Negotiating the Minefield

Anyone with teenagers can attest to the difficulties involved in discussing the ‘big’ issues in life, and the preponderance of social media, if anything, has made it more difficult. The Senior School Parents Association has decided to do their part in helping all our parents (including themselves!) by welcoming Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins to give a seminar on ‘Consent’ on Thursday, March 28th at 7:30. All are welcome and encouraged to attend! The following is the PA’s own promotional information.

Parents Seminar on Consent: March 28th2019 7.30pm

Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins, part of Active Consent Programme team based in the School of Psychology NUI Galway on the 28thMarch at 7.30pm will address some of the issues on consent. (Link to Dr. O’Higgin’s biography.)

Supporting our children to safely navigate the world as teenagers and to emerge as happy and healthy young adults has never been a straightforward task. However in the contemporary world, concern may rise as we learn more about the possible negative effects of social media and how the internet generally may effect expectations and assumptions.

The seminar will include:

  • aims of the programme 
  • experiences to date
  • the background to the Active Consent programme (our research data with 3rdlevel students, importance of comprehensive Relationships Sexual Education, and the issue of consent)

Please note also that next day, on March 29th Dr O’Higgins will present a Student’s Talk, which will be complementary to the Parent’s Seminar.

  • Students from TY and 5thyear will take part in a Smart Consent workshop that will examine understandings/definitions of consent and the ‘grey areas’ which do tend to confuse real life situations. 

This is a very important seminar for parents and students, and we look forward to full attendance.

Gang Gaeilge!

During Seachtain na Gaeilge even a school which lies at the top of Waterloo and Wellington Roads comes out ‘all Irish’!  Not that our Irish Department has ever been shy about celebrating our native language and heritage: for years St. Conleth’s múinteoirí Gaeilge  have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the whole school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine, but they certainly déan a ndícheall leading up to St. Patrick’s Day!

Fay and Dorman and DeBhal and ODulaing are the MacDonagh and MacBride and Connolly and Pearse of St. Conleth’s (without the bloody end!) and they have crammed i bhfad níos mó into 28 Clyde Road, turning it into the Gaeltacht is galánta this side of Carna!

What was on the green agenda?  As you can see above, First and Second Years got off their tóin to boogie in a special céilí, and Mr. ODulaing did not even need his hurl this time to keep them in time and in line!  Each year had their very own Tráth Na gCeist, answering (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from the Erskine Childers to Eskimo Supreme!

There was also the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians.  Below you see Third and Fifth Years in action, but everyone had a go, including our visiting friends from Argentina. You also can see some of our poc fada and Tráth Na gCeist prize-winners.

And a there was the traditional bodhrán worksop for Transition Year.  You can catch the rhythm above and the pics below, and remember: these boys and girls had just picked up their instruments mere moments before!  Well done to all our múinteoirí Gaeilge, whose hard work done in preparation for the festivities meant plenty of craic for the students who enthusiastically took part.

Start Your Theatrics!

Our Second Years are often accused of being a bit ‘dramatic’, even ‘histrionic’: something about this age group makes them prone to ‘acting out’… Well, Mr. Gahan, Mr. Cummiskey and Mr. Toal decided to join them instead of beating them (the latter quite difficult anyways, nowadays) and led them on a trip to the Abbey Theatre for a workshop and performance of ‘The Country Girls’.


The trip began an adventurous ride on Dublin Bus and then a backstage tour of the Abbey theatre, which explored the history and significance of the Abbey as the national theatre, and then went to the stage itself, and behind-the-scenes, to discover up-close and in-detail of how a production comes together. This was followed by a theatre workshop which was led by a professional actor and which explored some of the creative and imaginative ways for inventing and performing theatre. After our boys and girls reliably pushed the envelope, they enjoyed a matinee performance of Edna O’ Brien’s ‘The Country Girls’. It was an incredibly unique opportunity which will be particularly relevant as the year begins their study of drama in the coming weeks.


The Boyz Take Centre Stage!

The TY Bank Street Boys enjoyed taking the stage and pushing their concept and products at the Build-A-Bank final, while also exploring the futuristic activities available at the @AIBIreland Future Sparks Festival. With Mr. Robert ‘Baron’ O’Connor off with the SCT, Mark Connor, Zach Carr, Luke Gilleran and Matthew Lynch took the lead presenting their student banking franchise to the judges and they did a fine job, displaying not only matinee idol good looks and T-shirt cool, but also sound marketing and accounting practices. They did not place in a very crowded field, but the experience will certainly stand to them in the years to come. And there was the consolation prize for all of TY of sampling all the other cutting edge technologies and concepts on show at the over-arching Futuresparks Festival.

End of an Era

The 2019 SCT bowed out nobly in the Leinster Schools McMullen Senior Cup Semifinal versus Gormanston College this past week. It was a spirited effort from both the younger members of the team and the graduating Sixth Years. Fifth Year Rian Lawlor and Fourth Year Nicholas Cunningham-Ash both scored impressive tries, while Fifth Years Oscar O’Luain and Michael Cook were making scintillating runs and cuts all over the pitch and Liam Reilly kicked strongly through a howling wind, showing that there is plenty of promise going forward. The Sixth Year players gave it their all in their last competitive match in the green and black: Captain Dylan was immense in defence; Hugh did not ‘touch down’ but was dogged in the scrum; Rory and Kealan were jinking and jiving as is their wont; Tom Finn was sparkling in his return from injury and Johnny Barry was his usual selfless self. Unfortunately, Jonathan Dillon came off injured, but it only emphasised what a passionate and loyal servant of St. Conleth’s Rugby Jonathan has been since his time in the Junior School. Head Coach Gav Maguire is immensely proud of him and of all of this cohort’s accomplishments.

Let Us Eat Cake!

To be honest, for all the lawyers, doctors and engineers we churn out of this place, it is not like many of these past pupils often drop any complementaries into the staffroom for their old teachers, like a coupon for colenoscopy or a voucher for a discount on divorce proceedings. Now, the culinary arts boys, they look after you! Michael Li graced the school with his presence for six years and now he graces us with delectable confectionaries: the latest being an absolute divine cheesecake!

It was all arranged after Careers Guidance Counsellor Ann Ryan welcomed in the Technological University’s Mike J O’ Connor. He told the Fifth Years all about the re-christened DIT’s Culinary Arts courses and presented Jimmy Crowe with the college’s anniversary book. Past Pupils Tony Barry and Jack Andrews, as well as Michael, are currently thriving at TU. And the following week, the lovely cake arrived, courtesy of Mike and Michael! Now, lawyers, doctors and whiskey distillers, it is your turn!

Goin’ County!

Historically, St. Conleth’s is traditionally associated with sports that may be described as particularly ballsbidgy or even ‘mock-ascendancy’: we excel at fencing, hockey and rugby to this day and cricket was once a mainstay of our Sports Days. Dare I say a few games of croquet and tiddlywinks have also been played on sunny afternoons in the garden of 28 Clyde Road over the years… but that does not mean that we do not occasionally ‘go county’!

Our Junior Schoolers have had Gaelic sessions with a local club and several first year girls are on the Dublin panel, and of course, there is that annual trip for our TYs to the Mecca of all things GAA: Croke Park. A mainstay on the schedule of weekly ‘Dublin adventures’, the boys and girls always enjoy a visit to the museum and the skyline tour. And after steeping themselves on their native culture, they may even know what Mr. ODulaing is talking about the next time he complains about the puke peile of the northern counties.

Leinster Champions!

They have done it! It was a happy, historic hockey happening for St. Conleth’s, as the whole school downed tools and headed to the wilds of Rathfarnham to watch as our Minor Girls beat Loreto-Beaufort in a ‘1 vs. 1’ shootout to decide the Leinster Final and bring home the cup! Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley, Ms. Purcell and Ms. Leary were justifiably proud of the girls as they fought tooth-and-nail in a mighty defensive struggle which lasted the length of regulation time.

Sydney was, as usual, omnipresent in midfield and Caoimhe set our hearts racing with some scintillating runs. And Meabh, Siobhan and Ciara were all making game-saving stops and clearances in a see-saw battle of wills. In the end it went to a ‘one-vs.-one’ shoot-out and the girls were confident stepping up to the mark, having dispatched mighty Mount Anville in a similar showdown. The pressure was on but the Conlethians did not wilt: Vivienne came up huge in goals, stonewalling the opposition by bravely dashing from her line and then Alanna cooly circumnavigated their goalie and scored emphatically. It all came down to Sasha.

She had been there before, and perhaps Beaufort did not know, but she has ice in her veins. Some impressive stick-play, a burst of speed, a confident shot…. and the crowd goes crazy! And what a crowd it was, with the numbers and the enthusiasm recalling glory days of the past in rugby and basketball. Well, those sports have made room on the top shelf for a new trophy: one that says ‘Leinster 2019 Minor Girls Hockey!

Into The Final!

Our Minor Hockey Girls are into the Leinster Final! A first in Hockey for St. Conleth’s. They beat Dundalk Grammar in the Semis in a hard-fought defensive match, winning 1-0 on a short corner by Sydney Weir McErlean! A charming footnote to the match is that three players had older Conlethian siblings on the sidelines- granted special release from classes: Sydney, Vivienne and Ciara were cheered on by Georgia, Pierce and Oisín. But for the next match, there will be more than just siblings: the Leinster Final is on Monday against Loreto High School Beaufort- and the whole school is going to witness this great moment in St. Conleth’s sporting history!

Myles Better!

Junior School fencer Myles Moriarty-Smyth ventured to Scotland last weekend to fence in the Edinburgh stage of this season’s  Leon Paul Junior Foil Series. In a narrative worthy of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s ‘Eagle of the Ninth’, he wrestled 1st place, Gold, and the trophy from the amassed Scottish ranks 
of Under 11 Boys. He fenced extremely well, winning all his ‘DEs’ and the 
Final by comprehensive margins. What really added to the occasion was 
being refereed and subsequently awarded his medal by Britain’s 5-times 
Commonwealth Men’s Foil winner, Keith Cook. Big brother James and the other Senior School fencers had better watch out for this rising star!


Yes, Still a Rugby School!

Our First Year Rugby Team reminded us all that St. Conleth’s is still a rugby school and that they too can, at least momentarily, stop killing each other to pose for a photo! The latest win in a season-long win streak was a tight one over St. Andrews College 49-44. Coaches Magee and Smith are justly proud of their charges, who stepped it up significantly for this match, playing against a team which was pulled from a much larger school and pool of players. Apparently, Andrew’s started their ‘B’ team but quickly learned that St. Conleth’s are no longer pushovers and the substitution of studs bearing ominous nicknames began… not that it did them much good! Two more matches to go! Enjoy the team pick from yesterday below, as well as some action photos from earlier in the year.

Hockey Hoopla!

Our Minor Hockey Girls Team is through to Leinster Semifinal! This historic hockey happening will take place on Friday vs. Dundalk Grammar at the YMCA grounds in Sandymount. It is simply amazing that in a few short years, St. Conleth’s has become a legitimate power in girls school hockey and it is a credit to Coaches Speller, Leary, Stanley and Purcell. We will also see, below, the First Year team join with the Junior School players for a combo training session and pics from the Junior School team’s recent blitz at Mount Anville. It looks like hockey is here to stay at St. Conleth’s!

Two Wheels Good!

Now, that’s a real ‘pick and roll’! TYs enjoyed a day of sporting fun with a social dimension as they took part at Gormanston College in the Irish Wheelchair Association’s fundraising basketball league. It was a great day out and everyone played their part. Of course, our ‘regular’ basketball stars such as Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger and Keane Acosta were wheelin’ and dealin’ all over the court but it was great to see newcomer Ian Mauer showing off his skills and Vanshika Shukla and Ciara MacNally absolutely dominating the mid-court with their stylish pivots and passes. Check out the (many) pics below!

Carvill Takes Control

So, this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause. Yes, the count has receded into the shadows and the chancellor has seized the reins of power… John Carvill has taken the position long prepared for him, with kingmaker Ronan O’Kelly smiling from the shadows and the outgoing Donal Milmo-Penny in gracious acquiescence. The new Past Pupils’ Union President presided over a riotous and raucous but ultimately redeeming Annual Dinner as we packed them in up to the rafters and the laughter and the reminiscences flowed as easily as the wine.

In their speeches, both Ronan and John managed to walk that fine line between harnessing the energy of the mob and letting loose an anarchic frenzy. Ronan evoked Homer’s ‘catalogue of ships’ with his salutation to each year’s captain and John managed to be both heartfelt and tolerant in his very personal testament to the legacy he was inheriting.

And our guest speaker, Kevin Roche of the Class of 2014, had everyone rolling in the aisles with his masterclass in how to handle an audience that was increasingly resembling the assembled extras from The Vikings and The Walking Dead. His tributes to Ronan Bolger and our dear Jesuitical rivals, Gonzaga, were particularly touching. We retreated down Clyde Road earlier than most and hear that the party went on into the wee hours. At some point, however, not Elvis but Eskimo Prime did apparently leave the building!

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money!

Actually, just send the lawyers: guns are rendered redundant when truly rockin’ rhetoric is reverberating from the rostrum and the money, well, the bills usually follow the barristers, so just keep an eye on the in-box! TY Co-Ordinator Mr. Trenier, himself a self-taught expert in agricultural law (there was some issue over a prized stock bull a few years back), invited two of the top barristers in the land into St. Conleth’s to present a seminar on the life and work of our legal eagles and then lead the TYers themselves through a ‘mock court’ with the students themselves taking the parts of plaintiff, defendant, prosecutor, defence attorney and various witnesses. Newcomer Ian Maurer played a blinder as a police officer and Dylan Alvez was particularly adept at capturing the mix of deductive reasoning and moral flexibility which are the hallmarks of all great lawyers!

Ballsbridge Braces for Past Pupil Party!

Let Blackrock prance and preen in the reflections off their 69 Leinster Senior Cups… let Michael’s attempt the same with their two… let Gonzaga brag about their chess dominion and accompanying groupies… and let Scotus win the yogic flying championships… but there is one thing these big boy schools cannot come close in comparison with dear old St. Conleth’s: the loyalty of our past pupils… and their propensity to party! Yes, the burghers of Ballsbridge and the dowagers of Donnybrook enjoyed one year of respite in 2018 thanks to the conspiring elements but nothing will keep the avalanche of alumni away from 28 Clyde Road this Friday night. And though we pride ourselves on simply having the biggest and best Past Pupils’ Union in the land, there are plenty of specific Conlethian accomplishments to celebrate, too. Kevin Roche (2013) will regale us with a first person account of how St. Conleth’s made the Irish Times Debate its own and there will be the shocking details of how we are now a hockey school! Come early and stay late but behave yourself reasonably well as you know well that Ronan O’Kelly, as always, will be watching!

A Roman Feast; Roberto Bompiani (Italian (Roman), 1821 – 1908); late 19th century; Oil on canvas; 127 x 163.8 cm (50 x 64 1/2 in.); 72.PA.4

Hockey Hits New Heights!

Our Minors won a thrilling penalty shoot-out over Mount Anville in the Quaterfinals of the Leinster’s. Head Coach Ms. Speller reports:

Today was the tensed match we have played.  It was 0-0 at half time after some great defensive play on both sides. Into the second half and a Mount Anville goal in the first few minutes crushed Conleth’s hopes of a semi final win, but with determination they fought on to live another day! A late goal by the combined efforts of Sydney and Sasha meant that Conleth’s spirits soared. As the final whistle blew we stood at 1-1. The refs conversed and decided that ‘1v1s’ (hockey’s version of a penalty shoot-out) was the way forward.

With eight seconds each to score, the girls lined up: Sydney, Sasha, Maebh, Alanna and Caoimhe. Mount Anville had the first shot and scored. Syd stepped in and also scored. Mount Anville missed their next three, while Conleth’ss Sasha scored a secnd: 1-2 to Conleth’s! Alas, Maebh and Alanna missed the next two, leaving the score at 1-2 to us. Mount Anville stepped up for their last shot and scored. 2-2. Tensions were high. Mr ODulaing even looked rattled. All went quiet with nerves. It’s Caoimhe time to shine…. She steps up, goes right and shoots! In it goes and the crowd goes wild! St. Conelth’s live to fight another day and are through to the semi-finals!
Ms Stanley’s brilliant (but unbiased) reffing and Ms Purcell’s coaching definitely had an impact. A great day out!

The Debate is Over…

…and the motion has been carried:  “That this House declares St. Conleth’s to be the greatest debating school in the land!”  We should have taken our own advice (given below), and laid a few quid down at Paddy Powers as the Conlethian contingent at the Irish Times Debate Final 2019 came up trumps.  Conlethians took both top prizes: Daniel Gilligan (2016) won the team prize with his Trinity Hist colleague, Ronan Daly, and Kevin Roche (2013) won the individual competition, representing The King’s Inns.  Ninety-eight teams and more than three hundred contestants entered the debate this year, and when all the point-making, theatrical grimacing, barracking, and petulant posturing was over, it was Daniel and Kevin at the rostrum accepting the laurels.  And not far off the pace was a third Conlethian, Conor White (2015).  Rumours that the Irish Times debate is to be renamed ‘The Irish Times/St. Conleth’s Alumni Debate’ are yet to be confirmed but we look forward to more Conlethians on this grandest stage of Irish debating in the years to come!

