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!

Buzz, Buzz…

You would think that Mr. Carvill The Younger would be the last to fall for the old honeypot trick, but when Rose showed up from the Dublin Beekeepers Association he was as gaga as Barry B. Benson when he first caught sight of Vanessa, and the fact that this visiting veteran apiarist was carting all sorts of cool beekeeping equipment and gadgets and gear meant that there was also one suddenly smitten young biologist/amateur mellitologist!

And the TYs were soon won over too, as Rose gave a fascinating presentation on all aspects of beekeeping and allowed the students to try on what ha story be the coolest costumes this side of a ninja-yoroi. And Rose even pointed out that… according to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. It’s wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway, because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible!

Do Touch!

Too often, especially during Covidity, we retreat to the easier option of not getting too involved: don’t get too close, don’t touch, don’t get infected. But life, and learning, is about getting to grips with things… literally, sometimes. And we at St. Conleth’s, truly support the educational philosophy which underpins the new Junior Cycle syllabi: ‘hands-on learning’. Here we see manual dexterity from both sides of the brain: a cool cinematic special effects workshop from Ms. McGuinness’s Second Year Artistic Performance Class and Mr. Callaghan’s Science class discovering the simple but stunning sights of onion seeds under the microscope. Time to get down and dirty!

No Free Lunch!

First Years daily enjoy Chef Mark and Emerson’s canteen concoctions but occasionally they do have to earn it! Below we see them feasting on the daily delights, and each other’s company, but also sitting the CAT-4 tests with Guidance Guru Mr. Weldon which, upon completion, provide a useful snapshot of each child’s abilities and interests. Yes, First Year is a lot of fun, but formative assessment has its place… as well as Thursday’s burgers and chips!

Of Faith… and Fun!

Rapid changes in technology, and our society as a whole, have made the currents students’ attitudes sometimes seem very foreign to those of us of previous generations, even for such relatively young teachers at ourselves! We remember the tantalising promise of ‘We will watch a filmstrip in class if you are good…’ being met with barely suppressed yelps of intense excitement, and glared silent warnings at the messers that might derail this rare break from the routine… even if the filmstrip was akin to the one memorably mocked on the Simpsons: Meat and You: Partners in Freedom. Nowadays, the visually sated kids react with a bored shrug if you promise a YouTube video. Whatever.

Retreats, the same. Yes, we did think the Kumbaya sing-along sessions were a bit cringy, but we got to go somewhere and do something different! And maybe, just maybe learn something about ourselves. Nowadays: groans. Well, the young men and women at An Tobar Nua may have just changed that. Our First Years will soon be enjoying a day of faith and fun with this dynamic group, just as Second and Third Years did in recent weeks, and the reviews have been rave. Our Religion Department, namely Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Lonergan, have found the perfect antidote to students with low energy levels and, perhaps, a lack of a faith-filled background: a retreat that is large parts fun and ‘generally’ applicable, yet also true to our Christian ethos and mission. And only one verse of ‘Kumbaya’!

TYred?

Well, maybe you should change out of your pyjamas and slippers before you log on to work from your comfy little wingback? Just think how exhausted your TY sons and daughters are: taking a full slate of academic classes as well as special courses such as Sign Language and Fencing and then being dragged around the place every other Thursday afternoon! Tired, yes, but good and TYred! Just two examples of the stuffed-to-bursting-point TY schedule below: They get into the holiday mood, making papier mache pumpkins with Ms. Halpin in Art Class but eschewing the predictable orange for cool ‘cadet gray’ and they venture to the Botanic gardens where the boys and girls received expert guidance from Ms. Halpin (a glutton for punishment!), as they enjoyed the Sculpture in Context exhibition… and the local wildlife!

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!

Turtle-Time!

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!

Adventure Time with Gav!

Yes, Peru has unfortunately been parked by Covid contingencies, but that will not stop intrepid adventurer and explorer Gav Maguire from leading our students on the trip of their lifetimes! Someplace closer to home, but just as enticing has been chosen for Expedition 2022: Slovenia. Yes, it is often confused with Slovakia as they are two of the many Slavic nations which routinely outclass us in soccer, but after watching the presentation below, you will realise that Slovenia clearly deserves to be distinguished! True Adventures are our partners this time, and they have cooked up the perfect plan for thrilling and maturing our willing Gav Maguire protégées!

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!

Art Kid Kool

No, it was not open auditions for The Breakfast Club re-boot, but, yes, our art kids are certainly proud of being in the vanguard of alternative nation. And having Mr. Simon Toal along for the ride is not quite like bringing a Business Teacher, or actuary, along to keep everyone in line and on budget. Good thing Art Teacher Ms. Halpin, the Countess of Creativity but also the Queen of Common Sense, was there to get everyone back to earth safely, after visits to the ‘Sculpture in Context’ installation at the National Botanic Gardens and, later, to the National Gallery’s Jack B. Yeats exhibition. Mr. Toal was actually quite helpful on the Glasnevin leg of the trip, as he is a local and speaks the language… that is, until he tried to enter a sculpture which he claimed resembled a rudimentary TARDIS.

Seriously, it was an eye-opening trip to the Tolka watershed, as the rain held off, the sun shone and the art came alive in the landscape. Such was the experience that we are pretty sure that someone in this crowd will end up studying sculpture, maybe at St. Martin’s College. And then, to top it off, the exhibition of an Irish artistic institution: Jack B. Yeats. Yes, there is a singular piece hanging nearer by, but to see so many masterpieces together, certainly made it worth the trip. Never you mind that ‘jock school’ stuff!

Wound Art

Puss-filled blisters, bleeding sores, open wounds, angry rashes… newly discovered symptoms of The Covid? Nah… just some cool cinematic special effects from Ms. McGuinness’s Third Year Artistic Performance Class. Yes, we have all met long-suffering artist type, but usually the only physical effects of their suffering are our sore ears, subjected to all that moaning, but Ms. McGuinness and her charges have really brought out the pain of artistic performance… and all ‘home-made’ from simple ingredients in room 2.6! Watch out, Industrial Light & Magic!

Lock and Load!

Many years, in fact, decades ago, when Transition Year Elder Gavin Maguire was a young lad, of about 17 or 18 years old, he was absolutely obsessed with the US military. Every Saturday, and all summer long, would be spent dressed up in American army fatigues and toting a toy M16, and young Corporal Maguire would scour his Blackrock cul-de-sac doing recon for his superior officers, who were safely ensconced back on the base in young Gav’s imagination. But people move on and grow up, and with Gav’s politics having slidden to the left: he now spends his off-time in his UN ‘blue cap’ replica uniform, complete with replica rice bag. But, boy, there is something in the old toy guns that brings us back to them, again and again! Case in point: the TY’s trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre. Yes, we expected a feverish if slightly clumsy eagerness from the Fortnite enthusiasts, but even the boys who talk to girls were gung-ho for the Laser Combat! And not just the boys either, as Ms. Speller, as super-powered as the Black Widow, ditched the Swiss Army knife, picked up a bazooka and led a gang of TY women warriors on the rampage!

It was not all combat, though. In fact, the theme of the trip was team-building and togetherness and besides the many social occasions (stretching well into the wee hours) there were organised exercises, such as orienteering, hill-walking, Skypark, rock climbing and Ziptopia, which emphasised co-operation and support for your friends and classmates. And though the youngsters somehow still had energy to chat and giggle and keep Mr. Morris busy, there was one high-ranking officer, in his blue night-cap, who hit the bunk early and snored the night away!

Like Princess Di and various Kardashians, Micheál Sweeney just commands the camera lens, so much so that we have put together his very own slider. Next time, in order to save on film costs, we just might find a camera-person who is not so enamoured with Micheál… if such a person exists!

Jock School?

Art School? Music School? Debating School? Yes, we could be classified as any, or all, of those but maybe we need to reconsider and re-market ourselves…. as the neighbourhood jocks! So, stand aside when the boys and girls in black, yellow and green come sauntering into the DART station- we want that space to flex and pose, and we will have it! Okay… not very likely: our students are too mannerly to strut and strop like that, but we would have every right to! Just look at our recent results and add three more wins from Wednesday. Coach Speller’s Junior Hockey girls squeaked past St. Raphaela’s 1-0 in a close match, with Isabella Donlon assisting on Roisín Ingle’s goal and the rugby teams won the double over Newpark, with both the JCT and First Years winning close, fairly fought games. We certainly don’t want to lose our reputation for our creativity and intellect, but it is not bad being the big boys (and girls) on campus, too!

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!

