Even School Captain emeritus Harry Mansfield, who very soon will be handling real ammunition as a Defence Forces Officer Cadet, had to admit: there is no magic bullet for doing well on the Leaving Certificate. Yes, consistent hard work seems to be the only key to success, but there are plenty of little tips and nuances which were teased out by Harry and fellow hi-fliers from the Class of 2018: Emer Healy-O’Reilly (Medicine-TCD), Oisin Gilligan (Science-UCD) and Gavin Nugent (BESS-TCD). The audience, the Class of 2019, hung on every word, seemingly paying more attention to these young veterans returning from the front lines than we old, armchair generals who are always banging on about the same things! Mr. Carvill once again organised the affair and once again it was an undoubted success: you could just feel the steely sense of determination in the room as the recent alumni wrapped up their comments and the current Sixth Years immediately got down to work!
After-School Care At St. Conleth’s
How do you ‘bridge the gap’? Your little Conlethians are dismissed at 2:45 but you do not get off work until 5:30. One sensible solution is to let them stay in the happy and secure environs of St. Conleth’s. All our Preparatory and Junior School have the option of enrolling in our After-School Programme, where their physical and intellectual appetites are catered to with a mixed diet of homework, snacks, games and sport. The After-School Co-ordinator is Cecila Franken and she may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Attached here is the enrolment form, which should be returned to the school.
Chrome Book Heaven
That long-awaited new album by Gary Numan? No, it is simply where we are living nowadays at St. Conleth’s, as our latest advance in ICT has taken the school by storm! Whether it is rolling them in for an interactive tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in English class or researching the latest Elon Musk entrepreneurial shenanigans in Business or finally getting the alchemy going in Chemistry, the Chromebook have been a real boon to the forward-thinking teachers at St. Conleth’s. They even come in handy in After-School Study, where marking schemes and sample answers may be perused without the periodic pings of social media. Of course, the jet-setting Junior School teachers have been at it for years! Now, we can join them at L&C’s for a leisurely latte as the kids quietly tap away at their touch-screens…. of course not! These early days Chromebook adventures demand careful guidance and supervision from the teacher, which we can see Ms. Phelan providing below. Now, once they are established and the students are well coached, Skyping your class from a cafe (or other beverage dispensary), near or far, is a distinct possibility!
All Changed Utterly…
Yes, the terrible beauty of the new Junior Cycle has been born… but to be honest, things really have not changed much. All the traditional subjects are gradually switching over to their new Junior Cycle versions, with more student-centred and skills-activities and more continuous assessment, but the three ‘Rs’ are still the heart of the curriculum and good teachers are still good teachers and young people are still, given the chance, eager to learn. Some of those eager learners can be seen below, in the familiar environs of the front steps of 28 Clyde Road, totting up the plentiful As, Bs and ‘Merits’ and a good few ‘Distinctions’, to boot! From the days of the old Intermediate Certificate, through the glory days of the Junior Certificate, and now at the dawn of the Junior Cycle, St. Conleth’s has always given these state examinations their due reverence, and the students their due preparation, and we have celebrated on those steps with many cohorts of exam-takers over the years, but we also know there is more to school than exams, and more to a child than results, and it is this more inclusive and holistic approach that is at the heart of our school. By now those certificates have been framed or filed away, and the TYs are getting on with some of that ‘holistic’ education under the guidance of TY Co-Ordinater Alan Trenier. They have already been adventuring in Carlingford, sailing in Dun Laoghaire and treading the boards with drama guru Seamus Gallagher. Stay tuned for more!
First Year Rugby Enjoys 3-0 Debut!
We have decided that last Wednesday’s stunning start to the St. Conleth’s rugby season, with First Years winning all three matches, deserves a bit more attention! Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee (and Celestial King of All Sport Gavin Maguire) must be very proud of their First Year players and coaches (Messrs. O’Brien, Smith and Pogatchnick), indeed. In the annals of St. Conleth’s Rugby History, rarely have we seen a rugby team begin with such chutzpah and bravado in the locker-room… and then actually back it up on the pitch! The participation rate, particularly in First Year, was almost 100% and we encourage the boys to keep turning out. Everyone played their part, but below we see some of the leading try-scorers (mind you, only some of them): Russell Bolger, Harry Cooper-Reid, Matthew O’Leary, Luke O’Keefe, Luke Timlin and Daniel Fagan. Alumni might recognise some of the names: Matthew is the little brother of Ryan (the famous scholar athlete of the Class of 2015) and Harry is the cousin of Myles (the famous entrepreneur of the Class of 2011 ), proving that there is something special in that Conlethian blood! The coaches were also thrilled to see so many parents on the touch-lines. If we keep up the support and the training attendance, these boys can go places!
All Day and All Night!
We all know what ‘All work and no play…’ does to Jack but for many youngsters the opposite situation applies, yet the outcome is the same! We recently saw the happy faces of the Class off 2018 as they received their results; well, the happiest of them were on those who put in the work and reaped their just reward. One way of getting that ‘work’ in is to avail of our After-School and Night Study programmes. They are already in full swing and space is limited, so come on in (into the Performance Space/Study Hall) and give it a try. If you like it, then sign up and pay through Easypayments on this website. All the details are attached here. Happy Studying!
And They’re Off!
Sings of the change in seasons: shorter evenings, darker mornings, leaf fall… and Conlethian fencing triumphs! After a short summer break, which James and Claudio spent raising heck in Morocco and Mexico, respectively, our dynamic duo returned to international competitive action against serious fencers from all over the UK and Ireland. It was the Youth Four Nations in Cardiff, and of course, the boys came home with their usual bag of swag, and a bit of swagger, too. Claudio and James won Bronze in Sunday’s Team Event, while Claudio also took Bronze in Saturday’s Individual Mens Foil Event. Well done to the boys, and their road weary parents. And the busy fencing season is just getting started!
A Walk on the Wild Side
We have cultivated, nay, invented a good-natured competition regarding our Past Pupil accomplishments: Who has been more influential, the STEM-siders or the liberal artists? Well, here is one alumnus who strides both sides of that artificial line. Colin Stafford-Johnson (Class of 1982) has been filling British and Irish TV screens with stunning wildlife photography and insightful, knowledgable commentary for decades. So, Biology, English and Art teachers of yore, all take a bow! What is Colin up to now? Well, paradoxically in a culture of digital dominance and ephemeral video bites, the grand Victorian tradition of the ‘Talking Tour’ has returned with gusto. It seems people do want meet, see and listen to real people in the flesh, and share in their extraordinary experience. Well, there is no-one with more tales to tell and experiences to recall than Colin, and I am sure the moors, the bogs and the mountain-tops will come through in vivid colour and their wildlife will spring to life when he walks on stage and takes the mic. See the dates and details of the tour below and stay tuned for more St. Conleth’s Alumni News!
It did not take long for our First Year Boys and Girls to find a suitable and satisfying place at St. Conleth’s. Yes, the first few days were a bit hectic with three way subject splits and multiple room switches but all that confusion had a noble purpose: to give as much academic choice as possible to the newest Conlethians. And there were the usual negotiations around the water fountain, canteen queue and break-time ball-games in the yard but they are all part of settling in at No. 28 Clyde Road and part of growing up. There to give a helping hand to our ‘freshmen’ were Mr. Carvill’s small army of Fifth Year Mentors, old pros at cultivating the culture of St. Conleth’s.
First Year Girls...
...and boys enjoying break-time in different ways.
