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!
TY’s Epic Finish!
Transitioning between a normal school life and a much restricted Covid-complicated version was not the transition our Fourth Years envisioned, but TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire has done an amazing job keeping the boys and girls busy. And they certainly are going to go out with a bang!
Above you see a snap of 4A during their visit to the Epic Irish Immigration Museum and, below, loads from their weekly sailing course. And the whirlwind finish to the term is just warming up! Here is the schedule and stay tuned for more news as TY’s Class of 2021 vanquish the virus and go out in style!
TY’s Whirlwind Wrap-Up!
17th May – Normal School
18th May – 4B Will visit the Epic Museum
19th May – Garden gigs workshop on public speaking / Portfolios must be completed.
20th May – First Aid / Photography- 4A Retreat
21st May – Sailing / 4B Retreat
24th May – Graduation times to be confirmed
25th May – Gaisce Hike, Marley park to Enniskerry
26th May – Sports Day
27th May – First aid and Photography
28th May – Morning of Activities
Back in Action!
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!
One Shining Moment!
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.
Use Your Noggin!
Did that gust of wind almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Yes, It-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named loves the cold… but we do not! Below you see this desired piece of fashion and utility which is already showing up on the streets of Milan, New York, Paris and Ringsend. So, hurry up and be the first on your block to own an Official St. Conleth’s Noggin Hat! A perfect stocking stuffer!
On sale for €17 through Easypayments on this website. Noggin is a Community Interest Company: the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness. Noggin is a Community Interest Company, where the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness projects across the UK & Ireland.
The Debate Goes On!
We are spoiled at St. Conleth’s when it comes to debating: the All-Ireland and Leinster rolls of champions are filled with Conlethians, and the Irish International team is practically our fiefdom. And, recently, the usual gang of garrulous guys, including Oisín and Evan and Turlough and Coleman and Leo and Daragh and such, have proudly carried on that winning tradition. But, lo and behold, a new star is rising in the Conlethian debating firmament: TY Saoirse Corry who made the Finals of the covid-delayed 2019/20 UCD Leinster Junior Debating Competition, one of only four individuals so honoured, from over 300 participants. Yes, it was about time that this boys’ club was broken up, and recalling the sparkling rhetorical achievements of Cathy McShane (2009), Ebhan Rowe (2013) and Eavan O’Riada (2016), Saoirse has stated her claim to full membership, and even leadership, of the Conlethian debating house!
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’!
A full week of activities!
TYs learn how to TEFL!
Sherlock wants to know if the course is compatible with Bocce.
TYs get ready for some heartwarming cinéma vérité!
Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way...
TYs inhale the wisps of freedom emanating from the mother ship.
Sherlock loves standing on stuff.
Simon introduces TY to the finer forms of graffiti.
No viruses on these babies!
Simon: The Toast of Dublin
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.
Old Boy Brings The Skills!
At a special SCT training session, Junior School Past Pupil Callum Dowling joined Coaches Louis and Mr. Morris to pass on some of the skills he learned playing at the highest of schoolboy and Leinster youth levels. Callum was the Senior Cup captain of Clongowes Wood, who reached the final of the Senior Cup this past year, only for Covid to stop the match being played. Callum has also been involved with the Leinster U20’s. The coaches and the team were delighted to have a player of his calibre join them. Of course, every week, all our rugby teams benefit from the expertise of Past Pupils Luke McCay and Gavin Nugent. Below you see our coaches and players at that training session, as well as a snap of one of Callum’s past days of glory. Notic the name on the trophy!
I Have Two Points, Sir!
Only two, are you sure, Oisín? It is with great ambivalence that teachers face the prospect of having a schools debater in their class or, heaven forbid, two or more. On the one hand, we are guaranteed continuous, enthusiastic, irrepressible, hubristic contributions to class discussions, but, on the other hand, we are guaranteed continuous, enthusiastic, irrepressible, hubristic… Joking aside, Schools Debating is the one sure thing at which we know we are the absolute best in the land. The roll calls of Leinster, All Ireland and World Champions are replete with Conlethians. And the tradition which feeds that success: that of open and lively debate within our classrooms is a core component of our distinctive learning culture. Conlethians simply discuss stuff. Anything and everything. And we do it all the time.
News of our latest debating success came through last week. Evan Power, Leo Nolan, Coleman Hegarty and Oisín Power took part (via Zoom) in a multi-province debate to determine the make-up of Ireland’s Senior International Schools Debating Team. It was open to all school debaters from Leinster and Ulster, attempting to get a place on the five person team. There were two preliminary debates with the motions that ‘This house would abolish Juries in all Criminal Trials’ and this ‘This house supports the radical redistribution of wealth’ (but not the debaters’ families’). Our team of Fourth and Fifth Years did very well against mostly Sixth Year competition and Oisín was chosen to be one of eight debaters to make it to the Leinster+Ulster Final. There he debated ‘That this house regrets the the prevalence of good against evil in children’s literature’ (that includes the New York Times). Oisín spoke with his customary tenderness and compassion, finishing just outside the top five. Well done to all four participants. By incredible coincidence three of them can be seen above, sitting next (-ish) to each other in LC Latin class!
Yes, afterschool sport is back at St. Conleth’s Senior School! Only rugby and hockey for now, but it a welcome start to a return to normality for our school community. We have noticed that for all the success and many positives of our ‘coping with covid’ existence, many students noticeably missed the exercise, competition and camaraderie of organised school sport. Mr. Smyth, our Head of Sport, gives all the details:
We are delighted to announce that After-School Sports Rugby and Hockey are returning this week. At the minute we can only have training sessions in small groups but all the coaches have plans in place to make sure we are following the guidelines set out by the Government. Students will remain in the same groups that are set out their coaches for the coming weeks so mixing between students will be at a minimum. With regard to Covid and training, it is imperative that all students who attend training follow the instructions set out by the coaches. There will be a very strict policy in place with regard to behaviour and if a student is in breach of any instructions regarding behaviour or Covid guidelines, they will not be allowed to train for the rest of the School year.
Hockey 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year girls will be training in Pembroke Hockey Club on Tuesdays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:30-2:30pm) and Thursdays (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train.
Rugby 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year boys will be training in Wanderers Rugby Club on Mondays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:20-2:20pm) and Friday’s (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train.
If students are unable to attend training, it is up to them to inform the coaches. Students may NOT attend training if they have not in school on that day.
Hopefully we can get back to some sort of normality in the coming weeks but for now, we are delighted to able to get the students training with their classmates, even if it is in small groups.
With regard to other sports, we are monitoring the guidelines set out for each level but for now, all we can allow is Rugby and Hockey. Hopefully we can change that in the not too distant future.
Kind regards, Ciarán Smith Head of Sports, St. Conleth’s College
Claudio’s Triple Triumph!
A new fencing season kicked off earlier this month; however, due to Covid-19 – the rewards announcement acknowledging the 2019-2020 season was delayed until recently. Our very own Claudio Sosa Smatralova won a rare triple: the Best Cadet, Junior and Senior Fencer in Ireland. A proud, longstanding Conlethian tradition lives on!
Splendour on the Grass
Poets such as Poe feared the invasive reach of personified Science, ‘who alterest all things with (its) peering eyes’ and ‘has torn the Elfin from the green grass’ but Edgar Allan must have been thinking about ye olde Junior Certificate Science, because clearly the spanking new, right-on and hands-on Junior Cycle Science frolics along hand-in-hand with poetry, imagination and the nobler arts. Case in point: Ms. Phelan’s First Year Science class. A few years back, Ms. Phelan would have attached electrodes or gas tubing to any student who suggested taking a walk in the park to engage in scientific observation. Now, it is part of the curriculum! Below we see our youngsters in action, examining the grass but leaving the elves be… including the sprites of a Second Year English class who were enjoying a bit of poetry and ceremonial dipping of footwear in the pond.