 

 

Balling with the Best!

Another busy Conlethian international sportsman!   TY Luke Gilleran recently travelled with the Irish Basketball U17 Development squad to an international three day tournament in Mulhouse, France and played against top European competition from France, Serbia and Russia.  Luke scored 63 points in 6 games including 21 points v KK FMP Belgrade and 19 points v Lokomotiv Kuban. He also ‘cleaned up’ a lot of defensive boards in particular.  And it was raining 3s for Luke – he hit 5 3s in one game and 4 3s in another, and was selected to participate for the Irish team in the tournament 3 point contest.  Luke’s Irish team played in the 3rd/4th place play-off in the main arena in the Palais de Sport in Mulhouse (7,000 capacity).

 

The Third Triumvirate?

As the gentleman involved here know well, there have only been two notable triumvirates in all of European history: those of  late Republican and early Imperial Rome.  Now, there are whispers and rumblings in the back-corridors of power that a third may soon appear to lead us through these troubling times…  Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016), the ‘Baby-Face Killah’ of The Hist, is once again in the Finals of the Irish Times Debate, the pre-eminent third level debating championship in Ireland (won previously by PP Liam Brophy (2010).  And this time he leads a Conlethian troika, as he is joined by Conor White (2015) and Kevin Roche (2013).

 

 

Kevin is currently using his bibulous barroom bluster to build quite a following amongst the brown-nosing barristers of King’s Inns while Conor has almost completed the process of gathering all the rings of power to himself in his hideout in UCD/Montrose/Mordor.  Of course, the debating skills of all three were honed in the hothouse of roiling rhetoric that is the St. Conleth’s debating scene, and you will soon read how the current crop of debaters are living up to the lofty examples of these predecessors, in good part due to the fact that St. Conleth’s debating alumni, including this trifecta, always return to their alma mater to assure another bumper crop.  So stay tuned, the Irish Times Debate Final is Friday, February 22nd and we have at least a three in eight chance of winning… and the bookies say that, really, it is odds-on!

 

Mr. Keenan’s Army Moves Indoors!

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 and a gang of First and Second Years stormed the Indoor Athletic Championships, 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 amongst our student body.  You read below how we won two medals at the Cross Country Championships and, this time, we were just off the mark in a quality field.  Our First Year girls relay finished fifth in a star-studded final and the First Boys just missed their final by a fraction of a second.  It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!

 

 

 

Hockey Hysteria!

Don’t tell Gav but the word on the DART, in the queues at D-Brook Fair and at the pilates and spinning classes is that there is a new hockey school on the block and its name is…. St. Conleth’s!  The ever-enthusiastic Helen ‘Rah-Rah’ Speller, and her coaching crew of Mses. Leary, Stanley and Purcell, have engineered a quiet revolution in St. Conleth’s sport.  Actually, it has not been that quiet at all, as you would know, if you ever hear the hockey girls traipsing through the hallways en route to another amazing upset.  The latest was when the Minor girls beat hockey-hallowed Mount Anville to qualify for the Leinster Quarterfinals, another notch in an already impressive list of hockey achievements.  Below you see the minors celebrating that accomplishment and the Seniors saluting the sunset after another rambunctious training session.

 

 

A Vital Ingredient!

Student involvement in a school is obviously essential: if no students show up for school, we would soon be re-assigned (despite the union’s best efforts) to someplace like Cloughjordan.  That might please some of the country folk, who teach the Sciences and miss the scents of peat and slurry in the air, but we culture vultures in the Liberal Arts would go mad!  So, at St. Conleth’s, we keep the kids involved.  You have read below about the Student Council’s contributions, but student participation here is not just about hobnobbing with the elites like some bevy of Brussels bureaucrats: all our kids get involved in every aspect of the school, even cooking up cuisine in the canteen.  The eagerly awaited annual Porzowley ‘Masterchef Français’  is on the way, but Chefs Mark and Emerson (and Anna) are constantly and good-naturedly engaging with the students, in addition to keeping us all well-fed (and entertained).  And a couple of weeks ago they served up generous helpings of First Year Nicolai’s own-recipe Curry. It was so spicy it sparked a spirited reaction in Emerson- not that he needs much encouragement!

 

 

 

 

It’s a Long Way…

… to Tipperary, indeed, but the likely lads (and lady) seen below, who accompanied Ms. Sheppard and Mr. Carvill on a trip down to the heart of the country passed the time by singing old rebel songs.  Yes, for a neighbourhood which  proudly returned a Unionist to the 1918 Dáil, there are now a surprising number of nationalist ‘green shoots’ arising from D4’s nutrient-rich soil!  The sun was, indeed, setting over Slievenamon, as the plushly lined coach sped by, with rebel songs being belted out by those aboard, with that old rabble-rouser Mr. Carvill and James ‘The Bhoy’ Tempany taking the lead. Luckily, by the time the merry band reached their destination, the MacDonagh Heritage Centre in Cloughjordan, a more sober mindset had taken hold.  For Ms. Sheppard and company were the honoured guests for the evening at the museum, as local historian and retired journalist Liam Doran was giving a talk on the legacy of none other than one Bernard Sheppard, who famously left the Tipperary town for Dublin and founded that great educational institution on Clyde Road of which we are all part.  The talk was informative and entertaining and Mr. Doran and the locals were thrilled to have a contingent from ‘the big smoke’ in attendance.

St. Brigid and Bernard Sheppard!

With the belated arrival of the polar vortex and the permanent problem of dampness, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s warming words about the coming of Spring on St. Brigid’s Day.  And with help from words of wisdom and delight in Irish, as well as a bit of Gerald Manley Hopkins (early GMH, thankfully), 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.   Of course, there were student musicians to join the ensemble: Gavin Roche Griffin, Caoimhe Moore and Rory Clarke captured the mood perfectly.

There was also serious work to be done: the presentation of our State Examination awards for 2018.  Zachary Carr scooped the Murph Cup for highest Junior Certificate results (named in honour of longtime St. Conleth’s teacher) and a trifecta of genii ( Simon Pettitt, David Loftus and Conor Power) won the coveted Bernard Sheppard Medals for highest Leaving Certificate Points (all three earning 589).  Bernard Sheppard founded St. Conleth’s in 1939 and though that seems a long time ago, he was not actually a contemporary of St. Brigid.  The story is though, that St. Conleth, himself, got along famously with St. Brigid, and we like to think of the two Celtic saints watching over our endeavours to this day.

 

 

Winners of the Bernard Sheppard have a tendency to go on and do memorable things, and we have no doubt that the three fine young men named above will follow suit.  Ann Sheppard, St. Conleth’s CEO, recently had a first-hand experience of the persistence and vitality of her father’s legacy: a friendly chat with an acquaintance recently revealed that the woman’s son was none other than Desmond Maurer of the Class of 1987 and the winner of that year’s Bernard Sheppard Medal.  He was the first Conlethian to sit Ancient Greek in the Leaving Certificate and, having been inspired by the legendary John Rooney, Desmond went on to study Classics at the University of Edinborough, winning academic acclaim each year and graduating with a first.  Desmond then worked with the United Nations in Bosnia, met his wife, settled down and retreated into blessed academia in Sarajevo.  And now, Desmond’s own son Ian is due to join our Transition Year class in September. Desmond is also notable for having tempted absolute damnation (and social exclusion) by daring to leave the deified Peter Gallagher’s History class for Physics in Fifth Year.  Let him try to get a good table in any swish restaurant around this town if word of that gets out!

World Class!

Fencing has been part of St. Conleth’s since the very beginning and regular readers would know how active and successful is the current crop of Conlethian fencers.  Now we have news of another incredible fencing achievement: Third Year Claudio Sosa has been selected to represent Ireland in the Cadet European Championships 2019 in Foggia Italy and Cadet World Championship 2019 in Poland… at the tender age of 14!  Claudio is pictured here with six times Olympic Gold medallist Valentina Vezzali, who kindly provided him with her autograph and huge motivation as a role model for the upcoming championships. Claudio qualified at a recent tournament in Rome, where he also found time to take in some Roman ruins, perfect preparation for his Latin Mock Exam!

Of Bankers and Buskers!

When you think ‘banker’ perhaps you think of the little moneybag grabbing Monopoly caricature… or, perhaps, some of the individual bankers who have been periodically in the news since 2008 come to mind… or the USC or PRD on your payslip flashes across your mind.  One does not usually think of music, especially not the free-to-hear, just-for-the-fun-of-it tradition of busking, but the ubiquitous Robert O’Connor and the rest of the ‘Bank St. Boys’ took their endearing pun-ful  name to its logical conclusion and promoted their TY Build-A-Bank by bringing back a modern Conlethian tradition: the lunchtime Buskers’ Corner!  Musicians such as Rory Clarke, James Moriarty-Smyth and Sam Lynch were only too happy to respond with signature performances (in return for the promise of a tracker mortgage).  Yes, commerce and the arts can work together!    *Terms and Conditions do apply.

 

Johnny, Do You Want Them Back?

Magic Boots!  Below you see our winners in the Junior School’s  aforementioned  ‘Johnny Sexton Legendary Drop Goal Boots Competition’.  Maybe Johnny should have borrowed them back for Saturday’s match against the auld enemy? Ah well, you can’t win them all…  Still, our Juniors were proud to be part of one of the most memorable moments in Irish sports history, as well as to help out with a good cause.

 

 

Power Sharing

Well, it has not worked to well up north recently, but at St. Conleth’s we are firm believers in ‘power-sharing’.  Actually, ‘power’ is a rather dirty word nowadays, so let us just call it ‘voice’.  Everyone has a voice at St. Conleth’s, and the chance to use it.  Our Parents Associations are extremely active (see the Senior School PA Committee below), organising the Christmas Tree Fair, the Sportsday refreshments, the Scholastic Book fair and various other fundraisers and events during the year, including the very enjoyable PA Social in the Spring, usually held at an obliging yacht club.  The Student Council (also, below) don’t get to go to the yacht club for drinks (yet), but they probably do deserve them after working hard all year to represent their peers in partnership with the teachers and management.  The School Captain Tomás Clancy and his Vices, Georgia Weir-McErlean and Jack Cosgrave, take the lead but they are helped by all the class captains as they organise the Buddy System, run various charity collections and events and field the concerns of the students and bring them to the attention of the Principal and play leading roles in all our assemblies, masses and other school gatherings.  There are great plans in the making for the Spring Term so stay tuned, and play your part when your captain comes calling!

 

 

 

Belfast…Paris…Where’s Next?

Fencing is cosmopolitan in the truest sense of the word: our band of brothers are racking up huge air miles (and bills for their parents) competing around the continent.  As you read below, the Conleth’s Moriarty-Smyths and the Sherlocks recently dominated the Northern Irish Foil Series.

 

Now it was time for those Parisians to fall to our swashbuckling heroes.  Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver on Saturday at the Tournoi De Fleuret Des Petits AS, hosted in Paris by CEP. He was the sole Irish entrant, and achieved a superb 2nd place finish out of a field of 46 Under 11 fencers. The competition draws foilists from all over France, ‎and the prestigious host club fielded a very strong selection. Myles narrowly lost the Final 8/6 to their No. 1 seed, having despatched all others on his way.  Another trophy for the shelf… and, undoubtedly, more to come!

 

 

 

Lucky Boots!

Where were you when it happened?  Yes, when you are old and grey and the memories are starting to fade there will be at least one etched forever in your sporting (and national) pride.  Johnny Sexton’s drop goal at the death vs. France in the Six Nations will be played again and again and again until the rising seas short circuit all our screens. And somehow, I think, Johnny just will not let that happen either.  Let us do our part:

But the story gets better.  Johnny donated the famous footwear for auction to help a very sick girl and a certain St. Conleth’s family ended up with the prized bootikins.  And this family loaned the hallowed hoofers to the school! Mr. Kilcommons then organised an interesting competition: one of our sports hall’s basketball hoops was festooned with said stilettos and all the Juniors had the chance to kick a hole-in-on, so to speak.  Everyone had go, and the crack was mighty, with one particularly skilled booter being carried off the court by his classmates!  Check out the pics below and stay tuned for the individual class winners.

 

Know Your Limits!

Is Kamran Roseingrave-Salim the Olivier Giroud of Maths competitions?  Like the wonderfully whiskered Frenchman, Kamran and his ‘B Team’ cohorts came off the bench to score a moral victory in the latest Irish Maths Teachers Association Competition, finishing ahead of the much vaunted, pretty boy ‘A ‘team.  That’s like the League Cup line-up beating the Prem starters!  To be fair, both teams did very well in a tough, physical encounter.  Who knows where the A Team would have finished if Captain Hugh ‘Touch’ Downes had not been hampered by an ankle injury?  Hugh, Jack ‘Cos And Tan’ Cosgrave, Joe ‘Cabo’ Hyland and Ian ‘Integer’ O’Neill did their very best but it was refreshing to see the un-fancied and un-monikered B team (Kamran, Pierce Roberts, Gavin Roche Griffin and Stephen Allen) upset the odds and please the bookies.

 

 

And though both teams finished near the middle of the pack, we think they might be better off dwelling in the realm of mere excellence in Maths: the true geniuses often have a hard time in other, less numerical aspects of life.  Previous Hopkins-o-lytes have finished further up the motherboard but emboldened by their success, they upgraded their operating systems, majored in Pure Maths or Computer Science and now speak only to each other and themselves, and even then, usually in binary.  The 2019 contingent may forget to ‘carry the 1’ sometimes, but as you can see above, they will certainly meet more girls in college!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U19s’ Future Looks Bright!

With essential parts Mark ‘Ronan’ Connor and  Johnny ‘Taz’ Barry on the shelf due to injury, the Boys U19 Basketball team was always going to be up against it in the SDBL Semifinal and when we drew perennial nemesis, St. Andrew’s, it was assured to be a dogfight.  Only seven brave young men suited up, but they gave the perennial powers a run for the money, and though we lost on the scoreboard we won on the style and the swagger, in a sport where they matter, too.   Like Philly last year and Brooklyn this, these kids may not always win, but they always put on a show!  Colin Bolger was Iverson-like as he shot the lights out  and hounded the St. Andrew’s guards relentlessly.  Luke Gilleran was his usual rebounding and shot blocking machine and the quintessential big man dime dispenser.  Andrew ‘Casimir’ Latvis, emulating his Eastern European NBA heroes, plied both the paint and the perimeter like a junior Jokić.  Josh Bergin and Jack Doyle were doubling their minutes but showed no let-up in effort or skill and Keane Acosta was again a streak of green as he dashed up and down the court, shooting at a whim.  And barrel-chested Jack Topliss, like a 1980s Piston, came on for some thumping picks…  but somehow found time to also take the amazing pics below!  Well done to the boys and Coach Sean on a great season.  The future bodes well, with only Andrew and Johnny declaring for the draft.

 

 

 

 

 

Ireland Beat Brazil!

Well, not quite, but we want you to get a sense of the earth-shaking significance of our First Year Chess team vanquishing Gonzaga 5-0, as they did yesterday in their very first match of the season.  Yes, the amazing winning streak achieved by the First Year rugby team has carried over into a sport which is a bit less physical but no less demanding.

 

 

Ms. NiAonghusa credits the Lunchtime Chess Club and the chess-specific work-outs in the Fitness Suite for helping this team exceed expectations.  And, luckily, there were no significant injuries during the various games, with both sides competing with good humour and perfect sportsmanship.  And our Senior Team were moral victors if not actual ones, as they bravely pushed their Gonzaga counterparts to a 2-3 finish.  Not impressed?  Remember: Gonzaga are like the Brazilians in soccer, the All Blacks in rugby, the Cubans in baseball…

 

 

Music Hall Adventures

Both our Junior and Leaving Certificate Music students took trips to the National Concert Hall  this week to hear their ‘set works’ professionally played and analysed.  Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal reported back that all the students were impeccably behaved and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.  For the Seniors, the internationally praised music educationalist Tom Redmond and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra presented a step-by-step guide to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, highlighting key themes and sections, presented with big screen musical illustrations and concluding with a full performance.  And the Juniors were treated to a full slate of excerpts: Mozart’s  ‘The Marriage of Figaro Overture’;  Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’;  ‘Anitra’s Dance’ and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1; Vivaldi’s  A movement from ‘Winter’, The Four Seasons; Copland’s  ‘Hoe down’ from Rodeo; John Williams’ The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back; and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell.  Even the trip home was a delight, as the sun was shining, the air was fresh and Ms. Fay, Ms. DeBhal and Manus were in perfect pitch (of course!) as they serenaded their charges with their own personal favourite arias, all the way home to St. Conleth’s!

 

 

 

 

Cross Country Army!

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 to join him on his Track and Field outings. This time, he led his horde of student athletes over the mountains and through the trees to the East Leinster Cross Country Championships at Avondale.

 

 

As you can see from the smiles in the photos of our First Year runners above, the boys and girls have a blast and enjoy the day out in the crisp Wicklow air.  And we do not just do participation, we also do ‘winning’!   There were some quality runners hidden amongst this merry band, with Luke Timlin and Sydney Weir McErlean  winning Gold and Bronze in their respective races and many of our runners placing in the top half of finishers.  It was a long cold, day out, but the weather was bright and clear and Mr. Keenan kept warm by lining up competitors for the upcoming Leinster Schools Athletic Union Indoor Meet.  Interested First and Second years should sign up now with Mr. Keenan.

