Yes, afterschool sport is back at St. Conleth’s Senior School! Only rugby and hockey for now, but it a welcome start to a return to normality for our school community. We have noticed that for all the success and many positives of our ‘coping with covid’ existence, many students noticeably missed the exercise, competition and camaraderie of organised school sport. Mr. Smyth, our Head of Sport, gives all the details:
We are delighted to announce that After-School Sports Rugby and Hockey are returning this week. At the minute we can only have training sessions in small groups but all the coaches have plans in place to make sure we are following the guidelines set out by the Government. Students will remain in the same groups that are set out their coaches for the coming weeks so mixing between students will be at a minimum. With regard to Covid and training, it is imperative that all students who attend training follow the instructions set out by the coaches. There will be a very strict policy in place with regard to behaviour and if a student is in breach of any instructions regarding behaviour or Covid guidelines, they will not be allowed to train for the rest of the School year.
Hockey 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year girls will be training in Pembroke Hockey Club on Tuesdays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:30-2:30pm) and Thursdays (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train.
Rugby 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year boys will be training in Wanderers Rugby Club on Mondays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:20-2:20pm) and Friday’s (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train.
If students are unable to attend training, it is up to them to inform the coaches. Students may NOT attend training if they have not in school on that day.
Hopefully we can get back to some sort of normality in the coming weeks but for now, we are delighted to able to get the students training with their classmates, even if it is in small groups.
With regard to other sports, we are monitoring the guidelines set out for each level but for now, all we can allow is Rugby and Hockey. Hopefully we can change that in the not too distant future.
Kind regards, Ciarán Smith Head of Sports, St. Conleth’s College
Transition Year Siobhán Fitzgerald did not spend her lockdown gorging on the latest dark Danish Netflix sci-fi series. Okay… maybe she did a bit of that, but she somehow also found time to finely hone her already impressive creative writing skills, to the point where earned two separate, national commendations! One of her poems, ‘Much Too Young’ has been accepted for publication in an anthology on climate crisis edited by poet Alice Kinsella which is forthcoming from Doire Press in Spring 2021. Her poem will sit alongside works by such established poets as Claire Hennessy, Jan Carson, Rick O’Shea, and Paula Meehan.
Siobhán was also chosen as a Runner Up in the Post-Primary Junior Category of the Trocaire / Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2020 for the same poem, ‘No More’. She read her poem at the awards ceremony during Culture Night on the 18th of September. Here is her award letter and below you can see a recording of her reading. (Skip to 20:12 if you just want to hear Siobhán!).
As part of the award Poetry Ireland will also organise an author visit to St. Conleth’s: another reason to look forward to the ending of the covid conditions. Well done to Siobhán, a great example of what students can achieve under their own initiative. We encourage all our students, especially TYs, to take on similar challenges!
Juniors Get Down and Dirty!
St. Conleth’s resident fitness guru Adam Swan keeps an immaculately clean Fitness Suite, especially these days, but that does not mean he is afraid to get his charges a bit mucky when Mr. Keenan, Mr. O’Brien and he lead a contingent of eager Junior School pupils down to Herbert Park for some PE and rugby training. Sure, everyone loves the astro and its pristine surface but nothing beats a ruck and a roll on real grass, especially if there a few leaves, earthworms and pod-mates to smush into the ground. There is nothing like a bit of fresh air and action after obeying covid restrictions since the morning bell!
Jolly Hockey Sticks?
Ms. Leary, St. Conleth’s Junior Hockey Coach, makes Chuck Norris look like a wimp. The most notorious basic training regimen in all the U.S. armed forces is the Marines’, which takes place on Parris Island, South Carolina. Apparently, Ms. Leary goes there for holidays. When Siberia is all booked up. But our Junior Hockey Girls love her, because the intense training sessions are always accompanied by personal care, unbridled enthusiasm and good humour. Here we see an early season workout at the Herbert Park Astro. Soon our Seniors will be back in action. Remember, St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational and the girls are bringing home more than their fair share of trophies!
Covid Coping in the Senior School: breaktime buddying, a class captain election dance and education al fresco in Herbert Park!
Claudio’s Triple Triumph!
A new fencing season kicked off earlier this month; however, due to Covid-19 – the rewards announcement acknowledging the 2019-2020 season was delayed until recently. Our very own Claudio Sosa Smatralova won a rare triple: the Best Cadet, Junior and Senior Fencer in Ireland. A proud, longstanding Conlethian tradition lives on!
2020: A Fine Vintage!
Aside from seeing graduating students achieving their desired university places, one of the chief joys of teaching is receiving the heartfelt thanks of these departing pupils. Last May, these Thank Yous were especially welcome, as they were inexplicably accompanied by brown envelopes stuffed with cash! In all seriousness, the whole Leaving Certificate calculated grades situation was a stressful time for all involved, especially for the students themselves. Yet, when the smoke from algorithmic machines and the social engineering devices finally cleared, nearly all our graduating class received the third level offers of their choice. Yes, a difficult and delayed harvest, but in the end, a fine vintage.
Engineering and Management- TCD
Middle Eastern, European Languages and Culture- TCD
Economics and Finance- UCD
Film and Television- Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Computer Science and Business- TCD
Psychology- University of Amsterdam
French and Spanish- TCD
History And Politics- UCD
International Relations- DCU
International Relations- DCU
Media and Culture- The University of Amsterdam
One thing was never in doubt: the Class of 2020 were leaving St. Conleth’s as young men and women who had matured and developed to the best of all their abilities, not just academic, and they left St. Conleth’s a better place for having been there. Our past pupils have a habit of dropping by, and though they may have to wait till this darn covid thing is done, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 back to No. 28 Clyde Road.
PE, not PPE!
It is time to get back to abbreviations that mean something fun… like PE! Ms. Coleman’s Fourth Class enjoyed a full Physical Education class down at the astro-pitch in Herbert Park and, under PE Teacher Louis Magee’s careful guidance, the same old run-and-kick and rough-and-tumble fun was had by all. With fresh air wafting all around, the fear of the ‘cooties’ was quickly banished and the kids were back to being kids again!
Splendour on the Grass
Poets such as Poe feared the invasive reach of personified Science, ‘who alterest all things with (its) peering eyes’ and ‘has torn the Elfin from the green grass’ but Edgar Allan must have been thinking about ye olde Junior Certificate Science, because clearly the spanking new, right-on and hands-on Junior Cycle Science frolics along hand-in-hand with poetry, imagination and the nobler arts. Case in point: Ms. Phelan’s First Year Science class. A few years back, Ms. Phelan would have attached electrodes or gas tubing to any student who suggested taking a walk in the park to engage in scientific observation. Now, it is part of the curriculum! Below we see our youngsters in action, examining the grass but leaving the elves be… including the sprites of a Second Year English class who were enjoying a bit of poetry and ceremonial dipping of footwear in the pond.
The Summer Wind…
…came blowing’ in from across the sea, and blew away all concerns, of Covid 19. At least, for First Class kids, it did! Yes, our proud older statesmen of the Preparatory School were back to work in Ms. Leary’s classroom and, well-protected by their cocooning (and their youth), even group work was on the agenda. After all that hard academic work, a carefree break-time was in order- as it always is, and should be. If the masks and the endearingly scented hand cleanser ever get you down, just have a peak through the wrought-iron fence railings of 28 Clyde Road: it will banish the biohazard blues!
On Raglan Road of an autumn day…
…and on Wellington Road…and Waterloo…and the Grand Canal! Principal Dónal ODúlaing took a short stroll with 2a to visit some local cultural touchstones. The weather was warm and the conversation was scintillating: music was on the agenda and everyone from Luke Kelly to the Villagers to Conlethian alumni Versatile came up. And then a bit of a rest on the banks of the canal. Patrick Kavanagh was glad for the company- and he did not insist on social distancing!
Juniors Roll With It!
At break-time, sometimes, the Juniors are literally rolling with it, as they, safely within their class ‘pods’, enjoy the fun-and-games and rough-and-tumble, as they always have. But academic work must also be done, and here we see Ms. Dillon’s Third Class pupils working away, without a second thought about the perspex shields between them. And for a bit of fresh air, the students can enjoy a class outside, as Second Class recently did with Mr. O’Brien. Yes, the students are just ‘getting on with it’ during these challenging times!
Junior School Menu!
Yes, the Senior School kids must wait a few more days (lovely sandwiches, in the meantime, for them!) but we are officially opening our full canteen service for our Junior School pupils from Monday, September 7th. Covid restrictions necessitate pre-ordering, so Junior Parents must follow the following steps to assure a plateful of Chef Mark’s delicacies for their child: 1) Read the menu below 2) Ask your child what he/she wants for Monday’s lunch (or tell them!) 3) Click on the green button in the upper right corner of our website homepage labelled ‘Cashless Canteen Account’ 4) Log in. 5) Scroll down to ‘Pre-Orders’ and hit the blue ‘View Menu’ button 5) Make your selection (with an eye on the allergens as noted on the menu)
Don’t worry, it is an easier process than it sounds. And it assures your child gets both nutrition and taste…. while you know for what you are paying!
If one man could defeat Covid-19 all by himself, and we know that is impossible, but if one man could vanquish this pandemic…. it would undoubtedly be the unflappable Mr. Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire (Class of 1990). Our intrepid explorer and expedition leader has faced down some mighty challenges on all seven continents and across seven seas, and he has acquired many a herbal remedy in his journeys, which he keeps lodged in his ever-present, trusty and fashionable man bag.
Given enough time, we think Gav could cook up some kind of elixir for the current plague but the problem is just that: Gav simply does not have the time! For, Gav and the TYs were already in action on Thursday, starting off the year with a sailing session at the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire (with none other than John Melia, of the Class of 2020, there to show them the ropes… and the knots). And today, Friday, they are off again: who knows where, but we are sure more news and pics of Transition Year derring-do will soon be zinging in over the wireless!
Hi-Yo, Students! Away!
Yes, we are off with a shot at St. Conleth’s; however, not as lonesome rangers but as a unified community ready to face this unprecedented challenge, together.
Each class and year that has arrived this week has come in quietly and a bit in awe of the situation. But with the careful guidance of our Junior and Senior Form Teachers, and leadership from Principals Kilcommons and ÓDulaing, fears were allayed and spirts were emboldened and, by week’s end, we were back to being St. Conleth’s: the best possible place to learn and have some fun, often at the same time. Of course, some things need to be ironed out: for example, our first real break-time on Friday may well resemble the migration of the wildebeest, but we will learn, make changes and move on. Stay tuned as we fine-tune learning in the covid era!
Yes, it is finally happening! Turn off the Netflix, try on the uniform and leave the dog in peace for once…. it is almost time to return to school! We have adjusted our return to school schedule for the Senior School from what is on the Calendar pdf but the changes are reflected below and in Upcoming Events:
Return to School Monday August 31 – Staff Day
Tuesday September 1– 1st Year: 10.00-12.00 2nd Year: 1.00-3.00 Wednesday September 2– 3rd Year: 9.00 -11.00 TY: 11.30-1.30 Thursday September 3– 5th Year: 10.00-12.00 6th Year: 1.00-3.00 Friday September 4– All Classes Return for an 8.20 start and 12:45 finish
The induction sessions are just for the students but parents will have Zoom Meetings with Mr. ODulaing. All parents have been contacted via email by Principals ODulaing and Kilcommons, with this and other vital information regarding the return to school in these challenging times, but rest assured that St. Conleth’s is still St. Conleth’s and though there may be a few difficulties in the first few days, the learning and the fun will soon be back up to speed!
During the lockdown, the rest of us may have been lost in South Korean detective series or faithfully following the adventures of Oklahoman zoo-keepers, but Rory Sweeney (Class of 2018) was too busy putting the finishing touches on his second year film, a significant step in his progress towards earning his National Film School BA in Film + TV Production at IADT. Rory was always active in cinematic matters while at St. Conleth’s, reviving the Film Club and spending his breaks (and some school time!) working as an extra and as an assistant with such movie business notables as Brendan Gleeson.
His second year film, ‘Rhythm’, can be viewed above, and it is accompanied by a text which was to introduce it at an art gallery premier but, alas, Covid intervened. We have also included an earlier short of Rory’s, entitled ‘Coast’, below. Enjoy, and do stay tuned, as we are sure to see Rory Sweeney behind the camera of bigger productions in the coming years!
Beware the Ides of… July?
If Ceasar had survived into the month named for him, he would have enjoyed this corona-delayed news. On one of the last, hectic, mad days of school before the shutdown in March, over forty of our Classics students attended the Second Annual Young Classicist Symposium in UCD. Yes, in retrospect, crowding a couple hundred eager, restless adolescents into a lecture hall may not have been the best covid strategy but they were more innocent times and all our legionnaires came through in good, marching order. It was a day full of fun and learning as we enjoyed viewing hundreds of projects on various Classics-related subjects, from Charlie Plant’s edible exploration of Roman cuisine to Lochlan Quinn’s theories on the ‘lost years’ of the Trojan War.
Before we shuffle off to Butlin’s by the Sea for our staycation we will provide some last shots of what our students were up to this year, before and after the latently loosening lockdown. And just in case you are not quite brave (or, maybe, crazy) enough yet to board the garishly yellow upholstered shuttles to Mediterranea, we are bringing you some much-needed exoticism colour in the form of Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin’s First Year Clay Tiles Project. Each bird was sculpted and painted by an individual student, and they stand alone as lovely works of art, but when Ms. Halpin was able to put them all together, I am sure you will agree, something very special was created!
See You on the Thames!
