Leo, Leonis: 3rd Dec. Masc.

Quick! Someone go and get Mr. Carvill (The Younger) and his nunchucks… there’s a lion loose in Transition Year! Oh, wait, it is just Leo Nolan, once again showing the swagger and chutzpah of his namesake. A few weeks back, we published the various projects of our Cool Classics Kids which were entered (and won laurels) in the Classics Now competition, but we neglected to include Leo’s: not very nice, especially considering that Leo is the widely acknowledged Dear Leader/Beloved Mascot of that quirky gang of kids known as TY-A. Well, we make amends here, and see and hear Leo reading, in fine Classical Latin, the opening of Virgil’s Aeneid Book I.

Last Christmas?

With Wham finally claiming their Christmas No. 1, we though it fitting to have one last look at Christmas at St. Conleth’s. While the rest of us were fighting it out for the last Bounties in the Celebrations container, intrepid TY (and BAND member) Rían McGonigle tightened his mask and set off with the school camera and several rolls of film to capture the fleeting moments of a celebration we enjoyed, but dearly hope will not have to experience, in quite the same way, again. On the Junior side, we see Ms. Mellon demonstrating her face-painting skills and the various student-created yuletide decorations which helped us forget you-know-what for at least a little while. And, of course, we have the latest edition of a now world-famous installation: the student art on the fence railings of No. 28 Clyde Road.

And on the Senior side, we have our Student Officers- Ted, Daniel and Emily- who spearheaded a ‘Christmas Jumper’ day which raise dover €600 for charity and photos of various class parties, including the TYs who had their very own COD Tournament, crowning Ralph and Mark as champs. A great way to end a tough term! We were all impressed by the students’ resiliency under the toughest of circumstances and look forward to at least some semblance of a return to normalcy. Happy New Year!

Christmas Carollers Crush Covid!

Ms. deBhal was not going to let a tiny, little virus completely wreck our Christmas: she was determined to somehow produce our usual term-ending, spirits-lifting Senior School Christmas Carol Concert, despite all the Covid restrictions. And, somehow, she and Ms. McGuinness, and a supporting cast of dozens of eager music students, did! Ms. deBhal grabbed the ancient skeleton keys of St. Mary’s and led a two week occupation of the recently acquired stately old home. During that time, our Darth Vader-like breathing was periodically quickened by the hearing of stray notes, angelic whispers and occasional sharp shouts wafting over the gardens. Yes, we would have preferred a performance in the flesh, but the video below (edited on short notice by our saviour, Second Year Michael ‘T’ Horan) shows what is possible in even the toughest circumstances when there is the will… and plenty of talent!

Too Cool for School!

St. Conleth’s has always been known as a bit of an ‘artsy’ school, and Ms. Halpin’s current crew of LC students have done their best to keep up that reputation, creating some stunning pieces and impersonating the edgier members of the Breakfast Club when they gather for their twilight meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays. They are also one of the few groups of kids who are still showing some moxie and chutzpah in the face of the Covid panic.

Cancel all school trips and outings? ‘Uh-uh’ said Ms. Halpin and off they went last Friday to the National Gallery for the Mondrian Exhibition. The 5th and 6th Years thoroughly enjoyed this unique showing of the masterpieces of the renowned Dutch neoplasticist, with all the Covid-compliant safety measures in place. And an added bonus was the ‘fresh air’ tour of the Science Gallery. Two for the price of one, and a much needed and appreciated escape from the desk-wiping and hand-wringing!

Bon Appetit!

First of all, we need to get a few things straight: macaron- a confectionary made from a batter of ground almond flour, egg whites, and confectioners’ sugar that puffs up to form a smooth-surfaced cookie with a hollow center; macaroons– cookies made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and granulated sugar. They have a craggy surface and chewy interior; macron–  a populist, centrist politician and the current French president; macroom– a market town in County Cork.

Well, one person who knows her meringue from her coconut is Caoimhe Moore, who stunned Ms. Crowley’s French Class with the quality of her macarons. And then Charlotte McClaren’s pains au chocolat took there classmates’s breath, and tastebuds, away! Saoirse Corry was also a chef pâtissier for the day, and her delicate creations just finished everybody off; and the whole 4A Class, like true Frenchmen, just napped through break, dozing contentedly with full bellies and satisfied smiles behind their masks!

What Does He See in your Future?

Our new Guidance Counsellor, Mr. Gordon Weldon, has hit the ground running at St. Conleth’s, and he has not let any of the Covid restrictions inhibit the various services which he provides for our students, of both the personal and the academic/career-related kind.   Mr. Weldon has an uncanny talent for connecting with the students and it is due not to any smoke-filled crystal ball but a wealth of experience and hours of hard work sifting through, organising and deploying the vast array of guidance tools, both digital and physical, which are out there. At the centre of Mr. Weldon’s work is the St. Conleths College Guidance Counselling Website, which keeps the students and their parents up-to-date with everything from the latest CAO news to the availability of free revision courses to tips on maintaining wellbeing during a stressful exam period.

But there is also a lot going on in person. Mr. Weldon meets all the Fifth and Sixth Years for course and career advice and is always available for the more personal kind of counselling. And he also knows when to bring in the outside special forces: just in the last few weeks, Fifth and Sixth Years have had separate inspirational and practical seminars on study skills; TYs have gauged their career aptitudes and interests with the Cambridge Profile Tests and enjoyed a careers seminar; and First Years have taken their first steps off the standardised testing process with the CAT-4s. Mr. Weldon is keeping busy so that St. Conleth’s students will stay busy themselves, in their chosen courses and careers, when they leave the doors of No. 28 Clyde Road!

The Big Reveal!

Ms. Halpin’s Second Year Art Class really pushed the artistic and philosophical boundaries with their last project: Charcoal Reduction Drawings. It is a simple but startling idea: work backwards to create art. Hey, they have been doing it in the Civil Service for years! In this process, students ‘backdraw’: they don’t draw a figure, they ‘uncover’ it with erasers, like Michelangelo carving his Pieta from the block of marble. It is a thrilling process and creates some startling pieces, as you can see below. We are wondering if we can take the method to other mediums. Instead of writing a story in English from scratch, we can take a dictionary and just cross out most of the words. And, instead of students simply writing the solution ’42’ to a Maths test we can hand out a list of all real numbers. We will get back to you on those two!

Use Your Noggin!

Did that gust of wind almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Yes, It-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named loves the cold… but we do not! Below you see this desired piece of fashion and utility which is already showing up on the streets of Milan, New York, Paris and Ringsend. So, hurry up and be the first on your block to own an Official St. Conleth’s Noggin Hat! A perfect stocking stuffer!

On sale for €17 through Easypayments on this website. Noggin is a Community Interest Company: the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness. Noggin is a Community Interest Company, where the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness projects across the UK & Ireland.

Adveniet!

An unintended positive outcome, even blessing, of this Covid year has been the opportunity provided to stop and take stock of what really matters in one’s life: with life aired down to its bare essentials, we have learned what we have lost that really matters… and what we probably did not need in the first place.

Perhaps, this Christmas will also be seen and experienced in a new light: yes, we will suffer from the restrictions on the meeting of families and even those placed on the religious celebrations of the holy day, but we may also have found a new appreciation for the significance and the importance of Christmas, with some of the trappings shorn away.

Our Religion teachers, Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Lonergan, certainly have done their best to make sure that St. Conleth’s stays true to its Catholic ethos, and the true meaning of Christmas, as they arranged for the Student Council to represent the St. Conleth’s community and attend the Mass for the Feast of the immaculate Conception at St. Mary’s Church and for students and teachers share in the symbolic lighting of Advent Candles. Yes, despite Covid, the man in the red suit is coming, but so is He, whose arrival was never in doubt!

Classics Kids Cash In!

Get a life, Westlife! Step off, Steps! Back off, Backstreet Boys! There are some ‘new kids on the block’ when it comes to boppy beats and illuminating lyrics: Yes, the Temple Bards (formerly known as ‘James and the Sirens’) are here and they have just won Second Place in the Classics Now student competition. They have €100 worth of drachma in their pockets and record companies clambering for their signatures on contracts. Stay tuned for more heroic, homeric hits!

The CAI-T, the Irish Association of Classics, Latin and Greek Teachers, may not number in the thousands like the hordes associated with Maths, Irish and English, but, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, we make up in enthusiasm and chutzpah what we lack in numbers. Every year there are numerous events run by the group for our enthusiastic students: from Latin Day to the Classics Speech Competitions to the Young Classicists Symposium and, famously, the Ides of March Table Quiz. And Conlethians have made a habit of winning laurels and medals at all these events. This year, the CAI-T learned from the fate of Pericles, dead from a plague in 430 BC, and ran a student competition completely on-line in association with the Classics Now Festival. And, yes, once again Conlethians were to the fore!

Charlie Plant’s painstakingly built Minoan Labyrinth (the child labour by baby brother and sister was completely voluntary) won an Honourable Mention and the sassy lyrics and snazzy looks of the aforementioned ‘TheTemple Bards’ absolutely blew the staid judiciary of Classics Professors away. Apparently, several of the judges are interested in purchasing the single on vinyl! And behind this melodious vanguard of James, Eliza, Eva and Julia, there were plenty of other laurel-worthy projects which you can see above: a tour of Charlie’s labyrinth is followed by Patrick Devlin’s exquisite animation of the fall of Icarus; Marcus Far’s digitised Labours of Heracles; Senann Corry and Jacob Alexander’s delightful maritime and arboreal creations; Fergus O’Reilly and Michael Sweeney’s ‘first person shooter’ version of the Labours; and Oisín Power’s Latin versions of the finest moments of Presidents Clinton and Nixon. We also have Harry Collins’s innovative reconstruction of Troy, here. And with over forty First Years taking Classics right now, there is plenty more to come in the years ahead!

The Debate Goes On!

We are spoiled at St. Conleth’s when it comes to debating: the All-Ireland and Leinster rolls of champions are filled with Conlethians, and the Irish International team is practically our fiefdom. And, recently, the usual gang of garrulous guys, including Oisín and Evan and Turlough and Coleman and Leo and Daragh and such, have proudly carried on that winning tradition. But, lo and behold, a new star is rising in the Conlethian debating firmament: TY Saoirse Corry who made the Finals of the covid-delayed 2019/20 UCD Leinster Junior Debating Competition, one of only four individuals so honoured, from over 300 participants. Yes, it was about time that this boys’ club was broken up, and recalling the sparkling rhetorical achievements of Cathy McShane (2009), Ebhan Rowe (2013) and Eavan O’Riada (2016), Saoirse has stated her claim to full membership, and even leadership, of the Conlethian debating house!

Help Jamie Nail the Covid Blues!

First Year Jamie MacNicholas still needs your help! If you are a student and have not filled out his BTYS project survey on the psychological effects of covid measures, please do! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VYXQ5XP

Art Matters!

Ms. Halpin’s First Year Art class decided to stop the moaning and think about something other than the Covid Blues. News that the global shutdown helped but did not reverse the perceived effects of human activity upon climate change spurred them to take on a new project: creating visually engaging posters with a positive environmental message.

The results speak for themselves, and do so loudly and clearly! Ms. Halpin’s Fifth and Sixth Year classes took on a more traditional challenge: the still life. As we have been doing a lot of ‘still living’ lately, the students were well prepared. We were particularly impressed with the way a few of the students transformed their lunch detritus into beautiful pieces of art!

Feeling TYred?

Well, you would be, too, after the week of full-on activities and adventures which the Transition Years enjoyed and endured while the rest of the Senior School were involved with their Christmas exams. Due to obvious reasons, the traditional ‘Work Experience’ was difficult to arrange for most so TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire put together an alternative schedule which stretched the bodies, minds and spirits of his charges. With the eager assistance of Scout Masters Morris and Speller and resident raconteur Simon, Gavin kept the TYs busy, as they: hiked in the Dublin Mountains; completed a TEFL course; worked on a Christmas TY newsletter; researched career possibilities; learned about cancer research; started various min-companies… .and examined the material culture of canal-side Dublin. So much for the TY ‘doss’!

Peter the Great’s Library!

In these touch-less times, there are many things of which we miss the ‘feel’: from the simple, friendly handshake to the warm, affectionate hug to the satisfyingly thumping tighthead’s tackle… we have realised that ‘touch’ is, in some ways, our most important sense. And how about the touch, ‘feel’ of a real book? Maybe a brand new one, with lovely crisp dust jacket and a smell that trumps that of a new car? Or an old classic, whose yellowed pages and weathered spine, worn by time and use, radiate the memories and pleasures of generations of readers? Well, perform your covid ritual cleansing and get ready for the return of a rare delight: real books!

A generous, and humbly anonymous, Past Parent has honoured the legacy of the greatest History teacher in history (Mr. Peter Gallagher, Principal Emeritus) by donating a bodleian bevy of books to St. Conleth’s. We miss Peter dearly at St. Conleth’s but probably no teacher would have felt the weight of the restrictions on movement and interaction more: Past Pupils will fondly remember his stalking the aisles of the classroom with volcanic energy and regular eruptions of rhetorical brilliance and his famous ‘Empty your pockets!’ archeological surveys. Yes, sadly, covid-era classes are indeed no ‘Butlin’s By the Sea’ and a far cry from the life and learning symposiums of a Peter Gallagher History class, but the vaccines are on the way, and until we can return to emulating Peter the Great, grab a book (a real one) and dream of past and future adventures. Above, we see Peter in his prime (with his last ‘Mastermind’: Simon ‘4 T’s’ Pettitt (2018)) and the Junior School enjoying their recent shipment. The Seniors’ are on the way!

The End is Not Nigh!

Now that the vaccine is just around the corner, we can take a lighter look at the crazy things that Covid, and the resultant panic, brought to our world. Case in point, our very own Prophet/Artist Jacq Herbots (Class of 2019). Yes, we all knew Jacq had a world class and stunning artistic talent, but we did not expect him to also follow in the footsteps of Nostradamus and Tiresias! One of Jacq Herbots’s most impressive (and interesting) creations is this interesting portrait of his brother Scott (Class of 2025)….completed a year before Covid! On behalf of the poet/prophet, Scott presented it as a timely keepsake to Ms. Halpin. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will all be laughing at the coincidence when we pass it in the hallway. But, in the meantime, if you see Jacq wearing a sandwich board on Henry Street, you had better pay attention to his message!

An Evening of Warmth and Light

Perhaps we say this every year, but the evenings do seem to be rushing down upon us faster than ever, and the coldness, dankness and darkness seem to be enjoying the doubt which hangs over our saviour Christmas. We all needed a pick-me-up and that is exactly what the former President of Ireland Mary McAleese provided during her specially arranged Zoom meeting with the St. Conleth’s community. The Parents Association should be proud of itself for arranging and organising the evening: it is not every school that gets a personal insight into the thoughts and feelings of such a national treasure and such a cultural and intellectual leader.

President McAleese managed to be all things over the course of the meeting: warm, engaging, knowledgeable, challenging, encouraging… as she amazed us with stories and insights powered by a lifetime of challenges, difficulties and success. And the session was truly a conversation, as Conlethian parents and students were encouraged to ask questions of their own, prompting the most rewarding responses from a woman who has seen, and almost done, it all. (Attached is the PA’s promotional invitation and biography.)

Christams Exams… A Reminder!

Yes, Santa is struggling in his fight with Covid, but not so Exam Commodore Ms. NiAonghusa. It stats as early as tomorrow (Friday) for some, so here is all the info again: Exam Timetable and Exam Information. The latter has never been so important as we will be running the exams in full compliance with the covid strictures. Parents and students should peruse carefully but not worry unduly. Plenty of teachers will be on hand to make sure things run smoothly and, as we all know, staying healthy and happy is always our priority, especially these days! Best of luck!

Every Cloud…

Yes, even the calamitous cloud of Covid has provided a silver lining for some: Netflix, knitting supply shops, the dog-pound, the producers of Tesco purple box ‘Indian for two’… and any south-side school girls hockey team! Why? Well a few years ago, a new girl moved onto the block, and, boy, is she a bully! The traditional powers of hockey were probably laughing through their gum shields when they heard St. Conleth’s was fielding girls hockey teams for the first time. They are not laughing now!

Ms. Speller, Ms. Leary and dearly decamped Ms. Stanley forged a formidable force in a few short years, winning trophies, shields and the respect, even the fear, of the hockey powers-that-be. So, with restricted circumstances, everyone is just training this year and while our girls are champing at the bit, others may be sighing relief! Until they allowed to take a slap-shot in anger, enjoy some pics of past glories and the training which will bring us even more!

Escaping the Void!

Of all the tall tales about our intrepid expedition leader, Gav Maguire, which have drifted back to leafy Clyde Road from the far-flung corners of our world, one of our favourites is how he inspired a particularly lacklustre group of students dawdling on the flanks of Kilimanjaro into action by stripping to the waist and scaling the Barranco Wall in his flip-flops- without a rope (or a shirt). Well, approaching middle age has mellowed Old Grizzly Gavin a bit and now he sends out younger minions to accompany the Transition Years on their various adventures. The last couple of weeks, Ms. Speller and Mr. Morris were on call, as the TYs broke Covid claustrophobia and journeyed to Sandyford to conquer The Wall.

Ms. Speller’s scout leader skills are well-known to us all by now, and, as expected, she marshalled the gangly teenagers expertly, marching them in unison from the bus while singing socially conscious campfire tunes, and somehow managing to earn two new badges for herself in the process. But who knew that within Mr. Morris’s left-side-of-the-brained, NPHET-devoted, man-of-science persona there slept an auteur? Surely, judging by the elegance of the short film above, this budding young cinematographer is destined for Cannes!

Surfin’ Safari!

Mr. Smith and Mr. Coleman were like the Wilson Brothers last Friday on the Killiney Strand (they can fight over who gets to be Brian). Yes, the temperature was a bit nippier than in SoCo, and the beverages were only topped up with extra shots of espresso, but the dynamic duo of St. Conleth’s Geography Department did their best to make the annual Geography Fieldwork Trip feel like a real day at the beach. Yes, there was work to be done: longshore drift to be measured; groynes to be stretched; and tombolos to be touted… but there was also fresh air and freedom and fun: three things we have been keeping ourselves from, lately. Edwin even brought his fishing gear… you should have seen the one that got away!

The Holiday That Just Will Not Die!

Yes, like a zombie (or a zombie movie) St. Conleth’s Halloween celebrations keep coming back to haunt us! Here are some chalk skulls from Ms. Halpin’s First and Second Year Art Classes. And what makes them even more interesting is that the students made use of a new ‘app’ which allowed them to base their drawings on their own, actual skulls. So what do you think, all ye amateur phrenologists?

Christmas Exam Schedule! Yum!

Well, you have all been asking for it, so don’t complain! Here is your Christmas (or ‘Thanksgiving’, if you like!) Exam Schedule. Get your cutlery together for the feast!

Christmas Exam Schedule MMXX pdf

Halloween’s Last Scare!

Nothing is scarier than facing into a half-term of rain, wind, sagging masks, sodden leaves and closed pubs… emm… closed gyms and libraries, but Senior School Art Teacher Ms. Halpin and the TYs did their best to frighten and distract us on the eve of this November to disremember!

Halloween MMXX

The Halloween franchise of horror movies headed south after II but MMXX threatens to be the scariest of them all! For our young, healthy students it is not the virus itself, but the cancellation of many of the fun-filled traditions of the holiday such as ‘Trick or Treat’-ing. We guess it is all ‘trick’, this year! Nevertheless, the spirit(s) of Halloween stayed strong St. Conleth’s this year. We will start you with the Senior School, where the restrictions flipped the tables…and the teachers were encouraged to do the dress-up and the antics. Some of us did not need much of a push!

And in the Junior School, things were the right way around… First up: a video produced by noted cinema verité auteur, and the darling of the Roscommon avant garde, Mr. Kilcommons, and a host of Junior School actors and assistants!

The Life in a Day

One of the few places where there is any life these days is in our schools, and we are not talking the viral, microscopic kind! Yes, there are masks and restrictions, but the ability to ‘get on with it’ seems to be a skill common to nearly all our students and they are an inspiration to us bemoaning boomers! Here we see a selection of activities and attitudes which prove that resilience is never in remission at St. Conleth’s!

Covid Blues?

Yes, we are all singing that sad little song, but one way to change the tune is to understand the virus better, and to investigate the psychological costs of the various restrictions put in place to combat it. Could the cure actually be worse than the illness? First Year Jamie MacNicholas has taken on the challenge to find out, and in the process gained entry to the main Young Scientist competition, following the guidance of his Science teacher, Mr. Callaghan, and in the footsteps of last year’s winner Cuan Moore and a long litany of BTYS Conlethian stars such as the famous Zorin Brothers. Here. Jamie explains his project himself, and how you can help him with the research:

I have entered the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition which will take place virtually in January. The title of my project is COVID-19: A statistical investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 social restrictions during the lockdown on the well-being of 10 to 18 year olds.

A report from UNICEF in May of this year stated “Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims. While they have thankfully been largely spared from the direct health effects of Covid-19 at least to date – the crisis is having a profound effect on their wellbeing.”

In my project, I want to investigate (i) the impact that COVID-19 social restrictions have had on the well-being of 10 to 18 year olds during the lockdown (ii) the amount of daily physical activity undertaken by young people during the lockdown and (iii) the amount of time spent by young people playing video games and watching TV during the lockdown.  