On Raglan Road of an autumn day…
…and on Wellington Road…and Waterloo…and the Grand Canal! Principal Dónal ODúlaing took a short stroll with 2a to visit some local cultural touchstones. The weather was warm and the conversation was scintillating: music was on the agenda and everyone from Luke Kelly to the Villagers to Conlethian alumni Versatile came up. And then a bit of a rest on the banks of the canal. Patrick Kavanagh was glad for the company- and he did not insist on social distancing!
Sailing Takes Me Away…
If one man could defeat Covid-19 all by himself, and we know that is impossible, but if one man could vanquish this pandemic…. it would undoubtedly be the unflappable Mr. Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire (Class of 1990). Our intrepid explorer and expedition leader has faced down some mighty challenges on all seven continents and across seven seas, and he has acquired many a herbal remedy in his journeys, which he keeps lodged in his ever-present, trusty and fashionable man bag.
Given enough time, we think Gav could cook up some kind of elixir for the current plague but the problem is just that: Gav simply does not have the time! For, Gav and the TYs were already in action on Thursday, starting off the year with a sailing session at the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire (with none other than John Melia, of the Class of 2020, there to show them the ropes… and the knots). And today, Friday, they are off again: who knows where, but we are sure more news and pics of Transition Year derring-do will soon be zinging in over the wireless!
Hi-Yo, Students! Away!
Yes, we are off with a shot at St. Conleth’s; however, not as lonesome rangers but as a unified community ready to face this unprecedented challenge, together.
Each class and year that has arrived this week has come in quietly and a bit in awe of the situation. But with the careful guidance of our Junior and Senior Form Teachers, and leadership from Principals Kilcommons and ÓDulaing, fears were allayed and spirts were emboldened and, by week’s end, we were back to being St. Conleth’s: the best possible place to learn and have some fun, often at the same time. Of course, some things need to be ironed out: for example, our first real break-time on Friday may well resemble the migration of the wildebeest, but we will learn, make changes and move on. Stay tuned as we fine-tune learning in the covid era!
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!
Beware the Ides of… July?
If Ceasar had survived into the month named for him, he would have enjoyed this corona-delayed news. On one of the last, hectic, mad days of school before the shutdown in March, over forty of our Classics students attended the Second Annual Young Classicist Symposium in UCD. Yes, in retrospect, crowding a couple hundred eager, restless adolescents into a lecture hall may not have been the best covid strategy but they were more innocent times and all our legionnaires came through in good, marching order. It was a day full of fun and learning as we enjoyed viewing hundreds of projects on various Classics-related subjects, from Charlie Plant’s edible exploration of Roman cuisine to Lochlan Quinn’s theories on the ‘lost years’ of the Trojan War.
Before we shuffle off to Butlin’s by the Sea for our staycation we will provide some last shots of what our students were up to this year, before and after the latently loosening lockdown. And just in case you are not quite brave (or, maybe, crazy) enough yet to board the garishly yellow upholstered shuttles to Mediterranea, we are bringing you some much-needed exoticism colour in the form of Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin’s First Year Clay Tiles Project. Each bird was sculpted and painted by an individual student, and they stand alone as lovely works of art, but when Ms. Halpin was able to put them all together, I am sure you will agree, something very special was created!
See You on the Thames!
Lockdown loosens… random alumni encounters begin again! We ran into Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016) and his lovely girlfriend, Aishling, in the old Herbo and aside from trading snide comments about STEM guys (to the bemusement of Aishling, a Physics major) we also learned that Daniel is about to begin a Master’s in Law at Oxford University. Daniel, a graduating Trinity Schol in History and Politics, is clearly destined for great things… including an impending show-down with Conor White (Captain, Class of 2015), who is completing his own Master’s in Law at Cambridge University. Both Daniel and Aishling would have crossed pontifical swords with Conor at the Irish Times Debate last year, the winning of which provided our photogenic couple with a grand tour of America, warts and all, red states and blue.
Now, with both Daniel and Conor temporarily ensconced in the Home Counties, the two former Irish schools debating champions will surely meet again on some rostrum or another, or maybe at a shadowy Bullingdon Club Oxbridge mixer….. but we also fancy a face-off between Conlethian greats on the Thames at The Boat Race. (If you have to ask ‘Which boat race?’, don’t bother…) Conor and Daniel showed some athletic prowess while playing basketball at their alma mater, and we think the former, as a strong and steady type, is a natural for a stern rowing position and the latter would be the most rhetorical of coxswains!
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Art from the Vaults!
Judging from the pieces below, Ms. Halpin’s Senior School Art students have been, if anything, even more creative during the corona lockdown. Last week we saw some amazing First Year works, created in homage of particular masterpieces. This week, it is the Third Years’ turn and we can enjoy a range of work from their Junior Certificate portfolios including snapshots of the development process that underlies every great work of art. More to come!
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Sports Day… Redux!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday. All the usual suspects were there… ah yes, our habitual style of reporting one of St. Conleth’s most beloved annual rituals: Sports Day! Sadly, not this year. Rían Lawlor is eagerly trying to organise a Wii Sports version but until that happens we will enjoy a trip through the years. Keep scrolling!
Yes, we said running…
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running a bit further…
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or just hanging out!
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winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns. Yes, we said running…
or just hanging out!
or just hanging out!
There Are 86 Attendees in the Waiting Room…
The first ever St. Conleth’s ‘Zoomed’ Graduation Ceremony was a smash hit! Yes, we will have a more formal affair in the Fall, but this student-produced, standing-room-only variety show was chock full of nostalgic humour and poignancy, from heartfelt advice from management and teachers through honest expressions of appreciation from the graduates to some very imaginative personal ‘bios’ of select students. The Class of 2020 even received some helpful dating advice from Mr. Carvill! The whole class and all their current teachers attended, as well as several student and staff ‘alumni’ who returned to share in the experience. Yes, we look forward to another, more ‘physical’ ceremony in the school in the autumn, but really this will be hard to beat. Well done to Emily, James, John, Oisín, Joe and all the others who organised and took part in this perfectly pitched celebration in imperfect times. Enjoy the pics: full video on the way!
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If there is one thing that we take seriously at St. Conleth’s, it is the election of our School Captain. The UN Election Observers are brought in, identifications are carefully checked and we make sure that no votes of members of the Class of 1939 have somehow mysteriously made it into the ballot box. And Covid-19 did not alter this scrupulousness: Mr. Carvill arranged arranged long-distance versions of all the usual steps; from a call for nominees, through Zoom speeches by the candidates to their class and an initial student vote and, eventually, the same for the digitally assembled staff by the semi-finalists. The fact that there were fifteen initial nominees says a lot about the class and the school: so many students want to take a leading part in the life of St. Conleth’s. After the student vote, the field was narrowed to a high quality six: Matthew Lynch, Colin Bolger, Ciara MacNally, Ted O’Kelly, Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye. All these sincere and enthusiastic youngsters then presented their cases to the staff via Zoom, and though there was a variety of styles and emphases, we were left knowing that we were in good student leadership hands for 2020-2021, regardless of the outcome. In the end, Ted O’Kelly was elected School Captain with Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye being selected as Vice Captains. With these three at the helm, we will really hit the ground running in September!
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Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:
Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!
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One More Chukka!
We will miss dearly all our Sixth Years, but one young man in particular has left a legacy of good humour, easygoing charm and warm friendliness, which we will find hard to replace. And, typical of Alex Reynolds, we did not even know that he had a hidden talent and has been a competitive polo player these last few years. Here he brings us up to date, just before he rides off into the sunset!
Even though I have long been interested horses, I had very little experience of polo until about five years ago. I had played a few chukkas here and there, but not too many. But, now, I could not imagine not playing polo and being on a horse hitting a ball with the mallet. I truly have found a passion for polo and horses, and it is when I am on my horse charging down the field that I feel most alive. I have been looking after polo ponies at home for a few years now and I love the joy that comes with it and the bond that can be created with the horses. It is hard work but the rewards make it more than worth all the effort. Polo is a very small sport in Ireland compared to abroad, in places like the UK and Spain, and it has a much smaller community than other polo scenes, but I hope to be part of the growing effort to make it more popular. I think others would enjoy the rare combination of building bonds with both an intelligent, emotional animal and friendly competitors.
