Seachtain na Gaeilge, An Dara Cuid!

Shhhh… do yo hear that? It’s Arthur Wellesley, The First Duke of Wellington, rolling in his grave! Why? Because, during Seachtain na Gaeilge, even a school which lies at the top of Waterloo and Wellington Roads is very proud to come out ‘all Irish’!  Not that our Irish Department has ever been shy about celebrating our native language and heritage: for years St. Conleth’s múinteoirí Gaeilge have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the whole school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine, but they certainly déan a ndícheall leading up to St. Patrick’s Day! Fay and Dorman and ODulaing (x2) are the MacDonagh and MacBride and Connolly and Pearse of St. Conleth’s (without the bloody end!) and they have crammed i bhfad níos mó into 28 Clyde Road, turning it into the Gaeltacht is galánta this side of Carna!

So, what was on the green agenda? There was the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians, where the students also enjoyed a Tóraíocht Taisce.   Each year also had their very own Tráth Na gCeist, answering (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from the Erskine Childers to Eskimo Supreme. There was the cinema trip to see the Oscar-nominated Cailín Ciúin and a brand-new Gaeilge activity: Biongó Craiceálta! Of course, our Junior School teachers and students also joined Gang Gaeilge… with Mr. ‘The Ferg’ O’Neill playing some trad on the banjo (with some classy accompaniment from Mr. Nolan)… and definitely edging the Seniors in the wearing of the green! Well, the leprechauns in the school dark room have been working non-stop, so busy have our múinteoirí Gaeilge been, but all the photographs have now been developed. You have seen the Sixth Year Poc and Fifth Year TnG already. Here are the rest!

Junior Fun with The Ferg

TY Poc Fada 

Fifth Year Poc Fada 

First Year Tóraíocht Taisce and Cailín Ciúin 

Sixth, TY and Second Year Tráth Na gCeist

Biongó Craiceálta!

Art Matters!

Ms. Mellon’s Third Class Art Pupils get creative in preparation for an upcoming important parental recognition day… we don’t want to ruin the surprise!

And Ms. Halpin’s First Years learn some embroidery skills… perhaps enabling them to take on some of the domestic work currently being done by a parental unit!

Enormous Fun During Book Week!

For boys and girls, mothers and fathers… really, everyone and anyone… is there more fun to be had than the simple pleasure of the black and white page of a good book? Or even better, a book with pictures! The Junior School’s Book Week 2023 saw spontaneous D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read) time, our book cover/door competition, a visit from author Valinora Troy, a pre-loved book sale (Thanks, Parents!) and culminated in Book Character Dress-Up Day. What a jam-packed week!

Pro Arte et Natura!

Our Arts & Environment hero! Fifth Year Ciara Thornton has been chosen by the Ranelagh Arts Competition to have her work framed and presented in their exhibition…. and, as our Green Schools chief, she has joined Cecilia of the Junior School in spearheading our green clean-up!

This is St. Conleth’s

At times, we may joke about some of the quirky characters this great school attracts and fosters (staff as well as students) but we would not have it any other way. There is an essence, an elixir, distilled and adjusted over 84 years which Conlethians both create and develop and it was served up in copious amounts again this past Monday. Our Junior School Open Morning and Senior School Information Evening were smashing successes, with hundreds of potential Conlethians gaining a sense of what this school means to all of us. The staff were there, of course, with their enthusiasm and expertise, but the true stars were our student volunteers. Subject room after room, activity after activity, from Junior Infants to Sixth Year, our volunteers conveyed the best of us, both exhibiting and creating the Conlethian experience. And judging by the intelligence, creativity and openness of our visitors, long will that unique educational adventure continue!

Junior School Open Morning

For students joining in 2024 and beyond →

St. Conleth’s Junior and Preparatory School welcomes you with great enthusiasm to our Open Morning on Monday 27th February, 2023. This event is for families who will have children joining Junior Infants for 2024 and beyond. With a small average class size, personal attention to each pupil is assured at St. Conleth’s and an inclusive and holistic approach to education is emphasised. Tradition is important at St. Conleth’s, but it is partnered by an eagerness to embrace modernity and its required innovations.  Educating the ‘whole child’ is a responsibility which we take very seriously at St. Conleth’s.  Each student is encouraged to participate in a variety of intellectual, artistic and athletic pursuits.  Our younger Conlethians benefit from sharing in all the social, educational and recreational aspects of the larger school, from ICT to sports hall to performance spaces to canteen, yet they also have the sense of belonging and security that having their own purpose-built facility provides.  When you join us at our Open  Morning, you will get a taste and an appreciation for the unique and innovative Conlethian style of education.

  • 9:30am
  • 10:00am
    Meet the leadership team
  • 10:30am
    Take a tour of the school

Registration for our Open Morning on Monday, February 27th, is is now open to everyone!

Secondary School Information Evening

Registration for our Information Evening on Monday, February 27th, is now open to everyone!

St. Conleth’s College is now into its ninth decade at the forefront of Irish primary and secondary co-education.  Tradition is important at St. Conleth’s, but it is partnered by an eagerness to embrace modernity and its required innovations.  Educating the ‘whole child’ is a responsibility which we take very seriously at St. Conleth’s.  Each student is encouraged to participate in a variety of intellectual, artistic and athletic pursuits, and our recent award-winning campaigns in debating and various sports attest to our extracurricular enthusiasm.  

Excellent academic achievement is, of course, at the core of St. Conleth’s success.  A sensible curriculum, which allows for the substantial choice and variety of a large school but benefits from the personal attention of a small one, is expertly taught by a staff which exudes the perfect blend of experience and enthusiasm.  Our Leaving Certificate students do finish at the top of the table each year, but just as importantly, we are proud that, though they are leaving us with a tinge of regret, they also are full of confidence for the courses, careers and lives which best suit their individual talents, interests and values.  At our Information Evening you will get a taste and an appreciation for this Conlethian style of education.

→ specifically for students joining First Year in September 2024
→ for boys, girls and their parents
→ including presentation and tour of the school

Noblesse Oblige

And King Brian ‘The Benign’ Nolan and Holy Conlethian Emperor Tony ‘The Terrible’ (in a good way) Kilcommons did decideth to hold a tournament to testeth the mettle of the young knights (and ladies) of the Junior School. Entry to the the tournament was open to all, and many rounds were fought with a multitude of noble deeds being done under the sun (and fluorescent lights at break time). With St. Bridget’s Day came the true winnowing and soon the fruyt was clear of the chaff. Steppeth forth one young challenger, vanquisher of many: Marty Davitt. Steppeth forth one other, equal in noble qualities and skill at the joust: Rohan Flynn. And gather round the young ones in the fair field (or sports hall) so all may witness this worthy contest. And the battle did begin with courage and daring, and with the righteous blade being wielded well by both black and white: soon the field was littered with bishops and rooks and even queens, so that the final confrontation was left mostly to the pawns (embodying the Conlethian progressive concept of social justice). Sir Marty did prevaileth in the end, but Sir Rohan joined his noble opponent as a knightly paragon, equally displaying the skill, gallantry and sportsmanship which are hallmarks of all Conlethian competition and endeavour!

Arise, Squires!

The Senior basketballers have justly grabbed much of our attention this week but how about another of our characteristic sports? Yes, Chess! The Seniors are still dining out on their victory over Gonzaga and now the Juniors have joined the party, welcoming Willow Park for a mini chess tournament. After 25 games, St. Conleth’s came out as 19-4 winners (with 2 draws). And this was despite several of the players carrying minor training ground injuries. It looks like Yubo and the gang in the Senior School will soon have some worthy teammates… and tough competition!

Juniors Ready to Ruck and Roll!

More news and sparkling photos from Junior School parent Cahir Davitt: our combined Fifth and Sixth Form Rugby Team beat Willow Park, 5 tries to 4. That’s some reflection on the great job Louis Magee and the other Junior School rugby coaches are doing, but it is also great news for Senior School Rugby: more talent is obviously on the way! And, although we usually close with a line of ‘Well done, boys!’, careful perusal of the photos below will let reveal why we will now simply say, ‘Well done, Junior School rugby players!’