I hope to get over 200 volunteers between the age of 10 and 18 in St. Conleth’s College to complete a voluntary, anonymous, online questionnaire using SurveyMonkey. The survey will ask questions about their experience during the lockdown. I have prepared a questionnaire similar to the questionnaire used by the CSO in April this year when they measured the impact that COVID-19 has had on personal well-being in Ireland. 

If you are a St. Conleth’s student and aged between 10 and 18, please click on this link and complete the survey. Thank you. Jamie MacNicholas

Hightower Transmissions!

Louis Magee, a friendly giant but tough training taskmaster, has added to his already formidable duties as Head of Junior Rugby in the Senior School and Director of Junior School Sports and PE (we are still looking for a suitable acronym!) by taking on Twitter duties (@StConlethsSport) for all things sporty at St. Conleth’s. As committed free marketeers, we welcome the competition and the camaraderie! Here we see Louis’s first tweets and a pre-covid example of his ability to foster team spirit and unity.

Old Boy Brings The Skills!

At a special SCT training session, Junior School Past Pupil Callum Dowling joined Coaches Louis and Mr. Morris to pass on some of the skills he learned playing at the highest of schoolboy and Leinster youth levels. Callum was the Senior Cup captain of Clongowes Wood, who reached the final of the Senior Cup this past year, only for Covid to stop the match being played. Callum has also been involved with the Leinster U20’s.  The coaches and the team were delighted to have a player of his calibre join them. Of course, every week, all our rugby teams benefit from the expertise of Past Pupils Luke McCay and Gavin Nugent. Below you see our coaches and players at that training session, as well as a snap of one of Callum’s past days of glory. Notic the name on the trophy!

The O Dulaing Visits The O Rahilly

Sing of the O Rahilly!

Do not deny his right;
Sing a ‘the’ before his name;
Allow that he, despite
All those learned historians,
Established it for good;
He wrote out that word himself,
He christened himself with blood. WB Yeats

Also, sing of The O Dulaing, who sprang his Sixth Year Irish class from the mind-forged manacles of Covid restrictions and bravely led them on a solemn pilgrimage to the outskirts of Herbert Park, a notorious loyalist den, to stand witness to The O Rahilly, first slain by the British in 1916’s Sackville Lane and now desecrated by developer’s greed (or council incompetence) with the destruction of his family home. The O Dulaing duly informed his class of this important footnote of Irish history, proving that even on confluence of Waterloo and Wellington, green shoots do grow!

TYs Paint their Brains!

St. Conleth’s Senior School Art Teacher Ms. Halpin is always pushing the boundaries, especially in her Transition Year art class, where there is no looming state exam or curricular straight-jacket. And the TYs are happy to try new methods and new materials: neurographic art, for example. Neurography was discovered and developed by Pavel Piskarev, a Russian psychologist and creativity entrepreneur who said something like this about the craze he started: ‘Creative method of transforming the world. Author’s method. Interdisciplinary practice that allows you to make the necessary personal changes, reliably remove restrictions and successfully simulate a new, desired reality.” (It sounds more impressive if you hear it in a Russian accent.) The process involves challenging inner thoughts and worries into the drawing of abstract shapes and then creatively colouring. So, art and therapy in a one go: a perfect tonic for our times!

Rockett Men!

Like twin Apollos (or Sputniks, if you are more that way inclined) the Rockett brothers have blazed across the artistic firmament of St. Conleth’s. The elder model, Matthew (Class of 2019), was a permanent highlight of our various school concerts, culminating in his virtuoso piano performances of his own avant garde compositions in Sixth Year. And younger brother Stephen, Apollo (Class of) 21, is no mean fiddler himself, but has chosen mainly the artistic realm of paper, pencil and brush for his explosive talents. Case in point: over the lockdown, some of us used the extra leisure time to catch up on South Korean detective series or the rapscallion antics of quirky American zoo keepers, but Stephen took a nobler path. He decided to take one one idea, one theme- really just one word, and explore it artistically in a journal. The word was ‘apple’ and as you can see below, the results are incredible. And, if we get shut down again, the only good news is that Stephen is looking for a suitable ‘B’ word to do it all over again! ‘Banana’ is expected but we are hoping for ‘Beatle’!

Gaeilge agus Clasaiceach agus Baseball sa pháirc!

Some Covid restrictions are more fun than others… like the encouragement for learning al fresco! Right now, we hear the rains of Storm Alex hammering down on our tin roof rusted, but last week the weather was intermittently divine and we did not need much encouragement to follow the government diktat to get the children out where the the zephyrs roam.

Above and below we see some Wellbeing, Irish, Classics… and baseball learning going on in the friendly expanses of Herbert Park. Yes, we will all be happy to see the tail end of this virus but we can make the most of the special opportunities which have arisen because of it in the meantime. Someone has to help Gav Maguire keep Lolly and Cook’s in business!

I Have Two Points, Sir!

Only two, are you sure, Oisín? It is with great ambivalence that teachers face the prospect of having a schools debater in their class or, heaven forbid, two or more. On the one hand, we are guaranteed continuous, enthusiastic, irrepressible, hubristic contributions to class discussions, but, on the other hand, we are guaranteed continuous, enthusiastic, irrepressible, hubristic… Joking aside, Schools Debating is the one sure thing at which we know we are the absolute best in the land. The roll calls of Leinster, All Ireland and World Champions are replete with Conlethians. And the tradition which feeds that success: that of open and lively debate within our classrooms is a core component of our distinctive learning culture. Conlethians simply discuss stuff. Anything and everything. And we do it all the time.

News of our latest debating success came through last week. Evan Power, Leo Nolan, Coleman Hegarty and Oisín Power took part (via Zoom) in a multi-province debate to determine the make-up of Ireland’s Senior International Schools Debating Team. It was open to all school debaters from Leinster and Ulster, attempting to get a place on the five person team. There were two preliminary debates with the motions that ‘This house would abolish Juries in all Criminal Trials’ and this ‘This house supports the radical redistribution of wealth’ (but not the debaters’ families’). Our team of Fourth and Fifth Years did very well against mostly Sixth Year competition and Oisín was chosen to be one of eight debaters to make it to the Leinster+Ulster Final. There he debated ‘That this house regrets the the prevalence of good against evil in children’s literature’ (that includes the New York Times). Oisín spoke with his customary tenderness and compassion, finishing just outside the top five. Well done to all four participants. By incredible coincidence three of them can be seen above, sitting next (-ish) to each other in LC Latin class!

2020: A Fine Vintage!*

  • Updated with more photos and destinations!

Aside from seeing graduating students achieving their desired university places, one of the chief joys of teaching is receiving the heartfelt thanks of these departing pupils. Last May, these Thank Yous were especially welcome, as they were inexplicably accompanied by brown envelopes stuffed with cash! In all seriousness, the whole Leaving Certificate calculated grades situation was a stressful time for all involved, especially for the students themselves. Yet, when the smoke from algorithmic machines and the social engineering devices finally cleared, nearly all our graduating class received the third level offers of their choice. Yes, a difficult and delayed harvest, but in the end, a fine vintage.

One thing was never in doubt: the Class of 2020 were leaving St. Conleth’s as young men and women who had matured and developed to the best of all their abilities, not just academic, and they left St. Conleth’s a better place for having been there. Our past pupils have a habit of dropping by, and though they may have to wait till this darn covid thing is done, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 back to No. 28 Clyde Road.

Sportacus Redux!

Yes, afterschool sport is back at St. Conleth’s Senior School! Only rugby and hockey for now, but it a welcome start to a return to normality for our school community. We have noticed that for all the success and many positives of our ‘coping with covid’ existence, many students noticeably missed the exercise, competition and camaraderie of organised school sport. Mr. Smyth, our Head of Sport, gives all the details:

We are delighted to announce that After-School Sports Rugby and Hockey are returning this week. At the minute we can only have training sessions in small groups but all the coaches have plans in place to make sure we are following the guidelines set out by the Government. Students will remain in the same groups that are set out their coaches for the coming weeks so mixing between students will be at a minimum. 
With regard to Covid and training, it is imperative that all students who attend training follow the instructions set out by the coaches. There will be a very strict policy in place with regard to behaviour and if a student is in breach of any instructions regarding behaviour or Covid guidelines, they will not be allowed to train for the rest of the School year. 

Hockey 
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year girls will be training in Pembroke Hockey Club on Tuesdays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:30-2:30pm) and Thursdays (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train.

Rugby
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year boys will be training in Wanderers Rugby Club on Mondays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:20-2:20pm) and Friday’s (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train. 

If students are unable to attend training, it is up to them to inform the coaches. Students may NOT attend training if they have not in school on that day. 

Hopefully we can get back to some sort of normality in the coming weeks but for now, we are delighted to able to get the students training with their classmates, even if it is in small groups. 

With regard to other sports, we are monitoring the guidelines set out for each level but for now, all we can allow is Rugby and Hockey. Hopefully we can change that in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,
Ciarán Smith
Head of Sports,
St. Conleth’s College

Prized Poetry!

Transition Year Siobhán Fitzgerald did not spend her lockdown gorging on the latest dark Danish Netflix sci-fi series. Okay… maybe she did a bit of that, but she somehow also found time to finely hone her already impressive creative writing skills, to the point where earned two separate, national commendations! One of her poems, ‘Much Too Young’ has been accepted for publication in an anthology on climate crisis edited by poet Alice Kinsella which is forthcoming from Doire Press in Spring 2021. Her poem will sit alongside works by such established poets as Claire Hennessy, Jan Carson, Rick O’Shea, and Paula Meehan.

Siobhán was also chosen as a Runner Up in the Post-Primary Junior Category  of the Trocaire / Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2020 for the same poem, ‘No More’. She read her poem at the awards ceremony during Culture Night on the 18th of September. Here is her award letter and below you can see a recording of her reading. (Skip to 20:12 if you just want to hear Siobhán!).

As part of the award Poetry Ireland will also organise an author visit to St. Conleth’s: another reason to look forward to the ending of the covid conditions. Well done to Siobhán, a great example of what students can achieve under their own initiative. We encourage all our students, especially TYs, to take on similar challenges!

Covid Coping!

Covid Coping in the Senior School: breaktime buddying, a class captain election dance and education al fresco in Herbert Park!

Claudio’s Triple Triumph!

A new fencing season kicked off earlier this month; however, due to Covid-19 – the rewards announcement acknowledging the 2019-2020 season was delayed until recently. Our very own Claudio Sosa Smatralova won a rare triple: the Best Cadet, Junior and Senior Fencer in Ireland. A proud, longstanding Conlethian tradition lives on!

Sailing

Splendour on the Grass

Poets such as Poe feared the invasive reach of personified Science, ‘who alterest all things with (its) peering eyes’ and ‘has torn the Elfin from the green grass’ but Edgar Allan must have been thinking about ye olde Junior Certificate Science, because clearly the spanking new, right-on and hands-on Junior Cycle Science frolics along hand-in-hand with poetry, imagination and the nobler arts. Case in point: Ms. Phelan’s First Year Science class. A few years back, Ms. Phelan would have attached electrodes or gas tubing to any student who suggested taking a walk in the park to engage in scientific observation. Now, it is part of the curriculum! Below we see our youngsters in action, examining the grass but leaving the elves be… including the sprites of a Second Year English class who were enjoying a bit of poetry and ceremonial dipping of footwear in the pond.

On Raglan Road of an autumn day…

…and on Wellington Road…and Waterloo…and the Grand Canal! Principal Dónal ODúlaing took a short stroll with 2a to visit some local cultural touchstones. The weather was warm and the conversation was scintillating: music was on the agenda and everyone from Luke Kelly to the Villagers to Conlethian alumni Versatile came up. And then a bit of a rest on the banks of the canal. Patrick Kavanagh was glad for the company- and he did not insist on social distancing!

Sailing Takes Me Away…

If one man could defeat Covid-19 all by himself, and we know that is impossible, but if one man could vanquish this pandemic…. it would undoubtedly be the unflappable Mr. Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire (Class of 1990). Our intrepid explorer and expedition leader has faced down some mighty challenges on all seven continents and across seven seas, and he has acquired many a herbal remedy in his journeys, which he keeps lodged in his ever-present, trusty and fashionable man bag.

Given enough time, we think Gav could cook up some kind of elixir for the current plague but the problem is just that: Gav simply does not have the time! For, Gav and the TYs were already in action on Thursday, starting off the year with a sailing session at the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire (with none other than John Melia, of the Class of 2020, there to show them the ropes… and the knots). And today, Friday, they are off again: who knows where, but we are sure more news and pics of Transition Year derring-do will soon be zinging in over the wireless!

Hi-Yo, Students! Away!

Yes, we are off with a shot at St. Conleth’s; however, not as lonesome rangers but as a unified community ready to face this unprecedented challenge, together.

Each class and year that has arrived this week has come in quietly and a bit in awe of the situation. But with the careful guidance of our Junior and Senior Form Teachers, and leadership from Principals Kilcommons and ÓDulaing, fears were allayed and spirts were emboldened and, by week’s end, we were back to being St. Conleth’s: the best possible place to learn and have some fun, often at the same time. Of course, some things need to be ironed out: for example, our first real break-time on Friday may well resemble the migration of the wildebeest, but we will learn, make changes and move on. Stay tuned as we fine-tune learning in the covid era!

Welcome Back!

Yes, it is finally happening! Turn off the Netflix, try on the uniform and leave the dog in peace for once…. it is almost time to return to school! We have adjusted our return to school schedule for the Senior School from what is on the Calendar pdf but the changes are reflected below and in Upcoming Events:

Return to School
Monday August 31 – Staff Day

Tuesday September 1–  1st Year: 10.00-12.00                  2nd Year: 1.00-3.00
Wednesday September 2– 3rd Year:  9.00 -11.00             TY: 11.30-1.30
Thursday September 3–  5th Year: 10.00-12.00                6th Year: 1.00-3.00
Friday September  4–  All Classes Return for an 8.20 start and 12:45 finish

The induction sessions are just for the students but parents will have Zoom Meetings with Mr. ODulaing. All parents have been contacted via email by Principals ODulaing and Kilcommons, with this and other vital information regarding the return to school in these challenging times, but rest assured that St. Conleth’s is still St. Conleth’s and though there may be a few difficulties in the first few days, the learning and the fun will soon be back up to speed!

DES Video for the Return to School

St Conleth’s Return to School Protocols for Pupils and Parents

Information from HSE for Parents

Citizen Sweeney

During the lockdown, the rest of us may have been lost in South Korean detective series or faithfully following the adventures of Oklahoman zoo-keepers, but Rory Sweeney (Class of 2018) was too busy putting the finishing touches on his second year film, a significant step in his progress towards earning his National Film School BA in Film + TV Production at IADT. Rory was always active in cinematic matters while at St. Conleth’s, reviving the Film Club and spending his breaks (and some school time!) working as an extra and as an assistant with such movie business notables as Brendan Gleeson.

His second year film, ‘Rhythm’, can be viewed above, and it is accompanied by a text which was to introduce it at an art gallery premier but, alas, Covid intervened. We have also included an earlier short of Rory’s, entitled ‘Coast’, below. Enjoy, and do stay tuned, as we are sure to see Rory Sweeney behind the camera of bigger productions in the coming years!

Beware the Ides of… July?

If Ceasar had survived into the month named for him, he would have enjoyed this corona-delayed news. On one of the last, hectic, mad days of school before the shutdown in March, over forty of our Classics students attended the Second Annual Young Classicist Symposium in UCD. Yes, in retrospect, crowding a couple hundred eager, restless adolescents into a lecture hall may not have been the best covid strategy but they were more innocent times and all our legionnaires came through in good, marching order. It was a day full of fun and learning as we enjoyed viewing hundreds of projects on various Classics-related subjects, from Charlie Plant’s edible exploration of Roman cuisine to Lochlan Quinn’s theories on the ‘lost years’ of the Trojan War.

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All our First Year Classics kids entered, as did several Second Years and our Fifth Years came along for moral and security support. The judges, including the gregarious Professor Philip De Souza, were impressed by all our entries, but in the end, after much deliberation, they chose to award a Bronze to Harry Collins, James Power and Cúan Moore’s hilarious but informative exposé of the plebeian diet and Silver to James O’Neill’s authoritative history of Roman aqueducts (click for full projects). Mid-March, when all this happened, seems like 44 BC now in retrospect, but we hope to all be back to more educational hijinks, especially in Classics, soon!

Update! Birds of Paradise!

Before we shuffle off to Butlin’s by the Sea for our staycation we will provide some last shots of what our students were up to this year, before and after the latently loosening lockdown. And just in case you are not quite brave (or, maybe, crazy) enough yet to board the garishly yellow upholstered shuttles to Mediterranea, we are bringing you some much-needed exoticism colour in the form of Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin’s First Year Clay Tiles Project. Each bird was sculpted and painted by an individual student, and they stand alone as lovely works of art, but when Ms. Halpin was able to put them all together, I am sure you will agree, something very special was created!

See You on the Thames!

Lockdown loosens… random alumni encounters begin again! We ran into Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016) and his lovely girlfriend, Aishling, in the old Herbo and aside from trading snide comments about STEM guys (to the bemusement of Aishling, a Physics major) we also learned that Daniel is about to begin a Master’s in Law at Oxford University. Daniel, a graduating Trinity Schol in History and Politics, is clearly destined for great things… including an impending show-down with Conor White (Captain, Class of 2015), who is completing his own Master’s in Law at Cambridge University. Both Daniel and Aishling would have crossed pontifical swords with Conor at the Irish Times Debate last year, the winning of which provided our photogenic couple with a grand tour of America, warts and all, red states and blue.

Now, with both Daniel and Conor temporarily ensconced in the Home Counties, the two former Irish schools debating champions will surely meet again on some rostrum or another, or maybe at a shadowy Bullingdon Club Oxbridge mixer….. but we also fancy a face-off between Conlethian greats on the Thames at The Boat Race. (If you have to ask ‘Which boat race?’, don’t bother…) Conor and Daniel showed some athletic prowess while playing basketball at their alma mater, and we think the former, as a strong and steady type, is a natural for a stern rowing position and the latter would be the most rhetorical of coxswains!

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TYs Zoom Outta Here!

For a man who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in flip-flops and has swum the mighty Ganges River in those French campground type of tight bathing shorts, you would not think walking into one’s usual place-of-work would be such a great accomplishment… but these are strange times indeed, and Transition Year Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire’s decision to heroically host the TY Graduation Ceremony from old No. 28 Clyde Road is proof that when the times get tough, the tough get going. And, no, the fact that Tolteca, down the road, has recently opened up for take-out had nothing to do with Gav’s decision to ‘make it real’ for his beloved TYs. And what a ceremony it was!

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Gav reacquainted us all with the dearly missed St. Conleth’s campus, Adam hosted a video retrospective of the year and Gav gave out some eagerly contested awards. Among the winners were Emile Boostrom Ogawa for Best Portfolio Website, Eva Stylianides for Best Actor, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty Smyth for Musician of the Year and Louis Cullen for TY Linguist. Of course, the two most prestigious TY awards are those named in honour of two past pupils, JP McGilligan and Neil Quinlan. James Moriarty Smyth deservedly won the McGilligan for best overall TY student and Adam Rafter and Matthew McKeown shared the Quinlan award for class spirit, as voted on by their peers. In reality, everyone who stuck with Gav’s programme during these trying times deserves an award and we hope the graduating TYs enjoy a richly deserved summer break and that the current Third Years are ready to hit the TY ground running in September. Gav is going to be well-rested and ready!

Art from the Vaults!

Judging from the pieces below, Ms. Halpin’s Senior School Art students have been, if anything, even more creative during the corona lockdown. Last week we saw some amazing First Year works, created in homage of particular masterpieces. This week, it is the Third Years’ turn and we can enjoy a range of work from their Junior Certificate portfolios including snapshots of the development process that underlies every great work of art. More to come!

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Sports Day… Redux!

The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday.  All the usual suspects were there… ah yes, our habitual style of reporting one of St. Conleth’s most beloved annual rituals: Sports Day! Sadly, not this year. Rían Lawlor is eagerly trying to organise a Wii Sports version but until that happens we will enjoy a trip through the years. Keep scrolling!

2019

Yes, we said running

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running a bit further…

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jumping upwards…

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jumping outwards…

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throwing…

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or just hanging out!

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2018

winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns.  Yes, we said running

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jumping…

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throwing…

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winning…

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or just hanging out!

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2017

running

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jumping…

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throwing…

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winning…

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or just hanging out!

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2016

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There Are 86 Attendees in the Waiting Room…

The first ever St. Conleth’s ‘Zoomed’ Graduation Ceremony was a smash hit! Yes, we will have a more formal affair in the Fall, but this student-produced, standing-room-only variety show was chock full of nostalgic humour and poignancy, from heartfelt advice from management and teachers through honest expressions of appreciation from the graduates to some very imaginative personal ‘bios’ of select students. The Class of 2020 even received some helpful dating advice from Mr. Carvill! The whole class and all their current teachers attended, as well as several student and staff ‘alumni’ who returned to share in the experience. Yes, we look forward to another, more ‘physical’ ceremony in the school in the autumn, but really this will be hard to beat. Well done to Emily, James, John, Oisín, Joe and all the others who organised and took part in this perfectly pitched celebration in imperfect times. Enjoy the pics: full video on the way!

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Captains Consensus!