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You really should be careful of what you ask… as we learned when we innocently contacted Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin for an update on what has been going on in Art classes this year, pre- and post-corona. We expected a few snaps of pleasant watercolours: what we received was an absolute avalanche of creative, boundary-busting masterpieces! As none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, we are going to drip feed you a steady stream of these stunning student installations, starting with one assignment for First and Second Years which will have you gasping in admiration and rolling around with laughter! Ms. Halpin asked them to interpret and recreate famous paintings in any way they wanted: and, boy, did they respond with gusto!
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Move Over, George…
Yes, the mysterious and secretive ‘Uncrowned Emperor of Europe’ George Soros may have a whiff of the Sith about him but the Rise of Oisín McGinley, his acolyte and heir apparent, is a much warmer and good-humoured tale than that told of Skywalker. Fresh from chairing the first ever digital conference of European Youth Parliament, Oisín tells us of his EYP adventure in his own words.
Having now participated in every format of EYP event in each academic year, I believe it is high time for me to reveal what this mysterious organisation is. The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, tolerant and active citizens. International, regional and national sessions are at the core of EYP, and consist of events that bring together over 30,000 young people every year.
That’s well and good, it is also what any of you could find online with a simple google search, so I am here to offer a more personal account of what EYP is to me. I began my EYP journey in 2017 heading to Loreto Foxrock for the Dublin Regional Session of EYP with the help of TY co-ordinator Mr.Trenier who was more than happy to pay for this bizarre event… not. It was there where I realised I hadn’t completely lost my brain during TY. More importantly, this is when the curtain of EYP was drawn back for me and showed me that as a young person I had the means and the capability to shape the issues of young Europe which were important to me.
Following that event, I was selected to go to Cork for the Irish National Session and finally to Rotterdam for the 88th International Session of EYP as an Irish representative, at this stage Mr.Trenier began to realise that maybe it was money well spent even being quoted as being “almost proud of me”. Rotterdam was without doubt one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the first night of being forced to share a table with the UK delegation I believe I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Furthermore, it is one of the main reasons why I feel so confident in studying abroad in Amsterdam now. I am still in contact with many of my friends from that session and there are many after hours memories that I still hold dear.
The reasons why I am passionate about EYP are in-quantifiable but chief among them are the opportunities it offered me and the connection it has brought about in my life. I have participated in 15 different events of EYP now and I have come to have a great appreciation for the network. EYP has given me practical skills in terms of delivering modules, managing group dynamics, academic research and so much more, not to mention some well needed weeks off of school. I am able to document my self development directly with the events I have attended and I believe it has gifted me a unique lens to view the world from. Especially in times like these, knowing that I can pick up my phone and catch up with friends from all over Europe is very supportive and also very humbling.
Another amazing thing about these events is the wide variety of roles they offer. Whether you have a knack for organising, a creative flair or a desire to lead committees there is a role for you. Moreover, the principle that EYP is a youth organisation that is led by the youth is very powerful. Testament to that is that as a 17 year old I was given the honor of presiding over the Slovakian national session. The roles of real responsibility that are given to young people as well as the lack of taboo surrounding age is something which makes EYP attractive to the youth. The idea that I as a 17 year old was in a position of leadership over a 23 year old may raise some eyebrows initially but it is what allows for the organisation to thrive and facilitate better events.
Every EYP event I go to I always head in thinking about why gathering a random bunch of teenagers and introducing them to a random organisation shouldn’t always result in a magical experience yet every time without fail it does. In my opinion EYP is above all else a platform, a platform which connects like minded people across Europe and offers them a well-needed way to direct their passion both towards fixing world issues and connecting with each other. It is hence my greatest pleasure to see the network continue to develop and transition to a digital format. I was astounded to see the high level of participation as a chairperson at EYP’s first Digital Session and it makes me very confident about the future of the organisation.
I still carry the same awe and passion that was lit inside me at my very first EYP event and if the same TY student that was reluctant to head to Foxrock saw where I had gone now I honestly have no idea what he would think. I think that’s why I delayed writing this article, there is so much about EYP that is so intimate and personal, much of which can’t be expressed in words. With that said I hope to have enlightened you as to what actually happens at an EYP event and why you may want to get involved. As we say in EYP “See you somewhere in Europe”
Students: Get 10% Off if You Complete This On-Line Survey!
Sorry… a bit of false advertising. We cannot give you a reduction in your tuition bill but what we can give you is a chance to tell us (management and teachers) what you think about St. Conleth’s: what we are doing right and what you think we could do better. It is all a part of our School Self Evaluation. Parents and staff are also taking part through their own surveys (check your email!), but the student voice is equally important to us. So, take about 10-15 minutes, click on the link below and fill it out, carefully and honestly. We will take the results very seriously in our forward planning but, as it is anonymous, we will not be able to respond with any individual rewards… or retributions!
The novel corona virus has forced into novel and covert styles of learning but, believe us, the work goes on! Conlethian teachers and students are keeping busy with remote classes and assignments and despite difficulties with bandwidth, the sibling seizure of screens and the dreaded Virtual Learning Vulture Neck Syndrome, we are all keeping pace with our various syllabi and the hallowed STATEMENTS OF LEARNING! Some wags think we are even ahead of normal schedule: less time spent waiting in line for chicken wings and Fortnite dancing in the courtyard at break-time… but we do miss both activities dearly! Here we see just a sampling of our students’ long distance learning: Maths memes and graphs, corona advice en français and some Classical Greek architectural drawings and descriptions. All in a day’s work!
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Remote Rostra Rhetoricians!
Congratulations to Coleman Hegarty and Leo Nolan on their impressive top ten finish (of the best 59 in the world!) at the Oxford Union’s International Competition for Young Debaters competition. The debate was conducted remotely but our boys adjusted and mastered the digital rostra!Here, Coleman gives his personal account!
For the ICYD competition, we used a newly developed software called MixIdea, made in Japan. We qualified at Coláiste na hInse with eight other Irish teams for ICYD-Oxford. Of course, because of that darned virus, we couldn’t make the trip over to Oxford but they were quite quick to email us about using online platforms. Leo and I did a few practice rounds before hand and were ready to compete on the 2nd. Sadly, because the organisers are in college and prone to college brain, they forgot to tell many of us that they were using a different domain name for the site. Then, due to overflow we had to wait from 1:30 to 4:00 and finally got a start after three and a half hours with the motion ‘THW have all elected politicians on the average wage and use public services‘ (Against). We placed 2nd in this round, coming up against Canadians (the eventual winners), Hungarians and Scots.
In the second round we had a very Thurnberg-esque motion, supporting Eco-conscription. What sounds like an Eco-Fascist’s dream is really just manual climate change labour. Up against more familiar faces in Belvedere, we also placed second in this round. Round Three was cancelled due to major delays and the next day we arose for one more round before the semi-final break, the motion this time being ‘THW implement equal airtime for both sides of a topic/arguement on national television‘ (Proposing). We won this motion, coming up against Shanghai International school. After a while, we got the tab back, revealing we were 1 speaker point (443-442!) off the semi-finals. Still, Leo and I triumphed as the best speakers in Ireland. Not too bad for a corona lockdown!
Summer Exams 3.0!
**Slightly adjusted: small changes to the Fifth Year schedule, only**
The times they are, indeed, a-changing, but here at St. Conleth’s we have still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission… to provide fair but rigorous assessment! Students and parents will be contacted formally via email, but here is a sneak preview (courtesy of Exam Co-Ordinator Ms. NiAonghusa) of the Summer Exam Schedule.
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!
The Last B-Ball Game in Ireland?
