested opponents Setanta at u16 and Colaiste Einde from Galway at u19. Like their legendary namesake, perpetual powerhouse Setanta made short work of our u16s. This is not to say we didn’t put up a fight. International students Fidel Garcia, Alvaro Gueto and Thomas Peers, and 2nd years Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger went out and made anyone that’s ever worn a green jersey proud as they went toe to toe with the cup favourites. Their next games, against Colaiste Eoin and Newpark, will hopefully see them rewarded for their efforts and hard work.

Rathcoole and Colaiste Einde walked on to the court, expecting the black jerseys of our senior side to roll over without a fight. Shane Byrne, as he has since 1st year, led the u19s in true fashion, both in points and as team captain. 46 points between the two games had the opposition double and triple-teaming Shane McBuckets to no avail, as he sliced through the defence for easy baskets for himself or his now wide-open team mates.  Even Christian could not mis with the looks he got off the dish from Shane!  A lost second shot and 40 minutes of being triple-teamed were the only things that stopped the St Conleth’s seniors in two spectacular performances by the boyz in the black and green jerseys.

 

Fencing, Here and There!

The half-term closed with Maître David Couper, with the able assistance of Michael Li, our Senior School Fencing Captain, supervising the first instalment of the all-new St. Conleth’s Fencing League.  Michael, recently awarded the coveted ‘Bronze Blade’, was the most senior fencer in action but he was joined  by enthusiastic boys and girls from Sixth Class through Sixth Year.  The League consists of a series of competitions to be held each term, culminating in a Grand Prix at the end of the school year.  And, further afield, the St. Conleth’s younger fencers were once again in action over the midterm break.  Last Saturday witnessed the opening round of the 2016 -2017 Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, with medals aplenty for both the Junior and Senior School contingents. Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Bronze in the Mixed Under 10s; Luke Sherlock ended the day with a Bronze in the Under 12 Boys, and it was an all-Conlethian affair in the Under 14 Boys Final, where James Moriarty-Smyth earned the Silver and Claudio Sosa, the Gold.  Great to see these young Conlethians competing in such prestigious competitions against each other!

 

 

Kevin Kelleher 1921-2016

(updated)  It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that St. Conleth’s announces the passing of Mr. Kevin D. Kelleher, Headmaster.  Mr. Kelleher is dearly missed and warmly remembered by the many different people whom he met and with whom he worked during his long and active life, especially in regards to his immense contributions to education and rugby.  His many accomplishments were marked by an incredible attention to detail and aided by a prodigious memory.  Combined with an irrepressible wit, these qualities made Kevin Kelleher a truly remarkable man, whose positive influence has spread across generations, disciplines and borders.

 

 

Kevin D. Kelleher was born and raised in Drumcondra, Dublin and was the proud inheritor of a family legacy which emphasised educational and sporting achievement and included a clutch of All-Ireland medals as heirlooms. Shortly after studying Latin, Irish and English and completing his Higher Diploma in Education at University College Dublin, Mr. Kelleher arrived at St. Conleth’s College in 1944, teaching and coaching sports and, in particular, becoming a dominant force in Leinster Schools and Club Rugby. After the untimely passing of the school’s founder, Bernard Sheppard, Mr. Kelleher became Headmaster at St. Conleth’s in 1960 and he performed this role with great strength and foresight for the next fifty-six years. In 1960, Kevin also married his beloved wife Patricia and became a loving father to Ann and these three together would be the lifeblood of St. Conleth’s College for the decades that followed.

Outside of the classroom and the Headmaster’s office, Mr. Kelleher forged a varied and richly decorated career in rugby.  He was a past president of both Lansdowne Road RFC and the Irish Rugby Football Union Leinster Branch and was Honorary Secretary of Leinster Rugby’s Schools Committee for fifty-two years.  Mr. Kelleher somehow also found time to become the most highly respected rugby referee of his era, blowing the whistle (or, as he himself would proudly say ‘not blowing the whistle’) on 23 international matches between 1960 and 1972, including a certain legendary encounter between the All Blacks and Scotland.     More importantly, he was a guiding and nurturing presence for multiple generations of players, coaches and officials in a game he knew and loved so well.