If there is one thing that we take seriously at St. Conleth’s, it is the election of our School Captain. The UN Election Observers are brought in, identifications are carefully checked and we make sure that no votes of members of the Class of 1939 have somehow mysteriously made it into the ballot box. And Covid-19 did not alter this scrupulousness: Mr. Carvill arranged arranged long-distance versions of all the usual steps; from a call for nominees, through Zoom speeches by the candidates to their class and an initial student vote and, eventually, the same for the digitally assembled staff by the semi-finalists. The fact that there were fifteen initial nominees says a lot about the class and the school: so many students want to take a leading part in the life of St. Conleth’s. After the student vote, the field was narrowed to a high quality six: Matthew Lynch, Colin Bolger, Ciara MacNally, Ted O’Kelly, Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye. All these sincere and enthusiastic youngsters then presented their cases to the staff via Zoom, and though there was a variety of styles and emphases, we were left knowing that we were in good student leadership hands for 2020-2021, regardless of the outcome. In the end, Ted O’Kelly was elected School Captain with Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye being selected as Vice Captains. With these three at the helm, we will really hit the ground running in September!

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Francophonic Finale!

Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:

Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!

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One More Chukka!

We will miss dearly all our Sixth Years, but one young man in particular has left a legacy of good humour, easygoing charm and warm friendliness, which we will find hard to replace. And, typical of Alex Reynolds, we did not even know that he had a hidden talent and has been a competitive polo player these last few years. Here he brings us up to date, just before he rides off into the sunset!

Even though I have long been interested horses, I had very little experience of polo until about five years ago. I had played a few chukkas here and there, but not too many. But, now, I could not imagine not playing polo and being on a horse hitting a ball with the mallet. I truly have found a passion for polo and horses, and it is when I am on my horse charging down the field that I feel most alive. I have been looking after polo ponies at home for a few years now and I love the joy that comes with it and the bond that can be created with the horses. It is hard work but the rewards make it more than worth all the effort. Polo is a very small sport in Ireland compared to abroad, in places like the UK and Spain, and it has a much smaller community than other polo scenes, but I hope to be part of the growing effort to make it more popular. I think others would enjoy the rare combination of building bonds with both an intelligent, emotional animal and friendly competitors.

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Bell Bottom Blues!

Actually, judging by the fervour with which our Junior School students are tackling their projects, the Covid lockdown is not really getting them down at all! We do imagine, however, that when the projects involve fashions of the 1970’s, parent and staff who were around back then probably do succumb to some nostalgic melancholy when they view them. We are too young to remember ‘the decade that taste forgot’ but Mr. Kilcommons was just talking the other day how he missed his old bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye T-shirt and lambchop sideburns! Though, if this lasts much longer, certainly the hairstyles will start looking 1970s-ish. Ms. Loomes’s Sixth Forms did more than a troll through the history of fashion. See some highlights below and click on the titles further below to see the full projects on a variety of subjects.

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Fashion Throughout the Ages: The 1970’s ( by Colmán O’Flynn)

Book Report (by Niamh Hennelly-Bridges)

Fashion through the Ages: (by Jamie MacNicholas)

My Time Capsule of Covid-19 (by Milo Campbell)

The Invention of Paper (by Paul Jackson)

Art Avalanche!

You really should be careful of what you ask… as we learned when we innocently contacted Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin for an update on what has been going on in Art classes this year, pre- and post-corona. We expected a few snaps of pleasant watercolours: what we received was an absolute avalanche of creative, boundary-busting masterpieces! As none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, we are going to drip feed you a steady stream of these stunning student installations, starting with one assignment for First and Second Years which will have you gasping in admiration and rolling around with laughter! Ms. Halpin asked them to interpret and recreate famous paintings in any way they wanted: and, boy, did they respond with gusto!

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Move Over, George…

Yes, the mysterious and secretive ‘Uncrowned Emperor of Europe’ George Soros may have a whiff of the Sith about him but the Rise of Oisín McGinley, his acolyte and heir apparent, is a much warmer and good-humoured tale than that told of Skywalker. Fresh from chairing the first ever digital conference of European Youth Parliament, Oisín tells us of his EYP adventure in his own words.

Having now participated in every format of EYP event in each academic year, I believe it is high time for me to reveal what this mysterious organisation is. The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, tolerant and active citizens. International, regional and national sessions are at the core of EYP, and consist of events that bring together over 30,000 young people every year.

That’s well and good, it is also  what any of you could find online with a simple google search, so I am here to offer a more personal account of what EYP is to me. I began my EYP journey in 2017 heading to Loreto Foxrock for the Dublin Regional Session of EYP with the help of TY co-ordinator Mr.Trenier who was more than happy to pay for this bizarre event… not. It was there where I realised I hadn’t completely lost my brain during TY. More importantly, this is when the curtain of EYP was drawn back for me and showed me that as a young person I had the means and the capability to shape the issues of young Europe which were important to me.

Following that event, I was selected to go to Cork for the Irish National Session and finally to Rotterdam for the 88th International Session of EYP as an Irish representative, at this stage Mr.Trenier began to realise that maybe it was money well spent even being quoted as being “almost proud of me”. 
Rotterdam was without doubt one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the first night of being forced to share a table with the UK delegation I believe I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Furthermore, it is one of the main reasons why I feel so confident in studying abroad in Amsterdam now. I am still in contact with many of my friends from that session and there are many after hours memories that I still hold dear.

The reasons why I am passionate about EYP are in-quantifiable but chief among them are the opportunities it offered me and the connection it has brought about in my life. I have participated in 15 different events of EYP now and I have come to have a great appreciation for the network. EYP has given me practical skills in terms of delivering modules, managing group dynamics, academic research and so much more, not to mention some well needed weeks off of school. I am able to document my self development directly with the events I have attended and I believe it has gifted me a unique lens to view the world from. Especially in times like these, knowing that I can pick up my phone and catch up with friends from all over Europe is very supportive and also very humbling.

Another amazing thing about these events is the wide variety of roles they offer. Whether you have a knack for organising, a creative flair or a desire to lead committees there is a role for you. Moreover, the principle that EYP is a youth organisation that is led by the youth is very powerful.  Testament to that is that as a 17 year old I was given the honor of presiding over the Slovakian national session. The roles of real responsibility that are given to young people as well as the lack of taboo surrounding age is something which makes EYP attractive to the youth. The idea that I as a 17 year old was in a position of leadership over a 23 year old may raise some eyebrows initially but it is what allows for the organisation to thrive and facilitate better events.

Every EYP event I go to I always head in thinking about why gathering a random bunch of teenagers and introducing them to a random organisation shouldn’t always result in a magical experience yet every time without fail it does. In my opinion EYP is above all else a platform, a platform which connects like minded people across Europe and offers them a well-needed way to direct their passion both towards fixing world issues and connecting with each other. It is hence my greatest pleasure to see the network continue to develop and transition to a digital format. I was astounded to see the high level of participation as a chairperson at EYP’s first Digital Session and it makes me very confident about the future of the organisation. 

I still carry the same awe and passion that was lit inside me at my very first EYP event and if the same TY student that was reluctant to head to Foxrock saw where I had gone now I honestly have no idea what he would think. I think that’s why I delayed writing this article, there is so much about EYP that is so intimate and personal, much of which can’t be expressed in words. With that said I hope to have enlightened you as to what actually happens at an EYP event and why you may want to get involved. As we say in EYP “See you somewhere in Europe”


Students: Get 10% Off if You Complete This On-Line Survey!

Sorry… a bit of false advertising. We cannot give you a reduction in your tuition bill but what we can give you is a chance to tell us (management and teachers) what you think about St. Conleth’s: what we are doing right and what you think we could do better. It is all a part of our School Self Evaluation. Parents and staff are also taking part through their own surveys (check your email!), but the student voice is equally important to us. So, take about 10-15 minutes, click on the link below and fill it out, carefully and honestly. We will take the results very seriously in our forward planning but, as it is anonymous, we will not be able to respond with any individual rewards… or retributions!

St. Conleth’s Student Survey

Covert Covid Learning!

The novel corona virus has forced into novel and covert styles of learning but, believe us, the work goes on! Conlethian teachers and students are keeping busy with remote classes and assignments and despite difficulties with bandwidth, the sibling seizure of screens and the dreaded Virtual Learning Vulture Neck Syndrome, we are all keeping pace with our various syllabi and the hallowed STATEMENTS OF LEARNING! Some wags think we are even ahead of normal schedule: less time spent waiting in line for chicken wings and Fortnite dancing in the courtyard at break-time… but we do miss both activities dearly! Here we see just a sampling of our students’ long distance learning: Maths memes and graphs, corona advice en français and some Classical Greek architectural drawings and descriptions. All in a day’s work!

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Remote Rostra Rhetoricians!

Congratulations to Coleman Hegarty and Leo Nolan on their impressive top ten finish (of the best 59 in the world!) at the Oxford Union’s International Competition for Young Debaters competition. The debate was conducted remotely but our boys adjusted and mastered the digital rostra! Here, Coleman gives his personal account!

For the ICYD competition, we used a newly developed software called MixIdea, made in Japan. We qualified at Coláiste na hInse with eight other Irish teams for ICYD-Oxford. Of course, because of that darned virus, we couldn’t make the trip over to Oxford but they were quite quick to email us about using online platforms. Leo and I did a few practice rounds before hand and were ready to compete on the 2nd. Sadly, because the organisers are in college and prone to college brain, they forgot to tell many of us that they were using a different domain name for the site. Then, due to overflow we had to wait from 1:30 to 4:00 and finally got a start after three and a half hours with the motion ‘THW have all elected politicians on the average wage and use public services‘ (Against). We placed 2nd in this round, coming up against Canadians (the eventual winners), Hungarians and Scots. 

In the second round we had a very Thurnberg-esque motion, supporting Eco-conscription. What sounds like an Eco-Fascist’s dream is really just manual climate change labour. Up against more familiar faces in Belvedere, we also placed second in this round. Round Three was cancelled due to major delays and the next day we arose for one more round before the semi-final break, the motion this time being ‘THW implement equal airtime for both sides of a topic/arguement on national television‘ (Proposing). We won this motion, coming up against Shanghai International school. After a while, we got the tab back, revealing we were 1 speaker point (443-442!) off the semi-finals. Still, Leo and I triumphed as the best speakers in Ireland. Not too bad for a corona lockdown!

Summer Exams 3.0!

**Slightly adjusted: small changes to the Fifth Year schedule, only**

The times they are, indeed, a-changing, but here at St. Conleth’s we have still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission… to provide fair but rigorous assessment! Students and parents will be contacted formally via email, but here is a sneak preview (courtesy of Exam Co-Ordinator Ms. NiAonghusa) of the Summer Exam Schedule.

All Years Exam Schedule

All Years Exam Schedule PDF

First Years Exam Schedule PDF

Second Years Exam Schedule PDF

Third Years Exam Schedule PDF

Fifth Years Exam Schedule PDF

Remember When….?

It’s Throwback Thursday on stconleths.ie! Since sport is currently reduced to pilates apps and Wii Sports, we will recall the golden days with a weekly virtual visit to the archives. This week: the legendary 2016 SCT’s earlier but just as inspirational incarnation: the 2013 JCT! Yes, we were younger and lighter (except on top) back then and the world was our oyster. And Gav was our god. Enjoy!

Start Hoppin’!

Thankfully, the Easter Bunny has evaded the lockdown and is on his way. operating out of his summer home in Courtown. And after you enjoy that well-earned bounty of chocolate eggs have a go at this: the St. Conleth’s PE Department At-Home Fitness Challenge, special Easter Edition!

Below we see our winning challengers from last week, Gregorio and Viola, ring their thing in double-time!

The Last B-Ball Game in Ireland?

In our efforts to keep some Conlethian good vibes flowing, we bring you more BC (Before Corona) News: Our U19 team were involved in perhaps the last basketball game played before the shutdown, a narrow loss to old friendly foes St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final. Our name has been etched on this particular plaque many times, and will be so again, but this time we settled for an honourable second place, nipped by a strong, international Andrew’s team. Big man Luke Gilleran and fireplug Keane Acosta were again forces for us, as were graduating Sixth Years Suyash Patidar and Josh Bergin and rising youngsters Ralph Garing, Luke ‘C3P0’ Sherlock and Oisín Thornton, but it was Colin Bolger who really shot out the lights and earned a share of the MVP award.

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And Sixth Year Jack Doyle had the honour of captaining the side in his last appearance in a St. Conleth’s basketball jersey. Jack has been part of St. Conleth’s since Junior School days and his devotion to basketball and the school as a whole has been steadfast and strong. Like his ancestors from the middle of America, Jack has always been the epitomé of hard work, team spirit and impeccable manners.

Fitness Challenge #2!

A ‘towering’ member of the PE Department just enjoyed a milestone birthday, but since this GDPR-protected person has such a ‘high’ level of fitness, he is not worried that he is now on the wrong side of Basil! Well he, and relative whippersnapper colleagues Mr. Smyth, Adam and Sean, feel this week’s challenges will really boost your energy levels.  Students and/or parents have the choice of two workouts.  Try each one at least twice for maximum benefit. Remember to send any photos or videos to mageel@stconleths.ie. And further below you see our winning participants from last week’s challenge, led by the Bertomeu Boyz!

Junior School

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Senior School

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Our First Weekly Fitness Challenge!

Wake up! The St. Conleth’s PE Dept. is talking to you! Below is our first weekly, long-distance learning Fitness Challenge. We (Mr. Magee, Mr. Ingle and Mr. Swan) will be posting various challenges to this website and Twitter each and every Friday, so make sure to keep an eye for the next challenge. For the first challenge, “Alphabet Workout”, simply spell out your name and match the letters of your name to start your fitness challenge. Try each one twice on rotation and if you’re feeling very energetic, try it three times. You know Gav Maguire will! Remember (if you like) to send a photo of you or your family taking part to mageel@stconleths.ie and we will post as many photos as possible on this page or Twitter. Have some fun and stay safe!

And, remember: the St. Conleth’s PE Dept. will be watching!

Remember When?

American baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once complained that ‘Nostalgia is not what it used to be.’ Well, it certainly isn’t these days, when we all are forced by circumstances to look backwards in time for some sense of solace. Well, Past Pupil and musical maestro Joe Gallagher (Class of 2019) has just premiered his first EP, ‘Nostalgia’, on Soundcloud and it will take you back to the good, old days: it is the single best spring of hope that we have heard, sweetly bubbling, in all our searches of various music streams.

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These five lo-fi but hi-impact instrumental tracks have already made quite a splash in the world of music with an online musical promotion group eager to include them in their monthly Spotify playlist. So turn off the Netflix and have a listen!

Drums Along The Dodder!

To prompt pleasant memories of when your younger family members were not always just standing there listlessly in front of an open refrigerator door, we will periodically bring you news from a bygone era: B. C. (Before Corona). Yes, it is only in retrospect that we realise how full our lives were… especially St. Conleth’s Transition Years!

A couple of weeks B.C., ace TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire arranged to have Patrick Naughton and his African Drumming Ireland programme pay a visit. Patrick was brilliant. He has the skills and knowledge, the authentic drums and, most importantly the ability to keep a group of sometimes grumpy adolescents enthusiastic and involved… and even rhythmic! Enjoy the video above and the pics below. More B.C. News to come!

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Seachtain na Gaeilge… ar ball!

Before the shutdown… we had just enough time to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, in a rather abbreviated but spirited fashion! With the senior member of the Irish Department, Mr. ODulaing, busy piloting the school through the troubled corona waters, it was left to his younger colleagues, Ms. Fay and Ms. Dorman, to drive the buachaillí agus cailíní through Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada and class-specific céilí… and in record time! The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities.  Certainly more fun then those pesky CBAs! And, of course, we do not just get all Irishy for a fortnight in March: St. Conleth’s Gang Gaeilge is active throughout the year. Below you see Sixth Years enjoying some Tae agues Plé, earlier in the term, with Ms. Dorman as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate Irish Oral, as well as some pictures and video from our shortened but still inspiring Seachtain na Gaeilge!

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Corona News Squashed!

Yes, our school is temporarily closed… but we will try to lighten the mood by delving into the overflowing ‘In Box’ on our desk and keeping up the St. Conleth’s newsfeed. Plenty of good news to report, such as First Year Ismail Abdelwahed following in the footsteps of big brother Omar, has made the U13 Irish Squash team and will represent Ireland in the Five Nations Championship… when sport returns to these islands! Well done, Ismail!

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School Closed

In compliance with government directive, St. Conleth’s College will remain completely closed until Monday, March 30th. The Principals of the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools will update parents on all developments via email and text message. Individual teachers will be in touch with their students via Google Classroom and other ICT applications.

Knee-Bumps Galore!

Juliet Donnelly has lit up St. Conleth’s since she first walked through the door, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as her older brother Michael and almost as winsome! But don’t let that sweetness fool you: once Juliet takes to the hockey pitch, a cold-hearted executioner emerges: case in point, her four goal demolishment of Sion Hill in the Dublin South Minor B Girls League Final! Yes, Coaches Speller and Stanley have another trophy for the shelf and the pressure is on the B-Ball boys to follow suit. Juliet was no doubt the star of this one, but it was also a whole team performance, as it has been all season, with Captain Meabh Joy and all the girls playing their hearts (and lungs) out for each other and the school. Such has been the hockey success these past two seasons that rumours abound that one of the seven science labs planned for our next extension may well be converted to a Hockey Trophy Room!

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Bring the Noise!

There was a poignant moment at the recent Past Pupils Dinner when select members of the Class of 2010 got together to recall their shared glory days of St. Conleth’s basketball: when Herron and Purcell and McCormack and McCoy and Carr and Co. shocked the world of Irish Schools Basketball, winning the All-Ireland double in 2008. And, now, current St. Conleth’s coaches, Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan are establishing quite a record of ‘glory days’, themselves. The First Year boys team have been on a rampage since the season tipped off, rivalling last year’s First Year rugby team for consistency and promise. Below you see pix (Thanks, Scott!) from a romp over St. Benildus and just last Friday they won a thriller over St. Paul’s, 31-30, with the Twin Powers (Fionán and James) and Cormac Hayden leading the way. That dramatic win has put the boys into an Ireland East Basketball Ireland Final, which will be played on Thursday at the Oblates Hall in Inchicore at 11:10. But, hang on, we have another final to support before then: the U19s will play today (Wednesday) at 4:15 at St. Andrew’s for the SDBL crown. Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Keane Acosta and the the boys have a great chance to add another ‘St. Conleth’s’ to the engraver’s to-do list!

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STEMsters!

With plans afoot for a big, new STEM facility for St. Conleth’s, it is fitting that we have a whole bunch of young STEMsters raring to go and get their hands on all those circuits, tubes, switches and burners! Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has been meeting faithfully every Friday and last week they celebrated national Engineers Week holding a tower-building competition using marshmallows and spaghetti. And though it may be early days for these young engineers, who knows where their ideas and measurements will take them? Judging by the speed with which our civil engineering projects take shape, these boys and girls may well be the ones with hardhats, yellow vests and rolled plans when our bus corridors finally get laid in the asphalt!

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A Crown for Fencing!

There is at least one international jet-setter whom the Corona has not grounded! TY Claudio Sosa is seen here fencing in Warsaw and Porec, where he recently represented Ireland. Claudio’s international career continues to bring success, as builds up his skills and experience on ever bigger stages. His most recent senior scalp was winning a Bronze in Senior Foil at the Belfast Open. Remember: Claudio is only fifteen years old and is fencing against full-fledged adults!

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Spring Tide!

No sooner do we do our rugby ’round-up’ for the season and the boys send a clear message: it ain’t over, yet! Coaches Louis Magee, Mr. Smyth and Mr. Morris had a particularly good match day yesterday as both First years and the JCT emerged as victors over some quality competition. The youngsters earned a hard fought victory yesterday over De la Salle, 31-21. Below you see John Engmann going high for a line-out, Cillian Cooke delivering a massive hit and Andrew Gore-Grimes about to! Patrick Devlin and Fionán were amongst the try-scorers. And the JCT had a great league win against Belvedere College, 36-15. Richard ‘Killah’ Caldwell touched down for a superb try amidst a superb team performance and all the boys were in fine voice and mood afterwards in the locker-room.

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A-macing Debaters!

Rather serendipitous that Michael O’Dwyer (Class of 2010) was our special guest speaker at the PPU Dinner on the Friday Night, he the holder of both a All-Ireland Debating Title as well as a Cambridge University International Debating Mace (a weighty weapon, that!), and the next day brings news that the current crop of Conlethian debaters are also bringing home the bling! On Saturday, Third Year Coleman Hegarty won outright the Leinster Junior Debating Mace. And he, Leo Nolan and Turlough Dineen have all qualified for the National Mace Final. Actually, ‘serendipity’ or chance had nothing to do with it: St. Conleth’s consistently dominates the rostra of the land in schools debating. The secret to our success lies in another fact: also present at Friday night’s PPU Dinner were Conor Power and Oisín Dowling (Class of 2018), our returned Past Pupil debating coaches who showed the way for Coleman and company. The Carvillian system continues to work!

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PPU… phew!

The good burghers of Greater Ballsbridge and Donnybrook hold their collective breaths every year on the last Friday of February because that is when the carnival comes to town: the Past Pupils Union Annual Dinner is always the liveliest gig in town on that night, and the 2020 version did not disappoint. The members of our PPU, like our current student body, reflects our diversity, spirit and downright quirkiness… and we seem to just get better with age!

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PPU Presidents John Carvill and Peter O’Neill and PPU Benign Despot Ronan O’Kelly must have been tired from organising the previous PPU engagement in NYC but it did not show, as they orchestrated an evening that managed to combine proper, sober acknowledgements of milestones with the frantic fun with which we all associate the night. Despite a rather flat sound system and the habitual rowdiness, Ronan and John compèred with both gravitas and wit, with guest speaker Michael O’Dwyer (2010) and honouree Ger Cummiskey also rising to the occasion. Enjoy the semiformal pics of each class above, as well as the more free-form ones, below.