In our efforts to keep some Conlethian good vibes flowing, we bring you more BC (Before Corona) News: Our U19 team were involved in perhaps the last basketball game played before the shutdown, a narrow loss to old friendly foes St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final. Our name has been etched on this particular plaque many times, and will be so again, but this time we settled for an honourable second place, nipped by a strong, international Andrew’s team. Big man Luke Gilleran and fireplug Keane Acosta were again forces for us, as were graduating Sixth Years Suyash Patidar and Josh Bergin and rising youngsters Ralph Garing, Luke ‘C3P0’ Sherlock and Oisín Thornton, but it was Colin Bolger who really shot out the lights and earned a share of the MVP award.
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And Sixth Year Jack Doyle had the honour of captaining the side in his last appearance in a St. Conleth’s basketball jersey. Jack has been part of St. Conleth’s since Junior School days and his devotion to basketball and the school as a whole has been steadfast and strong. Like his ancestors from the middle of America, Jack has always been the epitomé of hard work, team spirit and impeccable manners.
Fitness Challenge #2!
A ‘towering’ member of the PE Department just enjoyed a milestone birthday, but since this GDPR-protected person has such a ‘high’ level of fitness, he is not worried that he is now on the wrong side of Basil! Well he, and relative whippersnapper colleagues Mr. Smyth, Adam and Sean, feel this week’s challenges will really boost your energy levels. Students and/or parents have the choice of two workouts. Try each one at least twice for maximum benefit. Remember to send any photos or videos to email@example.com. And further below you see our winning participants from last week’s challenge, led by the Bertomeu Boyz!
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Our First Weekly Fitness Challenge!
Wake up! The St. Conleth’s PE Dept. is talking to you! Below is our first weekly, long-distance learning Fitness Challenge. We (Mr. Magee, Mr. Ingle and Mr. Swan) will be posting various challenges to this website and Twitter each and every Friday, so make sure to keep an eye for the next challenge. For the first challenge, “Alphabet Workout”, simply spell out your name and match the letters of your name to start your fitness challenge. Try each one twice on rotation and if you’re feeling very energetic, try it three times. You know Gav Maguire will! Remember (if you like) to send a photo of you or your family taking part to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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These five lo-fi but hi-impact instrumental tracks have already made quite a splash in the world of music with an online musical promotion group eager to include them in their monthly Spotify playlist. So turn off the Netflix and have a listen!
Drums Along The Dodder!
To prompt pleasant memories of when your younger family members were not always just standing there listlessly in front of an open refrigerator door, we will periodically bring you news from a bygone era: B. C. (Before Corona). Yes, it is only in retrospect that we realise how full our lives were… especially St. Conleth’s Transition Years!
A couple of weeks B.C., ace TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire arranged to have Patrick Naughton and his African Drumming Ireland programme pay a visit. Patrick was brilliant. He has the skills and knowledge, the authentic drums and, most importantly the ability to keep a group of sometimes grumpy adolescents enthusiastic and involved… and even rhythmic! Enjoy the video above and the pics below. More B.C. News to come!
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Seachtain na Gaeilge… ar ball!
Before the shutdown… we had just enough time to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, in a rather abbreviated but spirited fashion! With the senior member of the Irish Department, Mr. ODulaing, busy piloting the school through the troubled corona waters, it was left to his younger colleagues, Ms. Fay and Ms. Dorman, to drive the buachaillí agus cailíní through Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada and class-specific céilí… and in record time! The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities. Certainly more fun then those pesky CBAs! And, of course, we do not just get all Irishy for a fortnight in March: St. Conleth’s Gang Gaeilge is active throughout the year. Below you see Sixth Years enjoying some Tae agues Plé, earlier in the term, with Ms. Dorman as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate Irish Oral, as well as some pictures and video from our shortened but still inspiring Seachtain na Gaeilge!
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Corona News Squashed!
Yes, our school is temporarily closed… but we will try to lighten the mood by delving into the overflowing ‘In Box’ on our desk and keeping up the St. Conleth’s newsfeed. Plenty of good news to report, such as First Year Ismail Abdelwahed following in the footsteps of big brother Omar, has made the U13 Irish Squash team and will represent Ireland in the Five Nations Championship… when sport returns to these islands! Well done, Ismail!
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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!
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Bring the Noise!
There was a poignant moment at the recent Past Pupils Dinner when select members of the Class of 2010 got together to recall their shared glory days of St. Conleth’s basketball: when Herron and Purcell and McCormack and McCoy and Carr and Co. shocked the world of Irish Schools Basketball, winning the All-Ireland double in 2008. And, now, current St. Conleth’s coaches, Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan are establishing quite a record of ‘glory days’, themselves. The First Year boys team have been on a rampage since the season tipped off, rivalling last year’s First Year rugby team for consistency and promise. Below you see pix (Thanks, Scott!) from a romp over St. Benildus and just last Friday they won a thriller over St. Paul’s, 31-30, with the Twin Powers (Fionán and James) and Cormac Hayden leading the way. That dramatic win has put the boys into an Ireland East Basketball Ireland Final, which will be played on Thursday at the Oblates Hall in Inchicore at 11:10. But, hang on, we have another final to support before then: the U19s will play today (Wednesday) at 4:15 at St. Andrew’s for the SDBL crown. Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Keane Acosta and the the boys have a great chance to add another ‘St. Conleth’s’ to the engraver’s to-do list!
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With plans afoot for a big, new STEM facility for St. Conleth’s, it is fitting that we have a whole bunch of young STEMsters raring to go and get their hands on all those circuits, tubes, switches and burners! Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has been meeting faithfully every Friday and last week they celebrated national Engineers Week holding a tower-building competition using marshmallows and spaghetti. And though it may be early days for these young engineers, who knows where their ideas and measurements will take them? Judging by the speed with which our civil engineering projects take shape, these boys and girls may well be the ones with hardhats, yellow vests and rolled plans when our bus corridors finally get laid in the asphalt!
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A Crown for Fencing!
There is at least one international jet-setter whom the Corona has not grounded! TY Claudio Sosa is seen here fencing in Warsaw and Porec, where he recently represented Ireland. Claudio’s international career continues to bring success, as builds up his skills and experience on ever bigger stages. His most recent senior scalp was winning a Bronze in Senior Foil at the Belfast Open. Remember: Claudio is only fifteen years old and is fencing against full-fledged adults!
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No sooner do we do our rugby ’round-up’ for the season and the boys send a clear message: it ain’t over, yet! Coaches Louis Magee, Mr. Smyth and Mr. Morris had a particularly good match day yesterday as both First years and the JCT emerged as victors over some quality competition. The youngsters earned a hard fought victory yesterday over De la Salle, 31-21. Below you see John Engmann going high for a line-out, Cillian Cooke delivering a massive hit and Andrew Gore-Grimes about to! Patrick Devlin and Fionán were amongst the try-scorers. And the JCT had a great league win against Belvedere College, 36-15. Richard ‘Killah’ Caldwell touched down for a superb try amidst a superb team performance and all the boys were in fine voice and mood afterwards in the locker-room.
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Rather serendipitous that Michael O’Dwyer (Class of 2010) was our special guest speaker at the PPU Dinner on the Friday Night, he the holder of both a All-Ireland Debating Title as well as a Cambridge University International Debating Mace (a weighty weapon, that!), and the next day brings news that the current crop of Conlethian debaters are also bringing home the bling! On Saturday, Third Year Coleman Hegarty won outright the Leinster Junior Debating Mace. And he, Leo Nolan and Turlough Dineen have all qualified for the National Mace Final. Actually, ‘serendipity’ or chance had nothing to do with it: St. Conleth’s consistently dominates the rostra of the land in schools debating. The secret to our success lies in another fact: also present at Friday night’s PPU Dinner were Conor Power and Oisín Dowling (Class of 2018), our returned Past Pupil debating coaches who showed the way for Coleman and company. The Carvillian system continues to work!
