We had a pretty hectic- and successful- close to the half term, sporting wise, at St. Conleth’s. We are still searching up more film of the already legendary First Year Boys Basketball win detailed below, but there have been several more chapters added to the St. Conleth’s Book of Sporting Lore in the short time since that winning basket snapped the net. Some of the very same boys took part in another ‘Heart Attack Kids’ special: after their stunning B-Ball heroics, the First year Boys boys followed it up on the rugby pitch against Sandford Park, winning on a last minute try by Christopher Comer in the corner, after Noah Dwan had made a great break, juggled the ball, caught it again, and zipped the killer pass! The First Year Basketball Girls may not have matched the boys for drama in their debut game but they pushed a Woodlands Academy Second Year Team all the way, showing much promise and great team spirit… and much better ability than the boys in posing for an orderly team photo! And there was another close loss (0-1) to a tough, classy opponent (Dundalk Grammar) but the Senior Hockey Girls have kept their heads, and smiles, up…. and they are still drawing the fans!
Maybe our regular basketball coaches, Peter Gahan and Sean Ingle, should stick to surfing! While the usually dynamic duo were off rolling in the breakers of Achill Island, Ronan Carvill led our First Year Boys Basketball Team in one of the most exciting victories in St. Conleth’s sporting history! In their very first game, the boys were soon down 14-0… in the first quarter. Ronan called a timeout and took out some of those over-sized yellow Maths gadgets of which he is so fond. A quick lesson in angles, resistance and velocity, and a team prayer to St. Anthony, and the boys were back on the court. They proceeded to make a gradual comeback, chipping steadily away, but were still down three, with mere seconds left. Then, Sean Keane, like a Norse god, struck a three pointer (the first of the game). Then a steal…. and a basket to win at the buzzer! And the boys went crazy! More pics to come!
When current Marian College Basketball Coach (and teacher) Eoin ‘Trust Me, I’m a…’ Noctor wandered these halls as a student (Class of 2011), he was considered by some teachers, mostly of the female persuasion, to be ‘a lovable rogue’. Others just deemed him ‘a rogue’. Maybe it was due to his combination of stylish ringlets, exotic skin tone and melting eyes, not seen since Alexander the Great charmed the bow off the Queen of the Amazons… in any event, his basketball strategy has not matched said Alexander’s tactical genius. For, our U16s and U19s, coached by Sean ‘Use the Angles’ Ingle, just did the double on him! Yes, having such quality players as James ‘Tower of’ Power, ‘Chillin’ Dylan Cosgrave, Joe ‘Just Don’t Make Me Angry’ Kelleher and quickly rising newcomer Enda ‘Wow’ Crowley, certainly helped, and we allow that Eoin’s Marian are in a ‘rebuilding phase’… but so are a lot of teams, after we demolish them! We did spare the Good Noctor the blushes of filming the total wipeout but sent our ace TY photographer Finley O’Dea to our recent games versus Colmcille’s and you can enjoy his camerawork, and our players’ moves and ridiculous size advantage, below. The wins have qualified the U16s for the Quarterfinals of the East ‘B’ Boys Region and the U19s for the Plate Quarterfinals. Stay tuned!
It is said that infant Achilles was dipped in the River Styx by his heel, rendering him nigh invincible. Too bad about the heel. It is also said that Mount Anville charters a jet each year to fly their prospective hockey players to Hades, where they are thrown into the same river, and those that make it ashore, clinging to their sticks, make the team. Now, Ms. Speller is a tough teacher and coach, having made it through the notoriously tough Eagle Scout Two Week Training Course in a mere six and a half hours, but she is also a nurturing and supportive leader for her girls, and the fact that her Senior Girls made it onto the same pitch as Anville As for a Cup match is, in itself, a moral victory and a sign of how far hockey has come in a few short years, without so much as a toe dipped in the River Styx. This Senior team has itself gone from rank outsiders to a Dublin power in its own right, a remarkable achievement for a small school that only started hockey when some of these same girls came through the front gates. So, they did not find Mount Anville’s heel, but they put up a brave and skilful fight, sealing the reputation of St. Conleth’s as a ‘hockey school’.
Never mind the hockey jollies… our basketball girls roared straight outta Ballsbridge last week to take an emphatic double over Coolmine. In a little pre-Maths Week lesson in multiples, our 16s won 47 – 10 and our 19s, 52-20. Lucy ‘No Bricks’ McGoldrick led the way for the 16s and Anna O’Neill for the 19s, along with some standout play from Jodi Ryan, Greta Lawless and Isabella Lombardo for the 16s and Meabh Joye and Vivienne Roberts for the senior squad. Coaches Peter ‘Gangsta’ Gahan and Sean ‘Tingle’ Ingle were chuffed. Stay tuned for some similarly winning news from the boyz!
If it came down to a civil war between the partisans of our main sports of rugby, basketball, debating and hockey, we have to admit it would be likely that only the hockey girls would be left standing. First of all, there are hordes of them. Secondly, they have sticks. And thirdly, and most importantly, their Head Coach, Ms. ‘Give ’em Hell’ Speller, has Eagle Scout badges in Total Warfare and Imperial Aggression. But, thankfully, all our coaches and athletes are still on friendly terms… for now. Anyways, the First Years recently added actual wins to their already impressive portfolio of enthusiasm, hard work and sheer joy in playing the sport. And the Hockey Teams’ Official Transition Year Photographers, Greta and Juliet, won the ‘Artsy Sport Photos of the Week’ competition. Stay tuned for more hockey hoopla!
Shay Keenan has been doing this for some years now: assembling hordes of willing and mostly able runners to compete in regional track meets. And, come to think of it, Mr. Smith has now been at it for a few years, too! A couple of weeks ago, our First Years competed in the West Leinster Cross Country Championships, with over 2,000 athletes running in Phoenix Park. All involved completed the race and several finished in the top 20%. Well done to the runners and to Shay Keenan and Mr. Smith for organising.
Once again, Ms. Speller’s hockey minions are off and running and winning and putting pressure on those rugby boys! Third Year Eva Ryan kindly gives us this update on recent jolly hockey goings-on:
In our Junior league match, last Tuesday, we won 9-1. In the first half we had a total of five goals and then racked it up to nine in the second half. Goals were scored by Maude Kinlay, Eva Ryan, Elizabeth Finnegan and Jane Sweeney. The team played extremely well and are very proud of their win. It’s definitely a good way to start the season! In the senior Leinster League match on Wednesday, we won 3-0. The goals were all scored brilliantly in short corners, twice by Juliet Donnelly and once by Maude Kinlay.
Of course, we St. Conleth’s teachers spend the summer busily preparing lesson plans for the upcoming school year, but apparently our students get up to all sorts of hijinks… and in the most unlikely scenarios! Case in point: incoming Transition Year Daniel O’Connor. Yes, quiet, unassuming Daniel usually just keeps his head down, his mouth shut and gets on with his work… who would have guessed that Daniel is an absolute Captain Jack Sparrow when he gets on the high seas? Well, just recently Daniel represented Ireland on an eight person squad that all travelled to Vilamoura in Portugal for the International Laser Class World Championships. He did very well for his country finishing comfortably in the top half of the 240 boat fleet and showing considerable style and flair as he swooped smoothly through the sea-foam and salty air. Below you can see video highlights from the event with Daniel featuring at about 1’46’’, sail number IRL 211260. Avast Ye!
We were planning on making jokes about Gav, and many of the TYs, ‘method acting’ all year long for 10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, or inferring that Gav and Richie looked ‘undead’ even without the make-up, or, indeed, wondering what happened to the two full pies that went missing somewhere between the second and third floor when the dynamic duo sprung for pizza ‘for the kids’ and insisted on bringing it up from Mr. Deliveroo themselves, or even celebrating that Gav’s planned solo, leather-clad rendition of MCR’s The Black Parade was mercifully cut from the final running order… but that would be petty and inappropriate considering what a splendid evening the TY finale really was.
It is a credit to Gav’s work and rapport with this gang that he only needed to ‘go ballistic’ once in all the long weeks of preparation for this special night (and that was a treat to witness!): the work having been done, not many hysterics were necessary. Of course, Gav had a very impressive supporting cast all year long: Richie Morris was a co-executive producer of all the various adventures and activities; Mr. Ingle and Ms. Halpin led the TYs on their weekly Dublin sojourns; and numerous ‘class’ class teachers kept the kids learning, or at least awake, in their own academic subjects. And the big show had its own big-time crew: Simon Toal, enfant terrible of Edinburgh and the Enterprise, brought his own one-man-variety-show to the table; Seamus Gallagher tempered it with his genial gravitas; and Lucy McGuinness mixed and applied Industrial-Light-and-Magic-level make-up and mixed and applied the infectious music and score with ‘The Ferg’ O’Neill. And of course, the amazingly vital, vivid and vivacious TY actors, themselves: never have zombies seemed so zesty and full of chutzpah! Enjoy the full show above, and do it quickly, before the real undead, the lawyers, spot the copyright infringements!
There was more than brain-munching done on the evening. You can catch here the equally deadly slide-show concocted and compered by Richie (Jr.) and Micheál and the winners of the awards on the night.
We did pity Gav when it came to the awards: we have not seen him show such indecision since he was torn between the Krispy Kreme Chocolate Dream Cake and the Krispy Kreme Caramel Iced Ring. In that case he took both, but the Transition Year Awards force tough decisions, from Gav but also, in some cases, the voting teachers and students. Our two Cicero Classics Trivia Medal Award winners, however, took it on themselves, in a dramatic face-off in which Micheál Sweeney roared back to nip James O’Neill who had been marching unhindered like Crassus into Parthia. And Luke Timlin ran away with the Sports Award, beating Leinster’s best… sometimes on one leg. James Burke accepted the Francis John Barrett for Maiden Debaters directly from Francis’s brother, Richard. Then, the tough choices. Julia Pratginestos Carreno beat off many quality competitors to take the Best Website Award, capping a year in which she really blossomed at St. Conleth’s. And regarding the oldest, most bearable TY Trophy, the JP McGilligan Award, both Ciara Thornton and Micheál Sweeney earned deserved honourable mentionings, but Conor Kirwan walked off with the impressive sculpture for an awesome year, culminating in co-narrating the whole zombie thing.
The last awarded on the night is a very special one: special to everyone at St. Conleth’s as it is in honour of TY student Neil Quinlan who tragically passed away nine years ago. The award named for Neil is given to the TY student who shows the most spirit and is the most inclusive, as Neil always was. The TY students themselves voted Richard Caldwell to receive this award, and no better man of spirit or inclusion than Gav Maguire to present it to him.
Fencing has been an integral part of St. Conleth’s since its founding, with national champions and Olympians a proud part of our history, present and our future. As St. Conleth’s bids farewell to Claudio Sosa and James Moriarty Smyth this year (see article below) as they to pursue their third level education and international fencing careers, St. Conleth’s has a new up-and-coming fencer in the Junior School. Joining Myles Moriarty Smyth in the senior school, Michael Davitt in 5th Form is carrying on the Conlethian fencing tradition. From one Conlethian to another, Claudio, James and Myles have passed down tips, techniques, and experience to Michael.
Their support and encouragement, and Michael’s determination, has led him to finish the year ranked No. 2 in the U12 male foil fencers in Ireland. Michael’s consistent performances both nationally and internationally in ten fencing competitions during the 2021-2022 season has earned him one gold, four silver and four bronze medals! Michael plans to emulate his fellow Conlethians fencing success for many years into the future and to represent his school with pride. Enjoy the pics above and below of Michael and Myles in competition, as well as a parting glimpse of Claudio and James, and, of course, our in-house fencing guru, Maître David Couper, who just yesterday wrapped up his last after-school session with the next generation of swashbucklers!
Okay, okay… maybe we should give the Sixth Years one more chance and play them in Chess… but we have Mr. Gahan, past St. Conleth’s Chess Champion, and Ronan ‘The Rook’ Carvill… how about Tiddlywinks? Nope, Gav Maguire has represented Leinster there… maybe we just have to accept that The Boomers (and their little X helpers) just have something The Zoomers lack: JUICE!
Judging from the roars emanating from the Sports Hall on Thursday at lunch-time, Steph Curry draining multiple treys to shut the door on the Grizzlies has nothing on Sean Ingle singeing the nets for four straight jumpers, 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 Ronan Carvill and each exclamatory block delivered by ‘Swattin” Sam Carey. The hurling boys, Mr. Lonergan and Mr. O’Neill, did their part too, transferring skills learned over their long and storied GAA careers and Mr. Latvis even chipped in with a couple of playground pirouettes. The students were full of effort and not without talent: Adam Rafter led from the helm, Claudio was his usual useful engine of endeavour, Oisín Thornton periodically established his class and Captain Rory proved a surprisingly accurate marksman but they and the others just could not stem the flow of staff swish and bang. One of the biggest problems fro the Sixth Years was the propensity for the turnover. Let us jus say that we hope they hold their drink Friday night better than they held on to the ball!
Maybe ‘cultural context’, the bête noire of the Sixth Years’ English Paper II, actually does matter, as the country boys on the Staff Soccer Team casually worked on their farmer tans while stylishly pinging the ball around the pitch and into the net, and the callow youths of Ballsbridge and Blackrock frantically but futilely raced around in designer boots and incomprehensibly sacrilegious tee-shirts. Maybe an earnest prayer or two would have helped but, really, the deck was stacked against the kids from the beginning. For fourteen years now, we have tolerated the barbs and boasts which proliferate through the hallways and classrooms each Spring, just smiling gracefully and knowingly in reply, and then come mid-May and a lovely day in Irishtown, we do what we do every year: we play the jackeens off the pitch!
Up Leitrim! Up Tipp! Up Meath! Up Kilkenny! Up Wexford! ‘Commissioner’ Gordon Weldon bossed the midfield like it was harvest time in the fields surrounding his native Nobber, and he had a few surly farmhands to set to work on the combine. Oh, and did we obey orders! Mr. Lonergan, Mr. Morris and Mr. O’Neill put their ancestral county rivalries on hold and pulled together as only country lads can, putting in shifts of grit and determination, but the star of the county fair had to be Mr. Smith: watching him prance around the pitch, with all the elegance and subtlety of Messi on a midfield run or a prize Angus bull patrolling his paddock, was a wonder to behold, and his goal was top shelf- and top class. And the Staff Dubs also did their part: Mr. O’Dulaing, a Kevin Moran-like rock in defence; ‘Fuzzy’ Ger, importer of a bit of rugby ferocity to the right wing; Mr. Nolan, scorer of a wonder goal straight from a corner; Mr. Carvill, who got his angles and muscular torsion calculations spot-on, volleying home a stunner; and the ‘Triple S’ brigade of youngsters- Sean, Sam and Shane- who all added some style to our substance. Of course, we cannot forget Gavin Sheridan, our rarely seen PME teacher of Accounting and Home Economics, who came out of nowhere to play like a pro (we said ‘like‘) in goals.
As for the students…. all we can say is ‘Where have you gone, Steven Canavan? On what fields do you now roam, John Martin? ‘ Does anyone remember the absolute class of Steven, and his box-to-box excellence, in 2008, the last year we suffered a defeat, honourable as it was, to such a classy foe? Or John’s absolute screamer of a goal in 2013, alas in a memorable 2-1 defeat for the students? Maybe it is the effects covid but we expected more chutzpah in these kids! To be fair, they had some moments: Matthew McKeown played midfield like he plays life… with quality, manners and style; Conor Hyland did make some memorable runs, darting this way and that, beating half a dozen of us, but then running smack into a northern spur of the Galtees; Oisín Thorton made some turns on a dime and actually did not complain too much; Luca Saroli showed some continental class, and with only a bit of the usual Italian hysterics; the two whippets, Weatherley and Norse, amply advertised their Early Classical Greek sculpture physiques, but to no avail, as Daniel, with his closest miss, almost killed the guy smoking whacky tobaccy under the trees and William played manfully but was left, in the end, sitting cross-legged and despondent on the astro, repeatedly whispering to himself ‘But I am from Blackrock…’ and wondering if the Institute did grinds in ‘soccer’.
Ah, but to be fair, it was a good-natured match, especially in comparison to the Mr. Trenier-orchestrated bloodbaths of the past, and Mr. Keenan barely had to raise his whistle… or look the other way. How rough could it be when the students’ goalkeeper was the amiable back-up drummer to a local Nickelback tribute band? In the end, hands were shook (most of them), platitudes were issued and as the kids began to make much more important (and hopefully more fruitful) plans for impending adulthood and life, we repaired to headquarters (McCloskey’s) and set to work planning for victory number XV!