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St. Conleth’s Strikes Again!

The Hockey Girls are really setting some high standards for the years and teams to come! With the first St. Conleth’s Hockey team only taking the field a few short years ago, it is amazing that we already have a trophy case shelf groaning under the weight of hockey cups and plates! The latest was won this past Saturday. While the rest of us were sleeping off the lingering effects of the PPU festivities of the night before, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley and and Georgia Weir McErlean were up, putting the girls through their paces. And when the last shot was taken and the last net had rippled, St. Conleth’s Juniors team had beaten Sion Hill – 1-0 and St. Raphaela’s 2-0, bringing home the Plate of the Dublin South Girls League Junior A Division! So much for a lag after being promoted after last year’s championship season!. Well done to all the girls and their coaches.

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Just Say ‘No!’ to COVID-19!

St. Conleth’s is well prepared for COVID-19! Considering the ‘jet-setty’ nature of our clientele, we were especially worried when we heard about the news (and germs) emanating from Alpen Italy, but the school has been very pro-active in response, and not just in the hallway banter. The hand sanitisers are everywhere and our students have been enthusiastically disinfecting, especially as it delays arrival in class for a few minutes. And though we are known for our sense of closeness, cushiness and coziness, we have dialled back a bit on the hugs and handshakes, at least for the time being. Below are some helpful posters and videos and links to advice from the departments of Education and Health, as well as a Powerpoint made up by our very own Corona Czarina, Ms. Dillon!

Click for the rest of Ms. Dillon’s PDF/PPT!

Link to the Department of Education’s recommendations for parents

A Classy Reunion

St. Conleth’s PPU Dinners are always memorable affairs: well-attended, well-catered and well-lubricated… more raucous than retiring, a fact any residents left on our particular stretch of Clyde Road can attest to. Our recent New York City PPU Dinner was a decidedly more refined affair, with the humour as good and the sentiments as warm as every Conlethian come-together but with just the volume turned down, as befitting the august setting of the New York Athletic Club. (Apparently, the good folks of the TSA did their job and stopped certain members of certain graduation years at the borders. You know of whom we speak.)

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That is not to say that the alumni who attended the fully booked dinner did not ‘take Manhattan’ afterwards, but for news of those shenanigans, you will have to check the tabloids. We would prefer to concentrate on the dinner itself, quite an elegant and dignified gathering of old friends and colleagues. PPU President John Carvill, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and Special Guest Speaker Michael Moloney hit all the right notes, recalling poignant and hilarious moments of recent, middling and ancient St. Conleth’s history, as well as reaffirming that special ethos which has us confidently heading into the future. Of course, that ‘future’ includes tomorrow night’s Annual PPU Dinner, of the regular, old ‘domestic’ variety. Stay tuned for the fireworks!

Rugby Round-Up!

As you can see in the news items below, St. Conleth’s sports is thriving on the basketball courts, running tracks and in our fencing arenas… but we shall never forget our sporting bread and butter: rugby. And though we have been faithfully tweeting away about our accomplishments with the oblong ball, we thought we would bring it altogether as the teams enter their stretch run.

The SCT have had a tough year regarding numbers but Coach Gav Maguire, Captain Rían Lawlor and his loyal teammates have weathered the tough times with heart and style, doing particularly well in the 7s competitions. Earlier in the year, Gav’s club, Wanderers FC, marked their 150th season with a friendly at the Aviva and two Past Pupils, Mark 0’Reilly and Kevin Dolan, lined up against Trinity for the first team, showing of what quality Conlethian ruggers are capable.

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The JCT, led by Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee, have had plenty regarding numbers and even though they are quite a young team, the success this year bodes well for even greater things ahead. The JCT suffered a tough loss in Wicklow early in the season but showed plenty of spirit, camaraderie and promise as the boys mounted a second half comeback. Better results soon arrived such as a thrilling 24-21 win over St. Gerard’s in the league with a last gasp try from Michael O’Donnell, who scored three tries on the day and was backed by a great team performance. Team workouts in the Fitness Suite with Adam have certainly helped. The competition for places is fierce and Coach Magee is confident of finishing strongly.

The JCT members will certainly not get to comfortable, with some very impressive First Year players nipping at their heels. Coaches Smyth and Morris have built up quite an impressive resume already with the boys, including an early tight but exciting win over Marian College, 59-51; two wins out of three in a blitz kindly hosted by Sandford in Monkstown RC with St. Paul’s and Marian taking part; winning narrowly, 21-14, over local rivals St. Michael’s, in an entertaining match; and convincingly, 42-7, against Sandford Park. And above you see action from a recent, stunning 24-19 win over St. Paul’s. The boys have now adopted a new team nickname, “The Crazy Gang”, and we look forward to more fun as well as success from them in the weeks and seasons to come!

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New York, New York!

The greatest city in the world is now going to host Ireland’s greatest Past Pupils Union! Following on our successful inaugural international PPU reunion in London a few years back, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and PPU President John Carvill decided to hit the Big Apple for the next one. And when the New York Athletic Club offered an ‘open bar’ as part of the dinner package, the deal was sealed! We know Manhattan has seen some heavy duty partiers over the years, but we are sure the Conlethian crowd will leave its marks. All the tickets have been sold for Saturday night’s gala but any Past Pupils or friends in the five borough vicinity can join the crowd for pre-drinks on Friday from 8:00 at ‘My Friend Duke’ at 383 Third Ave. or post-drinks from 10:30 on Saturday at Blue Haven East at 493 Third Ave. And if you re stuck on this side of the pond, you can still come to No. 28, Clyde Road for the regular, old Annual PPU Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28th! Tickets available through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Stay tuned for tales from both these festivities!

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STEM Story

St. Conleth’s next extension is going to be a STEAM Centre (more on that later!) so it is only fitting that our Science teachers are ramping up their game in preparation for their move into their sparkling new digs. Mr. Morris has been up to all sorts of hands-on learning stuff in Physics and our student reporter, Robert O’Connor, reports back from the nexus of man, machine and scientific humour.

It was a typical afternoon in the Science Lab. We looked out the window. It was not raining, but it had been and soon would be again. The banter was mighty. Our Fifth Year Physics class demonstrated their superior intelligence by creating, with the assistance of Mr Morris, a machine that both demonstrated wave motion and tasted delicious: simple contraption, using two retort stands, some tape, skewers and Fruit Pastilles attached to the skewers. The experiment is simple but beautiful: spanning several benches, motion from the skewers at one end passes along to the other end and back again. It was really cool to look at, almost as cool as watching our resident studly scientists/ macho mathematicians, Ted and Dylan (collectively known as The AlgeBros), passing the wave back and forth between each other. They were in a world of their own for a few seconds. Like Olympian gods. With calculators.

While watching the whole class do the experiment, if you listen carefully you can also hear Stephen Rockett (resident child actor, international internet influencer and quirky tennis player) auditioning for the part of the Kool-Aid Man as seen in Family Guy.

Poetry in Motion!

Conlethian fencing parents, Robert Smyth and Cahir Davitt, make quite a pair of ‘adjunct’ sports reporters: Robert with his faithful reporting and journalistic flair, such as the headline above, and Cahir with his stunning photography. Their latest missives:

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Last Saturday in Dublin, James Moriarty-Smyth ended just outside the last sixteen in Men’s Senior Sabre, after a very narrow 13/15 defeat to the Captain of Trinity University Fencing Club at the Direct Elimination stage. This is an incredible result considering James just switched his choice of fencing blade and is competing against seasoned adults.

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And on Sunday in Belfast, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14 Foil and Michael Davitt won Bronze in the U10 Foil, as well as Luke Sherlock taking Bronze in the U16 Boy’s Foil. Keep tuned for more news in this Conlethian sporting tradition!

Fusion Feasts!

As usual, Chef Mark is not hesitant to mix it up and get all fusiony in devising the weekly menu. The Hiberno-Mexican connection lives on this week in chilli con carne on a potato!

Indoor Army!

Fresh off their Cross Country success of a few weeks ago, Mr. Keenan and his ever-growing Athletics Army was on the road again.  This time, Mr. Keenan, Fitness Coach Adam and a gang of First and Second Years stormed a Leinster Schools Indoors meet at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, where running and a variety of jumping was on the agenda.

We do pride ourselves on ‘participation’ in sport at St. Conleth’s: everyone gets a go and we never make ‘cuts’.  But that does not mean that we do not have quality athletes and real winners amongst our student body.  You read below how we won three medals at the Cross Country Championships and this time we had individual glory.  Second Year Luke Timlin made a record-setting run to the All-Ireland’s last year and he is on that same track again as he double-medalled in Abbotstown, winning a Gold and a Silver in the Long Jump and 60 M Sprint. It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!

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Build Up for Mocks! Now!

Yes, Third and Sixth Years, it is time to drop tilted on our Mock Examinations! Some of you may have earned more skins than others these last few years, but everyone is default going in to the exam hall for these tests and the even bigger battles in June. And that default is a Full St. Conleth’s Uniform! Exam Secretary Ms. NiAonghusa (Contender II ranked) has already delivered you the exam schedule and rules but here are the dates and times in a handy pdf. As always, you can also find them under ‘Events’ as well as under ‘Calendar + Information’. Let’s W Key these Mocks!

Of Brigid and Conleth

With the usual ubiquitous and undulating showers of rain and a belated arrival of a minor polar vortex, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s and Mr. Seamus Gallagher’s warming incantations of the coming of Spring with St. Brigid’s Day.

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 And with the help of these two gentlemen’s words of wisdom and delight in both our national languages, our  annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment to tales of St. Conleth and St. Brigid frolicking through fields of clover. Platonically, of course.   And this being St. Conleth’s Fame Academy, there had to be student musicians to join the ensemble:

Russell Boger, Lochlann Hannon and Cúan Moore captured the mood of regeneration perfectly on piano and trumpet and we all headed off to an especially extended morning break with music in our ears and joy in our hearts!

Mark the Magnificent!

This week, Chef Mark braves the steppes of Eurasia and the tenements of NYC to bring us Tartar Sauce and TriBeCa Wings… but not necessarily to be eaten together!

Full-On Offensive!

Conlethian Dad Robert Smyth has recently been rehired as our specialist fencing correspondent. Here he fills us in on another weekend of our youngsters foiling any attempts to remove the from the podia!

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Saturday saw the usual suspects fence foil and epee at this year’s 
Excalibur Cup, hosted by Pembroke FC. A significant number of entries 
from Clongowes dramatically increased the overall number of competitors, 
resulting in plenty of fencing and competition across all age ranges, to 
say nothing of the volume of refereeing for James Moriarty-Smyth, who as a Sabreur was not competing,  and Luke Sherlock, who officiated at least 50+ matches between them.

Results on the day were once again excellent:

Under 10s Men’s Foil: Michael Davitt finished just shy of the medals, having performed strongly in the Poules.

Under 12 Men’s Foil: Matthew Sherlock – Gold and Trophy

Under 14 Men’s Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth  – Gold and Trophy

Under 17 Men’s Epee: Luke Sherlock – Gold and Trophy

Matthew’s First place was made all-the-more special by the fact that he 
will be the fouth Sherlock to have their name engraved on the Trophy, so 
creating a piece of Irish Fencing history and continuing the high 
standard set by his uncle, mother, and older brother.

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Next Saturday is the East of Ireland leg of the Senior Circuit, where 
James will be fencing Men’s Sabre and be looking to improve his current 
Senior Ranking of 17th, while Sunday sees Michael, Matthew and Myles (the 3 M’s of the ‘Conleth’s Contingent’) head to Belfast for Round 4 of the
Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Stay tuned!

B-Ballers Show Mamba Mentality

Basketball fans worldwide recently mourned the loss of one of the all-time greats, but Kobe Bryant’s emphasis on mental attitude and preparedness lives on in young players across the globe, including those at St. Conleth’s. Led by Coaches Ingle and Gahan, and the elder statesmen U19 Boys, Conlethian teams from First Year up had a great January, posting (and posterising) such fabled adversaries as Benildus, Blackrock, Mt. Anville and St. Michael’s. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger are no strangers to headlines, leading their Conlethian team to glory at each stage of development over the years, as well as playing for nationally prominent clubs and recently being named to the Irish team for their respective age groups.

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Old, friendly foes Colaiste Eoin knew they were up against it when they drew St. Conleth’s in the SDBL U19 Boys Semifinal. These plucky Gaeilgeoirs, from the poshest Gaeltach in Ireland, have faced us many times over the years, and they have (almost) had their share of the spoils, but when you are lining up crosscourt from two Irish players such as Luke and Colin, even the famous 10% Irish bonus points are not going help much! And our boys politely but firmly put our southside neighbours to the sword, with Luke pouring in buckets from the paint, including an in-game thunderous dunk, and Colin ducking and chucking from the perimeter. As usual, the supporting cast did their part: Keane cleaning the parquet with his hustle; Jolly Jack D, Jack T. and Josh doing their devil-may-care Sixth Year thing; youngsters Sherlock and Ralph learning on the go (and the give); and Suyash Patidar snapping the ropes with a NBA trey!

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Our U19 squad have given us many thrills over the years, but our younger teams seem eager to follow on the same path to success. Our First and Second Year teams have started their league campaigns with spirited performances and some impressive wins against such powerhouses as St. Benildus’s, Blackrock and St. Michael’s. First Years Fionan, James, John, Steph and Yubo have shown particular swagger… and a good bit of skill to back it up!

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And how could we forget the girls! St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational, and, if anything, our boys have had a hard time keeping up with the girls when it comes to sport! Our First and Second Years have combined into one superteam, and with wins over Mt. Anville, Woodbrook and the ‘girls school that have a purple kit’, it is clear that it is not just in hockey and athletics where our newest Conlethians are going to competitively shine!

You Need a Noggin!

Did that gust of wing almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Protect yourself (and help a good cause) with an Official St. Conleth’s @nogginsport Hat! On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Hurry! They are going quickly!

New Heights!

Those PE classes and after-school trainings sessions seem to be paying off regarding Junior School basketball as, for the first time, we were AIJS Basketball Tournament Finalists! Our Junior School team had their best performance ever: finishing runners-up to megalithic St. Michael’s, and beating perennial powers Castlepark, both their A and B teams, en route to the final. We did notice the familiar names of Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock on the team-sheet, proving that their athletic prowess is not limited to the noble art of fencing. Of course, it takes a full team, and then some, to compete in an intensely paced blitz-like tournament, so well done to all the boys and their coaches!

Maths Night Out!

Last Friday night, all the coolest clubs and hippest bars around the city were strangely silent for the start of the weekend; yes, even the bouncers up and down Leeson St. were checking their watches in confusion as the usual hard-partying crowd failed to materialise…  Where was everybody???

Well, the rowdiest element of their regular crowd, the Maths whizzes, had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year Maths Quiz at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock and Rolle!   We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s.  Just look at the departmental inspection report.!  And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Ciaran, Joe, Suyash, and Edward; and that of Tadgh, Adam, Michael and Oisín, earning very respectable finishes in a field of over fifty teams.  Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz.

The problem for our reporting staff is that the Maths team members are usually not as loquacious as… let’s say… the school’s debaters, who will continue explaining, correcting and pontificating long after we have run out of room in our notebook, put down our pen and silently walked away.  The Maths Team kids of the past tended to give monosyllabic responses, often in binary, or answer with emissions of short electronic sounds, sort of like R2D2 but not as polyphonic.  So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that this year’s line-up are not only are they geniuses at the old adding and carrying over but they also are able and willing to enthusiastically and animatedly describe these numerical adventures…. with words!  More C3PO than R2, indeed, and we look forward to hearing all about it!

Lift-Off!

Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.

Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!

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Motion Carried: St. Conleth’s is The Home of School Debating!

Every St. Conleth’s teacher knows that our students are usually not shy about speaking up for themselves. In particular: the debaters. Their opening ‘point’ when called upon in class (by an unwary teacher) is inevitably, ‘I have two points….’ We usually respond with ‘No, you now actually have one (left)’ but this does little to quell the rising tide of rhetorical effusion and vehemence. And if there happen to be two (or more) debaters in your class… fuhgettaboutit.

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But all this rhetorical confidence and sheer verbosity does have its positive side: St. Conleth’s simply dominates Irish school debating. We have for years. We will for years to come. (Especially in the purpose-built debating chamber coming with our next extension…more on this, later!). Corroborative point of information: this past week, no fewer than seven of our debaters advanced through the Leinster Schools Octofinals. Third Years Coleman Hegarty, Daragh Sweeney and Leo Nolan, TYs Oisín and Evan (The ‘Twin Powers’) and Sixth Year vets Joe Downey and Frank Knowles all charged through this latest round of the premier debating competition in the country, with all ‘winning their rooms’, debating such motions as the relative merits of ‘voluntourism’, whatever that may be. Such an accomplishment, in some burgs, would be cause for parades, keys to the city and front page headlines on the Midlands People… at Conleth’s, we politely acknowledge and wait for the bling that is sure to come a few more rounds.

Cross Country Army!

Mr. Keenan and Mr. Smith do not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, they practise what we preach and issue an open invite to all students to join them on their Track and Field outings.  As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years.  Over fifty student athletes made the time-honoured trek through the wooded hills of Wicklow to the little love-nest of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea that is now Avondale Forest Park. And we do not just do quantity, we do quality: First Year Lucy McGoldrick won an individual Bronze and, incredibly, we also won three team medals. First Year Girls placed Second; First Year Boys, Third; and Second Year Boys won their race! For a small school to pack the podium like that, it is some achievement and a credit to the team spirit amongst the boys and girls and the encouragement of their teachers. Check out some of the action below, as well as a list of the many medal winners!

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STEM Erratum

Young Scientist double award winner Cúan Moore does not make mistakes but apparently we do: Cúan did indeed win the RSA Special Category Award for his project entitled (quite efficiently) ‘The effectiveness of colour on a bike light’ but his other award, for First Place in Category, was actually in ‘Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences’, not for ‘Technology’. In our defence, we have to say that it seemed pretty technological to us! Anyways, to cover our blushes we are going to distract you with some more photos from our First Years’s visit to Cúan’s stand and the rest of the Young Scientist Exhibition. Enjoy!

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Get Ronan to the Paralympics!

We remember a young Ronan Roche Griffin lighting up his First Year Form Class with his wicked wit and a glint in his eye. Whether it was sending notes in binary to a like-minded stemmy classmate or politely wriggling out of some minor kind of trouble, Ronan always did everything with considerable panache. Now, he has transferred that swashbuckling style to Canmore, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Yes, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 is currently training on those sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. Don’t be jealous… the beautiful scenery does make soggy old Clyde Road pale in comparison, but Ronan is putting on some hard runs, upping his skills and stamina in pursuit of qualification. Find out more (and lend a hand if you can) on his GoFundMe page. Let’s help get Ronan to Beijing 2022!

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Rugby is Back with a Bang!

All that fencing, debating and chess is great, but let us not forget that we still play rugby at St. Conleth’s…. and we do it darned well! A parent reports back on the latest Junior School Rugby adventure, complete with some great photos:

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Continuing the Junior School’s strong performance in rugby this year, Mr. O’Brien led Third Form to claim victory over Willow Park last Saturday, despite the biting strong winds.  Well done to all the team in their first year of representing St. Conleths in Junior School Rugby!

STEM Star!

Continuing a Conlethian tradition started by the Zorin brothers years ago, First Year Cúan Moore has won an award, in fact- two awards- at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Yes, Mr. Callaghan- our science exhibition specialist teacher, has done it again, guiding one of his charges to the podium. And like the Zorins, it is the ‘T’ in STEM which signifies young Cúan’s incredible accomplishment as it was in the category of Technology where his project ‘The Effectiveness of Colour on a Bike Light’ topped some very impressive competition. Cúan also won the Road Safety Authority’s Special Award. And in an era where so many ‘advances’ seem to involve the ephemeral, digital world, Cúan’s project has some good, old-fashioned tangible technology at its heart: an adapted bike light which illuminates the rider’s reflective clothing. This little device brings a much needed extra level of safety for cyclists attempting to negotiate the habitual gloom of our eternal twilight and it opens up whole new possibilities for flash advertising. We may soon see Cúan safely cycling down Clyde Road- and illuminated like a giant, reflective Coke can. But before you get any ideas, Cúan already holds the patent!

No Holiday For Fencer!

Yes, we enjoyed two weeks of relatively low key lesson planning and curriculum development over the Christmas break, but not all our students were engaged in such relaxing activities: Transition Year Claudio Sosa, for one, was busy fencing against men twice his age… but no longer in size!

He represented Ireland at the Five Nations where the Irish team took Third place overall in all categories. He also participated in the 2019 Northern Irish Open in early December, where he won a Bronze medal in the Senior Male category. Claudio, at the ripe old age of fifteen, currently holds the No. 1ranking in the Senior Male Category in all of Ireland! He also qualified and was selected by the Irish Fencing Federation to represent the country at the European Championships and World Championships in Porec (Croatia) and Salt Late City (USA), respectively. Claudio is clearly committed to represent the community, his school and the country. Not many Christmas lie-ins for him!

The Pea and Mint Soup is Particularly Good!

No, we may not have ‘salted pork’ on the menu this week (pdf) but Chef Mark has included several specialties that would rival the best from Saruman’s famous storehouse in Isengard. Even a hobbit would be satisfied!

All in the Mind!