Led by Cecilia, our Czarina of After-School, Morning Club and Fun, our whole Junior School welcomed the school visit team from Enable Ireland. Through information and lots of hands-on fun activities they conveyed clearly the challenges but also the triumphs of living with a disability to our students, who enthusiastically listened, learned and took part. And, once again, Conlethian Staff Alumnus, and current Enable Ireland Co-Ordinator, Jason was on hand to help the two groups mix with such ease and good humour!

Rhetoric: A Conlethian Constant

Conlethian debaters rocked the rostrum… again! In the Leinster Schools Senior Competition, Coleman Hegarty and Turlough Dineen (as a team) and Leo Nolan (as an individual) qualified for the Quarterfinals debating “Slum Tourism in the Third World” with Saoirse Corry narrowly missing out. This ‘edgy’ topic was right down the alley for our debaters, who love to push the boundaries of free speech. And our equally loquacious Juniors are up this week! And why are Conlethians persistently such Leinster (and world) class speechifiers? Perhaps because, for years now, Pat Howe has been organising The Irish Board of Speech and Drama Grade Examinations in the Junior School, and they were on again last week, with examiners assessing the students one-on-one. With 70% a pass, no grade inflation here, but our young orators came through splendidly… and mellifluently!

Juniors: All Sorts of Sports!

Head of Junior School Sport Louis Magee keeps a variety of sporting adventures on tap for the younger Conlethians. Of course, rugby is still important: Louis reports of wins for 4th and 5/6th Form over Willow last weekend and, previously, 5th Form took part in a mini-blitz where they beat both St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s. Rugby has long been at the heart of St. Conleth’s sports but one change for us though is the variety of participants: apparently 5th Form girls Isabelle and Clodagh stole the show with their electric pace! The icy conditions do not even stop our tennis players (but do leave a frosty racket imprint behind). And when the cold and dark get to be just too much, more activity awaits indoors: Maître David Couper is back for another fencing campaign; Cecilia gets the Juniors moving in the Sports Hall; and Pat Howe sportingly readies the Prepsters for a Speech and Drama exam!

Santa’s Little Helpers

After their beautiful carols concert on Tuesday, it was Christmas Party time on Wednesday for the Junior School. We Senior Teachers are always a little jealous of our Junior colleagues at this time of year. The younger Conlethian students naturally seem to get the most excited about Christmastime and their teachers, in turn, get to enjoy a whole host of activities of which we only get a taste: the maintenance of a learning environment despite seasonal hysteria setting in on Nov. 1 at 12:01 a.m.; the decoration of the classroom with all the students’ Christmas art, which somehow all seem exactly perfect and equally deserving of prominent display; the relatively easy peasy clean-up after all that cutting, pasting and ‘accidental’ stabbing; the refereeing of class-wide ‘discussions’ over whether to watch Home Alone 1 or 2 (never 3); the annual argument over the suitability of Die Hard for eight-year-olds; the practising of carols with a class whose vocal talents somehow all seem exactly perfect and equally deserving of prominent display; the attempted slow release of various forms of sugar over the last few days; the even easier, peasier clean-up of said various forms of sugar when they reappear unexpectedly… no wonder they get more wine than us! In truth, we are relieved at our lighter yuletide workload but also a little bit jealous. Look at the smiles on those Junior School students, below!

Above, we also see the Junior Hockey girls down at the astro for their traditional Santa Hockey Tournament (with OLG). Good-natured, but competitive, fun was had by all and then the girls received their just rewards for braving the elements: a Christmas Hot Chocolate, courtesy of Coach Ms. Leary!

Don’t Fence Us In!

The ancient and noble art of Fencing has been linked with St. Conleth’s since its earliest days and we have been remiss in reporting on the latest Conlethian ripostes and parries. Yes, we lost two world class fencers when Claudio Sosa and Jame Moriarty-Smyth moved on last May, but there is more talent on the rise. There is a keen swordsman in the Senior School who would prefer to remain, like Zorro, in the shadows for now, and there is Michael Davitt in the Junior School, who is carving his name into some of the very same trophies which bear the names of Claudio, James and the Sherlock brothers, Luke and Matthew.

Michael recently won Silver Medals in the U14 Mens Foil category in no less than three separate tournaments: The PFC Christmas Cup, Round 1 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series and The Lord Killanin Trophy competition. We thank Michael’s Dad, chair, for the fantastic photos of Michael in competition as well as those of another great Conlethian fencer: Alumnus Michael Li (2018) who, earlier this year, was present at the welcoming ceremony of Adrian Lee & Partners Fencing Sponsorship Programme 2022-23. Conlethian Fencing lives on!


Last Friday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, to celebrate the season of Advent and remember 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. Fachtna, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way. Well done to Mr. Seamus Gallagher for organising the Mass and Ms. McGuinness, who had the choir in pitch perfect shape. Enjoy the scenes and tunes, captured below.

Give! It Doesn’t Hurt!

In recent years, a mainstay of the Junior School’s Christmas calendar has been the collection for Brother Kevin’s Capuchin Day Centre: students, parents and staff get together to collect food, toys and other suitable Christmas gifts, and the Centre makes sure they get to those who need them most. Brother Kevin and his team were particularly appreciative of the amount of donations from St Conleths this year, especially the number of toys, as he reported that a large number of families were attending and the St Conleths contributions were need and very welcome.  Junior School Principal Brian Nolan thanks all those who made this year’s donation drive for the a smashing success!

Juniors Skating into Christmas

Our younger Conlethians may very well be actually skating into school this morning, considering the sheen of ice that has rendered Dublin in Nordic impressionist brushstrokes, but they have also been slipping and sliding into the Christmas season: wrapping up tests and assessments, warbling in carol practice like robust robins and wrens, and adorning the school with their yuletide artistic masterpieces. More to come on them, but in the meanwhile, enjoy some scenes captured on a (quick) dash to the Herbo and a slower stroll to the Preparatory School: Ms. Elaine Leary and the Junior Hockey girls enjoying their traditional Santa Hockey Tournament (with OLG); Speech and Drama with old pro Mr. Pat Howe; and Story-Time with Santa’s Chief Elf, Ms. Dolores Kelly!

Kodachrome Crunch!

We are not sure where Junior parent Cahir Davitt found the snippet of sunshine to snap this vibrant photos, but we do appreciate them! It was another Juniors rugby match vs. Willow Park, and these highlights capture perfectly the boys’ skill, spirit and sheer joy in playing ball on the grass on a weekend morning. We are not sure if ‘sheer joy’ was the feeling experienced by Louis Magee, the coaches, and the parents when they awoke earlier that day, but we are sure it spread, eventually, from the players to the sidelines!

Have Gumshield: Will Travel!

On the road again! In one day, Junior Sport Honcho Louis Magee visited Willow, St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s to get all the rugby matches in! Fifth Form had a great comeback vs. CBC Monkstown, down 4-1 and drawing 4-4 and coming away with two draws and a win in three games, overall. And, thanks to parent Michael Davitt, we also have great pics from Sixth Form’s recent matches versus Willow Park and St. Michael’s. Super stuff!

St. Louis Magee?

Is bilocation still a qualification for sainthood?  In the hagiography of St. Conleth’s, it is!  In one day, Junior Sport Honcho Louis Magee visited Willow, St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s to get all the Junior Rugby matches in. Our very own large but cuddly Scarlet Pimpernel marshalled his forces of chivalric coaches and persistent parents to stage games all over the D4 hinterland of rugby. There were many memorable moments in all the matches but Mr. Sheridan’s Fifth Form grabbed the headlines with a great comeback against CBC Monkstown 4-1 down and drawing 4-4, and coming away, overall, with 2 draws and a win from 3 games. Super stuff! And, remember: if you want to arrange a sporting event with the Juniors, you must seek Louis Magee here… and everywhere!