The boys show that they, too, can do 'calm and collected'.
Mr. Carvill's army of Mentors/Buddies assembles!
Fifth Years enjoying a phone-free conversation in Herbert Park.
Of course, our Juniors are also settling in and one place which is new to all is the Art Room. With acres of space and copious amounts of light, it is the kind of room that just draws you in and you simply don’t want to leave. Past Pupils Mati Remi (a great artist himself) and Muireann Dempsey dropped by for a visit and were duly impressed. Below you see Junior School Art Teacher Ms. Mellon with some of her budding Bacons at work!
Past Pupils Mati and Muirean (2017) bask in the light!
A Photo Finish on LC Results Day!
There is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition, especially when the end result is a shared victory. On Leaving Certificate Results Day, in a sense everyone is a winner as everyone gets that piece of paper which serves as a key in unlocking their future. Obviously, there is always a range of results and myriad paths forward. We congratulate all of the Class of 2018 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to the guidance of their teachers. We particularly congratulate the three young men pictured, who each managed to garnish 589 points and top the class. Conor Power, David Loftus and Simon Pettitt will all be heading where they want to go come September, as will the rest of our recent graduates and we wish them all well at university and beyond. Stay tuned as we await news of offers and acceptances and a more detailed breakdown of results.
Conor, David and Simon lead the way...
..but there are many happy Conlethians on results day!
For a relatively small school, St. Conleth’s punches far above its weight in many areas, including alumni accomplishment. You have read all about our scientific, business and artistic alumni hi-fliers below, but now we have news of a Conlethian past pupil making waves in a very different talent pool. There we were minding our business en route to the Jordan Peterson rap gig when we were suddenly addressed with a mighty ‘Yo!’ from across a crowded Starbucks. Lo and behold, Eskimo Supreme himself approached with hearty greetings and warm reminiscence. See, once upon a time, Mr. Supreme was known as Alex Sheehan (Class of 2014) and we had the pleasure of his company in Latin class. Alex showed his verbal dexterity (and, yes, his ‘verse-atility’) even then, often handing in his own lyrics, or those of noted American rapper Maximus Minimus, instead of the the requested lines of Catullus.
Eskimo Supreme (aka Alex Sheehan, Class of 2014)
Alex with partner in crime, Casper Walsh
In a shop window near you!
Laying the beats... Evan Kennedy...
Winner of the St. Conleth's Music Prize in 2014
Eskimo with 1980's rapper, Vanilla Ice
Whatever his homework assignment accuracy, Alex was always friendly, witty and energetic and these qualities have come to the fore as he has forged a now international career as half of Ireland’s foremost rap duo, Versatile. With millions of views on YouTube, feverish media attention (including the venerable New York Times), a contract to be the ‘face’ of Lifestyle Sports trainers ads, and an upcoming, headlining gig at the Olympia, Versatile are already big, and getting bigger. And the Conlethian connection runs even deeper. For who is the ‘third Verasatiler’, the shadowy figure behind the decks, laying the beats and tinkering with the tracks for Eskimo and his performing partner Casper, and approaching George Martin- status in the rumours and whisper of the Irish music scene? None other than Evan Kennedy, also of the Class of 2014, and the dominant musical performer, producer, guru and roadie of the St. Conleth’s music scene during his six years at the school. Due to some rather mature (but usually ironic) lyrics, you will have to search up their music on YouTube yourself, but hurry up: Eskimo Supreme and Co. are going places!
East Africa 2018: The Lasting Effect
By now, the young Conethians who were part of Expedition East Africa 2018 have settled back into their cushy South Dublin teenage lives: a barbecue at the friends or relatives, a jump off the 40 foot, a daily hour (or six) on Instagram, a burrito at Tolteca and maybe a walk out the pier to get an ice cream at Teddy’s… everything is back to normal, nothing seems to have changed… but take a better look at these young men and women. You see the suntan and the fitness, honed over five weeks of hiking and biking under the African sun, yes, but look even closer, into the eyes, and try to see more deeply: ‘where the meanings are’ in the words of Emily Dickinson. The fact is the members of the expedition are changed and will never be the same again.
A new maturity? A more open mind? Less complaints about the choice of cereal in the cupboard? Hard to pin down, but let us just say that no-one who goes on an expedition of this scope and intensity returns the same person. And it is a change for the better. Above and below you will see photos of just some of the adventures and activities which Expedition Leaders Gav Maguire and Dolores Kelly led them through (with the help of Earth’s Edge): hiking through a rainforest, sampling the local markets, teaching (and learning) at local schools, attempting a native dance, biking across the wild plains and, of course, climbing Kilimanjaro. The photos capture much but to truly grasp the value of an expedition like this takes time. Over the years to come, these lucky (and brave) Conlethians will, from time to time, think back, remember and savour again, the experiences of a lifetime.
Stop Doodling, Jack!
Yes, we ourselves were guilty of occasionally shouting that at Jack Siggins (Class of 2009) back when he was in LC Classics and instead of listening to our repetitious yet sonorous description of Alexander the Great’s precise cavalry movements, he was carefully putting the last deft pencil marks to a masterful portrait of the legendary Indian King Porus, sitting astride his war elephant. If corrected, Jack would then launch into a full-throated defence, in the posture and accent of said Porus, and in Broadway musical style, with eager accompaniment by Maurice and Laurence Wright, Gavin Duffy… Yes, there was no denying Jack’s artistic talent (or his wicked wit): it was just the question of finding the proper time and place for its application. Well, we are happy to report that Jack has found his niche and it is at the exiting nexus of art and technology as he has combined his undoubted creativity with digital know-how. Check out his work below (and on Instagram and here) and drop him a line if you are in the business. With all our previous (mostly imaginary) malarkey about a STEM vs. The Arts alumni competition, it is great to see someone who has talent and a promising future in both traditions!
Back to School???
In this splendid summer weather it is almost a sin to mention those three words beloved of advertisers (and, sometimes, parents) but dreaded by most children, even the normally happy and well-adjusted kids of St. Conleth’s: Back to School! But we realise plans must be made, books must be bought… so here are the new calendars and booklists. They can also permanently be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ along with information about Uniform and the Canteen. Now, back to enjoying this summer while it lasts!
No, Really, What Did We Do This Year? *Corrected Edition!
Well, loads, judging by the 47 (!) pages of the 2017-2018 St. Conleth’s College Parents Association Combined Newsletter (*now with the proper 2018 message from Principal ODulaing!)! If you are a parent, check your email or get it right here. Well done to PA Chairs Michael Mansfield and David MacNicholas and all the parents and students who contributed. Perfect beach reading!
And They’re Off!
The St. Conleth’s East Africa Expedition 2018 has landed in Djibouti!
Troll through our news from the last few years (or look below at the highlights of past expeditions) 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 (and trusty side-kick Ms. Dolores Kelly) have been leading student expeditions for years and the overwhelmingly positive results for both travellers and hosts are beyond doubt. Well, the inveterate explorers are at it again: a group of select Conlethian students and the expedition company Earth’s Edge have touched down in East Africa, continuing a now long-established Conlethian tradition of partcipation in exploration and develomemet around the world.
Staying cool on the equator in 2011
Ann Sheppard in Kitatya in 2010
Uganda 2014 experience the local transport.
Teaching in India 2015
Mr. Maguire outlines Expedition East Africa 2018 for students and parents.
Structural improvements by India 2015 Team
India Expedition Team returns: safe, sound and satisfied!