Julien Porzadny does double duty at St. Conleth’s: he is half of our dynamic duo of French teachers (along with the equally energetic Ms. Crowley) and he also serves as our Mindfulness guru. Here, he fills us in on how St. Conleth’s attention to our minds is gathering international attention!

Three years ago, Mindfulness classes were introduced to St Conleth’s college. Since then, weekly mindful sits have happened, it has become part of our Health Awareness Week and it seems that students are enjoying learning about the art of “being”. Before the Christmas break, I received an email from the “Mindfulness in Schools projects” (the UK charity from whom I received my training) who were looking for stories about the experience of implementing Mindfulness in schools. I therefore decided to write back to them. They later on got back to me and asked for permission to release our story on their website. So, if you are curious to learn a little more about Mindfulness and how it has grown in St Conleth’s College, I invite you to have a read of “The evidence base, a primary & secondary case study – St Conleth’s College, Dublin“.

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Christmas Crooners!

The baton has been passed from Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal to Ms. McGuinness, but judging by the talent and spirit on display at our annual Christmas Concert, music will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s.

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The Senior School Choir, in particular, plays an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations.  But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.

Judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. McGuinness’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the performers on it is destined to join Alex Sheehan, Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage?  In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.

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Our students also enjoyed their individual class parties, including Kris Kindle, yuletide movies, plenty of sweets and shenanigans in their charity-aiding Christmas jumpers.

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Faith and Fun!

In less than a week, St. Conleth’s took part in two school-wide events, each of which conveyed a different but essential aspect of our community. Last Wednesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, and remembered and celebrated the staff and family members who have gone before us and who helped to make our school all that it is today. The Senior School Choir provided the beautiful hymns, students of all ages led the prayers and readings and Fr. Michael, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way.

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And yesterday, we went on another annual pilgrimage. We did, indeed, ‘Let Them Go!’ and released all our Senior School students for a well-deserved Christmas treat at the Swan Cinema after a good term’s work. Everyone enjoyed ‘Frozen II’ or ‘Jumanji II’ and the residents of Rathmines and Ranelagh were incredibly hospitable to our flying columns!

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TYs Show Flair Français!

The TYs are just about to close out a very busy first term, with outings galore, a monumental Christmas Fair and special courses in First Aid and Photography, but they also were pushed in their ‘regular’ classes, completing creative and innovative products both in groups and individually. Here, Mr. Porzadny, updates us on what went on in the TY French class this past term.

Let the students be the teachers!
What do Dungeons and Dragons, the Beatles and kitchen utensils have in common? Not much would you answer. You would pretty much be right. Except that as of today you can learn how to talk about elves, yellow submarines and whisks all in the language de l’amour! Learning French in a fun and easy way is made possible thanks to the home made flashcard made by the students of Transition year.

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As part of the TY French curriculum, a “Quizlet” competition was organised. Students would have to create a set of 20 words or expressions from a theme of their choosing. Mr Porzadny would then pick the 10 best sets based on originality, variety and quality of the French language. Students would then vote for their top 3 set. The final sets would then be shared here on the St Conleth’s website for the enjoyment of the whole School community! So without further a due, here are the results:
Tied for 3rd place with 11 votes:Ava with “Les jeux olympiques and Keelan with “Le rugby en français
In 2nd place with 16 votes:Cael with “Les films en français
And in 1st place with 18 votes:Luca with “Le football en français
Get ready, set and “allez”!

Fencing: Ins and Outs!

You know that fencing has always been an integral part of St. Conleth’s. In recent weeks there was ample evidence both outside and within our walls. First, the extramural: Conlethians continue to excel in national (and international) fencing competitions.

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Claudio Sosa won Bronze in the Senior Men’s Foil in the Northern Irish Open; Myles Moriarty-Smyth won gold in the U14 Foil in the Christmas Cup and Michael Davitt won bronze in the same competition’s U10 Mixed Foil. It is great to see Myles showing Michael the ropes… and the points!

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And within the hallowed walls of 28 Clyde Road, we have recently witnessed fencing become part of the regular PE programme. Here we see First Years enjoying their foils… and foibles as they come to grips with the noble sport (and their classmates).

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Thumbs Up for the TY Fair!

The Annual Transition Year Christmas Fair and Tree Sale was once again a spectacular success, with trees, wreaths and various home-made crafts and goodies flying out the doors of the school hall this past Saturday morning and afternoon. The various student-run ‘mini-companies’ got a taste of real world business and the profits off of the trees and wreaths themselves will all go to St. Conleth’s partnership with the Bridge Light School in Uganda. A great big ‘thank -you’ to TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire, all the participating parents (especially TY reps Caroline O’Dea and Ray McDonnell) and, of course, the TY students themselves for continuing this great St. Conleth’s tradition in style.

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Hearty Bucks!

When the wind whips away that umbrella with gusto, the sleety rain ‘falls’ sideways into your face and the cyclists splash you on the only bits that escaped the car ‘wash’… it is time for a hot and hearty meal! Core-firing Beef and Carrot Stew is on the menu this week as well as some less traditional but just as stamina-stocking favourites:

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

…the Annual Transition Year Christmas Tree Sale and Fair!  Yes, indeed: the wind has picked up, the sun was last seen September 14th, the falling leaves are halting nearly all movement in the city, Switzer’s has a vaguely yuletide theme to its window display, and if we just lost a few degrees, we would be neck deep in snow! And, of course, the Transition Years are once again readying themselves for another Christmas Fair and Tree Sale  extravaganza.  (Click for poster!)  They have been like busy little woodland elves: planting, cultivating and cutting the finest of firs and poinsettia and etching and whittling the most exquisite of Christmas cards and crafts.  And Gav Maguire has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa but is not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of one of his predecessors, Mr. Bolger, nor the rounder middle and rosy red cheeks of another!  Well, make this Santa smile by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY girls and boys and come by this Saturday, December 7th, from 10-4, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee.  All proceeds go to supporting the Bride Light School in Uganda.   To order a tree, call (087) 799-8702.

Salad Days?

After last week’s Thanksgiving Feast, and in preparation for the yuletide excesses to come, we recommend (especially to the older staff members) that the impressive array of sales on offer this week on Chef Mark’s menu may be the way to go!

Happy Black Friday Eve!

The pilgrim fathers (despite their rabid anti-catholicism) would be thrilled to sees the celebration of  the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to these shores.  Of course, if the Mayflower had  brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population!  Be that as it may, the turkey, the roasted potatoes, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since.  We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze:  galumpkis  on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod….  Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all!  Juniors and Seniors and staff all joined together for a musket-bustin’  Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste.  At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!

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Off the Fence!

As with Jose Mourinho, we knew Luke Sherlock would not stay on the sidelines for too long! Luke has ended his temporary retirement and is back in fencing action! His exploits, this time, took him to Germany to the 18th International Open City Championships in Marburg. Luke fenced in both the U15 epee and foil, two weapons over two days. Final podium positions were 6th in epee and 3rd in foil. Well done, Luke, and good to see you back!

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Top of their Class!

We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent runs by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results.  Recently there was tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess on show at Ireland’s two most prestigious universities:  Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Ian O’Neill (Engineering), Rory Smyth (Finance and Spanish), Stephen Allen (Science) and Joe Hyland (Engineering) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results.  Stephen also added a Choral Scholarship: no surprise to those of us who enjoyed his school concert performances over the years. And Seamus Gallagher joined the toast to Hugh Downes, a ‘winner at Trinners’ and who is now studying Theoretical Physics. A high mark has certainly been set for the Class of 2020!

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Turkey Time!

Of all the cultural imports from America, surely Thanksgiving is the most welcome. A holiday that celebrates diversity and community? Surely, even the most anti-American of European elites can accept that- then again, there is the accompanying traditional dish of ‘creamed corn’ which probably sends the devotees of Michelin chefs into apoplexy. However, our chef, Mark McColgan, always goes ‘whole turkey’ and happily serves up all the traditional fixings. Somewhere Squanto is smiling, even though there probably is a mall where his tee-pee used to be. Check out the special Thanksgiving Week Menu.

SS PA AGM…

No, that is not a secret code but the shortest way to announce that the Senior School Parents’ Association is having its Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 25th) at 7.00pm. Come along and find out how parents make up such an important part of the St. Conleth’s community. And we don’t just think locally. There is also a talk by renowned climate activist Dr. Lorna Gold at 7.30 pm entitled “Climate Generation – Awakening to our Children’s Future”. See you there!

Will Your Exam be a Kobayashi Maru?

The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. Thankfully, most of the St. Conleth’s Senior School teachers have decided to give their students slightly more passable exams.

Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them.  Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page.  We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! Live long and prosper!

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

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

To the Rostra!

‘St. Conleth’s and Debating’ go together like ‘Germany and efficiency’, ‘Brazil and soccer’ and ‘America and freedom’… and our sprightly orators were recently at it again, rushing the rostra at the UCD Literary & Historical Society Schools Junior Competition. Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney finished First in their group, debating the motion that ‘Doctors, rather than parents, should make all medical decisions for children until they reach the age of consent’, topping teams from Blackrock, Gonzaga, Belvedere et alii. Talk about the creeping influence of big government! All our teams wowed them rhetorically, continuing St. Conleth’s pre-eminent position in Irish schools debating.

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Are Friends Electric?

Not necessarily, but the boys and girls in the St. Conleth’s STEM Club certainly create a buzz when they get into the school laboratory on a Friday morning and start bouncing ideas off each other like free electrons.

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Our STEM Club’s second official meeting capped off a Science Week of all sorts of left-side-of-the-brain type of fun, including Mr. Callaghan leading a Fifth and Sixth Year group to a special Chemistry lecture at Trinity College; Elí Strahan’s science-themed cupcakes creating a rabid feeding frenzy in First Year; daily quiz questions posed by Mr. Morris and Mr. Carvill (The Younger); and a lunchtime recitation of Pi to a soundtrack of Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan!

We’ re Just Wrecked!

Health Week is finally over… and we are just wrecked! But it is a healthy ‘wreckedfulness’ as we pushed the limits this week in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There was a ‘Screen Free’ day when students and (some) teachers abandoned their life-support screens- and realised they could live and even thrive with out them! What did we do then with Netflix and Kahoot and examinations.ie momentarily out of commission? We went on walks, we went to talks (Spun Out for mental health and Sticks & Stones for anti-bullying), we danced and we just sat there and thought of… sweet nothing. Hopefully, each of us will bring something with us from a great week of getting back in touch with our minds and bodies… but, thank goodness, the Tuck Shop opens again on Monday!

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Health Week peaks with a shake of the hips, a twirl and a jump as First Years join TYs for some exercise and a dance-a-thon in the Sports Hall!

…and a Sticks & Stones anti-bullying seminar.

Health Year!

Health Week may be over but that does not mean that healthy eating stops at St. Conleth’s. See Chef Mark’s latest menu to see how the dishes served up in our canteen are good for both palate and person!

Ismail Squashes Munster!

St. Conleth’s First Year Ismail Abdelwahed reached the final of the Munster Junior Open held in Waterford over the weekend and took home the Silver trophy. Ismail won all his matches, including two consecutive five setters to reach the final. Unfortunately he was not able to continue the winning streak and lost a hard fought match 3-1, with the games’ scores really tight. This is a good step forward after winning Bronze in the Connacht and the Ulster Open competitions earlier this year. This form is guaranteed to see him represent Ireland in the European championship to be held in England in April 2020.

An Early Christmas Present!

At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December!  And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them.  Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page.  We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Christmas and good luck!

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

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

On the Offensive!

On the offensive! Conlethian swordsman continue to win plaudits and trophies! Claudio Sosa took Bronze in the Irish Open at the Senior level: yes, fencing against full-grown (and bearded) men! And in the the opening round of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, Luke Sherlock took Gold in the U16s and Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14s (fencing above his age level)!

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What a Load of Falafel!

and pak choi, and couscous, and lentils, and mac & cheese… this week’s menu (pdf):

Sound Bodies and Minds

Get ready for Health Awareness Week! Both Junior and Senior Schools are getting ‘psyched’ for a week in which we pay special attention to the mental and physical health of both ourselves and those around us. Activities will include: free porridge in the canteen, mental health talks, Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying workshops, a Screen Free Day, a skip-a-thon, Zumba dance, a healthy Tuckshop, a 5000 step walk, Mindfulness sessions, a surprise film showing… amongst other events. And our Principals, Mr. ODulaing and Mr. Kilcommons, have asked that all students also deliver at least one random act of kindness each day- preferably to your teachers, but friends and family are also eligible. This week will certainly focus our minds and bodies on health but we believe we have already made a good start: see below for some pics from various Wellness trips to Herbert Park (before and after the recent monsoon season). This little green oasis is literally our Happy Hunting Ground!

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STEM Club’s Stunning Start!

Over twenty First Years (and a few Fifth Year helpers) showed up for the first meeting of the All-New St. Conleth’s STEM Club! And it sure was a stunning start as one of our more over eager participants decided to lick a plasma globe that had the tiniest crack in it… all’s good though, as there was enough electricity hanging around the lab for the reviving shock, and a bit of gas to settle any lingering nerves. The kids got to learn about physics and biology in one quick experiment! In all seriousness, this was just the first meeting of what we hope will become a Conlethian tradition. Stay tuned for news of dissections, reanimations, multiverse portals and other cool stuff as Mr. Morris leads his charges into the exciting world of Science!

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A Different Shade of Green!

He shoots, he dribbles, he passes, he scores… and now he plays for Ireland! Luke Gilleran has made the ‘final 22’ of the Ireland Under-18’s Mens Basketball Team, joining past Conlethian hardcourt luminaries such as Peter Herron and Mark Ryan, who also represented their country. Here we see Luke demolishing the competition but we will be showing you him in that other green jersey, soon!

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STEM Stars!

Will a new STEM Star arise at St. Conleth’s? Will we finally have an R-12 series droid? Well, grab your imagination and your pocket protector and come along to the lab and find out! Mr. Morris is starting a First Year STEM Club today at 7:45 and it will run every Friday in the lab going forward. Come along and do your part to bring on the android apocalypse!

Gotta Love a… TYer!

In the old country, ‘Gotta Love a Trier’ is one of those ambivalent sayings: a double-edged sword, a backhanded compliment… You say it with a sardonic, Southern drawl when you are standing on second base, chewing a plug of tobacco, and watching a teammate give three almighty swings at the baseball…. and come up empty, all three times. You admire his effort, but you also almost pity his irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude… in the face of overwhelming genetic evidence to the contrary. Well, here, in our brave new Land of the Celtic Tyger 2.0, everything is possible and all efforts are worthwhile… especially in Transition Year. The whole programme, as implemented by Co-ordinator Gav Maguire, is about trying as many new things and skills as possible, and just a half term in, the boys and girls have already stretched their reach, as well as their CVs.

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Above you see them working at First Aid certification and here they are in a mix of activities from earlier in the year: The Law Module, an Auto Safety seminar, Build-A-Bank interviews and out catching a professional performance of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.

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And that little trip to the theatre was a hint at what is surely to be the biggest TY ‘try’ of all: a big budget, professionally produced rendition of the play at the end of May. (Thank you, Emer Hartnett and Seamus Gallagher!) The rehearsals and the try-outs have already started and so has the fun. Stay tuned for more highlights of the musical machinations and the TY experience overall!

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News to Warm and Cheer

After an all-too-short midterm break, it is hard to come back to the daily grind… especially when it seems to be usually dark and always raining. Luckily we have Chef Mark and Co.’s culinary arts to warm and cheer us up! This Week’s Menu (pdf):


Maths Week Unlimited

Like a repeating decimal, Maths Week at St. Conleth’s just refuses to die! At our Halloween Assembly, Ms. NiAonghusa presented our Maths Week Challenges winners with specially procured mugs. And the pics from the first-ever-but-sure-to-be-repeated St. Conleth’s Maths Murder Mystery were finally developed. But like pi, Maths Week just does not stop! Mr. Morris has been combining Maths and ‘music’ by promoting the boy band, the ‘The Math Street Boys’ (with rumours abounding of another band, the ‘S∏ice Girls’, in the pipeline) and the TY ‘Maths Eyes’ competition continues. Maths magic, indeed!

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Spooks and Scholars!

Here at St. Conleth’s, we pride ourselves on the ways in which the Junior and Senior Schools interact. We think it benefits both groups of students, the big and the small, to be part of a community where children of all ages share a space and an ethos.

There is no better example of this than the annual Halloween Assembly when the Prepster goblins and ghouls are invited into the Performance Hall to liven up our term-ending assembly with a ‘Spooks Parade’. Of course there is some business to get done at these things, too: Mr. ODulaing gave his Gaelic-tinged interpretation of Halloween; Second Year Ciara Thornton roused the troops to be greener and do their part against climate change; Junior Certificate top finisher Louis Cullen received his ‘Murph’ Cup and LC perfectionists (625) Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill were presented with their Bernard Sheppard Medals; and our Captain Emily Mansfield introduced all the Student Officers/Class Captains, presenting them with their badges of office. This being St. Conleth’s/FAme Academy, in between these talky bits, there were plenty of musical interludes, and of such quality that we think the next Past Pupil Concert may have to be at the 3 Arena. See the video above and pics below, and enjoy the break!

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All Work and No Play…

We all know St. Conleth’s is not a grind school or a points factory though we do a fine job at generating those all important totals come mid-August (see news on LC results below). We also consider the development of the ‘whole child’. This website is replete with news of sports, extra-curricular and other goings-on which have nothing to do with three weeks of exams in June in Sixth Year but everything to do with a healthy, cohesive culture of personal growth over six years of secondary school.

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Even our Sixth Years get to share in the formative fun. Above you see them put on the style for the annual trip to the opera. Continuing a tradition started years ago by Mr. Kelleher, the students enjoyed The Barber of Seville at the National Concert Hall. And earlier in the year, there was the overnight retreat to Ovoca House, where both bodies and spirits were reinvigorated. Of course, it was back to the books afterwards!

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Italy, India… Ireland?

Is Ireland finally going to join the gastronomic greats of the world? Well, if we had more chefs like Mark of the school canteen, we would surely be up there with the other ‘I’s. This week, we sample the best of Parma, Bologna and Central Asia but Mark also has pride in the simple but profound native dishes, inevitably spud-based. Enjoy your colcannon!

A Soirée to Remember!

Ms. Fay, our stylish musical maestra, and Seamus Gallagher, our agent to current and future recording stars, pulled out all the stops and put on a concert to remember, one of which the sweet-sounding reverberations will be felt down the years… Whoever is planning the 85th celebrations better get started because it will be nigh impossible to beat the 80th Anniversary/Soirée Musicale of last Friday night when the Kevin Kelleher Wing was alive with exquisite music, the swishest of fashion, the finest food and drink and, of course- this being St. Conleth’s- the most compelling conversation in town. It was also the launch of the latest St. Conleth’s Quinquennial, edited by the the two Charleses, Crimmins and Latvis, and chock full of alumni and staff reminiscence. The book may have kept you busy over the weekend but Friday night, all our attention was directed to the stage where the ‘best of’ past pupil and current musical talent took the stage. ‘Eclectic’ was certainly the theme of the night as the stars and styles came from across the musical spectrum: ‘Conlethian’ and ‘consummate’ being the only descriptives in common.

Greg Purcell (2007), with indie matinee star looks and moves, started us off with a pitch perfect and powerfully emotive power ballad, Pink Rabbits from The National. Current pupils Caoimhe Moore and Trevor Bolger showed no nerves and played an exquisite version of Gymnopodie No. 1 on clarinet and piano. Molly Van Der Lee (2011) sang and played Landslide, evoking Stevie Nicks in her best incarnation. Then, The Band to be Named Later took the stage with the lively 21 Pilots tune, Heathens. Michael Horan, Rory Clark, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty-Smyth made such a powerful impression, belying their relative lack of experience, that we are sure this band will soon have a name, as well as a fervent following! Noah Brabazon (2016), as always, calmed things down in his own smooth way with Gold by James Vincent McMorrow on piano, before the legendary Patrick Fitzgerald (2008) took the stage to turn up the reverb and the feedback and rock out with his own ‘love’ song : Goodbye!

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Two stars of the Class of 2019, Matthew Rockett and Joe Gallagher, then played their own compositions, Notturno and Slipping, stunning us again with their talent and making it rather obvious why they are pursuing music at the third level. Sisters of 2016, Hannah Collins and Maryrose Counihan, accompanied by the calmly ubiquitous Noah on guitar, made Radioactive by Imagine Dragons the most pleasant sounding of emo musings. Seán Keane (2017), did what he always did when a student: he took out his fiddle and, without fanfare or fuss, took us all elsewhere, someplace more beautiful, for a little while. And then, as if to finally prove the versatility of this Past Pupil line-up of talent, Evan Kennedy (2014) made Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye his own, ending the Soirée Musicale with both style and substance.

The Tiger Roars Again!

Most of our current students are too young to remember but for a few years after the turn of the millennium, Ireland was the happy hunting ground of the Celtic Tiger and we did things and bought things (mostly the latter) of which we will probably never be able again. Locally, we mark the height of the ‘Tiger’ with two historical events: one, when they started selling straight pomegranate juice at the Baggott St. Spar and two, when the Boys’ U19 Basketball team flew, yes- ‘flew’, to Cork for an All-Ireland Cup match. Somehow we convinced ourselves that the logistics demanded air travel, just the way one of our big men, Gavan Duffy, thought it logical that he should spend all of his €20 traveling money on sunglasses at 6:30 in Dublin Airport, in the rain. Really, you had to be there.