Halloween A++

Covid did not just lead to grade inflation… and cost of living inflation… it has also led to holiday hype: we are enthusiastically embracing and extending all the rituals we missed over the last few years, and Halloween, most of all! Our round-up of our Halloween festivities started with catching the latest transfer to St. Conleth’s walking to school: Barney the Dinosaur. (He was at Blackrock, but was put under undo pressure to play in the back row.)

This year, teachers enthusiastically shared in the dress-up fun!

With one teacher particularly giving 110%! (plus a spontaneous, if rusty, warm-up for Christmas by First Years!)

The Junior School Students, as they do every year, stunned us with the creativity of their costumes and the enthusiasm of their wearing them!

And the Senior School Students, hopefully starting a new tradition, ponied up 2€ for GOAL and matched their Junior brethren in Halloween gore and glee!

Hot Off the Presses!

Okay, by this stage it is only luke-warm as we have been a bit slow in getting it up since it was published last week, but here it is: the first issue of the Junior School student-produced St. Conleth’s Times (click!)!

À La Carte!

It is not just Chefs Mark and Emerson who serve up a wide menu at St. Conleth’s! Junior School Principal Brian Nolan and Junior School PE Head Louis Magee also both subscribe to the idea that choice is good and a variety of experiences, especially for the young, is the best education. Of course, Louis caters to the traditional round and oblong balls but we have also seen Shay Keenan lead the Prepsters through their gymnastic moves in the Sports Hall and below we catch some pupils giving cricket a crack, hearkening back to our early garden party days: the pros have been brought in to re-establish our oldest school sport. And the mind, as well as the body, needs variety: our Juniors, and one lucky Senior, also enjoy their after-school French classes each week with the energetic and inspirational professeurs of Alliance Francais!

Junior Round-Up!

We in the Senior School often miss what our Junior brethren are up to simply because they are so small and active that we sluggards can’t keep up with the little, industrious Harfoots! You read below how they have been sporting with both the oblong and the round ball, but, here, we get just a glimpse of other JS happenings: Texaco Art Competition commendees; The JSPA Teachers’ Day generosity and their Uniform Exchange; Principal Nolan doing his thing with parents and the whole school; after-school French with Alliance Francais; break-time shenanigans; the election posters from the friendly but intense Green Schools Committee Elections; and the latest episode of the most heartwarming show on TV: Shay Keenan’s Prepster PE Class!

Juniors on the Bounce!

We got the rugby last weekend, and then the rains came in… but Junior Sport Czar Louis Magee knows what to do when the monsoon starts: head indoors! The boys and girls of Fourth Form visited Castle Park earlier this week to play them in basketball. Castle Park were Fantastic hosts, as always, and everyone had a great afternoon shooting for the stars!

Junior Rugby Wild Geese!

Like the brave Gaelic warriors who scattered across Europe, our Junior Rugby teams spread across Dublin this past weekend. Head of Junior Sport Louis Magee had the headache of co-ordinating it all, but all his coaches did their part and showed up bright and early and eager to ruck and roll! Of course, the parents were also on the roads early, escorting their Nos. 1-15, across Forms 3-6, throughout Dublin 4-16 (and a bit of SoCo!). Well done to all invloved, especially the young players, themselves!

That’s A Load of Falafel!

Growing up across the pond, the cheap, simple and carcinogenic ‘baloney’ was our metaphoric food of choice, but it marks how far we have come (or how urbane is the Conlethian cohort) that we recently heard the above expression served up at breaktime by one student to another, in response to some credibility stretching bit of braggadocio. And why not? For ‘falafel’ is on the menu, as well as several other delicacies which did not previously moo, oink, cluck, or bark, such is the vegetarian transformation of our eating habits. Perhaps this is due to Ms. Clarke’s subtle but strident vegan advocacy? This week, the kids get to leave the canines home, as they enjoy cauliflower casserole, roasted celeriac and sweet potato soups and the dearly missed home-made bean burgers! Menu PDF.

Scrumptious Soups!

Two famous soups, Corn Chowder and Sweet Potato, make their glorious return on this week’s canteen menu (PDF)!

Return of the Chicken Wing!

Yes, you can’t get a broom closet in the original TriBeCa now for less than $10,000 a month (and no doorman!) but at least we can still enjoy the NYC neighbourhood’s most famous export: TriBeCa chicken wings! This week’s canteen menu (PDF):

What’s Cooking?

This week, it’s celeriac and friends!

Menu PDF

All In!

Yes, with the Transition Years bounding through the doors last Thursday, we now have everyone home and can start the year properly! Below you see the TYs in class (yes, they do have ‘classes’ in TY… as well as all that extra stuff!) along with the other Senior years and some drone shots of the youngest Conlethians, the Prepsters, at play. Now, it is time to get down to Business! And English, and Irish, and Classics…

Mark, More Melanzane!

One indisputably good thing about coming back to school: lunch by Chef Mark, Emerson, Anna and crew!

Menu 5/9-9/9 (PDF)

First Daze!

Yes, we are back in action at St. Conleth’s! In fact, the Junior School teachers (driven by General Brian Nolan) have been back meeting, planning and gossiping since last week, while we Senior teachers were still dawdling in Bundoran! Well, now we are back, along with First Years and all the Junior School pupils. First Years started last week with a Sport Camp and then took on a rather enjoyable first in situ assignment: pizza and chips in the canteen! We also see, below, the various Junior School classes uo to their usual break time antics… as well as some semi-serious classwork… and a snap of a very Zen way to start the morning of the First Day of School: yoga with Cecilia!

Sweet Dreams!

Yes, it is the eve off the First Day of School, dreaded and dreamed of in equal parts… and that’s just the teachers! But have no fear, great days lie ahead for y’all at St. Conleth’s. Induction for tomorrow for First Years and First Day for all Juniors, except Junior Infants, but soon everyone will be back at No. 28, Clyde Rd. See below for start days and times and get some rest. The fun is about to start!

Juniors Take Centre Stage!

With our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students finally hitting the books with gusto, our un-undead TYs working on their ghastly pallor in the Herbo and the rest of the Senior School taking end-of-year exams, it has been the Junior School kids who have been doing all the interesting stuff these last few days. First of all, a momentous milestone was passed when the Junior contingent of girls reached a total of forty for the first time, and they all gathered for a celebratory breakfast. Mr. Kelleher was always fond of letting the girls go to the front of the Tuck Shoppe and canteen queues. (‘Here come the girls!’ was a saying as dear to him as ‘Make way for a naval officer!’) We think he would have been thrilled to see that, with full co-education, that is no longer necessary… or possible!

And you can forget about the return of Love Island, the viewer ratings topper this week will certainly be the latest rendition of St. Conleth’s Junior School Has Got Talent. Musicians, magicians, actors, storytellers, comedians, shy retiring kids…. you name it, we got it! (That last act was scrapped due to a shortage of performers.). Above, we also catch sight of a simple but beloved tradition: the Sixth Form School Hoodies. They look cozy and cool… just don’t try to get by Ms. Hopkins in September with it on!

What’s the Story?

Before there were looped videos of campfires on Youtube, there were real campfires. Before there were podcasts, there were real stories told by the lady who worked at the corner shop and the old guy at the bus stop who never seemed to get on a bus. Maybe not true, but real. Before there were on-demand streaming services, you had to rush home from school to catch Scooby-Doo because it was on at 4:00. And, no, you could not pick it up it on your Walkman en route… things have changed, many for the better, but sometimes we think more might be less, and we yearn for a time when we hung on every word as it sprung from the lips of a talented teller of tales. Well, those days returned to St. Conleth’s Junior School as renowned professional storyteller Niall De Búrca paid us a visit and regaled both students and staff with his Irish-flavoured tales of wit and wonder. It was a beautiful day in the front garden and all screens were put away and all end-of-term stresses and jitters were forgotten, as we all fell under the timeless spell of a story well told.