Lockdown loosens… random alumni encounters begin again! We ran into Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016) and his lovely girlfriend, Aishling, in the old Herbo and aside from trading snide comments about STEM guys (to the bemusement of Aishling, a Physics major) we also learned that Daniel is about to begin a Master’s in Law at Oxford University. Daniel, a graduating Trinity Schol in History and Politics, is clearly destined for great things… including an impending show-down with Conor White (Captain, Class of 2015), who is completing his own Master’s in Law at Cambridge University. Both Daniel and Aishling would have crossed pontifical swords with Conor at the Irish Times Debate last year, the winning of which provided our photogenic couple with a grand tour of America, warts and all, red states and blue.
Now, with both Daniel and Conor temporarily ensconced in the Home Counties, the two former Irish schools debating champions will surely meet again on some rostrum or another, or maybe at a shadowy Bullingdon Club Oxbridge mixer….. but we also fancy a face-off between Conlethian greats on the Thames at The Boat Race. (If you have to ask ‘Which boat race?’, don’t bother…) Conor and Daniel showed some athletic prowess while playing basketball at their alma mater, and we think the former, as a strong and steady type, is a natural for a stern rowing position and the latter would be the most rhetorical of coxswains!
Daniel Gilligan (2016) and Aishling in Herbert Park
So, this Maths major walks into a bar and...
Daniel and Aishling are both Irish Times Debate winners...
...and veterans of the barnstorming (literally, at times) tour of America which is the debate's grand prize!
Beware Daniel: Conor White (2015) lies lurking in Oxbridge!
Backyardigans! (With Collage!)
The lockdown is lifting just in time for our Junior School’s summer break and we can just imagine the delight with which our parents will be releasing their children into the wild… but we are not quite there yet, with some lingering limitations still in effect, such as the time-honoured fixture of school Sports Day being forced into a digitally distanced version.
Not that these limitations dampened the enthusiasm or performances of our Preparatory School children as they enjoyed competing in the special day from the safe distance of their backyard or local park. I am sure everyone qualified for some kind of medal!
Get Active! Be Thematic!
It was the penultimate week of the Junior School’s lockdown season, and the Junior School teaching staff pulled out all the stops, setting up challenges for their students which involved a variety of physical skills. Of course, being a very ‘hands-on’ staff, the teachers demonstrated the particular skill, themselves, and each drew on their particular area of expertise: Mr. Kilcommon showed that the skills learned in his youth as a midlands carny have not all rusted away and he can still juggle with the best of them; Ms. Coleman displayed the tough, no-nonsense Munstery side of rugby in her skills display; Mr. O’Brien brought his characteristic zany touch (and a sweet one it is!) to keepy-ups; and Mr. Sheridan showed some Gallic flair for his roundball version of the same.
And the students rose to the challenge! Below are just a few examples of their effort, dexterity and discipline. And stay tuned, as this current week is ‘Theme Week’ and there is sure to be some great pics and news as we go along. Here is the Theme Week Booklet pdf, so you don’t miss a minute of it!
The Long Good-Bye!
We were getting a bit ahead of ourselves when we dramatically announced the end of Afterschool and Morning Club Programme Director Cecilia Franken’s last Lockdown ‘Take-Away’ treat last week: we should have know that Cecilia always works overtime! So, here is the real last broadcast of the series that has kept us going these last few months. Cecilia animates ‘The Little Flyer’ story in her own special way and gives us the solution to that Paper Bridge Challenge. Arrivederci!
TYs Zoom Outta Here!
For a man who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in flip-flops and has swum the mighty Ganges River in those French campground type of tight bathing shorts, you would not think walking into one’s usual place-of-work would be such a great accomplishment… but these are strange times indeed, and Transition Year Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire’s decision to heroically host the TY Graduation Ceremony from old No. 28 Clyde Road is proof that when the times get tough, the tough get going. And, no, the fact that Tolteca, down the road, has recently opened up for take-out had nothing to do with Gav’s decision to ‘make it real’ for his beloved TYs. And what a ceremony it was!
Gav reacquainted us all with the dearly missed St. Conleth’s campus, Adam hosted a video retrospective of the year and Gav gave out some eagerly contested awards. Among the winners were Emile Boostrom Ogawa for Best Portfolio Website, Eva Stylianides for Best Actor, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty Smyth for Musician of the Year and Louis Cullen for TY Linguist. Of course, the two most prestigious TY awards are those named in honour of two past pupils, JP McGilligan and Neil Quinlan. James Moriarty Smyth deservedly won the McGilligan for best overall TY student and Adam Rafter and Matthew McKeown shared the Quinlan award for class spirit, as voted on by their peers. In reality, everyone who stuck with Gav’s programme during these trying times deserves an award and we hope the graduating TYs enjoy a richly deserved summer break and that the current Third Years are ready to hit the TY ground running in September. Gav is going to be well-rested and ready!
Art from the Vaults!
Judging from the pieces below, Ms. Halpin’s Senior School Art students have been, if anything, even more creative during the corona lockdown. Last week we saw some amazing First Year works, created in homage of particular masterpieces. This week, it is the Third Years’ turn and we can enjoy a range of work from their Junior Certificate portfolios including snapshots of the development process that underlies every great work of art. More to come!
Now, It Is Up To You!
Our After-School and Morning Club Programme Director, Cecilia Franken, has kept us all busy during the lockdown with her entertaining stories and plays, interesting scientific experiments and inspiring challenges. But now, boys, girls and parents, it is up to you to continue the learning fun on your own through the summer, and come back to Cecilia with tales of your adventures in September. So here they are, our last weekly Experiment and Challenge!
Sports Day… Redux!
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 cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ 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… ah yes, our habitual style of reporting one of St. Conleth’s most beloved annual rituals: Sports Day! Sadly, not this year. Rían Lawlor is eagerly trying to organise a Wii Sports version but until that happens we will enjoy a trip through the years. Keep scrolling!
Yes, we said running…
running a bit further…
or just hanging out!
winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns. Yes, we said running…
...there we go!
or just hanging out!
....Senior School Sportsdays are smashing successes!
or just hanging out!
Don't worry... Julia is Ciarin's sister!
Those were the days...Where are they now?
These boys find pulling medals much easier...
Becka and the bad boyz
Our last shot of the Big 3?
The Fifth Year Girls were out in force at Sportsday.
First Years enjoying Sportsday 2016 at Irishtown Stadium.
It was GINORMOUS!
Do you remember when everything bigger than us was ‘enormous’ or, even, ‘ginormous‘? When anything numbering more than ten was calculated as ‘millions’? Well, thankfully, this covid thing has not diminished our youngsters’ love of hyperbole. Kids still like to learn about stuff and do stuff… and the bigger, the better! Case in point: one of Ms. Redmond’s Senior Infant class’s projects.
The lockdown has been hard on all of us but imagine being five or six and having to comprehend this crisis… yes, it would just seem absolutely ginormous! Yet, unlike some of us, St. Conleth’s Preparatory School just seem to ‘get on with it’. Part of ‘it’ for the Senior Infants was reading and enjoying Roald Dahl’s classic ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ and then coming up with suitable gigantic projects at home in response. Enjoy the pics above and below and mind those canal waters on your next walk or run!
Horrible Harriet but Perfect Pastries!
Cecilia give you a popular story this week… and something to munch on while you watch and listen. The story is Horrible Harriet by Leigh Hobbs, an old favourite of many, and Ceilia gives it a virtuoso performance. As for the croissants, Cecilia provides her own recipe (with a noticeable Italian flair) but you have to make them yourself!
The first ever St. Conleth’s ‘Zoomed’ Graduation Ceremony was a smash hit! Yes, we will have a more formal affair in the Fall, but this student-produced, standing-room-only variety show was chock full of nostalgic humour and poignancy, from heartfelt advice from management and teachers through honest expressions of appreciation from the graduates to some very imaginative personal ‘bios’ of select students. The Class of 2020 even received some helpful dating advice from Mr. Carvill! The whole class and all their current teachers attended, as well as several student and staff ‘alumni’ who returned to share in the experience. Yes, we look forward to another, more ‘physical’ ceremony in the school in the autumn, but really this will be hard to beat. Well done to Emily, James, John, Oisín, Joe and all the others who organised and took part in this perfectly pitched celebration in imperfect times. Enjoy the pics: full video on the way!
If there is one thing that we take seriously at St. Conleth’s, it is the election of our School Captain. The UN Election Observers are brought in, identifications are carefully checked and we make sure that no votes of members of the Class of 1939 have somehow mysteriously made it into the ballot box. And Covid-19 did not alter this scrupulousness: Mr. Carvill arranged arranged long-distance versions of all the usual steps; from a call for nominees, through Zoom speeches by the candidates to their class and an initial student vote and, eventually, the same for the digitally assembled staff by the semi-finalists. The fact that there were fifteen initial nominees says a lot about the class and the school: so many students want to take a leading part in the life of St. Conleth’s. After the student vote, the field was narrowed to a high quality six: Matthew Lynch, Colin Bolger, Ciara MacNally, Ted O’Kelly, Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye. All these sincere and enthusiastic youngsters then presented their cases to the staff via Zoom, and though there was a variety of styles and emphases, we were left knowing that we were in good student leadership hands for 2020-2021, regardless of the outcome. In the end, Ted O’Kelly was elected School Captain with Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye being selected as Vice Captains. With these three at the helm, we will really hit the ground running in September!
Second Form Bridge Builders!
Mr. O’Brien has been catering to both sides of his pupils’ brains during this period of distance learning. On the STEM side, he and his eager Second Formers explored different types of bridges around the world and then designed and built their own- with Lego, cardboard and whatever was available during the lockdown scarcity! On the more literary side, they enjoyed a troll through Irish myths and legends over the last few weeks. And Noah and his sister Elodie (Fourth Form) made a stop motion version of ‘The Children of Lir’ which was very impressive, indeed, and can be seen below.
Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:
Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!
One More Chukka!
We will miss dearly all our Sixth Years, but one young man in particular has left a legacy of good humour, easygoing charm and warm friendliness, which we will find hard to replace. And, typical of Alex Reynolds, we did not even know that he had a hidden talent and has been a competitive polo player these last few years. Here he brings us up to date, just before he rides off into the sunset!
Even though I have long been interested horses, I had very little experience of polo until about five years ago. I had played a few chukkas here and there, but not too many. But, now, I could not imagine not playing polo and being on a horse hitting a ball with the mallet. I truly have found a passion for polo and horses, and it is when I am on my horse charging down the field that I feel most alive. I have been looking after polo ponies at home for a few years now and I love the joy that comes with it and the bond that can be created with the horses. It is hard work but the rewards make it more than worth all the effort. Polo is a very small sport in Ireland compared to abroad, in places like the UK and Spain, and it has a much smaller community than other polo scenes, but I hope to be part of the growing effort to make it more popular. I think others would enjoy the rare combination of building bonds with both an intelligent, emotional animal and friendly competitors.
Tattoos and Slime…Together at Last!
Cecilia, our Afterschool and Morning Club programme director, has a knack for coming up with novels ways of making learning fun and today we have a ‘combo’ worthy of being placed along side Homer Simpson’s paragon of ‘Gum and Nuts: Together at Last!’. Cecilia mixes science, art and fun as she shows us how to make homemade slime and tattoos. It is enough to make a mad scientist/pirate cry with joy! And better yet, Cecilia says she will pop around to students’ homes to help clean-up after these learning adventures…. just as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
Science Experiment: Tattoo Magic!
Challenge: Biggest Slime Bubble!
Bell Bottom Blues!
Actually, judging by the fervour with which our Junior School students are tackling their projects, the Covid lockdown is not really getting them down at all! We do imagine, however, that when the projects involve fashions of the 1970’s, parent and staff who were around back then probably do succumb to some nostalgic melancholy when they view them. We are too young to remember ‘the decade that taste forgot’ but Mr. Kilcommons was just talking the other day how he missed his old bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye T-shirt and lambchop sideburns! Though, if this lasts much longer, certainly the hairstyles will start looking 1970s-ish. Ms. Loomes’s Sixth Forms did more than a troll through the history of fashion. See some highlights below and click on the titles further below to see the full projects on a variety of subjects.
You really should be careful of what you ask… as we learned when we innocently contacted Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin for an update on what has been going on in Art classes this year, pre- and post-corona. We expected a few snaps of pleasant watercolours: what we received was an absolute avalanche of creative, boundary-busting masterpieces! As none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, we are going to drip feed you a steady stream of these stunning student installations, starting with one assignment for First and Second Years which will have you gasping in admiration and rolling around with laughter! Ms. Halpin asked them to interpret and recreate famous paintings in any way they wanted: and, boy, did they respond with gusto!
To Infinity…and Beyond!
Junior School learning adventures continue despite the corona lockdown and, if anything, teachers and students are pushing the boundaries because of the special circumstances and boldly going where no primary pupils have gone before! We have the evidence here with Ms. Leary’s exported ‘Astronaut Adventure’, more magnificent mandalas and artwork from Harry and Eloise and others, and the simple joy of scoots with the baby sister!
The Midas Touch!
If anyone has the ‘Midas touch’ it is Cecilia Franken, who runs our Afterschool and Morning Club programmes during normal times, and has been keeping us sane with her ‘Take-Away’ stories and challenges during these corona daze. Here she is with personally illustrated version of the timeless moral tale, as well as an art/science project to delight youngsters and terrify any entomophobes. Though, that said, they are probably currently preoccupied with a certain other bug!
