Before we shuffle off to Butlin’s by the Sea for our staycation we will provide some last shots of what our students were up to this year, before and after the latently loosening lockdown. And just in case you are not quite brave (or, maybe, crazy) enough yet to board the garishly yellow upholstered shuttles to Mediterranea, we are bringing you some much-needed exoticism colour in the form of Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin’s First Year Clay Tiles Project. Each bird was sculpted and painted by an individual student, and they stand alone as lovely works of art, but when Ms. Halpin was able to put them all together, I am sure you will agree, something very special was created!
Lockdown loosens… random alumni encounters begin again! We ran into Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016) and his lovely girlfriend, Aishling, in the old Herbo and aside from trading snide comments about STEM guys (to the bemusement of Aishling, a Physics major) we also learned that Daniel is about to begin a Master’s in Law at Oxford University. Daniel, a graduating Trinity Schol in History and Politics, is clearly destined for great things… including an impending show-down with Conor White (Captain, Class of 2015), who is completing his own Master’s in Law at Cambridge University. Both Daniel and Aishling would have crossed pontifical swords with Conor at the Irish Times Debate last year, the winning of which provided our photogenic couple with a grand tour of America, warts and all, red states and blue.
Now, with both Daniel and Conor temporarily ensconced in the Home Counties, the two former Irish schools debating champions will surely meet again on some rostrum or another, or maybe at a shadowy Bullingdon Club Oxbridge mixer….. but we also fancy a face-off between Conlethian greats on the Thames at The Boat Race. (If you have to ask ‘Which boat race?’, don’t bother…) Conor and Daniel showed some athletic prowess while playing basketball at their alma mater, and we think the former, as a strong and steady type, is a natural for a stern rowing position and the latter would be the most rhetorical of coxswains!
For a man who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in flip-flops and has swum the mighty Ganges River in those French campground type of tight bathing shorts, you would not think walking into one’s usual place-of-work would be such a great accomplishment… but these are strange times indeed, and Transition Year Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire’s decision to heroically host the TY Graduation Ceremony from old No. 28 Clyde Road is proof that when the times get tough, the tough get going. And, no, the fact that Tolteca, down the road, has recently opened up for take-out had nothing to do with Gav’s decision to ‘make it real’ for his beloved TYs. And what a ceremony it was!
Gav reacquainted us all with the dearly missed St. Conleth’s campus, Adam hosted a video retrospective of the year and Gav gave out some eagerly contested awards. Among the winners were Emile Boostrom Ogawa for Best Portfolio Website, Eva Stylianides for Best Actor, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty Smyth for Musician of the Year and Louis Cullen for TY Linguist. Of course, the two most prestigious TY awards are those named in honour of two past pupils, JP McGilligan and Neil Quinlan. James Moriarty Smyth deservedly won the McGilligan for best overall TY student and Adam Rafter and Matthew McKeown shared the Quinlan award for class spirit, as voted on by their peers. In reality, everyone who stuck with Gav’s programme during these trying times deserves an award and we hope the graduating TYs enjoy a richly deserved summer break and that the current Third Years are ready to hit the TY ground running in September. Gav is going to be well-rested and ready!
Judging from the pieces below, Ms. Halpin’s Senior School Art students have been, if anything, even more creative during the corona lockdown. Last week we saw some amazing First Year works, created in homage of particular masterpieces. This week, it is the Third Years’ turn and we can enjoy a range of work from their Junior Certificate portfolios including snapshots of the development process that underlies every great work of art. More to come!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday. All the usual suspects were there… ah yes, our habitual style of reporting one of St. Conleth’s most beloved annual rituals: Sports Day! Sadly, not this year. Rían Lawlor is eagerly trying to organise a Wii Sports version but until that happens we will enjoy a trip through the years. Keep scrolling!
Yes, we said running…
running a bit further…
or just hanging out!
winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns. Yes, we said running…
or just hanging out!
or just hanging out!
The first ever St. Conleth’s ‘Zoomed’ Graduation Ceremony was a smash hit! Yes, we will have a more formal affair in the Fall, but this student-produced, standing-room-only variety show was chock full of nostalgic humour and poignancy, from heartfelt advice from management and teachers through honest expressions of appreciation from the graduates to some very imaginative personal ‘bios’ of select students. The Class of 2020 even received some helpful dating advice from Mr. Carvill! The whole class and all their current teachers attended, as well as several student and staff ‘alumni’ who returned to share in the experience. Yes, we look forward to another, more ‘physical’ ceremony in the school in the autumn, but really this will be hard to beat. Well done to Emily, James, John, Oisín, Joe and all the others who organised and took part in this perfectly pitched celebration in imperfect times. Enjoy the pics: full video on the way!
If there is one thing that we take seriously at St. Conleth’s, it is the election of our School Captain. The UN Election Observers are brought in, identifications are carefully checked and we make sure that no votes of members of the Class of 1939 have somehow mysteriously made it into the ballot box. And Covid-19 did not alter this scrupulousness: Mr. Carvill arranged arranged long-distance versions of all the usual steps; from a call for nominees, through Zoom speeches by the candidates to their class and an initial student vote and, eventually, the same for the digitally assembled staff by the semi-finalists. The fact that there were fifteen initial nominees says a lot about the class and the school: so many students want to take a leading part in the life of St. Conleth’s. After the student vote, the field was narrowed to a high quality six: Matthew Lynch, Colin Bolger, Ciara MacNally, Ted O’Kelly, Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye. All these sincere and enthusiastic youngsters then presented their cases to the staff via Zoom, and though there was a variety of styles and emphases, we were left knowing that we were in good student leadership hands for 2020-2021, regardless of the outcome. In the end, Ted O’Kelly was elected School Captain with Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye being selected as Vice Captains. With these three at the helm, we will really hit the ground running in September!
Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:
Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!
We will miss dearly all our Sixth Years, but one young man in particular has left a legacy of good humour, easygoing charm and warm friendliness, which we will find hard to replace. And, typical of Alex Reynolds, we did not even know that he had a hidden talent and has been a competitive polo player these last few years. Here he brings us up to date, just before he rides off into the sunset!
Even though I have long been interested horses, I had very little experience of polo until about five years ago. I had played a few chukkas here and there, but not too many. But, now, I could not imagine not playing polo and being on a horse hitting a ball with the mallet. I truly have found a passion for polo and horses, and it is when I am on my horse charging down the field that I feel most alive. I have been looking after polo ponies at home for a few years now and I love the joy that comes with it and the bond that can be created with the horses. It is hard work but the rewards make it more than worth all the effort. Polo is a very small sport in Ireland compared to abroad, in places like the UK and Spain, and it has a much smaller community than other polo scenes, but I hope to be part of the growing effort to make it more popular. I think others would enjoy the rare combination of building bonds with both an intelligent, emotional animal and friendly competitors.
You really should be careful of what you ask… as we learned when we innocently contacted Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin for an update on what has been going on in Art classes this year, pre- and post-corona. We expected a few snaps of pleasant watercolours: what we received was an absolute avalanche of creative, boundary-busting masterpieces! As none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, we are going to drip feed you a steady stream of these stunning student installations, starting with one assignment for First and Second Years which will have you gasping in admiration and rolling around with laughter! Ms. Halpin asked them to interpret and recreate famous paintings in any way they wanted: and, boy, did they respond with gusto!
Yes, the mysterious and secretive ‘Uncrowned Emperor of Europe’ George Soros may have a whiff of the Sith about him but the Rise of Oisín McGinley, his acolyte and heir apparent, is a much warmer and good-humoured tale than that told of Skywalker. Fresh from chairing the first ever digital conference of European Youth Parliament, Oisín tells us of his EYP adventure in his own words.
Having now participated in every format of EYP event in each academic year, I believe it is high time for me to reveal what this mysterious organisation is. The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, tolerant and active citizens. International, regional and national sessions are at the core of EYP, and consist of events that bring together over 30,000 young people every year.
That’s well and good, it is also what any of you could find online with a simple google search, so I am here to offer a more personal account of what EYP is to me. I began my EYP journey in 2017 heading to Loreto Foxrock for the Dublin Regional Session of EYP with the help of TY co-ordinator Mr.Trenier who was more than happy to pay for this bizarre event… not. It was there where I realised I hadn’t completely lost my brain during TY. More importantly, this is when the curtain of EYP was drawn back for me and showed me that as a young person I had the means and the capability to shape the issues of young Europe which were important to me.
Following that event, I was selected to go to Cork for the Irish National Session and finally to Rotterdam for the 88th International Session of EYP as an Irish representative, at this stage Mr.Trenier began to realise that maybe it was money well spent even being quoted as being “almost proud of me”.
Rotterdam was without doubt one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the first night of being forced to share a table with the UK delegation I believe I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Furthermore, it is one of the main reasons why I feel so confident in studying abroad in Amsterdam now. I am still in contact with many of my friends from that session and there are many after hours memories that I still hold dear.
The reasons why I am passionate about EYP are in-quantifiable but chief among them are the opportunities it offered me and the connection it has brought about in my life. I have participated in 15 different events of EYP now and I have come to have a great appreciation for the network. EYP has given me practical skills in terms of delivering modules, managing group dynamics, academic research and so much more, not to mention some well needed weeks off of school. I am able to document my self development directly with the events I have attended and I believe it has gifted me a unique lens to view the world from. Especially in times like these, knowing that I can pick up my phone and catch up with friends from all over Europe is very supportive and also very humbling.
Another amazing thing about these events is the wide variety of roles they offer. Whether you have a knack for organising, a creative flair or a desire to lead committees there is a role for you. Moreover, the principle that EYP is a youth organisation that is led by the youth is very powerful. Testament to that is that as a 17 year old I was given the honor of presiding over the Slovakian national session. The roles of real responsibility that are given to young people as well as the lack of taboo surrounding age is something which makes EYP attractive to the youth. The idea that I as a 17 year old was in a position of leadership over a 23 year old may raise some eyebrows initially but it is what allows for the organisation to thrive and facilitate better events.
Every EYP event I go to I always head in thinking about why gathering a random bunch of teenagers and introducing them to a random organisation shouldn’t always result in a magical experience yet every time without fail it does. In my opinion EYP is above all else a platform, a platform which connects like minded people across Europe and offers them a well-needed way to direct their passion both towards fixing world issues and connecting with each other. It is hence my greatest pleasure to see the network continue to develop and transition to a digital format. I was astounded to see the high level of participation as a chairperson at EYP’s first Digital Session and it makes me very confident about the future of the organisation.
I still carry the same awe and passion that was lit inside me at my very first EYP event and if the same TY student that was reluctant to head to Foxrock saw where I had gone now I honestly have no idea what he would think. I think that’s why I delayed writing this article, there is so much about EYP that is so intimate and personal, much of which can’t be expressed in words. With that said I hope to have enlightened you as to what actually happens at an EYP event and why you may want to get involved. As we say in EYP “See you somewhere in Europe”
Sorry… a bit of false advertising. We cannot give you a reduction in your tuition bill but what we can give you is a chance to tell us (management and teachers) what you think about St. Conleth’s: what we are doing right and what you think we could do better. It is all a part of our School Self Evaluation. Parents and staff are also taking part through their own surveys (check your email!), but the student voice is equally important to us. So, take about 10-15 minutes, click on the link below and fill it out, carefully and honestly. We will take the results very seriously in our forward planning but, as it is anonymous, we will not be able to respond with any individual rewards… or retributions!
The novel corona virus has forced into novel and covert styles of learning but, believe us, the work goes on! Conlethian teachers and students are keeping busy with remote classes and assignments and despite difficulties with bandwidth, the sibling seizure of screens and the dreaded Virtual Learning Vulture Neck Syndrome, we are all keeping pace with our various syllabi and the hallowed STATEMENTS OF LEARNING! Some wags think we are even ahead of normal schedule: less time spent waiting in line for chicken wings and Fortnite dancing in the courtyard at break-time… but we do miss both activities dearly! Here we see just a sampling of our students’ long distance learning: Maths memes and graphs, corona advice en français and some Classical Greek architectural drawings and descriptions. All in a day’s work!
Congratulations to Coleman Hegarty and Leo Nolan on their impressive top ten finish (of the best 59 in the world!) at the Oxford Union’s International Competition for Young Debaters competition. The debate was conducted remotely but our boys adjusted and mastered the digital rostra! Here, Coleman gives his personal account!
