Drogheda is known for the Laurence Gate, an impressive medieval barbican, and the imposing fortress of the Millmount, with all its dark Cromwellian associations, but of what Drogheda is most proud, and justifiably so, is simply that it is not Dundalk. Well, now, Droghedans, specifically the boys of St. Mary’s DS and their kick-aes Classics Department, have something else to crow about, as their yearly Visigothian migration southwards to more settled lands has finally yielded the desired booty of First Place Laurel in the Annual ‘Ides of March’ Table Quiz, organised by the Classics and Latin Teachers Association. Long ago, Proconsul and Classics Teacher Tom Giblin took a posting on the frontiers and, like the legendary Sertorius, he soon ‘went native’, training up a superior fighting force which welded his own sophisticated tactics with the local ferocity.
We knew that it was only a matter of time before this motley band sent the patricians of Gonzaga, various Loretos and, yes, even St. Conleth’s, running for the protection of the Praetorian Guard. All credit to the Mary’s boys, as they showed up with swagger and style and set the tone for the evening even before the first flaming arrow was launched to commence battle. Led by an impressive figure, wearing the native war-dress of a three-piece suit and gold-tinted glasses and known simply and ominously as ‘Pento’, the winning team clearly knew their peristyles and Pantheon and the difference between Pompey and Pompeii. Our own three full Conlethian teams competed honourably, one of which, led by Centurion Eoin MacNally, bravely took the noble but thankless position of rear guard, selflessly foregoing many correct answers while concentrating on protecting their colleagues’ flanks and backsides. Thankless, yes, but quite necessary with so many Droghedans around!