 

A Thousand Words…

…is the supposed value of a picture but the frequent visitor to these pages knows that we often throw in the thousand words anyways, for good measure!  This time, however, we will let the photographs speak for themselves.  Our usual TY ace reporters Edwin and Seoyeon were joined by new recruit, Adam Rafter, and he proved a quick learner as he traipsed around the various sporting venues, snapping away with his usual good humour, despite having just roused himself from his sickbed .  The events themselves were a trifecta of moral victories but actual losses: our JCT went down to Blackrock College (yes, that Blackrock College!) but put up a darn good fight; our Senior Hockey girls lost to Louth powerhouse Dundalk Grammar; and our U16 Boys Basketball team was edged out in the SDBL Semifinal by perennial foreign student-enhanced powers, St. Andrew’s.  Three losses yes, but all against top-notch competition, and there is more to come in each sport as the JCT face the rugged farm-boys of Ardee (pronounced ‘AR-deeeee’) in the Duff Shield quarters; the Minor Hockey team is steaming into the post-season; and the U19 Boys have a SDBL Semifinal vs. St. Andrew’s later this week. We feel that… oh yes, enough said.  Now, the photos!

JCT Rugby

 

Senior Hockey

 

U16s Basketball

 

 

 

 

Lost Limbs in Dangerous Dungeons

Never mind the risk of injury which our rugby, basketball, hockey and chess players face with each match and training session, imagine what horrific wounds our brave Dungeons & Dragons players suffer in nearly every game!  All this happened before Christmas, but as the warriors involved have just returned from wandering lost in the land of Faerûn, we are just getting the news now.  Ms. NiAonghusa shooed away her chess and coding disciples for one day (actually, there was quite a bit of overlap in participants) and transformed Room 3 into a classic D&D den, à la ‘Stranger Things’.   The two hour session was overseen by Dungeon Master Evan Power and he was joined  by assorted First, Second and Fifth Years, playing as various warlocks, dwarves, elves and halflings.  All went well but the last we saw of Oisín Power, he was being carried out the emergency doors over the shoulder of a Kobold!

 

 

 

Of Kings and Queens…

All that sweat about basketball, hockey and rugby (with more to come!) put us in mind for news of a more cerebral and, dare we say, sophisticated Conlethian pursuit: chess.  Ms. NiAonghusa, in addition to being Exam Czar, somehow finds time to run the Senior School Lunchtime Chess Club and organise our chess teams’ games against other schools.  On Tuesday afternoons, many of our students seek out the solace of Room Three, fleeing the rough-and-tumble of the yard and instead engaging in a more intellectual competition. And out of those well-mannered clashes, our representative teams are formed.  Recently, our top team bravely battled to a 2.5-2.5 score vs. powerhouse Colaiste Éanna, with Ricardo and Utkarsh winning their games in a very physical but fairly fought competition.  And it was great to see Charlotte on the team: as we are now fully co-educational, it is only natural that the girls start to infiltrate this former purely male preserve.  More games to come!

They’re (almost) Here!

Every great work needs its prequel!  Just click below for the full timetable for this year’s Junior and Leaving Certificate Mock Exams, which begin on Wednesday, the 6th of February and finish on Friday, the 15th.  Students should certainly familiarise themselves with the Guidelines, which are based on the real State Examination Rules, and will soon be emphasised by Exam Secretary, Ms. NíAonghusa. Good luck!

Mocks- Junior and Leaving Certificate Timetable

 

DELF Delivered by Duo Dynamique!

Is that a whiff of Chanel mixing with the scent of curry wafting from the cafeteria?  Did a well-dressed and stylishly-coiffed professeur just nonchalantly douse her cigarette and sweep through reception en route to the Performance Hall? If so, it can only mean one thing: DELF days are here again!

 

 

Prendre le train en marche?  Yes, schools all over the country are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ and getting into ‘DELF’ these days, but do remember that St. Conleth’s was the first school in Ireland to have its students sit this prestigious French exam.  A few years ago, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley worked tirelessly  to complete the quintessentially French labyrinth of paperwork to bring the DELF to St. Conleth’s and they made Trojan efforts again this week, and to be fair to the Transition Years, they responded to their teachers’ efforts and enthusiasm in kind, displaying both zeal and talent on the written and oral exams.  Soon we will have the results and a little soirée to celebrate!

New Year: Same Swag!

A New Year, another round of fencing…. The band of brothers headed North on Saturday for Round 3 of the NIJF series, and in time-honoured fashion, they returned with a full complement of medals:  James Moriarty-Smyth- Gold in Under 16 Boys; Luke Sherlock- Silver in Under 14 Boys; Myles Moriarty-Smyth- Gold in Under 12 Boys and Mathew Sherlock- Bronze in Under 12 Boys.  In addition to fencing, James, as qualified Level One referee, officiated throughout the day, including all of Mathew’s poule matches; needless to say fair play and impartiality prevailed.

 

SCT Hang Tough!

Our First Year Rugby team is making history with their season-long unbeaten run and our JCT recently joined the party with an emphatic Shield win, but their elder brethren, the SCT, also have every reason to walk the hallways of St. Conleth’s with heads held high.  Coach Gavin Maguire and his coaching staff have the SCT playing with spirit, style and success despite a devastating number of injuries this season.  They recently went on a four game winning streak, only ending with a tough loss to Templeogue in the Shield (photos below), quite an accomplishment for a squad that may be small in number but is undoubtedly great in heart.

 

 

Hockey Happenings

It is getting rather repetitive reporting on hockey victories, such is the run of success currently being enjoyed by both our Senior School girls teams…. but we still enjoy it!  Yes, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley, Ms. Leary and Ms. Purcell have built in just a couple of years what is starting to look like a sports dynasty and the Minors added another win to the total last Thursday, beating St. Raphaela’s soundly 3-0.  All the usual suspects were at it in a comprehensive victory but Siobhan particularly stood out for both her effort and skill. The Minors will have more matches to come, but now attention turns to the Senior team’s momentous showdown with Dundalk Grammar School.  The Louth girls come from the furthest recesses of the Pale, and they are tough on and off the pitch, so our girls will need all the support we can muster.  So come on down and cheer them on in this league group decider!

 

STEM Explorers!

Mr. Callaghan and his STEM staff sidekicks bravely took on the onerous task of leading three full years of Conlethians down to the BT Young Scientists’ Exhibition.  A great afternoon was had by all as the students were able to see and actively participate in various scientific ad mathematical projects… and pick up the all-important freebies!

 

 

And, once again, it was noted how the Conlethian contingent were the best behaved group of students in attendance: honestly interested in the exhibition and as polite and mannerly as always… with only the shyest of glances at the other talent on display!  See above for some snaps of them enjoying themselves, as well as below, for an innovative montage captured by our ace photographer!

 

 

 

JCT: Shield Warriors!

After a tough, close loss in the Cup, we knew anyone facing our Junior Cup Team would have their hands full, as Coach Louis Magee has assembled a close-knit and spirited group of talented players and they certainly had more in the tank.  And we were right, as the JCT  had a great win yesterday in the Duff Shield beating St. Paul’s- Raheny 55-7.  There were some very impressive individual performances with Andre O’Brien scoring a hat-trick of tries, Darrach Smyth and Conor Hyland touching down a brace each and Second Year Lucas Engmann striding the pitch like a collossus, scattering the mere mortals of St. Paul’s like so many toy figurines.  Unfortunately one of our other stars, the fleet-footed  and tough-tackling Daniel Weatherley, was forced off with an injury and will be out for some weeks. Afterwards, Coach Louis stressed the great overall team effort.  The team’s undoubted unity and camaraderie will help them deal with the loss of such a key player as Daniel. On to the next round!

 

This Year, I Resolve to…

…study more! We all tend to the aspirational rather than the practical when it comes to New Year’s resolutions but here is one which is very appropriate and achievable for our students: supervised study.  There are two ‘programmes’:  Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’  runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Mondays and Thursdays.   Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ runs from 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed.  There is a discount for those hardy should who wish to do both. All the details are attached here.   Payment will be made through Easypayments on this website (but please wait till the new term’s listing is up in a few days).  Meanwhile, Night Study starts on the very first day back (Monday, 7/1) and After-School Study starts on Tuesday (8/1) so put away those crackers and start packing those books!

 

Holiday Hoop News!

We already know that our U19 boys basketball team have continued their winning ways under Coaches Ingle and Gahan and they have another postseason appointment with glory in the New Year, but let us bring you up to date with a couple of our other teams.  The U16 Girls certainly had a successful season, narrowly losing their league semifinal in a toughly contested match but having a season full of wins to look back upon proudly.  There was a one-point loss to start the season but then the girls reeled off victories against Sandford Park, Presentation-Terenure, Larkin CC and Mt. Anville, and mostly by comfortable margins!  Well done to the girls and we look forward to one even stronger team next year.

 

 

And our First Years have picked up in basketball where they have been all year in rugby: winning! Coaches Ingle and Gahan lead them to the final of their first blitz of the year. Stay tuned as their season gets into gear in the new year!

 

 

 

The So-Young Quartet!

Everyone knows that Conlethians are the coolest of cats and that 28 Clyde Road is hipster heaven but last Friday we reached new heights of hipness as Piano Teacher So-Young invited some of her musical friends by to help out with the accompaniment:  there was Dave Mooney plucking the Double Bass, Conor  Murray keeping the beat on the drums and So-Young herself organising the whole affair.

And who was the fourth member of the quartet?  Why, a whole slew of Conlethian ivory-ticklers, students of So-Young from First Class to Fifth Year took their turn at the piano stool and under the spotlight.  It was a stylishly sonorous affair and, except for the brightness and cleanliness of our Performance Hall, you might have thought you had wandered into some Jazz bar in the depths of Manhattan or Chicago, such was the quality and coolness of the music.  S0-Young was justifiably proud of her students and friends, and the parents and guests were very impressed, indeed, with this tasteful and pitch perfect use  of our musical space. See and hear the action, above and below!

Christmas Crooners!

The Senior School Choir is at the heart of everything that we do musically  at St. Conleth’s- in fact, it is at the heart of the school community itself, playing 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. deBhal and Ms. Fay’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the names below 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.

 

Christmas Cheerers!

At this time of year, much is bandied about about ‘The True Meaning of Christmas’.  We certainly do not claim we have the the definitive answer to this old chestnut, but if you happened to be around the corner at St. Mary’s Home last week when Ms. Fay and a select group of student carolers made their annual visit, you just might be closer to the truth than most.

 

 

As usual, the Conlethian contingent brought, and were greeted with, great cheer and the music and singing were enjoyed and appreciated by both visitors and residents, with the line between them blurring as several of the retired folk joined in and sang along.  And as usual, the students left with a new spring in their step, feeling just that bit more authentically Christmasy!

 

 

A Trophy in Every Stocking?

Yes, the band of brothers (and Claudio) have been busy leading into the holidays, building up their supply of precious metals… perhaps for re-gifting at Christmas? There simply is no more room on the trophy shelf!  Pembroke Fencing Coach Olga Volga and Conlethian fencing parent Kathrin Chambers provide a round-up of our recent fencing exploits:

At the National Fencing Seniors Championship, Claudio Sosa won a gold with his team, the mysteriously-dubbed ‘Pound of Fleche Reloaded’, made up mostly of fencers from The Queen’s University of Belfast (which our young Claudio was welcomed to join!).  They were crowned as the National Champions for 2018 in the modern pentathlon premises in Blanchardstown.

 

 

Then Claudio and Luke travelled to Marburg in Germany for the 18th Marburg International Open City Championships.  The standard was high as every at the competition and both boys competed on both Saturday and Sunday. Their efforts were rewarded as Luke brought home Bronze in both the U14 Epee and U14 Foil competitions. Claudio brought home Silver in the U17 Foil and Bronze in Senior Foil.

 

And, finally (for now!),  the merry fencers travelled to Belfast last Sunday for the 2nd of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series and they returned with their now customary haul of medals, with Claudio securing gold once again in the U17 category, Luke Sherlock gold in the U14 and Matthew Sherlock taking home a hard fought silver in the U12s.  Alas, it was a slightly depleted group as they were missing the Moriarty-Smyth brothers.  James suffered an injury playing a more modern (and less sophisticated) sport t break-time.  However, he is on the mend and will soon be back in action, leading the charge onto new fields of fencing glory!

 

Ballsbridge Fair

A TYer reports on their super-successful Christmas Fair (in partnership with Parents Association):

The TY Christmas tree fair all started in the TY  Room, late October. Each student chose a role and a group to participate in the fair. Last week, the preparations began to heat up. Christmas trees were bought in bulk, ranging from 3ft to even 14ft, and were brought into the hall the Friday before the fair. Many TY groups made their own products, such as baked goods and Christmas decor, like logs and wreaths, which sold completely throughout the day. Other groups sold waffles, sausage rolls and Christmas cards.  Saturday, the 8th of Dec.,  at 9:30 marked the beginning of our annual fair. By quarter past the school hall was bustling with parents and students alike, many of whom bought Christmas trees right away. The trees were selected, netted by the students and then carried outside where they were drilled. One of the TY parents even organised all the payments and receipts.   Ms. Fay came in with the hand-picked best members of the Senior School Choir so that Christmas  carols could greet our shoppers at the door.

 

 

Most stalls immediately began making some profit, the Christmas logs and wreaths likely made the most cash on the day, with the confectionary not far behind.   There were also several Third Years taking part, raising money for their East Africa 2020 Expedition development work.  By 12pm the Christmas trees were clearing out and many were sent out by delivery, in which two of the TY boys would carry a tree anywhere around Donnybrook and Ballsbridge, and then they set it up in the buyer’s house. Most of us made some money out of tips! Many of the students carried trees all over the local area and even a little further. By 2pm the fair was still going strong, the balloons had sold out and trees were still being delivered. Free tea and coffee were available on the day and some stalls were filled with books and small toys.  At 3pm the were still selling strong and some stands, like the Christmas logs and wreaths had sold out and made maximum profit. The pastries and sausage rolls stocks had also almost depleted… everything was a hit!

 

 

The TY students all wore Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, this all added the Christmas cheer and even the parents dressed festively. By 4:30 pm, the fair had almost ended, and everything was pretty much sold out. Many students and parents volunteered to stay behind and clean up. I would hope we raised a great profit as 100% goes to the East Africa fund.  We’d like to thank everyone involved, especially the Parent’s Association who worked very hard to help set up everything, and all who helped out on the day.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Oooh! Look! It’s The Bank Street Boys!

Drift back, if you will, to this time of year in, say, 2005… You are working in mortgages at the AIB and the future is rosy: share prices are rocketing, interest rates are minuscule, bonuses are bulging and the first of your three fully comped Christmas parties is about to roll in.  Your only complaint is a bit of the old carpal tunnel syndrome from scribbling ‘yes’ so many times…  Yes, those were the days, but judging from the extravaganza put on by the Transition Year Build-A-Bank Team, those heady days are here again!  The professionals from the AIB were around to provide shrewd advice and to assure due diligence but the show was all the boys’ alone, as Robert O’Connor, Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Zach Carr, Mark Connor and Matthew Lynch implemented their innovative marketing concept with consummate skill and a good bit of panache.  Combining matinée idol looks with advantageous interest rates, the latest TY Build-A-Bank team are definitely destined for big things in the financial world!  The competitions and freebies drew the youngsters in and, like with many a mortgage-taker in days gone by, when the smoke had cleared and the confetti had settled, the signatures were somehow on the bottom line!   Seriously, a generous bonus was provided by the AIB for openers of student accounts and it was a win-win situation: the TY boys gained valuable business experience and the general student body got a whiff of the financial sector’s profits, while still learning the value of saving for a rainy day.

 

 

 

Culture Vultures!

Long ago, Mrs. Patricia Kelleher initiated what has become a beloved Conlethian tradition: the Sheppard-Kelleher family invites Sixth Years out to the opera and all the young men and ladies (and a few select teachers!) get all dickied up and they enjoy a night of civilised, cultural entertainment.  This year it was ‘Aida’ at the National Concert Hall and, by all accounts, it was an amazing production, even rendering principal emeritus, and noted opera aficionado, Peter Gallagher, momentarily stunned into silence.  Mr. Carvill was also there, and we thank him for the following pictures of the swish style on display!

 

 

 

A Conleth’s Christmas!

The Annual St. Conleth’s Traditional Christmas Fair is being held this year on Saturday, December 8th from 9.30-4pm. As well as trees (€30-€120), beautifully hand decorated wreaths (€20-€80), poinsettias, lucky dip, raffle, hot refreshments, live music, carol singers and lots of Christmas cheer, the students will have lots of wonderful stands selling cakes, crafts, treats and much more (please remember to bring old-fashioned cash on the day!). This is a wonderful opportunity to do some essential Christmas shopping whilst helping a good cause and adding to the Traditional St. Conleth’s Christmas Fair Cheer!  Proceeds as always will go towards the Africa Project. The schools past fundraising efforts have borne fruit and the latest development is that the villagers now have their own borehole to collect water – a huge step and a massive help to the community.  Check here for our price-list and see our TY students’ artful promotions below, as well as a photo of the good which comes from it all.  See you Saturday!  Mr. Alan Trenier, TY Co-Ordinator.