For the ICYD competition, we used a newly developed software called MixIdea, made in Japan. We qualified at Coláiste na hInse with eight other Irish teams for ICYD-Oxford. Of course, because of that darned virus, we couldn’t make the trip over to Oxford but they were quite quick to email us about using online platforms. Leo and I did a few practice rounds before hand and were ready to compete on the 2nd. Sadly, because the organisers are in college and prone to college brain, they forgot to tell many of us that they were using a different domain name for the site. Then, due to overflow we had to wait from 1:30 to 4:00 and finally got a start after three and a half hours with the motion ‘THW have all elected politicians on the average wage and use public services‘ (Against). We placed 2nd in this round, coming up against Canadians (the eventual winners), Hungarians and Scots.
In the second round we had a very Thurnberg-esque motion, supporting Eco-conscription. What sounds like an Eco-Fascist’s dream is really just manual climate change labour. Up against more familiar faces in Belvedere, we also placed second in this round. Round Three was cancelled due to major delays and the next day we arose for one more round before the semi-final break, the motion this time being ‘THW implement equal airtime for both sides of a topic/arguement on national television‘ (Proposing). We won this motion, coming up against Shanghai International school. After a while, we got the tab back, revealing we were 1 speaker point (443-442!) off the semi-finals. Still, Leo and I triumphed as the best speakers in Ireland. Not too bad for a corona lockdown!
**Slightly adjusted: small changes to the Fifth Year schedule, only**
The times they are, indeed, a-changing, but here at St. Conleth’s we have still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission… to provide fair but rigorous assessment! Students and parents will be contacted formally via email, but here is a sneak preview (courtesy of Exam Co-Ordinator Ms. NiAonghusa) of the Summer Exam Schedule.
All Years Exam Schedule
It’s Throwback Thursday on stconleths.ie! Since sport is currently reduced to pilates apps and Wii Sports, we will recall the golden days with a weekly virtual visit to the archives. This week: the legendary 2016 SCT’s earlier but just as inspirational incarnation: the 2013 JCT! Yes, we were younger and lighter (except on top) back then and the world was our oyster. And Gav was our god. Enjoy!
Thankfully, the Easter Bunny has evaded the lockdown and is on his way. operating out of his summer home in Courtown. And after you enjoy that well-earned bounty of chocolate eggs have a go at this: the St. Conleth’s PE Department At-Home Fitness Challenge, special Easter Edition!
Below we see our winning challengers from last week, Gregorio and Viola, ring their thing in double-time!
In our efforts to keep some Conlethian good vibes flowing, we bring you more BC (Before Corona) News: Our U19 team were involved in perhaps the last basketball game played before the shutdown, a narrow loss to old friendly foes St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final. Our name has been etched on this particular plaque many times, and will be so again, but this time we settled for an honourable second place, nipped by a strong, international Andrew’s team. Big man Luke Gilleran and fireplug Keane Acosta were again forces for us, as were graduating Sixth Years Suyash Patidar and Josh Bergin and rising youngsters Ralph Garing, Luke ‘C3P0’ Sherlock and Oisín Thornton, but it was Colin Bolger who really shot out the lights and earned a share of the MVP award.
And Sixth Year Jack Doyle had the honour of captaining the side in his last appearance in a St. Conleth’s basketball jersey. Jack has been part of St. Conleth’s since Junior School days and his devotion to basketball and the school as a whole has been steadfast and strong. Like his ancestors from the middle of America, Jack has always been the epitomé of hard work, team spirit and impeccable manners.
A ‘towering’ member of the PE Department just enjoyed a milestone birthday, but since this GDPR-protected person has such a ‘high’ level of fitness, he is not worried that he is now on the wrong side of Basil! Well he, and relative whippersnapper colleagues Mr. Smyth, Adam and Sean, feel this week’s challenges will really boost your energy levels. Students and/or parents have the choice of two workouts. Try each one at least twice for maximum benefit. Remember to send any photos or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. And further below you see our winning participants from last week’s challenge, led by the Bertomeu Boyz!
Wake up! The St. Conleth’s PE Dept. is talking to you! Below is our first weekly, long-distance learning Fitness Challenge. We (Mr. Magee, Mr. Ingle and Mr. Swan) will be posting various challenges to this website and Twitter each and every Friday, so make sure to keep an eye for the next challenge. For the first challenge, “Alphabet Workout”, simply spell out your name and match the letters of your name to start your fitness challenge. Try each one twice on rotation and if you’re feeling very energetic, try it three times. You know Gav Maguire will! Remember (if you like) to send a photo of you or your family taking part to email@example.com and we will post as many photos as possible on this page or Twitter. Have some fun and stay safe!
And, remember: the St. Conleth’s PE Dept. will be watching!
American baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once complained that ‘Nostalgia is not what it used to be.’ Well, it certainly isn’t these days, when we all are forced by circumstances to look backwards in time for some sense of solace. Well, Past Pupil and musical maestro Joe Gallagher (Class of 2019) has just premiered his first EP, ‘Nostalgia’, on Soundcloud and it will take you back to the good, old days: it is the single best spring of hope that we have heard, sweetly bubbling, in all our searches of various music streams.
These five lo-fi but hi-impact instrumental tracks have already made quite a splash in the world of music with an online musical promotion group eager to include them in their monthly Spotify playlist. So turn off the Netflix and have a listen!
To prompt pleasant memories of when your younger family members were not always just standing there listlessly in front of an open refrigerator door, we will periodically bring you news from a bygone era: B. C. (Before Corona). Yes, it is only in retrospect that we realise how full our lives were… especially St. Conleth’s Transition Years!
A couple of weeks B.C., ace TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire arranged to have Patrick Naughton and his African Drumming Ireland programme pay a visit. Patrick was brilliant. He has the skills and knowledge, the authentic drums and, most importantly the ability to keep a group of sometimes grumpy adolescents enthusiastic and involved… and even rhythmic! Enjoy the video above and the pics below. More B.C. News to come!
Before the shutdown… we had just enough time to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, in a rather abbreviated but spirited fashion! With the senior member of the Irish Department, Mr. ODulaing, busy piloting the school through the troubled corona waters, it was left to his younger colleagues, Ms. Fay and Ms. Dorman, to drive the buachaillí agus cailíní through Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada and class-specific céilí… and in record time! The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities. Certainly more fun then those pesky CBAs! And, of course, we do not just get all Irishy for a fortnight in March: St. Conleth’s Gang Gaeilge is active throughout the year. Below you see Sixth Years enjoying some Tae agues Plé, earlier in the term, with Ms. Dorman as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate Irish Oral, as well as some pictures and video from our shortened but still inspiring Seachtain na Gaeilge!
Yes, our school is temporarily closed… but we will try to lighten the mood by delving into the overflowing ‘In Box’ on our desk and keeping up the St. Conleth’s newsfeed. Plenty of good news to report, such as First Year Ismail Abdelwahed following in the footsteps of big brother Omar, has made the U13 Irish Squash team and will represent Ireland in the Five Nations Championship… when sport returns to these islands! Well done, Ismail!
In compliance with government directive, St. Conleth’s College will remain completely closed until Monday, March 30th. The Principals of the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools will update parents on all developments via email and text message. Individual teachers will be in touch with their students via Google Classroom and other ICT applications.
Juliet Donnelly has lit up St. Conleth’s since she first walked through the door, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as her older brother Michael and almost as winsome! But don’t let that sweetness fool you: once Juliet takes to the hockey pitch, a cold-hearted executioner emerges: case in point, her four goal demolishment of Sion Hill in the Dublin South Minor B Girls League Final! Yes, Coaches Speller and Stanley have another trophy for the shelf and the pressure is on the B-Ball boys to follow suit. Juliet was no doubt the star of this one, but it was also a whole team performance, as it has been all season, with Captain Meabh Joy and all the girls playing their hearts (and lungs) out for each other and the school. Such has been the hockey success these past two seasons that rumours abound that one of the seven science labs planned for our next extension may well be converted to a Hockey Trophy Room!
There was a poignant moment at the recent Past Pupils Dinner when select members of the Class of 2010 got together to recall their shared glory days of St. Conleth’s basketball: when Herron and Purcell and McCormack and McCoy and Carr and Co. shocked the world of Irish Schools Basketball, winning the All-Ireland double in 2008. And, now, current St. Conleth’s coaches, Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan are establishing quite a record of ‘glory days’, themselves. The First Year boys team have been on a rampage since the season tipped off, rivalling last year’s First Year rugby team for consistency and promise. Below you see pix (Thanks, Scott!) from a romp over St. Benildus and just last Friday they won a thriller over St. Paul’s, 31-30, with the Twin Powers (Fionán and James) and Cormac Hayden leading the way. That dramatic win has put the boys into an Ireland East Basketball Ireland Final, which will be played on Thursday at the Oblates Hall in Inchicore at 11:10. But, hang on, we have another final to support before then: the U19s will play today (Wednesday) at 4:15 at St. Andrew’s for the SDBL crown. Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Keane Acosta and the the boys have a great chance to add another ‘St. Conleth’s’ to the engraver’s to-do list!
With plans afoot for a big, new STEM facility for St. Conleth’s, it is fitting that we have a whole bunch of young STEMsters raring to go and get their hands on all those circuits, tubes, switches and burners! Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has been meeting faithfully every Friday and last week they celebrated national Engineers Week holding a tower-building competition using marshmallows and spaghetti. And though it may be early days for these young engineers, who knows where their ideas and measurements will take them? Judging by the speed with which our civil engineering projects take shape, these boys and girls may well be the ones with hardhats, yellow vests and rolled plans when our bus corridors finally get laid in the asphalt!
There is at least one international jet-setter whom the Corona has not grounded! TY Claudio Sosa is seen here fencing in Warsaw and Porec, where he recently represented Ireland. Claudio’s international career continues to bring success, as builds up his skills and experience on ever bigger stages. His most recent senior scalp was winning a Bronze in Senior Foil at the Belfast Open. Remember: Claudio is only fifteen years old and is fencing against full-fledged adults!
No sooner do we do our rugby ’round-up’ for the season and the boys send a clear message: it ain’t over, yet! Coaches Louis Magee, Mr. Smyth and Mr. Morris had a particularly good match day yesterday as both First years and the JCT emerged as victors over some quality competition. The youngsters earned a hard fought victory yesterday over De la Salle, 31-21. Below you see John Engmann going high for a line-out, Cillian Cooke delivering a massive hit and Andrew Gore-Grimes about to! Patrick Devlin and Fionán were amongst the try-scorers. And the JCT had a great league win against Belvedere College, 36-15. Richard ‘Killah’ Caldwell touched down for a superb try amidst a superb team performance and all the boys were in fine voice and mood afterwards in the locker-room.
Rather serendipitous that Michael O’Dwyer (Class of 2010) was our special guest speaker at the PPU Dinner on the Friday Night, he the holder of both a All-Ireland Debating Title as well as a Cambridge University International Debating Mace (a weighty weapon, that!), and the next day brings news that the current crop of Conlethian debaters are also bringing home the bling! On Saturday, Third Year Coleman Hegarty won outright the Leinster Junior Debating Mace. And he, Leo Nolan and Turlough Dineen have all qualified for the National Mace Final. Actually, ‘serendipity’ or chance had nothing to do with it: St. Conleth’s consistently dominates the rostra of the land in schools debating. The secret to our success lies in another fact: also present at Friday night’s PPU Dinner were Conor Power and Oisín Dowling (Class of 2018), our returned Past Pupil debating coaches who showed the way for Coleman and company. The Carvillian system continues to work!
The good burghers of Greater Ballsbridge and Donnybrook hold their collective breaths every year on the last Friday of February because that is when the carnival comes to town: the Past Pupils Union Annual Dinner is always the liveliest gig in town on that night, and the 2020 version did not disappoint. The members of our PPU, like our current student body, reflects our diversity, spirit and downright quirkiness… and we seem to just get better with age!
PPU Presidents John Carvill and Peter O’Neill and PPU Benign Despot Ronan O’Kelly must have been tired from organising the previous PPU engagement in NYC but it did not show, as they orchestrated an evening that managed to combine proper, sober acknowledgements of milestones with the frantic fun with which we all associate the night. Despite a rather flat sound system and the habitual rowdiness, Ronan and John compèred with both gravitas and wit, with guest speaker Michael O’Dwyer (2010) and honouree Ger Cummiskey also rising to the occasion. Enjoy the semiformal pics of each class above, as well as the more free-form ones, below.