Art Activity: Crawl Inn Bug Hotel
Story Time: Midas and his Donkey Ears
Move Over, George…
Yes, the mysterious and secretive ‘Uncrowned Emperor of Europe’ George Soros may have a whiff of the Sith about him but the Rise of Oisín McGinley, his acolyte and heir apparent, is a much warmer and good-humoured tale than that told of Skywalker. Fresh from chairing the first ever digital conference of European Youth Parliament, Oisín tells us of his EYP adventure in his own words.
Having now participated in every format of EYP event in each academic year, I believe it is high time for me to reveal what this mysterious organisation is. The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, tolerant and active citizens. International, regional and national sessions are at the core of EYP, and consist of events that bring together over 30,000 young people every year.
That’s well and good, it is also what any of you could find online with a simple google search, so I am here to offer a more personal account of what EYP is to me. I began my EYP journey in 2017 heading to Loreto Foxrock for the Dublin Regional Session of EYP with the help of TY co-ordinator Mr.Trenier who was more than happy to pay for this bizarre event… not. It was there where I realised I hadn’t completely lost my brain during TY. More importantly, this is when the curtain of EYP was drawn back for me and showed me that as a young person I had the means and the capability to shape the issues of young Europe which were important to me.
Following that event, I was selected to go to Cork for the Irish National Session and finally to Rotterdam for the 88th International Session of EYP as an Irish representative, at this stage Mr.Trenier began to realise that maybe it was money well spent even being quoted as being “almost proud of me”. Rotterdam was without doubt one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the first night of being forced to share a table with the UK delegation I believe I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Furthermore, it is one of the main reasons why I feel so confident in studying abroad in Amsterdam now. I am still in contact with many of my friends from that session and there are many after hours memories that I still hold dear.
The reasons why I am passionate about EYP are in-quantifiable but chief among them are the opportunities it offered me and the connection it has brought about in my life. I have participated in 15 different events of EYP now and I have come to have a great appreciation for the network. EYP has given me practical skills in terms of delivering modules, managing group dynamics, academic research and so much more, not to mention some well needed weeks off of school. I am able to document my self development directly with the events I have attended and I believe it has gifted me a unique lens to view the world from. Especially in times like these, knowing that I can pick up my phone and catch up with friends from all over Europe is very supportive and also very humbling.
Another amazing thing about these events is the wide variety of roles they offer. Whether you have a knack for organising, a creative flair or a desire to lead committees there is a role for you. Moreover, the principle that EYP is a youth organisation that is led by the youth is very powerful. Testament to that is that as a 17 year old I was given the honor of presiding over the Slovakian national session. The roles of real responsibility that are given to young people as well as the lack of taboo surrounding age is something which makes EYP attractive to the youth. The idea that I as a 17 year old was in a position of leadership over a 23 year old may raise some eyebrows initially but it is what allows for the organisation to thrive and facilitate better events.
Every EYP event I go to I always head in thinking about why gathering a random bunch of teenagers and introducing them to a random organisation shouldn’t always result in a magical experience yet every time without fail it does. In my opinion EYP is above all else a platform, a platform which connects like minded people across Europe and offers them a well-needed way to direct their passion both towards fixing world issues and connecting with each other. It is hence my greatest pleasure to see the network continue to develop and transition to a digital format. I was astounded to see the high level of participation as a chairperson at EYP’s first Digital Session and it makes me very confident about the future of the organisation.
I still carry the same awe and passion that was lit inside me at my very first EYP event and if the same TY student that was reluctant to head to Foxrock saw where I had gone now I honestly have no idea what he would think. I think that’s why I delayed writing this article, there is so much about EYP that is so intimate and personal, much of which can’t be expressed in words. With that said I hope to have enlightened you as to what actually happens at an EYP event and why you may want to get involved. As we say in EYP “See you somewhere in Europe”
Students: Get 10% Off if You Complete This On-Line Survey!
Sorry… a bit of false advertising. We cannot give you a reduction in your tuition bill but what we can give you is a chance to tell us (management and teachers) what you think about St. Conleth’s: what we are doing right and what you think we could do better. It is all a part of our School Self Evaluation. Parents and staff are also taking part through their own surveys (check your email!), but the student voice is equally important to us. So, take about 10-15 minutes, click on the link below and fill it out, carefully and honestly. We will take the results very seriously in our forward planning but, as it is anonymous, we will not be able to respond with any individual rewards… or retributions!
St. Conleth’s is not letting this lockdown get in the way of our habit of working together and sharing our creativity and insights. Principal Tony Kilcommons led a special Junior School Assembly and his reassuring words and the poetic and prayerful contributions by Sixth Form students made this lockdown a good bit more bearable. The Junior School community continues to thrive, albeit digitally!
Covert Covid Learning!
The novel corona virus has forced into novel and covert styles of learning but, believe us, the work goes on! Conlethian teachers and students are keeping busy with remote classes and assignments and despite difficulties with bandwidth, the sibling seizure of screens and the dreaded Virtual Learning Vulture Neck Syndrome, we are all keeping pace with our various syllabi and the hallowed STATEMENTS OF LEARNING! Some wags think we are even ahead of normal schedule: less time spent waiting in line for chicken wings and Fortnite dancing in the courtyard at break-time… but we do miss both activities dearly! Here we see just a sampling of our students’ long distance learning: Maths memes and graphs, corona advice en français and some Classical Greek architectural drawings and descriptions. All in a day’s work!
Can you handle a triple-shot of Afterschool/Morning Club Take-Away Hi-Jinks? There are three new postings below from Cecilia! 1) Dinosaur Garden in a pot 2) Science Experiment: The Rising Star 3) Challenge: Water Skiing Ball. Enjoy!
Dinosaur Garden in a Pot!
Science Experiment: The rising star!
Challenge: Water Skiing Ball!
Remote Rostra Rhetoricians!
Congratulations to Coleman Hegarty and Leo Nolan on their impressive top ten finish (of the best 59 in the world!) at the Oxford Union’s International Competition for Young Debaters competition. The debate was conducted remotely but our boys adjusted and mastered the digital rostra!Here, Coleman gives his personal account!
For the ICYD competition, we used a newly developed software called MixIdea, made in Japan. We qualified at Coláiste na hInse with eight other Irish teams for ICYD-Oxford. Of course, because of that darned virus, we couldn’t make the trip over to Oxford but they were quite quick to email us about using online platforms. Leo and I did a few practice rounds before hand and were ready to compete on the 2nd. Sadly, because the organisers are in college and prone to college brain, they forgot to tell many of us that they were using a different domain name for the site. Then, due to overflow we had to wait from 1:30 to 4:00 and finally got a start after three and a half hours with the motion ‘THW have all elected politicians on the average wage and use public services‘ (Against). We placed 2nd in this round, coming up against Canadians (the eventual winners), Hungarians and Scots.
In the second round we had a very Thurnberg-esque motion, supporting Eco-conscription. What sounds like an Eco-Fascist’s dream is really just manual climate change labour. Up against more familiar faces in Belvedere, we also placed second in this round. Round Three was cancelled due to major delays and the next day we arose for one more round before the semi-final break, the motion this time being ‘THW implement equal airtime for both sides of a topic/arguement on national television‘ (Proposing). We won this motion, coming up against Shanghai International school. After a while, we got the tab back, revealing we were 1 speaker point (443-442!) off the semi-finals. Still, Leo and I triumphed as the best speakers in Ireland. Not too bad for a corona lockdown!
Poetry in Numbers
In a cross-curricular Corona-coping coup, Mr. Kilcommons has combined Maths with… poetry? Yes, over the centuries various highfalutin’ mathematical types have extolled the essential beauty of numbers, but usually they were doing this amidst the flames at the stake of the Inquisitors or in padded rooms with their arms tightly jacketed or… even worse… in movies starring John Travolta in his Blue Period. But Mr. Kilcommons has yoked together the previously unreconclable and somehow combined creativity with calculus for his latest ‘Learning at Home’ digital lesson. Indeed, these Sixth Formers’ poems would bring tears to the eyes of both Einstein and Frost. Enjoy them and then watch the video to see how you can make your own!
Summer Exams 3.0!
**Slightly adjusted: small changes to the Fifth Year schedule, only**
The times they are, indeed, a-changing, but here at St. Conleth’s we have still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission… to provide fair but rigorous assessment! Students and parents will be contacted formally via email, but here is a sneak preview (courtesy of Exam Co-Ordinator Ms. NiAonghusa) of the Summer Exam Schedule.
The start of summer has almost been lost all the corona coverage, but not by St. Conleth’s Junior School students! With Art Teacher Ms. Mellon’s encouragement, Junior Schoolers (such as Christian, Gregory and Andrew, whose work you see below) are keeping their artistic talents sharp and celebrating the lengthening of days… and sending in photos of their work so we can enjoy them, too! Keep them coming to firstname.lastname@example.org!
It’s Throwback Thursday on stconleths.ie! Since sport is currently reduced to pilates apps and Wii Sports, we will recall the golden days with a weekly virtual visit to the archives. This week: the legendary 2016 SCT’s earlier but just as inspirational incarnation: the 2013 JCT! Yes, we were younger and lighter (except on top) back then and the world was our oyster. And Gav was our god. Enjoy!
With guidance from their remote but attentive teachers, our Junior and Preparatory School students are keeping their learning and imaginations alive. Below you see pics of Jamie Fanning and Sean Keane’s ‘plant and food’ mandalas, as well as some of our younger students enjoying the home learning and adventures. We also have another crafty video from Cecilia and a very special one made by Nathan Keough, click!, all by his own self!
Conlethians are keeping busy at home… especially Ms. Mellon’s Junior School Art Class. Over Easter they worked on mandalas using food, plants and flowers. Look what Christian and Gregory Boyle and Joseph Finnegan came up with! But what have you been up to? Send activity snaps to email@example.com and we will share on this website and Twitter!
Just in Time for the Rain…
As we write, at least in our far flung Corona hideaway, the weather has just taken a turn for the worse so it is the perfect time to release Cecilia’s latest Afterschool Take-Away mix of thrilling stories and brainteasing challenges. Enjoy!
Just Press Play!
Afterschool and Morning Club Director Cecilia Franken usually spends her Easter ‘break’ assisting the Easter Bunny make his deliveries in her native Italy, but with Corona restrictions, she stayed here in Ireland, and we are all going to benefit big-time! For Cecilia did not just sit back and watch the immortal Series 5 of the Simpsons: no, she was as busy as ever and made all the following ‘Take Home’ Afterschool videos. So, just press play and enjoy!
Crazy Chicken Bird Feeder
Don’t touch! Challenge
Don’t touch challenge solution
Warm and cold water experiment
Storiygami, the unkind prince
Story time: city mouse and country mouse
Super Power Experiment
Rock bug painting
Thankfully, the Easter Bunny has evaded the lockdown and is on his way. operating out of his summer home in Courtown. And after you enjoy that well-earned bounty of chocolate eggs have a go at this: the St. Conleth’s PE Department At-Home Fitness Challenge, special Easter Edition!
Below we see our winning challengers from last week, Gregorio and Viola, ring their thing in double-time!
The Last B-Ball Game in Ireland?
In our efforts to keep some Conlethian good vibes flowing, we bring you more BC (Before Corona) News: Our U19 team were involved in perhaps the last basketball game played before the shutdown, a narrow loss to old friendly foes St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final. Our name has been etched on this particular plaque many times, and will be so again, but this time we settled for an honourable second place, nipped by a strong, international Andrew’s team. Big man Luke Gilleran and fireplug Keane Acosta were again forces for us, as were graduating Sixth Years Suyash Patidar and Josh Bergin and rising youngsters Ralph Garing, Luke ‘C3P0’ Sherlock and Oisín Thornton, but it was Colin Bolger who really shot out the lights and earned a share of the MVP award.
And Sixth Year Jack Doyle had the honour of captaining the side in his last appearance in a St. Conleth’s basketball jersey. Jack has been part of St. Conleth’s since Junior School days and his devotion to basketball and the school as a whole has been steadfast and strong. Like his ancestors from the middle of America, Jack has always been the epitomé of hard work, team spirit and impeccable manners.
Hurry! Last Seats Selling Quickly!
Enjoy this last edition of the Afterschool Puppet Theatre before Easter. Cecilia and friends bring you ‘Thomas, Mat and the Hungry Doggy’!
Fitness Challenge #2!
A ‘towering’ member of the PE Department just enjoyed a milestone birthday, but since this GDPR-protected person has such a ‘high’ level of fitness, he is not worried that he is now on the wrong side of Basil! Well he, and relative whippersnapper colleagues Mr. Smyth, Adam and Sean, feel this week’s challenges will really boost your energy levels. Students and/or parents have the choice of two workouts. Try each one at least twice for maximum benefit. Remember to send any photos or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. And further below you see our winning participants from last week’s challenge, led by the Bertomeu Boyz!
Conlethians Keeping Busy!
Maria Rainer sang of ‘raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens’ but ‘marshmallows and bubbles’ might very well be in the list of anyone’s ‘favourite things’. And these cheery items feature in Cecilia’s Science Experiment and Challenge videos this week. See them below as well as some feedback from Cecilia’s Afterschool friends!
Blog Through the ‘Blah’!
OK boomers, let’s face it, this COVID-19 thing is getting us down. Dog walks, Netflix and unusual dinner combinations can entertain us for only so long. But the youngsters are a bit more adept with using technology for fun and socialising, and there can be an educational dimension to these hyperspace activities, too: see below for the Afterschool Take-Out videos and the PE Department’s Fitness Challenges. Well, St. Conleth’s Junior School pupils are also doing it for themselves, with a bit of help from ICT Czar Mike Travers: below you see snippets from the Junior School Student Blog, which Sixth Form have been using for years and now has also been opened up to Fourth and Fifth. Quite an impressive range of topics and some quality writing, too. Check it out now, add it to your favourites and revisit from time-to-time: a welcome break from the you-know-what-news!