 

 

 

Chess ‘A’ Team in the Thick of It!

Pardon if we sound a bit like Ross O’Carroll Kelly, but as it is with rugby, hockey and sports and culture in general, to be the best  in Leinster in chess is to be the best in Ireland!  Our Junior School A Team recently had their Leinster Division 1 Play-Off and, once again, competed with the best chess teams in the country.  St. Conleth’s mother and chess guru Gillian O’Leary reports:

The Division One Chess Play Offs went very well today, with 10 teams of 8 players each competing.  The standard was very high with St. Marys Haddington Road coming out on top.  The top  4 teams will  progress to the Division One finals, while the other 6 teams will participate in the Leinster Shield in February 2019.  The St. Conleths team played 3 matches winning one in style (7-1) but losing two matches to strong opposition (1.5, 2.5). All team members played really well, and represented the school in an excellent manner.  Special congratulations to John Byrne and Samson Labintcev who both scored 3 out of 4 and each won a team board prize.  Having consulted with Alex Baburin, we selected the board order based on current strength (rather than the standings earlier in the year).    Well done to all involved!   Team members:  Charlie Kennedy, Liam Hunter, David MacNicholas, Matthew Sherlock, Declan de la Cruz Boylan,  John Byrne, James Maher and Samson Labintcev.

 

 

Talkin’ Turkey: Thanksgiving at St. Conleth’s!

Somewhere Squanto must be smiling… as he sees the celebration of  the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to new 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 pumpkin pie, 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!  Both Juniors and Seniors and the ghost of Elvis Presley (he had seconds) joined us 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!

 

 

We Look Back… and Forwards

Our Annual School Mass is always an affair in which we engage with mixed emotions.  In this liturgical time of remembrance, we rightly look back and remember the Conlethians who are no longer with us, a list which grows longer each year.  But we also take great joy and hope in seeing the ever-renewing community of St. Conleth’s, gathered as one in celebration of our Christian ethos.  Our Chaplain, Father Michael, as always, had the right words for the occasion, reminding us of the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, and also the universality at the heart of our ethos.

 

 

The many names of St. Mary’s Catholic parishioners on the World War Remembrance plaque poignantly drove home the message.  We are more must-cultural and multi-faith as a community than we were in 1918 or 1939, but the essentials of our Catholicism are such that they find much resonance in many other faiths and beliefs, and though the rites may be different, there is much more in common to keep us together.  Together also were the Junior and Senior Schools which is always a delight to see- and hear.  Ms. Hartnett and Ms. Fay and Ms. DeBhal had their respective choirs in top voice, as you can hear and see below!

 

Senior Hockey Girls in Action!

We recently broke the bank with the purchase of a new camera which is capable of catching those split second moments of pivotal action during basketball games, debating meets, musical concerts, chess showdowns… and, yes, hockey matches!  So, our first assignment with our new toy was for intrepid TY reporter Edwin Chang to follow the Senior Hockey Girls to their match versus Wilson’s Hospital at the nearby Pembroke Hockey Club.  The girls maintained their incredible unbeaten record, drawing 1-1 with the team from this long-time hockey school, with Eve Harvey Graham scoring in a tough, defensive match.  The girls were understandably pooped after their exhaustive efforts but joining them at the oxygen tanks was Edwin, who spent the whole game running up and down the sidelines!  Coach Speller said she was so impressed she might sneak in a new player on the wing into the next match: exchange student Edwina Chang!

 

The Next Lord Chancellor of Ireland?

Yes, Conor Power of the Class of 2018 now moves in rarified company, joining the bishops, the parliamentarians, the lord chancellors and the Daniel Gilligans as Exhibition Scholars at Trinity College.  Conor’s achievement is even more impressive than the that of all the Anglo-Irish magnates who came before him: this is the first year that Trinity has limited the award to one honouree per secondary school.  589 LC points did the trick and now Conor has some spending money for books as he continues his study of Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Sociology.  (Afterwards, he immediately ran down to Hodges Figgis for a hardback copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’).  The ceremony itself was dignified and ye-olde-worlde-ly in a way that only Trinity can do properly.  We half expected Professor Dumbledore to take the rostrum and Nearly Headless Nick to come crashing through the portraits but Provost Pendergrast and Dean Mitchell filled in admirably, if less dramtically.  Of course, there was wine and hors d’oeuvres and plenty of pleasant conversation.  Conor felt very much at home, despite his hurley-playing, mass-attending and republican-sympathising past.   Seriously, we should be very proud of Conor and not just because he earned the points to win the award.  He was also one of the most well-rounded, honestly enthusiastic and just plain gentlemanly young men to ever grace the halls of St. Conleth’s.

 

Ouch! My Astigmatism!

Actually, we are not exactly sure where on our body we are suffering from said condition, but the winning contestants in the First Year Science Week Table Quiz certainly do-  as well as how many toes has a dog, what a light-year measures, how many sides are on a heptagon and lots of other essential and perhaps not-so-essential nuggets of knowledge.  Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Phelan were like younger, hipper and better looking versions of Stephen Fry and Sandy Toksvig as they sashayed around the Performance Hall, asking questions, checking answers and applying occasional behavioural therapy. You can see the two winning teams below but everyone was as happy as Pavlov’s dog (in the early stages of the experiment) and a great Science Week tradition was born! Click here and here for some more questions.

 

Top of their Classes!

We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent run 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.  You have recently seen our Maths results charts with all the numbers and  percentages but earlier this week there was even more tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess:  Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Simon Pettitt (Engineering), Oisín Gilligan (Science) and David Loftus (Computer Science) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results.  Stay tuned, as next week we find out who of the Class of 2018 are the ‘winners at Trinners’!

 

JCT Pushes Sandford to the Wire

Louis Magee, St. Conleth’s Head of Junior Rugby, had his troops well prepared for this derby-like Cup clash with near neighbours Sandford Park and the boys brought all that training and skills development to bear during the match and left nothing on the pitch.   Led by Captain Conor Hyland and with significant contributions from Morton Ainscough (19 points), the all-around excellence of Darrach Smyth and strong scrum-half play of newcomer William Norse, St. Conleth’s battling all over the field. In the end, however, and by the tightest of margins (27-24), our JCT had to leave the field and exit the competition, though with heads held high.

 

 

The next day the ball bounces differently, or the knock-on call goes the other way, and St. Conleth’s enjoys the victory: yesterday was just not that day, and Sandford Park moves on.  Judging by the spirit and comaraderie evident on the day, St. Conleth’s has plenty left in the tank and whether it is League, Shield or friendlies, no-one is going to enjoy coming up against this fierce band of brothers.  Louis has reinvigorated the Junior Rugby ranks at St. Conleth’s, and with an immensely talented gang of First Years growing in size and skill week-by-week, we see great things ahead for this JCT in the months and years to come.  Just think: one of Louis’s toughest jobs each week is making up the team sheet as there are so many eager and deserving players.   Yes, tough decisions have to be made and no-one is happy riding the bench, but the numbers and the enthusiasm bode well for the future of  St. Conleth’s rugby.

 

Making News in Leinster!

With our JCT campaign kicking off today, it is good time to recall the essential role St. Conleth’s has played in the development of Leinster Schools Rugby…  and to make one significant addition to our Leinster roll of honour.  The latter, first: Nicholas Cunningham-Ash has been the starting No. 8 for the Leinster ‘Metros’ throughout the different rounds of the Bank of Ireland Shane Horgan Cup; the most recent match taking place on Halloween.  It is a great honour for the immensely talented (and the impeccably mannered) Nicholas and he follows in a proud Conlethian tradition of sending our best players to play for their province or other selective teams.  Nicholas now takes his place in a pantheon of Conlethian legends such as Ronan Cullen, Peter McAvock, Karl Finnegan, Kevin Dolan and Conor Gaul.

 

 

Of course, St. Conleth’s contributions to Leinster Rugby goes beyond providing stand-out players.  A recent Leinster Match Programme detailed the pivotal role played by Paul Mullins in setting up the inter provisional dimension of the Schools ‘Section A’ and the contributions of many Conlethian coaches over the years.  That would include Shay Keenan and Gavin Maguire, whose heroic holding high of the Section A Shield while being carted off the pitch on a stretcher remains burned on the retinas of all who were privileged to be there.   And need we even mention the absolutely central role Mr. Kevin Kelleher played in Leinster Schools Rugby over the years?  The Inter-Provincial Trophy now proudly bears his name, but references to Mr. K.’s influence and legend are made weekly on touchlines and in locker-rooms  up and down the province.  Ms. Sheppard was recently called on to present the trophy in his honour, with one of the recipients being a Junior School past pupil, no less!

 

Your Christmas Exam Schedule!

Galadriel did, but can you pass the test? 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, will hand 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 Thanksgiving and good luck!

Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:

First Year Christmas Exam Schedule 

Second Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Third Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Fifth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Sixth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

 

Our Chivalric Heroes!

Well, technically they do not actually compete on horses (yet), but our young fencing heroes do display all the necessary knightly virtues:  fighting skill, courage, impeccable manners, an eye for the young fencing ladies… and the willingness to spend their weekends dressed up like medieval warriors!   And the most ‘ye olde worlde-ly’ of all the fencing competitions must be the Lord Killanin Trophy: the title alone fairly reeks of the antiquarian aspect of the noble sport.  But we fear that they may change that title soon to the ‘St. Conleth’s In-House Trophy’ if we continue to dominate the competition!

 

 

Last weekend, at Loretto-Dalkey, the band of brothers (Moriarty-Smyth-Smyth and Sherlock) and Claudio ‘Zorro’ Sosa once again bagged most of the shine available. In Cadets (Under 16s) Foil, Claudio won Gold and  James finished 5th.  In the Under 14 Foil,  Luke won Gold!  In the Under 12 Foil,  Myles won Gold and Mathew placed 5th, and in the Under 15 Epee, Luke won Silver.  That was just on Saturday.  On Sunday (after completing several pages of their Study-Books), the merry band headed north to Belfast, where they competed in the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series Round 1.  And our boys did not do the Brexit negotiations any favours!  In Cadets (Under 16s) Foil, Claudio won Gold and  James took Silver (another all-Conlethian final!) In the Under 14 Foil,  Luke won Gold and in the Under 12 Foil, Myles copped Gold and  Mathew finished 5th.  Whew.  And, yes, there are rumours of a jousting court being included in our next extension!

Berries! Alumnus Chris Luke Honoured in Cork

We all know (because the Corkonians keep telling us) that Cork is the best city (or very large town) in  Ireland, if not the world… d’ya know like.  And since they are used to living with such a high level of native excellence, Corkonians are notoriously parsimonious in bestowing laurels on anyone not borne within spitting distance of the Lee.  So, for Conlethian Past Pupil Chris Luke (School Captain 1976) to be named winner of the Cork Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 (for “outstanding service to the people of Cork”) it is great honour, indeed.

Chris has been head of Emergency Medicine in Cork University Hospital for many years and, after supervising the repairs to many a stocious Corkman who had received a dawk from some langer for so long, news of his imminent retirement inspired this rare honour.  Chris was back at his alma mater recently, having delivered the keynote speech at our Parent Associations’ AGM.  It was entitled ‘A Little Nightclub Medicine: Keeping “Party Animals” Safe in the 21st Century’  and was as entertaining as it was informative.   We saw firsthand the rhetorical skills which have earned Chris the honour of being one of RTE’s regular experts when it comes to matters medical.  Stay tuned, as Chris plans a working retirement, and we are sure to hear more from him over the airwaves and podcasts.  Da Berries, indeed!

Cool Sounds for Sound Minds!

Our report is a bit belated but the event in question was so important that we are still going to give you the run-down…  Every school brags about their academic achievements (as we just did, regarding Maths!) and it place in the annual ‘league tables’ and so they should:  academics are what schools do, and they are important to students, parents and teachers.  But we like to think that at St. Conleth’s, we certainly excellent at academics but we also cater to ‘the whole child’.  We provide a plethora of sports and activities to stimulate and satisfy growing bodies and minds and do our best to encourage a lifestyle which is physically, spiritually and mentally healthy.  The last came to the fore a few weeks ago when School Guidance Counsellor Anne Ryan organised a visit to St. Conleth’s by up-and-coming Irish pop star and social commentator, Simon James, who gave a presentation (or performance) on ‘Mental Health, Online Safety and Cyber Bullying.  We have run many ‘mental health’ events over the years, but this one was different, as Simon was able to connect with his young audience, through both his music and his chat, in a way that older, more traditional presenters just could not do.

 

 

And wearing her other hat, the one for Career Guidance, Ms. Ryan continues to arrange for visits and presentations regarding third level opportunities both here and abroad.  She keeps the students up-to-date with info about any Irish university Open Days, and welcomes the representatives from institutions from all over Europe.  Recently we had a Dutch delegation which made presentations on all the leading universities in Holland and the opportunities there for Irish students.    ‘Well-Being’ and a career path: what more could you ask?

A Plethora of Portfolio!

Ms. Halpin has been busy.  You have already seen, in other news items, snaps of the new Art Room in all its glory.  Well it certainly did not come ‘out of the box’ looking like that!  Ms. Halpin was here in the waning days of summer,  getting the new digs ready, moving the enormous variety of materials, tools and supplies which art demands and making the tough decisions about which student masterpieces get hung on the walls, which get returned to their creators and which become the fodder for future art, via the green bin!

 

 

Not an easy job, as you can see yourself above and below, where we have assembled photos of much of last year’s Junior and Leaving Certificate art students’ best portfolio pieces.  Enjoy them and take a good look, because the current year’s art students are beavering away and soon their own creations will be demanding and deserving some attention of their own!

 

Maths: It All Adds Up!

A few years ago,  a research report commissioned by UNESCO/UNICEF/The Illuminati found that Ireland’s schools were lagging behind the international competition in their Maths scores.  In response, the rusty gears  at the Department of Education and Skills slowly began turning and soon were churning out an endless series of STEM-promotions.  Expensive and of dubious effectiveness, the mandarins of Marlborough Street would have been better off just paying a visit to 28 Clyde Road to see how Maths teaching is properly done!  We recently celebrated another whirlwind Maths Week with daily puzzles, sudoku competitions, Maths Magic Shows and visits to special lectures at Engineers Ireland.  And the winners of the competitions were honoured at our October assembly (and can be seen sporting their ‘Maths Mugs’ below).  But the funny things is: every week is ‘Maths Week’ at St. Conleth’s!  And our  Maths teachers not only do the fun, happy-clappy, ‘up with people’ bits well, they also deliver the curriculum better than anyone in the country.  The results, both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate, speak for themselves and can be seen on the slide below.   Even more impressive is the high praise earned during an official inspection a few years ago.   Click here to see the full inspection report or just take a quick look at their main findings, verbatim:

 

maths


Notice the use of the word ‘excellent’?  Inspectors avoid such words of enthusiastic endorsement like the plague, but they felt compelled to bestow them on our Maths teachers liberally.  And our inspector personally vouchsafed that she had never before seen such enthusiasm and sheer Mathematical knowledge amongst students at any other school.  And since that inspection, our Maths results have only gotten better.  George Soros, and whoever else is really in charge, better take notice!

 

A Spectre is Haunting St. Conleth’s…

But have no fear: it is not the lumpenproletariat looking for the redistribution of wealth, it is a fun-loving gang of scary but innocent Junior Schoolers, led by the commander-in-chief of puerility!  Every year we have an October assembly which marks the ever-more-important holiday of Halloween but also serves to recall the past and look to the future at this poignant point in the waning of the year.

 

 

Mr. ODulaing, once again, led our assembly, eloquently looking back with fondness and forward with enthusiasm, and Mr. Gallagher provided the multi-cultural background to this ancient feast day.   And, this being St. Conleth’s/Fame Academy,  Russell, Amy, Mark, Colin and Stephen musically accompanied the dignified affair.  Everything was going swimmingly until a loud, obnoxious knock was heard at the door and in barged the Chief Executive of prolonged toddlerhood and his minions and an enjoyable chaos ensued.  Check out the photos above, which include some of each Junior classs, captured in their own lairs before the attack on their rather delighted victims. And below we see and hear Stephen Allen, who has adorned our assemblies with his superb singing many times over the years.

 

Rugby Teams Roll On!

Winning is obviously infectious.  Our First Year Rugby Team continued its record-setting start to the season with a blitz win at the High School and then a comprehensive whomping of Marian College 59-15, in the salubrious setting of the Aviva Stadium, no less!  But this victory virus has also spread to our other teams: the SCT enjoyed a solid Leinster League victory last week, led by our very large Rugby Captain, Dylan Browne, and the gory old-school heroics of Johnny ‘Rambo’ Barry.  Then the Sixth Form team joined the fun with a 13-1 win over St. Michael’s over the weekend.   So, yes we applaud the successes of our hockey players, debaters and fencers, but let us not forget: St. Conleth’s ‘bread and butter’ is still rugby.  Of course, that would be a sourdough loaf from Marco Pierre White’s, topped by butter which is hand-churned and organic!

Hockey Win in the Wilds of Wicklow!