These expeditions however are no Brangelina-type dalliances of superficial charity: they involve hard work and it started months ago. Over the last two years 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. And they have been enjoying (and enduring) several planning meetings with Earth’s Edge representatives in the Conference Room with their maps out and the routes marked in and endless equipment checks. It took a lot of time and toil before they even get to the airport, but look at the happy faces below and know that it was all worth it! You can check out Gav’s presentation here and this Earth’s Edge link for information on the expedition but be sure to check Twitter (@Stconleths) for updates as the adventure continues!
They are there!
Avoid The Summer Doldrums: Get ‘Food Active’!
An army runs on its stomach and a school runs on its canteen. At St. Conleth’s College we are convinced that Chef Mark McColgan is the main reason why attendance rates are so high amongst both students and staff. A common scene in the early a.m. on the southside of Dublin: “Oh… French test today….I don’t feel very well…wait…it’s Tandoori Chicken Salad today…I’m in!”
Well, you can spend part of this summer not only enjoying those fave dishes, but making them too! Chef Mark is returning with his popular ‘Food Active’ Summer Camp and July at St. Conleth’s is sure to be an exciting and eclectic mix of cookery, sport and fun. Find all the contact details here or above and get onto Chef Mark. Places are limited and Food Active is always the place to be when those long summer days roll in!
It Is How You Play the Game…
… well, yes, it does matter but winning is okay, too! Mr. ODulaing avoided any Oscars-style overt political statements (except for the usual reference to Dublin GAA) at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the string-pulling of Rory Clarke and the skin-bashing of James Moriarty-Smyth, 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 winners of the academic 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/SciFest entrants, who tend to stick together in groups like the ionic pawns of a crystal lattice structure… obviously for the banter and scientifically themed similes!
SciFest Entrants- Robert Mac Donnell, Michael Donnelly
SciFest Entrants- Oisín Thornton, Daniel Weatherley
The one problem I have with this new TY musical is that all these wiseguys and dames… why do they keep moaning about getting to ‘Hollywood? I mean, whatsamatta with the Big Apple? With Brooklyn?With Broadway? Fuhgettaboutit…. Otherwise, Mr. Trenier’s swansong Transition Year night was a smashing success! Bullets (and sparks) flew across the stage and around the room during the Gallagher/deBhal production of ‘Bugsy Malone’!
This was certainly an ensemble production: with everyone from the sound guy to Fifth Years Joe and Matt on the strings and the bright guy who arranged for the pro lighting and the AC playing important parts in making it such a special evening. The dancers and the gangsters may have had small parts but they all played them perfectly: not a step or a note was out of line (except for a few cracking knuckles!).
Our Gaisce Medal winners!
Murph Cup for Highest JC: Suyash Patidar and Joe Downey
But, yes this was a show after all, and there were stars, too: Rian passed the toughest test of all, impressing a native New Yorker with his accent and his chutzpah; Grace out-Tallulahed Bankhead with her style, her voice and, most of all, that pout; Lola matched her sashay for sashay and note for note; James was the most elegant floor-sweeper the stage has ever seen; Manus channelled the Marx Brothers (all of them!) and won the audience’s laughter and affection; and Jimmy and Oisín wowed us by being themselves: wiseguys… but nice guys. The audience ate it up and the perfect setting certainly helped: the Performance Space came really came into its own as a place where we can show off and enjoy ourselves. It was the consummate finale for a amazing year as TY Co-ordinator Mr. Trenier once again organised the perfect mix of courses, projects and adventures to enable his young men and women to really make a transition in their lives. Check out the programme here and snaps (and full video!) of their performance and the Roll of Honour for TY awards above and below. Well done TYs, and get ready for the Real World come September!
MIP Rugby: Michael Cooke
Neil Quinlan Award: Jimmy Crowe
Masterchef: Josh Bergin
So long, Ae
JP McGilligan Award: James McGowan
The Last Fence?
You knew the fencers would not give up the headlines to all that graduation hullabaloo without a fight. Two fencing parents Kathryn Chambers and Robert Smyth report on the last salvos of another record-setting season, and as you might expect, our young competitors did not fall at the last fence!
Our Conlethians were all on the piste again two weekends ago at the Irish Youth Open. We have three newly crowned Irish champions from the event. Claudio Sosa won both the U14 and U17 categories in foil, Myles Moriarty-Smyth won the U10 foil category and Luke Sherlock won the U14 mixed épée. Claudio, Myles and Luke also won the Pembroke Fencing Club’s best fencer trophies for their categories. James Moriarty-Smyth finished second in the U14 foil and Matthew Sherlock third in the U10 foil.
We are also thrilled to announce that Myles Moriarty-Smyth has been awarded an Adrian Lee & Partners Fencing Scholarship for 2018/19. He ended this season ranked No.1 in Under-10s Mixed Foil both here and in the North. He amassed a record 210 points for his age group, taking Gold in all competitions on both sides of the border. Aside from winning Pembroke Fencing Club’s Best Fencer Award for Under-10s, he also ended this season ranked joint 6th in the Boys U-11s category of the UK’s prestigious Leon Paul Junior Foil Series.
And last Friday, the St. Conleth’s Fencing Club annual competition took place in the school sports hall. The aim of this competition is to put to test the skills of all the fencers in the school, and there was certainly stiff competition to see who came out on top! The 2018 champion was Claudia Sosa (2nd Yr); in second place was Luke Sherlock (1st Yr) and in 3rd, Matthew Sherlock (4th Form). There was a nice mix of 2nd years, 3rd years as well as a couple of 4th formers competing on the day. Other 4th formers also fenced it out in old fashioned style… that is, without electric equipment! There was also the poignant moment captured on film below, when Michael Li, Conlethian fencing god, handed the Captaincy over to Stephen Rocket. Well done Michael on captaining St. Conleth’s during a tremendous period of growth and best of luck to Stephen taking us even further!
Junior Golfers Putt on a Show!
Fencing, tennis, rugby, polo… yes, it does seem at times that we conform to the stereotypical image of the private school when it comes to our sporting activities, but we also have the common touch: for instance, we also play golf! This just in from Principal Kilcommons about our Junior School golf team:
Our Junior School Golf Team, defending champions, finished a close second (by only 2 shots!) to Willow Park in the the AIJS Tournament, run by St. Gerard’s at the Delgany Golf Club. Well done boys, and a well-deserved drink afterwards in the clubhouse!
And the Winner is…
…everybody! Well, considering how beautifully Graduation Night went last Friday, everybody was a winner and it is almost a shame to separate certain people from that great, big, celebratory group-hug for individual commendation… almost I said, because excellence must be awarded: otherwise, we prove Darwin wrong and might as well go visit that museum in Kentucky! Mr. Porzadny, like a uncanny concoction of Billy Crystal and Johnny Hallyday, again displayed his consummate showmanship and fairness of mind, detailing the merits of the almost-winners as well, with a few students unfortunately displaying the ‘Buzz Aldrin Effect’ (finishing second in more than one category). A detailed explanation of the awards can be found in the Graduation Booklet here. Envelopes please…
Woods Bowl for Celtic Studies: Oisín Dowling
Sports Award: Marlon Marishta
Music Award: Emer Healy-O'Reilly
AIB Maths Award: Simon Pettitt
Linguist Award: Alex Murphy
Geography Award: Lucy Colman-Black
Hamilton History Award
John Kelly Award: Oisín Gilligan
Galileo's Thermometer Science and Bible Study Award: Simon Pettitt
Art Award: Jonathan O'Connell
Kinlen Cup (Debating): Oisín Dowling
Gardner Cup (Debating): Conor Power
Françoise Brotelande Award for Special Contribution to School Life: Tony Barry
Bank of Ireland Pupil of the Year: Alex Murphy
School Officers: Captain Harry Mansfield; Vice-Captain Emer Healy-O'Reilly; Auditor of Debates Oisín Gilligan; Vice-Captain Gavin Nugent
Sports Captains: Athletics- Tony Barry; Basketball- Oisín Gilligan; Fencing- Michael Li; Tennis- Alex Murphy; Rugby- Luke McKay
Bouchier-Hayes Plate (Debating): Oisín Dowling and Conor Power
A Fond Farewell!