Sir Toby and The 3 L’il Pigs!
Cecilia is back with more Afterschool/Morning Club kind of zany fun! This time she has help in her Shadow Theatre from the the famous Three Little Pigs and withe her Art Activity from the loyal, and eminently patient, Sir Toby!
Our First Weekly Fitness Challenge!
Wake up! The St. Conleth’s PE Dept. is talking to you! Below is our first weekly, long-distance learning Fitness Challenge. We (Mr. Magee, Mr. Ingle and Mr. Swan) will be posting various challenges to this website and Twitter each and every Friday, so make sure to keep an eye for the next challenge. For the first challenge, “Alphabet Workout”, simply spell out your name and match the letters of your name to start your fitness challenge. Try each one twice on rotation and if you’re feeling very energetic, try it three times. You know Gav Maguire will! Remember (if you like) to send a photo of you or your family taking part to email@example.com and we will post as many photos as possible on this page or Twitter. Have some fun and stay safe!
And, remember: the St. Conleth’s PE Dept. will be watching!
American baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once complained that ‘Nostalgia is not what it used to be.’ Well, it certainly isn’t these days, when we all are forced by circumstances to look backwards in time for some sense of solace. Well, Past Pupil and musical maestro Joe Gallagher (Class of 2019) has just premiered his first EP, ‘Nostalgia’, on Soundcloud and it will take you back to the good, old days: it is the single best spring of hope that we have heard, sweetly bubbling, in all our searches of various music streams.
These five lo-fi but hi-impact instrumental tracks have already made quite a splash in the world of music with an online musical promotion group eager to include them in their monthly Spotify playlist. So turn off the Netflix and have a listen!
Science Fun With Cecilia!
Wednesday is Science and Challenges day in the Afterschool Programme, so Cecilia and her canine co-stars have decided to keep up the tradition despite the arrival of the corona virus. Enjoy both videos below and send on your attempts at the ‘Equilibrium Challenge’ to Cecilia at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will select a winner. Grand prize is a ski trip to the Italian Alps… just kidding! How about a nice selection from the Tuck Shop when we return to school? I hope the Burger Bites are still in date!
Ms. Cecilia’s Neighbourhood!
Fred Rogers is an absolute legend of American culture: a kindly avuncular personality who managed to be provide extra-parental love and care through the tubes and black-and-white screens of 1960’s televisions. Cecilia Franken has done the same for a generation of St. Conleth’s Preparatory and Junior School pupils. Her latest Newsletter (click) captures just a flavour of the variety of the activities to be enjoyed in her programmes. And now we have the ‘Home School’ crown to present to the ‘Afterschool’ and Morning Club monarch! Anyone who knows Cecilia, realises that a mere pandemic is no match for her enthusiasm and innovation. To combat the Corona Cabin fever, she has promised to periodically present videos replicating the fun that was had by all at St. Conleth’s, especially before 8:45 and after 2:45. Here is the first batch. Won’t you be her neighbor?
Drums Along The Dodder!
To prompt pleasant memories of when your younger family members were not always just standing there listlessly in front of an open refrigerator door, we will periodically bring you news from a bygone era: B. C. (Before Corona). Yes, it is only in retrospect that we realise how full our lives were… especially St. Conleth’s Transition Years!
A couple of weeks B.C., ace TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire arranged to have Patrick Naughton and his African Drumming Ireland programme pay a visit. Patrick was brilliant. He has the skills and knowledge, the authentic drums and, most importantly the ability to keep a group of sometimes grumpy adolescents enthusiastic and involved… and even rhythmic! Enjoy the video above and the pics below. More B.C. News to come!
Seachtain na Gaeilge… ar ball!
Before the shutdown… we had just enough time to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, in a rather abbreviated but spirited fashion! With the senior member of the Irish Department, Mr. ODulaing, busy piloting the school through the troubled corona waters, it was left to his younger colleagues, Ms. Fay and Ms. Dorman, to drive the buachaillí agus cailíní through Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada and class-specific céilí… and in record time! The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities. Certainly more fun then those pesky CBAs! And, of course, we do not just get all Irishy for a fortnight in March: St. Conleth’s Gang Gaeilge is active throughout the year. Below you see Sixth Years enjoying some Tae agues Plé, earlier in the term, with Ms. Dorman as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate Irish Oral, as well as some pictures and video from our shortened but still inspiring Seachtain na Gaeilge!
Corona News Squashed!
Yes, our school is temporarily closed… but we will try to lighten the mood by delving into the overflowing ‘In Box’ on our desk and keeping up the St. Conleth’s newsfeed. Plenty of good news to report, such as First Year Ismail Abdelwahed following in the footsteps of big brother Omar, has made the U13 Irish Squash team and will represent Ireland in the Five Nations Championship… when sport returns to these islands! Well done, Ismail!
In compliance with government directive, St. Conleth’s College will remain completely closed until Monday, March 30th. The Principals of the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools will update parents on all developments via email and text message. Individual teachers will be in touch with their students via Google Classroom and other ICT applications.
Juliet Donnelly has lit up St. Conleth’s since she first walked through the door, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as her older brother Michael and almost as winsome! But don’t let that sweetness fool you: once Juliet takes to the hockey pitch, a cold-hearted executioner emerges: case in point, her four goal demolishment of Sion Hill in the Dublin South Minor B Girls League Final! Yes, Coaches Speller and Stanley have another trophy for the shelf and the pressure is on the B-Ball boys to follow suit. Juliet was no doubt the star of this one, but it was also a whole team performance, as it has been all season, with Captain Meabh Joy and all the girls playing their hearts (and lungs) out for each other and the school. Such has been the hockey success these past two seasons that rumours abound that one of the seven science labs planned for our next extension may well be converted to a Hockey Trophy Room!
Bring the Noise!
There was a poignant moment at the recent Past Pupils Dinner when select members of the Class of 2010 got together to recall their shared glory days of St. Conleth’s basketball: when Herron and Purcell and McCormack and McCoy and Carr and Co. shocked the world of Irish Schools Basketball, winning the All-Ireland double in 2008. And, now, current St. Conleth’s coaches, Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan are establishing quite a record of ‘glory days’, themselves. The First Year boys team have been on a rampage since the season tipped off, rivalling last year’s First Year rugby team for consistency and promise. Below you see pix (Thanks, Scott!) from a romp over St. Benildus and just last Friday they won a thriller over St. Paul’s, 31-30, with the Twin Powers (Fionán and James) and Cormac Hayden leading the way. That dramatic win has put the boys into an Ireland East Basketball Ireland Final, which will be played on Thursday at the Oblates Hall in Inchicore at 11:10. But, hang on, we have another final to support before then: the U19s will play today (Wednesday) at 4:15 at St. Andrew’s for the SDBL crown. Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Keane Acosta and the the boys have a great chance to add another ‘St. Conleth’s’ to the engraver’s to-do list!
First Year Boys Basketball 2020
U19s Boys 2020
2008 All-Ireland Double Reunion
With plans afoot for a big, new STEM facility for St. Conleth’s, it is fitting that we have a whole bunch of young STEMsters raring to go and get their hands on all those circuits, tubes, switches and burners! Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has been meeting faithfully every Friday and last week they celebrated national Engineers Week holding a tower-building competition using marshmallows and spaghetti. And though it may be early days for these young engineers, who knows where their ideas and measurements will take them? Judging by the speed with which our civil engineering projects take shape, these boys and girls may well be the ones with hardhats, yellow vests and rolled plans when our bus corridors finally get laid in the asphalt!
A Crown for Fencing!
There is at least one international jet-setter whom the Corona has not grounded! TY Claudio Sosa is seen here fencing in Warsaw and Porec, where he recently represented Ireland. Claudio’s international career continues to bring success, as builds up his skills and experience on ever bigger stages. His most recent senior scalp was winning a Bronze in Senior Foil at the Belfast Open. Remember: Claudio is only fifteen years old and is fencing against full-fledged adults!
No sooner do we do our rugby ’round-up’ for the season and the boys send a clear message: it ain’t over, yet! Coaches Louis Magee, Mr. Smyth and Mr. Morris had a particularly good match day yesterday as both First years and the JCT emerged as victors over some quality competition. The youngsters earned a hard fought victory yesterday over De la Salle, 31-21. Below you see John Engmann going high for a line-out, Cillian Cooke delivering a massive hit and Andrew Gore-Grimes about to! Patrick Devlin and Fionán were amongst the try-scorers. And the JCT had a great league win against Belvedere College, 36-15. Richard ‘Killah’ Caldwell touched down for a superb try amidst a superb team performance and all the boys were in fine voice and mood afterwards in the locker-room.
Rather serendipitous that Michael O’Dwyer (Class of 2010) was our special guest speaker at the PPU Dinner on the Friday Night, he the holder of both a All-Ireland Debating Title as well as a Cambridge University International Debating Mace (a weighty weapon, that!), and the next day brings news that the current crop of Conlethian debaters are also bringing home the bling! On Saturday, Third Year Coleman Hegarty won outright the Leinster Junior Debating Mace. And he, Leo Nolan and Turlough Dineen have all qualified for the National Mace Final. Actually, ‘serendipity’ or chance had nothing to do with it: St. Conleth’s consistently dominates the rostra of the land in schools debating. The secret to our success lies in another fact: also present at Friday night’s PPU Dinner were Conor Power and Oisín Dowling (Class of 2018), our returned Past Pupil debating coaches who showed the way for Coleman and company. The Carvillian system continues to work!
The good burghers of Greater Ballsbridge and Donnybrook hold their collective breaths every year on the last Friday of February because that is when the carnival comes to town: the Past Pupils Union Annual Dinner is always the liveliest gig in town on that night, and the 2020 version did not disappoint. The members of our PPU, like our current student body, reflects our diversity, spirit and downright quirkiness… and we seem to just get better with age!
Class of 1985
Class of 1990
Class of 1995
Class of 2000
Class of 2005
Class of 2010
Class of 2015
Class of 2018
Mid-to-late 20th Century
PPU Presidents John Carvill and Peter O’Neill and PPU Benign Despot Ronan O’Kelly must have been tired from organising the previous PPU engagement in NYC but it did not show, as they orchestrated an evening that managed to combine proper, sober acknowledgements of milestones with the frantic fun with which we all associate the night. Despite a rather flat sound system and the habitual rowdiness, Ronan and John compèred with both gravitas and wit, with guest speaker Michael O’Dwyer (2010) and honouree Ger Cummiskey also rising to the occasion. Enjoy the semiformal pics of each class above, as well as the more free-form ones, below.
2008 All-Ireland Basketball Champions reunion!
St. Conleth’s Strikes Again!
The Hockey Girls are really setting some high standards for the years and teams to come! With the first St. Conleth’s Hockey team only taking the field a few short years ago, it is amazing that we already have a trophy case shelf groaning under the weight of hockey cups and plates! The latest was won this past Saturday. While the rest of us were sleeping off the lingering effects of the PPU festivities of the night before, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley and and Georgia Weir McErlean were up, putting the girls through their paces. And when the last shot was taken and the last net had rippled, St. Conleth’s Juniors team had beaten Sion Hill – 1-0 and St. Raphaela’s 2-0, bringing home the Plate of the Dublin South Girls League Junior A Division! So much for a lag after being promoted after last year’s championship season!. Well done to all the girls and their coaches.
Just Say ‘No!’ to COVID-19!
St. Conleth’s is well prepared for COVID-19! Considering the ‘jet-setty’ nature of our clientele, we were especially worried when we heard about the news (and germs) emanating from Alpen Italy, but the school has been very pro-active in response, and not just in the hallway banter. The hand sanitisers are everywhere and our students have been enthusiastically disinfecting, especially as it delays arrival in class for a few minutes. And though we are known for our sense of closeness, cushiness and coziness, we have dialled back a bit on the hugs and handshakes, at least for the time being. Below are some helpful posters and videos and links to advice from the departments of Education and Health, as well as a Powerpoint made up by our very own Corona Czarina, Ms. Dillon!
St. Conleth’s PPU Dinners are always memorable affairs: well-attended, well-catered and well-lubricated… more raucous than retiring, a fact any residents left on our particular stretch of Clyde Road can attest to. Our recent New York City PPU Dinner was a decidedly more refined affair, with the humour as good and the sentiments as warm as every Conlethian come-together but with just the volume turned down, as befitting the august setting of the New York Athletic Club. (Apparently, the good folks of the TSA did their job and stopped certain members of certain graduation years at the borders. You know of whom we speak.)
That is not to say that the alumni who attended the fully booked dinner did not ‘take Manhattan’ afterwards, but for news of those shenanigans, you will have to check the tabloids. We would prefer to concentrate on the dinner itself, quite an elegant and dignified gathering of old friends and colleagues. PPU President John Carvill, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and Special Guest Speaker Michael Moloney hit all the right notes, recalling poignant and hilarious moments of recent, middling and ancient St. Conleth’s history, as well as reaffirming that special ethos which has us confidently heading into the future. Of course, that ‘future’ includes tomorrow night’s Annual PPU Dinner, of the regular, old ‘domestic’ variety. Stay tuned for the fireworks!
1,2,3, Safe Cross…
Do you still know the Safe Cross Code? Your children do! The Road Safety Authority has been in for a visit and is doing educational workshops with the Junior School pupils… and telling you parents where to park! In tandem with all the instructional fun and games in solving the wee model village, new signs are now visible outside of the school giving clear advice on parking rules. Mr. Kilcommons asks that the message be respected for the safety of all pupils- Preparatory, Junior and Senior. Please see the photo below with parking zones clearly marked and remember: ‘…one, look for a safe place; two, don’t hurry: stop and wait…’!