Idle Hands…

Well, in Transition Year at St. Conleth’s, we really don’t have to worry about the conclusion of that old proverb because the TY students are never idle: their hands or their brains or any other part of their body. Currently, they are enjoying Carlingford Adventure Centre but we will have to wait for news and pictures of their cool Cooley kicks. in the meantime, take a look at just two of the many active courses in which the boys and girls take part during the regular school day: fencing and sign language. It is such a joy to visit both halves of TY and not hear a solitary vocal sound! Maître Aaron puts them through their paces in full fencing gear and only the beeps and buzzes of the electronic scoring, and the shuffling of sneakers on gym floor can be heard. And Jenny teaches them sign language… through the language itself. ‘Talk’ about total immersion! What a joy to return to Victorian values: TYs should be seen, and not heard!

Moral Victories!

Now, we are not saying that the SCT headed into their first match of the season as absolute underdogs as the European Ryder Cup Team when they faced off against the stronger, more accurate, louder, more handsome and trimmer USA team but we were facing Templeogue, a much bigger school and one with quite a rugby pedigree. But Coaches Louis, Ger and Callum and the boys were certainly not intimidated and they all hit their tackles, ran their lines and heaved their scrums with the enthusiasm, if not quite the mass, of Shane Lowry. The boys kept it very close, with Luke O’Keeffe providing a spark off the bench, and climbed within two points before it got away. Overall, a good, hard-fought match and, with quite a young, a harbinger for better days to come.

The Junior Girls Hockey Team also earned a moral victory with their 2-2 draw with Sandford Park. Juliet Donnelly found the net twice with stylish goals but it was a real, strong team effort, with girls from different years melding together into a true team effort. Coaches Helen Speller and Jules Dale were thrilled with the progress shown. All that summer training is paying off! Particularly impressive was Leinster-chosen Lucy McGoldrick in goals, repeatedly stymying the opposition with stunning saves.

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!

Bray Rave

There comes a time in every world class athlete’s life when he or she must acknowledge the march of time and take a step back from the front lines. Ronaldo has prospered by moving to the 9 while Messi is struggling with his new role at PSG. TY Co-Ordinators are very similar to world class athletes: the adulation, the pay, the paparazzi. But also the effects of the indomitable effects of ageing. Luckily for St. Conleth’s, our TY Co-Ordinator Extraordinaire, Gav Maguire, is taking these changes with good grace. In his younger days, he would accompany his TY charges on all their trips, from Donegal to Dingle, while spending his summers marauding across Mongolia or kicking his heels on Kilimanjaro.

But now, with early middle age settling in, he has learned of the magical concept known as ‘delegation’ and entrusted the weekly Thursday trips to younger, spryer colleagues such as Pat McGrath and Ger Cummiskey. This year, Louise Halpin and Sean Ingle have stepped up to the mark and this combination of the artist’s eye and the athlete’s regimen should prove particularly helpful in marshalling our eager but dawdling adolescents to worthy sights across the hinterland of Dublin. Already, they have a Greystones to Bray Day in the books and the photos tell us a good time was had by all. But have no fear: Gav is not done with intrepid exploring! Like David Attenborough, this fellow just can’t resist the grand tour. Peru 2021 is still on the agenda!

Jolly Ho, Jules!

In the short years since Hockey Czarina Speller first brought hockey to St. Conleth’s, there have already been several Cups, Shields and plaques added to the trophy cabinet, watched over, woodenly but joyfully, by St. Conleth of The Foyer. We so quickly became a ‘hockey school’ that it is easy to forget how far, and how fast we have come. And the fact that our Senior team opened this season with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Sandford Park is a tribute to that legacy: our still-small numbers make fielding a senior team a challenge, yet we make up in quality of effort and coaching what we lack in quantity of players. Helping Coach Speller lately has been Julian Dale, famous Irish international player and cutting-edge coach. Already, we can see a difference in the confidence and cunning with which the girls are making runs, playing passes and taking shots. Caioimhe Moore scored a scorcher and Lucia Waldron netted a brace: two Fifth Years, which bodes well for the future. And it looks like jolly hockey sticks are set to continue for the younger teams, too. First Years are turning out for training in their droves. Stay tuned!

Sophomore Smash!

If anyone had the ‘pleasure’ of supervising First Years at lunchtime last year knows, the boys and girls have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, especially of the running around and running into each other kind: perfectly normal and normally to be encouraged. but potentially bubonic during plague times. Keeping rats on a sinking ship is easier than maintaining social distance amongst this crowd! Well, they all survived and now with the return of after-school sport, the now Second Years have been given full reign to go out and run in to things- like the St. Michael’s rugby players, for instance. To be fair, the Michael’s boys made the first rugby match of the season a close-run affair, but with the might and bulk of players like Rían Wickham and Paul Jackson and the slashing moves of Ross Weatherley, the Kirwan Bros. and Diego O’Reilly, the Conleth’s boys were able to nip it in the end, chalking up a win under then guidance of Head of Sport Ciaran Smith and his coaching team. Now, hopefully we will get a more sedate crowd at lunchtime!

Jack Kirwan

Where you grew up…

I grew up in Killiney right beside the sea. Getting a few extra minutes of sleep on the DART each day before the walk to school is something I’ll always remember fondly. Attending secondary school near the city centre was somewhat of an adjustment for me but being able to listen to music through my headphones on my “long” journey eased the trip magnificently. 

How you came to be at St. Conleth’s…

I remember not really minding where my parents decided to send me to secondary school. I didn’t know a lot about St.Conleths but I heard a couple of the lads from my primary school would also be attending which eased my anxieties. When the idea of St.Conleths was presented to me I hadn’t a clue what the school embodied but the moment Mr.Kelleher handed me a packet of smarties after my interview I would say that helped aid in my decision making process exponentially.

I would say the fact that the school was small and mixed were enticing aspects for my parents. I think having no particular interest in sport, it was also important that the school I attended taught art and music which I had always had strong interests in.

Class of 2014

Favourite and/or least favourite subject in school…

4th Year work
Jack's handy work
Jack’s Handy work

My favorite subject by far would have to have been art. The art room was where I felt most comfortable and confident during my time at Conleths. I would say I knew by third year that art was definitely something that I knew I wanted to pursue after secondary school. Ms.Halpin had a huge influence on my decision to study art in college. Instead of taking a year out to do a portfolio course after sixth year, I decided to give it a go during my final year. I would never have been able to complete a portfolio worth submitting if it wasn’t for Ms.Halpin’s help. She would stay back after class most weeks to help me edit and work on different aspects of my work and I’ll always be grateful for that. The support I felt from Ms.Halpin and other teachers in school was something I possibly took for granted at the time but now I’m fully able to appreciate just how much that support has helped me over the years.

Having art class to look forward to in the timetable was always a relief to see. Being able to express myself visually and artistically during school hours created a balance that helped me get through the day. Knowing I had art to look forward to during a double period of double maths helped more than I can say.

Fondest memory of St. Conleth’s…

Jack singing in Irish with Evan Byrne
Jack singing in Irish with Evan Kennedy

I think a lot of people wouldn’t agree with me but I’ll always remember 6th year fondly. I’m still extremely grateful for the classmates I was put together with as some of them remain to be my closest friends to this day. Navigating adolescence and becoming adults together is a bond I think most of us will appreciate for a very long time.

The short period of time between finishing up classes in 6th year and preparing for graduation is a fleeting moment that sticks out in my head. Being able to celebrate our time at St. Conleth’s and the bonds we had made before that final push for the Leaving Cert was quite special. I’ll always remember the anxious fits of laughter everyone shared while prepping for the ceremony and reassuring each other everything would work out in the end.

Being able to go back to the school for the 5 year anniversary with my classmates was a surreal experience. Sitting in our old desks and viscerally remembering specific moments during class was an occasion I’ll never forget.  

Who/what influenced you to pursue your chosen field…

I had always been interested in animation from a young age. I can remember watching countless DVDs and clicking on the bonus features after the credits had ended to find out more about how each film was made. Watching the animators in their studios coming up with plots and character designs was extremely inspiring.

I knew I wanted to pursue art after my time at Conleths but was never sure on which exact path to take. Being able to have a career and a salary was something I knew would be extra difficult when choosing this field but when I saw the animation course in the IADT prospectus I knew straight away it was the one for me. I also knew that by attending an institute like IADT that supported their student’s artistic explorations I would learn more about myself than I had before.

Tell us about your education/ career path…

Luckily, I got enough points in my Leaving Certificate as well as enough points in my Portfolio to get into Animation in IADT. For some reason I think in the back of my head I thought getting into art college would be the hardest part but the next four years were a lot more tough than I had expected. The imposter syndrome hit me like a tonne of bricks as I started attending lectures and tutorials with other art students surrounding me. Thankfully I kept working hard and getting through each semester until reaching my final year.