The new Performance Space provided the perfect warm and cosy setting for the fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2018’s time at St. Conleth’s. Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a beautiful ceremony which mixed prayers, music, words of wit and wisdom and a considerable amount of style. Some of the boys have been at the school since First Class 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. Gallagher ‘s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a 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 Harry Mansfield, Vice Captains Gavin Nugent and Emer Healy-O’Reilly, Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU President Donal Milmo-Penny. And Eoin MacNally did right by the legacy of Mr. Kelleher with a stirring, personal tribute to ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s’. All the speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Rory and Corey’s carefully composed (and hilarious) slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings. Even better was Rory’s Tarantino-esque commentary afterwards: the boy already sounds like World Cinema auteur! 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 here… soon!) And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with her eloquent but succinct words of celebration (and surely making Mr. K proud!).
It is certainly no coincidence that a new music room cum performance hall was the central feature of last summer’s (and autumn’s) building frenzy . 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 Emer’s delicate opening harp piecethrough the plaintive sounds of Lucy Coleman Black on piano; Emer and Ciara Cole’s instrumental duet ‘Morning’ ; Emer and Luke McKay’s slightly more flirtatious duet ‘I Wouldn’t Be’; Jonathan O’Connell’s stirring ‘I Won’t Complain’, backed by Ronan Connor on piano; Rory’s boundary-pushing DJ set (a first at Graduation!); a rocking’ version of ‘Hotel California’ performed by Oisín Dowling, Tim Leary and Alex McCarthy; Tim’s brave solo version of ‘Little Lion Man’ and an absolute show-stopper: ‘Three Cool Cats’, namely Tony Barry, Jack Andrews and P.J. Terry- none of whom really had to step that far out of character for the performance. The evening and the music culminated in the rousing whole-class rendition of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’. And then it was outside for our 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 at Jonathan O’Connell’s. 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, Gallagher and Ms. DeBhal and, of course, Ms. Hopkins.
James Honoured for Ancient Thriller!
Pompeii, 79AD: The sun shone bright streaks of light through the scattered clouds, turning the sky surrounding the city an amber shade of orange and causing bright twinkles along the waves of the city… Thus begins Fifth Form James O’Neill’s AIJS commendation winning short story set in Roman times on the day of the famous Vesuvian eruption. We knew you would want more so here is the whole story. Well done, James, and we look forward to reading more of your work in the future!
Nicholas Makes Metros!
Congratulations to Nicholas Cunningham Ash on making the U16 Leinster Metro Rugby squad for 2018/19.There were over 500 rugby players (including fellow Conlethians Ted O’Kelly and Keane Acosta) who attended trials over the season and Nicholas managed to make the 35 man squad. Well done, Nicholas. A great achievement! JCT Coach Louis Magee
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 students and 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 (or even at Wetherspoon’s in Dun Laoghaire). And yet, doubts had sneaked in and multiplied as the team news leaked onto Twitter: Mr. ODulaing, our Paul McGrath, and Mr. Kilcommons, our Tony Adams, were unavailable. Mr. Bolger was pre-occupied with domestic duties and, our talisman, Mr. Ahern, he who had somehow scored three times without using his feet or head, had moved on to a different team. And everyone, especially Mr. Trenier, was a year older. And the Sixth Years had Marlon.
But Pat McGrath, our Director of Football, showed up with a bag full of tactics, having recently returned from the Soccer Academies of the Basque country. And he and Mr. Latvis managed to field the perefct mix of veteran guile and youthful (relative) energy. Answering the call were ‘T-Dawg’ Trenier and ‘Show -Me’ Sheridan, the well-seasoned anchors of our defence; Mr. ‘Hightower’ Magee, an agile giant in the leftback position; Mr. ‘Ace’ O’Brien, who brought his skater-punk ethic and fashion sense to the right wing; youngsters ‘Dig it, Dag it’ Doggett, ‘Pretty Boy’ Murphy, Shane ‘Robertson’ Robinson and the crossover duo of Mr. Gahan and Sean Ingle. There were some ‘adjunct’ staff, too: another Mr. Latvis, who teaches Applied Latin on Saturdays; Gavin Sheridan, our night watchman; and Dr. Jack Nolan, who once moved some chairs for an Alumni Dinner a few years ago. Tirelessly pursuing Marlon all over the pitch, and partially disrobing him, was our resident, hard-nosed ginger midfielder: ‘Wolverine’ Lonergan. And contrasting in style, but just as efficient, were Mr. Conroy, who played wing with modern language flair, and our Wellness Guru, Mr. Porzadny, who played right back while in a permanent state of ethereal bliss.
To be fair the students gave us a great match, and the football was surprisingly flowing. Except for one titanic, manly mid-air collision between Trenier and McKay, which seemed to rip a hole in the space-time continuum, most of the play was stylish and pleasing. There was a bit of whinging on the students’ side about some good, old-fashioned tackling, but the youngsters did also manage to play a bit: Alex Murphy was strong in goals; Ronan Connor combined some American-style athletic play with attempted continental skulduggery; Gavin Nugent brought the strength and Pedro brought the style (and one dirty tackle); Tim Leary never stopped running; Conor Power was as solid and noble as ever and Rory was avant-garde in his moves as he is with his movies. There was a strong supporting cast, and, of course, Marlon. That old football commentary of ‘A different class! A different class!’ was ringing in our ears every time he took the ball and floated through midfield. But we had some style, too. A Mr. Latvis scored a stunner of a free-kick; Shane’s tireless efforts chasing everything down yielded a hard-won goal, and our part-time, night watchman Gavin Sheridan launched an unstoppable blast from another dead ball. Okay, there was a bit of Stoke in our Barcelona, but… job done, Goblet of Fire retained!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cow-paths 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 teachers, enthusiastically shouting ‘Go!’ and ‘Foul!’ for the umpteenth time; and, of course, hordes of tuckshop-fueled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with adrenaline 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…
...there we go!
or just hanging out!
The deck was stacked against the Staff basketball team from the start. The Sixth Years (the Man City of schools basketball) had a veritable All-Star team ready to roll, having recently bought up most of the available free agents at the trading deadline, including the expensive foreign imports, Marlon ‘Air’ Marishta and Michael ‘Lethal’ Lee. What could the Staff team do but resort to the time-honoured Irish method of trying to nip a victory with heart and grit (and a bit of hold and trip) or, at least, making the loss as difficult and as bloody as possible! There was also some native talent on the student team: Conor ‘Tower’ Power performed his usual, thankless task of impersonating a Wisconsin farmboy and methodically pulling down rebound after rebound; Oisín ‘Puck’ Gilligan floated around the 3-point arc all day like his Shakespearean hero, flitting from side to side and occasionally inflicting dagger treys; Alex Murphy, despite feeling a bit queasy as it was all a bit cosier and sweatier than a lawn tennis match at the Fitz, still managed to make some spirited drives; Luke ‘McHey’ McKay’s quickness, dexterity and cockiness transferred well from rugby as did Gavin Nugent’s heart and hustle; and Captain Harry launched shots from every possible position and angle, even making a couple. Coupled with Marlon’s F-15 assaults on the rim and Michael’s lethal defence, it is no wonder the Staff team felt the pressure!