Learning Curve

Junior School Principal Brian Nolan has brought youth and energy to the role (not that the auld fella wasn’t half bad!) and part of his newfangledness, learned on the international stage, is the increased involvement of parents and the community in the learning experience.

The only problem is that since Brian took over, a little bug trailing the number 19 has put paid to many of his most exciting initiatives. But now the floodgates, and the front doors of the school, have been opened and a few weeks back the Junior School hosted its inaugural Celebration of Learning! Parents from Junior Infants to Sixth Form were invited to come into classrooms where students wowed them with their learning from across the year. Much more of this to come, going forward!

Fencing: A Conlethian Legacy

Fencing has been an integral part of St. Conleth’s since its founding, with national champions and Olympians a proud part of our history, present and our future. As St. Conleth’s bids farewell to Claudio Sosa and James Moriarty Smyth this year (see article below) as they to pursue their third level education and international fencing careers, St. Conleth’s has a new up-and-coming fencer in the Junior School. Joining Myles Moriarty Smyth in the senior school, Michael Davitt in 5th Form is carrying on the Conlethian fencing tradition. From one Conlethian to another, Claudio, James and Myles have passed down tips, techniques, and experience to Michael.

Their support and encouragement, and Michael’s determination, has led him to finish the year ranked No. 2 in the U12 male foil fencers in Ireland. Michael’s consistent performances both nationally and internationally in ten fencing competitions during the 2021-2022 season has earned him one gold, four silver and four bronze medals! Michael plans to emulate his fellow Conlethians fencing success for many years into the future and to represent his school with pride. Enjoy the pics above and below of Michael and Myles in competition, as well as a parting glimpse of Claudio and James, and, of course, our in-house fencing guru, Maître David Couper, who just yesterday wrapped up his last after-school session with the next generation of swashbucklers!

Junior Sports Day Shenanigans!

The competition was intense, but always in good humour, and though we may have exhausted the local stocks of semiprecious medals in our enthusiasm for prize giving, it was worth it to see so many happy kids and happy parents.

Of course, the presence of enthusiastic boys and girls are the main ingredients for a successful Junior School Sports Day, and we had loads of them, but the parents played their part, too: helping out, cheering on and only occasionally tripping up their junior’s closest competitors. Louis Magee was the man in charge and he ran a fine show, ably assisted by all the teachers, and with the weather co-operating, it was a fine day overall in Irishtown. We now realise what we have missed these last few years. It is good to be back… all the way back!

Juniors’ Debate a Success on All Points!

For years, St. Conelth’s Senior School has been simply da bomb in debating, dominating the Leinster and All-Ireland Championships and making the Irish Debating Team our personal fiefdom.  Well, judging by the talent in our Junior School, this dominance will surely continue. Our Senior School Debating Coach, Rory O’Sullivan, was very impressed by the in-house talent on show at the recent St. Conleth’s-hosted AIJS Debate.  Rory and Junior School Principal organised and ran an impressive show, with very enthusiastic and competitive teams from all the visiting schools involved but there was clearly no shortage of home-grown talent.  We look forward to an even bigger and better debate next year!

Another Day in the Life of…

… St. Conleth’s. It is a hectic time of year, with many special events crowding the calendar… and the regular ‘stuff’ also carrying on. Here are just four snippets of our school life on May the 4th: TYs run the Tuck Shoppe (to the delight of some Second Years); Fifth and Sixth Years compete for the John Kelly Award and the Woods Bowl; Juniors fence with Maître David; and staff celebrate St. Conleth’s Feast Day with cakes, courtesy of Mr. Lonergan!


HOT OFF THE PRESS! Fourth Former Andrew O’Brien finally publishes and distributes his first edition of the all new St. Conleth’s Times, a monthly Junior School Publication. Andrew first presented his vision one month ago and has worked tirelessly since to gather a team of writers, editors, researchers and photographers.  We cannot wait for the next issue Andrew!

Some of this is Serious!

For it is not every day of the week that a Conlethian alumna has a book launch! We joined Catherine Prasifka (2014), brother John (2011), Mr. Seamus Gallagher, parents (Sunniva and Bill) and friends (such as Michael Coleman (2011) at Hodges Figgis to celebrate the publication of None of this is Serious, Catherine’s debut novel which is currently garnering rave reviews and rocketing up the charts. Catherine was back with us just a couple of years ago, teaching creative writing to our Juniors and gathering inspiration in the staffroom for some of the odder side characters in her novel. And last night, Catherine was as polite and charming as ever. The sudden fame and fortune have yet to turn her head… but do check back with us soon, as rumour has it Hollywood may come calling!

The Bells Toll for Pierre

Maurice O’Reilly (Class of 1973) organised for the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to be rung in honour and memory of his fellow Past Pupil, Pierre Zakrzewski, Monday afternoon. Pierre will be remembered explicitly both in the belfry and downstairs on the floor of the cathedral. Pierre’s name has been entered in writing in the belfry records.

Conleth’s in Wonderland!

Covid did not halt the learning: the perseverance of our ‘class’ class teachers and the co-operation of parents saw to the continuity of the ‘three Rs’ and more. But that which No. 19 did muffle was the just-as-important communal life of the school. Now, with spring in the air, the once trickling thaw has become a torrent, with the biggest and best blast of all bursting on the scene last Friday evening: a Hartnett and Howe stage spectacular!

The Junior School Musical, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, premiered in our professionally kitted out School Hall, and by all accounts it was a smash hit, and a much-needed reminder of what this school can do when it pulls together… and enough tests turn up negative! Yes, Pat Howe, our drama and dance man, and music maestro Emer Hartnett have done it again: clever lines and lyrics, spectacular costumes, nifty dance moves and, of course, the show-stealing talent and cuteness of our student performers … all the hallmarks of our dynamic duo of theatrical delight! Broadway surely beckons but we hope to hang onto our talented two. And if those two do skedaddle down The Great White Way, we hope the don’t take Junior Art Teacher Ms. Mellon with her: so stunning were the backdrops and props, created in her swish chapel studio, with many little helping hands.  Check out the snaps above of the last dress rehearsal, professionally captured by our TY Photography teacher Tom O’Connor, and, below, some after-show portraits by Student Photographer Adam Rafter. And stay tuned: Adam also caught the whole show on video, a link to which will soon be in all the parents’ mailboxes. So enjoy… again!

Weekend Warriors!

Some of us remember when Mr. Sheridan was a different type of ‘weekend warrior’: as a Fifth and Sixth Year student at St. Conleth’s, no party or ‘free gaff’ would escape his notice or attendance, and Monday morning Form Class, therefore, was the only time Eoin would be less than his usual chipper, ebullient self. Now, Mr. Sheridan spends his Saturday mornings not in the recovery position but leading his young Fifth Form charges into friendly battle on rugby pitches near and far. Last weekend, it was a special Rugby Festival in Willow Park, and we have Cahir Davitt to thank for all the great pics below.


Spring has Sprung! And so have the imaginations and the artistic abilities of our Junior School Students. Ms. Mellon takes advantage of the fine weather and the bucolic setting of St. Mary’s to prompt some Signs of Spring drawings. We also see her own personal masterpiece: Sunflowers on Window!

Jolly Junior Hockey Sticks!

We were so busy processing our ace reporter (and over-enthusiastic amateur herpetologist) Emilio’s 3,000+ photos of various visiting reptiles last week that we completely neglected a very significant sporting achievement by our Junior School Girls! Small in number but huge in heart and spirit, our Junior School Hockey players celebrated one very hard fought win and one equally hard fought loss in a double against Our Lady’s Grove. Well one to all the players, coaches and TY helpers!