The last few weeks have been a flurry of activities which have… in living colour, in full surround sound and 4D (that last D would be the smell of the magnolias, as well as the Dodder at low tide)… put paid to any idea that we are not back in full, for real and for good. The academics stayed through zoom and mask but the fun and the true spirit of being a Conlethian took a battering but now, with the canteen in full swing, concerts and debates in full voice and graduations (in the flesh) in the full planning stage, we can sigh, maybe wash our hands, and enjoy life. And the coup-de-grace has to be the return of a real, full-blooded Sportsday.
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 this most eagerly anticipated (and missed) of yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday. All the usual suspects were there: Mr. Smith, Head of All Sport and Master of Ceremonies; various teachers, Mr. Keenan, veteran of a half century of Sportsdays, the rightly selective Bestower of Medals; some rookies and some old hands at their various athletic stations; and, of course, hordes of fuelled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with sugar, adrenalin and competitive zeal. This last group spent the day, or at least the morning, running, jumping, tugging, stumbling, staggering, bumbling and either winning or cheering (and laughing) or just having fun, as others took their turns.
Yes, we said running…
and having fun!
In slo -mo…
and fast forward!
Actually, we still have the McCarthy Cup for First Years to be won, but all the rest of the St. Conleth’s Senior School Debates have been run and won, and some new names will now be etched alongside all the past greats on the Kinlen and Gardner Cups and the Bouchier-Hayes and Francis John Barrett Plates. Our Dynamic Debating Duo of Coach Rory O’Sullivan and Auditor Oisín Power ran a tight show, fitting two complete debates and the deciding of four trophies into one midmorning, in the stylish surrounds of the KD Kelleher Wing’s Performance Hall. Gone of the days when the wall between Rooms 1 and 2 would be ‘rolled back’ and the resultant bear pit would bear witness to such raucous affairs that the US Embassy Marines would pay a flying visit.
One of our debating greats of yore, Gerard Ellis of the class of 1972, was on hand to present the Kinlen Cup to Saoirse Corry, and Gerard noticed the changes in decor and decorum since his day, not the least of which was his presentation of the award to a member of the fairer sex: he missed out on the introduction of girls by just a few years! Gerard and the adjudicators and everyone in a attendance were impressed by Saoirse’s cool, calm and collected dissection of the motion promoting a Sinn Fein led unification of the nation, but the competition was fierce, as you can see and hear from the snippets below.
Then, after a few breaths break, we launched into an impromptu debate on the merits of having a perfect memory. We, ourselves, can’t remember any specific lines, but once again we have captured some below, as Leo Nolan and Colman Hegarty took the team prize of the Bouchier-Hayes Plate and Oisín Power won the Gardner Cup for best individual speaker. We also proudly awarded the Francis John Barrett Plate for Best Maiden Debater for the first time, which went to James Burke, who did well to more than hold his own in both debates, surrounded as he was by Leinster finalists.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’: A mature, weighty motion for our Second and Third Years to tackle in the annual O’Connor Cup Debate, indeed. You might think: how could these kids, wet behind the ears and profoundly innocent in the ways of the world, and the heart, manage to say anything of note in support or denial of Tennyson’s immortal maxim?
Ah, but you would be wrong, as all these youngsters have been learning about debating and about Cupid’s follies from Coach Rory O’Sullivan and Auditor Oisín Power, both of whom happen to be noted experts on the affairs of the heart, as well as rhetorical geniuses. Rory is known as the ‘Casanova of the Classics’ amongst the Greek and Roman set at Trinners and let us just say that Oisín has cut a Valentino-wide swathe through the debutantes of the Class of 2022.
The result was that all our speakers managed to make some very mature reflections on the motion, bringing some laughs from the audience, yes, but also some bittersweet tears from the more wistful and melancholic older staff members, like Mr. Lonergan. All the debaters made their mark, some with skilful presentation, some with well-structured arguments, some with a bit of both, but in the end James Power edged out Milo Smith and Michael Moore and a very high quality field.
James Power is the kind of kid of who makes the ‘Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence’ theory rather redundant: you aren’t left scrambling and scraping for something that he is good at- he is great at everything! Thankfully, James also has a sense of humour to go along with the academic, sporting and debating prowess, which limits the begrudgery. James proved the debating skills in his recent third place finish at the Leinster Junior Schools Debating Finals, almost matching Turlough Dineen’s accomplishment in the Senior division.
Part of the reason for our continued inter-school debating success is the hot house nature of our domestic debating: winning Room 4 in our after-school debating dust-ups is not much easier than taking a Leinster Semi-Final. Debating Coach Rory O’Sullivan and Auditor Oisín Power have been working with a particularly strong group, across the different years, and we thought we would give you a glimpse of them, as we head into the in-house debating finals period. Over the next few weeks, The O’Connor, The McCarthy, The Gardner and The Kinlen Cups, as well as The Bouchier-Hayes Plate, will be awarded in debate competitions for the various year groups. And this year, a new debating award, The Francis John Barrett Plate for Maiden Speakers, will be presented. Stay tuned!
‘You cannot be serious!’ but, yes, we are! The Senior Girls Tennis Team’s success a few weeks back seems to have inspired a full scale tennis riot at St. Conleth’s and the hockey and the rugby and the basketball coaches are getting worried… who is to credit (or blame)? Well Mr. Keenan, for one, for starting the tennis craze at St. Conleth’s, and keeping it going through the generations, and Mr. Lonergan for taking up the racquet these last few years… but, wait, who is that, standing and smiling slyly in the dappled shadows of the tree-lined Herbert Park courts? Why, it is none other than Sixth Year Ryan MacDonnell, who has persevered over the years with his love for the gentleman’s game, played by gentlemen (and ladies). Like Richard Milhous in ’72, Ryan lay low, bided his time and now his moment has come… and St. Conleth’s is storming the nets! Ryan’s own Senior Boys have battled mightily and the Minor Boys just finished their season top of their league group!
Sixth Years James Moriarty Smyth and Claudio Sosa Smatrala are bowing out in style, after thrilling us with their fencing exploits for years. Each leaves the field with head held high, having put many to the sword across a swathe of national and international tournaments and having led a fencing renaissance at St. Conleth’s. Both end the 2022 fencing season and their tenure at St Conleth’s ranked
within the top 10 of their respective weapons: Claudio, First in Senior
Men’s Foil and James, Eighth in Senior Men’s Sabre. As one period draws
to a close, so another begins: Claudio is now set to build upon his FIE
Junior World success, while August sees James represent Northern Ireland
at the Fencing Commonwealth in London. To the victors, go the spoils…
*Now with more photos! Our sailors can once again take a bow (and a small glass of port) as they did St. Conleth’s proud in the team racing championships. And, once again, we have Mrs. Bolger to thank for the details!
St. Conleth’s took Second Place in the All-Ireland Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George! On board were Captain Russell Bolger; helms Daniel O’Connor and Louis McGovern; and crews Fergus O’Reilly, Richard Caldwell and dynamic sailing siblings, Senan and Saoirse Cory.
The All-Ireland is the most prestigious team racing regatta for schools. 13 teams competed, coming from all over Ireland. It was the first time the regatta has been held in Leinster after being held in Schull for many years. It was wonderful to have the regatta in the familiar waters off the Royal St. George and the teams loved the semi-formal dinner on the Saturday evening with suits and dresses the order of the day, and crystal and mahogany suitable accompaniment to the salt spray!
It was a great opportunity for the sailors, who have been competing against each other in many cases for years at club level, to have the chance to join together in a team environment and to represent their school. St. Conleths came in Second Place with 80% race wins, a fantastic score indeed, beating some great teams such as Rochestown of Cork who came in third and St. Andrew’s, competing with three teams. Gonzaga were the overall winners and, of course, there was special rivalry between St. Conleth’s and Gonzaga with Russell’s brother Trevor captaining the Gonzaga team.
Many thanks to the Conlethian parents who volunteered at the two day event: Orna Tubridy and Rowena Bolger on the finish boat; Rosemary McGovern, who assisted David Bolger, race officer for the event; Lorraine O’Connor on results; and Richard O’Connor, current Commodore of the RSGYC, who presented prizes and officiated at the dinner on the Saturday. Joanna O’Reilly supported the prizegiving and, overall, St. Conleth’s parents were very involved in the event. A big thank you to Mr. Smith who supported the team all along, including at the training sessions!
With spring in the air and their step, St. Conleth’s athletes hit the ground running at the East Leinster’s in Santry! TY Luke Timlin won Silver in the 200m, despite running with injury, and classmate James Bourke also impressively made the 200 Final.
And Second Years Daniel and Luke Kirwan, Colman O’Flynn and Hugh Leahy won the 4x100m relay outright! Luke now goes on to the Leinster Finals, where he has previously had great success. More racing today so stay tuned!
The Roman emperors were often declared divus by their successors in gratitude for a lifetime of toil and trouble on behalf of the SPQR. Apparently, of all the deified emperors, only Vespasian saw the humour in this designation being generally a posthumous one, declaring “Dear me, I think I’m becoming a god’ on his deathbed. Caligula and Domitian, however, saw the inherent irony in the situation and jumped the gun, claiming godhood for themselves, while still very much enjoying lives of unfettered debauchery and despotism. Things did not end well for them but we believe young Turlough Dineen’s fate will be different, despite us anointing him the divus novus of St. Conleth’s Debating while he is till very much alive… and speaking, scowling, and staring into the distance with substance.
Turlough takes his place in a storied pantheon of Conlethian oratorical immortals. You have read below of White, Gilligan and Roche’s passing on of the Irish Times Debating crown like a house heirloom, and names like Costigan, Coleman, Hastings, O’Dwyer, Quinn et al litter the annals of Irish (and the world’s) schools and collegiate debating. Turlough’s meteoric rise rivals any of those storied greats. After cutting a stylish swathe through Junior Debating, he entered the Leinster Schools Senior Debate as an outright outsider: a mere TY in a competition made up of nearly all Sixth Years in its final stages and as an individual, lacking the one-two punch of being part of a team. Yet when all the various rounds were done, Turlough could lift his head from his hands, where it lay in rhetorical mock agony, and hold it high as he finished second in all of Leinster!
Enjoy Turlough’s full final speech above, and snaps above and below, of our kid Cicero in action, but we must also praise the part played by two other individuals essential to Turlough’s triumph: Auditor of Debates Oisín Power and Debating Coach Rory O’Sullivan. Yes, Oisín is that kid in your class who thought he knew better than the teacher: the problem with Oisín is that he often does… and he always makes his points powerfully and sometimes, politely. Well, when Oisín was prevented from entering the competition on a debating cabal concocted technicality, he did not sulk (for long, anyways) but took all that intelligence, energy and splutter and put it to use exhorting onwards Turlough and a whole stable of young Conlethian debaters. And Rory O’Sullivan was also there, every step of the way, teaching the actual nuts and bolts, points and parries of schools debating. Rory is a brave man, being the first non-Conlethian, and a Corkonian at that, to take up the mantle of Debating Coach at St. Conleth’s but when he showed up at Number 28 with a carpet bag full of Greek epics and dirty French novels, we knew he was our man!
Fencing has been important to St. Conleth’s since the foundation of the school but skiing is a relatively recent addition to our wide portfolio of sporting stars. Sixth Year Claudio Sosa Smatrala followed up his recent fencing exploits with participation in a special, invite-only International Fencing Federation Camp in Dubai under Olympian Petru Kuki, in preparation for the World Championships.
And though the sun was splitting the stones in most parishes over the Easter break, Third Year Michael Horan managed to find enough snow on the Kilternan slopes to win the Ski Club of Ireland U16 Boys’ Slalom outright and come third in the Grand Slalom. Well done, Michael!
We all knew that there was a bit of the pirate in Third Year Daniel O’Connor: the adventurer, the raconteur, the risk-taker… but we did not realise that he had the actual sailing skills to surpass the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. Yes, cycling may be a challenge for Daniel, but put a rope in his hands, and a sail overhead, and he flies with the wind! Over Easter, while the rest of us were cutting the grass (or pretending to cut the grass on The Sims), Daniel got off the couch, went to Baltimore and kicked some Cork kister, winning First Prize at the Irish Laser Class Association’s Munster Championships!
And to make it true all-St. Conleth’s yacht party, Daniel was joined by two TYs at the Ireland Youth Nationals, where Mrs. Bolger kindly takes up the story:
Well done to the Conleth’s sailors who competed at the prestigious All-Ireland Youth Nationals in Ballyholme this Easter! It was a gruelling windy four day event but the Conlethians are tough cookies! Daniel O’Connor (Third Year) made the podium with an amazing third place, impressively following up his victory in the Munster’s in Baltimore. Go Daniel and the fab TY duo of Russell Bolger and Louis McGovern who came 7th in the 29er fleet. Not bad at all for their first official event sailing together in that super competitive skiff fleet! Good luck to these three sailors who along with the team will represent their school at the All Ireland Irish Team racing Championships in the Royal St. George Yacht club next weekend. The St. Conleth’s sailing team will be announced during the week.
With a nascent GAA movement amongst the girls and tennis matches happening across the years, St. Conleth’s College Head of Sport Ciarán Smith has his hands full but that does not make him forget the school’s first and truest love: rugby. Here, he reports himself on an event that wrapped up rugby activities with a suitable flourish.
Our St. Conleth’s Rugby players welcomed boys and girls from Colégio Pedro Arrupe, a school based in Lisbon. They travelled as part of a rugby tour and brought students across the 11-18 years age range. CPA are a small but growing rugby school in Lisbon and a passionate one. They showed tremendous courage and some excellent skills throughout all ages. And our guys were brilliant host, and showing excellent hospitality towards the students. They welcomed them with open arms… except when tackling them in the sessions, scrimmages and matches! The three ‘official’ matches resulted in a draw, with a mixture of 15 a side games for the 1st Years and JCTs. Our Seniors played 7s against the Portuguese counterparts in some excellent matches. To top it all off, players from both sides enjoyed burgers and drinks served up by Chefs Mark and Emerson. A small presentation followed as their captains presented our Senior Captain Daniel Weatherly with some memorabilia from their school. It was a fantastic day organised by Gav Maguire, who unfortunately missed it, but we ended up with an invitation to visit Lisbon with our rugby players and go for a rematch!
A proper end to Lent! St. Conleth’s Transition Years were proud to present The Down Syndrome Centre with a cheque after breaking all records for speed and amounts when collecting. Believe us, the boys and girls can be very convincing… but this time, for the best of reasons!
Yes, cue the classic 1980 Queen soundtrack song whenever Mr. Weldon is around because he is definitely our otherworldly superhero! Is there anything which our Guidance Counsellor ‘Flash’ Gordon can’t do? In the midst of CAO meltdowns and UCAS panics, he brought the girls out for some GAA training and Hugo Lennon for some tossing of the ole’ shot-put!
Nestled as we are between the shadow-dappled courts of Herbert Park and the power and prestige of the Fitzwilliam Lawn and Tennis Club, it is rather natural that St. Conleth’s would develop a tennis culture. And, indeed, tennis, like fencing and cricket, has been linked with the school since its very founding. And organising and inspiring our tennis teams for nearly all those years has been Shay Keenan, Master of All Sports. Shay is now concentrating on running the whole Leinster schools show, so our Mr. Lonergan has stepped up to the net and is proving a dab hand at this courtly sport, despite being disappointed to hear that tennis is a good bit more non-contact than Tipp hurling. Well, Mr. Lonergan has quite a spirited and talented squad of players, perhaps to rival Conlethian tennis legends such as Alex Hamilton, the Brothers English and the whole Kelleher clan.
The girls were up first and our Senior Team thrilled us with a victory over Sandford Park, with Sixth Years Emilie Ogawa Boostrom and Ava O’Mahony dramatically clinching the tie with a final match victory. TYs Sophia Jacobi, Meadbh Joye, Olivia Doyle, Adelaide Donnelly and Christina Corrigan and Fifth Year Timea Kovacs also competed well, and against older, more experienced opponents. Our U16s went down to powerhouse Mt. Anville but Lucy McGoldrick and Sophia won their game and Charlotte O’Donoghue, Ciara Prendergast, Anna Carroll and Maude Kinlay all played well, as did our U-14s who lost out to Mt. Anville and Drogheda Grammar with Lydia O’Connor, Isabella Lombardo, Eva Ryan, Emma Barkin, Aoife Hayden, Inez O’Donoghue, Jane Sweeney and Maggie Matthews all answering the call. Plenty of positives for the future of St. Conleth’s tennis!
Sixth Year Fencer Fatale Claudio Sosa cannot be foiled! He has been selected for the World Championship in Dubai and to represent the European International Fencing Federation at the International Fencing Camp, and he recently won Senior Gold at both the East of Ireland Open and the South Ireland Open! Representing Ireland at the camp is a particularly impressive accomplishment and privilege as it is only ‘on invite’ and Claudio is the only Irish fencer to make the grade. Of course, he continues to maintain the Senior Male Foil ranking of No. 1 in Ireland. Claudio and his family are keen to point out that, in all his various fencing endeavours, he is not only representing his country but also St. Conleth’s, the school that kindly supported him and helped him to develop into an internationally recognised fencer.