I teamed up with Éabha, my now creative partner and decided to direct and produce our own grad film, The Usual, which turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve made. The film went on to win the award for Best First Short Animation at the Galway Film Fleadh that year. Because of this, we got to attend multiple film festivals nationally and internationally which inspired us even more to keep pursuing careers in animation.

The success of my grad film helped me to get a job quite quickly with Radii Animation just around the corner from St.Conleths where I am currently creating and directing my fourth film as we speak.

Proudest achievement to date…

I think for sure my proudest achievement to date would have to be winning an IFTA at this year’s virtual ceremony. Myself and my co-director, Éabha Bortolozzo picked up the award for Best Animated Short Film for directing our second piece of work, Her Song.

Her Song

Apart from being in shock for winning the award I was extremely grateful our film won because of the subject matter that the film revolves around. Her Song is produced by Radii Animation in conjunction with Screen Ireland and RTÉ. The film sees the main character, Eve learning of her Grandmother’s harrowing history in a Mother & Baby home. Woven through her past is the mythological and misunderstood figure of the Banshee, whose comforting presence inspires the strength she needs to tell her story. Being able to highlight the dreadful issues associated with the Mother & Baby Homes to the public was our main goal with this film. For me, using animation to feature important issues to its viewers is a lot more interesting than using the medium for cartoons and children’s entertainment.

Aspirations for the future…

At the moment I’m really enjoying my field of work. I won’t lie though, the first year of the pandemic was quite a tough experience for a young filmmaker in Ireland looking for work. Thankfully I got to take the time to work on my craft and explore different avenues which have led to very rewarding and exciting experiences. For now I want to keep making films through animation that leave audiences with something to think about and stay with them after they leave the theatre. I want to keep pushing my craft and being open to any opportunity that comes my way. I believe that Irish people are some of the best storytellers out there and I would love to eventually bring more of our stories to light.

Advice for people wanting to work in your sector/ general advice…

I’m not sure if I feel old enough yet for me to have a reputable answer for this specific question but I can certainly give it a go.

If I was talking to a student currently attending St.Conleths who was worried about which path to take after their time at school, I would firstly tell them to relax. Because of St.Conleths academic reputation I think it could be quite easy to think that you may have to go down a path that you are not inspired by. The support that I felt from the school when I was open about what I wanted to pursue was extremely comforting. Students that I know from my time at Conleths have gone on to explore exceptionally interesting avenues in their careers. I believe that if you have the potential to work in an area that seems overwhelmingly niche at first, you should give it your all. St.Conleths is a great support system which I will always be thankful for.

Mushroom to Improve!

We are quite fond of twisting the latest news we receive into the corniest headlines, but in this case Third Year Charlie Plant and his Science teacher Seamus Callaghan did all the work for us. ‘Mushroom to Improve’ refers to Charlie’s award-winning ecology project in which he explored the potential use of mushroom mycelium and waste materials to produce more eco-friendly packaging.

SciFest 2021 judged the project to be worthy of an Outstanding Achievement Award in their regional finals and the certificate just a roved in the post. One thing is certain, there is not much room for improvement for Charlie and Mr. Callaghan’s scientific research expertise, but rumour has it that the dynamic duo are currently woking on modifying an old Delorean sports car so that it can travel…

Captains Covid Courageous!

Whom do you trust to lead us from this microviral morass? School Captain Rory Clarke and Vice Captains Evan Power and Hannah O’Sullivan, that’s who! Now, with gleaming badges! These are the last cohort of student officers to have benefited from experiencing the great Kevin D. Kelleher in person. His legacy lives on! Princeps Fidelis, Magister Fortis!

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!

Wish We Could Turn Back Time…

…to the good old days. When we would spend a good portion of Philosophy class admiring a classmate’s precarious coloured pencil structure. Ah yes, life gets more complicated as you age, even when you are still at school. Last week the Fifth and Sixth Years ‘enjoyed’ Study Seminars which gave the students practical tips on how to get through the whole ‘Leaving Certificate/CAO/Growing Up’ thing that awaits us all.

To be fair, there is a pretty nice reward at the end: you get to do what you want to do, and the seminars presented by the professionals from The Super Generation certainly pointed them in the right direction (Fact Sheet). But it all is a bit more stressful than being in First Year, where your biggest worries are getting a primo spot on the canteen line and, yes, maintaining your precarious coloured pencil structure in Philosophy class. Well done, Inez!

Inez presents Grand Designs

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?

Monkeys go to Uni!

One more bit of ‘results news’: if ‘Monkey (or Piggy) in the Middle’ were an Olympic sport, these boys would be medal contenders! Over their years at St. Conleth’s, every chance they got, they took: to grab an old rugby ball and find a spot between the school management’s late model executive salons and play the timeless game to their hearts’ content (sometimes well into the start of the next period).

Their styles differed with Nathan using his height and intimidating ‘hawk eyes’ to scare opponents into fumbling; Stephen claiming special privileges due to his Screen Actors’ Guild membership; Robert using Jedi mind tricks; and Matthew applying his maths and physics acumen to figure out the trajectories of the ball; of course, they were usually joined by Harry, with his dangerous, blood-freezing smile and Fergal, the whirling dervish of ‘Monkey in the Middle’. You could never separate these good buddies by much, except by a few feet when they were playing the game at break-time. And the LC barely did, either: four of the boys finished exactly one point apart, with the rather impressive spread going from 519-522. So, the game lives on, maybe spread across a few campuses, but we shall always look out at break-time and think of a bunch of good-natured boys enjoying themselves in the prime of their lives and destined for even better days.

Of Points and Plans!

There is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition, especially when the end result is a shared victory.  On Leaving Certificate Results Day, in a sense, everyone is a winner as everyone gets that piece of paper which serves as a key in unlocking their future.  Obviously, there is always a range of results and myriad paths forward.  We congratulate all of the Class of 2021 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to challenges posed by the Covid contingencies.  We particularly congratulate Dylan Alves, Ted O’Kelly and Sophie Lee, who all managed to garnish the full quota of 625 points on offer and finish in a draw atop the class and the nation.  These perfect scholars, but also perfect gentlemen and lady, will be headed where they want to go come late September, as will the rest of our recent graduates and we wish them all well at university and beyond.  Stay tuned as we await news of offers and acceptances and a more detailed breakdown of results.

When is Midterm Break?

Actually that favoured retort of the class wit did not pop up this year when the Form Teachers settled in their charges, went through the rules and procedures and asked ‘Are there any questions?’ Maybe covid compliance has actually convinced them all of the value of getting back to school… and life as used to be. Our Fifth and Sixth Year students certainly seemed more willing to pause, if not pose, for the camera.: definitely suffusing ‘cool’… but not too much for school!

And we caught our younger years still in class and behind masks, ready to get on with the business. You may not be able to see it, but you could feel the energy and enthusiasm emanating through the layers of protective gauze. And with news that all sports and activities are back, all Conlethians are looking forward to savouring a term of near-normalcy, made even more special by the way recent events have made us value the simple good things in life. Like midterm break, which commences on Friday, October 22nd!

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!

Sailors, Ahoy!

Yes, it was the Irish rowers grabbed Olympic glory over the summer but we believe we have, right here at St. Conleth’s, a few talented and experienced sailors who may soon be piloting their svelte-hulled vessels through the spray of the whitecaps towards international glory. Conleth’s parent Rowena Bolger kindly brings us up to date with the maritime exploits of Russell Bolger, Daniel O’Connor and Louis McGovern.

Russell Bolger competed in the Laser 4.7 Worlds which were held in the Royal St George and National Yacht Club in August 21. It was a gruelling 6 days of sailing with teams competing from all over the world. Russell Bolger (TY) and Daniel O’Connor (3rd Yr.) competed and represented Ireland. They made the silver fleet and reached 34th and 49th place respectively, very respectable scores indeed. They are pictured here below with the other Team Ireland competitors. 

Russell competed in the 29erNationals as on the 3rd and 4th July, his first ever event. The 29er is the high performing skiff. He sails with his long standing sailing pal Peter Williams.  The The Elmo Cup was held in the Royal St George at the weekend and of course Daniel and Russell competed along with Louis Mcgovern(TY). The 29er team Russell and Louis’ team, the 29ers were runners up, losing by inches in the last 2 races. Pictured here receiving their prizes from Daniel’s dad, the current commodore of the RSGYClub. I’m sure Daniel is glad to back Laser sailing along with his brother Robert and Russell and Louis are delighted to be back in the exciting 29er. Good luck to Russell and Louis who compete in the RYNA Youth championships in Carraigfergus on the 11th Sept 21. 