The Hockey Girls are really setting some high standards for the years and teams to come! With the first St. Conleth’s Hockey team only taking the field a few short years ago, it is amazing that we already have a trophy case shelf groaning under the weight of hockey cups and plates! The latest was won this past Saturday. While the rest of us were sleeping off the lingering effects of the PPU festivities of the night before, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley and and Georgia Weir McErlean were up, putting the girls through their paces. And when the last shot was taken and the last net had rippled, St. Conleth’s Juniors team had beaten Sion Hill – 1-0 and St. Raphaela’s 2-0, bringing home the Plate of the Dublin South Girls League Junior A Division! So much for a lag after being promoted after last year’s championship season!. Well done to all the girls and their coaches.
St. Conleth’s is well prepared for COVID-19! Considering the ‘jet-setty’ nature of our clientele, we were especially worried when we heard about the news (and germs) emanating from Alpen Italy, but the school has been very pro-active in response, and not just in the hallway banter. The hand sanitisers are everywhere and our students have been enthusiastically disinfecting, especially as it delays arrival in class for a few minutes. And though we are known for our sense of closeness, cushiness and coziness, we have dialled back a bit on the hugs and handshakes, at least for the time being. Below are some helpful posters and videos and links to advice from the departments of Education and Health, as well as a Powerpoint made up by our very own Corona Czarina, Ms. Dillon!
St. Conleth’s PPU Dinners are always memorable affairs: well-attended, well-catered and well-lubricated… more raucous than retiring, a fact any residents left on our particular stretch of Clyde Road can attest to. Our recent New York City PPU Dinner was a decidedly more refined affair, with the humour as good and the sentiments as warm as every Conlethian come-together but with just the volume turned down, as befitting the august setting of the New York Athletic Club. (Apparently, the good folks of the TSA did their job and stopped certain members of certain graduation years at the borders. You know of whom we speak.)
That is not to say that the alumni who attended the fully booked dinner did not ‘take Manhattan’ afterwards, but for news of those shenanigans, you will have to check the tabloids. We would prefer to concentrate on the dinner itself, quite an elegant and dignified gathering of old friends and colleagues. PPU President John Carvill, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and Special Guest Speaker Michael Moloney hit all the right notes, recalling poignant and hilarious moments of recent, middling and ancient St. Conleth’s history, as well as reaffirming that special ethos which has us confidently heading into the future. Of course, that ‘future’ includes tomorrow night’s Annual PPU Dinner, of the regular, old ‘domestic’ variety. Stay tuned for the fireworks!
As you can see in the news items below, St. Conleth’s sports is thriving on the basketball courts, running tracks and in our fencing arenas… but we shall never forget our sporting bread and butter: rugby. And though we have been faithfully tweeting away about our accomplishments with the oblong ball, we thought we would bring it altogether as the teams enter their stretch run.
The SCT have had a tough year regarding numbers but Coach Gav Maguire, Captain Rían Lawlor and his loyal teammates have weathered the tough times with heart and style, doing particularly well in the 7s competitions. Earlier in the year, Gav’s club, Wanderers FC, marked their 150th season with a friendly at the Aviva and two Past Pupils, Mark 0’Reilly and Kevin Dolan, lined up against Trinity for the first team, showing of what quality Conlethian ruggers are capable.
The JCT, led by Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee, have had plenty regarding numbers and even though they are quite a young team, the success this year bodes well for even greater things ahead. The JCT suffered a tough loss in Wicklow early in the season but showed plenty of spirit, camaraderie and promise as the boys mounted a second half comeback. Better results soon arrived such as a thrilling 24-21 win over St. Gerard’s in the league with a last gasp try from Michael O’Donnell, who scored three tries on the day and was backed by a great team performance. Team workouts in the Fitness Suite with Adam have certainly helped. The competition for places is fierce and Coach Magee is confident of finishing strongly.
The JCT members will certainly not get to comfortable, with some very impressive First Year players nipping at their heels. Coaches Smyth and Morris have built up quite an impressive resume already with the boys, including an early tight but exciting win over Marian College, 59-51; two wins out of three in a blitz kindly hosted by Sandford in Monkstown RC with St. Paul’s and Marian taking part; winning narrowly, 21-14, over local rivals St. Michael’s, in an entertaining match; and convincingly, 42-7, against Sandford Park. And above you see action from a recent, stunning 24-19 win over St. Paul’s. The boys have now adopted a new team nickname, “The Crazy Gang”, and we look forward to more fun as well as success from them in the weeks and seasons to come!
The greatest city in the world is now going to host Ireland’s greatest Past Pupils Union! Following on our successful inaugural international PPU reunion in London a few years back, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and PPU President John Carvill decided to hit the Big Apple for the next one. And when the New York Athletic Club offered an ‘open bar’ as part of the dinner package, the deal was sealed! We know Manhattan has seen some heavy duty partiers over the years, but we are sure the Conlethian crowd will leave its marks. All the tickets have been sold for Saturday night’s gala but any Past Pupils or friends in the five borough vicinity can join the crowd for pre-drinks on Friday from 8:00 at ‘My Friend Duke’ at 383 Third Ave. or post-drinks from 10:30 on Saturday at Blue Haven East at 493 Third Ave. And if you re stuck on this side of the pond, you can still come to No. 28, Clyde Road for the regular, old Annual PPU Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28th! Tickets available through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Stay tuned for tales from both these festivities!
St. Conleth’s next extension is going to be a STEAM Centre (more on that later!) so it is only fitting that our Science teachers are ramping up their game in preparation for their move into their sparkling new digs. Mr. Morris has been up to all sorts of hands-on learning stuff in Physics and our student reporter, Robert O’Connor, reports back from the nexus of man, machine and scientific humour.
It was a typical afternoon in the Science Lab. We looked out the window. It was not raining, but it had been and soon would be again. The banter was mighty. Our Fifth Year Physics class demonstrated their superior intelligence by creating, with the assistance of Mr Morris, a machine that both demonstrated wave motion and tasted delicious: simple contraption, using two retort stands, some tape, skewers and Fruit Pastilles attached to the skewers. The experiment is simple but beautiful: spanning several benches, motion from the skewers at one end passes along to the other end and back again. It was really cool to look at, almost as cool as watching our resident studly scientists/ macho mathematicians, Ted and Dylan (collectively known as The AlgeBros), passing the wave back and forth between each other. They were in a world of their own for a few seconds. Like Olympian gods. With calculators.
While watching the whole class do the experiment, if you listen carefully you can also hear Stephen Rockett (resident child actor, international internet influencer and quirky tennis player) auditioning for the part of the Kool-Aid Man as seen in Family Guy.
Conlethian fencing parents, Robert Smyth and Cahir Davitt, make quite a pair of ‘adjunct’ sports reporters: Robert with his faithful reporting and journalistic flair, such as the headline above, and Cahir with his stunning photography. Their latest missives:
Last Saturday in Dublin, James Moriarty-Smyth ended just outside the last sixteen in Men’s Senior Sabre, after a very narrow 13/15 defeat to the Captain of Trinity University Fencing Club at the Direct Elimination stage. This is an incredible result considering James just switched his choice of fencing blade and is competing against seasoned adults.
And on Sunday in Belfast, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14 Foil and Michael Davitt won Bronze in the U10 Foil, as well as Luke Sherlock taking Bronze in the U16 Boy’s Foil. Keep tuned for more news in this Conlethian sporting tradition!
As usual, Chef Mark is not hesitant to mix it up and get all fusiony in devising the weekly menu. The Hiberno-Mexican connection lives on this week in chilli con carne on a potato!
Fresh off their Cross Country success of a few weeks ago, Mr. Keenan and his ever-growing Athletics Army was on the road again. This time, Mr. Keenan, Fitness Coach Adam and a gang of First and Second Years stormed a Leinster Schools Indoors meet at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, where running and a variety of jumping was on the agenda.
We do pride ourselves on ‘participation’ in sport at St. Conleth’s: everyone gets a go and we never make ‘cuts’. But that does not mean that we do not have quality athletes and real winners amongst our student body. You read below how we won three medals at the Cross Country Championships and this time we had individual glory. Second Year Luke Timlin made a record-setting run to the All-Ireland’s last year and he is on that same track again as he double-medalled in Abbotstown, winning a Gold and a Silver in the Long Jump and 60 M Sprint. It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!
Yes, Third and Sixth Years, it is time to drop tilted on our Mock Examinations! Some of you may have earned more skins than others these last few years, but everyone is default going in to the exam hall for these tests and the even bigger battles in June. And that default is a Full St. Conleth’s Uniform! Exam Secretary Ms. NiAonghusa (Contender II ranked) has already delivered you the exam schedule and rules but here are the dates and times in a handy pdf. As always, you can also find them under ‘Events’ as well as under ‘Calendar + Information’. Let’s W Key these Mocks!
With the usual ubiquitous and undulating showers of rain and a belated arrival of a minor polar vortex, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s and Mr. Seamus Gallagher’s warming incantations of the coming of Spring with St. Brigid’s Day.
And with the help of these two gentlemen’s words of wisdom and delight in both our national languages, our annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment to tales of St. Conleth and St. Brigid frolicking through fields of clover. Platonically, of course. And this being St. Conleth’s Fame Academy, there had to be student musicians to join the ensemble:
Russell Boger, Lochlann Hannon and Cúan Moore captured the mood of regeneration perfectly on piano and trumpet and we all headed off to an especially extended morning break with music in our ears and joy in our hearts!
This week, Chef Mark braves the steppes of Eurasia and the tenements of NYC to bring us Tartar Sauce and TriBeCa Wings… but not necessarily to be eaten together!
Conlethian Dad Robert Smyth has recently been rehired as our specialist fencing correspondent. Here he fills us in on another weekend of our youngsters foiling any attempts to remove the from the podia!
Saturday saw the usual suspects fence foil and epee at this year’s
Excalibur Cup, hosted by Pembroke FC. A significant number of entries
from Clongowes dramatically increased the overall number of competitors,
resulting in plenty of fencing and competition across all age ranges, to
say nothing of the volume of refereeing for James Moriarty-Smyth, who as a Sabreur was not competing, and Luke Sherlock, who officiated at least 50+ matches between them.
Results on the day were once again excellent:
Under 10s Men’s Foil: Michael Davitt finished just shy of the medals, having performed strongly in the Poules.
Under 12 Men’s Foil: Matthew Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Under 14 Men’s Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth – Gold and Trophy
Under 17 Men’s Epee: Luke Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Matthew’s First place was made all-the-more special by the fact that he
will be the fouth Sherlock to have their name engraved on the Trophy, so
creating a piece of Irish Fencing history and continuing the high
standard set by his uncle, mother, and older brother.
Next Saturday is the East of Ireland leg of the Senior Circuit, where
James will be fencing Men’s Sabre and be looking to improve his current
Senior Ranking of 17th, while Sunday sees Michael, Matthew and Myles (the 3 M’s of the ‘Conleth’s Contingent’) head to Belfast for Round 4 of the
Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Stay tuned!
Basketball fans worldwide recently mourned the loss of one of the all-time greats, but Kobe Bryant’s emphasis on mental attitude and preparedness lives on in young players across the globe, including those at St. Conleth’s. Led by Coaches Ingle and Gahan, and the elder statesmen U19 Boys, Conlethian teams from First Year up had a great January, posting (and posterising) such fabled adversaries as Benildus, Blackrock, Mt. Anville and St. Michael’s. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger are no strangers to headlines, leading their Conlethian team to glory at each stage of development over the years, as well as playing for nationally prominent clubs and recently being named to the Irish team for their respective age groups.
Old, friendly foes Colaiste Eoin knew they were up against it when they drew St. Conleth’s in the SDBL U19 Boys Semifinal. These plucky Gaeilgeoirs, from the poshest Gaeltach in Ireland, have faced us many times over the years, and they have (almost) had their share of the spoils, but when you are lining up crosscourt from two Irish players such as Luke and Colin, even the famous 10% Irish bonus points are not going help much! And our boys politely but firmly put our southside neighbours to the sword, with Luke pouring in buckets from the paint, including an in-game thunderous dunk, and Colin ducking and chucking from the perimeter. As usual, the supporting cast did their part: Keane cleaning the parquet with his hustle; Jolly Jack D, Jack T. and Josh doing their devil-may-care Sixth Year thing; youngsters Sherlock and Ralph learning on the go (and the give); and Suyash Patidar snapping the ropes with a NBA trey!
Our U19 squad have given us many thrills over the years, but our younger teams seem eager to follow on the same path to success. Our First and Second Year teams have started their league campaigns with spirited performances and some impressive wins against such powerhouses as St. Benildus’s, Blackrock and St. Michael’s. First Years Fionan, James, John, Steph and Yubo have shown particular swagger… and a good bit of skill to back it up!