Our Junior Hockey Team is back with a bang! After a heart-breaking League Semi-Final defeat, they stormed back to win the prestigious title of Junior A – Dublin South School Girls League, beating Sion Hill 2-0, Our Lady’s Grove 2-0, drawing with Rapheala’s 1-1 and Killian’s 0-0. The girls are thrilled after an intense debate about points: thinking we’d lost, then won, then drew … to finally winning!! An escastic bus journey home ensued. It was a fabulous team effort and well done to coaches Ms. Speller, Ms. Handley and Jules. Roll on next year, at Senior level!
And our ‘Junior Juniors’ are also doing well, having drawn with John Scotus!
Never mind The Skull and Bones, The Bullingdon and The Stonecutters: the most exclusive and powerful club in the land is the St. Conleth’s Past Pupil Debating Society! No, it is not officially listed anywhere, and charter members such as Ian Hastings (2006) and Michael O’Dwyer (2010) may well deny their membership, wary of alienating the Trumpites and the Sorosians (respectfully), and slowing their inexorable climb to world power, but the club certainly exists: just wander into the lobby of the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère in Davos in late May this year and you may well run into those two sipping Gibsons at the bar and… oh, look who just walked in? It is Conor White (Captain, 2015)… I wonder what he is doing here?
Ah yes, Conor White, he who ruled the Class of 2015 with an iron grip and velvet glove, before being selected for Ad Astra at UCD and completing a Master’s in Law at Cambridge, has officially joined the party. Conor leapt the last rung by being crowned (with Ross Merriman) Team Champions of the 2022 Irish Times Debate… or should we call it the St. Conleth’s Alumni Debate? Conor joins fellow Conlethian Past Pupil winners Daniel Gilligan (2016), Kevin Roche (2013) and Liam Brophy (2010); all of whom, needless to say, are also in ‘the club’. Conor and his partner argued convincingly in support of the motion ‘That this house believes that COVID-19 has shown that Ireland is not up to the challenges of the 21st century.’ Probably true, but perhaps also just setting the stage for a coup d’état by the boys during the next emergency? Stay tuned…
We were so busy processing our ace reporter (and over-enthusiastic amateur herpetologist) Emilio’s 3,000+ photos of various visiting reptiles last week that we completely neglected a very significant sporting achievement by our Junior School Girls! Small in number but huge in heart and spirit, our Junior School Hockey players celebrated one very hard fought win and one equally hard fought loss in a double against Our Lady’s Grove. Well one to all the players, coaches and TY helpers!
And we will take this opportunity to also bring you some snaps from our Senior School Junior team who went down valiantly (and undermanned) in the Dublin League Semifinal. Great to see so much support on the sidelines from students and staff, including Current ‘Head of All Sport’ Ciaran Smith and former ‘Head of All Sport’ Gavin Maguire. Especially nice to see Gav showing up, obviously harbouring no ill feelings despite the furore over ‘Donut-gate’ which hastened the end of his tenure in office.
Some things are bigger than the game. Mt. Temple showed their sportsmanship and sheer class by presenting St. Conleth’s First Year Rugby team with a jersey in honour of our Past Pupil Pierre Zakrzewski. Both teams observed a minute of silence before a well-played, spirited match, which St. Conleth’s won 26-5.
And on a day that showcased our rising young rugby talent, we also saw that our old warriors still had plenty of fight in them. Orals? Mocks? Practicals? Not on this day! The only ‘grind’ these brave boys wanted to take on was the fortifying ‘oomph’ of the scrum! Our SCT were edged out by Gonzaga 27-19, but our Sixth Years were once again impressive in their spirited, sporting swansong.
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. Newly crowned CEO Tony Kilcommons proudly continued this tradition this year, delighted that his personal favourite, ‘Carmen’, was serendipitously appearing at the Bord Gais Theatre. Tony relates how he and the other forwards of the Athlone Rugby Football Club would often serenade (and console) each other in the showers after particularly tough matches with arias from the risqué Bizet, and, by all accounts, it was an amazing production, even rendering Oisín Power, noted opera aficionado, into a blubbering mass of tears at the most poignant moments… but that could have been the thimble of Jameson quaffed beforehand at The Palace. Ms. Fay and Ms. McGuinness, our dynamic duo of music, were also duly impressed, as were Form Teachers, Ms. NiAonghusa and Mr. Coleman, who worked wonders organising the outing on short notice. Good to see that the culture vultures, a migratory bird banished by the Covid reaction, have returned!
Four brave young men (five, counting HOS Ciaran Smith, maybe not so young anymore but still exceedingly brave) manfully marched into the maelstrom on Monday and endured miserable conditions to proudly represent St. Conleth’s in the real ‘gentlemen’s game, played by gentlemen’: golf! The Woodenbridge Golf Club was the bucolic setting for our brave boys as they battled rain, cold, wind, hail and sleet all day, yet persevered like the best of the US Postal Service. Matthew McKeown, Dougie Nagle, Richard Caldwell and Coleman O’Flynn’s names should be writ large when it comes to reckoning the sporting heroes of this year. An extremely difficult day weather wise but the guys battled hard and tried their best. We do pity Mr. Smith, who thought he was off on a ‘Cummiskey-like’ junket… a few bevvies in the clubhouse, a few goes own the putting green, chatting up the house pro, etc… but ended up stumbling home, waterlogged and wind-burnt, at 9:00 PM!
A quick note from HOS Mr. Smyth about the JCT match last Wednesday:
We played Clongowes and won 26-22: a super result with a great display of aggression and resilience. Our boys came up against a side with raucous support from their classmates and experienced the booming chants that would usually be only evident on a Senior Cup day. They prevailed and, with determination, Rian Lawlor powered his way through the Clongowes defence. There were some superb individual performances, especially by Jamie MacNicolas who must have made fifty tackles! Also great to see Fionán Power back bossing the pitch, as he has had such an injury-plagued year. Other superb performers were James Power, Stefi Saroli and ‘Gentleman’ Cillian Cooke but, overall, it was a brilliant team performance. That’s two wins from two in the league!
Some of us did get a bit more exercise over the Covid Era, walking the designer hybrid pup, who every day was getting a little bit noisier and little less cute, to the tip of the Dún Laoghaire Pier, but I doubt many our ‘step counts’ could match TY Luke Timmins’s over the same period: certainly not in quality, even if in quantity! For Luke has been steadily adding to his already impressive hoard of Track and Field medals and trophies, and now the shine off his swag would even please the crew of the Black Pearl! Luke won the Silver in the dash at the 2021 National Juvenile U16 Championships and then an unprecedented Quadruple Gold at the Dublin Indoor Juvenile U17 Championships: in the 400m, 200m, Long Jump and 4 x 200 relay. (Yes, he did allow three team-mates to run the other legs of the relay… but probably could have done it himself!) Well done, Luke, and we look forward to your appearance at the National Championship at the end of March.
It has been some year for Lucy McGoldrick. While the rest of us spent the covid days moaning and endlessly adjusting our masks, Third Year Lucy was playing hockey for Leinster and leading her team, in true ‘goalkeeper-quirky’ fashion, through to the Leinster league Semi-Final.
Now, an even rarer, and more impressive feat has been accomplished: Irish Hockey has named Lucy to its U16 squad. There are plenty of challenges and adventures ahead for Lucy with a five nations tournament taking place in the Netherlands from April 14th to 19th, a series against Scotland in Edinburgh in early July and a further tournament in mid-July in Terrassa, Spain. We will be there with you! In spirit definitely, and thanks to the return of sanity and travel, maybe even in the flesh, via Ryanair!
For too long we have let the basketball, the hockey and the rugby players dominate the headlines: we all know St. Conleth’s is really a chess school! Well, opening gambits have been played, and we have the first news of the season: Mr. Carvill The Younger has done his due diliogence, said ten ‘Hail Dr. Tonys’ and moved the boards outside for the start of the Annual St. Conleth’s Chess tournaments. And this covidy action has had an added side benefit: some of these kids have only seen the cold light of Gameboys and calculator watches since the lockdown began! So, chess al fresco it is and the competition and the fresh air will do these cave trolls some good! Stay tuned as the results roll in and the swagger starts!
It seems just like yesterday that Coach ‘Giv ’em Hell’ Speller and I were arranging a hockey team on the legendary front steps of No. 28 Clyde Road for a pre-quarterfinal team photo, complete with lettered signs… but apparently it was three or four years ago! Tempus fugit! Well, Coach Speller and the girls are at it again, but this time we are starting with the Semifinals! See the photo below as well as some action shots from the recent league win which sealed that postseason date!
Louis ‘Hightower’ Magee wears a few hats: mindfulness guru; Head of Junior School PE; proud St. conleth’s parent; roving rugby specialist coach… and Head Coach of the St. Conleth’s SCT. This last job has been a tough but rewarding one this year as the boys have often been outmatched in numbers and size, but never in spirit or heart, and the unity that Louis has inculcated in the squad is evident at every match, no matter what the score. This past week the team lost a tough one to Belverdere but heads did not drop and there were plenty of positives, not least the scintillating play of two Weatherleys, Daniel and Sean, just as lil’ bro’ Ross was lighting up the JCT’s field of play. We do not whether it is the genes or the Weetabix, but we ask Mr. and Mrs. Weatherley to not change a thing about their boy-raring!
Our Sixth Years’ season and Conleth’s career is winding down now, and this is always a bittersweet time- made a good bit sweeter by Louis’s organisation of the purchase of new jerseys for the squad. Yes, our boys may not win every match but they always play with class and style… and are always the best looking team on the pitch!
Ms. Speller may have picked some tips up, herself, from her History classes on the great dictators and generals of the Twentieth Century because when her hockey players take to the pitch, there is certainly a ruthlessness to her gameplan and approach… and it works! And like General ‘Nuts’ McAuliffe, Coach ‘Give ’em Hell’ Speller just will not surrender…. our sporting headlines!
Her Juniors beat the auld enemy St. Columba’s yesterday to remain top of their Leinster League. Juliet Donnelly and Greta Lawless were on the mark with Eli Strahan playing a stormer in the field and Lucy McGoldrick again unbeatable in goals. And Second Year Jane Sweeney stepped up and provided some backbone to our formation just when we needed it. Yes, top of the league, and marching onwards!
Yes, St. Conleth’s still plays rugby… and we play it darned well! All that bball and hockey talk must take a backseat as Gav Maguire (Class of 1990) and his JCT are back to winning ways! Here, Gav gives us his spirited match report:
Our JCT got off to winning ways in the Junior Thirds league. With a 41 – 17 win against Belvedere. A great performance by the whole squad with special mention to Ross ‘Whippet’ Weatherly making such a big impact with his first game back since the before Christmas.
James ‘Hightower’ Power was again at his excellent best, with Andrew ‘Grrrrrr…’ Gore Grimes having that finishing touch. The team played some great rugby with moving the ball with width and all players playing a massive part in the victory. ‘Silky’ Stefi Saroli keeps the defences honest with sniping runs around the ruck while also feeding ross with some crisp passes.
The pack is pushed forward by Captain Fantastic (and D4’s most eligible batchelor) Cillian Cooke and with some big ball carries in the like of ‘Rampant’ Rian and ‘Lord’ George and the ‘Twinkle Toes’ Diego, he doesn’t have a hard job.
The team is shaping up nicely and are displaying nice attacking rugby with some great skills. The coaches ‘Sagacious’ Smith and ‘Never Say Die’ Nugent have put in some great work with the squad and it’s paying dividends!
The Silver Screen and, even more so, its diminutive cousin, are full of high school scenarios and tales where the jocks are the thuggish, shape-throwing villains (remember Mr. T?) and the heroes are well-meaning, toilet-cleaning, dweebish guys like Screech or Gav Maguire. Well, at St. Conleth’s you don’t have to choose between being academic and sporty… or artsy and musical, for the matter: you can be anything you want, and in any combination you would like! Our reputation for music, debating, art and chess is well established but the way our sports teams are winning lately, especially the girls’ teams, we may just have to work hard to prevent other schools’ kids from scattering when ours saunter onto the DART or the No. 10… Watch out for those Conleth’s jocks! Or is that jockesses? Jockettes? Anyways… the latest sporting triumphs? The girls pulled a trifecta last week with First/Second Year basketball beating Wesley and both Junior and Senior Hockey teams winning, 1-0. Just make sure you don’t accidentally sit at their table in the cafeteria!
How are we doing in Díospóireacht? Unfortunately, our Irish debating team of Evan Power, Cariosa O’Farrell and Coleman Hegarty were knocked out of the Irish debating competition last week by two very polished teams from Loreto-Dalkey and St Leo’s-Carlow. But it was a glorious run for Gang Gaeilge and those involved picked up much more than just cupla focail. An-mhaith!
The big man with the knack for a pass has been around since the dollar Bills, Russell and Walton, led their respective NBA teams to glory by judiciously giving it up to a teammate as often as stuffing it in the hoop. Luke Gilleran (Class of 2021) was just that kind of player for St. Conleth’s: drawing double-triple-quadruple coverage and dishing to a teammate on the wing, usually the sharp-shooting Colin Bolger. That dynamic duo had a glorious schools basketball destiny derailed by covidiocy, but they still managed to groan our trophy shelf with accumulated basketball swag… and swagger. And Luke is back in the news, having just led his club, Marian, to cup glory, but his greatest ‘assist’ may just be the inspiration he has given to the ballers at his alma mater. See, at St. Conleth’s, now there are some New Kids on the Block: literally, in this case, as Coaches Ingle and Gahan often sample their favourite boy band when inspiring the troops in the court-side huddle. The recipients of these half-rapped, half-crooned ditties of zone-busting wisdom? A whole raft of teams, across the ages and genders, but particularly effective with the U-16 Girls who won the Ireland East D League with both grit and aplomb. And Head of Sport Mr. Smyth responded by laying on a pizza party for the girls (and the coaches… and Gav Maguire, for some reason). We are sure there will be plenty more celebrations in the future, and a seat at them will always be reserved for house legends like Luke!
Luke Leads Marian to National Cup Glory!
In Mr. Lonergan’s native Tipp, the lambs will soon be gambling around the pastures green, and nothing can better warm a country boy’s heart than that sight, but today’s cross country race at Blackrock College must come a very close second. After months of watching the students’ heads sag behind their masks and covid restrictions, the kids were finally allowed to run free in the sun and the wind and the cold! Mind you, the more stationary Mr. Lonergan and Mr. Keenan were happy to have worn their long-johns, but the sheer delight with which our motley group of First through Third Years took to the freedom of the fields was a joy to see. And the different relay teams competed well, especially the Third Years, as they kept pace with schools who have daily running regimens, and finished very respectfully. Perhaps, there was no podium place, but the boys and girls involved were winners, nevertheless: victorious over our endemic inertia!
A good news story to start the year and the return to school: Ms. Speller’s and Ms. Handley’s hockey hordes all received their stylish new school jerseys before the break. 2022 promises even more hockey plates, cups and trophies… and now we have the stylish gear for proper team photos! A big thank you to the Transition Years who helped organise the whole, complicated process.
The Oblates Hall in Inchicore was once again the venue for a colossal Conlethian basketball triumph as Coaches Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan led the U16 Girls to the Dublin Basketball D League Crown with a thrilling victory over Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh! Hi-Scorers were Jodi Ryan and Lucy McGoldrick, netting ten points apiece, but it was a real team effort and every single player deserves notice: Ciara Prendergast, Greta Lawless, Ru O’Sullivan, Ella Smyth, Charlotte O’Donoghue, Sadbh McGonigle, Anna O’Neill and Brook O’Connor.
The first half was close but a huge third quarter, in which the green-and-black outscored their opponents 15-0, enabled the St. Conleth’s girls to pull away, rooted on by Head of Sport Ciara Smith and a raucous gang of select supporters. Yes, after the Covid lull, St. Conleth’s basketball is back with a bang and the cups and shields are starting to bulge the trophy case, once again. Well done to the coaches, all the players and the supporters!
Our U16 Girls Basketball team are through to the Dublin Final and not only are the players accurate markspeople, so are their coaches. Here, Coach Ingle gives a straight-up account of his bball bro, Mr. Gahan’s, latest tactical triumph.
Adamstown started strongly, netting two quick baskets and getting out to an early lead. Ciara Prendergast got St. Conleth’s on the board and retaliated with a basket for St. Conleth’s but Adamstown Community College stretched their lead out further to 10 – 2 with a couple of baskets in quick succession. An early timeout by Coach Gahan and a change of team tactics to zone defence seemed to slow the scoring run.