As you can see in the news items below, St. Conleth’s sports is thriving on the basketball courts, running tracks and in our fencing arenas… but we shall never forget our sporting bread and butter: rugby. And though we have been faithfully tweeting away about our accomplishments with the oblong ball, we thought we would bring it altogether as the teams enter their stretch run.
The SCT have had a tough year regarding numbers but Coach Gav Maguire, Captain Rían Lawlor and his loyal teammates have weathered the tough times with heart and style, doing particularly well in the 7s competitions. Earlier in the year, Gav’s club, Wanderers FC, marked their 150th season with a friendly at the Aviva and two Past Pupils, Mark 0’Reilly and Kevin Dolan, lined up against Trinity for the first team, showing of what quality Conlethian ruggers are capable.
The JCT, led by Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee, have had plenty regarding numbers and even though they are quite a young team, the success this year bodes well for even greater things ahead. The JCT suffered a tough loss in Wicklow early in the season but showed plenty of spirit, camaraderie and promise as the boys mounted a second half comeback. Better results soon arrived such as a thrilling 24-21 win over St. Gerard’s in the league with a last gasp try from Michael O’Donnell, who scored three tries on the day and was backed by a great team performance. Team workouts in the Fitness Suite with Adam have certainly helped. The competition for places is fierce and Coach Magee is confident of finishing strongly.
The JCT members will certainly not get to comfortable, with some very impressive First Year players nipping at their heels. Coaches Smyth and Morris have built up quite an impressive resume already with the boys, including an early tight but exciting win over Marian College, 59-51; two wins out of three in a blitz kindly hosted by Sandford in Monkstown RC with St. Paul’s and Marian taking part; winning narrowly, 21-14, over local rivals St. Michael’s, in an entertaining match; and convincingly, 42-7, against Sandford Park. And above you see action from a recent, stunning 24-19 win over St. Paul’s. The boys have now adopted a new team nickname, “The Crazy Gang”, and we look forward to more fun as well as success from them in the weeks and seasons to come!
New York, New York!
The greatest city in the world is now going to host Ireland’s greatest Past Pupils Union! Following on our successful inaugural international PPU reunion in London a few years back, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and PPU President John Carvill decided to hit the Big Apple for the next one. And when the New York Athletic Club offered an ‘open bar’ as part of the dinner package, the deal was sealed! We know Manhattan has seen some heavy duty partiers over the years, but we are sure the Conlethian crowd will leave its marks. All the tickets have been sold for Saturday night’s gala but any Past Pupils or friends in the five borough vicinity can join the crowd for pre-drinks on Friday from 8:00 at ‘My Friend Duke’ at 383 Third Ave. or post-drinks from 10:30 on Saturday at Blue Haven East at 493 Third Ave. And if you re stuck on this side of the pond, you can still come to No. 28, Clyde Road for the regular, old Annual PPU Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28th! Tickets available through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Stay tuned for tales from both these festivities!
St. Conleth’s next extension is going to be a STEAM Centre (more on that later!) so it is only fitting that our Science teachers are ramping up their game in preparation for their move into their sparkling new digs. Mr. Morris has been up to all sorts of hands-on learning stuff in Physics and our student reporter, Robert O’Connor, reports back from the nexus of man, machine and scientific humour.
It was a typical afternoon in the Science Lab. We looked out the window. It was not raining, but it had been and soon would be again. The banter was mighty. Our Fifth Year Physics class demonstrated their superior intelligence by creating, with the assistance of Mr Morris, a machine that both demonstrated wave motion and tasted delicious: simple contraption, using two retort stands, some tape, skewers and Fruit Pastilles attached to the skewers. The experiment is simple but beautiful: spanning several benches, motion from the skewers at one end passes along to the other end and back again. It was really cool to look at, almost as cool as watching our resident studly scientists/ macho mathematicians, Ted and Dylan (collectively known as The AlgeBros), passing the wave back and forth between each other. They were in a world of their own for a few seconds. Like Olympian gods. With calculators.
While watching the whole class do the experiment, if you listen carefully you can also hear Stephen Rockett (resident child actor, international internet influencer and quirky tennis player) auditioning for the part of the Kool-Aid Man as seen in Family Guy.
Poetry in Motion!
Conlethian fencing parents, Robert Smyth and Cahir Davitt, make quite a pair of ‘adjunct’ sports reporters: Robert with his faithful reporting and journalistic flair, such as the headline above, and Cahir with his stunning photography. Their latest missives:
Last Saturday in Dublin, James Moriarty-Smyth ended just outside the last sixteen in Men’s Senior Sabre, after a very narrow 13/15 defeat to the Captain of Trinity University Fencing Club at the Direct Elimination stage. This is an incredible result considering James just switched his choice of fencing blade and is competing against seasoned adults.
And on Sunday in Belfast, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14 Foil and Michael Davitt won Bronze in the U10 Foil, as well as Luke Sherlock taking Bronze in the U16 Boy’s Foil. Keep tuned for more news in this Conlethian sporting tradition!
As usual, Chef Mark is not hesitant to mix it up and get all fusiony in devising the weekly menu. The Hiberno-Mexican connection lives on this week in chilli con carne on a potato!
Fresh off their Cross Country success of a few weeks ago, Mr. Keenan and his ever-growing Athletics Army was on the road again. This time, Mr. Keenan, Fitness Coach Adam and a gang of First and Second Years stormed a Leinster Schools Indoors meet at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, where running and a variety of jumping was on the agenda.
We do pride ourselves on ‘participation’ in sport at St. Conleth’s: everyone gets a go and we never make ‘cuts’. But that does not mean that we do not have quality athletes and real winners amongst our student body. You read below how we won three medals at the Cross Country Championships and this time we had individual glory. Second Year Luke Timlin made a record-setting run to the All-Ireland’s last year and he is on that same track again as he double-medalled in Abbotstown, winning a Gold and a Silver in the Long Jump and 60 M Sprint. It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!
Build Up for Mocks! Now!
Yes, Third and Sixth Years, it is time to drop tilted on our Mock Examinations! Some of you may have earned more skins than others these last few years, but everyone is default going in to the exam hall for these tests and the even bigger battles in June. And that default is a Full St. Conleth’s Uniform! Exam Secretary Ms. NiAonghusa (Contender II ranked) has already delivered you the exam schedule and rules but here are the dates and times in a handy pdf. As always, you can also find them under ‘Events’ as well as under ‘Calendar + Information’. Let’s W Key these Mocks!
Of Brigid and Conleth
With the usual ubiquitous and undulating showers of rain and a belated arrival of a minor polar vortex, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s and Mr. Seamus Gallagher’s warming incantations of the coming of Spring with St. Brigid’s Day.
And with the help of these two gentlemen’s words of wisdom and delight in both our national languages, our annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment to tales of St. Conleth and St. Brigid frolicking through fields of clover. Platonically, of course. And this being St. Conleth’s Fame Academy, there had to be student musicians to join the ensemble:
Russell Boger, Lochlann Hannon and Cúan Moore captured the mood of regeneration perfectly on piano and trumpet and we all headed off to an especially extended morning break with music in our ears and joy in our hearts!
Mark the Magnificent!
This week, Chef Mark braves the steppes of Eurasia and the tenements of NYC to bring us Tartar Sauce and TriBeCa Wings… but not necessarily to be eaten together!
Conlethian Dad Robert Smyth has recently been rehired as our specialist fencing correspondent. Here he fills us in on another weekend of our youngsters foiling any attempts to remove the from the podia!
Credit: Cahir Davitt
Saturday saw the usual suspects fence foil and epee at this year’s Excalibur Cup, hosted by Pembroke FC. A significant number of entries from Clongowes dramatically increased the overall number of competitors, resulting in plenty of fencing and competition across all age ranges, to say nothing of the volume of refereeing for James Moriarty-Smyth, who as a Sabreur was not competing, and Luke Sherlock, who officiated at least 50+ matches between them.
Results on the day were once again excellent:
Under 10s Men’s Foil: Michael Davitt finished just shy of the medals, having performed strongly in the Poules.
Under 12 Men’s Foil: Matthew Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Under 14 Men’s Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth – Gold and Trophy
Under 17 Men’s Epee: Luke Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Matthew’s First place was made all-the-more special by the fact that he will be the fouth Sherlock to have their name engraved on the Trophy, so creating a piece of Irish Fencing history and continuing the high standard set by his uncle, mother, and older brother.
Next Saturday is the East of Ireland leg of the Senior Circuit, where James will be fencing Men’s Sabre and be looking to improve his current Senior Ranking of 17th, while Sunday sees Michael, Matthew and Myles (the 3 M’s of the ‘Conleth’s Contingent’) head to Belfast for Round 4 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Stay tuned!
B-Ballers Show Mamba Mentality
Basketball fans worldwide recently mourned the loss of one of the all-time greats, but Kobe Bryant’s emphasis on mental attitude and preparedness lives on in young players across the globe, including those at St. Conleth’s. Led by Coaches Ingle and Gahan, and the elder statesmen U19 Boys, Conlethian teams from First Year up had a great January, posting (and posterising) such fabled adversaries as Benildus, Blackrock, Mt. Anville and St. Michael’s. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger are no strangers to headlines, leading their Conlethian team to glory at each stage of development over the years, as well as playing for nationally prominent clubs and recently being named to the Irish team for their respective age groups.
Old, friendly foes Colaiste Eoin knew they were up against it when they drew St. Conleth’s in the SDBL U19 Boys Semifinal. These plucky Gaeilgeoirs, from the poshest Gaeltach in Ireland, have faced us many times over the years, and they have (almost) had their share of the spoils, but when you are lining up crosscourt from two Irish players such as Luke and Colin, even the famous 10% Irish bonus points are not going help much! And our boys politely but firmly put our southside neighbours to the sword, with Luke pouring in buckets from the paint, including an in-game thunderous dunk, and Colin ducking and chucking from the perimeter. As usual, the supporting cast did their part: Keane cleaning the parquet with his hustle; Jolly Jack D, Jack T. and Josh doing their devil-may-care Sixth Year thing; youngsters Sherlock and Ralph learning on the go (and the give); and Suyash Patidar snapping the ropes with a NBA trey!
Our U19 squad have given us many thrills over the years, but our younger teams seem eager to follow on the same path to success. Our First and Second Year teams have started their league campaigns with spirited performances and some impressive wins against such powerhouses as St. Benildus’s, Blackrock and St. Michael’s. First Years Fionan, James, John, Steph and Yubo have shown particular swagger… and a good bit of skill to back it up!
And how could we forget the girls! St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational, and, if anything, our boys have had a hard time keeping up with the girls when it comes to sport! Our First and Second Years have combined into one superteam, and with wins over Mt. Anville, Woodbrook and the ‘girls school that have a purple kit’, it is clear that it is not just in hockey and athletics where our newest Conlethians are going to competitively shine!
Juniors Get Enabled!
Our After-School and Morning Club director Cecilia Franken has done it again! We have enjoyed the visiting chicks, butterflies, Gardaí and firemen over recent years, and last week Cecilia organised an official visit from Enable Ireland. RTE came along for the ride, too! Here, Cecilia runs through the day’s events herself:
St Conleth’s welcomed Enable Ireland to our school on Tuesday the 28th of January. The event was held in the morning in our Sports Hall, which was set up for the purpose and consisted of many deeply enriching interactive activities between our pupils and Enable Ireland team, some of whom had physical disabilities. The kids were welcome by Keith, Disability Co-ordinator, with a short presentation in which they watched videos showing Padraig jumping from an airplane for the fouth time, Brian practicing Jujitsu, Keith playing power soccer and Brian pulling himself to the top of a tall ship in the middle of the ocean!
The pupils then took part in a series of fun and educational activities such as playing power soccer with Linda Castle and Keith Hayes , who plays for the Power Soccer Irish team, learning to play bocce from Padhraic Dormer and Jason Kearney, who won a Bronze medal in the World Championships, trying to maneuver and drive manual and power wheelchair with Grainne Magee and Jason O’Reilly and playing educational games with Suzanne Daly and Brian Murphy such as helping a blindfolded pal to drink water and recognize objects by touching them as they were blindfolded. It was a pleasure to watch the kids interacting with the Enable Ireland team and being so enthusiastic and engrossed in all the activities. We were all very much so engrossed in what we were doing and we were all left amazed by all the skills the Enable Ireland team were able to teach us.
It was a morning of fun and at the same time a deeply educational experience for all of us: teachers, pupils and the Enable Ireland team. St Conleth’s is very grateful to Keith and his team for coming over to our school and show us “how we can play together and have fun regardless our disabilities”. Thank you Enable Ireland!
Enable Ireland’s visit to St. Conleth’s Junior School made the news on RTE! It was featured on their ‘News2Day’ show on Tuesday, January 20th. Click here for a link to the RTE Player.
You Need a Noggin!
Did that gust of wing almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Protect yourself (and help a good cause) with an Official St. Conleth’s @nogginsport Hat! On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Hurry! They are going quickly!
Mr. Kilcommons and his Sixth Form enjoyed an exciting visit to the Microsoft Dreamspace where they imagined (and experienced) the world of the future: thirty years, to be precise. Yes, Mr. Gates’s largesse has created a thrilling, educational experience which is a very hot ticket on the schools’ outings scene- and our kids were lucky to get a slot! The boys and girls benefitted from both the technology on hand and the necessary professional expertise.