And we will take this opportunity to also bring you some snaps from our Senior School Junior team who went down valiantly (and undermanned) in the Dublin League Semifinal. Great to see so much support on the sidelines from students and staff, including Current ‘Head of All Sport’ Ciaran Smith and former ‘Head of All Sport’ Gavin Maguire. Especially nice to see Gav showing up, obviously harbouring no ill feelings despite the furore over ‘Donut-gate’ which hastened the end of his tenure in office.

Pierre Zakrzewski: Our Man in…

Kabul. Syria. Kashmir. Leopardstown. Caracas. Baghdad. Sudan. Liberia. Kyiv.

St. Conleth’s College is used to having ‘far-flung’ alumni, with impromptu Past Pupil reunions regularly springing up all over the globe, but Pierre Zakrzewski must have set the record for geographical variety during his incredible but all-too-short life and career. But wherever Pierre was calling from, the voice and the essential personality remained the same: warm and sincere, humble yet inspirational.

Dublin 1987

Ronan O’Kelly, Captain of the Class of 1984, has a well-earned reputation as being a one-man ‘nanny state’. Some Class Captains shirk their post-graduation duties of maintaining contact with their classmates, as the years pile up along with children and dogs and ex-spouses; some do a half-decent job of keeping everyone in the loop and then corralling them quinquennially into their Past Pupil Dinner; and then there is Ronan, a.k.a. ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s, Junior’. Long before ‘Find-My-Phone’ and tracking apps, Ronan would know the location of every single member of his graduating class, at any time, all the time, with one significant exception: Pierre Zakrzewski. The funny thing is that Ronan and Pierre were the best of friends from the time they met in Fifth Form, sometime in the 1970’s, until the fateful news last week. An odd couple, perhaps, the insurance man and the ultimate insurance risk, but they were united by an unabashed enthusiasm for life and an appreciation for the role St. Conleth’s played in setting that spark and nurturing the flame.

The Class of 1984 (Pierre is in the back row, third from right.)

Over the years, Pierre did show up in person at many of the Class of 1984 informal Christmas drinks sessions, but there would also be times that a phone call would have to do: Pierre’s warm voice and infectious enthusiasm spilling through a crackling line. Inevitably, Pierre would be crouched in his curb side ‘office’ risking his life to bring light to some dark dealings in a unfashionable corner of the globe and, just as inevitably, Pierre would pass it off as if he were just working the late shift at a car-parts factory in Potsdam. No name-dropping, and no holier-than-thou condescension, but with each visit and call, Ronan and the other classmates and friends would glean a bit more of Pierre’s life out there in the real world: titbits both thrilling and terrifying.

Venezuela February 2019 – telling ROK that he couldn’t make it back to the PPU Dinner.

Afghanistan, Syria, Kashmir… no, not your typical ‘gap year’ locations: Pierre was not some hipster adventurer, merely going off-piste for the sake of personal gratification or to spur the jealousy of friends who were stuck for a week with half board at Kelly’s of Rosslare, instead. Pierre was a true professional, and tributes elsewhere attest to his dedication and skill with the camera and his ability to adapt and persevere despite the almost comically complicated conditions of being a freelancer in the world’s least hospitable hotspots. After Pierre’s death, Fox News waxed poetically and truthfully of the esteem with which he was held by his colleagues: not just for his professionalism but for his winning personality, too. Perhaps in an industry known for cut-throat screen preening, Pierre’s warmth and honesty stood out all the more. But Pierre was more than the stereotypical friendly, chatty Irishman. Last year, he played a key role in getting Afghan freelance associates and their families out of the country after the abrupt U.S. withdrawal and, in December, he was awarded the “Unsung Hero” award during the FOX News Media Spotlight Awards. What Pierre did in Kabul for both friends and strangers, he also did in Syria, in Kashmir, in Sudan…. he always got ‘that shot’ for the newsreel, but the essence of the man came to the fore before and after the camera was rolling: a passion for people and for doing the right thing by them.

South Sudan 2018

Some people pass away and the tributes and platitudes pass away soon afterwards. With Pierre, it has been, and will be, quite different. The testaments, the memories and the stories have just multiplied and mushroomed in the days since his passing: how could one man have touched so many lives? Well, we have just a few more to add to the legacy of the man with the fondness for moustaches and motorcycles and making people better about themselves.

Afghanistan 2020

Marie-Ange, Pierre’s mother, attests to his difficult start in life: ‘Pierre was a very premature baby, born a few days before the seventh month and spent two months in hospital. We were told he would not walk, or speak.’ So much for the prophetic abilities of paediatricians! After learning to walk and talk quite well, Pierre joined his brothers Stash, Nicholas and Gregoire at St. Conleth’s and took full part in the academic and social life of the school: his keynote speech at the 2004 Past Pupil Dinner attested to this, and how such Conlethian legends as Kevin Kelleher, Louis Feutren and Paul Mullins helped shape and sharpen his zest for life and adventure. And of course, the camaraderie and friendship of classmates, such as Ronan and Stephen O’Dea and Ronan Hingerty, also played their part: Pierre may have ‘marched to a different drummer’ but he never walked alone.

Afghanistan March 2020

Upon graduation Pierre tried Arts at UCD for a short time but he quickly realised that the subtle thrills of the BA were not for him and so began his wanderings with purpose. Ronan relates how Pierre turned up at an early gathering of ‘84ers with a cool-looking hiker’s rucksack, packed full of… bricks. Pierre was trying out his gear on a Dalkey-Howth pilgrimage, with a dogleg to a cold storage unit in Sandyford, where the new cold-weather sleeping bag was getting a try-out. Pure Pierre. And then he was gone. But the stories drifted back, sometimes with the man himself, sometimes through the close network of friends… and we don’t mean of the Facebook variety. Pierre’s famous climbing of approximately 75% of Everest is typical: inveterate adventurer that he was, his decency and sense of humanity were deeper, and Pierre balked at the waste of money to be spent on oxygen for the summit and mere self-aggrandisement. He instead spent his money and time on, depending on the relater of the tale, either helping a fellow climber down or repatriating the body of one who had fallen: knowing Pierre, he probably did both. Imagine how beneficial to this regular gang who were negotiating career progression and mortgages and normal lives were the tales of Pierre? Besieged and targeted in Kashmir for documenting human rights abuses. Stuck to the seat of a motorcycle, retracing his family’s journey from war-torn Poland. Embedded with the first tanks rolling into Baghdad. Poised for the white smoke in Rome. Bivouacked on the shores of the Blue Nile. Hunkered down east of Kyiv.

The tragedy of and triumph of Pierre’s last chapter has a particular resonance with Conlethians. We have all been schooled on how Bernard Sheppard inauspiciously opened the doors of the school on the very day in September 1939 on which World War II started, but it was always used in rhetorical contrast: look how we were different, look how far we have come. Pierre’s passing has brought that story to the fore, again. While Mr. Sheppard was embarking on a brave new adventure in education, Pierre’s father’s family was fleeing for their lives from the horrors of war. This heritage played an important part in how Pierre lived his live and chose his life’s work. The suffering of the victim of war and the plight of the refugee were nearly always the focus of his camera and his passion. Our last glimpse of Pierre was sent last Sunday from the eastern outskirts of Kyiv, mere hours before his death. There is no irony but only tragedy and triumph in the circumstances of Pierre’s passing: once again he was doing what he loved for the people whom he loved, that is… everyone.

Ukraine, last Sunday 11:30am

Are You A Parselmouth?

And we thought all the reptiles were in the staffroom! Apparently not, when The Reptile Zoo pays a house visit! After-School Director Cecilia Franken, fluent in parseltongue, arranged the visit, but we all enjoyed the smooth, silky (and only slightly sinister) serpents and such! Junior School students were left enraptured by the visiting reptiles, which you can see below. Everyone had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of creeping critters, including tortoises, stick insects, metre-long snakes and more!

Pierre Zakrzewski: Rest in Peace

It is with great sadness that St. Conleth’s College acknowledges the tragic passing of Past Pupil Pierre Zakrzewski (Class of 1984) in Ukraine. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Pierre stands in the back row of his graduating class, third from right.