After getting used to the physicality of Adamstown. St. Conleths roared back in the 2nd Quarter with baskets by Jodi Ryan, Lucy McGoldrick and Anna O Neill. With great teamwork on display from all of the girls, a lot of purposeful passing ended up with some wide open looks at the basket. The St. Conleth’s defence held firm and only allowed 2pts in the 2nd Quarter which allowed us to take a small lead into the halftime break.
The 3rd quarter was much of the same from St. Conleth’s with some defensive contributions from Brooke O Connor and great passing from Ella Smyth and Ciara Prendergast. More timely baskets in the 3rd quarter stretched the St. Conleths lead to 9pts by the end of the 3rd Quarter.
Another great start to the 4th quarter allowed us to pile on the points with great baskets from Charlotte O Donoghue and Anna O Neill. However, Adamstown weren’t going to lie down that easily. They scored a flurry of baskets to make it a 5pt game with 1 minute to go. The St. Conleth’s defense came through and held out for the win.
Final Score: Adamstown Community College (25) v St Conleth’s (31)
Top Scorers: Anna O Neill:16 pts; Lucy McGoldrick: 9pts; Charlotte O Donoghue, Ciara Prendergast, Jodi Ryan: 2 pts
Dating from the glory days of Pat McGrath and William Prasifka, St. Conleth’s has always had at least one sneaker in the squash court, and current Third Year Ismail Abdelwahed has continued that storied tradition. Ismail was back playing squash after almost two years of covidiocy and he certainly came back with a bang: winning two trophies in the first few weeks of the season. Ismail won Gold in the Mount Pleasant Junior Open (not losing a single set in the final!) and Silver in the Connacht Open in Galway. Should the strong performances continue, Ismail is on course to be ranked the Irish No. 1 in his age group. Well done, Ismail!
The Toy Show had plenty of adorable kids jumping around the place, emitting affected roars, but there is one St. Conleth’s Third Year whose charming growl you had better listen to! Lucy McGoldrick has been chosen as goalkeeper for the Leinster squad and has even been put forth for Irish trials, a great honour for herself, her coaches and St. Conleth’s as a whole.
We have had Leinster rugby tennis players and Irish fencers, golfers and basketball players but this is certainly our first Leinster hockey player, and a a tribute to the remarkably quick transformation into a ‘hockey school’ which we have undergone since Ms. Speller’s arrival a few short years (and several trophies) ago. Lucy, of course, earned the honour, herself, and if anyone is lucky enough to have Lucy in class, they know of the talent, spirit and leadership skills she shows in every field of endeavour. Above we see Lucy with her coach and her Leinster teammates while below we hear more about her motivation and goals.
There were two stirring Rugby Cup matches for St. Conleth’s this past week, and both conveyed the same message: the boys in black and green are talented, committed and spirited and all opponents, no matter how big, must be ready to battle to earn every single yard of the pitch. The SCT fought bravely against the big boys of Good Counsel- New Ross, losing 14-5 but earning plaudits from the coaches, opponents and the ref. It was a real team effort, with our well-honed skill set trumping the opponents’ brawn and accomplishing a complete domination of territory in the second half but, alas, we could net get over the line.
The JCT were inspired by their older brothers and came out thumping against the ‘Auld Enemy’, St. Columba’s. It was a real team effort, and when star player Fionán went off early injured, we knew his teammates would respond with gusto. Stefi scored a scintillating try and super sub Diego came off the bench to cut stylish swathes through the opposing defence. In the end it was 17-12 to St. Conleth’s and we look forward to the next round. Well done to Coaches Mr. Smyth and Louis Magee, Assistant Gav Maguire and the whole staff!
Never mind all that hoopla! We are still a Fencing School! Claudio Sosa was back on the podium recently- twice! At the
Irish Open he took Silver and at the Derry Open, he swashbuckled his way to Gold! Claudio is currently ranked as the No. 1 Male foilist in Ireland. And that is the senior/adult ranking. Not bad for a seventeen-year-old!
The girls are at it again! U16s and U19s Girls Basketball won the double over Mount Anville: 44-16 and 44-28, respectively. Lucy McGoldrick led the youngsters with 20 and Greta, Anna and Ciara chipping in 4 each while Timea returned to net a stylish 15 for the 19s with Vivienne adding 10 and Marie netting 4. Well done to both teams and Coach Sean Ingle! And the stylishly moustached Assistant Coach Adam!
Coach Gahan’s B-Ball Gangsta Girls are off to a fast start with the U16s beating Presentation-Terenure and the U19s getting nipped by a buzzer beater. Lucy McGoldrick and Anna O’Neill starred for both teams and 19s Captain Julia Huckfeldt provided the on and off court leadership. Charlotte O’Donoghue and Ella Smyth also stepped up for the U16s and Sixth Year Emile Boostrom marked her first ever basketball game with a brace of baskets! Stay tuned as Coaches Gahan and Ingle lead our basketball teams, of both genders, to further heights of hoopla!
Yes, the Covid cops tried to spoil the fun but Coach Ingle used his ‘hood connections to apply some pressure and , lo and behold, we were tipping off and snapping nets, once again! Yes, indeed, the Basketball Boyz are back in town! Sean and Coach Gahan were biding their time while all this ‘hockey school’ talk was in the air, and once given the chance, they made a claim for their own sport as their U-16 B-Ball Boys returned to winning ways with a thumping of our near neighbours, St. Michael’s. Fionán Power led the way with 26 points while Dylan Cosgrave and Joe Kelleher each chipped in with 6. Of course, the U-19s were also in action, narrowly losing to the same opponent. Below you see both teams, and some action shots from earlier matches against Marian College.
And while we are talking hoops… the First and Second Year Boys have also been in action, and we must not forget the girls, who train all together on Mondays, from First through Sixth year, in one gregarious but garrulous gang. Nor are the Juniors neglected, as Coach Ingle makes sure another generation of hoop heroes are ready to take the court for St. Conleth’s when their time comes!
We mentioned below how the St. Conleth’s rugby and hockey teams have hit the ground running, and we are soon to hear from the basketball teams, too, but sport at St. Conleth’s involves a lot more than the extramural teams. In fact, winning matches is great, but we are probably even prouder that all our students are encouraged to enjoy physical education and sport of the more everyday kind: in classes with Mr. Lonergan and the other PE teachers, at training sessions with the various coaches, on ‘Wellbeing’ brisk walks and even at break-time in the yard. Here are just a few snaps of what is going on at St. Conleth’s everyday, in a sporting way:
1) Shay Keenan, St. Conleth’s Games Master/Coach/Absolute Legend, gets the Sixth Year soccer boys lined up for a proper team photo at the grand re-opening of the Herbert Park Astro. They look great: a shame they will be crushed by the Staff Team in May!
2-3) Both the Transition Year girls and the boys get the opportunity to help improve St. Conleth’s sporting acumen. The girls are great helping Ms. Leary coach the Juniors… and the boys get to do Gav’s laundry!
4) Coaches Ingle and Gahan get the Basketball girls ready for the season, which is just about to tip off!
Art School? Music School? Debating School? Yes, we could be classified as any, or all, of those but maybe we need to reconsider and re-market ourselves…. as the neighbourhood jocks! So, stand aside when the boys and girls in black, yellow and green come sauntering into the DART station- we want that space to flex and pose, and we will have it! Okay… not very likely: our students are too mannerly to strut and strop like that, but we would have every right to! Just look at our recent results and add three more wins from Wednesday. Coach Speller’s Junior Hockey girls squeaked past St. Raphaela’s 1-0 in a close match, with Isabella Donlon assisting on Roisín Ingle’s goal and the rugby teams won the double over Newpark, with both the JCT and First Years winning close, fairly fought games. We certainly don’t want to lose our reputation for our creativity and intellect, but it is not bad being the big boys (and girls) on campus, too!
Well, in Transition Year at St. Conleth’s, we really don’t have to worry about the conclusion of that old proverb because the TY students are never idle: their hands or their brains or any other part of their body. Currently, they are enjoying Carlingford Adventure Centre but we will have to wait for news and pictures of their cool Cooley kicks. in the meantime, take a look at just two of the many active courses in which the boys and girls take part during the regular school day: fencing and sign language. It is such a joy to visit both halves of TY and not hear a solitary vocal sound! Maître Aaron puts them through their paces in full fencing gear and only the beeps and buzzes of the electronic scoring, and the shuffling of sneakers on gym floor can be heard. And Jenny teaches them sign language… through the language itself. ‘Talk’ about total immersion! What a joy to return to Victorian values: TYs should be seen, and not heard!
Now, we are not saying that the SCT headed into their first match of the season as absolute underdogs as the European Ryder Cup Team when they faced off against the stronger, more accurate, louder, more handsome and trimmer USA team but we were facing Templeogue, a much bigger school and one with quite a rugby pedigree. But Coaches Louis, Ger and Callum and the boys were certainly not intimidated and they all hit their tackles, ran their lines and heaved their scrums with the enthusiasm, if not quite the mass, of Shane Lowry. The boys kept it very close, with Luke O’Keeffe providing a spark off the bench, and climbed within two points before it got away. Overall, a good, hard-fought match and, with quite a young, a harbinger for better days to come.
The Junior Girls Hockey Team also earned a moral victory with their 2-2 draw with Sandford Park. Juliet Donnelly found the net twice with stylish goals but it was a real, strong team effort, with girls from different years melding together into a true team effort. Coaches Helen Speller and Jules Dale were thrilled with the progress shown. All that summer training is paying off! Particularly impressive was Leinster-chosen Lucy McGoldrick in goals, repeatedly stymying the opposition with stunning saves.
In the short years since Hockey Czarina Speller first brought hockey to St. Conleth’s, there have already been several Cups, Shields and plaques added to the trophy cabinet, watched over, woodenly but joyfully, by St. Conleth of The Foyer. We so quickly became a ‘hockey school’ that it is easy to forget how far, and how fast we have come. And the fact that our Senior team opened this season with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Sandford Park is a tribute to that legacy: our still-small numbers make fielding a senior team a challenge, yet we make up in quality of effort and coaching what we lack in quantity of players. Helping Coach Speller lately has been Julian Dale, famous Irish international player and cutting-edge coach. Already, we can see a difference in the confidence and cunning with which the girls are making runs, playing passes and taking shots. Caioimhe Moore scored a scorcher and Lucia Waldron netted a brace: two Fifth Years, which bodes well for the future. And it looks like jolly hockey sticks are set to continue for the younger teams, too. First Years are turning out for training in their droves. Stay tuned!
If anyone had the ‘pleasure’ of supervising First Years at lunchtime last year knows, the boys and girls have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, especially of the running around and running into each other kind: perfectly normal and normally to be encouraged. but potentially bubonic during plague times. Keeping rats on a sinking ship is easier than maintaining social distance amongst this crowd! Well, they all survived and now with the return of after-school sport, the now Second Years have been given full reign to go out and run in to things- like the St. Michael’s rugby players, for instance. To be fair, the Michael’s boys made the first rugby match of the season a close-run affair, but with the might and bulk of players like Rían Wickham and Paul Jackson and the slashing moves of Ross Weatherley, the Kirwan Bros. and Diego O’Reilly, the Conleth’s boys were able to nip it in the end, chalking up a win under then guidance of Head of Sport Ciaran Smith and his coaching team. Now, hopefully we will get a more sedate crowd at lunchtime!
Yes, it was the Irish rowers grabbed Olympic glory over the summer but we believe we have, right here at St. Conleth’s, a few talented and experienced sailors who may soon be piloting their svelte-hulled vessels through the spray of the whitecaps towards international glory. Conleth’s parent Rowena Bolger kindly brings us up to date with the maritime exploits of Russell Bolger, Daniel O’Connor and Louis McGovern.
Russell Bolger competed in the Laser 4.7 Worlds which were held in the Royal St George and National Yacht Club in August 21. It was a gruelling 6 days of sailing with teams competing from all over the world. Russell Bolger (TY) and Daniel O’Connor (3rd Yr.) competed and represented Ireland. They made the silver fleet and reached 34th and 49th place respectively, very respectable scores indeed. They are pictured here below with the other Team Ireland competitors.
Russell competed in the 29erNationals as on the 3rd and 4th July, his first ever event. The 29er is the high performing skiff. He sails with his long standing sailing pal Peter Williams. The The Elmo Cup was held in the Royal St George at the weekend and of course Daniel and Russell competed along with Louis Mcgovern(TY). The 29er team Russell and Louis’ team, the 29ers were runners up, losing by inches in the last 2 races. Pictured here receiving their prizes from Daniel’s dad, the current commodore of the RSGYClub. I’m sure Daniel is glad to back Laser sailing along with his brother Robert and Russell and Louis are delighted to be back in the exciting 29er. Good luck to Russell and Louis who compete in the RYNA Youth championships in Carraigfergus on the 11th Sept 21.
The so-titled pop song is a bit ambiguous about its subject but we are not, especially when in praise of TY Luke Timlin who is running and jumping to greater heights (and speeds and lengths!) each time he dons the racing flats. Luke has already run to Leinster and All-Ireland glory, never mind dominating the Conleth’s Sports Days like a certain youngster named Usain did at the William Knibb Memorial High School in Jamaica. Well, while the rest of us were sitting on the couch and eating crisps while watching the Olympics, Luke was out training and competing, and succeeding to the extent that perhaps we may some day be again eating crisps on the couch- but watching Luke run and jump for Ireland! In early August, at the National Age Group Championships in Tullamore, Luke did brilliantly, winning Silver Medals in both the U16 100 metres and the Long Jump. Luke’s next big competition will be the Tailteann Games, in which he will represent St. Conleth’s. Well done, Luke, and a message to the rest of the Transition Years: start training for your Sports Day, now. Second place is still up for grabs!
Unlike Maradona, the dearly departed maestro, Morton did not need the aid of ‘the hand of god’ to score a memorable Superleague-winning goal. Gav reported himself on the exciting conclusion to the now St. Conleth’s sporting staple and then, apparently, met Florentino Pérez Rodríguez for a coffee at Lolly’s.
The final of Superleague took place on Friday evening. This year the Superleague had to be cut down to individual year groups. I was in charge of the 5th year one. The annual draft took place four weeks ago and the two teams were created Doncaster Rovers (Captain Daniel Weatherley) and Scunthorpe United (Oisin Thornton). The winner would be the team who had scored the most goals over the three games.
In the he first game, Scunthorpe create a comfortable two goal lead, winning 4 – 2. Daniel and his Doncaster rovers team mates made sure they corrected their mistakes in the next round but also had the mighty Conor Hyland return, after missing the first leg, to beat Scunthorpe 3 – 1 . So, with the aggregate score of 5- 5 going into the last game, it was all to play for: both bragging rights and reputations. Scunthorpe went into the lead which they held till after half. With two minutes on the clock Morton Ainscough controlled the ball on the break and hit a sweet shot into the back of the Doncaster Rovers net… a different class, indeed!
Final Score: Doncaster Rovers 6 – 7 Scunthorpe United
Before we praise St. Conleth’s Head of Sport Mr. Smith’s first ever Sports Day, we must pay tribute to the previous ‘HOS”: Gav Maguire. Gav has moved on to a more sedentary position, TY Co-Ordinator, which is more suitable to his advanced age, but we remember that Gav did do an amazing job as HOS when he was younger and spryer.
It was Gav (along with the ever-young and still-serving Gamesmaster Shay Keenan) who moved Sports Day down to Irishtown Stadium and really made a festival of it. And the sordid rumours about Gav’s exit from the ‘HOS’ position coinciding with the disappearance of the PA Burger Stand’s float are just that: sordid rumours. Gav’s subsequent purchase of a late model sports car and seemingly endless capacity to patronise premium burrito and donut franchises are just co-incidences.
Anyways, Gav is off to find some uncursed Incan gold, and Mr. Smyth is now running sport at St. Conleth’s and his first slate of Sports Days is off to a rip, roaring’ start. Due to covidity, every year is having their own afternoon, and though we have also been forced to re-locate to Old Belvo, Mr. Smith and his team of fellow staff members and TY volunteers still managed to put on quite a show, with the First Years enjoying the variety of running races as well as the traditional sports day favourites: wheelbarrow races, willow throws and the primal joy of the tug-of-war. Enjoy the pics and stay tuned for the other years!
Transitioning between a normal school life and a much restricted Covid-complicated version was not the transition our Fourth Years envisioned, but TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire has done an amazing job keeping the boys and girls busy. And they certainly are going to go out with a bang!
Above you see a snap of 4A during their visit to the Epic Irish Immigration Museum and, below, loads from their weekly sailing course. And the whirlwind finish to the term is just warming up! Here is the schedule and stay tuned for more news as TY’s Class of 2021 vanquish the virus and go out in style!
TY’s Whirlwind Wrap-Up!
17th May – Normal School
18th May – 4B Will visit the Epic Museum
19th May – Garden gigs workshop on public speaking / Portfolios must be completed.