As the good folks at Microsoft say themselves about the Dreamspace experience:
In the DreamSpace Primary School Experience, students will explore 30 Years into The Future. They’ll be faced with a world that’s very different one from the one we live in now. Cars can drive themselves. Drones deliver the shopping. Robots do the jobs now considered too dangerous for humans. Students will have to solve the problems of an imaginary country where transport is non-existent and translation of skills doesn’t exist. They’ll have to work together to find the solutions. If something doesn’t work first time, they can explore another way. They might fail but they’ll fail fast and succeed even quicker. The possibilities are endless.
Those PE classes and after-school trainings sessions seem to be paying off regarding Junior School basketball as, for the first time, we were AIJS Basketball Tournament Finalists! Our Junior School team had their best performance ever: finishing runners-up to megalithic St. Michael’s, and beating perennial powers Castlepark, both their A and B teams, en route to the final. We did notice the familiar names of Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock on the team-sheet, proving that their athletic prowess is not limited to the noble art of fencing. Of course, it takes a full team, and then some, to compete in an intensely paced blitz-like tournament, so well done to all the boys and their coaches!
Maths Night Out!
Last Friday night, all the coolest clubs and hippest bars around the city were strangely silent for the start of the weekend; yes, even the bouncers up and down Leeson St. were checking their watches in confusion as the usual hard-partying crowd failed to materialise… Where was everybody???
Well, the rowdiest element of their regular crowd, the Maths whizzes, had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year Maths Quiz at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock and Rolle! We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s. Just look at the departmental inspection report.! And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Ciaran, Joe, Suyash, and Edward; and that of Tadgh, Adam, Michael and Oisín, earning very respectable finishes in a field of over fifty teams. Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz.
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 that this year’s line-up are 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!
Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.
Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!
Motion Carried: St. Conleth’s is The Home of School Debating!
Every St. Conleth’s teacher knows that our students are usually not shy about speaking up for themselves. In particular: the debaters. Their opening ‘point’ when called upon in class (by an unwary teacher) is inevitably, ‘I have two points….’ We usually respond with ‘No, you now actually have one (left)’ but this does little to quell the rising tide of rhetorical effusion and vehemence. And if there happen to be two (or more) debaters in your class… fuhgettaboutit.
But all this rhetorical confidence and sheer verbosity does have its positive side: St. Conleth’s simply dominates Irish school debating. We have for years. We will for years to come. (Especially in the purpose-built debating chamber coming with our next extension…more on this, later!). Corroborative point of information: this past week, no fewer than seven of our debaters advanced through the Leinster Schools Octofinals. Third Years Coleman Hegarty, Daragh Sweeney and Leo Nolan, TYs Oisín and Evan (The ‘Twin Powers’) and Sixth Year vets Joe Downey and Frank Knowles all charged through this latest round of the premier debating competition in the country, with all ‘winning their rooms’, debating such motions as the relative merits of ‘voluntourism’, whatever that may be. Such an accomplishment, in some burgs, would be cause for parades, keys to the city and front page headlines on the Midlands People… at Conleth’s, we politely acknowledge and wait for the bling that is sure to come a few more rounds.
Cross Country Army!
Mr. Keenan and Mr. Smith do not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, they practise what we preach and issue an open invite to all students to join them on their Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years. Over fifty student athletes made the time-honoured trek through the wooded hills of Wicklow to the little love-nest of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea that is now Avondale Forest Park. And we do not just do quantity, we do quality: First Year Lucy McGoldrick won an individual Bronze and, incredibly, we also won three team medals. First Year Girls placed Second; First Year Boys, Third; and Second Year Boys won their race! For a small school to pack the podium like that, it is some achievement and a credit to the team spirit amongst the boys and girls and the encouragement of their teachers. Check out some of the action below, as well as a list of the many medal winners!
No! They are not from New Park!
Young Scientist double award winner Cúan Moore does not make mistakes but apparently we do: Cúan did indeed win the RSA Special Category Award for his project entitled (quite efficiently) ‘The effectiveness of colour on a bike light’ but his other award, for First Place in Category, was actually in ‘Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences’, not for ‘Technology’. In our defence, we have to say that it seemed pretty technological to us! Anyways, to cover our blushes we are going to distract you with some more photos from our First Years’s visit to Cúan’s stand and the rest of the Young Scientist Exhibition. Enjoy!
Class of 2018 in the house!
Get Ronan to the Paralympics!
We remember a young Ronan Roche Griffin lighting up his First Year Form Class with his wicked wit and a glint in his eye. Whether it was sending notes in binary to a like-minded stemmy classmate or politely wriggling out of some minor kind of trouble, Ronan always did everything with considerable panache. Now, he has transferred that swashbuckling style to Canmore, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Yes, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 is currently training on those sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. Don’t be jealous… the beautiful scenery does make soggy old Clyde Road pale in comparison, but Ronan is putting on some hard runs, upping his skills and stamina in pursuit of qualification. Find out more (and lend a hand if you can) on his GoFundMe page. Let’s help get Ronan to Beijing 2022!
Ronan's new boots are the right colours!
You are not on the Sugarloaf anymore!
Ronan's mother, Patricia, with his sister, Heather, who earned coaching qualification in order to help her brother train.
Ronan with his graduation class.
Rugby is Back with a Bang!
All that fencing, debating and chess is great, but let us not forget that we still play rugby at St. Conleth’s…. and we do it darned well! A parent reports back on the latest Junior School Rugby adventure, complete with some great photos:
Continuing the Junior School’s strong performance in rugby this year, Mr. O’Brien led Third Form to claim victory over Willow Park last Saturday, despite the biting strong winds. Well done to all the team in their first year of representing St. Conleths in Junior School Rugby!
Use Your Noggin!
Karl and Adam are two of our TY fashionistas so if they re wearing something new, you know it will soon be showing up on the streets of Milan, New York, Paris and Ringsend. So, hurry up and be the first I=on your block to own an Official St. Conleth’s Noggin Hat!
On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on this website. Noggin is a Community Interest Company: the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness. Noggin is a Community Interest Company, where the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness projects across the UK & Ireland.
Continuing a Conlethian tradition started by the Zorin brothers years ago, First Year Cúan Moore has won an award, in fact- two awards- at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Yes, Mr. Callaghan- our science exhibition specialist teacher, has done it again, guiding one of his charges to the podium. And like the Zorins, it is the ‘T’ in STEM which signifies young Cúan’s incredible accomplishment as it was in the category of Technology where his project ‘The Effectiveness of Colour on a Bike Light’ topped some very impressive competition. Cúan also won the Road Safety Authority’s Special Award. And in an era where so many ‘advances’ seem to involve the ephemeral, digital world, Cúan’s project has some good, old-fashioned tangible technology at its heart: an adapted bike light which illuminates the rider’s reflective clothing. This little device brings a much needed extra level of safety for cyclists attempting to negotiate the habitual gloom of our eternal twilight and it opens up whole new possibilities for flash advertising. We may soon see Cúan safely cycling down Clyde Road- and illuminated like a giant, reflective Coke can. But before you get any ideas, Cúan already holds the patent!
No Holiday For Fencer!
Yes, we enjoyed two weeks of relatively low key lesson planning and curriculum development over the Christmas break, but not all our students were engaged in such relaxing activities: Transition Year Claudio Sosa, for one, was busy fencing against men twice his age… but no longer in size!
He represented Ireland at the Five Nations where the Irish team took Third place overall in all categories. He also participated in the 2019 Northern Irish Open in early December, where he won a Bronze medal in the Senior Male category. Claudio, at the ripe old age of fifteen, currently holds the No. 1ranking in the Senior Male Category in all of Ireland! He also qualified and was selected by the Irish Fencing Federation to represent the country at the European Championships and World Championships in Porec (Croatia) and Salt Late City (USA), respectively. Claudio is clearly committed to represent the community, his school and the country. Not many Christmas lie-ins for him!
The Pea and Mint Soup is Particularly Good!
No, we may not have ‘salted pork’ on the menu this week (pdf) but Chef Mark has included several specialties that would rival the best from Saruman’s famous storehouse in Isengard. Even a hobbit would be satisfied!
Two for the Price of One!
We are having our own January Sale here at stconleths.ie and, really, it is a deal you just cannot beat! For the price of absolutely zero (unless you monetise your smiles and chuckles) click on the links below and enjoy both the St. Conleth’s College Junior & Prep School and the Morning Club/After-School Newsletters. The Parents Association, After-School Director Cecilia Franken and the boys and girls themselves have put a lot of work into these newsletters… after putting a lot of work (and fun) into the carefully documented activities themselves!
Julien Porzadny does double duty at St. Conleth’s: he is half of our dynamic duo of French teachers (along with the equally energetic Ms. Crowley) and he also serves as our Mindfulness guru. Here, he fills us in on how St. Conleth’s attention to our minds is gathering international attention!
Three years ago, Mindfulness classes were introduced to St Conleth’s college. Since then, weekly mindful sits have happened, it has become part of our Health Awareness Week and it seems that students are enjoying learning about the art of “being”. Before the Christmas break, I received an email from the “Mindfulness in Schools projects” (the UK charity from whom I received my training) who were looking for stories about the experience of implementing Mindfulness in schools. I therefore decided to write back to them. They later on got back to me and asked for permission to release our story on their website. So, if you are curious to learn a little more about Mindfulness and how it has grown in St Conleth’s College, I invite you to have a read of “The evidence base, a primary & secondary case study – St Conleth’s College, Dublin“.
MIndfulness through ICT
First Years Under the Spell of JPozz!
Mindfulness al fresco!
Juniors earn Wellness certficates!
First Years Under the Spell of JPozz!
Mindfulness includes movement!
Simple but Spectacular!
After the highfalutin drama, dance and comedy of Aladdin, it was back to basics with the Preparatory School’s version of the Nativity story, but the simple elegance of the production proved that Howe, Hartnett et al are just adept at staging the timeless classics as the avant garde!
Ms. Kelly’s, Ms. Leary’s and Ms. Redmond’s charges were all suited up in exquisite costumes (thanks, parents!) and the assorted kings, angels, shepherds and members of the Holy Family all performed with spirit and grace, bringing smiles and laughter to those assembled in our beautifully decorated Performance Hall. It was a fitting, perfectly pitched close to the term and our Christmas celebrations. See the full video above and some snaps below, including some of the Juniors’ Christmas class parties and the students’ artwork that lined the walls of the hall.
The Preparatory School took care of the original Christmas story but the older Junior School classes got a bit ‘edgy’ for their Christmas Show, all the while without leaving the general setting of the Middle East. Our song, drama and dance dynamic duo of geniuses, Pat Howe and Emer Hartnett, the veritable Rodgers and Hammerstein of St. Conleth’s these many years, with the support of all the class teachers and the Junior Parents’ Association, put on a spectacular, specially adapted version of Aladdin, and everyone in the audience went home for the holidays with a bit of ‘wow’. The mumps, the flu and the vomiting bug did their best to derail this show but Howe and Hartnett would not let that happen, and the student stars themselves shook off their various illnesses and left it all out there on the stage in the Performance Hall! We managed to capture most of it on film (thanks, Scott!) so enjoy!
The baton has been passed from Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal to Ms. McGuinness, but judging by the talent and spirit on display at our annual Christmas Concert, music will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s.
The Senior School Choir, in particular, plays an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations. But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.
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. McGuinness’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the performers on it is destined to join Alex Sheehan, 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.
Our students also enjoyed their individual class parties, including Kris Kindle, yuletide movies, plenty of sweets and shenanigans in their charity-aiding Christmas jumpers.
Faith and Fun!
In less than a week, St. Conleth’s took part in two school-wide events, each of which conveyed a different but essential aspect of our community. Last Wednesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, and remembered and celebrated the staff and family members who have gone before us and who helped to make our school all that it is today. The Senior School Choir provided the beautiful hymns, students of all ages led the prayers and readings and Fr. Michael, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way.
And yesterday, we went on another annual pilgrimage. We did, indeed, ‘Let Them Go!’ and released all our Senior School students for a well-deserved Christmas treat at the Swan Cinema after a good term’s work. Everyone enjoyed ‘Frozen II’ or ‘Jumanji II’ and the residents of Rathmines and Ranelagh were incredibly hospitable to our flying columns!
TYs Show Flair Français!
The TYs are just about to close out a very busy first term, with outings galore, a monumental Christmas Fair and special courses in First Aid and Photography, but they also were pushed in their ‘regular’ classes, completing creative and innovative products both in groups and individually. Here, Mr. Porzadny, updates us on what went on in the TY French class this past term.
Let the students be the teachers! What do Dungeons and Dragons, the Beatles and kitchen utensils have in common? Not much would you answer. You would pretty much be right. Except that as of today you can learn how to talk about elves, yellow submarines and whisks all in the language de l’amour! Learning French in a fun and easy way is made possible thanks to the home made flashcard made by the students of Transition year.
As part of the TY French curriculum, a “Quizlet” competition was organised. Students would have to create a set of 20 words or expressions from a theme of their choosing. Mr Porzadny would then pick the 10 best sets based on originality, variety and quality of the French language. Students would then vote for their top 3 set. The final sets would then be shared here on the St Conleth’s website for the enjoyment of the whole School community! So without further a due, here are the results: Tied for 3rd place with 11 votes:Ava with “Les jeux olympiques and Keelan with “Le rugby en français“ In 2nd place with 16 votes:Cael with “Les films en français“ And in 1st place with 18 votes:Luca with “Le football en français“ Get ready, set and “allez”!