Let Putin Eat Cake!

Actually, no, on second thought, he can’t have any! Our Student Council have organised two fun, and profitable, events to help those who have been hurt by the recent conflict. On the last day of school before St. Patrick’s Day, there will be a non-uniform ‘Peace Day’. In order to participate, students must bring in €2 as a donation to the Red Cross in Ukraine. There will also be a Bake Sale, hosted by Sixth Year, during break. Sixth Year will be pricing and selling the goodies, but all years are welcome to bring in baked goods to the canteen in the morning. Our ambitious goal is to raise €1000 for this great cause to help the Ukrainian refugees. To be fully clear, the theme of the day is “peace”, it is not “Ukraine day” or “anti-Russia day”. Check out the powerful but peaceful posters below, made for the event by the TYs in Art Class.

Ferg… on the Banseó!

Apparently, music does indeed ‘soothe the savage breast’ and calm the savage beast. You may think that referring to our saintly, adorable Prep Schoolers as ‘beasts’ a bit much, but you probably have not tried to cross a courtyard full of them, especially during a sugar rush from an elevenses snack! Well, Mr. Fergus O’Neill, our Senior School SEN Teacher, bravely took on the twin task of kicking off St. Conleth’s Seachtain na Gaeilge 2022 and entertaining the little darlings with some break-time plucking on the ole’ banseó. Enjoy a snippet below but also check out Mr. O’Neill, aka Ferg, on Spotify and Soundcloud, as he leads a double life as an up and coming Irish singer-songwriter. His style defies easy categorisation but the quality is undeniable, as a reviewer recently said about his third single: Raw and rhythmic, ‘In A Dream’ moves with the listener through a story of intimate honesty. A vivid take on human emotion with subtly crafted melodies backed by soft harmonic layers, this track transports the listener into the realms of the emotive experience. So, have a listen to Ferg and stay tuned for more Seachtain na Gaeilge hi-jinks!

Doing Our Part

St. Conleth’s is doing its part for the Ukraine. Little did we suspect that 83 years after the school’s founding on the eve of World War II would we, as a community, face a similar situation again, casting looks of concern, and even fear, eastwards. Well, instead of just worrying and pitying, St. Conleth’s has joined the wider Irish effort to do something about it. Students, parents, staff and alumni all contributed essential items for direct shipping to our European cousins. Mr. ODulaing, Ms. Hopkins and Secretary Rachel Lennon took the lead organising the collection and the TYs did all the heavy lifting.

Help The Ukraine!

Late notice, but here is an opportunity to help the Ukraine. Details below but please, please do not bring anything in later than Friday at 1:00 PM! Thank you.

Spring Thaw!

Things are getting back to normal in the Junior School! So-Young Yoon is back giving one-on-one paint lessons; ITC lessons continue apace with Mr. Travers; Principal Brian Nolan shows some proper stretching in the Herbo (and then leads a fitness run); and our Prepsters show they can still have a good time at the break!

Shay: The Pied Piper of St. Conleth’s!

One of the more pleasant sights and sounds that we witness daily from the covid-opened staffroom door is the one-and-only Mr. Shay Keenan leading a merry troop of Preparatory School students down to the sports hall… Shay being a central part of St. Conleth’s for nigh on a half a century, and showing no sign of slowing down!

Clear Minded!

Our Junior School Mindfulness Programme continues to grow apace! 
Head of Junior School PE Louis Magee has led Junior Infants through Second Form in a six week programme where they were involved many activities, all designed to clear their little minds of worries and open them up to more pleasant possibilities. Activities included: – Mindful Breathing Exercises (using balloons); – Mindful Colouring; Mindfulness Scavenger Hunt; -Group exercises; and  the much beloved ‘Tree of Feelings’. See some evidence below!


A Polite Lenten Push!

St. Conleth’s Chaplain Fr. Michael Collins makes the rounds, and delivers an Ash Wednesday blessing to the students. He also included some relevant anecodotes, delivered in a friendly and humourous manner, but packing a punch!

Lovin’ Life Again!

In an appetiser of the feast to come, we ended last half term with the spirit and freedom which we hope will characterise our return to ‘old skool’ ways in just a few days, and we have Mr. Lonergan and his PE Gang to thank. Mr. Carvill the Younger was the man in charge in the sports hall where he enticed TYs and Fifth Years into some holiday hoopla; Mr. ‘Grandmaster Flash’ Ingle and Evan ‘Flava Flav’ Power were on the audio and video decks in the Performance Hall, spinning a table quiz for Second Years; and Mr. Lonergan, himself, with the aid of School Captain Rory Clarke, braved the sub-freezing temperature and the dreaded Dodder wind chill to run a soccer tournament on the Astro in the Herbo. We also see below a couple of informal student performances: an impromptu lunchtime last song of Covid by a few Second Years (to an appreciative audience of Juniors) and a slightly less impromptu (…but you would not know it) Bio Rap by the Tenacious Trio of Oisín Squared and Seamus, three of the last traditionally named students in the school. Enjoy…. and get ready for Freedom Day!

Choices, Choices, Choices!

Junior School Principal Brian Nolan reports on one of the many bridges between St. Conleth’s Junior and Senior Schools.

This week our Sixth Form Transition Action Plan saw Phase 1 of our ‘Making Informed Choices’ session take place. Students heard from our resident experts Ms. Killen, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Latvis about all things Modern (and Ancient) Languages. The enthralled crowd peppered the teachers with questions related to French, Spanish, Latin and Classics and were left with a lot to consider before making their choices next month. A follow up session in March will focus on STEAM subjects. The Senior School teachers were very impressed with the maturity of the Sixth Formers and the quality of the questions: seems like we have more true scholars on the way!

Rugby Roars Again!

We missed a lot of big things these last two years and maybe one of the biggest for our youngsters was the challenge and fun of real, full sporting competition. Well, Fifth Form were finally back in competition this past weekend and the match versus Willow Park had all that we wanted , and so dearly missed: good-natured competition, sporting skill, camaraderie, fresh air and the smell of wet grass. Conleth’s Dad Cahir Davitt sent us these great pictures and we have added to them by including some action shots from training sessions during the dog days: no, Head of Junior Sport Louis Magee and his coaches did not let things just come to a standstill because of restrictions. The kids played on, limited in scope but giving it their all, down on the Herbert Park pitches. We also see some our Junior girls in action from earlier in the term, getting tips from roving Leinster specialist Grainne Vaugh.

New Kids on the Block!

This just in! After a massive, multi-biscuit bidding war between various record companies and promotional entities, we have secured the rights to DCSL’s debut single! The talent, enthusiasm and matinee looks are there for all to hear and see and they get along like a true band, clearly in sync with each other. Their career trajectory is definitely heading in only one direction. As long as they don’t forget their roots when hobnobbing with Hollywood stars at the Grammy’s. We could not take that!

School of Rock!

Afterschool Director Cecilia Franken would give that Jack Black movie character or Louis Walsh or Willy Wonka or any impressario set on liberating the imagination of children, a run for their money! Her latest caper involves the promotion of DCSL- our in-house Junior School roock band. (They prefer not to be called a ‘boy band’ but are open to image change for the right recording contract offer!) And the other participants in Afterschool are not reduced to mere audience members: as you can see below, everyone gets busy once the homework gets stowed away! Amongst many other activities we have the ‘egg in bottle experiment; ‘sprouting seeds for our sandwiches’; cookie baking; the subsequent, hilarious ‘biscuit challenge’; the ‘carrot in the box game’; the making (and eating) of Coca-Cola popsicles; the egg in vinegar/Coca Cola experiment; the maintenance of a ‘What’s Up Board’; the construction of a ‘human chain’ (Take that, Covid!); arts and crafts in various formations, and good, old-fashioned horsing around! Why else do Afterschool kids sleep so soundly at night?

Yes, That’s ‘SAINT’ Conleth’s!