The same boundless energy which he radiated in the classroom and on the pitch, Mr. K. showed in his personal and social life. He was a devoted family man, loving and loved by his wife Patricia, daughter Ann, sister Norah and brother Con, son-in-law Sean, grandson Cian and many other Kelleher, Power, Sheppard and Coakley relatives.  Of course, Mr. Kelleher also had a larger family: the thousands of pupils who attended St. Conleth’s during his 72 years at the heart of the school.  The man known as ‘The Boss’ or simply ‘KD’  will never be forgotten by generations of Conlethians who loved and respected him, just as he himself remarkably would never forget a name or a face amongst the many, many whose lives he had touched with such strength, grace and good humour.

Requiesceat in pace.

 

 

 

The St. Conleth’s Fencing League Starts Friday!

A great honour has been bestowed upon St. Conleth’s Fencing:  Our Captain, Michael Li, has been conferred with the Irish Academy of Arms’ Bronze Blade Award which “recognises the progression of fencers in their learning and expertise in fencing.”   And did Michael rest upon this laurel?  Of course not!  Rather he has spent his time and effort organising St. Conleth’s first Fencing League, which will debut this Friday (28/10) from 2:30-4:30 in the School Gymnasium.  All fencers from 6th Class to 6th Year are encouraged to take part, no matter what their level.  The League will consist of a series of competitions to be held each term, culminating in a Grand Prix at the end of the school year.  All the necessary equipment will be provided.  Just bring your school tracksuit and runners.  En guarde!

 

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The Real Debate

Are you growing tired of listening to The Donald and Hillary fill the airwaves with grandly overheated but ultimately vacuous utterances?  Want to hear some real debaters arguing real issues in front of informed audiences?  Well, just catch the St. Conleth’s Debating Team at their next school debate.  Fresh off winning the Irish round of the Cambridge Union Debate, they entered the Loreto College-St. Stephen’s Green Junior Mace as marked men…. and completely lived up to expectations!  Frank Knowles was given the prize for Best Speaker in the final and Joseph Downey was placed second based on the four preliminary rounds, with Joseph and Frank’s team also placing second in the overall team rankings.
And this being our first fully co-educational year, another debating milestone was passed:  Second Years Vanshika Shuhla and Sophie Lee were the first ever St. Conleth’s girls to represent the school at the Junior level.  So turn off Fox News  and stay tuned for the next stunning accomplishment by Coach (and alumnus) Conor White and his debating wonders!

 

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Buskers’ Corner Back in Action!

The voices of buskers past still echo through our hall, and we remember them all fondly, but a new generation of musical talent seems ready to take the stage at St. Conleth’s.  Maestros Ms. deBhal and Ms. Fay once again came up with just the right mix of instrumental and vocal talents to turn a Friday lunchtime into something lyrically special.  This time the spotlight was reserved for our First Years and, judging by the talent on show, there will be plenty of competition for our established acts when it comes to compiling the playlists for Corners and concerts yet to come.

 

 

 

A Mathematician and a Philatelist Walk Into a Lecture Hall…

…and the kids go wild! This actually happened down at the headquarters of Engineers Ireland, where Professor Robin Wilson welcomed Ms. NiAonghusa, Mr. Sweeney and all of our First Years to a special ‘Maths Week’ lecture on ‘The History of Maths through Stamps’.  We know… sounds about as riveting as ‘The History of Stamps through Maths’… but it actually was quite an exciting experience!  Both students and teachers were on the edge of their seats as Prof. Wilson regaled them with a historical survey of these intertwining traditions and thankfully the feared dust-up between the Philately and Maths Clubs never materialised!  Maths Week, of course, involves a whole lot more at St. Conleth’s:  You can wreck half your head on the Maths Department Maths Week Daily Puzzles here and stay tuned for some ‘Maths Through Pictures Competition’ entries.  And the Junior School was not to be outdone!   They also enjoyed a maths presentation at the Engineers and once again had googles of fun with the IZAK9 Cubes.  Check out the pics below!

 

 

Sixth Years Out on the Town!