Coach Sean Ingle’s dramatic, just-in-time, tip-off arrival harkened back to 1970 when Willis Reed stumbled out of the locker-room at half-time and spurred the Knicks to championship glory. And the support of the many watching student fans 9both Junior and Senior), decidedly Staff supporters, gave us extra impetus. Our own ‘High-Tower’, Mr. Magee, battled nobly with the student giants; relative youngsters Gahan and Robinson ran and jumped with abandon; and Mr. Lonergan brought his usual Wolverine effort to loose ball pursuit and Mr. Sheridan showed a bit of French flair with his passing, all complementing true pro Ingle’s masterclass in floor generalship, but in the end, alas, it was not to be, as the study march of time and Mr. Keenan’s quick whistle eventually did us in. It is a good thing we not have long to wait for revenge: the Staff are looking to extend their ten-year unbeaten streak vs. Sixth years on Tuesday in the annual soccer match in Irishtown!
Junior School Soccer Stars!
Junior School had their annual internal soccer blitz in Herbert Park on Tuesday 8thMay. Referee/organiser Mr Keenan and Louis Magee, along with the teachers and pupils, braved the inclement weather to participate and an enjoyable day was had by all. There was plenty of thrills and spills, shooting and shaping, tears and tantrums but all the teams, whether a medal was won or not were treated to a well deserved goodie bag afterwards. Well done to all!
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 always 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 clouds came and went, but it was on the whole, actually a bright, bright sun-shiny day and even the notorious curmudgeons in the class begrudgingly admitted that they enjoyed the experience, completing 31km over two days! It was so much fun that Gav did it again with Fifth Years the following week! Well done, Gav, on the singing and the hiking, and, of course, to Mr. Bolger, Ms. Speller and Ms. Long for providing the accompaniment!
All this recent falafel about art, music and cooking has annoyed the STEM lords and stirred them to action! You previously read here how the Sixth Years did so well in the IMTA competition. Now, Ms. NiAonghusa sends us a wrap-up of the other goings-on in Maths this year, and to be fair, they have been busy!
Michael Donnelly and Coleman Hegarty qualified for the Junior Maths Competition, hosted by Oatlands College. Qualification is through a open but rigorous examination, and to have two students from first year get selected is quite an achievement.
Sixth Years enjoyed trigonometry al fresco in Herbert Park, where students mimicked Hipparchus of Nicaea, using their theorems (and calculators) to measure real-life geometric shapes.
Second Years explored the exciting realm of three-dimensional figures, by making ‘nets*’ (and decorating them with interesting ads). *A “Geometry Net” is a flattened out three dimensional solid (a three dimensional shape) — like a cube, a prism or a pyramid. When you cut out the “net”, fold it and glue it together you can see what the three dimensional shape looks like.
Of course, there is always lunch-time sudoku to pass the time.
And, far below, you see a panoramic shot of all of 1B exploring their ‘median’ height. It will be interesting to see how this line-up changes over the years: sometimes the late-bloomers pass out the early birds. Watch out, Lucas! Come on, Shane!
Conlethians: Here and There!
Regular readers might surmise that we have no editorial process at all, but St. Conleth’s is such a busy place that we actually do have to sift daily through a pile of news and events, trying to determine what is ‘fit to print’. For example, look what happened in and around 28 Clyde Road, just in a couple of days, last week: 1) Mark Hainbach, School Captain of the Class of 1973 and current administrator with the Ballsbridge College of Further Education, visited to give Fifth Year students a careers talk and to chat with his old rugby coach, Mr. Keenan. 2-3) Mr. Bolger’s Geography Second Years (and Trevor’s drone!) helped Ordnance Survey Ireland with mapping Herbert Park 3) A motley soup of Fifth Years goggled through the window at After-School Study 4) Juniors photo-bombed Gav’s SCT photoshoot 5) The girls torched the boys in tag-rugby! 6) The Friday Champions League entered its crucial stages 7) Latin Second Years pick their flores like Proserpina and 8) found some interesting graffiti and 9) joined with Ms. Leary’s First Class for an impromptu picnic. 10) Sixth Years practise their graduation song. 11) Classics kids had a civilised discussion about Hellenistic sculpture. Busy, busy, busy! 12) And this just in off the wire: We previously reported that Ciara MacNally had finished a hard-luck second (by 1 pt) in the Leinster Girls Golf Competition, but due to a correction in the handicap calculation, she has now been declared the winner! Well done!
La Grand Finale!
We bestow the title of ‘TY Masterchef Français’ as carefully as the Americans choose a president so it should be no surprise that it takes three rounds to pick our winner. But now it is all over except for the tallying of votes and the licking of spoons. The grand announcement of the winner will be made on TY Night but below you see our four finalists and some of their classmates and teachers enjoying the student chefs’ culinary creations.
Or should we say rarae aves? Our First Years do not need much to get them excited so when a real, live pigeon flew in through the window of their classroom, there was pandemonium! Ms. NiAonghusa came to the rescue and immediately noticed what must have ‘drawn’ our feathered friend. The amazingly realistic student artwork on the wall above! Said bird was quickly (well, eventually) humane captured and released by a Ms. NiAonghusa-led strike-force, but in his short time at his desk he managed to attain a rather impressive mid-level academic ranking in the class! Tweet!
Everywhere you look in St. Conleth’s, there is art: from Junior Infants to Sixth Years, each class and year seems to have its own artistically talented students, and their work is rapidly filling in any blank space left on our walls! We may not be specifically an art school but we are quickly getting the reputation of being an artsy school. Ms. Mellon and Ms. Halpin, our dedicated Art Teachers, make sure of that!
Of course, this being St. Conleth’s, participation is the name of the game and everyone is encouraged to put pen or brush to paper or fingers into clay or papier mache. However, at certain times, judgments must be made and recently our Junior School teachers had the difficult job of deciding which artworks, from the many quality ones created in their respective classes, would go forward as qualifiers to the AIJS Art Competition. You see our qualifiers above and we are happy to say that Nathan was overall AIJS Winner in the 2nd class category; Declan and Katie placed 2nd and 3rd in the 3rd class category; and Fionnuala earned a Special Merit in the 5th class category!
First Order: Summer Exam Schedule!
We do cozy, cuddly, and, dare we say, ‘quirky’ very well at St. Conleth’s but sometimes we have to be structured, organised and precise: that’s when we call in the Maths Teachers! Assistant Principal Ms. NiAonghusa, amongst her other duties, is in charge of our exams and she once again has delivered an an efficient and understandable schedule. Below (and under ‘Calendar + Information’) are the overall schedule and links to PDFs for each individual class (including Third Year Bock Classes). The individual exams for each day will also show up in ‘Events’. Good luck!
The School Concert not only annually awes and delights its audience: it also serves as a useful musical primer! From classical piano pieces through Irish harp compositions, from heavy metal thunder through avant-garde originals, the concert this year once again ranged across the gamut of musical formats and styles, with the only constant being the excellence of performance.