The Madchester Trip: Conlethians Party (and spend) Like Sheikh Mansour!
Manchester must be a bit like Las Vegas, as in what happens there seems to ‘stay’ there: it took us weeks to squeeze this news out of the intrepid travellers!
Many moons ago, when on the ‘red’ side of Manchester a certain ginger midfielder was passing with aplomb and tackling with a hellacious fury, and a young winger was running like the wind and exposing his chest hair with glee (and, apparently, sneaking into his brother’s house), a then-cub reporter of ours accompanied Mr. Shay Keenan on a Junior School trip to Paris. Said cub reporter was an American and thought ‘soccer’ was for ‘girls, sissies and/or foreigners’. Said Mr. Keenan set him straight, lecturing him on the glorious history of United and its demigods. Then they both tuned in to some footie that happened to be on the television in the eh … museum: It was the 1999 Champions League Final. QED by Mr. Keenan and Gunnar Solskjaer. Sadly, this time around, for the first time in decades, Mr. Keenan missed the boat but Mr. Kilcommons did his best to fill Captain Keenan’s boots and soon the Annual Junior School Trip to Manchester settled into a familiar ‘sweets-spew-sweets’ pattern on the overnight ferry.
Mr. Kilcommons, being an Arsenal fan, is not too familiar with the Champions League, but he seemed to learn quickly . Thankfully, Mr. Sheridan was also there, and his twelves hours of consistent snoring somehow soothed the troubled stomachs and, he occasionally even joined in on the fun: the boat-trip of giddiness and nausea (but fun nausea!), the mall invasion where the Conleth’s kids adopted the spending habits (and lack of savvy) of the City director and the match itself, which honestly was a classic with action galore and some memorable (but not to be repeated in a family publication) chants!
Fencing: Ins and Outs!
You know that fencing has always been an integral part of St. Conleth’s. In recent weeks there was ample evidence both outside and within our walls. First, the extramural: Conlethians continue to excel in national (and international) fencing competitions.
Claudio Sosa won Bronze in the Senior Men’s Foil in the Northern Irish Open; Myles Moriarty-Smyth won gold in the U14 Foil in the Christmas Cup and Michael Davitt won bronze in the same competition’s U10 Mixed Foil. It is great to see Myles showing Michael the ropes… and the points!
And within the hallowed walls of 28 Clyde Road, we have recently witnessed fencing become part of the regular PE programme. Here we see First Years enjoying their foils… and foibles as they come to grips with the noble sport (and their classmates).
Thumbs Up for the TY Fair!
The Annual Transition Year Christmas Fair and Tree Sale was once again a spectacular success, with trees, wreaths and various home-made crafts and goodies flying out the doors of the school hall this past Saturday morning and afternoon. The various student-run ‘mini-companies’ got a taste of real world business and the profits off of the trees and wreaths themselves will all go to St. Conleth’s partnership with the Bridge Light School in Uganda. A great big ‘thank -you’ to TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire, all the participating parents (especially TY reps Caroline O’Dea and Ray McDonnell) and, of course, the TY students themselves for continuing this great St. Conleth’s tradition in style.
The Rooks’ Return!
We have been neglecting a recent mainstay in St. Conleth’s sporting news: Chess. Yes, we compete and win in many different arenas, but certainly in the Junior School, Chess has proven particularly to be our forté. AIJS, Leinster and even All-Ireland trophies line our cases. The Junior School ‘B’ Team recently hosted a tournament for four teams and our team finished a close second to Lios na nÓg. Nathan Keogh won all his matches but there were some high quality games all over the Performance Hall. They are keeping that “A” team on its toes!
When the wind whips away that umbrella with gusto, the sleety rain ‘falls’ sideways into your face and the cyclists splash you on the only bits that escaped the car ‘wash’… it is time for a hot and hearty meal! Core-firing Beef and Carrot Stew is on the menu this week as well as some less traditional but just as stamina-stocking favourites:
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…
…the Annual Transition Year Christmas Tree Sale and Fair! Yes, indeed: the wind has picked up, the sun was last seen September 14th, the falling leaves are halting nearly all movement in the city, Switzer’s has a vaguely yuletide theme to its window display, and if we just lost a few degrees, we would be neck deep in snow! And, of course, the Transition Years are once again readying themselves for another Christmas Fair and Tree Sale extravaganza. (Click for poster!) They have been like busy little woodland elves: planting, cultivating and cutting the finest of firs and poinsettia and etching and whittling the most exquisite of Christmas cards and crafts. And Gav Maguire has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa but is not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of one of his predecessors, Mr. Bolger, nor the rounder middle and rosy red cheeks of another! Well, make this Santa smile by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY girls and boys and come by this Saturday, December 7th, from 10-4, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee. All proceeds go to supporting the Bride Light School in Uganda. To order a tree, call (087) 799-8702.
After last week’s Thanksgiving Feast, and in preparation for the yuletide excesses to come, we recommend (especially to the older staff members) that the impressive array of sales on offer this week on Chef Mark’s menu may be the way to go!
Happy Black Friday Eve!
The pilgrim fathers (despite their rabid anti-catholicism) would be thrilled to sees the celebration of the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to these shores. Of course, if the Mayflower had brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population! Be that as it may, the turkey, the roasted potatoes, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since. We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze: galumpkis on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod…. Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all! Juniors and Seniors and staff all joined together for a musket-bustin’ Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste. At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!
Off the Fence!
As with Jose Mourinho, we knew Luke Sherlock would not stay on the sidelines for too long! Luke has ended his temporary retirement and is back in fencing action! His exploits, this time, took him to Germany to the 18th International Open City Championships in Marburg. Luke fenced in both the U15 epee and foil, two weapons over two days. Final podium positions were 6th in epee and 3rd in foil. Well done, Luke, and good to see you back!
Top of their Class!
We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent runs 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. Recently there was tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess on show at Ireland’s two most prestigious universities: Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Ian O’Neill (Engineering), Rory Smyth (Finance and Spanish), Stephen Allen (Science) and Joe Hyland (Engineering) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results. Stephen also added a Choral Scholarship: no surprise to those of us who enjoyed his school concert performances over the years. And Seamus Gallagher joined the toast to Hugh Downes, a ‘winner at Trinners’ and who is now studying Theoretical Physics. A high mark has certainly been set for the Class of 2020!
Of all the cultural imports from America, surely Thanksgiving is the most welcome. A holiday that celebrates diversity and community? Surely, even the most anti-American of European elites can accept that- then again, there is the accompanying traditional dish of ‘creamed corn’ which probably sends the devotees of Michelin chefs into apoplexy. However, our chef, Mark McColgan, always goes ‘whole turkey’ and happily serves up all the traditional fixings. Somewhere Squanto is smiling, even though there probably is a mall where his tee-pee used to be. Check out the special Thanksgiving Week Menu.
SS PA AGM…
No, that is not a secret code but the shortest way to announce that the Senior School Parents’ Association is having its Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 25th) at 7.00pm. Come along and find out how parents make up such an important part of the St. Conleth’s community. And we don’t just think locally. There is also a talk by renowned climate activist Dr. Lorna Gold at 7.30 pm entitled “Climate Generation – Awakening to our Children’s Future”. See you there!
Will Your Exam be a Kobayashi Maru?
The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. Thankfully, most of the St. Conleth’s Senior School teachers have decided to give their students slightly more passable exams.
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! Live long and prosper!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
Health Week may be over but Conlethians have not stopped moving… and groovin’! Here, the Prepsters enjoy their Dance Class and work off some of that excess energy, rendering them perfectly calm and docile little darlings for the rest of the day, and well able to sit still and enjoy ‘Storytime’ with Ms. Kelly.
To the Rostra!
‘St. Conleth’s and Debating’ go together like ‘Germany and efficiency’, ‘Brazil and soccer’ and ‘America and freedom’… and our sprightly orators were recently at it again, rushing the rostra at the UCD Literary & Historical Society Schools Junior Competition. Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney finished First in their group, debating the motion that ‘Doctors, rather than parents, should make all medical decisions for children until they reach the age of consent’, topping teams from Blackrock, Gonzaga, Belvedere et alii. Talk about the creeping influence of big government! All our teams wowed them rhetorically, continuing St. Conleth’s pre-eminent position in Irish schools debating.
The Write Stuff!
Our Juniors have The Write Stuff! Jamie Fanning was ‘Highly Commended’ in a recent AIJS handwriting competition… continuing our traditional fine showing in this annual competition. Well done to Jamie and his teacher, Ms. Dillon, for insisting on old-fashioned legibility!
Fun in the Foliage!
Let’s just admit it: the unrelenting rain, gloom and puddle-splashing cyclists of the last few weeks have brought us to our knees and a Ryan Air flight to some soulless but sunny spot on the Costa is the only thing that is keeping us from following our windswept umbrella into the Dodder… but cheer up! Junior Art Teacher Ms. Orla Mellon and her talented students have defied the elements and brought some colour and cheer to St. Conleth’s in this darkest, wettest November with their school-wide ‘Autumnal Leaves’ art project. See the process, the producers and the product, below!
Juniors Jump for Joy!
The Junior School also celebrated Health Week with both style and substance as Mr. Kilcommons and the other teachers planned a whole slate of activities which emphasised a natural and rejuvenating attention to both body and mind. In conjunction with their Senior colleagues, Juniors turned off their screens and picked up crayons, playing cards, a healthy lunch, tug-of-war ropes, parachutes and other implements of good, old-fashioned fun!
What is healthier than playing with a parachute?
On Thursday, the screens were dropped and skipping ropes were picked up as the Junior School staged a Skip-A-Thon. Mr. Kilcommons led the chants and rhymes but everyone had a go.
All those Health Week activities must have given our First Form super speed! Here they play a bit of dodgeball with Mr. Magee.
Of course, we don’t just get healthy during Health Week, especially when Sensei Ed Charmont is calling the shots at Karate Class!
Are Friends Electric?
Not necessarily, but the boys and girls in the St. Conleth’s STEM Club certainly create a buzz when they get into the school laboratory on a Friday morning and start bouncing ideas off each other like free electrons.
Our STEM Club’s second official meeting capped off a Science Week of all sorts of left-side-of-the-brain type of fun, including Mr. Callaghan leading a Fifth and Sixth Year group to a special Chemistry lecture at Trinity College; Elí Strahan’s science-themed cupcakes creating a rabid feeding frenzy in First Year; daily quiz questions posed by Mr. Morris and Mr. Carvill (The Younger); and a lunchtime recitation of Pi to a soundtrack of Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan!
We’ re Just Wrecked!
Health Week is finally over… and we are just wrecked! But it is a healthy ‘wreckedfulness’ as we pushed the limits this week in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There was a ‘Screen Free’ day when students and (some) teachers abandoned their life-support screens- and realised they could live and even thrive with out them! What did we do then with Netflix and Kahoot and examinations.ie momentarily out of commission? We went on walks, we went to talks (Spun Out for mental health and Sticks & Stones for anti-bullying), we danced and we just sat there and thought of… sweet nothing. Hopefully, each of us will bring something with us from a great week of getting back in touch with our minds and bodies… but, thank goodness, the Tuck Shop opens again on Monday!
Health Week peaks with a shake of the hips, a twirl and a jump as First Years join TYs for some exercise and a dance-a-thon in the Sports Hall!
…and a Sticks & Stones anti-bullying seminar.
Health Week may be over but that does not mean that healthy eating stops at St. Conleth’s. See Chef Mark’s latest menu to see how the dishes served up in our canteen are good for both palate and person!
Ismail Squashes Munster!
St. Conleth’s First Year Ismail Abdelwahed reached the final of the Munster Junior Open held in Waterford over the weekend and took home the Silver trophy. Ismail won all his matches, including two consecutive five setters to reach the final. Unfortunately he was not able to continue the winning streak and lost a hard fought match 3-1, with the games’ scores really tight. This is a good step forward after winning Bronze in the Connacht and the Ulster Open competitions earlier this year. This form is guaranteed to see him represent Ireland in the European championship to be held in England in April 2020.
An Early Christmas Present!
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:
On the offensive! Conlethian swordsman continue to win plaudits and trophies! Claudio Sosa took Bronze in the Irish Open at the Senior level: yes, fencing against full-grown (and bearded) men! And in the the opening round of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, Luke Sherlock took Gold in the U16s and Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14s (fencing above his age level)!
What’s Going On?
We try hard to keerp you up-to-date with our ‘Events’ listings (to the right) but it is also useful to have one place where all the really big events are listed. Below (and, as always, under ‘Calendar +Information’) is an updated calendar (pdf) for the Junior School (Seniors’ is on the way!):
What a Load of Falafel!
and pak choi, and couscous, and lentils, and mac & cheese… this week’s menu (pdf):
Sound Bodies and Minds
Get ready for Health Awareness Week! Both Junior and Senior Schools are getting ‘psyched’ for a week in which we pay special attention to the mental and physical health of both ourselves and those around us. Activities will include: free porridge in the canteen, mental health talks, Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying workshops, a Screen Free Day, a skip-a-thon, Zumba dance, a healthy Tuckshop, a 5000 step walk, Mindfulness sessions, a surprise film showing… amongst other events. And our Principals, Mr. ODulaing and Mr. Kilcommons, have asked that all students also deliver at least one random act of kindness each day- preferably to your teachers, but friends and family are also eligible. This week will certainly focus our minds and bodies on health but we believe we have already made a good start: see below for some pics from various Wellness trips to Herbert Park (before and after the recent monsoon season). This little green oasis is literally our Happy Hunting Ground!
STEM Club’s Stunning Start!