Hooray! Afterschool Study Starts Monday!

Time to face facts: summer is over and it is time to get some work done! But the worst part of ‘work’ is not working at all… but dodging, delaying, dithering and dilly-dallying, instead. Once you start doing your homework and your necessary revision, you will realise how manageable it all is… so just get started! One way which may ‘work’ for you is attending ‘Supervised Study’. There are two separate ‘programmes’:    Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ which is open to everyone and runs from 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed.  Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’ (only for 5th and 6th Years) runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Mondays and Thursdays. Here are all the details. You must sign-up and pay for each programme separately through Easypayments Plus. After-School Study starts on Monday (6/9) and Night Study on Monday (13/9). Yay!

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.

But school, at least at St. Conleth’s, is also about the education of the yard, the canteen and the hallways, where students are encouraged to mix freely (within their pods!) and imaginatively. Each year we seem to have a bit more space, a bit more light to encourage the growth of young minds and bodies. Yes, the Juniors are off and running, but stay tuned as our Seniors start to arrive!

We’re Back!

Back to school blues? Well, spare a thought for those who are not lucky enough to attend, or work at, St. Conleth’s College! Here are the important start dates for Juniors and Seniors.

Juniors

Seniors

Of course, the School Calendars and Booklists can always be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ (scroll down for booklists!) along with information about Uniform and the Canteen.  For your convenience, we have also included PDFs of the calendars below. See you at No. 28, Clyde Road!

Senior School Calendar 2021-2022

Junior School Calendar 2021-2022

Star of Track and Field

The so-titled pop song is a bit ambiguous about its subject but we are not, especially when in praise of TY Luke Timlin who is running and jumping to greater heights (and speeds and lengths!) each time he dons the racing flats. Luke has already run to Leinster and All-Ireland glory, never mind dominating the Conleth’s Sports Days like a certain youngster named Usain did at the William Knibb Memorial High School in Jamaica. Well, while the rest of us were sitting on the couch and eating crisps while watching the Olympics, Luke was out training and competing, and succeeding to the extent that perhaps we may some day be again eating crisps on the couch- but watching Luke run and jump for Ireland! In early August, at the National Age Group Championships in Tullamore, Luke did brilliantly, winning Silver Medals in both the U16 100 metres and the Long Jump. Luke’s next big competition will be the Tailteann Games, in which he will represent St. Conleth’s. Well done, Luke, and a message to the rest of the Transition Years: start training for your Sports Day, now. Second place is still up for grabs!

John Carvill

I attended St. Conleth’s from 1972 to 1982, starting in 3rd Form with John Joe Poole, then Martin Gavin in 4th Form, Mr. John O’Byrne in 6th Form and then on to the senior school. I guess the main reason I went to St. Conleth’s was that I had five older brothers there. Having said that, I grew up in Kilgobbin surrounded by farms and coincidentally two of them belonged to past pupils, Barry Lawless and Lochlann Aiken. Barry Lawless was a good friend of my Dad’s and our families have been close for over eighty years now. Barry Lawless’ granddaughter Gretta is now going in to 3rd Year. Lochlann Aiken’s father was Frank Aiken, Minister for External Affairs and Tánaiste. He often presented the Fáinne to pupils in the early years. 

St. Conleth’s Confirmation 1976

Favourite Subject

My favourite subject right throughout my time in St. Conleth’s was either English or History. I still couldn’t say which. I certainly developed my love of history under the guidance of Peter Gallagher, who was a legendary teacher of the subject. I actually went on the study History and Politics at UCD. With regard to English I had two remarkably good teachers, firstly Michael Gardner and then John Rooney. John has had two grandsons in the school in recent years.  I’d actually credit John Rooney, more than anyone else, for prompting a desire to be a teacher in me. John was an amazing teacher, with a fabulous sense of humour, which he continues to have, with an eternal youthful spirit, which I try to emulate in my own teaching. 

Class of 1982

Fondest Memory

My fondest memories from my time as a student in St. Conleth’s were mainly from my final year. I had lifelong friends, including Colm Fanning, Brian Gleeson and Niall Toner and was on very friendly terms with everyone in the year. I do remember a trip that Mr. Paul Mullins and Mr. Brendan Doyle took us on. It was to the Wicklow mountains in the dead of winter, with snow on the ground and frozen marshes everywhere. The intent of the trip was to toughen us up. Nowadays St. Conleth’s pupils have the opportunity to go and expeditions to Africa or South America, while they are in 4th or 5th Year. For us the big school tour was by train to Sligo, lunch in the CIE restaurant and a few hours at the amusements, then returning to Dublin on the same day. 

Who/what influenced your career choice?

I took an unusual route in to teaching. When I was 22 I was elected as one of the youngest ever members of the Fianna Fáil National Executive. My plan was to certainly be Taoiseach by now. Luckily for Martin and Vradker I became disillusioned with that. At 22 I also started working for IBM and spent nine fabulous years there. Finally I decided to exorcise a bug that has been with me since my teens, to try teaching. I went back to TCD and did the HDipEd and here I am now! But rather than going on about me, I thought I’d write a bit more about St. Conleth’s in the 1970s and now. My life has been very tied up with the school, having spent ten years as a pupil and twenty-one years as a teacher there up until now. When I started as a teacher in September 2000 I was the only past pupil teaching at the time. Now there are six of us, which is a tremendous compliment to the school.

John with Charles Haughey

Looking back to the 1970s, Ireland was a very poor country with a disastrously bad economy and a virtual civil war in the north, which occasionally spilled south. In 1972 the British Embassy in Dublin was burned down by protestors and in 1976 the then British Ambassador was blown up near Stepaside. As a side effect of “the troubles” two families used to arrive to school with armed body guards, one being the family of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the other that of a senior Bank of Ireland executive, due to the risk of being kidnapped. Economically there were few jobs and massive emigration. People used to joke “would the last to leave please turn out the lights”. Ireland was a foreign country that nobody growing up now would recognise. I guess in St. Conleth’s we were in the top few percent economically, but there were not many foreign holidays and certainly nobody knew how to ski!

When I arrived in 1972, it was the middle of the “glam rock” period. The 6th Years had long hair, long collars, big lapels and platform boots. You can see them in the 1973 graduation photo. In the mid 1970s Abba were the big thing. For some odd reason clogs shoes became fashionable. KD banned them in St. Conleth’s, but like today that didn’t stop teenagers challenging the rules. There was one famous incident in the class of 1978 when clog wearing Gerry Thornley (Irish Times) was playing tennis ball soccer in the yard. He took a kick and one of his clogs went orbital. On re-entry it smashed KD’s dining room window, but bounced back out into the yard. I think Gerry had to pay for the window repair, but I don’t think Mr. Kelleher every discovered it was a clog and not a tennis ball that broke his window. In the late 70s the punk rock era arrived. Doc Martens, ripped t-shirts, spikey hair and meeting in the Dandelion Market were the thing. My brother Julian and most of his class of 1977 were caught up in that movement. By my time, partially as a reaction to that, there was a mod revival, which was all about smart clothes, narrow ties and pointy toed shoes. Niall Toner, Brian Gleeson and I were tied up in that. For a time we had a band called “The Con”, inspired by The Jam and The Who. Niall was the only real musician among us and still performs successfully today. Unlike now, in the 70s fights used to occasionally brake out in the yard. Two lads would start what nowadays might be called mixed martial arts. A big ring of virtually the whole school would form around them. Everyone would be shouting “claim claim claim” for some reason. The teachers would eventually arrive and have to break through the crowd to stop the fight. The normal consequence, when the “guttersnipes” were brought before Mr. Kelleher, was suspension. 

Nowadays, like Ireland, St. Conleth’s is a very different place. Between the Prep, Junior and Senior schools, there are about 450 pupils. The uniform goes from grey, to green to blue. There are girls in every year and you would be excused for thinking that was always the case. The rough edges of the school’s character, which left several disgruntled past pupils, have been well worn off. Every year at the graduation current pupils speak of the unique familial atmosphere of the school. A huge effort goes into pupil care, helping our students to stay mentally and physically well and achieve their potential.

A recent Department of Education inspection described the relationship between staff and pupils as “gold dust”. The three school principals know every pupil by name and could tell you details about each one. There are more and more children and grand-children of past pupils among the student body. Mr. Michael Murphy’s great-grand-daughter is now among us. Pupils can look at the old pictures of their fathers’, mothers’ and grandfathers’ that adorn the walls of the school. They have much more space than we used to have. The interior space is more than three times what it was in my time. There are specialist art, music and science rooms, soon to be expanded further. And for those who remember the mince and canned corn beef we used to be served, these days the canteen food prepared by Chefs Mark and Emerson, is superb. For all the past pupils out there who have lost contact with the school, please call by as you will be always assured of a warm welcome and, when Covid permits, a tour of the St. Conleth’s. Please feel free to contact me carvillj@stconleths.ie if you’d like to visit.