Anything new? Well, Ms. Fay and Ms. DeBhal, our resident musical maestros, went for a more efficient programme this year. Yes, we enjoyed the Woodstock-like rambling line-ups of years past (and the accompanying 26 minute tambourine solos) but the genteel residents of Ballsbridge were getting fed up with the ad hoc camping, hemp stalls and double-parking caravans.
This year, the music was as ethereal and imaginative as ever but the organisation and management of the show made it seem a bit like the annual conference of the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands. A great combination: beautiful music and an early dismissal! Check out the stills above and extensive high-lights below. And, parents, please do not listen to just your own prodigy progeny: enjoy them all. The talent below would rival any Voice or XFactor final!
Master Chef, Français!
When the Dynamique Duo of the French Department, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, sat down to discuss what innovative/interactive/’make your colleagues’ classes look boring in comparison’ lesson plans they could come up with for Transition Year this term, short courses on ‘Great French Military Victories’ and ‘Parisian Metro Manners’ were mooted, but in the end they went with what we know the French really are best at: cooking.
And so was born Master Chef Français! And so, Ms. Crowley and Chefs Mark and Emerson recently led the Transition Years through two gruelling rounds of their Master Chef competition. No, ‘gruel’ was not actually on the menu but innovative versions of pizzas, omelettes, pancakes, salad and croquettes were! And it is not over yet: stay tuned for le grand finale!
Double Silver at the East Leinsters!
Mr. Keenan’s track and field boys and girls were at it again last week, this time at the East Leinster Athletics Championships in Santry, and once again his motley, merry minions returned with medals! Fifth Year Tomás Clancy found a sport in which he could compete while still maintaining his monologue about social justice: race-walking! And his was no mere pedestrian effort: Tomás took the silver medal in his first ever race-walk! Tomás dedicate this win to the ‘world-wide distribution of wealth’, to which we all look forward, but we also eagerly anticipate his next race-walk. Imagine what Tomás could do with a bit of experience under his belt!
The storied athletics venue of Morton Stadium also witnessed our First Year Sidney Weir McErlean adding to her already impressive list of sporting achievements (Gaelic, hockey etc…) by winning the Silver in the 200m. Well done to our two medalists but also to all who took part: the dozens of Conlethian athletes giving it there all in a variety of events, from the long jump to the shot-putt, including the First Year girls relay team who would have won another Silver except for a technical disqualification. It was a great accomplishment for the boys and girls 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!
By Sea and By Land!
Yes, like the Royal Marines, our Junior School Conlethians are successful on all fronts and in all environments! Russell Bolger recently qualified for the U-12 Optimist Sailing Team, representing Ireland at the UK nationals in Wales this summer (following in the footsteps of his brother, and top sailor, Trevor). You can see Russell below, with his boat (sail no. 1502) behind him. Coincidentally the Junior School Sailing club starts its sessions at the RSGYC today.
And our golfers enjoyed the fairways, greens and brunch at the Hollypark Invitational at Charles. As parent Jane Byrne reports:
The boys on the St. Conleth’s Golf Team were so well behaved at Charlesland GC . It was a lovely event – nine schools, including Willow, St. Michael’s, St. Gerard’s, Scoil San Treasa, St. Brigid’s and Hollypark- took part. It was followed by a formal set of speeches, prizes and a lovely brunch. Louis won a prize for closest to pin. They hope to make it an annual event. Our boys won a spot prize of a free group golf lesson!
It is all about the abbreviations these days in education… and you probably have not yet even heard about the CBAs and the FoQs and the rather scary-sounding SLARs? But that is for another day… sometime after our Junior Cycle Inservice, next Thursday! Well, in comparison, CSPE is old hat: pretty much old-school Civics with a new coat of political correctness. But the kids learn real-world ‘stuff’… and actually enjoy it! We recently heard about Mr. Bolger’s Third Years’ foray into Wicklow. Well, Mr. Gahan’s First Year CSPEers are giving them a run for their headlines: a few weeks ago they had a Bake Sale Action Project (AP) that raised over €225 for the DSPCA (another oldie but goodie). And just recently, a representative from that worthy group dropped by to pick-up the cheque (and learn whether most Conlethians were either Blood nor Crips). So. CSPE on the AP for the DSPCA…OK?
Even Jennifer has joined a gang!
The Home of Debate
We were already the ‘home of debate’ in the way that Brazil is the home of football but with John Carvill perennially hosting the Junior Mace in the Senior School and Dr. Fallon the same with the annual AIJS debate, we are literally the home of debate! Dr. Fallon once again organised and ran a spectacularly successful AIJS Debate at St. Conleth’s this past Wednesday. Ten schools took part with more than twenty teams competing. Loreto on the Green narrowly won the overall competition with the St. Conleth’s team of Emilio Sadofschi, Russell Bolger and Turlough Dineen taking second place. Luke Timlin and Turlough were also named Best Speakers of each chamber. Luke and his team-mates, Richard Caldwell and Kazim Haider, won out their room and the third team (Lochlann Flynn, Nicolai Bjerke Morris and Louis McGovern) won their first round but lost in the final. Not a bad showing for the home-side! And six Senior School debaters were on hand to serve as the impressively impartial adjudicators, more evidence of the special partnership between St. Conleth’s Junior and Senior Schools.
Fraternité and Fun!
Well, not quite, as both Transition Year and Fifth Form are now co-educational, but 1/3 of the French national motto serves well in describing the close relationship between the Junior and Senior Schools of St. Conleth’s, and when Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, the dynamique duo of the French Department, and Mr. Sheridan are involved, you know all this Francophonic co-operation will also be a lot of fun! The Transition Years used fun and games to teach grammar and usage to their Junior School fellow francophiles, and such was the craic (French?), the youngsters were learning about such things as prepositions, imperatives and l‘imparfait without even knowing it! And, of course, since the educational theorists say that the best way to learn is to teach, the TYs came out of the experience winners, too!
The front steps of 28 Clyde Road have always been a favourite spot for the photographic capture of significant moments in the lives of Conlethians and Barry Regan of Icon photography always captures the boys and girls in the best possible light (even when there is little of it!).
Full credit to Second Form Teacher Mr. Alex O’Brien, whose permanent state of unruffable calm somehow emanated from him and becalmed the whole Communion Class, so that the boys (and girl!) could really show how well they had prepared for this most important sacrament. Fr. Fachtna McCarthy, a mainstay of the school’s spiritual life, celebrated the mass in St. Mary’s, Haddington Road, and the Junior School Choir, under the guidance of Ms. Hartnett, sang beautifully. After the ceremony, all the candidates’ parents met to chat over a cup of tea and a slice of a very special cake (see below) back at the school where the specially aproned Third Class parents provided a tasty spread for everyone, a fitting appetiser for teh later celebrations at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in Donnybrook.
Well, our Confirmation Class may not like to be called be as cute as their Communion counterparts so we will settle for handsome. And that beauty is not merely skin deep: their souls are also in great shape, too! We like to think that they have proven, over the course of the year and especially during their challenging Confirmation preparation course, that they are the best and brightest young Catholic gentlemen around! The celebrant of the sacramental mass at St. Mary’s was the Very Reverend Enda Cunningham and the ceremony captured perfectly the significance of this important step in the development of our chosen faith and ethos. Ms. Vicky Loomes, who led the class in its preparation, was proud that her charges gave the occasion its due importance and respect. Afterwards, the party moved to Marco’s, apparently, as you do!