First up on Tuesday night was a trip to the National Concert Hall to see Carmen in all its scantily clad glory.  Years ago, Mrs. Kelleher instituted this tradition of treating Sixth Years to the opera and the boys and girls always enjoy the opportunity to get ‘all dickied up’ and expand their cultural horizons.  This time, at least for the lads, there was the extra bonus of innovative costume design to arrest their attention, as well as the accompanying impromptu translations by the one and only Peter Gallagher, principal emeritus and renowned renaissance man.   Ms. Fay, Mr. Porzadny and Mrs. MacMahon turned up as exquisitely turned out as ever and made sure to keep the boys in their seats despite the passion in the air.  Returning to mundane ‘chalk and talk’ sessions  the next morning was going to be tough for the students…..until Mr. Seamus Gallagher and Mr. Cummiskey whisked them off to see Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ in Smithfield!  In addition to being a helpful dollop of relationship advice (and the need to pull your shades down), the film is actually a text on the Leaving Certificate Comparative Study course!

 

Golf Team Plots Revenge For Hazeltine

It is early days, but judging by the sweet swing exhibited below by Matthew McKeown and his team-mate Jamie MacMahon and older brother Mark, the Americans may have something to worry about in about ten years time!  Mr. Keenan always manages to find a few diamonds in the rough for the St. Conleth’s Golf Team, and we more than hold our own against all the big schools in the Leinster Schools League.  And with golf lessons starting in the Junior School, St. Conleth’s future success on the fairways and greens is assured.  Get in the hole!

 

 

Expedition East Africa 2018 Starts Now!

Troll through our news from the last few years (or look below at the highlights) and you are bound to see St. Conleth’s students and Indians, Ugandans, Kenyans, Mongolians and Peruvians linked by tired arms and satisfied smiles.  Mr. Maguire has been leading student expeditions for years and the overwhelmingly positive results for both travellers and hosts are beyond doubt.  These expeditions however are no Brangelina-type dalliances of superficial charity: they involve hard work and it starts now.  You saw and heard Mr. Maguire’s introduction here.  Now check out his presentation here and this link for all you need to know.  It will take a lot of time and toil before you even get to the airport, but look at the happy faces below and know that it will all be worth it!

 

Le retour des aventuriers!

This just in from Mr. J-Poz, notre meilleur (et seulement!) journaliste:

Quel magnifique weekend!

Sunday the 9th, 7:30am, and Clyde road has never felt so quiet.  Apart, maybe, from a little group of students playing basketball in the front yard of the school (who would have ever thought such dedication to a school existed). Little by little, the sidewalk took its share of half sleepy, half smily youngsters. What was happening so early on such a lovely morning?

 

 

Sunny Donegal awaits

After a particularly quick 4 hour bus ride, the group of 34 students (a record so far), Mrs. Crowley and myself arrived at the Bundoran Adventure Centre. Collie, the manager of the place, gave one of his famous speeches which quickly set the tone. A quick walk and we then arrived at the fanciest Italian restaurant of the town: La Sabbia awaited us!  The expertise of the chef from Sicily did not fail our hungry students.

 

 

French Flair and Fun

Lots of ropes (and infinitives) were used over these 3 days: to swing, to hold, to walk onto, to pull. Fearless as lions the band of brothers (and sisters) faced many challenges. Rain, of course, was not one of them. They surfed the famous west-coast waves, they teamed up to find their way through a maze of mud and they helped one another in French class to make sure “Madame la prof” would come up with plenty of new challenges for them.

Et c’est déjà fini!

Nouvelles de Donegal!

We have been warned by the Spanish Department to stop ‘winging it’ with Google Translate, so we will wait instead for the proper news reports of the two professionals, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley, who have accompanied the Third Years on their ‘language and outdoor adventure’ trip to Bundoran.  In the meantime feast your eyes on these early images.  More to come!

 

 

Debs Night Style and Substance

We expected nattily dressed gentlemen and girls in gorgeous gowns and we were certainly knocked out with the style, but we also knew there would be a more important aspect of the Class of 2016 Debs’ reception at St. Conleth’s: a spirit of honest affection and appreciation, tinged with the tiniest bit of regret that we will no longer have these charming young men and ladies all to ourselves.  College degrees and career destinations were not the only topics of conversation on the evening: there was plenty of looking back as well as looking forward, with plenty of smiles and laughs about the years, whether two or twelve, these young adults spent growing up with us.

 

 

Of course, the parents were there as well, proud as punch to see how well their sons and daughters turned out, on both the outside and the in.  Whatever points were achieved in August, the more important personal gains made while at St. Conleth’s were fully in evidence on the evening:  boys who short years (or months) ago were locking each other in cupboards were now smoothly introducing their dates, and girls who perhaps apprehensively approached these doors not long ago were now swishing across the floor with confidence and grace.