Lastly I’d just like to mention two good old friends from my year, Tomás Clancy and Gordon Hogg, who have passed away in recent years. Requiescat In Pace.

John’s application form

The year according to Kevin

Au Revoir: Maître, Ami et Collègue!

Conleth’s loss is certainly Connacht’s gain: the West of Ireland just got a whole lot calmer and cooler with the arrival of Julien Porzadny and we, at St. Conleth’s, will have to console ourselves with some wonderful memories of a much-loved teacher, colleague and friend. But we also have Julien’s legacy to which to cling: we cannot think of another teacher who has brought so many positive changes and innovations to the school, both curricularly and in our community and culture. We fully understand why Julien is looking for new places and spaces for his beautiful, young family but he also knows that he will have another family waiting eagerly for his visit: the family of colleagues and students at 28 Clyde Road.

It is quite fitting that we are bidding farewell to Ann Sheppard and Julien at the same time: they are forever linked, not just by their subject and friendship, but by the integral part Françoise Brotelande played in both their Conleth’s stories. We wrote below of Ann and Françoise’s closeness but Julien was also part of that camaraderie. Julien first arrived in Ballsbridge as Françoise’s protégée and our jokes about the French Department’s beau jeune homme were supplemented by an appreciation for the burst of energy Julien brought both into the classroom and the staffroom and the close friendships he established with Françoise and Ann and the staff as a whole. And when we tragically lost Françoise, it was Julien who kept her spirit and warmth alive, for both his colleagues and the students.

Yes, Julien is always warm and passionate and that is what we will miss most but, as you can see from the photos above and below, he also accomplished a heck of a lot in his time at St. Conleth’s. In partnership with Chiara Crowley, Julien formed a duo dynamique which, to be honest, were the envy of the other academic departments for their close working relationship, spirit of innovation and endless energy. From visiting troupes of Théâtre Français to Chanson Française competitions, from French board games and Kahoots to cuisine Française in the classroom, from Les Joutes Oratoires to becoming the first DELF school in Ireland to the famous (and infamous) Bundoran trips, Julien and Chiara were the epitome of the teaching partnership and friendship which truly enriches a school… especially when the lawsuits over the Bundoran midnight POW frog-marches fail in the courts!

Julien will also be remembered for forever changing (and improving) the mental health and inner life of St. Conleth’s staff and students. We may make jokes about Julien’s ‘guru’ status (to be honest, the goatee made it particularly tempting!) but we all honestly appreciate Julien being ahead of the curve in his determined and ‘single-minded’ drive to get Wellbeing and Mindfulness on the curriculum and in our thoughts. The whole staff and all our students, both Junior and Senior, have benefitted from having Julien calmly but passionately show us that ‘This is the way’ to having a happy and healthy school community, which in the end, is for what we are all here.

Julien has a new addition to his family, and, with this move, a new chapter to his story opens with fresh adventures on the horizon. For selfish reasons, we do lament his leaving but we would never begrudge such a free spirit such an opportunity, and Julien and can travel onwards with pride for a job splendidly done and with our heartfelt thanks for making St. Conleth’s an even better place.

Ann Sheppard Takes a Break

Ann Sheppard was the first person we met upon arriving at St. Conleth’s for an interview in the summer of 1997 and the impressions made on that day really have not changed over the intervening years: Ann was warm, honest, good-humoured and inspiring; qualities which were still on display at her last ‘official’ act as CEO: the Class of 2021’s Farewell Barbecue. And we have copious testament from older Conlethians that these qualities were there from the start, when Ann first stepped into her role as the heir to the unique Sheppard/Kelleher tradition of education, first as a teacher and then, principal. Of course, Mr. Kelleher was there on that day and, as was his wont, he certainly made an impression; one that he, too, more than fulfilled in the following years. We remember thinking how well these two people at the helm of this interesting school worked so well together as a partnership; quite different in personality and style but united in an extraordinary level of dedication and effort to one idea and one place: St. Conleth’s College.

It is not easy to follow a legend, let alone work alongside one, but Ann took the baton with grace and agility when the time for the handover at the helm came. Slowly but surely, she made it clear that, yes, she was continuing the legacy of Bernard Sheppard and Kevin Kelleher, but she also had her own ideas and her own way of doing things. Teachers at St. Conleth’s quickly learned that Ann was not ceasing to be their colleague and friend just because she was principal. The Modern Languages gang was particularly close with Ann and Françoise and Caroline united by their subjects but, probably, also their gender in what was still largely a man’s, smoke-filled staffroom. As the smoke cleared over the following decades, the clarity and ambition of Ann’s vision for the school became clearer and, innovation by innovation and brick by brick, it became a reality.

Ann’s evolution of the school really changed gears when she left the principalship and moved full-time into Guidance Counselling, School Development and, eventually, overall management as the St. Conleth’s CEO. Working closely with Principals Brendan Doyle, Peter Gallagher and Donal ODulaing, she oversaw multiple stages of development, both in curriculum and bricks and mortar. The school gym, the canteen, the music and art rooms, the performance hall… the list of extensions and refurbishments is long… and still active with work on the canteen going on as we write; however, an institution, especially a school is more than the sum of its concrete, glass and steel parts: the main ingredient for success and happiness is its people, both staff and pupils. Ann’s brave campaign to co-educate the school has been an unqualified success, and it must still thrill her to see the look of amazement on the faces of long-lost alumni who return to Clyde Road to see an impressive, gleaming structure… and girls happily streaming from its doors! This commitment extended outside the school’s walls and included the local communities of Ballsbridge and Donnybrook and the not-so-local community of Kitatya, Uganda, where Ann personally was involved for years with St. Conleth’s Expedition programme. And yet, throughout these busy years of overseeing the over-all development of the school, Ann remained what she has always been: a colleague and friend whose warmth and energy will be sorely missed… until we see her again. Yes, Ann is retiring as CEO but, after a break, she will be back to help continue the family tradition of keeping St. Conleth’s the special place that it is.

The Artist Formerly Known as Cassia

Cosha… Bonzai… Cassia... the name may have changed but the undeniable talent and irresistible charm have remained consistent, even while the level of success has skyrocketed. Yes, Cassia O’Reilly, of the Class of 2013, is making waves in the music world to an extent not seen for a Conlethian alumni since Conor O’Brien/Villagers (2001). Cassia is now Cosha, and the most reputable of the musical press are singing her praises, enjoying the blossoming of a creative, organic force whose first fruits and flowers were displayed in the Music Room and on the stage of St. Conleth’s hall. Cassia/Cosha’s new album ‘Mt. Pleasant’ is garnering rave reviews from every corner. The Examiner gushed: Cosha is one of the bright new names releasing their debut album this summer. Mt Pleasant – named after the area in Dublin where Cassia O’Reilly was raised – is a heady, sexy swirl of RnB. Hot Press enthusiastically went further into detail: Throughout the invigorating 8-song project, Cosha uses an eclectic range of drum beats, mantra-like choruses, spacious production and emotive songwriting as a lens for her experiences. The end result explores the electrifying sensuality and desire in a beautifully unapologetic and vibrant way.

Even the notoriously sanguine Guardian waxed poetically, as it recounted Cassia’s brave decision to walk away from her Bonzai persona (and a lucrative recording contract) to try something new and free: Previously releasing a frenetic blend of rave-inflected R&B and elasticated pop under the name Bonzai, she scored herself a major label record deal that soured, leaving her artistic vision compromised. Striking out alone, she changed her name and started from scratch. The result is Mt Pleasant, a luscious, confident and carefree record that could only have been crafted by someone in control of their artistic intentions. The brash beats and harsh electronics of Bonzai have been supplanted for something more sensual… We will leave the rest of the review to be found by our more mature readers, but let us just say that Cassia is certainly all grown up, and is now bringing a more developed and refined version of the same energy and beauty with which she regularly graced our school assemblies and concerts. Cassia’s talents were obviously evident even back then, and we all knew she was destined for bigger stages, but we also have fond memories of her and her brother Omar on a more normal plane: both were warm and engaging students, classmates and friends, and we hope St. Conleth’s benefitted them at least in some small way as they did us: making 28 Clyde Road a happier, hipper and acoustically improved place!

Back to School?