20th May – First Aid / Photography- 4A Retreat
21st May – Sailing / 4B Retreat
24th May – Graduation times to be confirmed
25th May – Gaisce Hike, Marley park to Enniskerry
26th May – Sports Day
27th May – First aid and Photography
28th May – Morning of Activities
Finally! Yes, the new gods have issued their decrees and the children can be children again! We have already seen how Louis has kept the Junior pupils moving, and how Mr. Lonergan has persisted with PE despite the mind-forged manacles, but now after-school sport is back, too, and back with a bang! Mr. Smyth, Head of Senior Sport, supervised as Coaches Speller, Morris, Sheridan, O’Brien and Maguire gathered the willing troops and retook the local fields and pitches. At first it was a bit awkward, understandably after months of distancing, dawdling and doodling, but with a few kicks of the ball, a few shots with the stick and the rising, life-renewing scent of wet grass, the kids (and the coaches) were back where they belong, as if they never left!
And to honour this historic restart, Mr. ‘Gav’ Maguire unveiled the latest evidence of his deep ties with the inner circle of Irish rugby, somehow getting the Leinster senior team to sign our JCT jersey!
January 8th, 2016. Covid can’t take away our memories or our hopes for the future. TY Eric Lawless recalls one of the greatest games in St. Conleth’s rugby history and certainly the greatest touchline celebration!
Vinnie Murray Cup: Conleth’s v Castleknock
Match Report by Eric Lawless
Castleknock: Cathal Lacey (15), Andrew Hobson (14), Sean Gibbons (13), Jamie McGaly (12), Nico Eastmond (11), Patrick Murtagh (10), Josh Conolly (9), Carl Keogh (1), Michael Corcoran (2), Gavin Murray (3), Jack Horgan (4), Conor Stinson (5), Darragh McNally (6), Cathal Bermingham (7)(C), Cian Clancy (8)
Conleth’s: Michael McKay (15), Sean Bortolozzo (14), Ross Murphy (13), Nicolas Foreau (12), Finn Mulcahy(11), Ben Doggett (10), David McKeown (9), Robert Cripwell (1), Colin Duffy (2), Mati Remi (3), Cameron Ross-O’Reilly (4), Patrick Cahill (5), Brendan Connor (6), David Pogatchnik (7), Kevin Dolan (8)(C)
This clash between Conleth’s and Castleknock in the Vinnie Murray Cup was a fantastic game of rugby and a great show of talent throughout the 82 minutes. The first half was very defensive from both sides, with very few missed tackles. With no points scored halfway through the first half, defenses were beginning to buckle and it was the Castleknock side that went first. At 22 minutes past the first whistle, David Pogatchnik received the ball 10 metres out and beat two defenders for a fantastic finish. With an amazing conversion from Ben Doggett, the score was 7-0 and the Conleth’s crowd was roaring.
Castleknock were quick to retaliate though and a scrum was given on the Conleth’s 10 for an unfortunate knock-on. Cathal Bermingham picked from the scrum and went to the blind side. With good hands out to the wing and a few nice steps from Andrew Hobson, Castleknock scored a beautiful try. With the Castleknock 7 Cathal Bermingham knocking over 2 points, the game was now even with 10 minutes to go until half time. Conleth’s became more aggressive in attack and marched from their 22 to the opposite end. They were close to the 5 metre line when there was a deliberate knock-on. A penalty was awarded and Ben Doggett put another 3 up on the scoreboard.
Both teams took turns in attacking: no-one able to break through. A few penalties conceded by Conleth’s put Castleknock with a lineout on the Conleth’s 22. They came close but an overudged chip from Sean Gibbons closed out the half, the score being 10-7 to Conleth’s.
With just two minutes gone since the start of the second half, Castleknock had drawn up the game with a penalty under the sticks kicked by Bermingham. Conleth’s did not like losing their lead and attacked again and again until their captain Kevin Dolan made an exceptional break on the Castleknock 10, but was forced to offload to his back row partner Connor, who gave it to Nicolas Foreau for a wonderful try. Another exceptional conversion from Doggett and 17-10 was the score with 25 minutes to go.
Castleknock fired back their response with a try created by the pack. Brute force brought replacement prop Gibney over the try line for another 5 points, with the chance to make it 7 missed by Bermingham. Conleth’s quickly drove back, claiming the restart and moving the ball from wing to wing. A high tackle from Gibney on Brendan Connor. A penalty was awarded and in his usual fashion, Ben Doggett knocked over another three making the score 20-15 to Conleth’s.
Unfortunately, it seems Conleth’s took their foot off the pedal for a bit and Castleknock did not need an invitation to capitalise on this. They charged with determination from a lineout on the Conleth’s side of the pitch. A few gaps and a lovely break from Gibney put them on the 5 metre line, where the forwards drove over and Bermingham dotted it down on the line. Bermingham’s conversion put Castleknock in the lead. Again Conleth’s drove back against this lead, not letting their heads hang whatsoever. They gained possession and smashed the Castleknock defense. A beautiful skip pass from Doggett put Ross Murphy into a lot of space and he came just short of the 5 metre line. From there it was up to the pack. They inched towards that try line and eventually, Cripwell got it down. A very tough angle for Doggett’s conversion and Donnybrook stadium fell to a complete silence. Unfortunately he pulled the kick and the opportunity to be an unconverted try ahead was missed.
There were only 3 points in it with 10 minutes to go. Conleth’s were awarded a penalty on the 10 with just 6 minutes to go. A kick to touch and they were on the 5 meter with a lineout. But the Castleknock defence was having none of it. They piled into the rucks and regained possession. An unfortunate injury from Sean Gibbons and a scrum to Castleknock. A penalty for Castleknock from the scrum and they were full steam ahead. The Conleth’s defence was under pressure, another two penalties were given just before and after the halfway line. Castleknock decided on a scrum and shifted the ball out wide going from wing to wing. They were getting advantages for offside and hands in the ruck. A full penalty was awarded just short of the Conleth’s 5 for a deliberate knock-on and Castleknock took a quick tap and go, catching the Conlethians by surprise. Good hands out to winger Andrew Hobson and at 82 minutes, Castleknock won the game by 2. No conversion needed. The end score was 27-25.
All of the players that took part played well but the players that stood out were Ben Doggett for his exceptional goal kicking and command in the midfield; the flanker partnership of Pogatchnik and Connor for their strong running; Andrew Hobson for his agility and finishing and Cathal Birmingham for his strength, goalkicking and command in the pack. This intensely close game was brilliantly played by both teams, with a lot of flair and strength shown, but ultimately it was an unfortunate but proud day for Conleth’s.
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.
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!
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’!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Head of Sports,
St. Conleth’s College
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!
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.
…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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Before we shuffle off to Butlin’s by the Sea for our staycation we will provide some last shots of what our students were up to this year, before and after the latently loosening lockdown. And just in case you are not quite brave (or, maybe, crazy) enough yet to board the garishly yellow upholstered shuttles to Mediterranea, we are bringing you some much-needed exoticism colour in the form of Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin’s First Year Clay Tiles Project. Each bird was sculpted and painted by an individual student, and they stand alone as lovely works of art, but when Ms. Halpin was able to put them all together, I am sure you will agree, something very special was created!
Lockdown loosens… random alumni encounters begin again! We ran into Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016) and his lovely girlfriend, Aishling, in the old Herbo and aside from trading snide comments about STEM guys (to the bemusement of Aishling, a Physics major) we also learned that Daniel is about to begin a Master’s in Law at Oxford University. Daniel, a graduating Trinity Schol in History and Politics, is clearly destined for great things… including an impending show-down with Conor White (Captain, Class of 2015), who is completing his own Master’s in Law at Cambridge University. Both Daniel and Aishling would have crossed pontifical swords with Conor at the Irish Times Debate last year, the winning of which provided our photogenic couple with a grand tour of America, warts and all, red states and blue.
Now, with both Daniel and Conor temporarily ensconced in the Home Counties, the two former Irish schools debating champions will surely meet again on some rostrum or another, or maybe at a shadowy Bullingdon Club Oxbridge mixer….. but we also fancy a face-off between Conlethian greats on the Thames at The Boat Race. (If you have to ask ‘Which boat race?’, don’t bother…) Conor and Daniel showed some athletic prowess while playing basketball at their alma mater, and we think the former, as a strong and steady type, is a natural for a stern rowing position and the latter would be the most rhetorical of coxswains!
Judging from the pieces below, Ms. Halpin’s Senior School Art students have been, if anything, even more creative during the corona lockdown. Last week we saw some amazing First Year works, created in homage of particular masterpieces. This week, it is the Third Years’ turn and we can enjoy a range of work from their Junior Certificate portfolios including snapshots of the development process that underlies every great work of art. More to come!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday. All the usual suspects were there… ah yes, our habitual style of reporting one of St. Conleth’s most beloved annual rituals: Sports Day! Sadly, not this year. Rían Lawlor is eagerly trying to organise a Wii Sports version but until that happens we will enjoy a trip through the years. Keep scrolling!
Yes, we said running…
running a bit further…
or just hanging out!
winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns. Yes, we said running…
or just hanging out!
or just hanging out!
The first ever St. Conleth’s ‘Zoomed’ Graduation Ceremony was a smash hit! Yes, we will have a more formal affair in the Fall, but this student-produced, standing-room-only variety show was chock full of nostalgic humour and poignancy, from heartfelt advice from management and teachers through honest expressions of appreciation from the graduates to some very imaginative personal ‘bios’ of select students. The Class of 2020 even received some helpful dating advice from Mr. Carvill! The whole class and all their current teachers attended, as well as several student and staff ‘alumni’ who returned to share in the experience. Yes, we look forward to another, more ‘physical’ ceremony in the school in the autumn, but really this will be hard to beat. Well done to Emily, James, John, Oisín, Joe and all the others who organised and took part in this perfectly pitched celebration in imperfect times. Enjoy the pics: full video on the way!
If there is one thing that we take seriously at St. Conleth’s, it is the election of our School Captain. The UN Election Observers are brought in, identifications are carefully checked and we make sure that no votes of members of the Class of 1939 have somehow mysteriously made it into the ballot box. And Covid-19 did not alter this scrupulousness: Mr. Carvill arranged arranged long-distance versions of all the usual steps; from a call for nominees, through Zoom speeches by the candidates to their class and an initial student vote and, eventually, the same for the digitally assembled staff by the semi-finalists. The fact that there were fifteen initial nominees says a lot about the class and the school: so many students want to take a leading part in the life of St. Conleth’s. After the student vote, the field was narrowed to a high quality six: Matthew Lynch, Colin Bolger, Ciara MacNally, Ted O’Kelly, Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye. All these sincere and enthusiastic youngsters then presented their cases to the staff via Zoom, and though there was a variety of styles and emphases, we were left knowing that we were in good student leadership hands for 2020-2021, regardless of the outcome. In the end, Ted O’Kelly was elected School Captain with Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye being selected as Vice Captains. With these three at the helm, we will really hit the ground running in September!
Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:
Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!
We will miss dearly all our Sixth Years, but one young man in particular has left a legacy of good humour, easygoing charm and warm friendliness, which we will find hard to replace. And, typical of Alex Reynolds, we did not even know that he had a hidden talent and has been a competitive polo player these last few years. Here he brings us up to date, just before he rides off into the sunset!
Even though I have long been interested horses, I had very little experience of polo until about five years ago. I had played a few chukkas here and there, but not too many. But, now, I could not imagine not playing polo and being on a horse hitting a ball with the mallet. I truly have found a passion for polo and horses, and it is when I am on my horse charging down the field that I feel most alive. I have been looking after polo ponies at home for a few years now and I love the joy that comes with it and the bond that can be created with the horses. It is hard work but the rewards make it more than worth all the effort. Polo is a very small sport in Ireland compared to abroad, in places like the UK and Spain, and it has a much smaller community than other polo scenes, but I hope to be part of the growing effort to make it more popular. I think others would enjoy the rare combination of building bonds with both an intelligent, emotional animal and friendly competitors.
You really should be careful of what you ask… as we learned when we innocently contacted Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin for an update on what has been going on in Art classes this year, pre- and post-corona. We expected a few snaps of pleasant watercolours: what we received was an absolute avalanche of creative, boundary-busting masterpieces! As none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, we are going to drip feed you a steady stream of these stunning student installations, starting with one assignment for First and Second Years which will have you gasping in admiration and rolling around with laughter! Ms. Halpin asked them to interpret and recreate famous paintings in any way they wanted: and, boy, did they respond with gusto!
Yes, the mysterious and secretive ‘Uncrowned Emperor of Europe’ George Soros may have a whiff of the Sith about him but the Rise of Oisín McGinley, his acolyte and heir apparent, is a much warmer and good-humoured tale than that told of Skywalker. Fresh from chairing the first ever digital conference of European Youth Parliament, Oisín tells us of his EYP adventure in his own words.
Having now participated in every format of EYP event in each academic year, I believe it is high time for me to reveal what this mysterious organisation is. The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, tolerant and active citizens. International, regional and national sessions are at the core of EYP, and consist of events that bring together over 30,000 young people every year.
That’s well and good, it is also what any of you could find online with a simple google search, so I am here to offer a more personal account of what EYP is to me. I began my EYP journey in 2017 heading to Loreto Foxrock for the Dublin Regional Session of EYP with the help of TY co-ordinator Mr.Trenier who was more than happy to pay for this bizarre event… not. It was there where I realised I hadn’t completely lost my brain during TY. More importantly, this is when the curtain of EYP was drawn back for me and showed me that as a young person I had the means and the capability to shape the issues of young Europe which were important to me.
Following that event, I was selected to go to Cork for the Irish National Session and finally to Rotterdam for the 88th International Session of EYP as an Irish representative, at this stage Mr.Trenier began to realise that maybe it was money well spent even being quoted as being “almost proud of me”.
Rotterdam was without doubt one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the first night of being forced to share a table with the UK delegation I believe I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Furthermore, it is one of the main reasons why I feel so confident in studying abroad in Amsterdam now. I am still in contact with many of my friends from that session and there are many after hours memories that I still hold dear.
The reasons why I am passionate about EYP are in-quantifiable but chief among them are the opportunities it offered me and the connection it has brought about in my life. I have participated in 15 different events of EYP now and I have come to have a great appreciation for the network. EYP has given me practical skills in terms of delivering modules, managing group dynamics, academic research and so much more, not to mention some well needed weeks off of school. I am able to document my self development directly with the events I have attended and I believe it has gifted me a unique lens to view the world from. Especially in times like these, knowing that I can pick up my phone and catch up with friends from all over Europe is very supportive and also very humbling.
Another amazing thing about these events is the wide variety of roles they offer. Whether you have a knack for organising, a creative flair or a desire to lead committees there is a role for you. Moreover, the principle that EYP is a youth organisation that is led by the youth is very powerful. Testament to that is that as a 17 year old I was given the honor of presiding over the Slovakian national session. The roles of real responsibility that are given to young people as well as the lack of taboo surrounding age is something which makes EYP attractive to the youth. The idea that I as a 17 year old was in a position of leadership over a 23 year old may raise some eyebrows initially but it is what allows for the organisation to thrive and facilitate better events.
Every EYP event I go to I always head in thinking about why gathering a random bunch of teenagers and introducing them to a random organisation shouldn’t always result in a magical experience yet every time without fail it does. In my opinion EYP is above all else a platform, a platform which connects like minded people across Europe and offers them a well-needed way to direct their passion both towards fixing world issues and connecting with each other. It is hence my greatest pleasure to see the network continue to develop and transition to a digital format. I was astounded to see the high level of participation as a chairperson at EYP’s first Digital Session and it makes me very confident about the future of the organisation.
I still carry the same awe and passion that was lit inside me at my very first EYP event and if the same TY student that was reluctant to head to Foxrock saw where I had gone now I honestly have no idea what he would think. I think that’s why I delayed writing this article, there is so much about EYP that is so intimate and personal, much of which can’t be expressed in words. With that said I hope to have enlightened you as to what actually happens at an EYP event and why you may want to get involved. As we say in EYP “See you somewhere in Europe”
Sorry… a bit of false advertising. We cannot give you a reduction in your tuition bill but what we can give you is a chance to tell us (management and teachers) what you think about St. Conleth’s: what we are doing right and what you think we could do better. It is all a part of our School Self Evaluation. Parents and staff are also taking part through their own surveys (check your email!), but the student voice is equally important to us. So, take about 10-15 minutes, click on the link below and fill it out, carefully and honestly. We will take the results very seriously in our forward planning but, as it is anonymous, we will not be able to respond with any individual rewards… or retributions!