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The good burghers of Greater Ballsbridge and Donnybrook hold their collective breaths every year on the last Friday of February because that is when the carnival comes to town: the Past Pupils Union Annual Dinner is always the liveliest gig in town on that night, and the 2020 version did not disappoint. The members of our PPU, like our current student body, reflects our diversity, spirit and downright quirkiness… and we seem to just get better with age!
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PPU Presidents John Carvill and Peter O’Neill and PPU Benign Despot Ronan O’Kelly must have been tired from organising the previous PPU engagement in NYC but it did not show, as they orchestrated an evening that managed to combine proper, sober acknowledgements of milestones with the frantic fun with which we all associate the night. Despite a rather flat sound system and the habitual rowdiness, Ronan and John compèred with both gravitas and wit, with guest speaker Michael O’Dwyer (2010) and honouree Ger Cummiskey also rising to the occasion. Enjoy the semiformal pics of each class above, as well as the more free-form ones, below.
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St. Conleth’s Strikes Again!
The Hockey Girls are really setting some high standards for the years and teams to come! With the first St. Conleth’s Hockey team only taking the field a few short years ago, it is amazing that we already have a trophy case shelf groaning under the weight of hockey cups and plates! The latest was won this past Saturday. While the rest of us were sleeping off the lingering effects of the PPU festivities of the night before, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley and and Georgia Weir McErlean were up, putting the girls through their paces. And when the last shot was taken and the last net had rippled, St. Conleth’s Juniors team had beaten Sion Hill – 1-0 and St. Raphaela’s 2-0, bringing home the Plate of the Dublin South Girls League Junior A Division! So much for a lag after being promoted after last year’s championship season!. Well done to all the girls and their coaches.
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Just Say ‘No!’ to COVID-19!
St. Conleth’s is well prepared for COVID-19! Considering the ‘jet-setty’ nature of our clientele, we were especially worried when we heard about the news (and germs) emanating from Alpen Italy, but the school has been very pro-active in response, and not just in the hallway banter. The hand sanitisers are everywhere and our students have been enthusiastically disinfecting, especially as it delays arrival in class for a few minutes. And though we are known for our sense of closeness, cushiness and coziness, we have dialled back a bit on the hugs and handshakes, at least for the time being. Below are some helpful posters and videos and links to advice from the departments of Education and Health, as well as a Powerpoint made up by our very own Corona Czarina, Ms. Dillon!
St. Conleth’s PPU Dinners are always memorable affairs: well-attended, well-catered and well-lubricated… more raucous than retiring, a fact any residents left on our particular stretch of Clyde Road can attest to. Our recent New York City PPU Dinner was a decidedly more refined affair, with the humour as good and the sentiments as warm as every Conlethian come-together but with just the volume turned down, as befitting the august setting of the New York Athletic Club. (Apparently, the good folks of the TSA did their job and stopped certain members of certain graduation years at the borders. You know of whom we speak.)
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That is not to say that the alumni who attended the fully booked dinner did not ‘take Manhattan’ afterwards, but for news of those shenanigans, you will have to check the tabloids. We would prefer to concentrate on the dinner itself, quite an elegant and dignified gathering of old friends and colleagues. PPU President John Carvill, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and Special Guest Speaker Michael Moloney hit all the right notes, recalling poignant and hilarious moments of recent, middling and ancient St. Conleth’s history, as well as reaffirming that special ethos which has us confidently heading into the future. Of course, that ‘future’ includes tomorrow night’s Annual PPU Dinner, of the regular, old ‘domestic’ variety. Stay tuned for the fireworks!
As you can see in the news items below, St. Conleth’s sports is thriving on the basketball courts, running tracks and in our fencing arenas… but we shall never forget our sporting bread and butter: rugby. And though we have been faithfully tweeting away about our accomplishments with the oblong ball, we thought we would bring it altogether as the teams enter their stretch run.
The SCT have had a tough year regarding numbers but Coach Gav Maguire, Captain Rían Lawlor and his loyal teammates have weathered the tough times with heart and style, doing particularly well in the 7s competitions. Earlier in the year, Gav’s club, Wanderers FC, marked their 150th season with a friendly at the Aviva and two Past Pupils, Mark 0’Reilly and Kevin Dolan, lined up against Trinity for the first team, showing of what quality Conlethian ruggers are capable.
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The JCT, led by Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee, have had plenty regarding numbers and even though they are quite a young team, the success this year bodes well for even greater things ahead. The JCT suffered a tough loss in Wicklow early in the season but showed plenty of spirit, camaraderie and promise as the boys mounted a second half comeback. Better results soon arrived such as a thrilling 24-21 win over St. Gerard’s in the league with a last gasp try from Michael O’Donnell, who scored three tries on the day and was backed by a great team performance. Team workouts in the Fitness Suite with Adam have certainly helped. The competition for places is fierce and Coach Magee is confident of finishing strongly.
The JCT members will certainly not get to comfortable, with some very impressive First Year players nipping at their heels. Coaches Smyth and Morris have built up quite an impressive resume already with the boys, including an early tight but exciting win over Marian College, 59-51; two wins out of three in a blitz kindly hosted by Sandford in Monkstown RC with St. Paul’s and Marian taking part; winning narrowly, 21-14, over local rivals St. Michael’s, in an entertaining match; and convincingly, 42-7, against Sandford Park. And above you see action from a recent, stunning 24-19 win over St. Paul’s. The boys have now adopted a new team nickname, “The Crazy Gang”, and we look forward to more fun as well as success from them in the weeks and seasons to come!
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New York, New York!
The greatest city in the world is now going to host Ireland’s greatest Past Pupils Union! Following on our successful inaugural international PPU reunion in London a few years back, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and PPU President John Carvill decided to hit the Big Apple for the next one. And when the New York Athletic Club offered an ‘open bar’ as part of the dinner package, the deal was sealed! We know Manhattan has seen some heavy duty partiers over the years, but we are sure the Conlethian crowd will leave its marks. All the tickets have been sold for Saturday night’s gala but any Past Pupils or friends in the five borough vicinity can join the crowd for pre-drinks on Friday from 8:00 at ‘My Friend Duke’ at 383 Third Ave. or post-drinks from 10:30 on Saturday at Blue Haven East at 493 Third Ave. And if you re stuck on this side of the pond, you can still come to No. 28, Clyde Road for the regular, old Annual PPU Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28th! Tickets available through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Stay tuned for tales from both these festivities!
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St. Conleth’s next extension is going to be a STEAM Centre (more on that later!) so it is only fitting that our Science teachers are ramping up their game in preparation for their move into their sparkling new digs. Mr. Morris has been up to all sorts of hands-on learning stuff in Physics and our student reporter, Robert O’Connor, reports back from the nexus of man, machine and scientific humour.
It was a typical afternoon in the Science Lab. We looked out the window. It was not raining, but it had been and soon would be again. The banter was mighty. Our Fifth Year Physics class demonstrated their superior intelligence by creating, with the assistance of Mr Morris, a machine that both demonstrated wave motion and tasted delicious: simple contraption, using two retort stands, some tape, skewers and Fruit Pastilles attached to the skewers. The experiment is simple but beautiful: spanning several benches, motion from the skewers at one end passes along to the other end and back again. It was really cool to look at, almost as cool as watching our resident studly scientists/ macho mathematicians, Ted and Dylan (collectively known as The AlgeBros), passing the wave back and forth between each other. They were in a world of their own for a few seconds. Like Olympian gods. With calculators.
While watching the whole class do the experiment, if you listen carefully you can also hear Stephen Rockett (resident child actor, international internet influencer and quirky tennis player) auditioning for the part of the Kool-Aid Man as seen in Family Guy.
Poetry in Motion!