In this relatively splendid summer, it is almost a sin to mention those three words beloved of advertisers (and, sometimes, parents) but dreaded by most children, even the normally happy and well-adjusted kids of St. Conleth’s:  Back to School!  But we realise plans must be made and books must be bought, so this is just a reminder that the School Calendars and Booklists can always be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ (scroll down for booklists!) along with information about Uniform and the Canteen.  For your convenience, we have also included PDFs of the calendars below. Now, back to enjoying this summer while it lasts!

Senior School Calendar 2021-2022

Junior School Calendar 2021-2022

Summer Snippets

During that recent relatively welcome blast of global warming, while the rest of us were at the beach, dodging plagues of jellyfish and ‘sea-swimmers’, Development Co-Ordinator Ellen Long and Design Guru Charles Crimmins (1990) were beavering away on various ‘PR’ and alumni relations duties, including this stunning Summer Newsletter. Enjoy and stay tuned for the dynamic duo’s latest issue of SCAN (St. Conleth’s Alumni News)!

STEM 2- Culture 1

We were clearing our desktop- wait, stop there! When we said ‘desktop’, were you thinking mahogany and leather, Ikea MDF special or soulless blue digital screen? In other words: Are you a Boomer, X-er or Zoomer? Anyways, in one of our folders (Manilla with cord closure? A4 cardboard with generic uplifting photo of kittens? Or blue or yellow icon?) we found a few stories that we had buried when more important stuff was happening: two from the STEM side and one from the right side of the brain, but then again, this division is inconsistent and may be artificial: one of our STEM stories involves al fresco theatre and the other involves a particular Ancient Greek letter, while our humanities adventure is centred around the cold lines and angles of architecture: kismet or just serendipity? You decide, but first up is a little dramatic performance starring Oisín Power and Seamus Joyce, the Wagner and Miranda of their year, as inspired by Ms. Phelan’s lesson on Dr. Tony’s best friends: T-Cells.

On an another particularly fine afternoon, we were taking our fifth class of the day down to Herbert Parks for ‘research’ and we came upon Second Year Charlie Plant. Knowing that Charlie is a bit of a Rennaisance boy with interests and talents across the spectrum of arts and sciences we doorstopped him with one question that had been bothering us:

And now for the Humanities. Each year, the Fifth Year Classics Kids go on a little tour of Georgian Dublin to see neoclassical architecture in the flesh. Actually, they go on a few tours. Weekly, in fact.

I’m Not Myself Today

This old Irish paradox has always made sense on some level but perhaps it was truer than we knew. Maybe on those days when we feel a bit strange, a bit ‘off’, we are actually communing with our other-dimensional selves? Well, don’t ask us- ask Second Year Michael Horan who was recently named a Highly Commended Irish Young Philosopher of 2021. Michael entered the UCD-based competition after being inspired by Dr. Fallon’s Philosophy Class. His project, ‘Quantum Immortality’ explores the deep questions of existence, consiousness and interdimensionality and takes us from the Big Bang to a possible future where we are all purified, evolved beings enjoying eternity at an all-expenses-paid conference somewhere over the rainbow. Read it all yourself, here, and please, please contact Michael (not us) if you are confused!

A Fond Farewell

With the last words scribbled into the Leaving Certificate answer booklets, and the sun shining on Ballsbridge and its environs, it was time to give Chefs Mark and Emerson the signal so they could fire up the BBQ and get the Class of 2021’s sedate but extremely satisfying sayonara started. The setting was the quaint, Victorian gardens of St. Mary’s Home, next door, and after a very tough year, both the students and staff in attendance were thrilled to have the opportunity to recall the good times and say good-byes, without a mask muffling our words and emotions.

The food was delicious, of course, and the mood was relaxed, with exam autopsies quickly put to the side and everyone simply enjoying the weather and the company. Mr. ODulaing eloquently praised the class for their grace under pressure and the young men and women walked away happily with two gifts: their Class rings and specially commissioned hoodies, a gift of the Parents Association. Our very recently retired CEO Ann Sheppard was also on hand to say her fond farewell. She will certainly still be involved with the school going forward, but we all agree Ann deserves a bit of a break. It was fitting that the afternoon closed with an especially poignant moment: the presentation of the Françoise Brotelande Award for School Spirit. Françoise was our much-loved colleague and friend, but especially Ann’s, and we would like to think that Françoise, too, would have been immensely proud of the remarkably resilient young men and women of the Class of 2021.

TY in a Trying Time

There were many contestants in the misery olympics this past year, and to be honest, quite a few had authentic claims on a medal: in fact, who among us actually had a good year? But perhaps a special soupçon of sympathy should be saved for the Transition Year students, up and down the country. They had had their Junior Cycle/Certificate cancelled the previous June… okay, maybe that was bearable… but and then the much-anticipated year-long break from the usual grind, the longed for mixture of adventure and novel learning experiences that is Transition Year was severely handicapped by various restrictions: the long-coveted had been long-covidded. TY is all about ‘going out’ and ‘doing stuff’ but what if you can’t go out and there is nothing to do?

Well, you turn to Transition Year Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire (and his team) and give him your trust (and a generous budget). Gav basically put paid to this idea that nothing could be done and he led from the front and the rear: he pushed, pulled and cajoled his charges into enjoying a Transition Year like no other. Yes, changes had to be made, methods adjusted, hands washed and masks worn, but the Transition Years of St. Conleth’s were the busiest in the land! From the eclectic mix of quirky versions of the regular academic subjects through the variety of special ‘extra’ courses such as Photography, Sailing and First Aid to guest speakers on careers and personal development to actual trips around Dublin such as the Zoo, rock climbing, the Epic Experience and the Simon Toal-led graffiti tour, our TYs actually kept busy! Yes, the death of Transition Years turns out to have been greatly exaggerated. But that is not to say that every TY was equally lively: some were more vivacious, vital and vivid than others. Below you see all our Transition Year Award winners, led by the winner of both the J.P. McGilligan and Neil Quinlan, our biggest TY awards, Caoimhe Moore. Well done to them and all our TYs but special recognition must also be given to Gav Maguire, who obeyed all the rules and regulations, but still managed to lead our boys and girls through some incredible experiences in they all-important year of transition.

Afterschool: Last Looks!

Unfortunately, the last gasps of that dying virus will keep St. Conleth’s College a bit quieter these summer months as the usual mixture of camps and daycare will be forced on hiatus just a bit longer. But Cecilia Franken, who is the maestro of all the laughter and shouts of joy that usually ring through the corridors and gardens of No. 28, will be back with a bang come September. And if the highlights of last few months of her term-time Afterschool and Morning Club programme are anything to judge by, spurred by the memory of those pesky restrictions, Cecilia, her staff and the lucky kids involved, will have even more fun! Click here for the latest Afterschool Newsletter!

My Kid is on the Honor Roll

No, we are not quite yet American enough to adorn our car’s rear bumper with stickers declaring the beatification or president-electness of our children but we do subscribe to the wisdom of a more moderate American, Garrison Keillor, who always started his radio show A Prairie Home Companion with this observation about his hometown, Lake Wobegon: ‘Where all the women are strong and all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.’ We, at St. Conleth’s, like to adjust that to ‘well above average’ and if you saw how many stellar student leaders and academics just missed the cut for the awards below, you certainly would agree. Our usual school-wide, fanfare-filled Annual Underclassmen Awards Ceremony was cancelled by the last desperate gasps of Mr. Covid but each Form Teacher managed to conduct their own subdued but dignified affair, acknowledging the first and success within each class. Without any further ado, here are the individual winners of the awards:

First Year Students of the Year and Academic Awards

Young Classicists Bronze Medal Winners

First Year Science and Castles

Second Year Students of the Year and Academic Awards

Third Year Students of the Year and Academic Awards

Third Year Art and Science

Fifth Year SOY and Academic

‘Young Classicists’ and ‘Classics Now!’ Silver Medallists

The Temple Bards

Junior June Jumble!

We admitted that we had neglected the term-ending goings-on in the Junior School while busy calculating LC grades (with aid of a dartboard), but we did not realise the sheer quantity of ‘stuff’ our Junior partners were actually getting up to! We are still sending a couple of rather recalcitrant TYs snooping around looking for details, but as far as we can tell this is what the youngsters (applies to staff, too, except for Mr. Kilcommons) were doing during those hectic last days of the school year:

BBQ!

There was a Ms. Loomes-planned Sixth Form Graduation live-streamed in all its songs, smiles and a few tears; an even smilier Preparatory School Summer Show Extravaganza (available with private YouTube link); the presentation of awards for our annual Student Talent Show; Sports Days for each year (see article below); class class tennis tournaments; class trips to Airfield Farm and other well-ventilated locales!; the announcement of a new whole school CEO (Mr. Tony Kilcommons) and Junior School Principal (Mr. Brian Nolan): congratulations!; Mark and Emerson-catered BBQ (apparently their special sauce titillates tastebuds bukills Covid!) ; and bouncy castles. Yes, bouncy castles! Why did we not think of these wellbeing factories sooner?