Just in case you have yet to acquire the ‘postmodern patter’ dialect common amongst our youngsters and used below in the players’ match report, let us just give you the facts: yes, the Minor Hockey Girls won again, 1-0 over Dominican- Wicklow, scratching out a tough victory over worthy opposition.  Or, as the gurlz put it:

The brave Conlethians girliepops set off down the N11 motorway to go over yonder in Wicklow Town they arrived only to be greeted with a pitch that was, like, we had only heard horror story’s about… a grit pitch…omg!  Although the pitch was… like…different… it still didn’t stop the brave Conlethian girliepops from competing in a game that didn’t lower their standards (but did their speed). The game took a slow start but after a lot of grit in eyes, socks, shoes and everywhere you could think, yes you guessed it: our very own girliepops from our very own St. Conleth’s managed to put a breathtaking and unstoppable ball between the two goal posts of the D.C.W goal. 25 mins of hard hockey later our girliepops regrouped on the sideline and after a spontaneous photo shoot came back with a 1-0 victory over D.C.W.  By 2nd year girliepops Alanna, Sydney, Caoimhe and Sasha

Omar Earns Squash Bronze!

Squash has a proud tradition at St. Conleth’s with both Ms. Sheppard and Mr. McGrath having competed at the highest levels and our student teams, under Mr. McGrath’s guidance,  often topping the Leinster Schools table.  Now, TY Omar Abdelwahed has joined that winning tradition, having achieved 3rd place in n the Ulster Squash Junior Open 2018 in his first season in the Boys U-17 category. Omar played some amazing squash to come back from two games down to win the game 3-2.  Well done, Omar!

Our Own Little Zorro?

In the dark times of Spanish Colonial administration of California, a masked hero emerged from the shadows of the Los Angelean pueblo: a champion of the people who used his mastery of the sword and his quick-fire wit to fight injustice and puncture the pretensions of the arrogant and bloated overclass.  Well, Claudio Sosa is  obviously the Conlethian Zorro!  Anyone who has him in class knows well about his undisputed rhetorical ability and the senior fencers of Ireland are quickly learning about his skill with the blade.  Claudio (and classmate James Moriarty-Smyth) are competing now as adults, and Claudio has already racked up two bronzes and a gold on the senior circuit.  Recently, he finished third in the West of Ireland completion (notice the facial hair on his competitors!) and now he has been crowned Intermediate Champion.  Claudio is ranked 8th amongst Senior Fencers in Ireland and he is only 14!    In other St. Conleth’s fencing news, we proudly announce the passing of the torch (or saber?) from Michael  ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s Fencing’ Li to new Fencing Captain Stephen Rockett and Vice-Captain James Moriarty-Smyth-Smyth.  Also making moves is James’s younger brother, Myles, who we see below, accepting a bronze medal at a Newcastle competition.  With swordsmen like these, we are obviously in good hands despite that impending zombie apocalypse!

 

 

 

Sisters in Arms!

The St. Conleth’s Hockey Machine keeps rolling!  You have already read about our Minor team’s stunning early season success.  Now the Senior team are demanding their share of the headline, with a stylish win over Sandford Park.  Below you see the pre-match team talk huddle, led by Georgia Weir McErlean (Captain) and Emily Mansfield (Vice) and the post-game celebrations with Georgia again leading the festivities.   In-between these moments, was a great game with some lovely team work displayed by all involved.  Georgia and little sister Sydney both scored, with Georgia’s coming from a strike from a short corner and Sydney’s from a lovely reverse sweep at the top of the D.  Ava’s two goals both resulted from some impressive attacking ‘in the D’.  Georgia and Emily’s instructions could be heard throughout, showing their great leadership and passion for the game.  And,  just like in class, adding a few comical moments to the game too!

 

 

This follows a blitz vs. Sanford Park, where our Minors teamed up with the Junior School’s Sixth Class, for an afternoon of good-natured but competitive hockey.   We were on the winning side in all the matches, and though our goal-keeper got a bit bored, it was great to see the different age groups working together.

Another Helping of Creamed Corn?

Well, we cannot promise that traditional, dubious American ‘treat’, but we are sure Chef Mark will pull some Halloweeny surprise out of the pot before the midterm break.  The already planned delectables are below on our special holiday menu.  Mark’s menus can be found each week (from the previous Friday evening) under Information on this website and the meals on offer for each particular day are in the Events calendar.  It would be great if parents looked over the menu with their children before the start of the week.  This will speed those canteen queues and lead to healthier eating.  Now, anyone for some succotash?

PDF to print

Maths Teachers ‘Turn it Up to 11!’

St. Conleth’s Maths teachers, both Junior and Senior, do not let traditional boundaries limit their enthusiasm for the world’s favourite subject!  They have already earned 125% of the regular Leaving Certificate points and now they are giving 110% in promotion of all things ‘STEMmy’ during Maths Week 2018. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Nigel Tunnel would be proud!  You have already heard below how our teachers are turning St. Conleth’s into a veritable ‘Manga High’.  And now, with Maths Week upon us, they and their students are buzzing around like free electrons!  There will be the usual, maddening Maths puzzles each day, a special Sudoko Challenge on Thursday, an extra special ‘Maths Magic Show’ by Mr. Toal on Friday and a session of ‘Dating Tips for Mathematicians’ somewhere along the way.  And Ms. NiAonghusa is going to take her First Years to a special Maths Week Event, ‘Can You Engineer the Code?’, down the block at Engineers Ireland.  Watch out, Singapore!

Cross Country Camaraderie!

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 photo below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years.  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: the Juniors, in particular, as they decided to race as one block at the back, biding their time to make their move towards the front.  Unfortunately the race ended, just as they were about to shift a gear upwards.  Regardless, 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!

 

Francophonic Fun… in Bundoran?

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!

 

A New Dynasty?

Will the Class of 2024 SCT rival the of the legendary, record-setting team of 2016? Well, the First Year rugby teams are off to a good start:  winning again, beating Sandford Park with strong performances from numbers 1-15, as well as off the bench.  Well done to coaches Ciarán Smith, John O’Brien and David Pogatchnik and Head of Junior Rugby, Louis Magee.  Below you see a team photo, as well as the boys warming up, and some pics of the behind-the-scenes work which is essential for a successful rugby system: all-years training and bonding sessions, classroom talks and tactics and our coaches completing  a ‘safe rugby’ certification. HOS Gavin Maguire is justly proud of his coaches and players.

 

 

Good Grief, Greif!

Are you sure that is safe?  Yes, we know we have molly-coddled our kids to the point where they risk and fun intolerant, but throwing them off Dun Laoghaire Pier with only wetsuits, helmets, flotation devices and security drones to protect them?  Well, Past Pupil Sean Greif (Class of 2005) reassured us, we relaxed and the First Years had a ball.

Sean is taoiseach of Moontour, an innovative language adventure centre and for the past few years we have been sending various year groups down to him on Dun Laoighaire Pier for some cúpla focal and a whole lot of fun and the kids always come back happy, tired and satisfied.  Ms. deBhal and Mr. Gahan were the lucky teacher escorts this time, and they brought back the action shots you see above and below.

Sixth Years Enjoy Action-Packed Retreat

Do you remember when retreats involved a lot of hushed voices, hastily drawn symbolic etchings and vague expressions of well-being?  Well how about zip-lines, fire-starting, fish-gutting and sing-alongs?  Yes, we believe that the Sixth Year Retreat to Ovoca House in Avoca has been a change for the better.

 

 

Never before have we heard a 100% approval rating from the students involved and it was not just because the hosts kept them moving with fun-filled and challenging activities: the boys and girls did do proper, traditional retreat stiff too, such as team-building, goal-setting and reflection.  It was just that the whole overnight (x2!) trip was so well-planned and well implemented,  it satisfied both the needs and the wants of those involved.  A big thank-you to Ms. deBhal and Mr. Carvill for taking part so enthusiastically.

 

Together, We Are More!

Think of any of your favourite Power Rangers’ tagline and they all seem to apply here: Together, We Are More!;  Back to action!; Go go!; The good guys are here!; It’s Mighty Morphin time-  Okay, maybe not the last one, but certainly Mr. Porzadny and his select team of Conlethians are our super-heroes!  They completed the Dublin Simon Community HomeRun charity five mile race in Phoenix Park on Saturday, raising important funds to battle homelessness.  Students from all years took part, including a few Sixth Years, just back from a gruelling three day retreat.  Everyone was in high spirits and several were in tights: and they looked great, as you can see below.

 

 

 

The Best in… The British Isles?

Conlethians are rather used to ‘All-Ireland’ titles: chess and basketball immediately come to mind… but to be the ‘Best in the British Isles’ is clearly another step up!  With a slight sympathetic nod to republicans, we nevertheless will enjoy this new ranking for all it is worth!  Apparently, our students have been digitally attending Mangahigh in droves and getting most of their challenging Maths problems correct.  So much so, that we are now the top-ranked school in all the British Isles… and apparently that includes both Sark and Inisheer!  Some of this success must be credited to our ICT Department: Mr. Travers and Mr. Porzadny are like Sheldon, BB-9E and Santa Claus wrapped up into one great big huggable user interface!  The Google Chromebooks are particularly popular, as you can see Ms. Dillon’s class enjoying the portable digital experience, but so is our ICT room, where you see Ms. Leary’s class opting for the wired version of digitally interactive education.  And the algorithms say that our Maths teachers, both junior and Senior, also have much to do with this success. Probably.  But let us not forget an earlier technological invention: the Paperbook.  Its death has been greatly exaggerated, and below you also see Third Forms reading ‘old school’ books such as ‘Tom Sawyer’ and the like.  Another valuable wireless experience!

 

Batter Up!

The members of the PE Department at St. Conleth’s are actually rather open-minded and experimental for a bunch of jocks.   In between hitting the free weights  (only the massive ones) and buying the latest protein bars and tight T-shirts,  we try to introduce the students to a variety of sports and activities.  Our latest venture was down at Herbert Park, where the rugby and cricket loving locals were rather shocked to hear bellowed cries of  ‘Batter Up!’ and ‘He’s no pitcher: he’s a belly-itcher!’   The Third Years, after a brief period of confusion with the rather arcane rules, seemed to enjoy ‘the Great American Past-Time’, especially the gear and the jargon. Franco proved a natural at catching; Andre hammered a ‘grand-slam’; Evan, the two Oisins and Daniel were ‘painting the corners’ and Ignacio cleared the ‘ducks from the pond’.  Stay tuned for curling and flagpole-sitting!

 

The Invincibles

Our Minor Hockey Girls are on a roll! Now 2-0, after beating Our Lady’s- Terenure 5-0. They have scored 10 goals in League play and allowed none.  Well done to the girls and coaches Ms. Leary, Ms. Speller and Ms. Stanley.  Here are match reports from some of the players, themselves.

St. Conleth’s vs. Our Lady’s Grove

It started off with a very unusually quiet bus ride to the scarily big grounds of UCD. With the aid of Ms. Stanley, we finally conquered the grounds and made it to the pitch. We started our warm-up: a treacherous two laps of the pitch,  followed by stretches. Finally, the very late Our Lady’s Grove showed up to face their fears. Then it began:  Sasha took tip and we were off. After many unsuccessful trips to the D, we finally got a goal an amazing full power shot by Sasha, followed closely after by another.  Then it was half time and our amazing team talk followed by our cheer that could be heard everywhere on the campus. Within no time at all, we were already up 3-0, all goals thanks to our amazing striker Sasha.

Then the magic happened…. Our Lady’s hit the ball over their own end line and it was a long corner to us. Caoimhe raced and got the ball and with an amazingly powerful shot (for such a small human being) she hit the ball into the back of the goal scoring a tremendous fourth goal.The match finished with an amazing score of 5-0 to us and all of us went home with smiles on our faces until it started to rain. Simply amazing!  By Caoimhe & Alanna

 

 

St. Conleth’s vs.  Our Lady’s- Terenure

It started off with a not so quiet bus ride which was thanks to the return of Sydney, after she had been previously injured and not been able to play with us. We bopped along to some classic pop while the First Years looked on in confusion. We arrived at Our Lady’s- Terenure with Caoimhe and Sydney battling it out to lead stretches. Then it was quickly onto the pitch and we got Tímea all kitted out in her amazingly marshmallow-like goalie gear.  The captain for our first league match was Caoimhe, with Alanna as vice-captain. We lost the toss-up but still started strong. There wasn’t much activity in the backs as the forwards battled for their first goal. After slight toing and froing Jennifer got our first goal after being set up very nicely for the deflection from Sasha’s powerful shot. She managed to get the ball into the bottom left corner.  After our first goal, Caoimhe and Sydney both got a goal each, making the score 3-0 at half time. A few substitutions later, the three first years, Ciara, Olivia and Sophie, joined us on our battle towards victory. With some amazing passes, outstanding blocks and great teamwork we managed to make the final score 5-0.   By Alanna & Caoimhe

 

Over The Next Fence!

Another term, another fencing season….  This year the blade bar has been upped: James Moriarty-Smyth and Claudio Sosa, having been selected by Irish Fencing, are now fencing at Under 17 level on the European Cadet Circuit.  Last weekend the Conlethian pair, along with 10 other selected foilists,  represented  Ireland at the inaugural leg of the 2018/19 circuit amid the impressive surroundings of Bolton Arena, Manchester.  Despite both of them being two of the youngest competitors, they gave it their all. James very narrowly missed the DE tableau of 128 fencers, ending the day ranked 135 out of a field of 170. Claudio ended ranked 143.   The numbers may not seem that impressive at first, but remember, both boys are fencing above their age level and that the competitors are the best in Europe.  And the is just in: The European Fencing Federation website now lists both James and Claudio with European rankings, courtesy of last weekend’s competition in Manchester. James is ranked 400th out of 538, while Claudio is 417th out of 538.  Not bad for two kids who can barely get into a 15s movie on their own!  See some of the action below, as well as one last shot of Fencing Captain emeritus, Michael Lee, as he hands his foil to new Captain Stephen Rockett and Vice James. (Thanks to Robert Smyth for news and pics.)

 

 

 

 

 

What Are They Doing In There?

In his many years at St. Conleth’s, Mr. Callaghan  has often drawn the attention of the wider school (and the smoke alarms) while cooking up some science in the school laboratory.  Comparing him to the mythical Dr. Frankenstein is a bit rash, but let us just say that one day last year, after Science class, there was suddenly a new, slightly odd-looking member of 2A  who sat in the back row for a couple of weeks, said little to nothing (therefore, standing out!), and eventually dissolved into a bubbling puddle of protoplasm in the corner of Room 2 (the stain is still there!).  This year, Mr. Callaghan has scaled things back a bit, but he is still creating exciting science!  Recently, he had First Years in the lab to make ‘fake cells’, a simple but still fascinating experiment.  Even more fascinating, was the way Mr. Callaghan got a group of First Years to concentrate for over an hour on a task which did not involve blowing something up, though Mr. Callaghan promises that explosions are definitely on the agenda!

 

 

 

Style and Substance

We expected nattily dressed gentlemen and girls in gorgeous gowns and we were certainly knocked out with the style, but we also knew there would be a more important aspect of the Class of 2018 Debs’ reception at St. Conleth’s: a spirit of honest affection and appreciation, tinged with the tiniest bit of regret that we will no longer have these charming young men and ladies all to ourselves.

 

 

College degrees and career destinations were not the only topics of conversation on the evening: there was plenty of looking back as well as looking forward, with plenty of smiles and laughs about the years, whether two or twelve, these young adults spent growing up with us.  After a very pleasant reception in the Performance Hall, the Conlethians headed off with their dates to Marco Pierre White’s for a meal to match their stylish attire.  Well done to Mrs. Ivers and the other organising parents and to Past Pupil Michael Dunne for taking these amazing photos!

 

Conlethians, Assemble!

Principal Donal ODulaing and School Captain Tomas Clancy led the first Senior School assembly of the year, but there was plenty of support, especially regarding musical accompaniment.  We always have an assembly at the end of September: a sort of ‘taking stock’ and ‘looking forward’ moment.  Mr. ODulaing once again combined timely tidbits of wisdom from Irish popular culture and the sporting world to inspire us all to even greater things this year.  Leading the way to these ‘great things’ will be School Captain Tomas Clancy and the other officers and captains who make up the Student Council.  The rhetoric was skilful and significant but so were the musical interludes:  First Year Giacomo Donlon and Sixth Year Matthew Rockett delighted the crowd with their piano pieces and Eva Stylianides sang a memorable version of ‘A Thousand Years’ (see and hear below!), backed by Rory Clarke and Sam Lynch.  And Joe Gallagher, our resident crooner, smoothly delivered ‘Streetcar’, accompanied by Matthew on piano.

Some of the promised great things are already happening!  Our golf team was saluted for their recent efforts in the Leinster tournament and we heard the news that Oisin McGinley has joined the European elites!   Oisín has been selected to represent Ireland at the European Youth Parliament this year. His selection was based on his performance at the National event, in Cork, when he was in Transition Year. The event takes place in Rotterdam, from Oct 13th to 21st.  Oisin is one of only six students from Ireland!

Thursday Night Lights!