And how could we forget the girls! St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational, and, if anything, our boys have had a hard time keeping up with the girls when it comes to sport! Our First and Second Years have combined into one superteam, and with wins over Mt. Anville, Woodbrook and the ‘girls school that have a purple kit’, it is clear that it is not just in hockey and athletics where our newest Conlethians are going to competitively shine!
Did that gust of wing almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Protect yourself (and help a good cause) with an Official St. Conleth’s @nogginsport Hat! On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Hurry! They are going quickly!
Those PE classes and after-school trainings sessions seem to be paying off regarding Junior School basketball as, for the first time, we were AIJS Basketball Tournament Finalists! Our Junior School team had their best performance ever: finishing runners-up to megalithic St. Michael’s, and beating perennial powers Castlepark, both their A and B teams, en route to the final. We did notice the familiar names of Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock on the team-sheet, proving that their athletic prowess is not limited to the noble art of fencing. Of course, it takes a full team, and then some, to compete in an intensely paced blitz-like tournament, so well done to all the boys and their coaches!
Last Friday night, all the coolest clubs and hippest bars around the city were strangely silent for the start of the weekend; yes, even the bouncers up and down Leeson St. were checking their watches in confusion as the usual hard-partying crowd failed to materialise… Where was everybody???
Well, the rowdiest element of their regular crowd, the Maths whizzes, had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year Maths Quiz at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock and Rolle! We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s. Just look at the departmental inspection report.! And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Ciaran, Joe, Suyash, and Edward; and that of Tadgh, Adam, Michael and Oisín, earning very respectable finishes in a field of over fifty teams. Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz.
The problem for our reporting staff is that the Maths team members are usually not as loquacious as… let’s say… the school’s debaters, who will continue explaining, correcting and pontificating long after we have run out of room in our notebook, put down our pen and silently walked away. The Maths Team kids of the past tended to give monosyllabic responses, often in binary, or answer with emissions of short electronic sounds, sort of like R2D2 but not as polyphonic. So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that this year’s line-up are not only are they geniuses at the old adding and carrying over but they also are able and willing to enthusiastically and animatedly describe these numerical adventures…. with words! More C3PO than R2, indeed, and we look forward to hearing all about it!
Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.
Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!
Mr. Keenan and Mr. Smith do not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, they practise what we preach and issue an open invite to all students to join them on their Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years. Over fifty student athletes made the time-honoured trek through the wooded hills of Wicklow to the little love-nest of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea that is now Avondale Forest Park. And we do not just do quantity, we do quality: First Year Lucy McGoldrick won an individual Bronze and, incredibly, we also won three team medals. First Year Girls placed Second; First Year Boys, Third; and Second Year Boys won their race! For a small school to pack the podium like that, it is some achievement and a credit to the team spirit amongst the boys and girls and the encouragement of their teachers. Check out some of the action below, as well as a list of the many medal winners!
Young Scientist double award winner Cúan Moore does not make mistakes but apparently we do: Cúan did indeed win the RSA Special Category Award for his project entitled (quite efficiently) ‘The effectiveness of colour on a bike light’ but his other award, for First Place in Category, was actually in ‘Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences’, not for ‘Technology’. In our defence, we have to say that it seemed pretty technological to us! Anyways, to cover our blushes we are going to distract you with some more photos from our First Years’s visit to Cúan’s stand and the rest of the Young Scientist Exhibition. Enjoy!
We remember a young Ronan Roche Griffin lighting up his First Year Form Class with his wicked wit and a glint in his eye. Whether it was sending notes in binary to a like-minded stemmy classmate or politely wriggling out of some minor kind of trouble, Ronan always did everything with considerable panache. Now, he has transferred that swashbuckling style to Canmore, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Yes, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 is currently training on those sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. Don’t be jealous… the beautiful scenery does make soggy old Clyde Road pale in comparison, but Ronan is putting on some hard runs, upping his skills and stamina in pursuit of qualification. Find out more (and lend a hand if you can) on his GoFundMe page. Let’s help get Ronan to Beijing 2022!
All that fencing, debating and chess is great, but let us not forget that we still play rugby at St. Conleth’s…. and we do it darned well! A parent reports back on the latest Junior School Rugby adventure, complete with some great photos:
Continuing the Junior School’s strong performance in rugby this year, Mr. O’Brien led Third Form to claim victory over Willow Park last Saturday, despite the biting strong winds. Well done to all the team in their first year of representing St. Conleths in Junior School Rugby!
Karl and Adam are two of our TY fashionistas so if they re wearing something new, you know it will soon be showing up on the streets of Milan, New York, Paris and Ringsend. So, hurry up and be the first I=on your block to own an Official St. Conleth’s Noggin Hat!
On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on this website. Noggin is a Community Interest Company: the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness. Noggin is a Community Interest Company, where the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness projects across the UK & Ireland.
Continuing a Conlethian tradition started by the Zorin brothers years ago, First Year Cúan Moore has won an award, in fact- two awards- at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Yes, Mr. Callaghan- our science exhibition specialist teacher, has done it again, guiding one of his charges to the podium. And like the Zorins, it is the ‘T’ in STEM which signifies young Cúan’s incredible accomplishment as it was in the category of Technology where his project ‘The Effectiveness of Colour on a Bike Light’ topped some very impressive competition. Cúan also won the Road Safety Authority’s Special Award. And in an era where so many ‘advances’ seem to involve the ephemeral, digital world, Cúan’s project has some good, old-fashioned tangible technology at its heart: an adapted bike light which illuminates the rider’s reflective clothing. This little device brings a much needed extra level of safety for cyclists attempting to negotiate the habitual gloom of our eternal twilight and it opens up whole new possibilities for flash advertising. We may soon see Cúan safely cycling down Clyde Road- and illuminated like a giant, reflective Coke can. But before you get any ideas, Cúan already holds the patent!
Yes, we enjoyed two weeks of relatively low key lesson planning and curriculum development over the Christmas break, but not all our students were engaged in such relaxing activities: Transition Year Claudio Sosa, for one, was busy fencing against men twice his age… but no longer in size!
He represented Ireland at the Five Nations where the Irish team took Third place overall in all categories. He also participated in the 2019 Northern Irish Open in early December, where he won a Bronze medal in the Senior Male category. Claudio, at the ripe old age of fifteen, currently holds the No. 1ranking in the Senior Male Category in all of Ireland! He also qualified and was selected by the Irish Fencing Federation to represent the country at the European Championships and World Championships in Porec (Croatia) and Salt Late City (USA), respectively. Claudio is clearly committed to represent the community, his school and the country. Not many Christmas lie-ins for him!
No, we may not have ‘salted pork’ on the menu this week (pdf) but Chef Mark has included several specialties that would rival the best from Saruman’s famous storehouse in Isengard. Even a hobbit would be satisfied!
Julien Porzadny does double duty at St. Conleth’s: he is half of our dynamic duo of French teachers (along with the equally energetic Ms. Crowley) and he also serves as our Mindfulness guru. Here, he fills us in on how St. Conleth’s attention to our minds is gathering international attention!
Three years ago, Mindfulness classes were introduced to St Conleth’s college. Since then, weekly mindful sits have happened, it has become part of our Health Awareness Week and it seems that students are enjoying learning about the art of “being”. Before the Christmas break, I received an email from the “Mindfulness in Schools projects” (the UK charity from whom I received my training) who were looking for stories about the experience of implementing Mindfulness in schools. I therefore decided to write back to them. They later on got back to me and asked for permission to release our story on their website. So, if you are curious to learn a little more about Mindfulness and how it has grown in St Conleth’s College, I invite you to have a read of “The evidence base, a primary & secondary case study – St Conleth’s College, Dublin“.
The baton has been passed from Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal to Ms. McGuinness, but judging by the talent and spirit on display at our annual Christmas Concert, music will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s.
The Senior School Choir, in particular, plays an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations. But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.
Judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. McGuinness’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the performers on it is destined to join Alex Sheehan, Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage? In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.
Our students also enjoyed their individual class parties, including Kris Kindle, yuletide movies, plenty of sweets and shenanigans in their charity-aiding Christmas jumpers.
In less than a week, St. Conleth’s took part in two school-wide events, each of which conveyed a different but essential aspect of our community. Last Wednesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, and remembered and celebrated the staff and family members who have gone before us and who helped to make our school all that it is today. The Senior School Choir provided the beautiful hymns, students of all ages led the prayers and readings and Fr. Michael, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way.
And yesterday, we went on another annual pilgrimage. We did, indeed, ‘Let Them Go!’ and released all our Senior School students for a well-deserved Christmas treat at the Swan Cinema after a good term’s work. Everyone enjoyed ‘Frozen II’ or ‘Jumanji II’ and the residents of Rathmines and Ranelagh were incredibly hospitable to our flying columns!
The TYs are just about to close out a very busy first term, with outings galore, a monumental Christmas Fair and special courses in First Aid and Photography, but they also were pushed in their ‘regular’ classes, completing creative and innovative products both in groups and individually. Here, Mr. Porzadny, updates us on what went on in the TY French class this past term.
Let the students be the teachers!
What do Dungeons and Dragons, the Beatles and kitchen utensils have in common? Not much would you answer. You would pretty much be right. Except that as of today you can learn how to talk about elves, yellow submarines and whisks all in the language de l’amour! Learning French in a fun and easy way is made possible thanks to the home made flashcard made by the students of Transition year.
As part of the TY French curriculum, a “Quizlet” competition was organised. Students would have to create a set of 20 words or expressions from a theme of their choosing. Mr Porzadny would then pick the 10 best sets based on originality, variety and quality of the French language. Students would then vote for their top 3 set. The final sets would then be shared here on the St Conleth’s website for the enjoyment of the whole School community! So without further a due, here are the results:
Tied for 3rd place with 11 votes:Ava with “Les jeux olympiques and Keelan with “Le rugby en français“
In 2nd place with 16 votes:Cael with “Les films en français“
And in 1st place with 18 votes:Luca with “Le football en français“
Get ready, set and “allez”!
You know that fencing has always been an integral part of St. Conleth’s. In recent weeks there was ample evidence both outside and within our walls. First, the extramural: Conlethians continue to excel in national (and international) fencing competitions.
Claudio Sosa won Bronze in the Senior Men’s Foil in the Northern Irish Open; Myles Moriarty-Smyth won gold in the U14 Foil in the Christmas Cup and Michael Davitt won bronze in the same competition’s U10 Mixed Foil. It is great to see Myles showing Michael the ropes… and the points!
And within the hallowed walls of 28 Clyde Road, we have recently witnessed fencing become part of the regular PE programme. Here we see First Years enjoying their foils… and foibles as they come to grips with the noble sport (and their classmates).
The Annual Transition Year Christmas Fair and Tree Sale was once again a spectacular success, with trees, wreaths and various home-made crafts and goodies flying out the doors of the school hall this past Saturday morning and afternoon. The various student-run ‘mini-companies’ got a taste of real world business and the profits off of the trees and wreaths themselves will all go to St. Conleth’s partnership with the Bridge Light School in Uganda. A great big ‘thank -you’ to TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire, all the participating parents (especially TY reps Caroline O’Dea and Ray McDonnell) and, of course, the TY students themselves for continuing this great St. Conleth’s tradition in style.
When the wind whips away that umbrella with gusto, the sleety rain ‘falls’ sideways into your face and the cyclists splash you on the only bits that escaped the car ‘wash’… it is time for a hot and hearty meal! Core-firing Beef and Carrot Stew is on the menu this week as well as some less traditional but just as stamina-stocking favourites:
…the Annual Transition Year Christmas Tree Sale and Fair! Yes, indeed: the wind has picked up, the sun was last seen September 14th, the falling leaves are halting nearly all movement in the city, Switzer’s has a vaguely yuletide theme to its window display, and if we just lost a few degrees, we would be neck deep in snow! And, of course, the Transition Years are once again readying themselves for another Christmas Fair and Tree Sale extravaganza. (Click for poster!) They have been like busy little woodland elves: planting, cultivating and cutting the finest of firs and poinsettia and etching and whittling the most exquisite of Christmas cards and crafts. And Gav Maguire has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa but is not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of one of his predecessors, Mr. Bolger, nor the rounder middle and rosy red cheeks of another! Well, make this Santa smile by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY girls and boys and come by this Saturday, December 7th, from 10-4, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee. All proceeds go to supporting the Bride Light School in Uganda. To order a tree, call (087) 799-8702.
After last week’s Thanksgiving Feast, and in preparation for the yuletide excesses to come, we recommend (especially to the older staff members) that the impressive array of sales on offer this week on Chef Mark’s menu may be the way to go!