Bounce!

See just some of the action above and below but before we go to Bundoran, one last story that encapsulates what we are all about in St. Conleth’s Junior School.

Serve!

After the lockdown was relaxed, a local woman was finally allowed in to see her aged mother in the Belmont Nursing Home. There, unopened on the bedside locker, was a letter from Edouard Barkan, one of our Fourth Formers, that had been written back in December when Ms. Coleman inspired some community spirit and care for those who were really suffering from the Covid contingencies. The woman read the letter to her mother and, as she subsequently told the school secretary Angela, it was the best Christmas present her mother ever received, even if it was opened in the Spring. Edouard’s friendliness and openness touched both their hearts and his kindness provided light and joy to what had been a very dark time. Well done Edouard, and we hope you and the whole Junior School enjoy a fun but restful summer!

Wander and Win!

A New, True Conlethian Legacy

The front steps of No. 28 Clyde Road have always been a favourite spot for the photographic capture of significant moments in the lives of Conlethians and recently another one entered the Kodachrome honour roll of the school’s history. On a fine spring afternoon, Garrett O’Neill (Class of 1976), Dargan Fitzgerald (1975) and Richard (Dick) Barrett (1973) joined CEO Ann Sheppard and Peter Gallagher (Principal emeritus) to honour the memory of a true Conlethian, Francis John Barrett (1977), and to officially install a new tradition and debating trophy in his honour: The Francis John Barrett Plate for Maiden Speakers.

Garrett O’Neill, Dargan Fitzgerald and Richard Barrett joined Ann Sheppard and Peter Gallagher for the presentation of The Francis John Barrett Plate for Maiden Speakers.

By all accounts, Francis John Barrett was a character, and it started with his name. He was known as John throughout his time in St Conleth’s but his actual name was Francis, which he had changed on arrival there, aged 12, and which he then reverted to as soon as he left school.  For years afterwards he was known by either name or both, and school friends never got their heads around his “new” name, which was in fact his original. And Francis’s good friend and schoolmate, Garrett, assures us that the ‘character’ extended far deeper than the choice of moniker: ‘He was a serious student who did well at exams, particularly English which he loved. He was a great debater and was usually one of the star attractions in the frequent senior school debates chaired by KDK. He was also an enthusiastic and terrifying fencer whose favourite and most effective move was the flèche.’ (Click for the full text of Garrett’s obituary of Francis, as published in the 80th Quinquennial.)

Francis John Barrett (1977)

Francis’s fleche may have been fierce but the man himself was warm and engaging… once the epee was lowered and the fencing helmet removed. In many a school debate and classroom discussion (especially during Mr. Gallagher’s legendary History classes), Francis’s intellect would shine through but so would his humour and humanity. These traits would come to the fore in his subsequent careers as barrister, teacher and trade unionist. Francis left an indelible, and positive, mark on all the places he visited and people he met.

The St. Conleth’s Confirmation Class of 1968

Garrett and Dargan thought the best way to honour their friend’s memory was through sponsoring a new debating trophy and the silver salver which they presented to Ann will now be presented annually to the best Maiden Speaker in school debates. Speaking one’s mind, with freedom but also with tact and subtlety, is a skill under threat in today’s world and Francis’s friends hope his memory will inspire a reinvigoration of a longstanding St. Conleth’s tradition.

Garrett and Dargan reprise their positions on the famous steps of No. 28 Clyde Road

A Different Class! X 2!

The St. Conleth’s College Graduating Classes of 2020 and 2021 will always be linked by their shared experience of the pandemic that wrecked havoc on what should have been one of the best times of their lives. They will also be forever linked by the qualities of loyalty, togetherness and resiliency which they displayed throughout this trying time. But there is some good news: they will also be linked as two of that rare group of Sixth Years who managed to avoid humiliating defeat by the Staff Soccer Team!

Our retiring CEO Ann Sheppard with 2020 Bernard Sheppard Medal winner Suyash Patidar

In all seriousness, we have never been prouder of a group of graduates than the Classes of 2020 and 2021 and we have never been more confident that these young men and women will go out and make a positive difference in the world. We have already reported on the muted but poignant celebrations we had for their graduations, but we did not get a chance to display the ‘Roll of Honour’ of Sixth Year Award winners. For the first time, we present them together, just as they have been linked forever by a challenging but ultimately redeeming experience.

Catherine Caught Them All!

It is never easy following older siblings into a school: teachers invariably make repeated, glowing references to the senior members of the clan and implore the new arrival to ‘measure up’ to the family legacy; often these comparisons are nostalgia-tinged and fuzzy, owing more to the teacher’s futile attempts to stop the march of time than any real accounting of the decline of civilisation and the great houses of the past. But please do pity the Prasifka because in Catherine Prasifka’s case, she was following in the footsteps of William (2008) and John (2011), two students whom teachers were well entitled to wax about, poetically. Masterful debaters, stylish squash players, avante-garde musicians, trademark hair-flippers, budding political theorists… the Prasifiki (masculine, plural) left indelible marks on St. Conleth’s College: what more could the Prasifka (feminine, singular) do?

Well, in a phrase that she could especially appreciate, Catherine did indeed ‘catch them all’. Yes, that includes the 721 Pokemon that were in existence in 2014, but also so much more: Catherine established herself as a world class debater in her own right and, taking a more subtle tact than her firebrand brothers (on opposite sides off the barricades but both wielding Molotovs), she became her year’s resident writer and creative. Whether it was winning laurels at the Classics Speech Competition or consistently pushing the moribund composition ‘titles’ of LC English past papers to new, exciting places or taking home the venerable Woods Bowl for Anglo-Irish Studies on graduation night, Catherine did indeed follow in the family tradition, but she also extended it. And Catherine returned to spread the love of the word, teaching Creative Writing to a new generation of Conlethians and one who badly needed it: the Gameboy and the DS screens had mushroomed into something monstrous and Catherine was there to bring the kids back to the simple joy of creating something completely new by putting words on paper.

And, now, news is in that Catherine’s own papered words have gained publication and renown. Ellen Long, our Alumni Affairs correspondent, goes into detail with Catherine about her debut novel, None of This Is Serious, which has already earned rave notices in the literary press. We know that this means Catherine is now writing for bigger audiences but we are also sure that she will remember us at St. Conleth’s and look forward to the triumphant return of the published Prasifka.

Great Sports!

We have to admit that we recently been neglectful of our Junior brothers and sisters in the St. Conleth’s family, but now with exams tidied away, our students safely ensconced in Brittas and our staff heading towards South William Street, we have time to catch up with all the end-of-term going-on in the St. Conleth’s Junior School. And, boy, have they been busy! First up: Sports Days. Yes, you-know-what put paid to our traditional whole-school, parent-attended, burger-flipping extravaganza. But Louis Magee, Shay Keenan and the Junior class teachers managed to put together a series of class-specific Sports Days which more than matched the spirit, fun and competitive zeal of those halcyon days, hopefully, soon to return!

The Warm-Ups!

The Prepsters!

Second Form

Third Form

Fourth Form

Pull!

Doctors in the House!

Worried about post-Covid Ireland’s health and all those waiting lists that have trebled during the lockdowns? Don’t be!

For two Conlethian Past Pupils are now qualified doctors and on the job! Patrick Creechen (Class of 2012) and Sean Allen (Class of 2015) recently graduated from the UCD School of Medicine and Patrick has already seen his first patient… pro bono, of course. Rest assured that with fine young men like Patrick and Sean manning the wards, we are all in better hands!

Classics Kids Got Talent!

Yes, we may argue endlessly in our Classics classes about the accurate modern equivalent value of a talent. that ancient measurement of precious metal currency, but one thing is certain: our Classics students have talent in a modern sense, too, and now they may very well have a talent worth of silver and bronze, their takings from this year’s Young Classicists’ Competition!

Above you see all our winners and the Fifth Year ‘Peloponnesian Power Pop’ band, The Temple Bards, singing their second smash single, Bare Necessities, which absolutely nailed the competition’s dual targets of a classical theme and a modern sustainable goal… and proved that the Bards are no ‘one hit wonder’! And our Classics younglings showed that there is plenty of talent on the rise: Ms. Speller and her hordes of First Year Classics hoplites hoarded no less than four bronze medals! And two Second Years placed as runners-up. Enjoy them below as well as a re-release of the Bards’ debut disc: Hospitality.