Conlethian fencing parents, Robert Smyth and Cahir Davitt, make quite a pair of ‘adjunct’ sports reporters: Robert with his faithful reporting and journalistic flair, such as the headline above, and Cahir with his stunning photography. Their latest missives:
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Last Saturday in Dublin, James Moriarty-Smyth ended just outside the last sixteen in Men’s Senior Sabre, after a very narrow 13/15 defeat to the Captain of Trinity University Fencing Club at the Direct Elimination stage. This is an incredible result considering James just switched his choice of fencing blade and is competing against seasoned adults.
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And on Sunday in Belfast, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14 Foil and Michael Davitt won Bronze in the U10 Foil, as well as Luke Sherlock taking Bronze in the U16 Boy’s Foil. Keep tuned for more news in this Conlethian sporting tradition!
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!
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Build Up for Mocks! Now!
Yes, Third and Sixth Years, it is time to drop tilted on our Mock Examinations! Some of you may have earned more skins than others these last few years, but everyone is default going in to the exam hall for these tests and the even bigger battles in June. And that default is a Full St. Conleth’s Uniform! Exam Secretary Ms. NiAonghusa (Contender II ranked) has already delivered you the exam schedule and rules but here are the dates and times in a handy pdf. As always, you can also find them under ‘Events’ as well as under ‘Calendar + Information’. Let’s W Key these Mocks!
Of Brigid and Conleth
With the usual ubiquitous and undulating showers of rain and a belated arrival of a minor polar vortex, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s and Mr. Seamus Gallagher’s warming incantations of the coming of Spring with St. Brigid’s Day.
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And with the help of these two gentlemen’s words of wisdom and delight in both our national languages, our annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment to tales of St. Conleth and St. Brigid frolicking through fields of clover. Platonically, of course. And this being St. Conleth’s Fame Academy, there had to be student musicians to join the ensemble:
Russell Boger, Lochlann Hannon and Cúan Moore captured the mood of regeneration perfectly on piano and trumpet and we all headed off to an especially extended morning break with music in our ears and joy in our hearts!
Mark the Magnificent!
This week, Chef Mark braves the steppes of Eurasia and the tenements of NYC to bring us Tartar Sauce and TriBeCa Wings… but not necessarily to be eaten together!
Conlethian Dad Robert Smyth has recently been rehired as our specialist fencing correspondent. Here he fills us in on another weekend of our youngsters foiling any attempts to remove the from the podia!
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Saturday saw the usual suspects fence foil and epee at this year’s Excalibur Cup, hosted by Pembroke FC. A significant number of entries from Clongowes dramatically increased the overall number of competitors, resulting in plenty of fencing and competition across all age ranges, to say nothing of the volume of refereeing for James Moriarty-Smyth, who as a Sabreur was not competing, and Luke Sherlock, who officiated at least 50+ matches between them.
Results on the day were once again excellent:
Under 10s Men’s Foil: Michael Davitt finished just shy of the medals, having performed strongly in the Poules.
Under 12 Men’s Foil: Matthew Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Under 14 Men’s Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth – Gold and Trophy
Under 17 Men’s Epee: Luke Sherlock – Gold and Trophy
Matthew’s First place was made all-the-more special by the fact that he will be the fouth Sherlock to have their name engraved on the Trophy, so creating a piece of Irish Fencing history and continuing the high standard set by his uncle, mother, and older brother.
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Next Saturday is the East of Ireland leg of the Senior Circuit, where James will be fencing Men’s Sabre and be looking to improve his current Senior Ranking of 17th, while Sunday sees Michael, Matthew and Myles (the 3 M’s of the ‘Conleth’s Contingent’) head to Belfast for Round 4 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Stay tuned!
B-Ballers Show Mamba Mentality
Basketball fans worldwide recently mourned the loss of one of the all-time greats, but Kobe Bryant’s emphasis on mental attitude and preparedness lives on in young players across the globe, including those at St. Conleth’s. Led by Coaches Ingle and Gahan, and the elder statesmen U19 Boys, Conlethian teams from First Year up had a great January, posting (and posterising) such fabled adversaries as Benildus, Blackrock, Mt. Anville and St. Michael’s. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger are no strangers to headlines, leading their Conlethian team to glory at each stage of development over the years, as well as playing for nationally prominent clubs and recently being named to the Irish team for their respective age groups.
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Old, friendly foes Colaiste Eoin knew they were up against it when they drew St. Conleth’s in the SDBL U19 Boys Semifinal. These plucky Gaeilgeoirs, from the poshest Gaeltach in Ireland, have faced us many times over the years, and they have (almost) had their share of the spoils, but when you are lining up crosscourt from two Irish players such as Luke and Colin, even the famous 10% Irish bonus points are not going help much! And our boys politely but firmly put our southside neighbours to the sword, with Luke pouring in buckets from the paint, including an in-game thunderous dunk, and Colin ducking and chucking from the perimeter. As usual, the supporting cast did their part: Keane cleaning the parquet with his hustle; Jolly Jack D, Jack T. and Josh doing their devil-may-care Sixth Year thing; youngsters Sherlock and Ralph learning on the go (and the give); and Suyash Patidar snapping the ropes with a NBA trey!
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Our U19 squad have given us many thrills over the years, but our younger teams seem eager to follow on the same path to success. Our First and Second Year teams have started their league campaigns with spirited performances and some impressive wins against such powerhouses as St. Benildus’s, Blackrock and St. Michael’s. First Years Fionan, James, John, Steph and Yubo have shown particular swagger… and a good bit of skill to back it up!
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And how could we forget the girls! St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational, and, if anything, our boys have had a hard time keeping up with the girls when it comes to sport! Our First and Second Years have combined into one superteam, and with wins over Mt. Anville, Woodbrook and the ‘girls school that have a purple kit’, it is clear that it is not just in hockey and athletics where our newest Conlethians are going to competitively shine!
You Need a Noggin!
Did that gust of wing almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Protect yourself (and help a good cause) with an Official St. Conleth’s @nogginsport Hat! On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Hurry! They are going quickly!
Those PE classes and after-school trainings sessions seem to be paying off regarding Junior School basketball as, for the first time, we were AIJS Basketball Tournament Finalists! Our Junior School team had their best performance ever: finishing runners-up to megalithic St. Michael’s, and beating perennial powers Castlepark, both their A and B teams, en route to the final. We did notice the familiar names of Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock on the team-sheet, proving that their athletic prowess is not limited to the noble art of fencing. Of course, it takes a full team, and then some, to compete in an intensely paced blitz-like tournament, so well done to all the boys and their coaches!
Maths Night Out!
Last Friday night, all the coolest clubs and hippest bars around the city were strangely silent for the start of the weekend; yes, even the bouncers up and down Leeson St. were checking their watches in confusion as the usual hard-partying crowd failed to materialise… Where was everybody???
Well, the rowdiest element of their regular crowd, the Maths whizzes, had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year Maths Quiz at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock and Rolle! We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s. Just look at the departmental inspection report.! And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Ciaran, Joe, Suyash, and Edward; and that of Tadgh, Adam, Michael and Oisín, earning very respectable finishes in a field of over fifty teams. Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz.
The problem for our reporting staff is that the Maths team members are usually not as loquacious as… let’s say… the school’s debaters, who will continue explaining, correcting and pontificating long after we have run out of room in our notebook, put down our pen and silently walked away. The Maths Team kids of the past tended to give monosyllabic responses, often in binary, or answer with emissions of short electronic sounds, sort of like R2D2 but not as polyphonic. So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that this year’s line-up are not only are they geniuses at the old adding and carrying over but they also are able and willing to enthusiastically and animatedly describe these numerical adventures…. with words! More C3PO than R2, indeed, and we look forward to hearing all about it!
Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.
Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!
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Motion Carried: St. Conleth’s is The Home of School Debating!
Every St. Conleth’s teacher knows that our students are usually not shy about speaking up for themselves. In particular: the debaters. Their opening ‘point’ when called upon in class (by an unwary teacher) is inevitably, ‘I have two points….’ We usually respond with ‘No, you now actually have one (left)’ but this does little to quell the rising tide of rhetorical effusion and vehemence. And if there happen to be two (or more) debaters in your class… fuhgettaboutit.