The pilgrim fathers (despite their rabid anti-catholicism) would be thrilled to sees the celebration of the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to these shores. Of course, if the Mayflower had brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population! Be that as it may, the turkey, the roasted potatoes, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since. We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze: galumpkis on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod…. Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all! Juniors and Seniors and staff all joined together for a musket-bustin’ Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste. At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!
As with Jose Mourinho, we knew Luke Sherlock would not stay on the sidelines for too long! Luke has ended his temporary retirement and is back in fencing action! His exploits, this time, took him to Germany to the 18th International Open City Championships in Marburg. Luke fenced in both the U15 epee and foil, two weapons over two days. Final podium positions were 6th in epee and 3rd in foil. Well done, Luke, and good to see you back!
We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent runs by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results. Recently there was tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess on show at Ireland’s two most prestigious universities: Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Ian O’Neill (Engineering), Rory Smyth (Finance and Spanish), Stephen Allen (Science) and Joe Hyland (Engineering) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results. Stephen also added a Choral Scholarship: no surprise to those of us who enjoyed his school concert performances over the years. And Seamus Gallagher joined the toast to Hugh Downes, a ‘winner at Trinners’ and who is now studying Theoretical Physics. A high mark has certainly been set for the Class of 2020!
Of all the cultural imports from America, surely Thanksgiving is the most welcome. A holiday that celebrates diversity and community? Surely, even the most anti-American of European elites can accept that- then again, there is the accompanying traditional dish of ‘creamed corn’ which probably sends the devotees of Michelin chefs into apoplexy. However, our chef, Mark McColgan, always goes ‘whole turkey’ and happily serves up all the traditional fixings. Somewhere Squanto is smiling, even though there probably is a mall where his tee-pee used to be. Check out the special Thanksgiving Week Menu.
No, that is not a secret code but the shortest way to announce that the Senior School Parents’ Association is having its Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 25th) at 7.00pm. Come along and find out how parents make up such an important part of the St. Conleth’s community. And we don’t just think locally. There is also a talk by renowned climate activist Dr. Lorna Gold at 7.30 pm entitled “Climate Generation – Awakening to our Children’s Future”. See you there!
The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. Thankfully, most of the St. Conleth’s Senior School teachers have decided to give their students slightly more passable exams.
Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! Live long and prosper!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
‘St. Conleth’s and Debating’ go together like ‘Germany and efficiency’, ‘Brazil and soccer’ and ‘America and freedom’… and our sprightly orators were recently at it again, rushing the rostra at the UCD Literary & Historical Society Schools Junior Competition. Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney finished First in their group, debating the motion that ‘Doctors, rather than parents, should make all medical decisions for children until they reach the age of consent’, topping teams from Blackrock, Gonzaga, Belvedere et alii. Talk about the creeping influence of big government! All our teams wowed them rhetorically, continuing St. Conleth’s pre-eminent position in Irish schools debating.
Not necessarily, but the boys and girls in the St. Conleth’s STEM Club certainly create a buzz when they get into the school laboratory on a Friday morning and start bouncing ideas off each other like free electrons.
Our STEM Club’s second official meeting capped off a Science Week of all sorts of left-side-of-the-brain type of fun, including Mr. Callaghan leading a Fifth and Sixth Year group to a special Chemistry lecture at Trinity College; Elí Strahan’s science-themed cupcakes creating a rabid feeding frenzy in First Year; daily quiz questions posed by Mr. Morris and Mr. Carvill (The Younger); and a lunchtime recitation of Pi to a soundtrack of Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan!
Health Week is finally over… and we are just wrecked! But it is a healthy ‘wreckedfulness’ as we pushed the limits this week in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There was a ‘Screen Free’ day when students and (some) teachers abandoned their life-support screens- and realised they could live and even thrive with out them! What did we do then with Netflix and Kahoot and examinations.ie momentarily out of commission? We went on walks, we went to talks (Spun Out for mental health and Sticks & Stones for anti-bullying), we danced and we just sat there and thought of… sweet nothing. Hopefully, each of us will bring something with us from a great week of getting back in touch with our minds and bodies… but, thank goodness, the Tuck Shop opens again on Monday!
Health Week peaks with a shake of the hips, a twirl and a jump as First Years join TYs for some exercise and a dance-a-thon in the Sports Hall!
…and a Sticks & Stones anti-bullying seminar.
Health Week may be over but that does not mean that healthy eating stops at St. Conleth’s. See Chef Mark’s latest menu to see how the dishes served up in our canteen are good for both palate and person!
St. Conleth’s First Year Ismail Abdelwahed reached the final of the Munster Junior Open held in Waterford over the weekend and took home the Silver trophy. Ismail won all his matches, including two consecutive five setters to reach the final. Unfortunately he was not able to continue the winning streak and lost a hard fought match 3-1, with the games’ scores really tight. This is a good step forward after winning Bronze in the Connacht and the Ulster Open competitions earlier this year. This form is guaranteed to see him represent Ireland in the European championship to be held in England in April 2020.
At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December! And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Christmas and good luck!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
On the offensive! Conlethian swordsman continue to win plaudits and trophies! Claudio Sosa took Bronze in the Irish Open at the Senior level: yes, fencing against full-grown (and bearded) men! And in the the opening round of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, Luke Sherlock took Gold in the U16s and Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14s (fencing above his age level)!
and pak choi, and couscous, and lentils, and mac & cheese… this week’s menu (pdf):
Get ready for Health Awareness Week! Both Junior and Senior Schools are getting ‘psyched’ for a week in which we pay special attention to the mental and physical health of both ourselves and those around us. Activities will include: free porridge in the canteen, mental health talks, Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying workshops, a Screen Free Day, a skip-a-thon, Zumba dance, a healthy Tuckshop, a 5000 step walk, Mindfulness sessions, a surprise film showing… amongst other events. And our Principals, Mr. ODulaing and Mr. Kilcommons, have asked that all students also deliver at least one random act of kindness each day- preferably to your teachers, but friends and family are also eligible. This week will certainly focus our minds and bodies on health but we believe we have already made a good start: see below for some pics from various Wellness trips to Herbert Park (before and after the recent monsoon season). This little green oasis is literally our Happy Hunting Ground!
Over twenty First Years (and a few Fifth Year helpers) showed up for the first meeting of the All-New St. Conleth’s STEM Club! And it sure was a stunning start as one of our more over eager participants decided to lick a plasma globe that had the tiniest crack in it… all’s good though, as there was enough electricity hanging around the lab for the reviving shock, and a bit of gas to settle any lingering nerves. The kids got to learn about physics and biology in one quick experiment! In all seriousness, this was just the first meeting of what we hope will become a Conlethian tradition. Stay tuned for news of dissections, reanimations, multiverse portals and other cool stuff as Mr. Morris leads his charges into the exciting world of Science!
He shoots, he dribbles, he passes, he scores… and now he plays for Ireland! Luke Gilleran has made the ‘final 22’ of the Ireland Under-18’s Mens Basketball Team, joining past Conlethian hardcourt luminaries such as Peter Herron and Mark Ryan, who also represented their country. Here we see Luke demolishing the competition but we will be showing you him in that other green jersey, soon!
Will a new STEM Star arise at St. Conleth’s? Will we finally have an R-12 series droid? Well, grab your imagination and your pocket protector and come along to the lab and find out! Mr. Morris is starting a First Year STEM Club today at 7:45 and it will run every Friday in the lab going forward. Come along and do your part to bring on the android apocalypse!
In the old country, ‘Gotta Love a Trier’ is one of those ambivalent sayings: a double-edged sword, a backhanded compliment… You say it with a sardonic, Southern drawl when you are standing on second base, chewing a plug of tobacco, and watching a teammate give three almighty swings at the baseball…. and come up empty, all three times. You admire his effort, but you also almost pity his irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude… in the face of overwhelming genetic evidence to the contrary. Well, here, in our brave new Land of the Celtic Tyger 2.0, everything is possible and all efforts are worthwhile… especially in Transition Year. The whole programme, as implemented by Co-ordinator Gav Maguire, is about trying as many new things and skills as possible, and just a half term in, the boys and girls have already stretched their reach, as well as their CVs.
Above you see them working at First Aid certification and here they are in a mix of activities from earlier in the year: The Law Module, an Auto Safety seminar, Build-A-Bank interviews and out catching a professional performance of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.
And that little trip to the theatre was a hint at what is surely to be the biggest TY ‘try’ of all: a big budget, professionally produced rendition of the play at the end of May. (Thank you, Emer Hartnett and Seamus Gallagher!) The rehearsals and the try-outs have already started and so has the fun. Stay tuned for more highlights of the musical machinations and the TY experience overall!
After an all-too-short midterm break, it is hard to come back to the daily grind… especially when it seems to be usually dark and always raining. Luckily we have Chef Mark and Co.’s culinary arts to warm and cheer us up! This Week’s Menu (pdf):
Like a repeating decimal, Maths Week at St. Conleth’s just refuses to die! At our Halloween Assembly, Ms. NiAonghusa presented our Maths Week Challenges winners with specially procured mugs. And the pics from the first-ever-but-sure-to-be-repeated St. Conleth’s Maths Murder Mystery were finally developed. But like pi, Maths Week just does not stop! Mr. Morris has been combining Maths and ‘music’ by promoting the boy band, the ‘The Math Street Boys’ (with rumours abounding of another band, the ‘S∏ice Girls’, in the pipeline) and the TY ‘Maths Eyes’ competition continues. Maths magic, indeed!
Here at St. Conleth’s, we pride ourselves on the ways in which the Junior and Senior Schools interact. We think it benefits both groups of students, the big and the small, to be part of a community where children of all ages share a space and an ethos.
There is no better example of this than the annual Halloween Assembly when the Prepster goblins and ghouls are invited into the Performance Hall to liven up our term-ending assembly with a ‘Spooks Parade’. Of course there is some business to get done at these things, too: Mr. ODulaing gave his Gaelic-tinged interpretation of Halloween; Second Year Ciara Thornton roused the troops to be greener and do their part against climate change; Junior Certificate top finisher Louis Cullen received his ‘Murph’ Cup and LC perfectionists (625) Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill were presented with their Bernard Sheppard Medals; and our Captain Emily Mansfield introduced all the Student Officers/Class Captains, presenting them with their badges of office. This being St. Conleth’s/FAme Academy, in between these talky bits, there were plenty of musical interludes, and of such quality that we think the next Past Pupil Concert may have to be at the 3 Arena. See the video above and pics below, and enjoy the break!
We all know St. Conleth’s is not a grind school or a points factory though we do a fine job at generating those all important totals come mid-August (see news on LC results below). We also consider the development of the ‘whole child’. This website is replete with news of sports, extra-curricular and other goings-on which have nothing to do with three weeks of exams in June in Sixth Year but everything to do with a healthy, cohesive culture of personal growth over six years of secondary school.
Even our Sixth Years get to share in the formative fun. Above you see them put on the style for the annual trip to the opera. Continuing a tradition started years ago by Mr. Kelleher, the students enjoyed The Barber of Seville at the National Concert Hall. And earlier in the year, there was the overnight retreat to Ovoca House, where both bodies and spirits were reinvigorated. Of course, it was back to the books afterwards!
Is Ireland finally going to join the gastronomic greats of the world? Well, if we had more chefs like Mark of the school canteen, we would surely be up there with the other ‘I’s. This week, we sample the best of Parma, Bologna and Central Asia but Mark also has pride in the simple but profound native dishes, inevitably spud-based. Enjoy your colcannon!
Ms. Fay, our stylish musical maestra, and Seamus Gallagher, our agent to current and future recording stars, pulled out all the stops and put on a concert to remember, one of which the sweet-sounding reverberations will be felt down the years… Whoever is planning the 85th celebrations better get started because it will be nigh impossible to beat the 80th Anniversary/Soirée Musicale of last Friday night when the Kevin Kelleher Wing was alive with exquisite music, the swishest of fashion, the finest food and drink and, of course- this being St. Conleth’s- the most compelling conversation in town. It was also the launch of the latest St. Conleth’s Quinquennial, edited by the the two Charleses, Crimmins and Latvis, and chock full of alumni and staff reminiscence. The book may have kept you busy over the weekend but Friday night, all our attention was directed to the stage where the ‘best of’ past pupil and current musical talent took the stage. ‘Eclectic’ was certainly the theme of the night as the stars and styles came from across the musical spectrum: ‘Conlethian’ and ‘consummate’ being the only descriptives in common.