TYs, By the Seaside!
Cross-curricular was the name of the game as our TYs united under the flags of Chemistry and Geography, and the leadership of Ms. Phelan and Mr. Lonergan, for an educational ramble along the seaside. Ms. Phelan reports:
We were in Whiterock Killiney – not far from Bono’s house (and a famous Geography teacher’s)! Chemistry were studying the effects of acidification of the ocean due to the absorption of excess Carbon Dioxide. This essentially means that shell fish must be very worried about their houses dissolving: a whole new dimension to the problems of homelessness! We also looked for evidence of enrichment with Phosphates and Nitrates (possibly due to sewage) which causes algal growth and ultimately bacteria populations to decompose the algae, thus depriving the water of oxygen. Not good news for Spongebob, Patrick and all in Bikini Bottom! Meanwhile, the Geography kids were studying beach-drift and different rock types and measuring the height of the cliff… with a bit of stone-skimming on the side!
Two teams from the Junior School represented the school in the AIJS Table Quiz hosted by St. Gerard’s JS. It was a very enjoyable competition and even though we did not win, we feel our boys knew all the important, regal stuff and simply did not lower themselves to the more ‘common’ categories: St. Conleth’s pupils know their national flags and dingbats and obscure geography inside out but do not know their Robbie Keanes from their Roy Keanes and have absolutely no clue what Irish celebrities look like. The latter ignorance not necessarily being a bad thing!
At Swim, Four Forms
We still see no sign of the much-rumoured swimming pool on the roof of 28 Clyde Road, but CEO Ann Sheppard and Development Officer John Carvill have been seen closed with architects again, so you never know… In the meantime we will just have to make our weekly sojourn to Sportsco and periodically make a big splash in the pool of our competitors! Castlepark School held the AIJS Swimming Galas for Third and Fourth on Monday 23rd and for Fifth and Sixth Form on Tuesday 24th Apr. All the boys swam very well but particular mention must be made of Sixth Form who won their competition against stiff opposition and two brave Second Formers who competed against much older swimmers in the Third Form events and very much held their own.
Nestled as we are between the shadow-dappled courts of Herbert Park and the power and prestige of the Fitzwilliam Lawn and Tennis Club, it is rather natural that St. Conleth’s would develop a tennis culture. And, indeed, tennis, like fencing and cricket, has been linked with the school since its very founding. You have seen below how our Senior School teams have approached the net, but now our Junior School Team has made St. Conleth’s history. They have won all their group matches and have qualified for the knock-out stages… and with a game in hand! The Junior School Team has never previously qualified beyond the qroup stages, but with the latest Kellehers and Kennedys and Co. doing their stuff on the courts, they may fancy themselves to go all the way!
Yes, we all enthusiastically welcomed the arrival of full co-education a couple of years ago and, yes, we knew that the old ‘boys club’ mentality at St. Conleth’s would have to change as the girls arrived in greater and greater numbers… but did they really have to take over the place so quickly? Especially in sport… formerly the exclusive fiefdom of us troglodytes? First, it was the basketball girls winning matches despite numerical disadvantage…. then, the First Year Hockey girls made it to the Leinster League Final (in their first year!)… and, now, the Minor Tennis Girls win their first match 3-0 over Sanford Park! The boys are doing their best to keep up, with our Minor Boys team losing narrowly… but at least they looked dashing in defeat!
Girls Tennis (Remaining Matches)
May 4th v Teresian School at Donnybrook TC 2.0pm.
May 8th v Loreto Balbriggan at Balbriggan 1.0pm.
The Minor Girls
The Minor Boys
Ready, Steady…. Go!
The ubiquitous Tony Barry once famously competed in all seven events at an athletics meet, a couple of which for which he was actually qualified, but nowadays he has plenty of competition to get on that starting line. We have so many athletes entered in so many events that Mr, Keenan thought it best that you get a glimpse of the schedule. You can see the PDF here or the pics below. Best of luck to all our runners, jumpers and throwers!
The First Column of Times is for Monday; Second is for Thursday.
La Vie en Rose!
Mr. Porzadny took Transition Year to see the French Film “Le voyage de Fanny” at the IFI. They also enjoyed a lovely voyage of their own, in the sun along the Grand Canal and through Merrion Square and Trinity College. A nice easy day for the TYs…. and they needed it because now starts the hard work on their year-end musical, Bugsy Malone!
Chess Warriors Finish Strongly!
Junior School Chess success continues! When great teams reach the pinnacles of their sport and win the championship, there is often a fallow period that follows, when the team slowly rebuilds with draft picks, trades and the slow development of promising youngsters… Well that didn’t happen in St. Conleth’s Junior School Chess. We just kept winning! After winning a historic Leinster and national ‘double’ a couple of year back, we all expected a ‘rebuilding’ period. But Grandmaster Baburin’s coterie of chess masters must work miracles, as Conlethian teams have stayed a the top of the sport. We may not quite have matched the heights of two years ago, but our two teams in the Leinster Premier division finished 4th and 5th on the recent League Finals Day at St. Catherine’s.
Two of our B team members were unable to attend the rescheduled event (after the snowstorm) and so reinforcements were needed from our lower teams. It certainly didn’t weaken the “B” team as they managed to overtake the “A” team in the standings and finished the year in a very respectable 4th place with the “A” team having to be content with 5th place. Having both teams performing well in the Premier Division is a great achievement so well done done to the boys, as well as the coaches and the parent helpers!
Who is King (or Queen) of the Castle?
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 architect uncle!) 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. Apparently, not all Conlethians build their castles merely out of air!
This year, Ms. Speller was in charge and, having been raised in a fortified tower house somewhere well within the Pale, she certainly had the required experience to draw the best from the boys and girls. We have castles made of Lego, wood, styrofoam, cardboard and some gooey stuff of which Mr. Callaghan took one sniff and retreated to the lab for his gas-mask! And who is the 2018 ‘King of the Castle’? You will have to wait till the Awards Ceremony for the dramatic announcement. Until then enjoy the pictures below of the semi-finalist castle-builders and their creations!
Mr. Keenan’s Athletics Army Assembles Again!
Those bellicose tweets hurled daily across international divides have thankfully come to nothing but here in leafy South Dublin the only army big enough to disrupt the latte-lapping at Lolly et Cooks is the one formed when Mr. Shay Keenan, Godfather of all Conlethian Sports, assembles his Track and Field minions. Such is the popularity of Mr. Keenan’s outings that on days with Cross-Country or Athletics meets we teachers are left alone in our classrooms with our lesson-planning… and jealousy of not earning a place as chaperone on that banterful bus heading north! But it is not just fun and games: our athletes are serious competitors, as evidenced by Sydney Weir McErlean’s and the Senior Boys’ Bronze medals in Cross Country (see pics below). This time it is the whole shebang of Track and Field events on offer at the East Leinster Schools Track & Field Athletics Championships in Santry and we are sure to be in the running (or jumping) for a medal. With Fitness Coach Shane Robertson having started his open Tuesday and Thursday 7:30 runs, we will surely be fitter than ever! The events will be spread over two days, Monday (30/4) and Thursday (3/5), and the full schedule can be seen here. Best of luck to Mr. Keenan, all the boys and girls who are competing and the brave bus driver!
Mr. Keenan's Cross Country army!