The novel corona virus has forced into novel and covert styles of learning but, believe us, the work goes on! Conlethian teachers and students are keeping busy with remote classes and assignments and despite difficulties with bandwidth, the sibling seizure of screens and the dreaded Virtual Learning Vulture Neck Syndrome, we are all keeping pace with our various syllabi and the hallowed STATEMENTS OF LEARNING! Some wags think we are even ahead of normal schedule: less time spent waiting in line for chicken wings and Fortnite dancing in the courtyard at break-time… but we do miss both activities dearly! Here we see just a sampling of our students’ long distance learning: Maths memes and graphs, corona advice en français and some Classical Greek architectural drawings and descriptions. All in a day’s work!
Congratulations to Coleman Hegarty and Leo Nolan on their impressive top ten finish (of the best 59 in the world!) at the Oxford Union’s International Competition for Young Debaters competition. The debate was conducted remotely but our boys adjusted and mastered the digital rostra! Here, Coleman gives his personal account!
For the ICYD competition, we used a newly developed software called MixIdea, made in Japan. We qualified at Coláiste na hInse with eight other Irish teams for ICYD-Oxford. Of course, because of that darned virus, we couldn’t make the trip over to Oxford but they were quite quick to email us about using online platforms. Leo and I did a few practice rounds before hand and were ready to compete on the 2nd. Sadly, because the organisers are in college and prone to college brain, they forgot to tell many of us that they were using a different domain name for the site. Then, due to overflow we had to wait from 1:30 to 4:00 and finally got a start after three and a half hours with the motion ‘THW have all elected politicians on the average wage and use public services‘ (Against). We placed 2nd in this round, coming up against Canadians (the eventual winners), Hungarians and Scots.
In the second round we had a very Thurnberg-esque motion, supporting Eco-conscription. What sounds like an Eco-Fascist’s dream is really just manual climate change labour. Up against more familiar faces in Belvedere, we also placed second in this round. Round Three was cancelled due to major delays and the next day we arose for one more round before the semi-final break, the motion this time being ‘THW implement equal airtime for both sides of a topic/arguement on national television‘ (Proposing). We won this motion, coming up against Shanghai International school. After a while, we got the tab back, revealing we were 1 speaker point (443-442!) off the semi-finals. Still, Leo and I triumphed as the best speakers in Ireland. Not too bad for a corona lockdown!
**Slightly adjusted: small changes to the Fifth Year schedule, only**
The times they are, indeed, a-changing, but here at St. Conleth’s we have still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission… to provide fair but rigorous assessment! Students and parents will be contacted formally via email, but here is a sneak preview (courtesy of Exam Co-Ordinator Ms. NiAonghusa) of the Summer Exam Schedule.
All Years Exam Schedule
It’s Throwback Thursday on stconleths.ie! Since sport is currently reduced to pilates apps and Wii Sports, we will recall the golden days with a weekly virtual visit to the archives. This week: the legendary 2016 SCT’s earlier but just as inspirational incarnation: the 2013 JCT! Yes, we were younger and lighter (except on top) back then and the world was our oyster. And Gav was our god. Enjoy!
Thankfully, the Easter Bunny has evaded the lockdown and is on his way. operating out of his summer home in Courtown. And after you enjoy that well-earned bounty of chocolate eggs have a go at this: the St. Conleth’s PE Department At-Home Fitness Challenge, special Easter Edition!
Below we see our winning challengers from last week, Gregorio and Viola, ring their thing in double-time!
In our efforts to keep some Conlethian good vibes flowing, we bring you more BC (Before Corona) News: Our U19 team were involved in perhaps the last basketball game played before the shutdown, a narrow loss to old friendly foes St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final. Our name has been etched on this particular plaque many times, and will be so again, but this time we settled for an honourable second place, nipped by a strong, international Andrew’s team. Big man Luke Gilleran and fireplug Keane Acosta were again forces for us, as were graduating Sixth Years Suyash Patidar and Josh Bergin and rising youngsters Ralph Garing, Luke ‘C3P0’ Sherlock and Oisín Thornton, but it was Colin Bolger who really shot out the lights and earned a share of the MVP award.
And Sixth Year Jack Doyle had the honour of captaining the side in his last appearance in a St. Conleth’s basketball jersey. Jack has been part of St. Conleth’s since Junior School days and his devotion to basketball and the school as a whole has been steadfast and strong. Like his ancestors from the middle of America, Jack has always been the epitomé of hard work, team spirit and impeccable manners.
A ‘towering’ member of the PE Department just enjoyed a milestone birthday, but since this GDPR-protected person has such a ‘high’ level of fitness, he is not worried that he is now on the wrong side of Basil! Well he, and relative whippersnapper colleagues Mr. Smyth, Adam and Sean, feel this week’s challenges will really boost your energy levels. Students and/or parents have the choice of two workouts. Try each one at least twice for maximum benefit. Remember to send any photos or videos to [email protected] And further below you see our winning participants from last week’s challenge, led by the Bertomeu Boyz!
Wake up! The St. Conleth’s PE Dept. is talking to you! Below is our first weekly, long-distance learning Fitness Challenge. We (Mr. Magee, Mr. Ingle and Mr. Swan) will be posting various challenges to this website and Twitter each and every Friday, so make sure to keep an eye for the next challenge. For the first challenge, “Alphabet Workout”, simply spell out your name and match the letters of your name to start your fitness challenge. Try each one twice on rotation and if you’re feeling very energetic, try it three times. You know Gav Maguire will! Remember (if you like) to send a photo of you or your family taking part to [email protected] and we will post as many photos as possible on this page or Twitter. Have some fun and stay safe!
And, remember: the St. Conleth’s PE Dept. will be watching!
American baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once complained that ‘Nostalgia is not what it used to be.’ Well, it certainly isn’t these days, when we all are forced by circumstances to look backwards in time for some sense of solace. Well, Past Pupil and musical maestro Joe Gallagher (Class of 2019) has just premiered his first EP, ‘Nostalgia’, on Soundcloud and it will take you back to the good, old days: it is the single best spring of hope that we have heard, sweetly bubbling, in all our searches of various music streams.
These five lo-fi but hi-impact instrumental tracks have already made quite a splash in the world of music with an online musical promotion group eager to include them in their monthly Spotify playlist. So turn off the Netflix and have a listen!
To prompt pleasant memories of when your younger family members were not always just standing there listlessly in front of an open refrigerator door, we will periodically bring you news from a bygone era: B. C. (Before Corona). Yes, it is only in retrospect that we realise how full our lives were… especially St. Conleth’s Transition Years!
A couple of weeks B.C., ace TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire arranged to have Patrick Naughton and his African Drumming Ireland programme pay a visit. Patrick was brilliant. He has the skills and knowledge, the authentic drums and, most importantly the ability to keep a group of sometimes grumpy adolescents enthusiastic and involved… and even rhythmic! Enjoy the video above and the pics below. More B.C. News to come!
Before the shutdown… we had just enough time to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, in a rather abbreviated but spirited fashion! With the senior member of the Irish Department, Mr. ODulaing, busy piloting the school through the troubled corona waters, it was left to his younger colleagues, Ms. Fay and Ms. Dorman, to drive the buachaillí agus cailíní through Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada and class-specific céilí… and in record time! The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities. Certainly more fun then those pesky CBAs! And, of course, we do not just get all Irishy for a fortnight in March: St. Conleth’s Gang Gaeilge is active throughout the year. Below you see Sixth Years enjoying some Tae agues Plé, earlier in the term, with Ms. Dorman as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate Irish Oral, as well as some pictures and video from our shortened but still inspiring Seachtain na Gaeilge!
Yes, our school is temporarily closed… but we will try to lighten the mood by delving into the overflowing ‘In Box’ on our desk and keeping up the St. Conleth’s newsfeed. Plenty of good news to report, such as First Year Ismail Abdelwahed following in the footsteps of big brother Omar, has made the U13 Irish Squash team and will represent Ireland in the Five Nations Championship… when sport returns to these islands! Well done, Ismail!
In compliance with government directive, St. Conleth’s College will remain completely closed until Monday, March 30th. The Principals of the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools will update parents on all developments via email and text message. Individual teachers will be in touch with their students via Google Classroom and other ICT applications.
Juliet Donnelly has lit up St. Conleth’s since she first walked through the door, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as her older brother Michael and almost as winsome! But don’t let that sweetness fool you: once Juliet takes to the hockey pitch, a cold-hearted executioner emerges: case in point, her four goal demolishment of Sion Hill in the Dublin South Minor B Girls League Final! Yes, Coaches Speller and Stanley have another trophy for the shelf and the pressure is on the B-Ball boys to follow suit. Juliet was no doubt the star of this one, but it was also a whole team performance, as it has been all season, with Captain Meabh Joy and all the girls playing their hearts (and lungs) out for each other and the school. Such has been the hockey success these past two seasons that rumours abound that one of the seven science labs planned for our next extension may well be converted to a Hockey Trophy Room!
There was a poignant moment at the recent Past Pupils Dinner when select members of the Class of 2010 got together to recall their shared glory days of St. Conleth’s basketball: when Herron and Purcell and McCormack and McCoy and Carr and Co. shocked the world of Irish Schools Basketball, winning the All-Ireland double in 2008. And, now, current St. Conleth’s coaches, Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan are establishing quite a record of ‘glory days’, themselves. The First Year boys team have been on a rampage since the season tipped off, rivalling last year’s First Year rugby team for consistency and promise. Below you see pix (Thanks, Scott!) from a romp over St. Benildus and just last Friday they won a thriller over St. Paul’s, 31-30, with the Twin Powers (Fionán and James) and Cormac Hayden leading the way. That dramatic win has put the boys into an Ireland East Basketball Ireland Final, which will be played on Thursday at the Oblates Hall in Inchicore at 11:10. But, hang on, we have another final to support before then: the U19s will play today (Wednesday) at 4:15 at St. Andrew’s for the SDBL crown. Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Keane Acosta and the the boys have a great chance to add another ‘St. Conleth’s’ to the engraver’s to-do list!
With plans afoot for a big, new STEM facility for St. Conleth’s, it is fitting that we have a whole bunch of young STEMsters raring to go and get their hands on all those circuits, tubes, switches and burners! Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has been meeting faithfully every Friday and last week they celebrated national Engineers Week holding a tower-building competition using marshmallows and spaghetti. And though it may be early days for these young engineers, who knows where their ideas and measurements will take them? Judging by the speed with which our civil engineering projects take shape, these boys and girls may well be the ones with hardhats, yellow vests and rolled plans when our bus corridors finally get laid in the asphalt!
There is at least one international jet-setter whom the Corona has not grounded! TY Claudio Sosa is seen here fencing in Warsaw and Porec, where he recently represented Ireland. Claudio’s international career continues to bring success, as builds up his skills and experience on ever bigger stages. His most recent senior scalp was winning a Bronze in Senior Foil at the Belfast Open. Remember: Claudio is only fifteen years old and is fencing against full-fledged adults!
No sooner do we do our rugby ’round-up’ for the season and the boys send a clear message: it ain’t over, yet! Coaches Louis Magee, Mr. Smyth and Mr. Morris had a particularly good match day yesterday as both First years and the JCT emerged as victors over some quality competition. The youngsters earned a hard fought victory yesterday over De la Salle, 31-21. Below you see John Engmann going high for a line-out, Cillian Cooke delivering a massive hit and Andrew Gore-Grimes about to! Patrick Devlin and Fionán were amongst the try-scorers. And the JCT had a great league win against Belvedere College, 36-15. Richard ‘Killah’ Caldwell touched down for a superb try amidst a superb team performance and all the boys were in fine voice and mood afterwards in the locker-room.
Rather serendipitous that Michael O’Dwyer (Class of 2010) was our special guest speaker at the PPU Dinner on the Friday Night, he the holder of both a All-Ireland Debating Title as well as a Cambridge University International Debating Mace (a weighty weapon, that!), and the next day brings news that the current crop of Conlethian debaters are also bringing home the bling! On Saturday, Third Year Coleman Hegarty won outright the Leinster Junior Debating Mace. And he, Leo Nolan and Turlough Dineen have all qualified for the National Mace Final. Actually, ‘serendipity’ or chance had nothing to do with it: St. Conleth’s consistently dominates the rostra of the land in schools debating. The secret to our success lies in another fact: also present at Friday night’s PPU Dinner were Conor Power and Oisín Dowling (Class of 2018), our returned Past Pupil debating coaches who showed the way for Coleman and company. The Carvillian system continues to work!
The good burghers of Greater Ballsbridge and Donnybrook hold their collective breaths every year on the last Friday of February because that is when the carnival comes to town: the Past Pupils Union Annual Dinner is always the liveliest gig in town on that night, and the 2020 version did not disappoint. The members of our PPU, like our current student body, reflects our diversity, spirit and downright quirkiness… and we seem to just get better with age!
PPU Presidents John Carvill and Peter O’Neill and PPU Benign Despot Ronan O’Kelly must have been tired from organising the previous PPU engagement in NYC but it did not show, as they orchestrated an evening that managed to combine proper, sober acknowledgements of milestones with the frantic fun with which we all associate the night. Despite a rather flat sound system and the habitual rowdiness, Ronan and John compèred with both gravitas and wit, with guest speaker Michael O’Dwyer (2010) and honouree Ger Cummiskey also rising to the occasion. Enjoy the semiformal pics of each class above, as well as the more free-form ones, below.
The Hockey Girls are really setting some high standards for the years and teams to come! With the first St. Conleth’s Hockey team only taking the field a few short years ago, it is amazing that we already have a trophy case shelf groaning under the weight of hockey cups and plates! The latest was won this past Saturday. While the rest of us were sleeping off the lingering effects of the PPU festivities of the night before, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley and and Georgia Weir McErlean were up, putting the girls through their paces. And when the last shot was taken and the last net had rippled, St. Conleth’s Juniors team had beaten Sion Hill – 1-0 and St. Raphaela’s 2-0, bringing home the Plate of the Dublin South Girls League Junior A Division! So much for a lag after being promoted after last year’s championship season!. Well done to all the girls and their coaches.
St. Conleth’s is well prepared for COVID-19! Considering the ‘jet-setty’ nature of our clientele, we were especially worried when we heard about the news (and germs) emanating from Alpen Italy, but the school has been very pro-active in response, and not just in the hallway banter. The hand sanitisers are everywhere and our students have been enthusiastically disinfecting, especially as it delays arrival in class for a few minutes. And though we are known for our sense of closeness, cushiness and coziness, we have dialled back a bit on the hugs and handshakes, at least for the time being. Below are some helpful posters and videos and links to advice from the departments of Education and Health, as well as a Powerpoint made up by our very own Corona Czarina, Ms. Dillon!
St. Conleth’s PPU Dinners are always memorable affairs: well-attended, well-catered and well-lubricated… more raucous than retiring, a fact any residents left on our particular stretch of Clyde Road can attest to. Our recent New York City PPU Dinner was a decidedly more refined affair, with the humour as good and the sentiments as warm as every Conlethian come-together but with just the volume turned down, as befitting the august setting of the New York Athletic Club. (Apparently, the good folks of the TSA did their job and stopped certain members of certain graduation years at the borders. You know of whom we speak.)
That is not to say that the alumni who attended the fully booked dinner did not ‘take Manhattan’ afterwards, but for news of those shenanigans, you will have to check the tabloids. We would prefer to concentrate on the dinner itself, quite an elegant and dignified gathering of old friends and colleagues. PPU President John Carvill, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and Special Guest Speaker Michael Moloney hit all the right notes, recalling poignant and hilarious moments of recent, middling and ancient St. Conleth’s history, as well as reaffirming that special ethos which has us confidently heading into the future. Of course, that ‘future’ includes tomorrow night’s Annual PPU Dinner, of the regular, old ‘domestic’ variety. Stay tuned for the fireworks!
As you can see in the news items below, St. Conleth’s sports is thriving on the basketball courts, running tracks and in our fencing arenas… but we shall never forget our sporting bread and butter: rugby. And though we have been faithfully tweeting away about our accomplishments with the oblong ball, we thought we would bring it altogether as the teams enter their stretch run.
The SCT have had a tough year regarding numbers but Coach Gav Maguire, Captain Rían Lawlor and his loyal teammates have weathered the tough times with heart and style, doing particularly well in the 7s competitions. Earlier in the year, Gav’s club, Wanderers FC, marked their 150th season with a friendly at the Aviva and two Past Pupils, Mark 0’Reilly and Kevin Dolan, lined up against Trinity for the first team, showing of what quality Conlethian ruggers are capable.
The JCT, led by Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee, have had plenty regarding numbers and even though they are quite a young team, the success this year bodes well for even greater things ahead. The JCT suffered a tough loss in Wicklow early in the season but showed plenty of spirit, camaraderie and promise as the boys mounted a second half comeback. Better results soon arrived such as a thrilling 24-21 win over St. Gerard’s in the league with a last gasp try from Michael O’Donnell, who scored three tries on the day and was backed by a great team performance. Team workouts in the Fitness Suite with Adam have certainly helped. The competition for places is fierce and Coach Magee is confident of finishing strongly.