Greg Purcell (2007), with indie matinee star looks and moves, started us off with a pitch perfect and powerfully emotive power ballad, Pink Rabbits from The National. Current pupils Caoimhe Moore and Trevor Bolger showed no nerves and played an exquisite version of Gymnopodie No. 1 on clarinet and piano. Molly Van Der Lee (2011) sang and played Landslide, evoking Stevie Nicks in her best incarnation. Then, The Band to be Named Later took the stage with the lively 21 Pilots tune, Heathens. Michael Horan, Rory Clark, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty-Smyth made such a powerful impression, belying their relative lack of experience, that we are sure this band will soon have a name, as well as a fervent following! Noah Brabazon (2016), as always, calmed things down in his own smooth way with Gold by James Vincent McMorrow on piano, before the legendary Patrick Fitzgerald (2008) took the stage to turn up the reverb and the feedback and rock out with his own ‘love’ song : Goodbye!
Two stars of the Class of 2019, Matthew Rockett and Joe Gallagher, then played their own compositions, Notturno and Slipping, stunning us again with their talent and making it rather obvious why they are pursuing music at the third level. Sisters of 2016, Hannah Collins and Maryrose Counihan, accompanied by the calmly ubiquitous Noah on guitar, made Radioactive by Imagine Dragons the most pleasant sounding of emo musings. Seán Keane (2017), did what he always did when a student: he took out his fiddle and, without fanfare or fuss, took us all elsewhere, someplace more beautiful, for a little while. And then, as if to finally prove the versatility of this Past Pupil line-up of talent, Evan Kennedy (2014) made Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye his own, ending the Soirée Musicale with both style and substance.
Most of our current students are too young to remember but for a few years after the turn of the millennium, Ireland was the happy hunting ground of the Celtic Tiger and we did things and bought things (mostly the latter) of which we will probably never be able again. Locally, we mark the height of the ‘Tiger’ with two historical events: one, when they started selling straight pomegranate juice at the Baggott St. Spar and two, when the Boys’ U19 Basketball team flew, yes- ‘flew’, to Cork for an All-Ireland Cup match. Somehow we convinced ourselves that the logistics demanded air travel, just the way one of our big men, Gavan Duffy, thought it logical that he should spend all of his €20 traveling money on sunglasses at 6:30 in Dublin Airport, in the rain. Really, you had to be there.
Well, the cranes are up again, and there is a €200 steak available on Shelbourne Road, but we have learned our lessons and now spend our money much more surreptitiously, like holidaying at Centre Parcs in County Longford. But one thing that harkens back to the golden years is the state of St. Conleth’s basketball. Coaches Ingle and Gahan and their charges, both boys and girls, are absolutely ballin’ it! The Conlethian teams went. combined 5-0 last week, including a return trip to County Cork (alas, via coach this time) where the U19 Boys, once again led by Luke ‘Lord of the Paint’ Gilleran and Colin ‘Bomber’ Bolger, trounced the country cream of Rosscarbery. The dynamic duo had their usual support in the feverish antics of Keane Acosta and the glove-like ‘D’ of Dylan Alvez as well as some new contributors: Luke ‘Silky’ Sherlock stepping up from the 16s and off-season transfer ‘Dapper’ Daniel Duarte making his big game debut. And the boys were not alone this week in snapping the nets and cleaning the glass: the Girls, U16 and U!9 versions, beat St. Pat’s Cathedral and Pres.-Terenure, following up on their double over Ballinteer the previous week. Overall, an impressive slate of victories and a return to hoopla headlines for St. Conleth’s. Who knows? We may be on to Ryan Air for the next round of the cup…
It appears that we have a new budding fencing champion in St Conleth’s. Michael Davitt (3rd Form) competed in his first fencing competition and won bronze in the U10 Mixed Foil Category at the Lord Killanin Trophy in Loreto College, Dalkey last Saturday. Obtaining some helpful words of wisdom and assistance from his fellow Conlethian, Myles Moriarty-Smyth, this gave him the confidence to progress smoothly through the pools and onto the direct elimination phase of the competition, where he competed in the semi finals. Myles Moriarty-Smyth (6th Form) was also on piste and won bronze in the U14 category.
Don’t be fooled by Claudio Sosa’s friendly demeanour and his winning, winsome smile. Let your guard down a moment… and the tip of his foil will soon be stuck in your heart! Or, at least, scoring a clear hit on the electronic scoring of modern fencing. Claudio added to his already impressive trophy hoard last weekend when he won a Gold in the Lord Killanin Trophy at U17-Foil and took Silver in the West of Ireland Open, a senior competition, losing only to a ranked Italian fencer who is almost double his age! And stay tuned… news of Claudio’s Conlethian friends and competitors, the famous ‘fencing brothers’ is also on the way!
What can we say about the subject that somehow gives 125% (on the LC) when all others are bound by mathematical limits? And the only subject where some students spend 80% of their time to get 20% of their points? Only Maths can beat maths!
And, this week, the value of Maths approaches infinity as all of Ireland celebrates Maths Week and, as always, St. Conleth’s Maths teachers are integral to the equation with daily Maths challenges, a literacy/numeracy hybrid game of ‘missing vowels, a Maths Murder Mystery (see below), a ‘Dating Tips for Mathematicians’ seminar and numerous numerical surprises planned for later in the week. As you can see, we all agree with what a Department Inspector said about the quality of our quantifiers: she had ‘never before experienced a school with such a high level of Maths understanding’.’ The only subject that counts, indeed! And subtracts, and multiplies and divides…
Fear not , the hairy horseman is at St. Conleth’s only in a disambiguous, inspirational sense for, according to Wiki: Tartar sauce gets its name from the Golden Horde Mongols who invaded Europe in the 13th century, who were known to the locals as Tartars. This name comes from confusion over their allies the Tatars, because of whom the Europeans called Mongolia Tartary. This misnomer came from associating the name Tatar with the Greek mythological hell known as Tartarus. Now, it is simply a rather ‘tart’ mayonnaise which chefs like Mark serve with his fish dishes. Mark also has two of our Italian favourites scheduled: pasta puttanesca and melanzane alla parmigiana so get ready for more fine canteen cuisine! Menu pdf
Mr. Keenan does not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, he practises what we preach and issues an open invite to all students, both Junior and Senior School to join him on his Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years in Sixth Class and First Year.
And we do not just do quantity: there were some quality runners hidden amongst this horde of student athletes which Mr. Keenan led over the mountains and through the trees to the ‘Brother at Your Side’ Cross Country Meet in Santry. And our boys and girls showed great sportsmanship and camaraderie, too. It was a beautiful day and everyone involved enjoyed the run and the craic. Stay tuned for more Track and Field adventures with Mr. Keenan!
Nearly everyone worked late last Monday night, and it has taken us almost a week to recover but it was worth it as the St. Conleth’s Senior School Information Evening was once again a smashing success. Such was the queue snaking down Clyde Road and approaching Elgin that the US Embassy security staff were on high alert as they thought another political protest was afoot. But the Marines had nothing to fear as these youngsters and their parents were just young families from Ballsbridge, Blackrock, Blanchardstown and beyond, all lining up to get a taste of the best private co-education in Dublin.
They literally got a taste from the school canteen as Chef Mark served up some a taster’s menu but they also got helpings from a ll the subject teachers and the sports and extra-curricular, too. And who were our best salespeople? Once again, the current students who amazed all and sundry with their affability, effort and sincerity. Apparently, a ‘free’ lunch is on its way, but we all know there is no such thing and this one was more than earned!
We meant to write this ages ago, but even our ace reporter kept coming up against a stony, cold wall of silence when digging for dirt on the Bundoran trip so we will have to keep it a bit general (and boring):
We always knew that the Donegalese were the most civilised of the Irish, and that Bundoran is up there with San Francisco and Milan as far as cosmopolitan capitals of the world, but the fact that there is a top-notch French Language/Adventure Centre there, is still a pleasant surprise to some. Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley, of course, are not surprised, as they have been running the Annual Third Year Trip for years now, having taken on that mantle from Ms. Sheppard and Ms. Brotelande. And once again, this year, the trip was the perfect mixture of language lessons, indoor and outdoor adventure fun and good, old-fashioned bonhomie and camaraderie. And during the archery, surfing, climbing, rappelling, French lessons, obstacle course, tasty meals and sneaky midnight rendezvous, there were plenty of interesting, un-planned events happening on the sidelines, but alas you will have to be satisfied with the rumours and the gossip, for, as we all know: What goes on in Bundoran, stays in Bundoran!
We have been a bit preoccupied with the impending release of our St. Conleth’s 80th Anniversary Quinquennial, but now that the printing presses are rolling, we intend on catching up with a few stories which we had stashed beneath the typewriter. One such story concerns one of the Past Pupil authors featured in that weighty tome: Philip McDonald, a solicitor and a gentleman (not often twinned, even at Slaughter and May) and general bon vivant from the Class of 2010 (a fine vintage).
Philip dropped in a few weeks back at the invitation of Development and Guidance Guru John Carvill and he delighted the assembled Fifth and Sixth Years with a.rollicking account of his adventures since graduation and some more serious advice about the trials and tribulations of the Leaving Certificate. Having, we believe, scored a total of 590 (out of 600, back then), Philip was in a good position to offer advice, and having negotiated the UCAS system to gain entrance into Law at Cambridge, he also had some valuable pointers regarding studying abroad. Check pout the pics above and stay tuned for the Quinquennial and Philip’s article on ‘A Conlethian Christianity’.
Come and see why St. Conleth’s Senior School is attracting so much attention and so many students at our Information Evening on Monday, October 7th, at 7:00 p.m. Here is our promotional flyer (pdf):
In a relatively short time, Ireland has expanded its culinary palate quite extensively. Thankfully, Nescafe is no longer served as ‘coffee’ in most establishments and defrosted lasagne carved piecemeal from the permafrost does not make the menus of most gastropubs any more. But we also have the confidence to hang on to our native strengths and even engineer our own ‘fusion’: chilli con carne served on the old baked potato, case in point. Chef Mark has placed this simple delight along with other easy dishes on this week’s menu (PDF):
I know it sounds strange at first, just sitting together- like some kind of college campus protest in 1968 Paris- but as with everything that originates in the wonderful spirit of our resident Mindfulness guru, Mr. Porzadny, we know it will turn out to be sublime and profound. Our very own dalai lama explains:
Sit Together for World Mental Health Day 2019
The Mindfulness in School Projects (MiSP) Community (www.mindfulnessinschools.org) is coming together to mark World Mental Health Day 2019 to raise awareness of the need for young people to develop skills to support their own wellbeing both inside and out.
Like many other school throughout the world we will have a mindful sit on Thursday October 10th2019 at 1pm in room 2.7. This will be a lead practice and will last 15 minutes. All staff and students are welcome to attend.
If you would like to know more about how Mindfulness can improve student’s lives I invite you to take 5 minutes and read the following interview between MiSP and Jon Kabat Zinn (one of the founding father of contemporary Mindfulness):
Intrepid explorer Gav Maguire is at it again! Like an aged country and western singer desperately trying to keep the taxman from the door, Gav is once again wrapping up the old bones in fleece and lycra and taking to the hills- this time leading a motley group of 4th and 5th Years over the hills surrounding Lough Dan in preparation for Tanzania and Uganda 2020.
The boys and girls involved got a bit wetter and fitter, learned how to cook over an open fire and how to talk to each other for more than five minutes without resorting to screen reference. Stay tuned (and well-stocked with cash monies) for the all-important fundraisers for East Africa 2020!
There are not too many sports where competitors separated by 47 years (a rough estimate!) can face off against each other in a fair fight. Well fencing is clearly one, as last week, Claudio Sosa (Class of 2022) beat fellow Conlethian Philip Lee (1975) in the Semifinals of an international fencing tournament in Cork. Yes, fencing has been at the heart of Conlethian sporting endeavour for generations, and you can see from this website that a passion for it still runs in Conlethian veins. Thanks to electronic scoring, none of it was actually spilled during this intense but friendly civil war! Claudio was narrowly beaten by a world-ranked Italian in the final. But remember, he is only 15 years old!
You know we can’t resist a LOTR reference, but the ‘kings’ in this case do not (yet) possess any sovereign kingdoms but they did certainly royally rock the Leaving Certificate in 2019 and now they have returned to spill their secrets to the Class of 2020. Tomás Clancy, Hugh Downes, Pearse Roberts and (Queen) Maggie Tighe were not necessarily our highest point-scorers (there were many!) but they all did extremely well and had gained acceptance into the course of their choice. Perhaps most importantly, they were also willing to tear themselves away from Freshers’ Week hedonism for a couple of hours!