There have been various attempts over the years to separate the Irish people from their ancestral faith, but such measures as the Penal Laws and Covid restrictions only served to further strengthen their resolve.

Of course, we at St. Conleth’s welcome all faiths in our student and staff body, and our Mission Statement reflects that diversity, but our ethos is firmly, and proudly, founded in the Catholic tradition. This coming week is Catholic Schools week and Mr. Lonergan has provided us with all the resources necessary to make it a special week for St. Conleth’s. Each day has its own theme and we will tweet ‘thoughts of the day’ for both Senior School and Junior School. (Below is an early glimpse of Monday’s!). Here are the official flyers for the Junior and Senior Schools, and this link has plenty of age-appropriate resources attached for both parents and teachers which will enable them to make this week spiritually significant.

Junior School
Senior School

Yuletide App-less Fun!

No, there is no ‘app’ for Afterschool! All participants in Cecilia Franken’s fun-filled festival of freedom must use their own hands, feet, eyes, ears and imaginations, and all screens are forbidden, unless the chosen activity for the day is sifting for gold in the River Dodder. How refreshing it is to see children enjoying themselves the old-fashioned way! And all this adventure time just intensifies at Christmas, as you can see below!

Secret Santa Prizes

Christmas Party Time

Masks Off… Hands On!

Exterminate: A DIY Recycling Christmas tree inspired by Doctor Who’s Dalek robots!

Art in Action!

Christmas Capers and Cuddles!

Sadly, there was no Howe/Hartnett Whole Junior School Christmas Spectacular on the stage this year, so teachers had to work even harder coming up with classroom, pod-specific Yuletide activities. Videos of those are going straight to parents but we can show you the post-production parties!

Our Senior School Parties may seem more sedate, but these were taken before the sweets kicked in!

And our Sixth Years showed the collegiality and spirit which have helped them manage remarkably well during the covid restrictions:

It’s A Given!

In recent years, a mainstay of the Junior School’s Christmas calendar has been the collection for Brother Kevin’s Capuchin Day Centre: students, parents and staff get together to collect food, toys and other suitable Christmas gifts, and the Centre makes sure they get to those who need them most. Brother Kevin and his team were particularly appreciative of the amount of donations from St Conleths this year, especially the number of toys, as he reported that a large number of families were attending and the St Conleths contributions were need and very welcome.  Junior School Principal Brian Nolan thanks all those who made this year’s donation drive for the a smashing success!

They’re Playing Basketball!

Yes, the Covid cops tried to spoil the fun but Coach Ingle used his ‘hood connections to apply some pressure and , lo and behold, we were tipping off and snapping nets, once again! Yes, indeed, the Basketball Boyz are back in town! Sean and Coach Gahan were biding their time while all this ‘hockey school’ talk was in the air, and once given the chance, they made a claim for their own sport as their U-16 B-Ball Boys returned to winning ways with a thumping of our near neighbours, St. Michael’s. Fionán Power led the way with 26 points while Dylan Cosgrave and Joe Kelleher each chipped in with 6. Of course, the U-19s were also in action, narrowly losing to the same opponent. Below you see both teams, and some action shots from earlier matches against Marian College.

And while we are talking hoops… the First and Second Year Boys have also been in action, and we must not forget the girls, who train all together on Mondays, from First through Sixth year, in one gregarious but garrulous gang. Nor are the Juniors neglected, as Coach Ingle makes sure another generation of hoop heroes are ready to take the court for St. Conleth’s when their time comes!

An Olympian in the Making

Some people’s 10% is better than others’ 100%. Or in Ronan Roche Griffin’s case, 3% can trump 100%, when applied with spirit and talent. Ronan never let his childhood cancer, which left him with 3% of vision, and in only one eye, get him down. 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, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 has transferred that swashbuckling style to the sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. He already is one of the few Conlethian alumni to get a full page article in The Times of London!

Art: On the Double!

Ms. Mellon and Ms. Halpin, Art Teachers of the Junior and Senior Schools, respectively, make for a formidable dynamic duo: the school’s walls are full of their students’ creations, testaments to both teachers mastery of helping their charges hold that difficult line, the one between impulsive creativity and enabling organisation. Ms. Mellon ran a Winter Art Competition, with each class winner taking home a ‘state of the art’ forty piece pencil set. The winners were: 1st Form- Harry McDermott; 2nd Form- Emily Freedman; 3rd Form (and overall)- Beatrice Perinati; 4th Form- Eleanor Hobbs; 5th Form- Conor Hobbs; 6th Form- Nathan Keogh.

And Ms. Halpin has been busy teaching ‘Lazy Daises’, ‘French Knots’ and ‘Rough Purls’, as her First Years enjoyed the soothing rhythms and controlled creativity of combining embroidery with seascapes. Enjoy seeing their work below!

Afterschool Ghouls… and More!

Cecilia Franken’s latest Morning Club and After-School Newsletter available right here! Catch up on all the goings-on from September and October, including Halloween and a whole lot more!

Masks On! It’s Halloween!

Yes, some have tried to cancel Halloween, but luckily Principal Brian Nolan did not get the memo and, if anything, the Junior School’s Halloween celebrations were more horrible, horrific, horrendous, haunting and hilarious than ever! The students themselves, powered by twenty months of restraint, and approximately 1.2 kg of glucose each, rose to the occasion like so many zombies from the grave. And the individual class teachers, and our very own Morticia Addams- Cecilia Franken, were there to urge them on, finally enjoying the wearing of masks and the sight of horrors larger than that pesky, minuscule virus. So, before you go tricking and/or treating (from a safe distance… we suggest hand grenades!) have a gander at the various ghoulish but gregarious goings-on before the break!

Prepsters Assemble and the Puffy Monster Race!

Best Home-Made Halloween Costume Competition 2021

Afterschool Ghouls!

Halloween Happenings!

What… me worry?

Unfortunately, Alfred E. Neuman’s famous motto is no longer universally shared, even amongst the youngest of our children, who have grown up in a more complicated world in general, and then had Covid hysteria descend like a fog on their bright horizons. But here comes Louis Magee, a gentle giant of a guru, to the rescue! Junior and Senior Infants and First, Second and Third Forms have all enjoyed a seven week Mindfulness course which helped puncture that gloom. Activities included Mindful colouring competitions, breathing exercises and thinking deeply… but not too deeply! Want a dose of a true vaccine: take a peek into one of our Prep School classrooms, or, even better, the yard at break-time. Nothing will fill your mind with more joy than to see the youngest Conlethians loving life and school, again. Up next for Magee, the Mindful Magician: Third through Sixth Forms!

All Hail Halloween!

Creeping, creepy Americanism or just a good bit of fun, Halloween has rocketed up the charts as a favoured holiday in Ireland in recent years, no doubt in part to the enthusiasm with which it is celebrated at St. Conleth’s. And leading the way has been Cecilia and her After-School Ghouls.

And this year, more than any other, we need a particularly smashing Samhain to banish the last vestiges of that lingering ghost whose name we shall not say. Cecilia has come up with a brilliant competition, the details of which are above, and below are some photos of some eager Afterschoolers, already off the mark with their Halloween decoration creation!


Remember the butterflies? The worms? The chicks? No, these are not plagues from the Old Testament, sent to harrrow Pharaoh: these are references to the many wonderful creatures which Cecilia has arranged to visit St. Conleth’s After-School Programme, and the junior School as a whole. Thomas, the Yellow-Striped Slider Turtle, was our latest guest and he certainly won over the crowd with his coolness (of blood and otherwise) and his scant care for anything inedible, including morbid covidity!

Afterschool Cool!

Cecilia Franken, our After-School Manager, runs such an exciting and interesting programme for our Junior School students that we often see Senior School Students (and some teachers, too!) looking on longingly from the sidelines. Yes, they are a bit too long in the tooth but who would not want to join Cecilia’s merry troop of lost boys and girls as they get their homework done and then climb, cook, cackle, create, cuddle and, basically, live the ‘can-do’ life! Hopefully, Cecilia’s Morning Club will also soon be open again, and the kids can bookend their days with a host of activities that will make them happy, and just as importantly… tired at bed-time!