The JCT members will certainly not get to comfortable, with some very impressive First Year players nipping at their heels. Coaches Smyth and Morris have built up quite an impressive resume already with the boys, including an early tight but exciting win over Marian College, 59-51; two wins out of three in a blitz kindly hosted by Sandford in Monkstown RC with St. Paul’s and Marian taking part; winning narrowly, 21-14, over local rivals St. Michael’s, in an entertaining match; and convincingly, 42-7, against Sandford Park. And above you see action from a recent, stunning 24-19 win over St. Paul’s. The boys have now adopted a new team nickname, “The Crazy Gang”, and we look forward to more fun as well as success from them in the weeks and seasons to come!
The greatest city in the world is now going to host Ireland’s greatest Past Pupils Union! Following on our successful inaugural international PPU reunion in London a few years back, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and PPU President John Carvill decided to hit the Big Apple for the next one. And when the New York Athletic Club offered an ‘open bar’ as part of the dinner package, the deal was sealed! We know Manhattan has seen some heavy duty partiers over the years, but we are sure the Conlethian crowd will leave its marks. All the tickets have been sold for Saturday night’s gala but any Past Pupils or friends in the five borough vicinity can join the crowd for pre-drinks on Friday from 8:00 at ‘My Friend Duke’ at 383 Third Ave. or post-drinks from 10:30 on Saturday at Blue Haven East at 493 Third Ave. And if you re stuck on this side of the pond, you can still come to No. 28, Clyde Road for the regular, old Annual PPU Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28th! Tickets available through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Stay tuned for tales from both these festivities!
St. Conleth’s next extension is going to be a STEAM Centre (more on that later!) so it is only fitting that our Science teachers are ramping up their game in preparation for their move into their sparkling new digs. Mr. Morris has been up to all sorts of hands-on learning stuff in Physics and our student reporter, Robert O’Connor, reports back from the nexus of man, machine and scientific humour.
It was a typical afternoon in the Science Lab. We looked out the window. It was not raining, but it had been and soon would be again. The banter was mighty. Our Fifth Year Physics class demonstrated their superior intelligence by creating, with the assistance of Mr Morris, a machine that both demonstrated wave motion and tasted delicious: simple contraption, using two retort stands, some tape, skewers and Fruit Pastilles attached to the skewers. The experiment is simple but beautiful: spanning several benches, motion from the skewers at one end passes along to the other end and back again. It was really cool to look at, almost as cool as watching our resident studly scientists/ macho mathematicians, Ted and Dylan (collectively known as The AlgeBros), passing the wave back and forth between each other. They were in a world of their own for a few seconds. Like Olympian gods. With calculators.
While watching the whole class do the experiment, if you listen carefully you can also hear Stephen Rockett (resident child actor, international internet influencer and quirky tennis player) auditioning for the part of the Kool-Aid Man as seen in Family Guy.
Conlethian fencing parents, Robert Smyth and Cahir Davitt, make quite a pair of ‘adjunct’ sports reporters: Robert with his faithful reporting and journalistic flair, such as the headline above, and Cahir with his stunning photography. Their latest missives:
Last Saturday in Dublin, James Moriarty-Smyth ended just outside the last sixteen in Men’s Senior Sabre, after a very narrow 13/15 defeat to the Captain of Trinity University Fencing Club at the Direct Elimination stage. This is an incredible result considering James just switched his choice of fencing blade and is competing against seasoned adults.
And on Sunday in Belfast, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14 Foil and Michael Davitt won Bronze in the U10 Foil, as well as Luke Sherlock taking Bronze in the U16 Boy’s Foil. Keep tuned for more news in this Conlethian sporting tradition!
As usual, Chef Mark is not hesitant to mix it up and get all fusiony in devising the weekly menu. The Hiberno-Mexican connection lives on this week in chilli con carne on a potato!
Fresh off their Cross Country success of a few weeks ago, Mr. Keenan and his ever-growing Athletics Army was on the road again. This time, Mr. Keenan, Fitness Coach Adam and a gang of First and Second Years stormed a Leinster Schools Indoors meet at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, where running and a variety of jumping was on the agenda.
We do pride ourselves on ‘participation’ in sport at St. Conleth’s: everyone gets a go and we never make ‘cuts’. But that does not mean that we do not have quality athletes and real winners amongst our student body. You read below how we won three medals at the Cross Country Championships and this time we had individual glory. Second Year Luke Timlin made a record-setting run to the All-Ireland’s last year and he is on that same track again as he double-medalled in Abbotstown, winning a Gold and a Silver in the Long Jump and 60 M Sprint. It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!
Yes, Third and Sixth Years, it is time to drop tilted on our Mock Examinations! Some of you may have earned more skins than others these last few years, but everyone is default going in to the exam hall for these tests and the even bigger battles in June. And that default is a Full St. Conleth’s Uniform! Exam Secretary Ms. NiAonghusa (Contender II ranked) has already delivered you the exam schedule and rules but here are the dates and times in a handy pdf. As always, you can also find them under ‘Events’ as well as under ‘Calendar + Information’. Let’s W Key these Mocks!
With the usual ubiquitous and undulating showers of rain and a belated arrival of a minor polar vortex, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s and Mr. Seamus Gallagher’s warming incantations of the coming of Spring with St. Brigid’s Day.
And with the help of these two gentlemen’s words of wisdom and delight in both our national languages, our annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment to tales of St. Conleth and St. Brigid frolicking through fields of clover. Platonically, of course. And this being St. Conleth’s Fame Academy, there had to be student musicians to join the ensemble:
Russell Boger, Lochlann Hannon and Cúan Moore captured the mood of regeneration perfectly on piano and trumpet and we all headed off to an especially extended morning break with music in our ears and joy in our hearts!
This week, Chef Mark braves the steppes of Eurasia and the tenements of NYC to bring us Tartar Sauce and TriBeCa Wings… but not necessarily to be eaten together!
Conlethian Dad Robert Smyth has recently been rehired as our specialist fencing correspondent. Here he fills us in on another weekend of our youngsters foiling any attempts to remove the from the podia!
Saturday saw the usual suspects fence foil and epee at this year’s
Excalibur Cup, hosted by Pembroke FC. A significant number of entries
from Clongowes dramatically increased the overall number of competitors,
resulting in plenty of fencing and competition across all age ranges, to
say nothing of the volume of refereeing for James Moriarty-Smyth, who as a Sabreur was not competing, and Luke Sherlock, who officiated at least 50+ matches between them.
Results on the day were once again excellent:
Under 10s Men’s Foil: Michael Davitt finished just shy of the medals, having performed strongly in the Poules.
Under 12 Men’s Foil: Matthew Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Under 14 Men’s Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth – Gold and Trophy
Under 17 Men’s Epee: Luke Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Matthew’s First place was made all-the-more special by the fact that he
will be the fouth Sherlock to have their name engraved on the Trophy, so
creating a piece of Irish Fencing history and continuing the high
standard set by his uncle, mother, and older brother.
Next Saturday is the East of Ireland leg of the Senior Circuit, where
James will be fencing Men’s Sabre and be looking to improve his current
Senior Ranking of 17th, while Sunday sees Michael, Matthew and Myles (the 3 M’s of the ‘Conleth’s Contingent’) head to Belfast for Round 4 of the
Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Stay tuned!
Basketball fans worldwide recently mourned the loss of one of the all-time greats, but Kobe Bryant’s emphasis on mental attitude and preparedness lives on in young players across the globe, including those at St. Conleth’s. Led by Coaches Ingle and Gahan, and the elder statesmen U19 Boys, Conlethian teams from First Year up had a great January, posting (and posterising) such fabled adversaries as Benildus, Blackrock, Mt. Anville and St. Michael’s. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger are no strangers to headlines, leading their Conlethian team to glory at each stage of development over the years, as well as playing for nationally prominent clubs and recently being named to the Irish team for their respective age groups.
Old, friendly foes Colaiste Eoin knew they were up against it when they drew St. Conleth’s in the SDBL U19 Boys Semifinal. These plucky Gaeilgeoirs, from the poshest Gaeltach in Ireland, have faced us many times over the years, and they have (almost) had their share of the spoils, but when you are lining up crosscourt from two Irish players such as Luke and Colin, even the famous 10% Irish bonus points are not going help much! And our boys politely but firmly put our southside neighbours to the sword, with Luke pouring in buckets from the paint, including an in-game thunderous dunk, and Colin ducking and chucking from the perimeter. As usual, the supporting cast did their part: Keane cleaning the parquet with his hustle; Jolly Jack D, Jack T. and Josh doing their devil-may-care Sixth Year thing; youngsters Sherlock and Ralph learning on the go (and the give); and Suyash Patidar snapping the ropes with a NBA trey!
Our U19 squad have given us many thrills over the years, but our younger teams seem eager to follow on the same path to success. Our First and Second Year teams have started their league campaigns with spirited performances and some impressive wins against such powerhouses as St. Benildus’s, Blackrock and St. Michael’s. First Years Fionan, James, John, Steph and Yubo have shown particular swagger… and a good bit of skill to back it up!
And how could we forget the girls! St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational, and, if anything, our boys have had a hard time keeping up with the girls when it comes to sport! Our First and Second Years have combined into one superteam, and with wins over Mt. Anville, Woodbrook and the ‘girls school that have a purple kit’, it is clear that it is not just in hockey and athletics where our newest Conlethians are going to competitively shine!
Did that gust of wing almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Protect yourself (and help a good cause) with an Official St. Conleth’s @nogginsport Hat! On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Hurry! They are going quickly!
Those PE classes and after-school trainings sessions seem to be paying off regarding Junior School basketball as, for the first time, we were AIJS Basketball Tournament Finalists! Our Junior School team had their best performance ever: finishing runners-up to megalithic St. Michael’s, and beating perennial powers Castlepark, both their A and B teams, en route to the final. We did notice the familiar names of Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock on the team-sheet, proving that their athletic prowess is not limited to the noble art of fencing. Of course, it takes a full team, and then some, to compete in an intensely paced blitz-like tournament, so well done to all the boys and their coaches!
Last Friday night, all the coolest clubs and hippest bars around the city were strangely silent for the start of the weekend; yes, even the bouncers up and down Leeson St. were checking their watches in confusion as the usual hard-partying crowd failed to materialise… Where was everybody???
Well, the rowdiest element of their regular crowd, the Maths whizzes, had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year Maths Quiz at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock and Rolle! We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s. Just look at the departmental inspection report.! And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Ciaran, Joe, Suyash, and Edward; and that of Tadgh, Adam, Michael and Oisín, earning very respectable finishes in a field of over fifty teams. Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz.
The problem for our reporting staff is that the Maths team members are usually not as loquacious as… let’s say… the school’s debaters, who will continue explaining, correcting and pontificating long after we have run out of room in our notebook, put down our pen and silently walked away. The Maths Team kids of the past tended to give monosyllabic responses, often in binary, or answer with emissions of short electronic sounds, sort of like R2D2 but not as polyphonic. So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that this year’s line-up are not only are they geniuses at the old adding and carrying over but they also are able and willing to enthusiastically and animatedly describe these numerical adventures…. with words! More C3PO than R2, indeed, and we look forward to hearing all about it!
Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.
Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!
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.
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.
Mr. Keenan and Mr. Smith do not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, they practise what we preach and issue an open invite to all students to join them on their Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years. Over fifty student athletes made the time-honoured trek through the wooded hills of Wicklow to the little love-nest of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea that is now Avondale Forest Park. And we do not just do quantity, we do quality: First Year Lucy McGoldrick won an individual Bronze and, incredibly, we also won three team medals. First Year Girls placed Second; First Year Boys, Third; and Second Year Boys won their race! For a small school to pack the podium like that, it is some achievement and a credit to the team spirit amongst the boys and girls and the encouragement of their teachers. Check out some of the action below, as well as a list of the many medal winners!
Young Scientist double award winner Cúan Moore does not make mistakes but apparently we do: Cúan did indeed win the RSA Special Category Award for his project entitled (quite efficiently) ‘The effectiveness of colour on a bike light’ but his other award, for First Place in Category, was actually in ‘Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences’, not for ‘Technology’. In our defence, we have to say that it seemed pretty technological to us! Anyways, to cover our blushes we are going to distract you with some more photos from our First Years’s visit to Cúan’s stand and the rest of the Young Scientist Exhibition. Enjoy!
We remember a young Ronan Roche Griffin lighting up his First Year Form Class with his wicked wit and a glint in his eye. Whether it was sending notes in binary to a like-minded stemmy classmate or politely wriggling out of some minor kind of trouble, Ronan always did everything with considerable panache. Now, he has transferred that swashbuckling style to Canmore, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Yes, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 is currently training on those sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. Don’t be jealous… the beautiful scenery does make soggy old Clyde Road pale in comparison, but Ronan is putting on some hard runs, upping his skills and stamina in pursuit of qualification. Find out more (and lend a hand if you can) on his GoFundMe page. Let’s help get Ronan to Beijing 2022!
All that fencing, debating and chess is great, but let us not forget that we still play rugby at St. Conleth’s…. and we do it darned well! A parent reports back on the latest Junior School Rugby adventure, complete with some great photos:
Continuing the Junior School’s strong performance in rugby this year, Mr. O’Brien led Third Form to claim victory over Willow Park last Saturday, despite the biting strong winds. Well done to all the team in their first year of representing St. Conleths in Junior School Rugby!
Continuing a Conlethian tradition started by the Zorin brothers years ago, First Year Cúan Moore has won an award, in fact- two awards- at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Yes, Mr. Callaghan- our science exhibition specialist teacher, has done it again, guiding one of his charges to the podium. And like the Zorins, it is the ‘T’ in STEM which signifies young Cúan’s incredible accomplishment as it was in the category of Technology where his project ‘The Effectiveness of Colour on a Bike Light’ topped some very impressive competition. Cúan also won the Road Safety Authority’s Special Award. And in an era where so many ‘advances’ seem to involve the ephemeral, digital world, Cúan’s project has some good, old-fashioned tangible technology at its heart: an adapted bike light which illuminates the rider’s reflective clothing. This little device brings a much needed extra level of safety for cyclists attempting to negotiate the habitual gloom of our eternal twilight and it opens up whole new possibilities for flash advertising. We may soon see Cúan safely cycling down Clyde Road- and illuminated like a giant, reflective Coke can. But before you get any ideas, Cúan already holds the patent!
Yes, we enjoyed two weeks of relatively low key lesson planning and curriculum development over the Christmas break, but not all our students were engaged in such relaxing activities: Transition Year Claudio Sosa, for one, was busy fencing against men twice his age… but no longer in size!
He represented Ireland at the Five Nations where the Irish team took Third place overall in all categories. He also participated in the 2019 Northern Irish Open in early December, where he won a Bronze medal in the Senior Male category. Claudio, at the ripe old age of fifteen, currently holds the No. 1ranking in the Senior Male Category in all of Ireland! He also qualified and was selected by the Irish Fencing Federation to represent the country at the European Championships and World Championships in Porec (Croatia) and Salt Late City (USA), respectively. Claudio is clearly committed to represent the community, his school and the country. Not many Christmas lie-ins for him!
No, we may not have ‘salted pork’ on the menu this week (pdf) but Chef Mark has included several specialties that would rival the best from Saruman’s famous storehouse in Isengard. Even a hobbit would be satisfied!
Julien Porzadny does double duty at St. Conleth’s: he is half of our dynamic duo of French teachers (along with the equally energetic Ms. Crowley) and he also serves as our Mindfulness guru. Here, he fills us in on how St. Conleth’s attention to our minds is gathering international attention!
Three years ago, Mindfulness classes were introduced to St Conleth’s college. Since then, weekly mindful sits have happened, it has become part of our Health Awareness Week and it seems that students are enjoying learning about the art of “being”. Before the Christmas break, I received an email from the “Mindfulness in Schools projects” (the UK charity from whom I received my training) who were looking for stories about the experience of implementing Mindfulness in schools. I therefore decided to write back to them. They later on got back to me and asked for permission to release our story on their website. So, if you are curious to learn a little more about Mindfulness and how it has grown in St Conleth’s College, I invite you to have a read of “The evidence base, a primary & secondary case study – St Conleth’s College, Dublin“.
The baton has been passed from Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal to Ms. McGuinness, but judging by the talent and spirit on display at our annual Christmas Concert, music will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s.
The Senior School Choir, in particular, plays an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations. But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.
Judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. McGuinness’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the performers on it is destined to join Alex Sheehan, Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage? In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.
Our students also enjoyed their individual class parties, including Kris Kindle, yuletide movies, plenty of sweets and shenanigans in their charity-aiding Christmas jumpers.