Tomás is now happily lambasting any sufficiently ‘unwoken’ ones still lurking in the medieval recesses of TCD where he is pursuing a degree in History and Politics; Hugh is conversing with the higher beings in Theoretical Physics on the other side of the same campus (but light years away); Pearse is exploring a broader spectrum of Science at UCD with his usual humble excellence and impeccable manners; and Maggie has chosen the noblest pursuit of all: mixing Classics, Music and English at UCC. To be honest, the ‘secrets’ which were spilled turned out to be just good common sense but the assembled Sixth Years did seem to receive a real boost in their confidence listening to those who were now on ‘the other side’ but who had so recently been in their shoes (and stylish purple Performance Space chairs). Mr. Carvill was once again the guiding Guidance spirit and he also arranged for a three hour professionally delivers study seminar to get the Sixth Years off on the right foot and into the world of ‘mind maps.’ Where will all this lead the Class of 2020? Hopefully to results as good as the Class of 2019. Below you see a graphic, courtesy of Ronan ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s, Jr.’ O’Kelly, which clearly sets out how well our graduates do compared to the rest of the nation. So, Sixth Years, who will be the returning kings next year?
As the calendar turns and the shadows lengthen, the weather is starting to run its usual course of perpetual precipitation, but have no fear… Chef Mark has the scheduled the immortal burrito to appear next Friday! The rest of this coming week’s menu:
Chefs Mark and Emerson are again at their cosmopolitan best! This week we have dishes from Spain and France, as well as an Italian pasta dish originally devised for workers in a certain unmentionable profession. Print up this week’s menu here or check it out below:
Like his Roman Emperor near-namesake, Claudio is no slouch with the academic books, but unlike the bumbling, stumbling Claudius, our Claudio is also an all-star of agility, who would have given even the champion gladiators a run for their lucre and laurels in the Colosseum. Claudio Sosa, however, does not use the short Roman gladius, but the modern fencing foil and epeé. And how does he wield them! Claudio has continued his historic run from last year, competing and winning at well over his age level. Last week he won another senior national champion title, as part of a Queen’s University team which defended their second consecutive title in Belfast. And just this past weekend, Claudio was selected to represent Ireland in a senior male foil competition at the Five Nations Fencing Tournament. The Romans would have loved nothing more than an underdog taking down the big favourite, and despite an obvious growth spurt over the summer, the sight of this still mini (but mighty) fifteen-year-old warrior puncturing the defence and the pride of experienced professional swordsman, would have sent the terraces of the amphitheatre into rapture!
Chefs Mark and Emerson scour the earth for the tastiest dishes to serve up in the Conlethian canteen. This week we have the traditional Italian favourite, Pasta Bolognese, but also couscous, originally cooked up by the Berbers of North Africa, and TriBeCa chicken wings, removed from birds whose fate was sealed by the gentrification of their lower Manhattan neighbourhood. Print up this week’s menu here or check it out below:
And so is the salad… and the pasta… and the sandwich made to order. This week’s canteen menu:
It is a phrase of which you do not hear much anymore… after all, is it not oxymoronic? Good and tired? But it is possible: just ask the TYs (and their accompanying teachers) after their whirlwind outdoor adventure sojourn in Carlingford.
Transition Year Head Honcho Gav Maguire did indeed bring the TYs back from their Carlingford Adventure Centre experience utterly exhausted but also deliriously happy! As they somnambulated off the bus on Friday afternoon, their sun-, wind- and salt-burned faces were contorted in a look that could only be interpreted as joy, though there was a bit of relief mixed in.
After two days of pier-jumping, rock-climbing, laser-shooting and axe-throwing, Gav’s TY boys and girls learned how much fun there is to be had doing things together other than a Fortnite Battle Royale. And we are sure co-leader Ms. Speller will concur… as soon as she wakes up from her nap on the staffroom couch!
Just by chance yesterday, at about noontime, a woman and toddler were walking down Clyde Road and, when they came to No. 28, they happened to run into one of our many resident wits of Sixth Year, who was casually leaning against one of the gateposts and enjoying his second (at least) ice cream cone of the day. The woman stopped (with the potential Conlethian child in tow) and stared aghast past said wit at the glorious mayhem of our 80th Anniversary Celebration, with children from four to eighteen (and Mr. Keenan) milling around with well-mannered abandon. The woman pulled her child closer and demanded to know if the school were like this every day. Our Sixth Year politely replied, ‘No, miss. Just on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.’ The woman shook her head in disbelief and stomped off down the road, perhaps to visit that more austere academic institution in Ranelagh.
What that child will probably now never know is what eighty years of Conlethians have proudly known: our school is more than the sum of its parts (or its marks). It is community of individuals who, despite their differences, and in some cases, because of them, meld together in a shared pursuit of learning, yes, but also, camaraderie and good humour. And these qualities were very much on show at our 80th Birthday Party. Bernard Sheppard’s vision and Kevin Kelleher’s mission were recalled and celebrated as the school begins a brave, new era. Mr. ODulaing took the stage and set it with nostalgia for the past but also enthusiasm for the future.
Fr. Collins, Mr. Gallagher and several student readers brought our Christian ethos to the fore and Mr. Kilcommons made sure to include the Junior School students in the reverie. Ms. Sheppard cut the cake itself, with the help of two Conlethian legacies, Daniel Carroll and Charlie Power. And this being St. Conleth’s, there was beautiful music during the interludes. Then, to the delight (if not surprise) of all, the ice cream truck rolled in and the party really started!
It has long been known that an army runs on its stomach, but every experienced teacher knows that so does a school. And Chefs Mark and Emerson and the multi-talented Anna do such a great job in our school canteen, that we must say a visit to their domain does your heart and spirit wonders, in addition to the rumbling tummy! See what’s on offer this week below on our Weekly Menu (PDF to print) or each day in the Events to the right. Bon Appetit!
The TYs’ summer officially ends on Thursday at 11:00 but all the other years and classes have already taken that brave step… But really going back to school is not so scary at St. Conleth’s. In fact, judging from these photos, it seems like a lot of fun! Check out the smiles on the faces from the other years on their first day in the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools.
The Senior School
The Preparatory and Junior School
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’ (click for details) 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’ (for 5th and 6th Years) runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Monday and Thursday (details have been emailed to parents). You must sign-up and pay for each programme separately through Easypayments Plus. Study starts next Monday (September 2nd) so sign up soon!
We are sure all our students, old and new, are eagerly looking forward to the start of school (and perhaps their parents even more so!), so we are giving you all the information necessary to make it a great start. Start of school dates and times can be found below and under Events on our homepage, as well as on our calendars which are always available, along with booklists and information on uniform and the canteen, under Calendars and Information, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior) to our uniform supplier, and our Cashless Canteen deposit page. We will see you all over the next few days, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at No. 28, Clyde Road!
Senior School Start Dates and Times:
Junior School Start Dates and Times:
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 2019 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to the guidance of their teachers. We particularly congratulate Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill, who both 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, will be headed where they want to go come September, as will the rest of our recent graduates and we wish them all well at university and beyond. Stay tuned as we await news of offers and acceptances and a more detailed breakdown of results.
Yes, it is only early July but we bet the kids are already starting to annoy you… So, if you are lucky enough to be the parent of an incoming Conlethian First Year, here is your chance to shorten that summer a bit and give your child a running start when it comes to meeting and mixing with the other students. Head of Sport, Gavin Maguire, takes over here:
First Year Multi-Sports Camp (pdf)
In August, St. Conleth’s College will be running a Multi-Sports Camp for incoming 1styear students in Wanderers F.C. It is an opportunity for students to get to know their new classmates in a fun and friendly environment before their first day.
All girls will participate in hockey on Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. They will walk (accompanied) to and from Pembroke Hockey Club from Wanderers F.C.
The boys will stay in Wanderers F.C. and participate in other sports.
Date: Wednesday 21stAugust until Friday 23rdAugust 2019
Venue: Wanderers F.C.
Times: 09:30 a.m. until 12.30p.m.
What To Bring: Girls: Hockey stick, gum-shield and shin-guards. Tracksuit, shorts, polo shirt, sports shoes, socks, and a smallsnack for break time.
Boys: Tracksuit, shorts, jersey, sports shoes, socks, and a smallsnack for break time
The cost of the Multi-Sports Camp is €30.00. Payment for the Multi-Sports Camp may be made via Easy Payments Pluswhich is located on the school website.
Gavin Maguire, Head of Sport, firstname.lastname@example.org
Past Pupil Philip Lee (Class of 1975) has become Ireland’s first ever European Champion in fencing! He won the European Veterans Championships in Cognac in France in early June, in the ‘Over 60’ age category in men’s foil. Yes, just a few years shy of getting his free travel pass (not that he needs it), Philip is still travelling the world, still fencing and still winning trophies! And judging from the effervesecent energy levels evident in his winning hit (and cavorting celebration and gentlemanly condolence for his opponent) and his acceptance of his medal, fencing must be the sport that keeps the spirit as well as the body young. Well done to Philip, an inspiration to our young and up-and-coming student fencers.
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Ann Cramp. Aside from the Kellehers and Sheppards and perhaps a certain games master, no-one has been part of St. Conleth’s for longer than Ann Cramp. And certainly no-one has been more universally appreciated and beloved. Generations of Conlethians have benefitted from the ‘ship-shape’ in which she kept the school for decades, for most of them almost singlehandedly, and, just as importantly, staff and students alike have been for so long blessed with the constant presence of our own benevolent fairy godmother, always there with a kind word, a cup of tea, a quick joke and an unswerving loyalty and a capacity for care. Ann’s domain had shrunk a bit in terms of time and place in recent years, but whenever and whatever part of the school she was in, it was always the cleanest… and the happiest!
There we were bragging about the efficiency of our awards ceremony and the lack of a Oscars-style snafu and, true enough, Mr. ODulaing et al did their jobs perfectly, but in the transfer to the digital world we ourselves committed a couple of gaffes… We are proud to announce that the universally loved and admired Rory Clarke was the winner of the Junior Music Award and that we had the Minor Hockey awards mixed up: Katya Bailey was the POY and Caoimhe Moore the MIP. That’s it, for now, but such is the frayed state of a teacher’s mind at term’s end, you had better stay tuned for more corrections!
No, we do not recommend you donning a visored helmet and relying solely on the force to pass your state exams, but you should be as confident as young Skywalker when approaching 28 Clyde Road tomorrow morning. Come in a bit early and join your teachers and fellow students for a short Mass in the canteen at 8:30. Good luck! JC Exam Schedule PDF LC Exam Schedule PDF
The USS Enterprise’s loss has certainly been our gain. Since his arrival at St. Conleth’s on Stardate 96268.25, Ensign Simon Toal has displayed a remarkable talent for dealing with those who need a little extra help, those with behavioural issues or those who find it hard to get along with those around them… and that is just in the staffroom! In all seriousness, Simon has been a godsend for those students who have benefitted from his help in his official position as an integral part of the SEN team, alongside stalwarts Ms. Killen and Ms. Long.
He has also, more unofficially, brought a breath of fresh air and a bright spark to the everyday life of the school with his wit, charm and inside knowledge on how to battle the Borg. On the last day of school, the Juniors got to experience another talent of Mr. Toal’s: Simonsmagicparties.ie landed its Tardis in our outdoor classroom and a special magic show closed out the term in style. Everyone, even brave volunteer Mr. Sheridan, enjoyed themselves immensely as you can see from the shots above and video below. New series starts next September!
As is now traditional, After School Study ended with a pizza party and though pictures of people stuffing their gobs with pizza slices piled high with pepperoni do not usually pass our ‘newsworthy’ test, we thought we might as well include them as we are heading into the ‘silly’ season and we need to prepare our readers for the more bizarre stories that lie ahead.
More properly included here are the impromptu solo performances by Sammy and Manus, who took the condition that they must ‘sing for their supper’ rather literally. Once again, we gladly witness, enjoy and record things that just do not happen at other schools!
Mr. ODulaing avoided any wardrobe malfunctions and Oscars-style misadventures at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the ivory-tinkling of Sam Lynch and Charlotte McClaren (below) and the no frills presenting by Gavin ‘DOS’ (Direct of Sport) Maguire, he presided over a dignified yet joyous affair.