As fans of ‘Friday Night Lights’ would know, in most of America (the red bits, that is), the biggest night of the year is the first high-school football game of the season.  Bright lights, parades, homecoming queen, an impressive range of pulled pork delicacies… the whole shebang.  At St. Conleth’s, the equivalent is the start of the Debating Season.  And though we may not believe in all that razzmatazz,  Chef Mark does cut a pretty smokin’ pulled pork sandwich, and it is very clear that debating is as essential to St. Conleth’s as the School Concert, ‘Colts vs. Crocs’, Ann Cramp and the Tuck Shop!  Well, the Junior Leinster’s started last Thursday and from the opening kick-off, we knew that the Conlethian Debating Dynasty is here to stay.  With Head Coach Conor ‘Belichick’ White in charge, there really was never any doubt.  The Power Twins (Evan and Oisin) topped the tab, opposing the motion “That this house would abolish advertising aimed at children”, vanquishing such storied opponents as Loretos Dalkey and On the Green (the Dallas Cowboys of schools debating) and Belvedere College.  And the other members of the team did very well indeed, and, again, against some stiff competition: Joymarita Ratinikanth, Trevor Bolger, Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney.  Their motion was “THW: Remove the voting age in exchange with a voting test’.   Stay tuned for news of the Juniors’ second round and debut of our Senior Team.  This just in: The Twin Powers (Evan and Oisin) debated again over the weekend, placing in the top 10 (of 64 teams) in the first round of the National Junior Mace competition!

 

What are Those?

The dearly departed, and sorely missed, Mr. Bolger was known for his collection of shoes.  (Have no fear: he has only departed to Naas, which is a strange place, indeed, but not quite the great beyond!) Anyways, Mr. Bolger’s footwear collection included an incredible array of runners, trainers and outright sneakers, and many a rainy day on the sporting pitches of St. Conleth’s did we gnash our teeth in jealousy of Mr. Bolger’s Gore-Tex wrapped little hoofs.  And though Mr. Bolger is now prancing around the Curragh, another member of staff has ‘stepped up’ to take the ‘Imelda Marcos’ crown.  She shall remain nameless, but clearly Ms. Halpin’s latest artistic tour-de-force was inspired by her colleague!  First, the students ‘borrowed’ an incredible range of footwear from their homes, from sturdy Clark’s to confectionery Jimmy Choo’s.  Then, the haul was assembled into a stately pile in the middle of the art room.  Finally, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year art students were encouraged to create some interpretive drawings of this idol of mammon.  And the results speak for themselves!  But just in case you have your sound turned off,  ‘creative, original, endearing and stunning’ immediately come to mind!

 

 

Uisce, Teanga agus Craic!

TYs enjoy a day of water-sports and Irish at Moontour, an innovative language adventure centre run by Past Pupil Sean Greif (Class of 2005).  More details from Ms. Dorman, as Gaeilge:

Chuaigh lucht na hIdirbliana (TY) go dtí Dun Laoghaire an Mhairt seo caite chun lá a chaitheamh ag déanamh sport uisce as Gaeilge le hiar- dhalta St Conleth, Sean Greif. Bhí an-lá againn. Rinne siad ‘kayakadoireacht’ agus léimt on gcé (pier jumping!) Bhí an aimsir go hiontach, bhí an t-uisce ina chlár agus bhi an craic go maith!  Thapaigh Jack Buckley an deis foto a fháil le Brendan Gleeson ar fheiceáil dó é ag siúl sios an cé, rud a chur an-áthas air!

 

Hockey Teams Fire First Salvos!

The revolution continues.  And this is no long, drawn-out insurgency in the hills.  This is Castro riding into Havana, with all guns blazing!  Yes, a couple of years ago we went fully co-educational. And yes, we allowed them to play their rather darling girls’ sports, encouraging them with the politest patter of patrimony…. but we did not expect them to take over the gym and the pitches and hog the headlines!   Coaches Helen Speller, Elaine Leary and Chloe Stanley must be beside themselves with joy (and HOS Gav Maguire, too, of course!) as both the Minor and Senior teams started their seasons with stunning success at Alexandra College on Saturday.  The Minors (1st + 2nd Years) battled manfully to a 0-0 draw, in their first match on a full-sized pitch, with Sasha and Katya leading the charge.  And the Seniors, in the first-ever official St. Conleth’s Senior Hockey match, won a thriller 3-2, with Eve (twice!)  and Vanshika rippling the nets and Georgia proving a stalwart in defence and Eva immense between the sticks.  So, rugby boys and basketball boyz, it is over to you!

S.cience T.renier E.ngineering M.aths

Mr. Trenier is multi-talented mountain of a man. His Cavan neighbours know about the range and depth of his rodeo talents: from steer roping through steer wrestling to steer riding, he has mastered them all.   We all know him as TY Co-Ordinator supreme (more on that later!).  And give him a white coat and stick him in a laboratory and another facet of Mr. T. emerges: Master of all STEM!

The Junior School Science Club (Tue. @ 3:45) is quickly learning about this side of his skill set.  Drop by the lab on Tuesday afternoons and you will here all sorts of solutions bubbling, cathodes emitting and artificial intelligences lamenting the absence of a soul.  But don’t be afraid!  It is all in the name of Science and Mr. T. follows the strictest of safety protocols.  This Tuesday, the Junior kids fashioned their own simple robots and set them free (briefly) to draw the perfect circle.  ‘Perfect circles’ sound quite Mathsy to us, and guess what?  On Thursdays, Mr. Trenier runs an After-School Maths Club, too!

 

 

No Magic Bullets…

Even School Captain emeritus Harry Mansfield, who very soon will be handling real ammunition as a Defence Forces Officer Cadet, had to admit: there is no magic bullet for doing well on the Leaving Certificate.  Yes, consistent hard work seems to be the only key to success, but there are plenty of little tips and nuances which were teased out by Harry and fellow hi-fliers from the Class of 2018: Emer Healy-O’Reilly (Medicine-TCD), Oisin Gilligan (Science-UCD) and Gavin Nugent (BESS-TCD).  The audience, the Class of 2019, hung on every word, seemingly paying more attention to these young veterans returning from the front lines than we old, armchair generals who are always banging on about the same things!  Mr. Carvill once again organised the affair and once again it was an undoubted success: you could just feel the steely sense of determination in the room as the recent alumni wrapped up their comments and the current Sixth Years immediately got down to work!

 

Chrome Book Heaven

That long-awaited new album by Gary Numan?  No, it is simply where we are living nowadays at St. Conleth’s, as our latest advance in ICT has taken the school by storm!   Whether it is rolling them in for an interactive tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in English class or researching the latest Elon Musk entrepreneurial shenanigans in Business or finally getting the alchemy going in Chemistry, the Chromebook have been a real boon to the forward-thinking teachers at St. Conleth’s.  They even come in handy in After-School Study, where marking schemes and sample answers may be perused without the periodic pings of social media.  Of course, the jet-setting Junior School teachers have been at it for years!  Now, we can join them at L&C’s for a leisurely latte as the kids quietly tap away at their touch-screens…. of course not!  These early days Chromebook adventures demand careful guidance and supervision from the teacher, which we can see Ms. Phelan providing below.  Now, once they are established and the students are well coached, Skyping your class from a cafe (or other beverage dispensary), near or far, is a distinct possibility!

 

All Changed Utterly…

Yes, the terrible beauty of the new Junior Cycle has been born… but to be honest, things really have not changed much.  All the traditional subjects are gradually switching over to their new Junior Cycle versions, with more student-centred and skills-activities and more continuous assessment, but the three ‘Rs’ are still the heart of the curriculum and good teachers are still good teachers and young people are still, given the chance, eager to learn.  Some of those eager learners can be seen below, in the familiar environs of the front steps of 28 Clyde Road, totting up the plentiful As, Bs and ‘Merits’ and a good few ‘Distinctions’, to boot!  From the days of the old Intermediate Certificate, through the glory days of the Junior Certificate, and now at the dawn of the Junior Cycle, St. Conleth’s has always given these state examinations their due reverence, and the students their due preparation, and we have celebrated on those steps with many cohorts of exam-takers over the years, but we also know there is more to school than exams, and more to a child than results, and it is this more inclusive and holistic approach that is at the heart of our school.   By now those certificates have been framed or filed away, and the TYs are getting on with some of that ‘holistic’ education under the guidance of TY Co-Ordinater Alan Trenier.  They have already been adventuring in Carlingford, sailing in Dun Laoghaire and treading the boards with drama guru Seamus Gallagher.  Stay tuned for more!

 

First Year Rugby Enjoys 3-0 Debut!

We have decided that last Wednesday’s stunning start to the St. Conleth’s rugby season, with First Years winning all three matches, deserves a bit more attention!  Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee (and Celestial King of All Sport Gavin Maguire) must be very proud of their First Year players and coaches (Messrs. O’Brien, Smith and Pogatchnick), indeed.  In the annals of St. Conleth’s Rugby History, rarely have we seen a rugby team begin with such chutzpah and bravado in the locker-room… and then actually back it up on the pitch!  The participation rate, particularly in First Year, was almost 100% and we encourage the boys to keep turning out.  Everyone played their part, but below we see some of the leading try-scorers (mind you, only some of them): Russell Bolger, Harry Cooper-Reid, Matthew O’Leary, Luke O’Keefe, Luke Timlin and Daniel Fagan.  Alumni might recognise some of the names: Matthew is the little brother of Ryan (the famous scholar athlete of the Class of 2015) and Harry is the cousin of Myles (the famous entrepreneur of the Class of 2011 ), proving that there is something special in that Conlethian blood!   The coaches were also thrilled to see so many parents on the touch-lines.  If we keep up the support and the training attendance, these boys can go places!

 

All Day and All Night!

We all know what ‘All work and no play…’ does to Jack but for many youngsters the opposite situation applies, yet the outcome is the same!  We recently saw the happy faces of the Class off 2018 as they received their results; well, the happiest of them were on those who put in the work and reaped their just reward.  One way of getting that ‘work’ in is to avail of our After-School and Night Study programmes.  They are already in full swing and space is limited, so come on in (into the Performance Space/Study Hall) and give it a try.  If you like it, then sign up and pay through Easypayments on this website.  All the details are attached here. Happy Studying!

 

 

 

And They’re Off!

Sings of the change in seasons: shorter evenings, darker mornings, leaf fall… and Conlethian fencing triumphs!  After a short summer break, which James and Claudio spent raising heck in Morocco and Mexico, respectively, our dynamic duo returned to international competitive action against serious fencers from all over the UK and Ireland.  It was the Youth Four Nations in Cardiff, and of course, the boys came home with their usual bag of swag, and a bit of swagger, too.  Claudio and James  won Bronze in Sunday’s Team Event, while Claudio also took Bronze in Saturday’s Individual Mens Foil  Event.  Well done to the boys, and their road weary parents.  And the busy fencing season is just getting started!

A Walk on the Wild Side

We have cultivated, nay, invented a good-natured competition regarding our Past Pupil accomplishments: Who has been more influential, the STEM-siders or the liberal artists?  Well, here is one alumnus who strides both sides of that artificial line.  Colin Stafford-Johnson (Class of 1982) has been filling British and Irish TV screens with stunning wildlife photography and insightful, knowledgable commentary for decades.  So, Biology, English and Art teachers of yore, all take a bow! What is Colin up to now?  Well, paradoxically in a culture of digital dominance and ephemeral video bites, the grand Victorian tradition of the ‘Talking Tour’ has returned with gusto.  It seems people do want meet, see and listen to real people in the flesh, and share in their extraordinary experience. Well, there is no-one with more tales to tell and experiences to recall than Colin, and I am sure the moors, the bogs and the mountain-tops will come through in vivid colour and their wildlife will spring to life when he walks on stage and takes the mic.  See the dates and details of the tour below and stay tuned for more St. Conleth’s Alumni News!

Settling In…

It did not take long for our First Year Boys and Girls to find a suitable and satisfying place at St. Conleth’s.  Yes, the first few days were a bit hectic with three way subject splits and multiple room switches but all that confusion had a noble purpose: to give as much academic choice as possible to the newest Conlethians.  And there were the usual negotiations around the water fountain, canteen queue and break-time ball-games in the yard but they are all part of settling in at No. 28 Clyde Road and part of growing up.  There to give a helping hand to our ‘freshmen’ were Mr. Carvill’s small army of Fifth Year Mentors, old pros at cultivating the culture of St. Conleth’s.

Of course, our Juniors are also settling in and one place which is new to all is the Art Room.  With acres of space and copious amounts of light, it is the kind of room that just draws you in and you simply don’t want to leave.  Past Pupils Mati Remi (a great artist himself) and Muireann Dempsey dropped by for a visit and were duly impressed.  Below you see Junior School Art Teacher Ms. Mellon with some of her budding Bacons at work!

 

First Daze!

Actually, the students did not look dazed at all, hitting the ground running on their first day of the new school year at St. Conleth’s College.  Yes, some of the teachers may have had a somnambulant glaze as they struggled to adjust their seasonal clocks and certainly some of the parents looked a bit punch-drunk (and relieved) as they jettisoned their precious cargo at the door (of our newly renovated reception area) but the boys and girls themselves were full of vim and vigour and decidedly gung-ho about the start of a new school year.  Yes, the Juniors may have been more willing to reveal and revel in their enthusiasm, but even the coolest of the cats in the Senior School cracked a smile, admitting it is not such a bad thing to be back at school, when that school is St. Conleth’s!

Our Juniors got right back into the swing of things with a full school day!

 

 

But Junior School Principal Tony Kilcommons and Preparatory School Principal Dolores Kelly knew their staff were up for it!

 

 

While the first batch of our Seniors opted for the taster menu, whetting their appetite for the whole shebang on Thursday!

 

Welcome (Back) to St. Conleth’s!

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 under Events, 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 Canteen deposit page on Easy Payments Plus.  We will see you all over the next few days, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at 28 Clyde Road, but in the meantime checkout some of the further developments to the St. Conleth’s campus accomplished over the summer.

 

 

A Photo Finish on LC Results Day!

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 2018 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to the guidance of their teachers.  We particularly congratulate the three young men pictured, who each managed to garnish 589 points and top the class.  Conor Power, David Loftus and Simon Pettitt will all be heading 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.

 

Eskimo Supreme?

For a relatively small school, St. Conleth’s punches far above its weight in many areas, including alumni accomplishment.  You have read all about our scientific, business and artistic alumni hi-fliers below, but now we have news of a Conlethian past pupil making waves in a very different talent pool.  There we were minding our business en route to the Jordan Peterson rap gig when we were suddenly addressed with a mighty ‘Yo!’ from across a crowded Starbucks.  Lo and behold, Eskimo Supreme himself approached with hearty greetings and warm reminiscence.  See, once upon a time, Mr. Supreme was known as Alex Sheehan (Class of 2014) and we had the pleasure of his company in Latin class. Alex showed his verbal dexterity (and, yes, his ‘verse-atility’) even then, often handing in his own lyrics, or those of noted American rapper Maximus Minimus, instead of the the requested lines of Catullus.

 

Whatever his homework assignment accuracy, Alex was always friendly, witty and energetic and these qualities have come to the fore as he has forged a now international career as half of Ireland’s foremost rap duo, Versatile.  With millions of views on YouTube, feverish media attention (including the venerable New York Times), a contract to be the ‘face’ of Lifestyle Sports trainers ads,  and an upcoming, headlining gig at the Olympia, Versatile are already big, and getting bigger. And the Conlethian connection runs even deeper. For who is the ‘third Verasatiler’, the shadowy figure behind the decks, laying the beats and tinkering with the tracks for Eskimo and his performing partner Casper, and approaching George Martin- status in the rumours and whisper of the Irish music scene? None other than Evan Kennedy, also of the Class of 2014, and the dominant musical performer, producer, guru and roadie of the St. Conleth’s music scene during his six years at the school.  Due to some rather mature (but usually ironic) lyrics, you will have to search up their music on YouTube yourself, but hurry up: Eskimo Supreme and Co. are going places!

East Africa 2018: The Lasting Effect

By now, the young Conethians who were part of Expedition East Africa 2018 have settled back into their cushy South Dublin teenage lives:  a barbecue at the friends or relatives, a jump off the 40 foot, a daily hour (or six) on Instagram, a burrito at Tolteca and maybe a walk out the pier to get an ice cream at Teddy’s…  everything is back to normal, nothing seems to have changed… but take a better look at these young men and women.  You see the suntan and the fitness, honed over five weeks of hiking and biking under the African sun, yes,  but look even closer, into the eyes, and try to see more deeply: ‘where the meanings are’ in the words of Emily Dickinson.  The fact is the members of the expedition are changed and will never be the same again.

A new maturity?  A more open mind? Less complaints about the choice of cereal in the cupboard? Hard to pin down, but let us just say that no-one who goes on an expedition of this scope and intensity returns the same person.  And it is a change for the better.  Above and below you will see photos of just some of the adventures and activities which Expedition Leaders Gav Maguire and Dolores Kelly led them through (with the help of Earth’s Edge): hiking through a rainforest, sampling the local markets, teaching (and learning) at local schools, attempting a native dance, biking across the wild plains and, of course, climbing Kilimanjaro.   The photos capture much but to truly grasp the value of an expedition like this takes time. Over the years to come, these lucky (and brave) Conlethians will, from time to time, think back, remember and savour again, the experiences of a lifetime.

Stop Doodling, Jack!