In less than a week, St. Conleth’s took part in two school-wide events, each of which conveyed a different but essential aspect of our community. Last Wednesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, and remembered and celebrated the staff and family members who have gone before us and who helped to make our school all that it is today. The Senior School Choir provided the beautiful hymns, students of all ages led the prayers and readings and Fr. Michael, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way.
And yesterday, we went on another annual pilgrimage. We did, indeed, ‘Let Them Go!’ and released all our Senior School students for a well-deserved Christmas treat at the Swan Cinema after a good term’s work. Everyone enjoyed ‘Frozen II’ or ‘Jumanji II’ and the residents of Rathmines and Ranelagh were incredibly hospitable to our flying columns!
The TYs are just about to close out a very busy first term, with outings galore, a monumental Christmas Fair and special courses in First Aid and Photography, but they also were pushed in their ‘regular’ classes, completing creative and innovative products both in groups and individually. Here, Mr. Porzadny, updates us on what went on in the TY French class this past term.
Let the students be the teachers!
What do Dungeons and Dragons, the Beatles and kitchen utensils have in common? Not much would you answer. You would pretty much be right. Except that as of today you can learn how to talk about elves, yellow submarines and whisks all in the language de l’amour! Learning French in a fun and easy way is made possible thanks to the home made flashcard made by the students of Transition year.
As part of the TY French curriculum, a “Quizlet” competition was organised. Students would have to create a set of 20 words or expressions from a theme of their choosing. Mr Porzadny would then pick the 10 best sets based on originality, variety and quality of the French language. Students would then vote for their top 3 set. The final sets would then be shared here on the St Conleth’s website for the enjoyment of the whole School community! So without further a due, here are the results:
Tied for 3rd place with 11 votes:Ava with “Les jeux olympiques and Keelan with “Le rugby en français“
In 2nd place with 16 votes:Cael with “Les films en français“
And in 1st place with 18 votes:Luca with “Le football en français“
Get ready, set and “allez”!
You know that fencing has always been an integral part of St. Conleth’s. In recent weeks there was ample evidence both outside and within our walls. First, the extramural: Conlethians continue to excel in national (and international) fencing competitions.
Claudio Sosa won Bronze in the Senior Men’s Foil in the Northern Irish Open; Myles Moriarty-Smyth won gold in the U14 Foil in the Christmas Cup and Michael Davitt won bronze in the same competition’s U10 Mixed Foil. It is great to see Myles showing Michael the ropes… and the points!
And within the hallowed walls of 28 Clyde Road, we have recently witnessed fencing become part of the regular PE programme. Here we see First Years enjoying their foils… and foibles as they come to grips with the noble sport (and their classmates).
The Annual Transition Year Christmas Fair and Tree Sale was once again a spectacular success, with trees, wreaths and various home-made crafts and goodies flying out the doors of the school hall this past Saturday morning and afternoon. The various student-run ‘mini-companies’ got a taste of real world business and the profits off of the trees and wreaths themselves will all go to St. Conleth’s partnership with the Bridge Light School in Uganda. A great big ‘thank -you’ to TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire, all the participating parents (especially TY reps Caroline O’Dea and Ray McDonnell) and, of course, the TY students themselves for continuing this great St. Conleth’s tradition in style.
When the wind whips away that umbrella with gusto, the sleety rain ‘falls’ sideways into your face and the cyclists splash you on the only bits that escaped the car ‘wash’… it is time for a hot and hearty meal! Core-firing Beef and Carrot Stew is on the menu this week as well as some less traditional but just as stamina-stocking favourites:
…the Annual Transition Year Christmas Tree Sale and Fair! Yes, indeed: the wind has picked up, the sun was last seen September 14th, the falling leaves are halting nearly all movement in the city, Switzer’s has a vaguely yuletide theme to its window display, and if we just lost a few degrees, we would be neck deep in snow! And, of course, the Transition Years are once again readying themselves for another Christmas Fair and Tree Sale extravaganza. (Click for poster!) They have been like busy little woodland elves: planting, cultivating and cutting the finest of firs and poinsettia and etching and whittling the most exquisite of Christmas cards and crafts. And Gav Maguire has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa but is not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of one of his predecessors, Mr. Bolger, nor the rounder middle and rosy red cheeks of another! Well, make this Santa smile by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY girls and boys and come by this Saturday, December 7th, from 10-4, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee. All proceeds go to supporting the Bride Light School in Uganda. To order a tree, call (087) 799-8702.
After last week’s Thanksgiving Feast, and in preparation for the yuletide excesses to come, we recommend (especially to the older staff members) that the impressive array of sales on offer this week on Chef Mark’s menu may be the way to go!
The pilgrim fathers (despite their rabid anti-catholicism) would be thrilled to sees the celebration of the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to these shores. Of course, if the Mayflower had brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population! Be that as it may, the turkey, the roasted potatoes, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since. We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze: galumpkis on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod…. Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all! Juniors and Seniors and staff all joined together for a musket-bustin’ Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste. At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!
As with Jose Mourinho, we knew Luke Sherlock would not stay on the sidelines for too long! Luke has ended his temporary retirement and is back in fencing action! His exploits, this time, took him to Germany to the 18th International Open City Championships in Marburg. Luke fenced in both the U15 epee and foil, two weapons over two days. Final podium positions were 6th in epee and 3rd in foil. Well done, Luke, and good to see you back!
We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent runs by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results. Recently there was tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess on show at Ireland’s two most prestigious universities: Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Ian O’Neill (Engineering), Rory Smyth (Finance and Spanish), Stephen Allen (Science) and Joe Hyland (Engineering) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results. Stephen also added a Choral Scholarship: no surprise to those of us who enjoyed his school concert performances over the years. And Seamus Gallagher joined the toast to Hugh Downes, a ‘winner at Trinners’ and who is now studying Theoretical Physics. A high mark has certainly been set for the Class of 2020!
Of all the cultural imports from America, surely Thanksgiving is the most welcome. A holiday that celebrates diversity and community? Surely, even the most anti-American of European elites can accept that- then again, there is the accompanying traditional dish of ‘creamed corn’ which probably sends the devotees of Michelin chefs into apoplexy. However, our chef, Mark McColgan, always goes ‘whole turkey’ and happily serves up all the traditional fixings. Somewhere Squanto is smiling, even though there probably is a mall where his tee-pee used to be. Check out the special Thanksgiving Week Menu.
No, that is not a secret code but the shortest way to announce that the Senior School Parents’ Association is having its Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 25th) at 7.00pm. Come along and find out how parents make up such an important part of the St. Conleth’s community. And we don’t just think locally. There is also a talk by renowned climate activist Dr. Lorna Gold at 7.30 pm entitled “Climate Generation – Awakening to our Children’s Future”. See you there!
The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. Thankfully, most of the St. Conleth’s Senior School teachers have decided to give their students slightly more passable exams.
Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! Live long and prosper!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
‘St. Conleth’s and Debating’ go together like ‘Germany and efficiency’, ‘Brazil and soccer’ and ‘America and freedom’… and our sprightly orators were recently at it again, rushing the rostra at the UCD Literary & Historical Society Schools Junior Competition. Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney finished First in their group, debating the motion that ‘Doctors, rather than parents, should make all medical decisions for children until they reach the age of consent’, topping teams from Blackrock, Gonzaga, Belvedere et alii. Talk about the creeping influence of big government! All our teams wowed them rhetorically, continuing St. Conleth’s pre-eminent position in Irish schools debating.
Not necessarily, but the boys and girls in the St. Conleth’s STEM Club certainly create a buzz when they get into the school laboratory on a Friday morning and start bouncing ideas off each other like free electrons.
Our STEM Club’s second official meeting capped off a Science Week of all sorts of left-side-of-the-brain type of fun, including Mr. Callaghan leading a Fifth and Sixth Year group to a special Chemistry lecture at Trinity College; Elí Strahan’s science-themed cupcakes creating a rabid feeding frenzy in First Year; daily quiz questions posed by Mr. Morris and Mr. Carvill (The Younger); and a lunchtime recitation of Pi to a soundtrack of Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan!
Health Week is finally over… and we are just wrecked! But it is a healthy ‘wreckedfulness’ as we pushed the limits this week in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There was a ‘Screen Free’ day when students and (some) teachers abandoned their life-support screens- and realised they could live and even thrive with out them! What did we do then with Netflix and Kahoot and examinations.ie momentarily out of commission? We went on walks, we went to talks (Spun Out for mental health and Sticks & Stones for anti-bullying), we danced and we just sat there and thought of… sweet nothing. Hopefully, each of us will bring something with us from a great week of getting back in touch with our minds and bodies… but, thank goodness, the Tuck Shop opens again on Monday!
Health Week peaks with a shake of the hips, a twirl and a jump as First Years join TYs for some exercise and a dance-a-thon in the Sports Hall!
…and a Sticks & Stones anti-bullying seminar.
Health Week may be over but that does not mean that healthy eating stops at St. Conleth’s. See Chef Mark’s latest menu to see how the dishes served up in our canteen are good for both palate and person!
St. Conleth’s First Year Ismail Abdelwahed reached the final of the Munster Junior Open held in Waterford over the weekend and took home the Silver trophy. Ismail won all his matches, including two consecutive five setters to reach the final. Unfortunately he was not able to continue the winning streak and lost a hard fought match 3-1, with the games’ scores really tight. This is a good step forward after winning Bronze in the Connacht and the Ulster Open competitions earlier this year. This form is guaranteed to see him represent Ireland in the European championship to be held in England in April 2020.
At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December! And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Christmas and good luck!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
On the offensive! Conlethian swordsman continue to win plaudits and trophies! Claudio Sosa took Bronze in the Irish Open at the Senior level: yes, fencing against full-grown (and bearded) men! And in the the opening round of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, Luke Sherlock took Gold in the U16s and Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14s (fencing above his age level)!
and pak choi, and couscous, and lentils, and mac & cheese… this week’s menu (pdf):
Get ready for Health Awareness Week! Both Junior and Senior Schools are getting ‘psyched’ for a week in which we pay special attention to the mental and physical health of both ourselves and those around us. Activities will include: free porridge in the canteen, mental health talks, Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying workshops, a Screen Free Day, a skip-a-thon, Zumba dance, a healthy Tuckshop, a 5000 step walk, Mindfulness sessions, a surprise film showing… amongst other events. And our Principals, Mr. ODulaing and Mr. Kilcommons, have asked that all students also deliver at least one random act of kindness each day- preferably to your teachers, but friends and family are also eligible. This week will certainly focus our minds and bodies on health but we believe we have already made a good start: see below for some pics from various Wellness trips to Herbert Park (before and after the recent monsoon season). This little green oasis is literally our Happy Hunting Ground!
Over twenty First Years (and a few Fifth Year helpers) showed up for the first meeting of the All-New St. Conleth’s STEM Club! And it sure was a stunning start as one of our more over eager participants decided to lick a plasma globe that had the tiniest crack in it… all’s good though, as there was enough electricity hanging around the lab for the reviving shock, and a bit of gas to settle any lingering nerves. The kids got to learn about physics and biology in one quick experiment! In all seriousness, this was just the first meeting of what we hope will become a Conlethian tradition. Stay tuned for news of dissections, reanimations, multiverse portals and other cool stuff as Mr. Morris leads his charges into the exciting world of Science!
He shoots, he dribbles, he passes, he scores… and now he plays for Ireland! Luke Gilleran has made the ‘final 22’ of the Ireland Under-18’s Mens Basketball Team, joining past Conlethian hardcourt luminaries such as Peter Herron and Mark Ryan, who also represented their country. Here we see Luke demolishing the competition but we will be showing you him in that other green jersey, soon!
Will a new STEM Star arise at St. Conleth’s? Will we finally have an R-12 series droid? Well, grab your imagination and your pocket protector and come along to the lab and find out! Mr. Morris is starting a First Year STEM Club today at 7:45 and it will run every Friday in the lab going forward. Come along and do your part to bring on the android apocalypse!
In the old country, ‘Gotta Love a Trier’ is one of those ambivalent sayings: a double-edged sword, a backhanded compliment… You say it with a sardonic, Southern drawl when you are standing on second base, chewing a plug of tobacco, and watching a teammate give three almighty swings at the baseball…. and come up empty, all three times. You admire his effort, but you also almost pity his irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude… in the face of overwhelming genetic evidence to the contrary. Well, here, in our brave new Land of the Celtic Tyger 2.0, everything is possible and all efforts are worthwhile… especially in Transition Year. The whole programme, as implemented by Co-ordinator Gav Maguire, is about trying as many new things and skills as possible, and just a half term in, the boys and girls have already stretched their reach, as well as their CVs.
Above you see them working at First Aid certification and here they are in a mix of activities from earlier in the year: The Law Module, an Auto Safety seminar, Build-A-Bank interviews and out catching a professional performance of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.
And that little trip to the theatre was a hint at what is surely to be the biggest TY ‘try’ of all: a big budget, professionally produced rendition of the play at the end of May. (Thank you, Emer Hartnett and Seamus Gallagher!) The rehearsals and the try-outs have already started and so has the fun. Stay tuned for more highlights of the musical machinations and the TY experience overall!
After an all-too-short midterm break, it is hard to come back to the daily grind… especially when it seems to be usually dark and always raining. Luckily we have Chef Mark and Co.’s culinary arts to warm and cheer us up! This Week’s Menu (pdf):
Like a repeating decimal, Maths Week at St. Conleth’s just refuses to die! At our Halloween Assembly, Ms. NiAonghusa presented our Maths Week Challenges winners with specially procured mugs. And the pics from the first-ever-but-sure-to-be-repeated St. Conleth’s Maths Murder Mystery were finally developed. But like pi, Maths Week just does not stop! Mr. Morris has been combining Maths and ‘music’ by promoting the boy band, the ‘The Math Street Boys’ (with rumours abounding of another band, the ‘S∏ice Girls’, in the pipeline) and the TY ‘Maths Eyes’ competition continues. Maths magic, indeed!
Here at St. Conleth’s, we pride ourselves on the ways in which the Junior and Senior Schools interact. We think it benefits both groups of students, the big and the small, to be part of a community where children of all ages share a space and an ethos.
There is no better example of this than the annual Halloween Assembly when the Prepster goblins and ghouls are invited into the Performance Hall to liven up our term-ending assembly with a ‘Spooks Parade’. Of course there is some business to get done at these things, too: Mr. ODulaing gave his Gaelic-tinged interpretation of Halloween; Second Year Ciara Thornton roused the troops to be greener and do their part against climate change; Junior Certificate top finisher Louis Cullen received his ‘Murph’ Cup and LC perfectionists (625) Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill were presented with their Bernard Sheppard Medals; and our Captain Emily Mansfield introduced all the Student Officers/Class Captains, presenting them with their badges of office. This being St. Conleth’s/FAme Academy, in between these talky bits, there were plenty of musical interludes, and of such quality that we think the next Past Pupil Concert may have to be at the 3 Arena. See the video above and pics below, and enjoy the break!
We all know St. Conleth’s is not a grind school or a points factory though we do a fine job at generating those all important totals come mid-August (see news on LC results below). We also consider the development of the ‘whole child’. This website is replete with news of sports, extra-curricular and other goings-on which have nothing to do with three weeks of exams in June in Sixth Year but everything to do with a healthy, cohesive culture of personal growth over six years of secondary school.
Even our Sixth Years get to share in the formative fun. Above you see them put on the style for the annual trip to the opera. Continuing a tradition started years ago by Mr. Kelleher, the students enjoyed The Barber of Seville at the National Concert Hall. And earlier in the year, there was the overnight retreat to Ovoca House, where both bodies and spirits were reinvigorated. Of course, it was back to the books afterwards!
Is Ireland finally going to join the gastronomic greats of the world? Well, if we had more chefs like Mark of the school canteen, we would surely be up there with the other ‘I’s. This week, we sample the best of Parma, Bologna and Central Asia but Mark also has pride in the simple but profound native dishes, inevitably spud-based. Enjoy your colcannon!
Ms. Fay, our stylish musical maestra, and Seamus Gallagher, our agent to current and future recording stars, pulled out all the stops and put on a concert to remember, one of which the sweet-sounding reverberations will be felt down the years… Whoever is planning the 85th celebrations better get started because it will be nigh impossible to beat the 80th Anniversary/Soirée Musicale of last Friday night when the Kevin Kelleher Wing was alive with exquisite music, the swishest of fashion, the finest food and drink and, of course- this being St. Conleth’s- the most compelling conversation in town. It was also the launch of the latest St. Conleth’s Quinquennial, edited by the the two Charleses, Crimmins and Latvis, and chock full of alumni and staff reminiscence. The book may have kept you busy over the weekend but Friday night, all our attention was directed to the stage where the ‘best of’ past pupil and current musical talent took the stage. ‘Eclectic’ was certainly the theme of the night as the stars and styles came from across the musical spectrum: ‘Conlethian’ and ‘consummate’ being the only descriptives in common.