It was great to see so many students rewarded for their talents and effort but even more pleasing was the general bonhomie and good sportsmanship which characterised the event: we like to win at St. Conleth’s but we know that friendship and teamwork are more important. Without further ado, here are the individual winners of the awards:
Yes, we officially ended the seemingly endless flow of fencing news some weeks ago but a operantly we were foiled again… we had forgotten about the in-house St. Conleth’s Fencing League/Tournament! Started a few years ago by Fencing Captain emeritus Michael Li, it is a great way to end the season and the school year: a friendly but competitive series of bouts between Conlethians of all ages and sizes.
Claudio Sosa instigated this year’s tournament but he needed help so Michael Li came back to both help organise (and compete) and Conlethian mom and alumna Kathrin Chambers kindly served as referee. The main combatants know each other well but still the competition was fierce, and even more exciting as it was conducted old school- sans electronic scoring! In the end the podium finishers were: First- Claudio Sosa, Second- Luke Sherlock and Third- Michael Li. See snaps of the action above and below!
We have outsourced much of our video production to a more talented (vastly!) and cheaper (free!) operative, namely new Vice Captain James McGowan, and he has been working overtime rendering, cutting, splicing and wriggling around copyright infringements. Here is the second instalment of Graduation Ceremony videos, including Gavin Roche-Griffin’s piano piece and Jaques Herbot’s barnstorming torch-song. A dangerous mixed metaphor, indeed! Stay tuned as we coax even more highlights from the night.
Did we take the wrong turn somewhere in the late 60’s, when Brian Wilson retreated to his room and stopped singing about his ‘409’ and his ‘Little Deuce Coupe’? Rock and roll wandered aimlessly through punk and progressive and not until Bruce nosed his Chevy out onto Thunder Road, did we once again have gasoline and testosterone in plentiful lyrical supply. And 1978’s Grease took it one mile further: transporting us back to a simpler time when the music was simple, the harmonies were plentiful and the fuel was fully leaded. Throw in the fact that the musical is an unrivalled camp masterpiece and you please everyone!
The audience at our TY year-end extravaganza was certainly thrilled with the performances, as maestros deBhal and Gallagher coaxed some stunning performances from our shy and retiring boys and girls. Actually, ‘coaxed’ might be the wrong term: how about ‘barely able to restrain’ an explosion of enthusiasm for hip-shaking, T-shirt-wearing, chorus-crooning and cross-dressing! The last, of course, is a long-standing St. Conleth’s tradition and, thankfully, the presence of real girls in the cast did not prevent Nathan, Fergal, Ian and Keane from taking a walk on the wild side. And the actors who suited up in their cisgender costumes were not that bad either! Stephen, Sophie, Zach, Robert, Emily, Omar, Jack and the vast supporting cast hit the right notes, shook the right hip and simply charmed us all with their talent and enthusiasm.
The night marked Mr. Trenier’s swansong as TY Co-ordinator, and he certainly went out with a bang. The photos on the walls of the Performance Hall were a testament to his industry and the TY students’ reciprocal spirit: the physical evidence of fun yet educational trips all over Dublin; various courses, projects and competitions; and the conquering of the Wicklow Mountains to complete the Gaisce Hike. Scroll back through our news to read all about the wide range of TY adventures, but first check out the snaps and video of Grease (both rehearsal and performance) and the Roll of Honour for the individual TY awards. Well done to Mr. T. and the Transition Year Class of 2019!
Many schools send their athletes to the East Leinster’s Athletics Championships (or the North, etc…) but we take pride in always having at least a couple of runners or jumpers or walkers qualify for the Leinster’s proper and this year we did very well indeed, with four athletes qualifying. First Year Luke Timlin did more than qualify: he won the Gold in the 100M and Silver in the Long Jump at Morton Stadium in Santry, adding to his Cross Country and Indoor medals, and becoming our most decorated First Year athlete ever.
Then, last Saturday morning, John Kelleher and Andrew Latvis competed in the Javelin and High Jump Finals, with both notching their personal bests and finishing sixth in Leinster. Not bad, considering the two Sixth Years met Mr. Keenan that morning, coming directly from their nocturnal celebrations of their graduation the night before! Oh yes, race-walk qualifier Tomas Clancy was a no-show, but we understand completely as the after-hours graduation party was actually at the school captain’s house, and as with many things, Tomas’s manners as host are impeccable!
Anyone wandering down Clyde Road last Friday evening very well might have thought that they were passing by a performing arts school at No. 28, such was the quality of sounds emanating from the sweetly reverberating edifice of the KD Kelleher Wing. Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2019’s time at St. Conleth’s and though his mixture of humour and gravitas was as well-measured as ever, but the stars of the show were undoubtedly our musical talent.
From the opening strains of Gavin Roche Griffin’s exquisite version of Clair de Lune and our pre-eminent flautist Maggie Tighe’s Morcean de Concours through two contrasting but equally beautiful piano pieces, Georgia Weir McErlean’s Woodbrook and Isabel O’Farrell’s Where is my Mind?, we knew early on that this night was going to more than match the impressive musical legacy already laid down by graduating classes past.
The Class of 2019’s resident singer-songwriter then took the stage: Joe Gallagher played guitar and sang the self-penned Slipping, and it is clear that those lonely sounding Villagers may soon have company! Turning up the volume, our version of ‘The Highwaymen’ took the stage, covering the Waterboys’ Fishermens’ Blues, but with a Dixie twang. Surely, by this stage, John Kelleher, Brian Keenan and Eoghan Fitzmaurice, permanent fixtures of all our musical happenings, have logged as many miles, whiskies and women as Willie, Waylon and Mr. Cash. And our Mr. Kelleher then emulated his heroes and commandeered the stage for an unscripted encore! The Man in Black, indeed! Then the talented Matthew Rockett took to the ivories with his self-composed magnum opus Take Flight, stunning the audience into raptured silence and then thunderous applause. Could anything top that? Well, Stephen Allen expertly channelled Sam Smith but also made Writings on Wall his very own and Jacq Herbots absolutely brought the house down with his Muse masterclass. The shy clarinettest who so charmed us in years past had confidently taken the stage and just blown us away with his vocal talent and passion.
Incredibly, the other non-musical partcipants in our ceremony managed to hold their own with the superstars. Mr. Gallagher’s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a warm and welcoming place and the speeches and awards which followed both recalled the good times of the past and the promising deeds of the future. Of course, this being St. Conleth’s where we are never at a loss for words, the musical challenge was more than met on the rhetorical front by Captain Tomas Clancy, Vice Captains Georgia Weir McErlean and Jack Cosgrave, Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU Treasurer Ronan O’Kelly. Their speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Jack’s carefully composed and hilarious slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings. Of course, awards were on the agenda and the The Mr. Porzadny Show is getting so popular we fear we may soon lose him to the Oscars, or at least the Emmys, such is his talent of combining genuine warmth, good humour, cupla francais and technical wizardry. You can see our winners and their prizes on the slider below. And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with succinct words of celebration, and surely making Mr. K proud. There was a bittersweetness to the night, as it was the first graduation ceremony in the wing named after Mr. Kelleher, and many of the graduating boys had grown up at St. Conleth’s, with Mr. K. being powerful and formative constant in their lives. And on this night, Mr. Kelleher’s physical absence only highlighted his spiritual presence in terms of the legacy which he has left behind and which was so evident in the words and songs: the legacy of a school which is ‘a home away from home’.
After the ceremony, it was on to the RDS for a classy dinner for students and staff and surely some classy activities afterwards at the Clancys’. For specifics of those nocturnal celebrations you must, carefully, check social media, but for pics and video of the ceremony and details of the award-winners look above and below (and with more tocome in the next few days). And here is the Graduation Booklet, a testament to the hard work put in by Messrs. Carvill, Porzadny, Gallagher and Ms. DeBhal and Ms. Hopkins.
IMTA Maths Competition Participants:
You will have to wait a bit longer for the full array of news, photos and video highlights from Graduation Night 2019, but in the meantime we will tease you with these from the post-ceremony dinner for the graduate and their teacher guests at the RDS.
Gav Maguire and Shane Robertson hit it off so well with Mr. Tayto during the recent Third Year Business Trip to Tayto Park that rumour has it that there was quite a competition between the two Conlethian teachers/Past Pupils cozying up to the entrepreneurial spud, and even talk that one of the two may soon be chosen as the ageing executive’s heir apparent. Meanwhile, the students had a blast on all the usual amusement park rides and attractions but they also gained some valuable business insights with a factory tour and a seminar on all the finances that underpin such a successful enterprise. Regarding the aforementioned individual competition, we are not sure who won in the end but rumour has it that Mr. Maguire was seen making room between the Wanderer’s, Leinster and St. Conleth’s thirds of his wardrobe for new outfits primarily in red, yellow and blue!
A few months back we enjoyed a ‘whole-school’ inspection and the Department of Education will soon be publishing its findings (spoiler: They are very positive!). But Self-Evaluation is also important, and at St. Conleth’s we take it very seriously. We ask all of our students and parents to complete a short survey which will help us to evaluate what is working and what is not working and make improvements for 2019-20. Here is the the Student Survey Link. You need to be signed in to the ‘trusted’ St Conleth’s domain. The link for the parents’ survey will be emailed next week. So, to answer Joey, we need to know: how are we doing?
We have been warned that we should deliver such an important item of news as the Summer Exam Schedule without any razzmatazz, fanfare or ironic undercutting, so we will do that, as in this matter the Exam Secretary has… unlimited power!
Summer Exam Schedules
Yes, there were three great games of soccer these past few days, but though the last displayed similar levels of skill and entertainment, we really cannot claim that the Staff Soccer Team’s victory was as surprising as the other two. Yes, Kane was in the stands and Bolger was making soup in Naas, but there the similarity in expectation ends. After all, the last time the Sixth Years beat the Staff there was a weedy forward causing havoc for them upfront (and a classy Canavan patrolling midfield): that stringy striker was none other than Shane Robertson, who is now a middle-aged goal machine for the teachers. His four goals in this year’s 6-3 Staff victory were as stylish s they were emphatic and his ‘goals per minute ratio’ of 0.08 trails only Mr. Latvis’s 0.10 in the official statistics.
Of course, the usual stalwarts of Mr. Kilcommons, Mr. Trenier, Mr. Sheridan, ‘Gaelic’ Gahan and the impish delight of Mr. O’Brien were there to seal the deal and recent Barcelona transfers Mr. Coleman and Mr. Smith played important parts, the latter taking Messi-like liberties (and passes and shots) as he roamed the pitch with abandon. The adjunct faculty also played an important part with debating coaches Conor Power and Oisin Dowling making some serious points and Gavin Nugent backing up his lunchtime soccer legend. Sean Ingle brought some blacktop swag from his native basketball (and Northside) and office staff Gavin Sheridan and Jack were obvious talents at the back and top of the pitch.
The Sixth Years, in fairness, did their best, playing like a hustling Huddersfield against Man City. Joe ‘Cabo’ Hyland was on the injured list but his teammates, particularly Rory, Jack, Mark, Aviral, Andrew, Kealan, Dylan, James, Mark, Hannah (!) and Hugh did their best but, as they say, ‘class will out’. Current Fifth Years are already talking up their chances, and they do have some Ringsend/East D4/Raglan Road grit, but we are not really worried. A dozen years with the Goblet of Fire in our grasp…. see you next May!
Yes, our Conlethian contingent of debonair duellists did approach their last ‘fence’ of the season but unlike the figurative horse, there was no stumble! Inspired by the Game of Thrones, we will organise their Annual Awards and Irish Open results by ‘clan’:
The Sherlocks: Luke Sherlock was named ‘Fencer of the Year’ in both the U14 Foil and Epee, as well as winning the latter, and finishing third in the former, category at the Irish Open. Brother, Matthew, he of the angelic smile but devilish thrust, finished third in the U12 Fencer of the Year category, a s well as third in the U12 Foil at the Irish Open.
The Moriarty-Smyths: (Nominally arch enemies of the Sherlocks, but actually good friends). Myles Moriarty-Smyth was named U12 Foil Fencer of the Year and also took First in that category at the Irish Open. Big Bro James also enjoyed a very successful season but wrapped up early due to his preparations for the Junior Certificate.
Claudio Sosa Smatrala: Claudio was simply crowned as the Cadet, Junior and Senior Male Foil Fencer of the Year, beating out hordes of competitors much older (and a little bit bigger) than him! He also added the small matter of First Place in U17 Foil at the Irish Open.
Whew! Well done to the Three Clans. Summer is Coming and maybe the boys can catch up on Scooby-Doo and the parents can reacquaint themselves with their gardens. But, as we have said before, the fencers and debaters keep this rag in business, and we look forward to more swashbuckling exploits next season!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the