Holier Than Now

Yes, by Saturday afternoon, all these little devils will be a good bit holier, having made their First Holy Communion at St. Mary’s Church. To be fair, they deserved the chance to let off a bit of steam, having missed out on so much, including this important sacrament, because of Covid, and even now, with the planned celebrations a bit restrained because of the safety protocols… not that any of that seemed to bother the kids themselves! if you were within 100 miles of St. Mary’s Home on Friday afternoon, the shouts of mischief and joy were evidence, loud and clear, that the communion candidates’ spirits were anything but cowed by covid! A big ‘thank-you’ to Ms. Dillon, Ms. Coleman, Mr. O’Brien, Fr. Fachtna and Fr. Michael for getting the boys and girls ready and the JSPA for the treats. And who baked those fancy cupcakes for the communicants? None other than Kate Green of the Class of 2015! Kate is making quite a name for herself in the creative confectionary business, with both Roly’s and Neven Maguire on the CV, and her own cakery side business rising nicely. See you at St. Mary’s on Saturday!

Great Sports!

We mentioned below how the St. Conleth’s rugby and hockey teams have hit the ground running, and we are soon to hear from the basketball teams, too, but sport at St. Conleth’s involves a lot more than the extramural teams. In fact, winning matches is great, but we are probably even prouder that all our students are encouraged to enjoy physical education and sport of the more everyday kind: in classes with Mr. Lonergan and the other PE teachers, at training sessions with the various coaches, on ‘Wellbeing’ brisk walks and even at break-time in the yard. Here are just a few snaps of what is going on at St. Conleth’s everyday, in a sporting way:

1) Shay Keenan, St. Conleth’s Games Master/Coach/Absolute Legend, gets the Sixth Year soccer boys lined up for a proper team photo at the grand re-opening of the Herbert Park Astro. They look great: a shame they will be crushed by the Staff Team in May!

2-3) Both the Transition Year girls and the boys get the opportunity to help improve St. Conleth’s sporting acumen. The girls are great helping Ms. Leary coach the Juniors… and the boys get to do Gav’s laundry!

4) Coaches Ingle and Gahan get the Basketball girls ready for the season, which is just about to tip off!

The Great Outdoors!

These last couple of days have been a bit nippy but the sun is still shining and we at St. Conleth’s Junior and Preparatory School will continue to make great use of the fine weather and get outdoors in that fresh, germ-free air, especially as we have acquired access to the green spaces of St. Mary’s Home: our own ‘secret garden’, right next door! But, apparently, the secret is out, as you can see! Pat Howe has taken his Speech and Drama classes al fresco, as has Sensei Ed Charmont with his high-kicking karate kids and Elaine Chapman with her Dance Class. And Shay Keenan takes the Prepsters through the gates for PE, as another generation benefits from this Conlethian legend. Is it all hustle and bustle? Not at all, as we realise the benefit of a bit of mindful relaxation in the sun, as the three old-timers pictured last in the scroll below have clearly copped on to!

Barney and Mr. Nolan Agree!

Clean Up! Clean Up!
Everybody, Everywhere.
Clean Up! Clean Up!
Everybody do your share!

Yes, the purple dinosaur may not quite be the dominant force in children’s television (and lives) that he was in the Cretaceous Period or the 1990s but his catchy little tune still rings true: we can all make a positive difference in our local environment by just pitching in. The Senior School is currently reinvigorating their Green School campaign and Junior School Principal Mr. Nolan has enlisted eager Sixth Formers in following a basic, but essential tenet of environmentalism: Start Locally. The clean-up crew not only makes the yard and playground a better place: they also help themselves, engaging in an activity that helps them develop self-reliance and independence, important attributes as they get ready to make the transition to the Senior School. Yes, Sixth Formers are probably too old for even the friendliest carnivorous thunder-lizard ever, but if you happen to be in the yard early in the morning while the boys and girls are doing their duty, you might hear the faintest of tunes being hummed as they go along!

Colourful Kids!

Junior School Art Teacher Orla Mellon always has a grand design in mind when she enters the classroom, and that has only intensified since relocating to the old chapel in the former St. Mary’s Home. The high-arching windows let in the light and spark the imagination of both Ms. Mellon and her charges. The current project involves ‘colour theory’ and it encourages the students to learn about the variety and range of colours, and the way you can mix them to create even more. After all this practice and exploration with colour, each child artist will contribute a multi-coloured feather to a giant, collective figure of a bird which will almost take flight, such is the energy and creativity that empowers it. All the Juniors are taking part, but we caught Second Form in action. Stay tuned for the finished product!

After-School Cool!

What could possibly be better than spending five to six hours in St. Conleth’s Junior School, certainly the coolest private Catholic primary school in town? Why, extending that stay either backwards of forwards, by an hour or two! Morning Club and Afterschool Director Cecilia Franken and her team are up to their old tricks: making pre- and post- school-time as much fun as possible, with an energetic mixture of learning and fun… with emphasis on the latter! Here are just a few pics of what shenanigans they get up to!

Park Life

One good habit that has developed during covidity has been the growth in Conlethian usage of Herbert Park. We had always treated ‘Herbo’ as our adjunct classroom: making use of the greens spaces and fresh air for honest pedagogical reasons… or just to give the kids (and teachers) a bit of a break. And because of the rather annoying covid contingencies such as mask-wearing and inside social-distancing, we have really colonised the place since the first skiers returned from northern Italy with a persistent cough. Some teachers have gone al fresco with gusto: Classics has returned to its ancient outdoor classroom roots; Wellbeing nearly always involves a walk; and the PE department has made the green fields of Ballsbridge (and the take-away lattes of Lolly’s) their own. This academic year, thanks to both the good weather and lingering mask-wearing, has also seen heavy Herbo usage.

Above, you see Mr. O’Brien assemble a troop of willing adventurers to embark to the park while Mr. Sheridan’s Fifth Form opt for story-time in a bucolic Ballsbridge setting. And our Seniors often bump into the Juniors (without touching) on the winding paths: Mr. Callaghan, expert entomologist, leads his Science class on a bug-hunting trip; Mr. Lonergan teaches the exciting and energetic (but less contacty) sport of Ultimate Frisbee; and 3C assemble for Class Captain speeches and vote (Liam, speaking here, was chosen as Vice with Finley taking the captaincy). A multi-use space, indeed, but what do we do when the rains come in?

JI’s Smooth Settle!

What… me worry? Well, you naturally do on the first day of school, especially if you are starting Junior Infants… or dropping off your first child for the first time to attempt such such a grand step. Such feelings of hesitancy evaporated very quickly last week as Ms. Dolores Kelly welcomed her charges with her usual grace and aplomb and left Mr. Kilcommons and Mr. Nolan to handle perhaps the more fragile if intensely friendly crowd of slightly worried parents. But moms and dads certainly put on brave faces at the door and they quickly found solace in a cup of coffee and the sharing of the experience: the first of many occasions when, as St. Conleth’s parents, they will band together. There was also the slow dawning of another realisation: the kids were gone for a few hours, maybe for the first time in years! Roly’s must have been rollicking until pickup time.

Meanwhile, the Junior Infants themselves were settling in as Ms. Kelly and Cecilia (our Afterschool Programme Manager) quickly made the boys and girls feel at home but also feel something brand new and exciting: they were at school and the adventure was just beginning!

First Days: Fun Days!

Bittersweet is the first day of school: a bit bitter as parents bid farewell to their near constant summertime companions and whole lot of sweet… as parents bid farewell to their near constant summertime companions! Our newly appointed school leaders, Junior Principal Brian Nolan and St. Conleth’s CEO Tony Kilcommons, were there to take the youngsters off their hands and our teachers got straight to work with them in the sparkling clean classrooms.