Yes, we ourselves were guilty of occasionally shouting that at Jack Siggins (Class of 2009) back when he was in LC Classics and instead of listening to our repetitious yet sonorous description of Alexander the Great’s precise cavalry movements, he was carefully putting the last deft pencil marks to a masterful portrait of the legendary Indian King Porus, sitting astride his war elephant.  If corrected, Jack  would then launch into a full-throated defence, in the posture and accent of said Porus, and in Broadway musical style, with eager accompaniment by Maurice and Laurence Wright, Gavin Duffy…  Yes, there was no denying Jack’s artistic talent (or his wicked wit): it was just the question of finding the proper time and place for its application. Well, we are happy to report that Jack has found his niche and it is at the exiting nexus of art and technology as he has combined his undoubted creativity with digital know-how.  Check out his work below (and on Instagram and here) and drop him a line if you are in the business.  With all our previous (mostly imaginary) malarkey about a STEM vs. The Arts alumni competition, it is great to see someone who has talent and a promising future in both traditions!

 

 

 

Back to School???

In this splendid summer weather it is almost a sin to mention those three words beloved of advertisers (and, sometimes, parents) but dreaded by most children, even the normally happy and well-adjusted kids of St. Conleth’s:  Back to School!  But we realise plans must be made, books must be bought… so here are the new calendars and booklists.  They can also permanently be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ along with information about Uniform and the Canteen.  Now, back to enjoying this summer while it lasts!

Senior School Calendar 2018-19

Junior School Calendar 2018-19

Sixth Year Booklist 2018-2019

Fifth Year Booklist 2018-2019

Transition Year Booklist 2018-2019

Third Year Booklist 2018-2019

Second Year Booklist 2018-2019

First Year Booklist 2018-2019

Sixth Form Booklist 2018/2019

Fifth Form Booklist 2018/2019

Fourth Form Booklist 2018/2019

Third Form Booklist 2018/2019

Second Form Booklist 2018/2019

First Form Booklist 2018/2019

Senior Infants Booklist 2018/2019

Junior Infants Booklist 2018-2019

No, Really, What Did We Do This Year? *Corrected Edition!

Well, loads, judging by the 47 (!) pages of the 2017-2018 St. Conleth’s College Parents Association Combined Newsletter (*now with the proper 2018 message from Principal ODulaing!)! If you are a parent, check your email or get it right here. Well done to PA Chairs Michael Mansfield and David MacNicholas and all the parents and students who contributed. Perfect beach reading!

And They’re Off!

The St. Conleth’s East Africa Expedition 2018 has landed in Djibouti!

Troll through our news from the last few years (or look below at the highlights of past expeditions) and you are bound to see St. Conleth’s students and Indians, Ugandans, Kenyans, Mongolians and Peruvians linked by tired arms and satisfied smiles.  Mr. Maguire (and trusty side-kick Ms. Dolores Kelly) have been leading student expeditions for years and the overwhelmingly positive results for both travellers and hosts are beyond doubt.  Well, the inveterate explorers are at it again: a group of select Conlethian students and the expedition company Earth’s Edge have touched down in East Africa, continuing  a now long-established Conlethian tradition of partcipation in exploration and develomemet around the world.

 

 

These expeditions however are no Brangelina-type dalliances of superficial charity: they involve hard work and it started months ago.  Over the last two years the gang have been walking up and down the hills of the Dublin and Wicklow Coast in preparation for the slightly higher (and drier) topography of East Africa.  And they have been enjoying (and enduring) several planning meetings with Earth’s Edge representatives in the Conference Room with their maps out and the routes marked in and endless equipment checks. It took a lot of time and toil before they even get to the airport, but look at the happy faces below and know that it was all worth it!  You can check out Gav’s presentation here and this Earth’s Edge link for information on the expedition but be sure to check Twitter (@Stconleths) for updates as the adventure continues!

 

 

 

Avoid The Summer Doldrums: Get ‘Food Active’!

An army runs on its stomach and a school runs on its canteen.   At St. Conleth’s College we are convinced that Chef Mark McColgan is the main reason why attendance rates are so high amongst both students and staff.  A common scene in the early a.m. on the southside of Dublin:   “Oh… French test today….I don’t feel very well…wait…it’s Tandoori Chicken Salad today…I’m in!”

Well, you can spend part of this summer not only enjoying those fave dishes, but making them too!  Chef Mark is returning with his popular  ‘Food Active’ Summer Camp and July at St. Conleth’s is sure to be an exciting and eclectic mix of cookery, sport and fun.  Find all the contact details here or above and get onto Chef Mark.  Places are limited and Food Active is always the place to be when those long summer days roll in!

 

It Is How You Play the Game…

… well, yes, it does matter but winning is okay, too!  Mr. ODulaing avoided any Oscars-style overt political statements (except for the usual reference to Dublin GAA) at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the string-pulling of Rory Clarke and the skin-bashing of James Moriarty-Smyth, 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 winners of the academic awards:

 

 

and of the sports awards:

 

 

And lest we forget the people who will soon run the world (or turn on the machines that do), we also have some group shots of STEM/SciFest entrants, who tend to stick together in groups like the ionic pawns of a crystal lattice structure… obviously for the banter and scientifically themed similes!

 

 

Bullets Over Broadway!

The one problem I have with this new TY musical is that all these wiseguys and dames… why do they keep moaning about getting to ‘Hollywood?  I mean, whatsamatta with the Big Apple? With Brooklyn?With Broadway? Fuhgettaboutit….  Otherwise, Mr. Trenier’s swansong Transition Year night was a smashing success! Bullets (and sparks) flew across the stage and around the room during the Gallagher/deBhal production of ‘Bugsy Malone’!

This was certainly an ensemble production: with everyone from the sound guy to Fifth Years Joe and Matt on the strings and the bright guy who arranged for the pro lighting and the AC playing important parts in making it such a special evening.  The dancers and the gangsters may have had small parts but they all played them perfectly: not a step or a note was out of line (except for a few cracking knuckles!).

But, yes this was a show after all, and there were stars, too:  Rian passed the toughest test of all, impressing a native New Yorker with his accent and his chutzpah; Grace out-Tallulahed Bankhead with her style, her voice and, most of all, that pout; Lola matched her sashay for sashay and note for note;  James was the most elegant floor-sweeper the stage has ever seen; Manus channelled the Marx Brothers (all of them!) and won the audience’s laughter and affection; and Jimmy and Oisín wowed us by being themselves: wiseguys… but nice guys.  The audience ate it up and the perfect setting certainly helped: the Performance Space came really came into its own as a place where we can show off and enjoy ourselves.  It was the consummate finale for a amazing year as  TY Co-ordinator Mr. Trenier once again organised the perfect mix of courses, projects and adventures to enable his young men and women to really make a transition in their lives.  Check out the programme here and snaps (and full video!) of their performance and the Roll of Honour for TY awards above and below.  Well done TYs, and get ready for the Real World come September!

The Last Fence?

You knew the fencers would not give up the headlines to all that graduation hullabaloo without a fight.  Two fencing parents Kathryn Chambers and Robert Smyth report on the last salvos of another record-setting season, and as you might expect, our young competitors did not fall at the last fence!

Our Conlethians were all on the piste again two weekends ago at the Irish Youth Open. We have three newly crowned Irish champions from the event. Claudio Sosa won both the U14 and U17 categories in foil, Myles Moriarty-Smyth won the U10 foil category and Luke Sherlock won the U14 mixed épée.  Claudio, Myles and Luke also won the Pembroke Fencing Club’s best fencer trophies for their categories.  James Moriarty-Smyth finished second in the U14 foil and Matthew Sherlock third in the U10 foil.

We are also thrilled to announce that Myles Moriarty-Smyth has been awarded an Adrian Lee & Partners Fencing Scholarship for  2018/19.  He ended this‎ season ranked No.1 in Under-10s Mixed Foil both here and in the North. He amassed a record 210 points for his age group, taking Gold in all competitions on both sides of the border. Aside from winning Pembroke Fencing Club’s Best Fencer Award for Under-10s, he also ended this season ranked joint 6th in the Boys U-11s category of  the UK’s prestigious Leon Paul Junior Foil Series.

 

 

And last Friday, the St. Conleth’s Fencing Club annual competition took place in the school sports hall. The aim of this competition is to put to test the skills of all the fencers in the school, and there was certainly  stiff competition to see who came out on top!  The 2018 champion was Claudia Sosa (2nd Yr); in  second place was Luke Sherlock (1st Yr) and in 3rd, Matthew Sherlock (4th Form).  There was a nice mix of 2nd years, 3rd years as well as a couple of 4th formers competing on the day. Other 4th formers also fenced it out in old fashioned style… that is, without electric equipment!   There was also the poignant moment captured on film below, when Michael Li, Conlethian fencing god, handed the Captaincy over to Stephen Rocket.  Well done Michael on captaining St. Conleth’s during a tremendous period of growth and best of luck to Stephen taking us even further!

 

 

 

And the Winner is…

…everybody!  Well, considering how beautifully Graduation Night went last Friday, everybody was a winner and it is almost a shame to separate certain people from that great, big, celebratory group-hug for individual commendation… almost I said, because excellence must be awarded: otherwise, we prove Darwin wrong and might as well go visit that museum in Kentucky!  Mr. Porzadny, like a uncanny concoction of Billy Crystal and Johnny Hallyday, again displayed his consummate showmanship and fairness of mind, detailing the merits of the almost-winners as well, with a few students unfortunately displaying the ‘Buzz Aldrin Effect’ (finishing second in more than one category).   A detailed explanation of the awards can be found in the Graduation Booklet here.  Envelopes please…

 

A Fond Farewell!

The new Performance Space provided the perfect warm and cosy setting for the fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2018’s time at St. Conleth’s.  Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a beautiful ceremony which mixed prayers, music, words of wit and wisdom and a considerable amount of style.  Some of the boys have been at the school since First Class while the girls joined us just two years ago, but all involved seemed full of bittersweet emotions at leaving a place which for them had very much become a second home.  Mr. Gallagher ‘s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a 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 (detailed below) was more than met on the rhetorical front by Captain Harry Mansfield, Vice Captains Gavin Nugent and Emer Healy-O’Reilly,  Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU President Donal Milmo-Penny.  And Eoin MacNally did right by the legacy of Mr. Kelleher with a stirring, personal tribute to ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s’. All the speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Rory and Corey’s carefully composed (and hilarious) slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings.  Even better was Rory’s Tarantino-esque commentary afterwards: the boy already sounds like World Cinema auteur!  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, such is his talent of combining genuine warmth, good humour and technical wizardry.  (You can see our winners and their prizes here… soon!)  And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with her eloquent but succinct words of celebration (and surely making Mr. K proud!). 

 

 

It is certainly no coincidence that a new music room cum performance hall was the central feature of last summer’s (and autumn’s) building frenzy .  Music is now at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s, including last Friday’s beautiful graduation ceremony.  In both the religious ceremony and the awards and speeches event that followed, with maestro Ms. DeBhal pulling the strings, music was the perfect accompaniment for the prayers, thoughts and memories, from Emer’s delicate opening harp piece through the plaintive sounds of Lucy Coleman Black on piano;  Emer and Ciara Cole’s instrumental duet ‘Morning’ ; Emer and Luke McKay’s slightly more flirtatious duet ‘I Wouldn’t Be’; Jonathan O’Connell’s stirring ‘I Won’t Complain’, backed by Ronan Connor on piano; Rory’s boundary-pushing DJ set (a first at Graduation!); a rocking’ version of  ‘Hotel California’ performed by Oisín Dowling, Tim Leary and Alex McCarthy; Tim’s brave solo version of ‘Little Lion Man’ and an absolute show-stopper: ‘Three Cool Cats’, namely Tony Barry, Jack Andrews and P.J. Terry- none of whom really had to step that far out of character for the performance.  The evening and the music culminated in the  rousing whole-class rendition of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’.  And then it was outside for our graduation class photo in front of our gazebo and on to the RDS for a classy dinner for students and staff and surely some classy activities afterwards at Jonathan O’Connell’s.  For specifics of those nocturnal celebrations you must, carefully, check social media, but for pics of the ceremony and details of the award-winners look above and below.  And here is the Graduation Booklet, a testament to the hard work put in by Messrs. Carvill, Porzadny, Gallagher and Ms. DeBhal and, of course, Ms. Hopkins.  

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Makes Metros!

Congratulations to Nicholas Cunningham Ash on making the U16 Leinster Metro Rugby squad for 2018/19.There were over 500 rugby players (including fellow Conlethians Ted O’Kelly and Keane Acosta) who attended trials over the season and Nicholas managed to make the 35 man squad. Well done, Nicholas. A great achievement! JCT Coach Louis Magee

 

Total Football!

Things did not look good for the Staff Team in the moments leading up to kick-off.  Yes, we had retained the legendary ‘Goblet of Fire’ for over ten years.  Yes, we always play a stylish sort of football, which leaves the students and the various Irish national teams which frequent the Irishtown facility gnashing their teeth in jealousy on the sidelines.  And yes, the current 6th Year soccer-heads did not look remotely capable of organising the proverbial beverage imbibery in a brewery (or even at Wetherspoon’s in Dun Laoghaire).  And yet, doubts had sneaked in and multiplied as the team news leaked onto Twitter:  Mr. ODulaing, our Paul McGrath, and Mr. Kilcommons, our Tony Adams, were unavailable.  Mr. Bolger was pre-occupied  with domestic duties and, our talisman, Mr. Ahern, he who had somehow scored three times without using his feet or head, had moved on to a different team.  And everyone, especially Mr. Trenier, was a year older.  And the Sixth Years had Marlon.

But Pat McGrath, our Director of Football, showed up with a bag full of tactics, having recently returned from the Soccer Academies of the Basque country.  And he and Mr. Latvis managed to field the perefct mix of veteran guile and youthful (relative) energy.  Answering the call were ‘T-Dawg’ Trenier and ‘Show -Me’ Sheridan, the well-seasoned anchors of our defence; Mr. ‘Hightower’ Magee, an agile giant in the leftback position; Mr. ‘Ace’ O’Brien, who brought his skater-punk ethic and fashion sense to the right wing; youngsters ‘Dig it, Dag it’ Doggett, ‘Pretty Boy’ Murphy, Shane ‘Robertson’ Robinson and the crossover duo of Mr. Gahan and Sean Ingle.   There were some ‘adjunct’ staff, too: another Mr. Latvis, who teaches Applied Latin on Saturdays;  Gavin Sheridan, our night watchman; and Dr. Jack Nolan, who once moved some chairs for an Alumni Dinner a few years ago.   Tirelessly pursuing Marlon all over the pitch, and partially disrobing him, was our resident, hard-nosed ginger midfielder: ‘Wolverine’ Lonergan.  And contrasting in style, but just as efficient, were Mr. Conroy,  who played wing with modern language flair, and our Wellness Guru, Mr. Porzadny, who played right back while in a permanent state of ethereal bliss.

 

 

To be fair the students gave us a great match, and the football was surprisingly flowing.  Except for one titanic, manly mid-air collision between Trenier and McKay, which seemed to rip a hole in the space-time continuum, most of the play was stylish and pleasing.  There was a bit of whinging on the students’ side about some good, old-fashioned tackling, but the youngsters did also manage to play a bit:  Alex Murphy was strong in goals; Ronan Connor combined some American-style athletic play with attempted  continental skulduggery; Gavin Nugent brought the strength and Pedro brought the style (and one dirty tackle); Tim Leary never stopped running; Conor Power was as solid and noble as ever and Rory was avant-garde in his moves as he is with his movies.  There was a strong supporting cast, and, of course, Marlon. That old football commentary of  ‘A different class! A different class!’ was ringing in our ears every time he took the ball and floated through midfield.  But we had some style, too.  A Mr. Latvis scored a stunner of a free-kick; Shane’s tireless efforts chasing everything down yielded a hard-won goal, and our part-time, night watchman Gavin Sheridan launched an unstoppable blast from another dead ball.  Okay, there was a bit of Stoke in our Barcelona, but… job done, Goblet of  Fire retained!

 

Great Sports!

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 cow-paths of Ringsend 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: Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire, witty yet deadly efficient Head of All Sport and Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Keenan, our rightly selective Bestower of Medals; the teachers, enthusiastically shouting ‘Go!’ and ‘Foul!’ for the umpteenth time; and, of course, hordes of tuckshop-fueled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with adrenaline and competitive zeal.  This last group spent the day, or at least the mid-afternoon, running, jumping and throwing things with glee and either winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns.  Yes, we said running

 

jumping…

 

throwing…

 

winning…

 

or just hanging out!

Basketbrawl!

The deck was stacked against the Staff basketball team from the start.  The Sixth Years (the Man City of schools basketball) had a veritable All-Star team ready to roll, having recently bought up most of the available free agents at the trading deadline, including the expensive foreign imports, Marlon ‘Air’ Marishta and Michael ‘Lethal’ Lee.  What could the Staff team do but resort to the time-honoured Irish method of trying to nip a victory with heart and grit (and a bit of hold and trip) or, at least, making the loss as difficult and as bloody as possible!  There was also some native talent on the student team: Conor ‘Tower’ Power performed his usual, thankless task of impersonating a Wisconsin farmboy and methodically pulling down rebound after rebound; Oisín ‘Puck’ Gilligan floated around the 3-point arc all day like his Shakespearean hero, flitting from side to side and occasionally inflicting dagger treys; Alex Murphy, despite feeling a bit queasy as it was all a bit cosier and sweatier than a lawn tennis match at the Fitz, still managed to make some spirited drives; Luke ‘McHey’ McKay’s quickness, dexterity and cockiness transferred well from rugby as did Gavin Nugent’s heart and hustle; and Captain Harry launched shots from every possible position and angle, even making a couple.  Coupled with Marlon’s F-15 assaults on the rim and  Michael’s lethal defence, it is no wonder the Staff team felt the pressure!