Conlethians run in the East Leinster X-Country Finals and Sydney Weir McErlean takes Bronze!
Senior Cross Country Team rocks the 'Rock', taking Bronze at the Blackrock Invitational!
Fencers Climb National Rankings
We can barely keep up with the fencing news and results at St. Conleth’s! This just in off the wire:
Saturday saw a sizeable number of Conlethians, both past and present, fence Senior Men’s Foil at the Irish National, hosted by Irish Fencing and held at Loretto Abbey, Dalkey. The two day event is the high water mark of the calendar as it is the last opportunity for Senior points and therefore the decider for final ranking and international selection.
Conlethians: Philip Cripwell – Silver (in a gripping final, losing 14-15 in the extra minute!); Philip Lee – 7th (Best Veteran); Claudio Sosa – 10th; James Moriarty-Smyth – 18th; Adrian Lee – 24th. And Kathrin Chambers (both alumna and fencing mom!) placed 10th in the women’s foil and also gained the title of Best Veteran!
For the current crop of St. Conleth’s foilists, the day’s results give final Senior rankings of Claudio 29th and James 39th out of a season’s field of 88 fencers. Not bad for a couple of school-kids, fencing against adults!
Conlethians Impress the Sensei!
Last weekend, Fencing Ireland invited a senior coach from the internationally acclaimed Club Jesi in Italy to Dublin. The St Conleth’s College gym was packed to the gills with 26 up-and-coming fencers from all over Ireland.
Coach Filippo Triccoli put James Moriarty-Smyth and Claudio Sosa Smatrala through their paces during two grueling days and each received two private lessons with the Sensei Filippo Triccoli. Luke Sherlock joined them on day two, following a Saturday spent sailing with other Conlethians at the INSS, and he also benefitted from a one-on-one session with the international master. The noble art of Fencing may be relatively new to Ireland, however, its traditions here are firmly rooted in St Conleths’ College!
The Senior School basketball and hockey teams have thrilled us with their multiple finals and semi-finals and their efforts have added several new trophies and medals to the Sports Department’s mighty bag of swag. The chess team battled honourably in their 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 Aldo Nadi. 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. Enjoy some pics of last year’s teams below and take a look at the fixture list, and you will see that we play tennis do it against the best…. and we do it well!
Girls Tennis (Remaining Matches)
May 4th v Teresian School at Donnybrook TC 2.0pm.
May 8th v Loreto Balbriggan at Balbriggan 1.0pm.
Que Bonita Es Barcelona!
What would you give to spend a few glorious days and sleepless nights with over sixty tweeners in beautiful Barcelona? Well, the St. Conleth’s staff have a rigorous testing and competition regime in place to select the right teachers for the privilege of chaperoning on school trips and those who ‘win’ are always the object of much jealousy…. and a considerable amount of PTSD therapy upon their return. This time, intrepid adventurer Gav Maguire led a decidedly sporty team, made up of Ms. deBhal, Ms. Speller, Ms. Wafer, Mr. Magee and Mr. Robertson. As soon as they are out of quarantine and the debriefing process, we will ask for their impressions, but in the meantime, see what First Year Colman Hegarty and Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth thought of it all:
During late March, 1st and 2nd year went on a weekend trip to Barcelona. After a smooth trip across the sea, we hopped on a bus for a great trip around the city, stopping at the 1992 Olympic
stadium, the Sagrada Família and la playa. We went to the hostel for dinner and the
next day we were off to Porta Ventura. We tried all the rides and got the coach back to
the hostel. On Saturday the weather was not cooperative but we had a great rugby
masterclass as the girls went shopping. Sadly we ended up playing much older players
in our match but we still played a great game. The next day we played our second match and once again were outclassed but the girls had a fun masterclass. We made to the airport and on our flight in no time. Gavin, Louis, Ms Speller, Lydia and Shane all were amazing at organizing and keeping everyone in check.
I don’t think any of us expected there to be a time in our lives where we’d wake up at 3am on a cold Thursday morning to put on our school tracksuits, without complaint, and be excited about it.None-the-less, that’s exactly what we ended up doing, to our surprise and that of our parents.Between the buzz of being with our friends and the coffee which many of us had downed on the way to the airport, it was safe to say that the teachers didn’t have a fun time getting us through security.I think the only time the teachers where able to get us all to shut up was when we were finally on the plane and the lack of sleep finally hit us!But, unfortunately for them, it was back to chaos again once we hit Spanish soil. The warmth only seemed to amplify our babble, if anything. How the teachers were able to get through the trip without going bonkers, is beyond me. (Ed.’s note: statement yet to be verified.)
I’m pretty sure the tour guides – who, despite all the mindless chatter, managed to drill a bit of history and culture into our heads – were counting the seconds till they could depart all the noise. But, though they might not admit it, I could have sworn they were hesitant to leave the company of us, Conlethians, in all our friendly glory.The rest of that day consisted of thrilled remarks as we toured Newcamp Stadium – most of them coming from the boys -, messy unpacking, groans at the thought of dinner and victory dances at bowling alleys.
It was an experience none of us will ever forget, to say the least 🙂
A Gentleman… and a Schol!
We all knew that Daniel Gilligan was the perfect gentleman: no Conlethian had won as many laurels as Daniel in his time at 28 Clyde Road, and no Conlethian had worn them so lightly. Now Trinity College is enjoying the benefits of having Daniel Gilligan as a debater, student leader and downright, old-school intellectual. Everyone knows about the ‘schols’ of Trinity: an elite group of students who are selected by rigorous examination to receive a generous scholarship, including rooms and ‘commons’, a Hogwarts-like daily gathering of the berobed great and good of TCD for conversation, a meal (with ‘Grace’ said in Latin!) and a tipple. Daniel now joins this august company and we look forward to his future battles (rhetorical and otherwise) with rival Conlethian alumni great, Conor White, who is currently marshalling his crew amongst the Ad Astra crowd at UCD. Batman vs. Superman II!
Daniel is a 2018 Irish Times Debate Finalist...
...and a debating coach of current Conlethians
'If you get New Zealand, I must have Hawaii!'
Conor and Daniel divide up their future spoils...
One term's worth of 'Gilly, Silly' swag!
Past Pupil Dinner Cancelled
The Clyde Road Residents Association, the local constabulary and the gendarmes may be relieved, but it is with great regret that we announce that the 2018 Past Pupils Dinner has been cancelled. Full refunds are available. It is the first time in the full seventy years of its existence that the ‘show’ has not gone on. We will leave you with some photos from last year’s soirée to ease the pain and hope to see you all back at your alma mater in 2019!
The Class of 2007 at the PPU Dinner
How dare those debaters steal the spotlight! Don’t they know that pride of place on the front page is always reserved for fencers? Sure enough, the swashbucklers were at it again over the ‘break’…
Last Sunday, James Moriarty-Smyth and Claudio Sosa competed in the East of Ireland Open, a Tier A-ranked Senior National Circuit competition, hosted at UCD. In a series of twists worthy of the pen of Dumas, Conlethian youngsters were pitted against some savvy old boys! James ended his campaign against Philip Cripwell (see above!) at the Second ‘DE’ stage. In a parallel ‘current versus past pupil’ contest, Claudio found himself facing Philip Lee, founder of Pembroke and current Irish Fencing President, in his first round of poules! The Conlethian Contingent, both old and new, fenced extremely well, with the ‘New Wavers’ of Claudio and James placing 10th and 31st respectively. Not bad for boys fencing men!