Junior Bronze Medal Winners

Charlie McMahon and Jamie MacNicholas

Myles Moriarty Smyth 

‘Athena’ Bronze Medal Winners

Ross McPartlin 

Saoirse Aherne Grey 

Honourable Mention Runners-Up

James Power (Click for PDF)

Kristen Harty and Chloe Egan (Click for PDF)

Pavan Vellackal

Class of 2021: The Resilient!

With so much suffering going on across the globe, and the even more damaging, outsized worrying about it, it is natural that we view the future with fear and trepidation: last Friday’s Graduation Ceremony went a long way to putting paid to that notion. If the Class of 2021 are representative at all of the rising generation of adults, then you can rest assured: we are all in good hands. All this talk about a ‘lost generation’ of young people, whom have been irreparably marred by the Covid catatrophe and destined for a life on the analyst’s couch, seems a bit over-the-top if the resiliency, optimism and sheer quality of our Class of 2021 graduates are anything to judge by.

The intelligence, humour and good will on display in Friday’s graduation and award ceremony bode well for a world that is left in their capable hands. Mr. Carvill and Mr. Gallagher, the producers, directors and emcees on the night are actual ‘Boomers’ but they pulled off an absolute stunner of a ceremony. Both were were spot-on in their selection and delivery of prayers, memories, awards and videos; and they were well complemented by the speeches of Principal Dónal ÓDúlaing, CEO Ann Sheppard, PPU Pres Peter O’Neill, Chaplain Michael Collins and, most poignantly, School Captain 2021 Ted O’Kelly. Watch the video below to hear all the speeches and see the winners of all the awards. Enjoy!

Catching Some Bray Rays!

Yes, it has reverted to a typical Irish summer since, but the weather was absolutely splendid for last Wednesday’s Second Year Bray Adventure.

Mr. Lonergan and Mr. Smith did make it a learning adventure, pointing out signs of erosion, deposition and such as we went along and Scout Leader Speller could not resist building several shelters along the way, but for the most part it was all about getting some receive, catching some rays and having some fun! Local woodsman John Engmann was particularly helpful showing us the various fauna and flora… and beating off the Bray roughnecks!

Everyone Does Not Get A Medal!

No, we are not an Educate Together school. Though we share many progressive educational ideas and practices with our secular cousins, one we don’t is the idea that everyone gets a medal. Yes, everyone is applauded for their efforts and encouraged to win, but there is no shame in finishing fourth or lower, and there is always another race to run and try to win.

On this, Mr. Kelleher and Dash Parr agreed. Anyways, we would finish out of the medals if there were one for ‘Sports Day Reporting’ as we forgot to include the awards photos from the Second and Third Year Sports Days. See the happy winners above and some almost-as-happy competitors below!

The Examined Life

Yes, we have a lot for which to thank Socrates, but maybe the dictum referred to above has had some unexpected repercussions. Maybe our famous philosopher even lived (for a while) to regret his own proverb and was eventually given a choice: A cup of frothy hemlock or Sraith Pictiúr? Well, sorry, but you don’t have a choice. The Summer Exams are here, so let us just get them done and we can all head off to sunny… Leitrim?

Summer Exam Schedule 2021 (PDF)

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Sports Day 2.0

Okay, it is actually our fourth Senior School Sports Day of the year, but it did seem like an upgrade as HOS Mr. Smith reviewed what went on with the first three (nearly all very good) and tweaked the operating system for the Second Years. And, yes, the much-maligned year of emergent adolescent angst and misanthropic mopery actually overturned expectations and went out and enjoyed themselves! Some observers say that they were even brighter eyed and bushier-tales than First Years. And that’s saying something!

Run!

Kick and Throw!

Pull!

Eggs and Barrows!

Sports Day V!

Yes, with each year having their own Sports Day this year we are quickly running out of punning headlines and witty jibes about a certain former Head of Sport who, apparently, is splitting his summer staycation between Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle. Well for some, we guess. All we can say is that our Fifth Years are particularly sporty and if the athleticism we saw on show this week is authentic, the Class of 2022′ Sixth Year Soccer team year may very well lose by only a few goals in the Staff/Sixth Year Soccer match. Maybe five or six. Yes, Morton and Co., we are talking to you! And you had better order those cute little Sixth Year team jerseys now, because you ain’t walking away next May with anything else! Oh, we must mention Oisín Power’s particular talent with the tug-of-war. He really had the technique down pat; a bit surprising, as he admitted himself that he had never, ever pulled before!

Run!

Kick and Throw!

Pull!

Wheelers and Winners

Fifth Fun!

Good Sports!

It was the Third Years’ turn last Friday for the new-fangled Sports Day by Year and the boys and girls (and Mr. Smith, Mr. Keenan et al) made the most of it. The shone once again on the Head of Sport, as it always seems to do, and Old Belvo, our temporary home, again resounded with cries of victory and the laughter of ‘defeat’. You-know-what tends to put these things into perspective and the simple joys, like running on the grass with your friends, are perhaps now enjoyed more than ever before!

Run!

Kick!

Pull!


A Different Class!

Unlike Maradona, the dearly departed maestro, Morton did not need the aid of ‘the hand of god’ to score a memorable Superleague-winning goal. Gav reported himself on the exciting conclusion to the now St. Conleth’s sporting staple and then, apparently, met Florentino Pérez Rodríguez for a coffee at Lolly’s.

The final of Superleague took place on Friday evening. This year the Superleague had to be cut down to individual year groups. I was in charge of the 5th year one. The annual draft took place four weeks ago and the two teams were created Doncaster Rovers (Captain Daniel Weatherley) and Scunthorpe United (Oisin Thornton). The winner would be the team who had scored the most goals over the three games.

In the he first game, Scunthorpe create a comfortable two goal lead, winning 4 – 2. Daniel and his Doncaster rovers team mates made sure they corrected their mistakes in the next round but also had the mighty Conor Hyland return, after missing the first leg, to beat Scunthorpe 3 – 1 . So, with the aggregate score of 5- 5 going into the last game, it was all to play for: both bragging rights and reputations. Scunthorpe went into the lead which they held till after half. With two minutes on the clock Morton Ainscough controlled the ball on the break and hit a sweet shot into the back of the Doncaster Rovers net… a different class, indeed!

Final Score: Doncaster Rovers 6 – 7 Scunthorpe United

Sports Daze!

Before we praise St. Conleth’s Head of Sport Mr. Smith’s first ever Sports Day, we must pay tribute to the previous ‘HOS”: Gav Maguire. Gav has moved on to a more sedentary position, TY Co-Ordinator, which is more suitable to his advanced age, but we remember that Gav did do an amazing job as HOS when he was younger and spryer.

It was Gav (along with the ever-young and still-serving Gamesmaster Shay Keenan) who moved Sports Day down to Irishtown Stadium and really made a festival of it. And the sordid rumours about Gav’s exit from the ‘HOS’ position coinciding with the disappearance of the PA Burger Stand’s float are just that: sordid rumours. Gav’s subsequent purchase of a late model sports car and seemingly endless capacity to patronise premium burrito and donut franchises are just co-incidences.

Anyways, Gav is off to find some uncursed Incan gold, and Mr. Smyth is now running sport at St. Conleth’s and his first slate of Sports Days is off to a rip, roaring’ start. Due to covidity, every year is having their own afternoon, and though we have also been forced to re-locate to Old Belvo, Mr. Smith and his team of fellow staff members and TY volunteers still managed to put on quite a show, with the First Years enjoying the variety of running races as well as the traditional sports day favourites: wheelbarrow races, willow throws and the primal joy of the tug-of-war. Enjoy the pics and stay tuned for the other years!

TY’s Epic Finish!

Transitioning between a normal school life and a much restricted Covid-complicated version was not the transition our Fourth Years envisioned, but TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire has done an amazing job keeping the boys and girls busy. And they certainly are going to go out with a bang!

Above you see a snap of 4A during their visit to the Epic Irish Immigration Museum and, below, loads from their weekly sailing course. And the whirlwind finish to the term is just warming up! Here is the schedule and stay tuned for more news as TY’s Class of 2021 vanquish the virus and go out in style!

TY’s Whirlwind Wrap-Up!

17th May – Normal School 

18th May – 4B Will visit the Epic Museum

19th May – Garden gigs workshop on public speaking / Portfolios must be completed. 

20th May – First Aid / Photography-  4A Retreat 

21st May – Sailing / 4B Retreat 

24th May – Graduation times to be confirmed 

25th May – Gaisce Hike, Marley park to Enniskerry 

26th May – Sports Day 

27th May – First aid and Photography 

28th May – Morning of Activities