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Well, the cranes are up again, and there is a €200 steak available on Shelbourne Road, but we have learned our lessons and now spend our money much more surreptitiously, like holidaying at Centre Parcs in County Longford. But one thing that harkens back to the golden years is the state of St. Conleth’s basketball. Coaches Ingle and Gahan and their charges, both boys and girls, are absolutely ballin’ it! The Conlethian teams went. combined 5-0 last week, including a return trip to County Cork (alas, via coach this time) where the U19 Boys, once again led by Luke ‘Lord of the Paint’ Gilleran and Colin ‘Bomber’ Bolger, trounced the country cream of Rosscarbery. The dynamic duo had their usual support in the feverish antics of Keane Acosta and the glove-like ‘D’ of Dylan Alvez as well as some new contributors: Luke ‘Silky’ Sherlock stepping up from the 16s and off-season transfer ‘Dapper’ Daniel Duarte making his big game debut. And the boys were not alone this week in snapping the nets and cleaning the glass: the Girls, U16 and U!9 versions, beat St. Pat’s Cathedral and Pres.-Terenure, following up on their double over Ballinteer the previous week. Overall, an impressive slate of victories and a return to hoopla headlines for St. Conleth’s. Who knows? We may be on to Ryan Air for the next round of the cup…

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Fencing Phenom!

It appears that we have a new budding fencing champion in St Conleth’s. Michael Davitt (3rd Form) competed in his first fencing competition and won bronze in the U10 Mixed Foil Category at the Lord Killanin Trophy in Loreto College, Dalkey last Saturday. Obtaining some helpful words of wisdom and assistance from his fellow Conlethian, Myles Moriarty-Smyth, this gave him the confidence to progress smoothly through the pools and onto the direct elimination phase of the competition, where he competed in the semi finals. Myles Moriarty-Smyth (6th Form) was also on piste and won bronze in the U14 category.

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Claudio Captures the Killanin!

Don’t be fooled by Claudio Sosa’s friendly demeanour and his winning, winsome smile. Let your guard down a moment… and the tip of his foil will soon be stuck in your heart! Or, at least, scoring a clear hit on the electronic scoring of modern fencing. Claudio added to his already impressive trophy hoard last weekend when he won a Gold in the Lord Killanin Trophy at U17-Foil and took Silver in the West of Ireland Open, a senior competition, losing only to a ranked Italian fencer who is almost double his age! And stay tuned… news of Claudio’s Conlethian friends and competitors, the famous ‘fencing brothers’ is also on the way!

Magical, Mysterious Maths!

What can we say about the subject that somehow gives 125% (on the LC) when all others are bound by mathematical limits? And the only subject where some students spend 80% of their time to get 20% of their points? Only Maths can beat maths!

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And, this week, the value of Maths approaches infinity as all of Ireland celebrates Maths Week and, as always, St. Conleth’s Maths teachers are integral to the equation with daily Maths challenges, a literacy/numeracy hybrid game of ‘missing vowels, a Maths Murder Mystery (see below), a ‘Dating Tips for Mathematicians’ seminar and numerous numerical surprises planned for later in the week. As you can see, we all agree with what a Department Inspector said about the quality of our quantifiers: she had ‘never before experienced a school with such a high level of Maths understanding’.’ The only subject that counts, indeed! And subtracts, and multiplies and divides…

Genghis Khan in the Canteen!

Fear not , the hairy horseman is at St. Conleth’s only in a disambiguous, inspirational sense for, according to Wiki: Tartar sauce gets its name from the Golden Horde Mongols who invaded Europe in the 13th century, who were known to the locals as Tartars. This name comes from confusion over their allies the Tatars, because of whom the Europeans called Mongolia Tartary. This misnomer came from associating the name Tatar with the Greek mythological hell known as Tartarus. Now, it is simply a rather ‘tart’ mayonnaise which chefs like Mark serve with his fish dishes. Mark also has two of our Italian favourites scheduled: pasta puttanesca and melanzane alla parmigiana so get ready for more fine canteen cuisine! Menu pdf

Brother (and Sister) at your Side!

Mr. Keenan does not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, he practises what we preach and issues an open invite to all students, both Junior and Senior School to join him on his Track and Field outings.  As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years in Sixth Class and First Year.

 And we do not just do quantity: there were some quality runners hidden amongst this horde of student athletes which Mr. Keenan led over the mountains and through the trees to the ‘Brother at Your Side’ Cross Country Meet in Santry.  And our boys and girls showed great sportsmanship and camaraderie, too. It was a beautiful day and everyone involved enjoyed the run and the craic.  Stay tuned for more Track and Field adventures with Mr. Keenan!

Inspirational Information!

Nearly everyone worked late last Monday night, and it has taken us almost a week to recover but it was worth it as the St. Conleth’s Senior School Information Evening was once again a smashing success. Such was the queue snaking down Clyde Road and approaching Elgin that the US Embassy security staff were on high alert as they thought another political protest was afoot. But the Marines had nothing to fear as these youngsters and their parents were just young families from Ballsbridge, Blackrock, Blanchardstown and beyond, all lining up to get a taste of the best private co-education in Dublin.

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They literally got a taste from the school canteen as Chef Mark served up some a taster’s menu but they also got helpings from a ll the subject teachers and the sports and extra-curricular, too. And who were our best salespeople? Once again, the current students who amazed all and sundry with their affability, effort and sincerity. Apparently, a ‘free’ lunch is on its way, but we all know there is no such thing and this one was more than earned!

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What Goes on in Bundoran…

We meant to write this ages ago, but even our ace reporter kept coming up against a stony, cold wall of silence when digging for dirt on the Bundoran trip so we will have to keep it a bit general (and boring):

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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!

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Did I See You at Ascot?

We have been a bit preoccupied with the impending release of our St. Conleth’s 80th Anniversary Quinquennial, but now that the printing presses are rolling, we intend on catching up with a few stories which we had stashed beneath the typewriter. One such story concerns one of the Past Pupil authors featured in that weighty tome: Philip McDonald, a solicitor and a gentleman (not often twinned, even at Slaughter and May) and general bon vivant from the Class of 2010 (a fine vintage).

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Philip dropped in a few weeks back at the invitation of Development and Guidance Guru John Carvill and he delighted the assembled Fifth and Sixth Years with a.rollicking account of his adventures since graduation and some more serious advice about the trials and tribulations of the Leaving Certificate. Having, we believe, scored a total of 590 (out of 600, back then), Philip was in a good position to offer advice, and having negotiated the UCAS system to gain entrance into Law at Cambridge, he also had some valuable pointers regarding studying abroad. Check pout the pics above and stay tuned for the Quinquennial and Philip’s article on ‘A Conlethian Christianity’.

Information Evening: Mon. at 7:00!

Come and see why St. Conleth’s Senior School is attracting so much attention and so many students at our Information Evening on Monday, October 7th, at 7:00 p.m. Here is our promotional flyer (pdf):

Mexican-Irish Partnership!

In a relatively short time, Ireland has expanded its culinary palate quite extensively. Thankfully, Nescafe is no longer served as ‘coffee’ in most establishments and defrosted lasagne carved piecemeal from the permafrost does not make the menus of most gastropubs any more. But we also have the confidence to hang on to our native strengths and even engineer our own ‘fusion’: chilli con carne served on the old baked potato, case in point. Chef Mark has placed this simple delight along with other easy dishes on this week’s menu (PDF):

Ready, Steady…. Sit?

I know it sounds strange at first, just sitting together- like some kind of college campus protest in 1968 Paris- but as with everything that originates in the wonderful spirit of our resident Mindfulness guru, Mr. Porzadny, we know it will turn out to be sublime and profound. Our very own dalai lama explains:

Sit Together for World Mental Health Day 2019


The Mindfulness in School Projects (MiSP) Community (www.mindfulnessinschools.org) is coming together to mark World Mental Health Day 2019 to raise awareness of the need for young people to develop skills to support their own wellbeing both inside and out.

Like many other school throughout the world we will have a mindful sit on Thursday October 10th2019 at 1pm in room 2.7. This will be a lead practice and will last 15 minutes. All staff and students are welcome to attend.


If you would like to know more about how Mindfulness can improve student’s lives I invite you to take 5 minutes and read the following interview between MiSP and Jon Kabat Zinn (one of the founding father of contemporary Mindfulness):

www.mindfulnessinschools.org/jon-kabat-zinn-misp-patron/

A bientôt!

Mr Porzadny

On the Road Again!

Intrepid explorer Gav Maguire is at it again! Like an aged country and western singer desperately trying to keep the taxman from the door, Gav is once again wrapping up the old bones in fleece and lycra and taking to the hills- this time leading a motley group of 4th and 5th Years over the hills surrounding Lough Dan in preparation for Tanzania and Uganda 2020.

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The boys and girls involved got a bit wetter and fitter, learned how to cook over an open fire and how to talk to each other for more than five minutes without resorting to screen reference. Stay tuned (and well-stocked with cash monies) for the all-important fundraisers for East Africa 2020!

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Blood Brothers!

There are not too many sports where competitors separated by 47 years (a rough estimate!) can face off against each other in a fair fight. Well fencing is clearly one, as last week, Claudio Sosa (Class of 2022) beat fellow Conlethian Philip Lee (1975) in the Semifinals of an international fencing tournament in Cork. Yes, fencing has been at the heart of Conlethian sporting endeavour for generations, and you can see from this website that a passion for it still runs in Conlethian veins. Thanks to electronic scoring, none of it was actually spilled during this intense but friendly civil war! Claudio was narrowly beaten by a world-ranked Italian in the final. But remember, he is only 15 years old!

Return of the Kings

You know we can’t resist a LOTR reference, but the ‘kings’ in this case do not (yet) possess any sovereign kingdoms but they did certainly royally rock the Leaving Certificate in 2019 and now they have returned to spill their secrets to the Class of 2020. Tomás Clancy, Hugh Downes, Pearse Roberts and (Queen) Maggie Tighe were not necessarily our highest point-scorers (there were many!) but they all did extremely well and had gained acceptance into the course of their choice. Perhaps most importantly, they were also willing to tear themselves away from Freshers’ Week hedonism for a couple of hours!

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Tomás is now happily lambasting any sufficiently ‘unwoken’ ones still lurking in the medieval recesses of TCD where he is pursuing a degree in History and Politics; Hugh is conversing with the higher beings in Theoretical Physics on the other side of the same campus (but light years away); Pearse is exploring a broader spectrum of Science at UCD with his usual humble excellence and impeccable manners; and Maggie has chosen the noblest pursuit of all: mixing Classics, Music and English at UCC. To be honest, the ‘secrets’ which were spilled turned out to be just good common sense but the assembled Sixth Years did seem to receive a real boost in their confidence listening to those who were now on ‘the other side’ but who had so recently been in their shoes (and stylish purple Performance Space chairs). Mr. Carvill was once again the guiding Guidance spirit and he also arranged for a three hour professionally delivers study seminar to get the Sixth Years off on the right foot and into the world of ‘mind maps.’ Where will all this lead the Class of 2020? Hopefully to results as good as the Class of 2019. Below you see a graphic, courtesy of Ronan ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s, Jr.’ O’Kelly, which clearly sets out how well our graduates do compared to the rest of the nation. So, Sixth Years, who will be the returning kings next year?

Never Mind the Gloom: Burrito Friday is on its Way!

As the calendar turns and the shadows lengthen, the weather is starting to run its usual course of perpetual precipitation, but have no fear… Chef Mark has the scheduled the immortal burrito to appear next Friday! The rest of this coming week’s menu:

Menu Della Settimana

Chefs Mark and Emerson are again at their cosmopolitan best! This week we have dishes from Spain and France, as well as an Italian pasta dish originally devised for workers in a certain unmentionable profession. Print up this week’s menu here or check it out below:

I, Claudio…

Like his Roman Emperor near-namesake, Claudio is no slouch with the academic books, but unlike the bumbling, stumbling Claudius, our Claudio is also an all-star of agility, who would have given even the champion gladiators a run for their lucre and laurels in the Colosseum. Claudio Sosa, however, does not use the short Roman gladius, but the modern fencing foil and epeé. And how does he wield them! Claudio has continued his historic run from last year, competing and winning at well over his age level. Last week he won another senior national champion title, as part of a Queen’s University team which defended their second consecutive title in Belfast. And just this past weekend, Claudio was selected to represent Ireland in a senior male foil competition at the Five Nations Fencing Tournament. The Romans would have loved nothing more than an underdog taking down the big favourite, and despite an obvious growth spurt over the summer, the sight of this still mini (but mighty) fifteen-year-old warrior puncturing the defence and the pride of experienced professional swordsman, would have sent the terraces of the amphitheatre into rapture!

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From Bologna to The Barbary Coast…

Chefs Mark and Emerson scour the earth for the tastiest dishes to serve up in the Conlethian canteen. This week we have the traditional Italian favourite, Pasta Bolognese, but also couscous, originally cooked up by the Berbers of North Africa, and TriBeCa chicken wings, removed from birds whose fate was sealed by the gentrification of their lower Manhattan neighbourhood. Print up this week’s menu here or check it out below:

Soup’s On!

And so is the salad… and the pasta… and the sandwich made to order. This week’s canteen menu:

PDF to Print

Good and Tired!

It is a phrase of which you do not hear much anymore… after all, is it not oxymoronic? Good and tired? But it is possible: just ask the TYs (and their accompanying teachers) after their whirlwind outdoor adventure sojourn in Carlingford.

Transition Year Head Honcho Gav Maguire did indeed bring the TYs back from their Carlingford Adventure Centre experience utterly exhausted but also deliriously happy! As they somnambulated off the bus on Friday afternoon, their sun-, wind- and salt-burned faces were contorted in a look that could only be interpreted as joy, though there was a bit of relief mixed in.

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After two days of pier-jumping, rock-climbing, laser-shooting and axe-throwing, Gav’s TY boys and girls learned how much fun there is to be had doing things together other than a Fortnite Battle Royale. And we are sure co-leader Ms. Speller will concur… as soon as she wakes up from her nap on the staffroom couch!

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Happy 80th Birthday!

Just by chance yesterday, at about noontime, a woman and toddler were walking down Clyde Road and, when they came to No. 28, they happened to run into one of our many resident wits of Sixth Year, who was casually leaning against one of the gateposts and enjoying his second (at least) ice cream cone of the day. The woman stopped (with the potential Conlethian child in tow) and stared aghast past said wit at the glorious mayhem of our 80th Anniversary Celebration, with children from four to eighteen (and Mr. Keenan) milling around with well-mannered abandon. The woman pulled her child closer and demanded to know if the school were like this every day. Our Sixth Year politely replied, ‘No, miss. Just on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.’ The woman shook her head in disbelief and stomped off down the road, perhaps to visit that more austere academic institution in Ranelagh.

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What that child will probably now never know is what eighty years of Conlethians have proudly known: our school is more than the sum of its parts (or its marks). It is community of individuals who, despite their differences, and in some cases, because of them, meld together in a shared pursuit of learning, yes, but also, camaraderie and good humour. And these qualities were very much on show at our 80th Birthday Party. Bernard Sheppard’s vision and Kevin Kelleher’s mission were recalled and celebrated as the school begins a brave, new era. Mr. ODulaing took the stage and set it with nostalgia for the past but also enthusiasm for the future.

Fr. Collins, Mr. Gallagher and several student readers brought our Christian ethos to the fore and Mr. Kilcommons made sure to include the Junior School students in the reverie. Ms. Sheppard cut the cake itself, with the help of two Conlethian legacies, Daniel Carroll and Charlie Power. And this being St. Conleth’s, there was beautiful music during the interludes. Then, to the delight (if not surprise) of all, the ice cream truck rolled in and the party really started!

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And The Special of the Day is…

It has long been known that an army runs on its stomach, but every experienced teacher knows that so does a school. And Chefs Mark and Emerson and the multi-talented Anna do such a great job in our school canteen, that we must say a visit to their domain does your heart and spirit wonders, in addition to the rumbling tummy! See what’s on offer this week below on our Weekly Menu (PDF to print) or each day in the Events to the right. Bon Appetit!

First Daze!

The TYs’ summer officially ends on Thursday at 11:00 but all the other years and classes have already taken that brave step… But really going back to school is not so scary at St. Conleth’s. In fact, judging from these photos, it seems like a lot of fun! Check out the smiles on the faces from the other years on their first day in the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools.

The Senior School

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The Preparatory and Junior School

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Hooray! Supervised Study Starts Monday!

Time to face facts: summer is over and it is time to get some work done! But the worst part of ‘work’ is not working at all… but dodging, delaying, dithering and dilly-dallying, instead. Once you start doing your homework and your necessary revision, you will realise how manageable it all is… so just get started! One way which may ‘work’ for you is attending ‘Supervised Study’. There are two separate ‘programmes’:    Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ (click for details) is open to everyone and runs from 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed.  Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’ (for 5th and 6th Years) runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Monday and Thursday (details have been emailed to parents). You must sign-up and pay for each programme separately through Easypayments Plus.  Study starts next Monday (September 2nd) so sign up soon!

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 below and under Events on our homepage, as well as on our calendars which are always available, along with booklists and information on uniform and the canteen, under Calendars and Information, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior) to our uniform supplier, and our Cashless Canteen deposit page.  We will see you all over the next few days, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at No. 28, Clyde Road!

Senior School Start Dates and Times:

*TYs are only in school from 11:00-12:30 on Thursday the 29th

Junior School Start Dates and Times:

Of Points and Plans

There is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition, especially when the end result is a shared victory.  On Leaving Certificate Results Day, in a sense everyone is a winner as everyone gets that piece of paper which serves as a key in unlocking their future.  Obviously, there is always a range of results and myriad paths forward.  We congratulate all of the Class of 2019 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to the guidance of their teachers.  We particularly congratulate Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill, who both managed to garnish the full quota of 625 points on offer and finish in a draw atop the class and the nation.  These perfect scholars, but also perfect gentlemen, will be headed where they want to go come September, as will the rest of our recent graduates and we wish them all well at university and beyond.  Stay tuned as we await news of offers and acceptances and a more detailed breakdown of results.

Great Sports!

Yes, it is only early July but we bet the kids are already starting to annoy you… So, if you are lucky enough to be the parent of an incoming Conlethian First Year, here is your chance to shorten that summer a bit and give your child a running start when it comes to meeting and mixing with the other students. Head of Sport, Gavin Maguire, takes over here:

First Year Multi-Sports Camp (pdf)

In August, St. Conleth’s College will be running a Multi-Sports Camp for incoming 1styear students in Wanderers F.C.  It is an opportunity for students to get to know their new classmates in a fun and friendly environment before their first day.  

All girls will participate in hockey on Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. They will walk (accompanied) to and from Pembroke Hockey Club from Wanderers F.C.  

The boys will stay in Wanderers F.C. and participate in other sports.

Date:                    Wednesday 21stAugust until Friday 23rdAugust 2019

Venue:                 Wanderers F.C.  

Times:                 09:30 a.m. until 12.30p.m

What To Bring:      Girls:        Hockey stick, gum-shield and shin-guards. Tracksuit, shorts, polo shirt, sports shoes, socks, and a smallsnack for break time.

                            Boys:        Tracksuit, shorts, jersey, sports shoes, socks, and a smallsnack for break time

The cost of the Multi-Sports Camp is €30.00.  Payment for the Multi-Sports Camp may be made via Easy Payments Pluswhich is located on the school website. 

Gavin Maguire, Head of Sport, maguireg@stconleths.ie

The Golden Sword!

Past Pupil Philip Lee (Class of 1975) has become Ireland’s first ever European Champion in fencing! He won the European Veterans Championships in Cognac in France in early June, in the ‘Over 60’ age category in men’s foil. Yes, just a few years shy of getting his free travel pass (not that he needs it), Philip is still travelling the world, still fencing and still winning trophies! And judging from the effervesecent energy levels evident in his winning hit (and cavorting celebration and gentlemanly condolence for his opponent) and his acceptance of his medal, fencing must be the sport that keeps the spirit as well as the body young. Well done to Philip, an inspiration to our young and up-and-coming student fencers.

Ann Cramp: An Appreciation

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Ann Cramp. Aside from the Kellehers and Sheppards and perhaps a certain games master, no-one has been part of St. Conleth’s for longer than Ann Cramp.  And certainly no-one has been more universally appreciated and beloved. Generations of Conlethians have benefitted from the ‘ship-shape’ in which she kept the school for decades, for most of them almost singlehandedly, and, just as importantly, staff and students alike have been for so long blessed with the constant presence of our own benevolent fairy godmother, always there with a kind word, a cup of tea, a quick joke and an unswerving loyalty and a capacity for care.  Ann’s domain had shrunk a bit in terms of time and place in recent years, but whenever and whatever part of the school she was in, it was always the cleanest… and the happiest!

Ann, Anna and Anne

Oops… And the Real Winner is..

There we were bragging about the efficiency of our awards ceremony and the lack of a Oscars-style snafu and, true enough, Mr. ODulaing et al did their jobs perfectly, but in the transfer to the digital world we ourselves committed a couple of gaffes… We are proud to announce that the universally loved and admired Rory Clarke was the winner of the Junior Music Award and that we had the Minor Hockey awards mixed up: Katya Bailey was the POY and Caoimhe Moore the MIP. That’s it, for now, but such is the frayed state of a teacher’s mind at term’s end, you had better stay tuned for more corrections!

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You Will Pass the Test!