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But all this rhetorical confidence and sheer verbosity does have its positive side: St. Conleth’s simply dominates Irish school debating. We have for years. We will for years to come. (Especially in the purpose-built debating chamber coming with our next extension…more on this, later!). Corroborative point of information: this past week, no fewer than seven of our debaters advanced through the Leinster Schools Octofinals. Third Years Coleman Hegarty, Daragh Sweeney and Leo Nolan, TYs Oisín and Evan (The ‘Twin Powers’) and Sixth Year vets Joe Downey and Frank Knowles all charged through this latest round of the premier debating competition in the country, with all ‘winning their rooms’, debating such motions as the relative merits of ‘voluntourism’, whatever that may be. Such an accomplishment, in some burgs, would be cause for parades, keys to the city and front page headlines on the Midlands People… at Conleth’s, we politely acknowledge and wait for the bling that is sure to come a few more rounds.
Cross Country Army!
Mr. Keenan and Mr. Smith do not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, they practise what we preach and issue an open invite to all students to join them on their Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years. Over fifty student athletes made the time-honoured trek through the wooded hills of Wicklow to the little love-nest of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea that is now Avondale Forest Park. And we do not just do quantity, we do quality: First Year Lucy McGoldrick won an individual Bronze and, incredibly, we also won three team medals. First Year Girls placed Second; First Year Boys, Third; and Second Year Boys won their race! For a small school to pack the podium like that, it is some achievement and a credit to the team spirit amongst the boys and girls and the encouragement of their teachers. Check out some of the action below, as well as a list of the many medal winners!
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Young Scientist double award winner Cúan Moore does not make mistakes but apparently we do: Cúan did indeed win the RSA Special Category Award for his project entitled (quite efficiently) ‘The effectiveness of colour on a bike light’ but his other award, for First Place in Category, was actually in ‘Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences’, not for ‘Technology’. In our defence, we have to say that it seemed pretty technological to us! Anyways, to cover our blushes we are going to distract you with some more photos from our First Years’s visit to Cúan’s stand and the rest of the Young Scientist Exhibition. Enjoy!
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Get Ronan to the Paralympics!
We remember a young Ronan Roche Griffin lighting up his First Year Form Class with his wicked wit and a glint in his eye. Whether it was sending notes in binary to a like-minded stemmy classmate or politely wriggling out of some minor kind of trouble, Ronan always did everything with considerable panache. Now, he has transferred that swashbuckling style to Canmore, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Yes, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 is currently training on those sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. Don’t be jealous… the beautiful scenery does make soggy old Clyde Road pale in comparison, but Ronan is putting on some hard runs, upping his skills and stamina in pursuit of qualification. Find out more (and lend a hand if you can) on his GoFundMe page. Let’s help get Ronan to Beijing 2022!
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Rugby is Back with a Bang!
All that fencing, debating and chess is great, but let us not forget that we still play rugby at St. Conleth’s…. and we do it darned well! A parent reports back on the latest Junior School Rugby adventure, complete with some great photos:
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Continuing the Junior School’s strong performance in rugby this year, Mr. O’Brien led Third Form to claim victory over Willow Park last Saturday, despite the biting strong winds. Well done to all the team in their first year of representing St. Conleths in Junior School Rugby!
Continuing a Conlethian tradition started by the Zorin brothers years ago, First Year Cúan Moore has won an award, in fact- two awards- at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Yes, Mr. Callaghan- our science exhibition specialist teacher, has done it again, guiding one of his charges to the podium. And like the Zorins, it is the ‘T’ in STEM which signifies young Cúan’s incredible accomplishment as it was in the category of Technology where his project ‘The Effectiveness of Colour on a Bike Light’ topped some very impressive competition. Cúan also won the Road Safety Authority’s Special Award. And in an era where so many ‘advances’ seem to involve the ephemeral, digital world, Cúan’s project has some good, old-fashioned tangible technology at its heart: an adapted bike light which illuminates the rider’s reflective clothing. This little device brings a much needed extra level of safety for cyclists attempting to negotiate the habitual gloom of our eternal twilight and it opens up whole new possibilities for flash advertising. We may soon see Cúan safely cycling down Clyde Road- and illuminated like a giant, reflective Coke can. But before you get any ideas, Cúan already holds the patent!
No Holiday For Fencer!
Yes, we enjoyed two weeks of relatively low key lesson planning and curriculum development over the Christmas break, but not all our students were engaged in such relaxing activities: Transition Year Claudio Sosa, for one, was busy fencing against men twice his age… but no longer in size!
He represented Ireland at the Five Nations where the Irish team took Third place overall in all categories. He also participated in the 2019 Northern Irish Open in early December, where he won a Bronze medal in the Senior Male category. Claudio, at the ripe old age of fifteen, currently holds the No. 1ranking in the Senior Male Category in all of Ireland! He also qualified and was selected by the Irish Fencing Federation to represent the country at the European Championships and World Championships in Porec (Croatia) and Salt Late City (USA), respectively. Claudio is clearly committed to represent the community, his school and the country. Not many Christmas lie-ins for him!
The Pea and Mint Soup is Particularly Good!
No, we may not have ‘salted pork’ on the menu this week (pdf) but Chef Mark has included several specialties that would rival the best from Saruman’s famous storehouse in Isengard. Even a hobbit would be satisfied!
All in the Mind!
Julien Porzadny does double duty at St. Conleth’s: he is half of our dynamic duo of French teachers (along with the equally energetic Ms. Crowley) and he also serves as our Mindfulness guru. Here, he fills us in on how St. Conleth’s attention to our minds is gathering international attention!
Three years ago, Mindfulness classes were introduced to St Conleth’s college. Since then, weekly mindful sits have happened, it has become part of our Health Awareness Week and it seems that students are enjoying learning about the art of “being”. Before the Christmas break, I received an email from the “Mindfulness in Schools projects” (the UK charity from whom I received my training) who were looking for stories about the experience of implementing Mindfulness in schools. I therefore decided to write back to them. They later on got back to me and asked for permission to release our story on their website. So, if you are curious to learn a little more about Mindfulness and how it has grown in St Conleth’s College, I invite you to have a read of “The evidence base, a primary & secondary case study – St Conleth’s College, Dublin“.
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The baton has been passed from Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal to Ms. McGuinness, but judging by the talent and spirit on display at our annual Christmas Concert, music will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s.
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The Senior School Choir, in particular, plays an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations. But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.
Judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. McGuinness’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the performers on it is destined to join Alex Sheehan, Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage? In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.
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Our students also enjoyed their individual class parties, including Kris Kindle, yuletide movies, plenty of sweets and shenanigans in their charity-aiding Christmas jumpers.
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Faith and Fun!
In less than a week, St. Conleth’s took part in two school-wide events, each of which conveyed a different but essential aspect of our community. Last Wednesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, and remembered and celebrated the staff and family members who have gone before us and who helped to make our school all that it is today. The Senior School Choir provided the beautiful hymns, students of all ages led the prayers and readings and Fr. Michael, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way.
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And yesterday, we went on another annual pilgrimage. We did, indeed, ‘Let Them Go!’ and released all our Senior School students for a well-deserved Christmas treat at the Swan Cinema after a good term’s work. Everyone enjoyed ‘Frozen II’ or ‘Jumanji II’ and the residents of Rathmines and Ranelagh were incredibly hospitable to our flying columns!
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TYs Show Flair Français!
The TYs are just about to close out a very busy first term, with outings galore, a monumental Christmas Fair and special courses in First Aid and Photography, but they also were pushed in their ‘regular’ classes, completing creative and innovative products both in groups and individually. Here, Mr. Porzadny, updates us on what went on in the TY French class this past term.
Let the students be the teachers! What do Dungeons and Dragons, the Beatles and kitchen utensils have in common? Not much would you answer. You would pretty much be right. Except that as of today you can learn how to talk about elves, yellow submarines and whisks all in the language de l’amour! Learning French in a fun and easy way is made possible thanks to the home made flashcard made by the students of Transition year.