Coach Sean Ingle’s dramatic, just-in-time, tip-off arrival harkened back to 1970 when Willis Reed stumbled out of the locker-room at half-time and spurred the Knicks to championship glory.  And the support of the many watching student fans 9both Junior and Senior), decidedly Staff supporters, gave us extra impetus.  Our own ‘High-Tower’, Mr. Magee, battled nobly with the student giants; relative youngsters Gahan and Robinson ran and jumped with abandon;  and Mr. Lonergan brought his usual Wolverine effort to loose ball pursuit and Mr. Sheridan showed a bit of French flair with his passing, all complementing true pro Ingle’s masterclass in floor generalship, but in the end, alas, it was not to be, as the study march of time and Mr. Keenan’s quick whistle eventually did us in.  It is a good thing we not have long to wait for revenge: the Staff are looking to extend their ten-year unbeaten streak vs. Sixth years on Tuesday in the annual soccer match in Irishtown!

A Bright, Bright Sun-Shiny Day!

Every year in early May, as the TYs trudge onto the coach for the Gaisce hike, the irrepressible Gav Maguire always treats them to a virtuoso performance of the Johnny Nash/Jimmy Cliff classic ‘I Can See Clearly Now’.  He nimbly cavorts up and down the aisle of the bus, effortlessly reaching the high notes and hi-fiving and back-slapping as he predicts a ‘sun-shiny day’… and lies through his mellifluous teeth!  Because, despite Gav’s upbeat and sunny disposition, it always rains on the TY Gaisce hike!

And not just a ‘soft day’ drizzle…the boys usually get the kind of downpour which turns the Wicklow mountains into a series of torrents and mudslides.  Well this year, the clouds came and went, but it was on the whole, actually a bright, bright sun-shiny day  and even the notorious curmudgeons in the class begrudgingly admitted that they enjoyed the experience, completing 31km over two days!  It was so much fun that Gav did it again with Fifth Years the following week! Well done, Gav, on the singing and the hiking, and, of course, to Mr. Bolger, Ms. Speller and Ms. Long for providing the accompaniment!

Project: Maths!

All this recent falafel about art, music and cooking has annoyed the STEM lords and stirred them to action!  You previously read here how the Sixth Years did so well in the IMTA competition.  Now, Ms. NiAonghusa sends us a wrap-up of the other goings-on in Maths this year, and to be fair, they have been busy!

Michael Donnelly and Coleman Hegarty qualified for the Junior Maths Competition, hosted by Oatlands College.  Qualification is through a open but rigorous examination, and to have two students from first year get selected is quite an achievement.

Sixth Years enjoyed trigonometry al fresco in Herbert Park, where students mimicked Hipparchus of Nicaea, using their theorems (and calculators) to measure real-life geometric shapes.

Second Years explored the exciting realm of three-dimensional figures, by making ‘nets*’ (and decorating them with interesting ads).  *A “Geometry Net” is a flattened out three dimensional solid (a three dimensional shape) — like a cube, a prism or a pyramid. When you cut out the “net”, fold it and glue it together you can see what the three dimensional shape looks like.

Of course, there is always lunch-time sudoku to pass the time.

And, far below, you see a panoramic shot of all of 1B exploring their ‘median’ height.  It will be interesting to see how this line-up changes over the years: sometimes the late-bloomers pass out the early birds.  Watch out, Lucas! Come on, Shane!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conlethians: Here and There!

Regular readers might surmise that we have no editorial process at all, but St. Conleth’s is such a busy place that we actually do have to sift daily through a pile of news and events, trying to determine what is ‘fit to print’.  For example, look what happened in and around 28 Clyde Road, just in a couple of days, last week:  1) Mark Hainbach,  School Captain of the Class of 1973 and current administrator with the Ballsbridge College of Further Education, visited to give Fifth Year students a careers talk and to chat with his old rugby coach, Mr. Keenan.  2-3) Mr. Bolger’s Geography Second Years (and Trevor’s drone!) helped Ordnance Survey Ireland with mapping Herbert Park 3) A motley soup of Fifth Years goggled through the window at After-School Study 4) Juniors photo-bombed Gav’s SCT photoshoot 5) The girls torched the boys in tag-rugby! 6) The Friday Champions League entered its crucial stages 7) Latin Second Years pick their flores like Proserpina and 8) found some interesting graffiti and 9) joined with Ms. Leary’s First Class for an impromptu picnic. 10) Sixth Years practise their graduation song. 11)  Classics kids had a civilised discussion about Hellenistic sculpture.  Busy, busy, busy!  12) And this just in off the wire: We previously reported that Ciara MacNally had finished a hard-luck second (by 1 pt) in the Leinster Girls Golf Competition, but due to a correction in the handicap calculation, she has now been declared the winner! Well done!

La Grand Finale!

We bestow the title of ‘TY Masterchef Français’ as carefully as the Americans choose a president so it should be no surprise that it takes three rounds to pick our winner.  But now it is all over except for the tallying of votes and the licking of spoons.  The grand announcement of the winner will be made on TY Night but below you see our four finalists and some of their classmates and teachers enjoying the student chefs’ culinary creations.

 

Rara Avis!

Or should we say rarae aves? Our First Years do not need much to get them excited so when a real, live pigeon flew in through the window of their classroom, there was pandemonium! Ms. NiAonghusa came to the rescue and immediately noticed what must have ‘drawn’ our feathered friend. The amazingly realistic student artwork on the wall above!  Said bird was quickly (well, eventually) humane captured and released by a Ms. NiAonghusa-led strike-force, but in his short time at his desk he managed to attain a rather impressive mid-level academic ranking in the class!  Tweet!

First Order: Summer Exam Schedule!

We do cozy, cuddly, and, dare we say, ‘quirky’ very well at St. Conleth’s but sometimes we have to be structured, organised and precise: that’s when we call in the Maths Teachers!  Assistant Principal Ms. NiAonghusa, amongst her other duties, is in charge of our exams and she once again has delivered an an efficient and understandable schedule.  Below (and under ‘Calendar + Information’) are the overall schedule and links to PDFs for each individual class (including Third Year Bock Classes). The individual exams for each day will also show up in ‘Events’.  Good luck!

Summer Exams 

PDF Schedule for all years

PDF Schedule for First Year

PDF Schedule for Second Year

PDF Schedule for Fifth Year

PDF Schedule for Third Year Block Classes

 

 

Music 101: From the Classics to the Avant-Garde!

The School Concert not only annually awes and delights its audience: it also serves as a useful musical primer!  From classical piano pieces through Irish harp compositions, from heavy metal thunder through avant-garde originals, the concert this year once again ranged across the gamut of musical formats and styles, with the only constant being the excellence of performance.

Anything new?  Well, Ms. Fay and Ms. DeBhal, our resident musical maestros, went for a more efficient programme this year.  Yes, we enjoyed the Woodstock-like rambling line-ups of years past (and the accompanying 26 minute tambourine solos) but the genteel residents of Ballsbridge were getting fed up with the ad hoc camping, hemp stalls and double-parking caravans.

This year, the music was as ethereal and imaginative as ever but the organisation and management of the show made it seem a bit like the annual conference of the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands.  A great combination: beautiful music and an early dismissal!  Check out the stills above and extensive high-lights below.  And, parents, please do not listen to just your own prodigy progeny: enjoy them all. The talent below would rival any Voice or XFactor final!

 

Master Chef, Français!

When the Dynamique Duo of the French Department, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, sat down to discuss what innovative/interactive/’make your colleagues’ classes look boring in comparison’ lesson plans they could come up with for Transition Year this term, short courses on ‘Great French Military Victories’ and ‘Parisian Metro Manners’ were mooted, but in the end they went with what we know the French really are best at: cooking.

 

And so was born Master Chef Français!  And so, Ms. Crowley and Chefs Mark and Emerson recently led the Transition Years through two gruelling rounds of their Master Chef competition.  No, ‘gruel’ was not actually on the menu but innovative versions of pizzas, omelettes, pancakes, salad and croquettes were!  And it is not over yet: stay tuned for le grand finale!

 

Double Silver at the East Leinsters!

Mr. Keenan’s track and field boys and girls were at it again last week, this time at the East Leinster Athletics Championships in Santry, and once again his motley, merry minions returned with medals!  Fifth Year Tomás Clancy found a sport in which he could compete while still maintaining his monologue about social justice: race-walking!  And his was no mere pedestrian effort: Tomás took the silver medal in his first ever race-walk!  Tomás dedicate this win to the ‘world-wide distribution of wealth’, to which we all look forward, but we also eagerly anticipate his next race-walk.  Imagine what Tomás could do with a bit of experience under his belt!

The storied athletics venue of Morton Stadium also witnessed our First Year Sidney Weir McErlean adding to her already impressive list of sporting achievements (Gaelic, hockey etc…) by winning the Silver in the 200m.  Well done to our two medalists but also to all who took part: the dozens of Conlethian athletes giving it there all in a variety of events, from the long jump to the shot-putt, including the First Year girls relay team who would have won another Silver except for a technical disqualification.  It was a great accomplishment for the boys and girls and a ringing endorsement of Mr. Keenan and Mr. Maguire’s efforts to mix athletics into the sports schedule this past few years.  Stay tuned for the Leinsters!

CSPE DSPCA…AP?

It is all about the abbreviations these days in education… and you probably have not yet even heard about the CBAs and the FoQs and the rather scary-sounding SLARs?  But that is for another day… sometime after our Junior Cycle Inservice, next Thursday!  Well, in comparison, CSPE is old hat:  pretty much old-school Civics with a new coat of political correctness.  But the kids learn real-world ‘stuff’… and actually enjoy it!  We recently heard about Mr. Bolger’s Third Years’ foray into Wicklow.  Well, Mr. Gahan’s First Year CSPEers are giving them a run for their headlines: a few weeks ago they had a Bake Sale Action Project (AP) that raised over €225 for the DSPCA (another oldie but goodie). And just recently, a representative from that worthy group dropped by to pick-up the cheque (and learn whether most Conlethians were either Blood nor Crips).  So. CSPE on the AP for the DSPCA…OK?

 

The Home of Debate

We were already the ‘home of debate’ in the way that Brazil is the home of football but with John Carvill perennially hosting the Junior Mace in the Senior School and Dr. Fallon the same with the annual AIJS debate, we are literally the home of debate!  Dr. Fallon once again organised and ran a spectacularly successful AIJS Debate at St. Conleth’s this past Wednesday.  Ten schools took part with more than twenty teams competing. Loreto on the Green narrowly won the overall competition with the St. Conleth’s team of Emilio Sadofschi, Russell Bolger and Turlough Dineen taking second place. Luke Timlin and Turlough were also named Best Speakers of each chamber.  Luke and his team-mates, Richard Caldwell and Kazim Haider, won out their room and the third team (Lochlann Flynn, Nicolai Bjerke Morris and Louis McGovern) won their first round but lost in the final.  Not a bad showing for the home-side!  And six Senior School debaters were on hand to serve as the impressively impartial adjudicators, more evidence of the special partnership between St. Conleth’s Junior and Senior Schools.

Fraternité and Fun!

Well, not quite, as both Transition Year and Fifth Form are now co-educational, but 1/3 of the French national motto serves well in describing the close relationship between the Junior and Senior Schools of St. Conleth’s, and when Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, the dynamique duo of the French Department, and Mr. Sheridan are involved, you know all this Francophonic co-operation will also be a lot of fun!   The Transition Years used fun and games to teach grammar and usage to their Junior School fellow francophiles, and such was the craic (French?), the youngsters were learning about such things as prepositions, imperatives and l‘imparfait without even knowing it!  And, of course, since the educational theorists say that the best way to learn is to teach, the TYs came out of the experience winners, too!

 

TYs, By the Seaside!

Cross-curricular was the name of the game as our TYs united under the flags of Chemistry and Geography, and the leadership of Ms. Phelan and Mr. Lonergan, for an educational ramble along the seaside.  Ms. Phelan reports:

 

 

We were in Whiterock Killiney – not far from Bono’s house (and a famous Geography teacher’s)!  Chemistry were studying the effects of acidification of the ocean due to the absorption of excess Carbon Dioxide.  This essentially means that shell fish must be very worried about their houses dissolving: a whole new dimension to the problems of homelessness! We also looked for evidence of enrichment with Phosphates and Nitrates (possibly due to sewage) which causes algal growth and ultimately bacteria populations to decompose the algae, thus depriving the water of oxygen.  Not good news for Spongebob, Patrick and all in Bikini Bottom!  Meanwhile, the Geography kids were studying beach-drift and different rock types and measuring the height of the cliff… with a bit of stone-skimming on the side!

 

Girl Power!

Yes, we all enthusiastically welcomed the arrival of full co-education a couple of years ago and, yes, we knew that the old ‘boys club’ mentality at St. Conleth’s would have to change as the girls arrived in greater and greater numbers… but did they really have to take over the place so quickly?  Especially in sport… formerly the exclusive fiefdom of us troglodytes?   First, it was the basketball girls winning matches despite numerical disadvantage…. then, the First Year Hockey girls made it to the Leinster League Final (in their first year!)… and, now, the Minor Tennis Girls win their first match 3-0 over Sanford Park! The boys are doing their best to keep up, with our Minor Boys team losing narrowly…  but at least they looked dashing in defeat!

Girls Tennis (Remaining Matches)

May 4th v Teresian School at Donnybrook TC 2.0pm.

May 8th v Loreto Balbriggan at Balbriggan 1.0pm.

 

La Vie en Rose!

Mr. Porzadny took Transition Year to see the French Film “Le voyage de Fanny” at the IFI. They also enjoyed a lovely voyage of their own, in the sun along the Grand Canal and through Merrion Square and Trinity College.  A nice easy day for the TYs…. and they needed it because now starts the hard work on their year-end musical, Bugsy Malone!

 

 

Who is King (or Queen) of the Castle?

Somewhere back in the mists of time, not long after the Norman invasion itself, Mr. Peter Gallagher inaugurated a Castle-building Competition amongst the First Years at St. Conleth’s and over the subsequent centuries it has developed into one of the most prestigious competitive events at the school. The rules are simple: build a castle (by yourself, not with your parents or architect uncle!) and earn points for historical accuracy and creativity. We always enjoy the influx of inspired and even outlandish concoctions which for a few weeks take up every horizontal surface in the school. Apparently, not all Conlethians build their castles merely out of air!

 

 

This year, Ms. Speller was in charge and, having been raised in a fortified tower house somewhere well within the Pale, she certainly had the required experience to draw the best from the boys and girls. We have castles made of Lego, wood, styrofoam, cardboard and some gooey stuff of which Mr. Callaghan took one sniff and retreated to the lab for his gas-mask! And who is the 2018 ‘King of the Castle’?  You will have to wait till the Awards Ceremony for the dramatic announcement.  Until then enjoy the pictures below of the semi-finalist castle-builders and their creations!

 

 

 

Mr. Keenan’s Athletics Army Assembles Again!

Those bellicose tweets hurled daily across international divides have thankfully come to nothing but here in leafy South Dublin the only army big enough to disrupt the latte-lapping at Lolly et Cooks is the one formed when Mr. Shay Keenan, Godfather of all Conlethian Sports, assembles his Track and Field minions.   Such is the popularity of Mr. Keenan’s outings that on days with Cross-Country or Athletics meets we teachers are left alone in our classrooms with our lesson-planning… and jealousy of not earning a place as chaperone on that banterful bus heading north!  But it is not just fun and games: our athletes are serious competitors, as evidenced by Sydney Weir McErlean’s and the Senior Boys’ Bronze medals in Cross Country (see pics below).  This time it is the whole shebang of Track and Field events on offer at the East Leinster Schools Track & Field Athletics Championships in Santry and we are sure to be in the running (or jumping) for a medal.  With Fitness Coach Shane Robertson having started his open Tuesday and Thursday 7:30 runs, we will surely be fitter than ever! The events will be spread over two days, Monday (30/4) and Thursday (3/5), and the full schedule can be seen here. Best of luck to Mr. Keenan, all the boys and girls who are competing and the brave bus driver!

 

 

 

Fencers Climb National Rankings

We can barely keep up with the fencing news and results at St. Conleth’s!  This just in off the wire:

Saturday saw a sizeable number of Conlethians, both past and present, fence  Senior Men’s Foil at the Irish National, hosted by Irish Fencing and held at Loretto Abbey, Dalkey. The two day event  is  the high water mark of the calendar as it is the last opportunity for Senior points and therefore the decider for final ranking and international selection.

Conlethians: Philip Cripwell – Silver (in a gripping final, losing 14-15 in the extra minute!); Philip Lee – 7th (Best Veteran); Claudio Sosa – 10th; James Moriarty-Smyth – 18th; Adrian Lee – 24th.  And Kathrin Chambers (both alumna and fencing mom!) placed 10th in the women’s foil and also gained the title of Best Veteran!

For the current crop of St. Conleth’s foilists, the day’s results give final Senior rankings of Claudio 29th and James 39th out of a season’s field of 88 fencers.  Not bad for a couple of school-kids, fencing against adults!