Over twenty First Years (and a few Fifth Year helpers) showed up for the first meeting of the All-New St. Conleth’s STEM Club! And it sure was a stunning start as one of our more over eager participants decided to lick a plasma globe that had the tiniest crack in it… all’s good though, as there was enough electricity hanging around the lab for the reviving shock, and a bit of gas to settle any lingering nerves. The kids got to learn about physics and biology in one quick experiment! In all seriousness, this was just the first meeting of what we hope will become a Conlethian tradition. Stay tuned for news of dissections, reanimations, multiverse portals and other cool stuff as Mr. Morris leads his charges into the exciting world of Science!
A Different Shade of Green!
He shoots, he dribbles, he passes, he scores… and now he plays for Ireland! Luke Gilleran has made the ‘final 22’ of the Ireland Under-18’s Mens Basketball Team, joining past Conlethian hardcourt luminaries such as Peter Herron and Mark Ryan, who also represented their country. Here we see Luke demolishing the competition but we will be showing you him in that other green jersey, soon!
Will a new STEM Star arise at St. Conleth’s? Will we finally have an R-12 series droid? Well, grab your imagination and your pocket protector and come along to the lab and find out! Mr. Morris is starting a First Year STEM Club today at 7:45 and it will run every Friday in the lab going forward. Come along and do your part to bring on the android apocalypse!
Gotta Love a… TYer!
In the old country, ‘Gotta Love a Trier’ is one of those ambivalent sayings: a double-edged sword, a backhanded compliment… You say it with a sardonic, Southern drawl when you are standing on second base, chewing a plug of tobacco, and watching a teammate give three almighty swings at the baseball…. and come up empty, all three times. You admire his effort, but you also almost pity his irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude… in the face of overwhelming genetic evidence to the contrary. Well, here, in our brave new Land of the Celtic Tyger 2.0, everything is possible and all efforts are worthwhile… especially in Transition Year. The whole programme, as implemented by Co-ordinator Gav Maguire, is about trying as many new things and skills as possible, and just a half term in, the boys and girls have already stretched their reach, as well as their CVs.
Above you see them working at First Aid certification and here they are in a mix of activities from earlier in the year: The Law Module, an Auto Safety seminar, Build-A-Bank interviews and out catching a professional performance of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.
And that little trip to the theatre was a hint at what is surely to be the biggest TY ‘try’ of all: a big budget, professionally produced rendition of the play at the end of May. (Thank you, Emer Hartnett and Seamus Gallagher!) The rehearsals and the try-outs have already started and so has the fun. Stay tuned for more highlights of the musical machinations and the TY experience overall!
News to Warm and Cheer
After an all-too-short midterm break, it is hard to come back to the daily grind… especially when it seems to be usually dark and always raining. Luckily we have Chef Mark and Co.’s culinary arts to warm and cheer us up! This Week’s Menu (pdf):
I Want to be a Policeman When I Grow Up!
Midterm is the perfect time to catch up on some ‘lost’ stories: Earlier this term, St. Conleth’s After and Pre-School Czar Cecilia welcomed back An Garda Síochána to St. Conleth’s and the Juniors got so excited a few over-eager youngsters had to be locked up in the mobile jail cell- to the youngsters’ delight and their teachers’ momentary relief!
All was well in the end though, as many of the students got a chance to wear the police hat and and jacket and everyone boarded the state-of-the-art vehicle (short ‘e’ when you pronounce that!). In all seriousness, the visiting Gardaí were top-class professionals who managed to be both personable with the kids and purposeful in their presentation. You could see the awe in the eyes of the boys and girls as the officers explained their jobs and delivered some safety tips. And it was reassuring to hear once again children talking about growing up to be a Garda… take that Google coders!
Maths Week Unlimited
Like a repeating decimal, Maths Week at St. Conleth’s just refuses to die! At our Halloween Assembly, Ms. NiAonghusa presented our Maths Week Challenges winners with specially procured mugs. And the pics from the first-ever-but-sure-to-be-repeated St. Conleth’s Maths Murder Mystery were finally developed. But like pi, Maths Week just does not stop! Mr. Morris has been combining Maths and ‘music’ by promoting the boy band, the ‘The Math Street Boys’ (with rumours abounding of another band, the ‘S∏ice Girls’, in the pipeline) and the TY ‘Maths Eyes’ competition continues. Maths magic, indeed!
Spooks and Scholars!
Here at St. Conleth’s, we pride ourselves on the ways in which the Junior and Senior Schools interact. We think it benefits both groups of students, the big and the small, to be part of a community where children of all ages share a space and an ethos.
There is no better example of this than the annual Halloween Assembly when the Prepster goblins and ghouls are invited into the Performance Hall to liven up our term-ending assembly with a ‘Spooks Parade’. Of course there is some business to get done at these things, too: Mr. ODulaing gave his Gaelic-tinged interpretation of Halloween; Second Year Ciara Thornton roused the troops to be greener and do their part against climate change; Junior Certificate top finisher Louis Cullen received his ‘Murph’ Cup and LC perfectionists (625) Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill were presented with their Bernard Sheppard Medals; and our Captain Emily Mansfield introduced all the Student Officers/Class Captains, presenting them with their badges of office. This being St. Conleth’s/FAme Academy, in between these talky bits, there were plenty of musical interludes, and of such quality that we think the next Past Pupil Concert may have to be at the 3 Arena. See the video above and pics below, and enjoy the break!
All Work and No Play…
We all know St. Conleth’s is not a grind school or a points factory though we do a fine job at generating those all important totals come mid-August (see news on LC results below). We also consider the development of the ‘whole child’. This website is replete with news of sports, extra-curricular and other goings-on which have nothing to do with three weeks of exams in June in Sixth Year but everything to do with a healthy, cohesive culture of personal growth over six years of secondary school.
Even our Sixth Years get to share in the formative fun. Above you see them put on the style for the annual trip to the opera. Continuing a tradition started years ago by Mr. Kelleher, the students enjoyed The Barber of Seville at the National Concert Hall. And earlier in the year, there was the overnight retreat to Ovoca House, where both bodies and spirits were reinvigorated. Of course, it was back to the books afterwards!
Italy, India… Ireland?
Is Ireland finally going to join the gastronomic greats of the world? Well, if we had more chefs like Mark of the school canteen, we would surely be up there with the other ‘I’s. This week, we sample the best of Parma, Bologna and Central Asia but Mark also has pride in the simple but profound native dishes, inevitably spud-based. Enjoy your colcannon!
A Soirée to Remember!
Ms. Fay, our stylish musical maestra, and Seamus Gallagher, our agent to current and future recording stars, pulled out all the stops and put on a concert to remember, one of which the sweet-sounding reverberations will be felt down the years… Whoever is planning the 85th celebrations better get started because it will be nigh impossible to beat the 80th Anniversary/Soirée Musicale of last Friday night when the Kevin Kelleher Wing was alive with exquisite music, the swishest of fashion, the finest food and drink and, of course- this being St. Conleth’s- the most compelling conversation in town. It was also the launch of the latest St. Conleth’s Quinquennial, edited by the the two Charleses, Crimmins and Latvis, and chock full of alumni and staff reminiscence. The book may have kept you busy over the weekend but Friday night, all our attention was directed to the stage where the ‘best of’ past pupil and current musical talent took the stage. ‘Eclectic’ was certainly the theme of the night as the stars and styles came from across the musical spectrum: ‘Conlethian’ and ‘consummate’ being the only descriptives in common.
Greg Purcell (2007), with indie matinee star looks and moves, started us off with a pitch perfect and powerfully emotive power ballad, Pink Rabbits from The National. Current pupils Caoimhe Moore and Trevor Bolger showed no nerves and played an exquisite version of Gymnopodie No. 1 on clarinet and piano. Molly Van Der Lee (2011) sang and played Landslide, evoking Stevie Nicks in her best incarnation. Then, The Band to be Named Later took the stage with the lively 21 Pilots tune, Heathens. Michael Horan, Rory Clark, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty-Smyth made such a powerful impression, belying their relative lack of experience, that we are sure this band will soon have a name, as well as a fervent following! Noah Brabazon (2016), as always, calmed things down in his own smooth way with Gold by James Vincent McMorrow on piano, before the legendary Patrick Fitzgerald (2008) took the stage to turn up the reverb and the feedback and rock out with his own ‘love’ song : Goodbye!
Mr. Coleman is thrilled with the quinquennial, until he finds out...
...that the most handsome Dundalk-born, under-5'10" Economics teacher in St. Conleth's is not in the Staff Photo!
Mr. Coleman and friend search frantically...
... but to no avail!
But when he is told that the next extension to St. Conleth's may well be called 'The Gavin Coleman Wing', he is 'thumbs up' again!
Conlethians are everywhere: Classes of 2019 and 2018 representing on the last DART!
Two stars of the Class of 2019, Matthew Rockett and Joe Gallagher, then played their own compositions, Notturno and Slipping, stunning us again with their talent and making it rather obvious why they are pursuing music at the third level. Sisters of 2016, Hannah Collins and Maryrose Counihan, accompanied by the calmly ubiquitous Noah on guitar, made Radioactive by Imagine Dragons the most pleasant sounding of emo musings. Seán Keane (2017), did what he always did when a student: he took out his fiddle and, without fanfare or fuss, took us all elsewhere, someplace more beautiful, for a little while. And then, as if to finally prove the versatility of this Past Pupil line-up of talent, Evan Kennedy (2014) made Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye his own, ending the Soirée Musicale with both style and substance.
The Multi-Talented Mr. Sheridan
Every knows about Mr. Sheridan’s sporting prowess both as a competitor and coach. He is a regular first team selection in the annual Sixth Year vs. Staff Soccer Match, playing an authoritative Makelele-like midfield, and he has been leading various Junior School sports teams to glory for years. Just last week he took our Junior School Soccer Team to the AIJS crown, vanquishing big school favourites such as Willow and St. Gerard’s. Well done to Mr. Sheridan and the boys involved!
But there is much more to Mr. Sheridan than meets the eye! If you were around in the early noughties, and happened to be wandering down Leeson St. at an ungodly hour, you very well might have run into younger, spryer Mr. Sheridan, looking quite fit in a sequinned leisure suit, heading from one fabled disco/wine bar to another…. for he was not only master of the midfield, he was also Lord of the Dance Floor! Times change and Mr.. Sheridan, as he approaches middle age, has settled down a bit, but he still can put on the moves, especially the two copyrighted dances, the famous Moonwalk and the infamous Worm, for which he was know in his heyday. It was this latter one which came in handy when Cecilia Franken, our After-School Director, was looking for volunteers for a creative re-enactment of the birth of a butterfly to act off the fascinating project. Words will not due the performance of Mr. Sheridan and his brave student co-performer justice. You just have to see it to believe it!
Rabid Rabbit Rubbers!
Cecilia, our Morning Cub and After-School Director, is at it again! The butterflies have flown but the rabbits have arrived to take their place and, once again, it is cuddling time at St. Conleth’s!
These are our latest guests! Thumper is the black one and he thumps when she is not happy. Mupster is the grey one and she is the more dominant of the duo. They are two four and a half years old girl rabbits! We decided to bring them in because we felt the butterfly project had missed the emotional aspect connected with the “pet cuddling”: that was clearly not possible with fragile creatures such as caterpillars and butterflies. The kids have had the chance to bond with them and pet them for the week and we all already miss them. Their visit has sent the kids into a state of frenzy and they were asking to pet them all the time, brought in tons of food for them and even asked to clean their cage: can you believe it?! Our reward: looking at the kids faces light up as they hold the rabbits on their laps, break into a big smile and tell us: “When I am old I am going to get a rabbit: with my own money!”
The Tiger Roars Again!
Most of our current students are too young to remember but for a few years after the turn of the millennium, Ireland was the happy hunting ground of the Celtic Tiger and we did things and bought things (mostly the latter) of which we will probably never be able again. Locally, we mark the height of the ‘Tiger’ with two historical events: one, when they started selling straight pomegranate juice at the Baggott St. Spar and two, when the Boys’ U19 Basketball team flew, yes- ‘flew’, to Cork for an All-Ireland Cup match. Somehow we convinced ourselves that the logistics demanded air travel, just the way one of our big men, Gavan Duffy, thought it logical that he should spend all of his €20 traveling money on sunglasses at 6:30 in Dublin Airport, in the rain. Really, you had to be there.
Well, the cranes are up again, and there is a €200 steak available on Shelbourne Road, but we have learned our lessons and now spend our money much more surreptitiously, like holidaying at Centre Parcs in County Longford. But one thing that harkens back to the golden years is the state of St. Conleth’s basketball. Coaches Ingle and Gahan and their charges, both boys and girls, are absolutely ballin’ it! The Conlethian teams went. combined 5-0 last week, including a return trip to County Cork (alas, via coach this time) where the U19 Boys, once again led by Luke ‘Lord of the Paint’ Gilleran and Colin ‘Bomber’ Bolger, trounced the country cream of Rosscarbery. The dynamic duo had their usual support in the feverish antics of Keane Acosta and the glove-like ‘D’ of Dylan Alvez as well as some new contributors: Luke ‘Silky’ Sherlock stepping up from the 16s and off-season transfer ‘Dapper’ Daniel Duarte making his big game debut. And the boys were not alone this week in snapping the nets and cleaning the glass: the Girls, U16 and U!9 versions, beat St. Pat’s Cathedral and Pres.-Terenure, following up on their double over Ballinteer the previous week. Overall, an impressive slate of victories and a return to hoopla headlines for St. Conleth’s. Who knows? We may be on to Ryan Air for the next round of the cup…