No, we do not recommend you donning a visored helmet and relying solely on the force to pass your state exams, but you should be as confident as young Skywalker when approaching 28 Clyde Road tomorrow morning. Come in a bit early and join your teachers and fellow students for a short Mass in the canteen at 8:30. Good luck! JC Exam Schedule PDF LC Exam Schedule PDF

Beam Us Up, Simon!

The USS Enterprise’s loss has certainly been our gain. Since his arrival at St. Conleth’s on Stardate 96268.25, Ensign Simon Toal has displayed a remarkable talent for dealing with those who need a little extra help, those with behavioural issues or those who find it hard to get along with those around them… and that is just in the staffroom! In all seriousness, Simon has been a godsend for those students who have benefitted from his help in his official position as an integral part of the SEN team, alongside stalwarts Ms. Killen and Ms. Long.

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He has also, more unofficially, brought a breath of fresh air and a bright spark to the everyday life of the school with his wit, charm and inside knowledge on how to battle the Borg. On the last day of school, the Juniors got to experience another talent of Mr. Toal’s: Simonsmagicparties.ie landed its Tardis in our outdoor classroom and a special magic show closed out the term in style. Everyone, even brave volunteer Mr. Sheridan, enjoyed themselves immensely as you can see from the shots above and video below. New series starts next September!

Singing for their Supper!

As is now traditional, After School Study ended with a pizza party and though pictures of people stuffing their gobs with pizza slices piled high with pepperoni do not usually pass our ‘newsworthy’ test, we thought we might as well include them as we are heading into the ‘silly’ season and we need to prepare our readers for the more bizarre stories that lie ahead.

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More properly included here are the impromptu solo performances by Sammy and Manus, who took the condition that they must ‘sing for their supper’ rather literally. Once again, we gladly witness, enjoy and record things that just do not happen at other schools!

And The Winner is…

Mr. ODulaing avoided any wardrobe malfunctions and Oscars-style misadventures at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the ivory-tinkling of Sam Lynch and Charlotte McClaren (below) and the no frills presenting by Gavin ‘DOS’ (Direct of Sport) Maguire, he presided over a dignified yet joyous affair.  

It was great to see so many students rewarded for their talents and effort but even more pleasing was the general bonhomie and good sportsmanship which characterised the event: we like to win at St. Conleth’s but we know that friendship and teamwork are more important.  Without further ado, here are the individual winners of the awards:

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The Last Fence… Really!

Yes, we officially ended the seemingly endless flow of fencing news some weeks ago but a operantly we were foiled again… we had forgotten about the in-house St. Conleth’s Fencing League/Tournament! Started a few years ago by Fencing Captain emeritus Michael Li, it is a great way to end the season and the school year: a friendly but competitive series of bouts between Conlethians of all ages and sizes.

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Claudio Sosa instigated this year’s tournament but he needed help so Michael Li came back to both help organise (and compete) and Conlethian mom and alumna Kathrin Chambers kindly served as referee. The main combatants know each other well but still the competition was fierce, and even more exciting as it was conducted old school- sans electronic scoring! In the end the podium finishers were: First- Claudio Sosa, Second- Luke Sherlock and Third- Michael Li. See snaps of the action above and below!

Encore!

We have outsourced much of our video production to a more talented (vastly!) and cheaper (free!) operative, namely new Vice Captain James McGowan, and he has been working overtime rendering, cutting, splicing and wriggling around copyright infringements. Here is the second instalment of Graduation Ceremony videos, including Gavin Roche-Griffin’s piano piece and Jaques Herbot’s barnstorming torch-song. A dangerous mixed metaphor, indeed! Stay tuned as we coax even more highlights from the night.

Cars and Girls

Did we take the wrong turn somewhere in the late 60’s, when Brian Wilson retreated to his room and stopped singing about  his ‘409’ and his ‘Little Deuce Coupe’?   Rock and roll wandered aimlessly through punk and progressive and not until Bruce nosed his Chevy out onto Thunder Road, did we once again have gasoline and testosterone in plentiful lyrical supply.  And 1978’s Grease took it one mile further: transporting us back to a simpler time when the music was simple, the harmonies were plentiful and the fuel was fully leaded.   Throw in the fact that the musical is an unrivalled camp masterpiece and you please everyone!

The audience at our TY year-end extravaganza was certainly thrilled with the performances, as maestros deBhal and Gallagher coaxed some stunning performances from our shy and retiring boys and girls.  Actually, ‘coaxed’ might be the wrong term: how about ‘barely able to restrain’ an explosion of enthusiasm for hip-shaking, T-shirt-wearing, chorus-crooning and cross-dressing!  The last, of course, is a long-standing St. Conleth’s tradition and, thankfully, the presence of real girls in the cast did not prevent Nathan, Fergal, Ian and Keane from taking a walk on the wild side. And the actors who suited up in their cisgender costumes were not that bad either! Stephen, Sophie, Zach, Robert, Emily, Omar, Jack and the vast supporting cast hit the right notes, shook the right hip and simply charmed us all with their talent and enthusiasm.

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The night marked Mr. Trenier’s swansong as TY Co-ordinator, and he certainly went out with a bang. The photos on the walls of the Performance Hall were a testament to his industry and the TY students’ reciprocal spirit: the physical evidence of fun yet educational trips all over Dublin; various courses, projects and competitions; and the conquering of the Wicklow Mountains to complete the Gaisce Hike.  Scroll back through our news to read all about the wide range of TY adventures, but first check out the snaps and video of Grease (both rehearsal and performance) and the Roll of Honour for the individual TY awards. Well done to Mr. T. and the Transition Year Class of 2019!

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Leinster Lions!

Many schools send their athletes to the East Leinster’s Athletics Championships (or the North, etc…) but we take pride in always having at least a couple of runners or jumpers or walkers qualify for the Leinster’s proper and this year we did very well indeed, with four athletes qualifying. First Year Luke Timlin did more than qualify: he won the Gold in the 100M and Silver in the Long Jump at Morton Stadium in Santry, adding to his Cross Country and Indoor medals, and becoming our most decorated First Year athlete ever.

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Then, last Saturday morning, John Kelleher and Andrew Latvis competed in the Javelin and High Jump Finals, with both notching their personal bests and finishing sixth in Leinster. Not bad, considering the two Sixth Years met Mr. Keenan that morning, coming directly from their nocturnal celebrations of their graduation the night before! Oh yes, race-walk qualifier Tomas Clancy was a no-show, but we understand completely as the after-hours graduation party was actually at the school captain’s house, and as with many things, Tomas’s manners as host are impeccable!

St. Conleth’s: Fame Academy!

Anyone wandering down Clyde Road last Friday evening very well might have thought that they were passing by a performing arts school at No. 28, such was the quality of sounds emanating from the sweetly reverberating edifice of the KD Kelleher Wing. Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2019’s time at St. Conleth’s and though his mixture of humour and gravitas was as well-measured as ever, but the stars of the show were undoubtedly our musical talent.

From the opening strains of Gavin Roche Griffin’s exquisite version of Clair de Lune and our pre-eminent flautist Maggie Tighe’s Morcean de Concours through two contrasting but equally beautiful piano pieces, Georgia Weir McErlean’s Woodbrook and Isabel O’Farrell’s Where is my Mind?, we knew early on that this night was going to more than match the impressive musical legacy already laid down by graduating classes past.

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The Class of 2019’s resident singer-songwriter then took the stage: Joe Gallagher played guitar and sang the self-penned Slipping, and it is clear that those lonely sounding Villagers may soon have company! Turning up the volume, our version of ‘The Highwaymen’ took the stage, covering the Waterboys’ Fishermens’ Blues, but with a Dixie twang. Surely, by this stage, John Kelleher, Brian Keenan and Eoghan Fitzmaurice, permanent fixtures of all our musical happenings, have logged as many miles, whiskies and women as Willie, Waylon and Mr. Cash. And our Mr. Kelleher then emulated his heroes and commandeered the stage for an unscripted encore! The Man in Black, indeed! Then the talented Matthew Rockett took to the ivories with his self-composed magnum opus Take Flight, stunning the audience into raptured silence and then thunderous applause. Could anything top that? Well, Stephen Allen expertly channelled Sam Smith but also made Writings on Wall his very own and Jacq Herbots absolutely brought the house down with his Muse masterclass. The shy clarinettest who so charmed us in years past had confidently taken the stage and just blown us away with his vocal talent and passion.

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Incredibly, the other non-musical partcipants in our ceremony managed to hold their own with the superstars. Mr. Gallagher’s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a warm and welcoming place and the speeches and awards which followed both recalled the good times of the past and the promising deeds of the future.  Of course, this being St. Conleth’s where we are never at a loss for words, the musical challenge was more than met on the rhetorical front by Captain Tomas Clancy, Vice Captains Georgia Weir McErlean and Jack Cosgrave,  Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU Treasurer Ronan O’Kelly.  Their speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Jack’s carefully composed and hilarious slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings.  Of course, awards were on the agenda and the The Mr. Porzadny Show is getting so popular we fear we may soon lose him to the Oscars, or at least the Emmys, such is his talent of combining genuine warmth, good humour, cupla francais and technical wizardry.  You can see our winners and their prizes on the slider below.  And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with succinct words of celebration, and surely making Mr. K proud.  There was a bittersweetness to the night, as it was the first graduation ceremony in the wing named after Mr. Kelleher, and many of the graduating boys had grown up at St. Conleth’s, with Mr. K. being powerful and formative constant in their lives. And on this night, Mr. Kelleher’s physical absence only highlighted his spiritual presence in terms of the legacy which he has left behind and which was so evident in the words and songs: the legacy of a school which is ‘a home away from home’.

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After the ceremony, it was on to the RDS for a classy dinner for students and staff and surely some classy activities afterwards at the Clancys’.  For specifics of those nocturnal celebrations you must, carefully, check social media, but for pics and video of the ceremony and details of the award-winners look above and below (and with more tocome in the next few days).  And here is the Graduation Booklet, a testament to the hard work put in by Messrs. Carvill, Porzadny, Gallagher and Ms. DeBhal and Ms. Hopkins.

IMTA Maths Competition Participants:

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Stylish Swansong

You will have to wait a bit longer for the full array of news, photos and video highlights from Graduation Night 2019, but in the meantime we will tease you with these from the post-ceremony dinner for the graduate and their teacher guests at the RDS.

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Mr. Tayto’s Apprentices

Gav Maguire and Shane Robertson hit it off so well with Mr. Tayto during the recent Third Year Business Trip to Tayto Park that rumour has it that there was quite a competition between the two Conlethian teachers/Past Pupils cozying up to the entrepreneurial spud, and even talk that one of the two may soon be chosen as the ageing executive’s heir apparent. Meanwhile, the students had a blast on all the usual amusement park rides and attractions but they also gained some valuable business insights with a factory tour and a seminar on all the finances that underpin such a successful enterprise. Regarding the aforementioned individual competition, we are not sure who won in the end but rumour has it that Mr. Maguire was seen making room between the Wanderer’s, Leinster and St. Conleth’s thirds of his wardrobe for new outfits primarily in red, yellow and blue!

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How Are We Doin’?

A few months back we enjoyed a ‘whole-school’ inspection and the Department of Education will soon be publishing its findings (spoiler: They are very positive!). But Self-Evaluation is also important, and at St. Conleth’s we take it very seriously. We ask all of our students and parents to complete a short survey which will help us to evaluate what is working and what is not working and make improvements for 2019-20. Here is the the Student Survey Link. You need to be signed in to the ‘trusted’ St Conleth’s domain. The link for the parents’ survey will be emailed next week. So, to answer Joey, we need to know: how are we doing?

Summer Exams

We have been warned that we should deliver such an important item of news as the Summer Exam Schedule without any razzmatazz, fanfare or ironic undercutting, so we will do that, as in this matter the Exam Secretary has… unlimited power!

Summer Exam Schedules

All Years 

First Year

Second Year

Fifth Year

Liverpool, Tottenham, Staff Team

Yes, there were three great games of soccer these past few days, but though the last displayed similar levels of skill and entertainment, we really cannot claim that the Staff Soccer Team’s victory was as surprising as the other two. Yes, Kane was in the stands and Bolger was making soup in Naas, but there the similarity in expectation ends. After all, the last time the Sixth Years beat the Staff there was a weedy forward causing havoc for them upfront (and a classy Canavan patrolling midfield): that stringy striker was none other than Shane Robertson, who is now a middle-aged goal machine for the teachers. His four goals in this year’s 6-3 Staff victory were as stylish s they were emphatic and his ‘goals per minute ratio’ of 0.08 trails only Mr. Latvis’s 0.10 in the official statistics.

Of course, the usual stalwarts of Mr. Kilcommons, Mr. Trenier, Mr. Sheridan, ‘Gaelic’ Gahan and the impish delight of Mr. O’Brien were there to seal the deal and recent Barcelona transfers Mr. Coleman and Mr. Smith played important parts, the latter taking Messi-like liberties (and passes and shots) as he roamed the pitch with abandon. The adjunct faculty also played an important part with debating coaches Conor Power and Oisin Dowling making some serious points and Gavin Nugent backing up his lunchtime soccer legend. Sean Ingle brought some blacktop swag from his native basketball (and Northside) and office staff Gavin Sheridan and Jack were obvious talents at the back and top of the pitch.

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The Sixth Years, in fairness, did their best, playing like a hustling Huddersfield against Man City. Joe ‘Cabo’ Hyland was on the injured list but his teammates, particularly Rory, Jack, Mark, Aviral, Andrew, Kealan, Dylan, James, Mark, Hannah (!) and Hugh did their best but, as they say, ‘class will out’. Current Fifth Years are already talking up their chances, and they do have some Ringsend/East D4/Raglan Road grit, but we are not really worried. A dozen years with the Goblet of Fire in our grasp…. see you next May!

The Last Fence

Yes, our Conlethian contingent of debonair duellists did approach their last ‘fence’ of the season but unlike the figurative horse, there was no stumble! Inspired by the Game of Thrones, we will organise their Annual Awards and Irish Open results by ‘clan’:

The Sherlocks: Luke Sherlock was named ‘Fencer of the Year’ in both the U14 Foil and Epee, as well as winning the latter, and finishing third in the former, category at the Irish Open. Brother, Matthew, he of the angelic smile but devilish thrust, finished third in the U12 Fencer of the Year category, a s well as third in the U12 Foil at the Irish Open.

The Moriarty-Smyths: (Nominally arch enemies of the Sherlocks, but actually good friends). Myles Moriarty-Smyth was named U12  Foil Fencer of the Year and also took First in that category at the Irish Open. Big Bro James also enjoyed a very successful season but wrapped up early due to his preparations for the Junior Certificate.

Claudio Sosa Smatrala: Claudio was simply crowned as the Cadet, Junior and Senior Male Foil Fencer of the Year, beating out hordes of competitors much older (and a little bit bigger) than him! He also added the small matter of First Place in U17 Foil at the Irish Open.

Whew! Well done to the Three Clans. Summer is Coming and maybe the boys can catch up on Scooby-Doo and the parents can reacquaint themselves with their gardens. But, as we have said before, the fencers and debaters keep this rag in business, and we look forward to more swashbuckling exploits next season!

Sun and Fun at Sportsday 2019!

The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday.  All the usual suspects were there: Mr. Keenan, our Games Master and rightly selective Bestower of Medals; Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire, witty yet deadly efficient Head of All Sport and Master of Ceremonies; various teachers, some rookie red-necks and some old hands at their various athletic stations; and, of course, hordes of Tuck Shop-fuelled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with adrenalin and competitive zeal.  This last group spent the day, or at least the mid-afternoon, running, jumping (high and far) and throwing things with glee and either winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns.  

Yes, we said running

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running a bit further…

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jumping upwards…

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jumping outwards…

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throwing…

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or just hanging out!

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Stay tuned for pics of all the winners!

Power Lunch

Past Past Pupils Union President Donal Milmo-Penny and Current PPU Pres John Carvill organised the first ever St. Conleth’s Business Lunch and it was a smashing success, with close to 100 attendees at the Lansdowne FC. The featured speaker was Past Parent and famous entrepreneur Brody Sweeney and, by all accounts, his talk was as entertaining as it was enlightening, with Brody displaying both the confidence and humility, the ambition and realism which have enabled him to climb to the top of the Irish business world… twice! The Conlethians and friends who were gathered had a blast, with a bit of networking perhaps, but only as a side dish to the main courses of friendship, reminiscence and shared interests. Many schools do ‘business lunches’ but, as with everything at St. Conleth’s, we do them our way!

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B-Ballers Bring the Noise!

Judging from the roars emanating from the Sports Hall on Friday at lunch-time, Steph Curry dropping 23 in the 4th quarter to shut the door the Rockets has nothing on Sean Ingle singeing the nets for four straight 3 pointers, each a dagger in the heart of the Sixth Year Basketball Team. And the crowd of enthusiastic student supporters grew even more rapturous with each thunderous pick set by Mr. Peter ‘Granite’ Gahan and each exclamatory block delivered by ‘Swattin” Shane Robertson. Rookies Mr. Smith and Coleman did their part too, transferring skills learned over their long and storied respective MMA and UFC careers and Mr. Latvis even chipped in with a couple of playground pirouettes. The students were full of effort and not without talent: ‘Jumpin” Johnny Barry was his usual engine of endeavour and Lil’ Latvis periodically established his class but they and ‘Gutsy’ Gavin Roche-Griffin, ‘Jugular’ John Kelleher, The Blyncher, ‘D-Train’ Dylan Browne and ‘Proper’ Pierce Roberts just could not stem the flow of staff swish and bang. And the crowd went wild…

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Tennis, Anyone?

The Senior School hockey, rugby and basketball teams have thrilled us with their multiple finals and semi-finals and their efforts have added several new trophies and medals to the Sports Department’s mighty bag of swag.  The chess team battled honourably in their inter-school competition and is now involved in the internecine battles of their labyrinthine in-house tournament.  The fencers, having fought all over Europe this year, were last seen heading outside to settle, like true gentlemen (and ladies), an argument about the Shin v. Heidemann Controversy.  That leaves it to Mr. Keenan’s tennis teams to take the Conleth’s colours into the other courts of Leinster and, as usual, the teams are battling at the very highest level.  Enjoy some pics of our girls and boys teams in action and at rest!

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Hee-Haw! Welcome to MAGA Land!

Actually, that was just to get your attention: most of the debaters, even those supporting the Bouchier Hayes Plate Debate motion ‘THBT the current American president has made America great again’ quickly disavowed themselves personally from such a position, most hilariously by the impish Sammy Butler. Adam did bravely attest that the motion was irrelevant because America actually never lost its greatness and James H.R. as always, brought a rational evaluation to bear in his evaluation of ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’- noble efforts, indeed; but hardly ones to find traction in this local outpost of the intifada.

This being St. Conleth’s, there was quality up and down the Pro and Con benches with Manus channelling Peter Gallagher; Grace Childs doing the same with both Hillary Clinton and Blanche DuBois; Harry being Harry; Saul, Joe and Robert stylishly making important points; and Frank’s rapier wit and logic winning the ephemeral ‘best individual speaker’ award. John Kelleher made some spot-on comments in his own speech and then prompted Tomás Clancy’s debating-clinching rant with his rather pointed and personal Point of Information. Tomás and his partner, impressive newcomer Oscar, had earlier laid a solid foundation for the win, but it was this spirited, impromptu defence of his own administration, Barack Obama and Western Democracy that sealed it. Or was it truly impromptu? John is good friends with Tomas, and the latter was recently caught reading ‘The Prince’ in History class. Machiavellian, indeed…

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The McCarthy and O’Connor Cups followed on this Day of Great Debate, with Past Pupil debating coaches Conor Power and Oisín Dowling clearly earning their break-time sausages, adjudicating three debates in a row. They best adjust their work-rate if they ever want a career in academia or the Civil Service. First Year Turlough Dineen won the McCarthy over some tough competition with a spirited speech on the motion ‘TH would make Irish optional in schools’ and Second Year Coleman ‘InfoWars’ Hegarty took home the O’Connor after debating ‘TH Regrets Acts of Civil Disobedience’ with a lively bunch of Second and Third Years. Messrs. Power and Dowling stumbled out the door at 3:20, exhausted but with a shared, renewed belief that the quality of Conlethian debating remains undiminished.

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Absorbing the Hits

Apparently, when Mr. Trenier heard that his Transition Years were organising a fundraiser for the Irish Wheelchair Association he mistakenly thought they had decided on a charity ‘sponge-bath-athon’ and being a good Cavan man, he could not pass up the offer of a free wash, especially after a rather strenuous lambing season. To Mr. T’s credit, when he arrived in the courtyard at lunchtime on Friday and realised that it was, rather, a ‘sponge-throw-athon’, the semi-pro rugby veteran gamely took his position and absorbed the hits with good humour and barely a grimace. Apparently, a gangly First Year’s emphatic sponge-heave has nothing on a loose-head prop’s gouging scrum play!

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Mr. Smyth and Mr. Coleman joined Mr. Trenier in the line of fire, with the former’s already legendary sheer ‘niceness’ serving as an adamantine shield, and the latter somehow managing to retain his customary impeccable deportment despite the onslaught. Enjoy the pictures above and video below, but be warned, the latter is to be only viewed after the watershed!

Stars of Track and Field!

Mr. Keenan’s track and field boys and girls were at it again this week, this time at the East Leinster Athletics Championships in Santry, and once again his motley, merry minions returned with medals!  Sixth Year Tomás Clancy bettered his Silver medal from last year, winning the Gold in Race-walking. And, even more impressive, he recited the Communist Manifesto (Sandymount Edition) from memory throughout the 3000 metres! 

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But enough of such pedestrian affairs: there was running, and jumping and throwing, too. First Year Luke Timlin absolutely scorch his rivals, winning the 100m by quite a few ‘lengths’. This is Luke’s third Gold, having already won the Long Jump on Tuesday and Cross Country earlier in the year. Andrew Latvis took a Bronze in the High Jump, showing the same verticality and ‘hang time’ for which the senior Mr. Latvis is famous in his hoops game. John Kelleher then proved that all that practice whipping various projectiles around the classrooms was time well spent, winning the Bronze with the javelin, and then promptly skewering the Gold and Silver medallists with said implement. These Sixth Years will be campaigning on further fields of glory next year, but there was plenty of younger Conlethian talent on display, too. Luke, of course, has already proved that he is All-Ireland Class and joining him and the seniors at the Leinster’s will be fellow First Year, Ciara Thornton. And the girls’ relay team finished a very respectable sixth, despite all-star Hannah O’Sullivan’s injury. She is a sure medalist in the years to come, as is Second Year speedster Sydney Weir McErlean.


Zorro Strikes Again!

Third Year Claudio Sosa has once again established his credentials as one of the best fencers in Ireland: notice, we did not limit that claim to ‘best young fencers’ …. because he is simply one of the best overall, full stop! He recently competed in the 2019 Irish National Championships and finished third in the category of Senior Males- Foil. He was also rewarded as the best Junior fencer in the Foil category at the Nationals, and he is still technically only a ‘cadet’ (Cadets are up to 17 years old; Juniors are up to 20!). 

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Earlier this term, he represented Ireland at the 2019 Word and European Championships where he gathered much needed international experience to make his dreams come true in coming years. All this was accomplished as one of the youngest participants, aged 14, in both international competitions! Claudio is currently leading both the Junior and Cadet Irish rankings and he consistently seeds in the top ten at Senior level. And when he is not poking holes in the defences of the best adult fencers in the country, what is Claudio doing? Getting ready for his Junior Certificate! Take that, Fortniters!

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Last Post of Spring!

We were just clearing our desks of all the news from last term and we found one roll of undeveloped film and, lo and behold, after a quick trip to the darkroom, we saw images of mountain vistas, smiling teenagers and grimacing teachers take shape. It could only meaning thing: the annual Transition Year Gaisce Hike in Glendalough. Every year in early May, as the TYs trudge onto the coach for the Gaisce hike, the irrepressible Gav Maguire treats them to a virtuoso performance of a medley of various one-hit wonders from his youth in the 80’s. He nimbly cavorts up and down the aisle of the bus, effortlessly reaching the high notes and hi-fiving and back-slapping as he belts out ‘Down Under’ or ‘Karma Chameleon’. Of course it as usually all lies because, despite Gav’s upbeat and sunny disposition, it nearly always rains on the TY Gaisce hike!  And not just a ‘soft day’ drizzle…the TYs 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 ‘a bright, bright sun-shiny day’ in the end and the boys and girls, Gav, and his enthusiastic colleagues, Mr. Smyth and Ms. Long, all enjoyed this important right of passage of Transition Year.

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Health 2.0

Health Week at St. Conleth’s wrapped up with an Aware talk on mental resilience by GAA legend Kevin McManamon (he should know!) and Nutrition Workshops with Helen Reddin. The Fifth Years found Kevin humorous, engaging and helpful, and a lot more gentle than his GAA opponents ever did! Helen Reddin led the Third Years through an eye-popping dissection of their daily diet. The international conglomerate which owns the Tuck Shop is considering legal action. And Ms. Halpin showed that the Arts are a suitable substitution for any sort of prescriptive mental remedy, leading students through some soothing tile-making in the Art Room. So successful was Health Week, we even had our First Years enthusiastic about inoculations, as you can see from the ‘thumbs up’ attitude below!

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Fratres in Armis!

Parent Robert Smyth mixes two noble professions, fencing and Latin, long associated with St. Conleth’s, in his latest report from the front lines.

Last Sunday marked the last round of this season’s Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. And a markedly auspicious occasion it most certainly proved to be.  Continuing the union forged and tested under the proud Eagle of the XXIII Legion ‘Latvis’ during the recent Classics Quiz campaign,  fratres in armis  James and Myles not only each took Gold on the day, but also the season trophies for 1st place in Under 12 and Under 16 Boys, respectively. Of the other brothers in arms, Luke, absent due to being in action on the Spanish Front, took the season trophy and 1st place in Under 14 Boys, while Sherlock Minor, Mathew, finished in 5th place on the day.  Given the outstanding performance of the Conleth’s cohort this year, perhaps Belfast’s motto “Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus” has never seemed more apt!

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Out On a High Note!

As always, our Spring Semester ended on a high note, with our Annual School Concert filling the Performance Hall with sweet sounds. When Peter Galllagher, princeps emeritus, first envisioned an annual school concert, he dreamed big, but started small: his first signed act was a whiskey jug and washboard band from the hillbilly hills above Stepaside.  His successors then gradually built up a stable of stars and supporting acts, so now it is a primetime network staple, reliably beating even ‘Ireland’s Got Talent’ in the Nielsen ratings.  Now, Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhál sweetly but sternly wield the conductors’ batons together and having just witnessed the latest dazzling edition of this extravaganza, we can now proudly say that the St. Conleth’s Spring School Concert is better (and quicker) than ever! It all began with quite a large and inclusive First Year Music Class group playing ukuleles and singing Riptide and then the piano took over for a while:  the ubiquitous and ever effervescent Adam Rafter tinkled the ivories with charm; Matthew Rockett backed Stephen Allen singing a powerful version of the ‘Angel of Small Death’ (no Easter Bunny ditties here!); and Ollie West faithfully recreated the theme from ‘Up!’, bringing a tear to many a middle-aged man’s eye.

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Then, Joe Gallagher, a regular of the Conlethian stage, brought us something new: the self-penned- ‘Slipping’, with beguiling lyrics and mesmerising vocals. Judging from what we heard, Messrs. O’Brien and Prime may soon have competition for the biggest Conlethian alumnus on the Irish music scene! And it may also come from the trio that followed: John Kelleher, Brian Keenan and Jacq Herbots delivered a stunning, adapted version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’. Then it was back to an original: Paris Moran sang and played piano on ‘Perspective’, her own impressive composition. Trevor Bolger then took his accustomed turn at the piano, playing the difficult ‘Nocturne’ and his fellow Third Years wowed us with a group effort: Eva Stylianides and Anna Downey singing, Rory Clarke and Louis Cullen on guitars and James Moriarty-Smyth on drums for ‘Take My Hand’ by Picture This. And it was great seeing Eoghan Fitzmaurice take the stage again, playing guitar and singing ‘Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette’, despite shouts for ‘Joxer goes to Stuttgart’ from Mr. ODulaing. Rory and James picked up the axe and the sticks again, respectively, to combine with Sam Lynch on a mash-up of Queen, Wham and Chopin, and though dear Frédéric may be rolling in his grave, we are sure Freddie and George were, somewhere, as thrilled as we! And then it was the grand finale: the School Choir and School Band were led by Ms. deBhál through ‘All These Things That I”ve Done’ by the Killers. Enjoy the pics above and video below, and we apologise for the poor quality of the reproductions. Next time, we will match our equipment with the superior talent on stage!


             

Healthy Minds and Bodies!

Mr. ODulaing designated this week as ‘St. Conleth’s Health Awareness Week’ and he and the rest of the staff have organised a plethora of feel-good functions and activities. Already our SPHE classes have been on healthy hikes of 5k (or, if it was raining cats and dogs, the mellow mantra of creative colouring); all our classes have had their eye opened and screens shut by the Internet and phone safety seminars given by Zeeko; Ms. Halpin has brought the soothing power of art to bear with her clay tile workshops; Mr. Porzadny has unleashed Mindfulness at special lunchtime sessions; and Mr. Robertson has led the PE classes through Cardiovascular Fitness Tests. Still to come are Aware and Nutrition talks, vaccinations (what fun!), the TY Gaisce hike and something guaranteed to calm the savage beasts on the last day of term: our Annual Student Concert! A healthy mix of healthy happenings!

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TYs Take History and Botany 101

Last week the Transition years satisfied both their fauna and Fianna cravings by visiting both the Botanical Gardens and Glasnevin Cemetary. They enjoyed professionally led tours of both, learning loads about our history, both natural and political, and even had some time for the local delicacies: ‘a single’, washed down with a Lucozade. Check out the pics below and stay tuned for more TY ramblings!

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TY Activités Françaises!

You have already read below how a group of Mr. Porzadny’s TYs initiated an innovative project which involved the organisation of a ‘French-style’ football tournament for some Junior Schoolers. Well, more of the TY students’ Francophonic projects are coming to fruition: in particular, French (not Belgian) Waffles; student-created, French-themed board games; and a good, old-fashioned Kahoot tournament! ‘Les Gaufres Fantastiques’ premiered at lunchtime last week and though we are in the middle of Lent, the student punters must have plenty of indulgences saved up, as they kept Nathan, Fergal, Matthew and Hugh very busy serving up those waffles ‘au sucre et au citron’, ‘au sirop’ or ‘au chocolat’.

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The student-created board games were also French-themed and the amount of work and preparation that went into them was very impressive, with a French geography-themed game and a francified version of Cluedo particularly fun to play. There was also time for a class-wide game of Kahoot, based on the general culture and history of France: Mr. Porzadny won, ‘but of course’, but our new Spanish student Miguel was the real star of the show!

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Bon Appetit!

Ms. Crowley’s Second Years completed their research on the regions of France and then served up some of the local specialties. Luckily, there was such a surplus of cuisine that Mr. Porzadny’s class was invited in to share and some delectable patisserie products even made it to the staffroom at break time. Merci beaucoup!

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Sci’s the Limit!

Mr. Callaghan led a merry band of First and Second Years to SciFest where two teams topped their groups and won first prizes! Second Years Sergei O’Brien and Shane O’Rourke impressed the judges and the spectators with their project Does classroom noise affect learning? (We wonder from where they drew their inspiration…) And First years Olivia Doyle, Evie Lynch and Ciara Thornton did likewise with their project titled Do stress balls really reduce stress?  (They certainly do when you bounce them off the foreheads of offending students…) An enjoyable day was had by all and all the groups’ projects earned rave reviews. It is the last year of Kevin St.-TUD and staff were eager to promote the new TUD campus at Grangegorman “the biggest and most modern university in Ireland”. Maybe some of our STEM stars will someday continue their scientific adventures there!

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B-Ballers Still Bouncing!

It was a hectic end to the official basketball season as Coaches Gahan and Ingle led both boys and girls teams into the postseason. Our Second Year boys lost very narrowly to Rathcoole in the Semifinal of the Basketball Ireland Dublin Plate and our Second Year Girls team (filled out with several First Years) won a thrilling Quarterfinal match against Choláiste Chillain, but lost a very close game to Lucan Community College in the Semifinal of the Basketball Ireland Dublin League. The fact that their opponents had at least three club players, and were probably playing down at least a league level or two, makes our girls’ accomplishment even more impressive. But if you think that with the leagues finished, the gym will now only be filled with the becalming vibes of Mr. Porzadny’s Wellness workouts, think again, for Gahan and Ingle are readying their 80s mix-tapes and their boomboxes for their famous OG Post-Easter ‘3 on 3’ Tournament. The beat, and the bounce, go on!

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Art for Art’s Sake!

With Ms. Halpin at the helm, why would we ever settle for just the ‘a’ in STEAM? No room on our ever-expanding campus is responsible for more invention, imagination and fun than our lovingly lit Art Room and no academic or intellectual pursuit is closer to the Conlethian core mission of self-expression, creativity and the pushing of boundaries. We read earlier how Ms. Mellon is leading the Juniors to ever expanding artistic horizons: now it is time to check in on the Senior School. Below you see some of the work which Ms. Halpin’s charges have been getting up to, from exquisite watercolour paintings in Transition Year through the patterned glories of Second Year ‘wallpaper’ to the functionally fantastic clays of First Year. Remember to check our Art Subject Page, where we plan on showing off all of our recent masterpieces!

Transition Year Paintings

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Second Year ‘Wallpapers’

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First Year Clay Sculptures

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First Year Clay Snowmen

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Now, It’s Really Over!

We have to be honest: reporting about our First Year Rugby victories was starting to get a bit repetitive and onerous (they being so many in number!) so we jumped the gun recently in announcing the Naas match as the boys’ last of the season. Well, now it’s really over! The First Years closed out their glorious season with a victory in a Leinster-sanctioned De La Salle Palmerston Football Club Rugby 7s tournament, winning the final against a talented De La Salle- Churchtown team. Well done to all the teams involved and we look forward to meeting again in future battles as these promising youngsters grow and develop.

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Francophonic Football Flair!

Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley are at it again, keeping le français alive and active and fighting a two-teacher war against the ever-encroaching English and Mandarin. The French Transition Year classes are again involved with interactive projects with the Junior School but this year they taking new and varied forms. Below you see some snaps from a Football Français tournament run by the TYs for our Junior School friends. All the teams’ names (Monaco, Lyons, PSG…) were French as were the coaches’ and referees’ instructions (and a few muttered expletives when passes went awry). We even saw some French flair in the play on the field! Stay tuned as more of the projects come to fruition. Monday will see more French football (avec les professeurs!) and a special addition to our canteen menu: ‘French (Definitely Not Belgian) Waffles’!

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Bling, Bling!

Yes, the rugby boys had their heavy metal year in 2016, when they added a treble of trophies to that groaning trophy shelf in the foyer, and our basketballers usually clean up each year with shields and SDBL plaques at the very least, but the hockey girls have won a serious amount of ‘shine’ this year, themselves. The Minor Girls won another league last Tuesday – the Dublin South and Central School Girls League Shield. They played two twenty minute matches: the first against Sion Hill – winning 1-0 with an excellent goal from Sydney and the second match against St. Raphaela’s, which the girls also won, 1-0, with a goal from the combined efforts of Sasha and Katya.
Great wins and a fitting close to a fantastic season! 

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The Senior Girls did not hit the headlines as much as the Minors but they also had a successful season, even though they are extremely young for their age group and were often outnumbered. Below we see some snaps from a recent close loss where the girls once again showed great skill and spirit even though they were quite the underdogs.

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A Golden Year!

We have made the comparisons before and we stand by them: the 2018-2019 First Year Rugby is so good that it merits being talked about in those hallowed tones usually reserved for past golden years like the SCTs of 2016, 2008, 2000 and a few that Mr. Keenan would have to tell you about. Judging by the way the team is ending its season, we may very well be talking similarly someday about the boys of ’24. Of course, there is a way to go before that happens and we have seen great promise melt away before but but there is something about the spirit and unity which Coaches Magee, Smyth and O’Brien have welded into this group that makes us believe that we are indeed on the cusp of another golden age for St. Conleth’s Rugby.

Coach Magee reports back about the team’s next-to-last match of the season:

The First Years expanded their rugby footprint to Naas Rugby club yesterday where they played Naas Community College in a number of matches. It was also a chance for the school to build new relations with ex-Conleths teacher Mr. Ronan Bolger’s new school. St. Conleths College came away as victors in a fantastic show of energy, fun and sportsmanship from both schools.

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Juniors Win Basketball Derby!

Nothing gets the blood up like a local ‘derby’. Just think of the blue versus the red of Manchester or the hoops versus the bigots in Glasgow… well St. Conleth’s also has its fair share of neighbourhood rivalries. Our Senior School Chess teams particularly love taking points from Gonzaga; the rugby and basketball teams get particularly ferocious against Marian and, before they relocated to a higher sphere of being, John Scottus and we used to have epic yogic flying races. Well the recent Junior School Basketball match in our Sports Hall (our first ever ‘official’ home basketball game) took it to a new level as we were facing St. Mary’s of Haddington Road, a school we know well from epic chess battles and the express queues at Tesco. And there was something extra on the line, for St. Mary’s was coached by none other than the brother of St. Conleth’s Head of Basketball Sean Ingle! This showdown had the makings of a Hollywood movie, or at least a Hallmark channel tearjerker.

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But there were no tears, only cheers as the two teams competed in a spirited but friendly manner and the nets were snapping at both ends of the court. The final score had St. Conleth’s winning 31-29 and that in itself tells a story: many junior basketball games end with baseball scoreboard totals: 8-6, 12-7 etc… But such was the enthusiasm and skills on display from both sides, that the scoreboard was spinning like it was an NBA All-Star game: a true tribute to the players and the Coaches Ingle!

Look What the Tide Dragged In!

Pity the Geographer, for he plows a lonely course as he strides through the sands of time and bends to measure the accumulated scree, for he he is caught between two camps: too social and humane for the hard science droids yet too rocky and jocky for the effete artsy crowd… except when he leads the Leaving Certificate Geography class on their mandatory field trip! Mr. Coleman was joined on his mid-morning jaunt along the seaside by Mr. Smyth and the best and brightest students of Sixth Year, as well as Andrew and Kealan. Even James strolled by for a chat a few hours later, en route to catching the Bhoys on the telly in Wetherspoon’s in Dun Laoghaire. Yes, a veritable party by Geography standards, but nothing on the bacchanalian festival that is the ‘Ides of March’ Classics Quiz!

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So, our resident rock-stars got down to work and measured their longshore drift, wave frequency, beach profile, cliff height and, yes, even beach fabric size and angularity. This being Killiney, the well-compensated tide rolled in just when it was supposed to, did its business and left quietly out the service exit. Job done, well…almost: now comes the hard part of writing it all up!

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Thriller in the Colosseum!

Our Classics Kids do indeed ‘kick as‘, or more precisely, ‘kick argentum‘ because they walked away with the silver, not the bronze, last night! Johnny ‘Julius’ Barry led XXIII loyal legionaries into battle at the ‘Ides of March’ Table Quiz in Mount Anville College where our vanguard team, ‘The Cyclops’, made up of Johnny, Matthew ‘Marius’ O’Farrell, Maggie ‘Messalina’ Tighe and Andrew ‘Lucius’ Latvis finished tied for first after the regulation battle and grudgingly settled for a close second after double-overtime, sudden-death gladiatorial combat. But this elite cohort had plenty of back-up: when the call went out to the provinces the recruits came in droves.

We had six teams for the first time in our long history of involvement with this august competition. Joining ‘The Cyclops’ were: ‘The Harpies‘: Grace ‘Gaia’ Childs and Katya ‘Karyatid’ Lawlor; ‘The Julio-Claudians‘: Oisín ‘Publius’ Power, Nathan ‘Numitor’ Harrington, An ‘Otho’ Other and Joshua ‘Marcus’ McCormack; ‘The Hoplites’: Shane ‘Octavius’ O’Rourke, Leo ‘Nerva’ Nolan, James ‘Hermes’ Hastings-Rafferty and fratres in armis James ‘Justinian’ and Myles ‘Miles’ Moriarty-Smyth; ‘The Lotus-Eaters’: Riccardo ‘Romulus’ Rassini, Adam ‘Flavius’ Fanning, Harry ‘Rufus’ Rooney and James ‘Jacobus’ O’Neill; and ‘The Epighoni’: Vivienne ‘Rufina’ Roberts, Kazim ‘Helios’ Haider, Zakaria ‘Charon’ Chabaane and Loghlann ‘Phoebus’ Flynn.

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It was a glorious night with a suspenseful end worthy of the greatest of Colosseum combats, and Classics Captain Johnny can now retire with pride, having earned his salt and rustic retreat to Ranelagh by serving loyally in six straight ‘Ides of March’ campaigns. Judging by the talent and enthusiasm shown by the raw recruits in the younger yeas, his legacy will certainly live on!





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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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’!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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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).

 

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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!

 

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Chicks Impressed By Chess Teams!

Yes, maybe it was just the shine off the trophies, but our little chicks did seem awfully impressed by our returning chess teams.  Mr. Kilcommons, himself, give us the details.

All four chess teams competed in the Leinster School League Finals in St. Catherine’s Sports Centre, Marrowbone Lane on Monday 11th. Three parents travelled with the team as well as Mr. Kilcommons, with each assigned a team. Rafa De La Cruz gave a rousing motivational speech to the players on the road. It had the desired effect with all teams performing brilliantly.

Every one of the 32 players notched at least one victory from 5 matches. Patrick Coleman and Alex Dooley won individual prizes for remaining unbeaten throughout the day, a perfect five out of five. Declan De La Cruz Boylan is also worthy of mention with a score of 4.5 in the dizzy heights of Division 1- a great performance. Our “B” side also bagged a team prize, an 8-0 whitewash in their last fixture catapulting them up to 3rd place and a podium finish. We were one of only two schools to enter the maximum amount of teams- 4, so a gold medal for participation. The players will turn their finely tuned chess minds on each other later in the year for the annual in-house chess cup. 

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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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…

 

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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.

 

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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

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Senior Hockey

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U16s Basketball

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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:

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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

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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!

 

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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?

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

 

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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

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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SSE/SIP

School Self Evaluation is a very important process which we undertake each year and it is an integral part of our School Improvement Plan.  Here are the latest versions of the documents detailing our efforts in these essential aspects of school development: 

Our Self Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan 2019-20 (updated May 2020)

A Report on our Student, Parent & Teacher Survey Responses (June 2019)

Our Self Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan 2018-19 (Updated June 2019)

Our Self Evaluation Report and Improvement Pla2018-19

 Our Self Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan 2017-18 (Updated Sept 2018).

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!

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Eskimo Supreme?

For a relatively small school, St. Conleth’s punches far above its