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As part of the TY French curriculum, a “Quizlet” competition was organised. Students would have to create a set of 20 words or expressions from a theme of their choosing. Mr Porzadny would then pick the 10 best sets based on originality, variety and quality of the French language. Students would then vote for their top 3 set. The final sets would then be shared here on the St Conleth’s website for the enjoyment of the whole School community! So without further a due, here are the results: Tied for 3rd place with 11 votes:Ava with “Les jeux olympiques and Keelan with “Le rugby en français“ In 2nd place with 16 votes:Cael with “Les films en français“ And in 1st place with 18 votes:Luca with “Le football en français“ Get ready, set and “allez”!
Fencing: Ins and Outs!
You know that fencing has always been an integral part of St. Conleth’s. In recent weeks there was ample evidence both outside and within our walls. First, the extramural: Conlethians continue to excel in national (and international) fencing competitions.
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Claudio Sosa won Bronze in the Senior Men’s Foil in the Northern Irish Open; Myles Moriarty-Smyth won gold in the U14 Foil in the Christmas Cup and Michael Davitt won bronze in the same competition’s U10 Mixed Foil. It is great to see Myles showing Michael the ropes… and the points!
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And within the hallowed walls of 28 Clyde Road, we have recently witnessed fencing become part of the regular PE programme. Here we see First Years enjoying their foils… and foibles as they come to grips with the noble sport (and their classmates).
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Thumbs Up for the TY Fair!
The Annual Transition Year Christmas Fair and Tree Sale was once again a spectacular success, with trees, wreaths and various home-made crafts and goodies flying out the doors of the school hall this past Saturday morning and afternoon. The various student-run ‘mini-companies’ got a taste of real world business and the profits off of the trees and wreaths themselves will all go to St. Conleth’s partnership with the Bridge Light School in Uganda. A great big ‘thank -you’ to TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire, all the participating parents (especially TY reps Caroline O’Dea and Ray McDonnell) and, of course, the TY students themselves for continuing this great St. Conleth’s tradition in style.
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When the wind whips away that umbrella with gusto, the sleety rain ‘falls’ sideways into your face and the cyclists splash you on the only bits that escaped the car ‘wash’… it is time for a hot and hearty meal! Core-firing Beef and Carrot Stew is on the menu this week as well as some less traditional but just as stamina-stocking favourites:
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…
…the Annual Transition Year Christmas Tree Sale and Fair! Yes, indeed: the wind has picked up, the sun was last seen September 14th, the falling leaves are halting nearly all movement in the city, Switzer’s has a vaguely yuletide theme to its window display, and if we just lost a few degrees, we would be neck deep in snow! And, of course, the Transition Years are once again readying themselves for another Christmas Fair and Tree Sale extravaganza. (Click for poster!) They have been like busy little woodland elves: planting, cultivating and cutting the finest of firs and poinsettia and etching and whittling the most exquisite of Christmas cards and crafts. And Gav Maguire has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa but is not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of one of his predecessors, Mr. Bolger, nor the rounder middle and rosy red cheeks of another! Well, make this Santa smile by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY girls and boys and come by this Saturday, December 7th, from 10-4, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee. All proceeds go to supporting the Bride Light School in Uganda. To order a tree, call (087) 799-8702.
After last week’s Thanksgiving Feast, and in preparation for the yuletide excesses to come, we recommend (especially to the older staff members) that the impressive array of sales on offer this week on Chef Mark’s menu may be the way to go!
Happy Black Friday Eve!
The pilgrim fathers (despite their rabid anti-catholicism) would be thrilled to sees the celebration of the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to these shores. Of course, if the Mayflower had brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population! Be that as it may, the turkey, the roasted potatoes, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since. We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze: galumpkis on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod…. Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all! Juniors and Seniors and staff all joined together for a musket-bustin’ Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste. At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!
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Off the Fence!
As with Jose Mourinho, we knew Luke Sherlock would not stay on the sidelines for too long! Luke has ended his temporary retirement and is back in fencing action! His exploits, this time, took him to Germany to the 18th International Open City Championships in Marburg. Luke fenced in both the U15 epee and foil, two weapons over two days. Final podium positions were 6th in epee and 3rd in foil. Well done, Luke, and good to see you back!
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Top of their Class!
We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent runs by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results. Recently there was tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess on show at Ireland’s two most prestigious universities: Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Ian O’Neill (Engineering), Rory Smyth (Finance and Spanish), Stephen Allen (Science) and Joe Hyland (Engineering) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results. Stephen also added a Choral Scholarship: no surprise to those of us who enjoyed his school concert performances over the years. And Seamus Gallagher joined the toast to Hugh Downes, a ‘winner at Trinners’ and who is now studying Theoretical Physics. A high mark has certainly been set for the Class of 2020!
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Of all the cultural imports from America, surely Thanksgiving is the most welcome. A holiday that celebrates diversity and community? Surely, even the most anti-American of European elites can accept that- then again, there is the accompanying traditional dish of ‘creamed corn’ which probably sends the devotees of Michelin chefs into apoplexy. However, our chef, Mark McColgan, always goes ‘whole turkey’ and happily serves up all the traditional fixings. Somewhere Squanto is smiling, even though there probably is a mall where his tee-pee used to be. Check out the special Thanksgiving Week Menu.
SS PA AGM…
No, that is not a secret code but the shortest way to announce that the Senior School Parents’ Association is having its Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 25th) at 7.00pm. Come along and find out how parents make up such an important part of the St. Conleth’s community. And we don’t just think locally. There is also a talk by renowned climate activist Dr. Lorna Gold at 7.30 pm entitled “Climate Generation – Awakening to our Children’s Future”. See you there!
Will Your Exam be a Kobayashi Maru?
The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. Thankfully, most of the St. Conleth’s Senior School teachers have decided to give their students slightly more passable exams.
Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! Live long and prosper!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
‘St. Conleth’s and Debating’ go together like ‘Germany and efficiency’, ‘Brazil and soccer’ and ‘America and freedom’… and our sprightly orators were recently at it again, rushing the rostra at the UCD Literary & Historical Society Schools Junior Competition. Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney finished First in their group, debating the motion that ‘Doctors, rather than parents, should make all medical decisions for children until they reach the age of consent’, topping teams from Blackrock, Gonzaga, Belvedere et alii. Talk about the creeping influence of big government! All our teams wowed them rhetorically, continuing St. Conleth’s pre-eminent position in Irish schools debating.
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Are Friends Electric?
Not necessarily, but the boys and girls in the St. Conleth’s STEM Club certainly create a buzz when they get into the school laboratory on a Friday morning and start bouncing ideas off each other like free electrons.
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Our STEM Club’s second official meeting capped off a Science Week of all sorts of left-side-of-the-brain type of fun, including Mr. Callaghan leading a Fifth and Sixth Year group to a special Chemistry lecture at Trinity College; Elí Strahan’s science-themed cupcakes creating a rabid feeding frenzy in First Year; daily quiz questions posed by Mr. Morris and Mr. Carvill (The Younger); and a lunchtime recitation of Pi to a soundtrack of Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan!
We’ re Just Wrecked!
Health Week is finally over… and we are just wrecked! But it is a healthy ‘wreckedfulness’ as we pushed the limits this week in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There was a ‘Screen Free’ day when students and (some) teachers abandoned their life-support screens- and realised they could live and even thrive with out them! What did we do then with Netflix and Kahoot and examinations.ie momentarily out of commission? We went on walks, we went to talks (Spun Out for mental health and Sticks & Stones for anti-bullying), we danced and we just sat there and thought of… sweet nothing. Hopefully, each of us will bring something with us from a great week of getting back in touch with our minds and bodies… but, thank goodness, the Tuck Shop opens again on Monday!
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Health Week peaks with a shake of the hips, a twirl and a jump as First Years join TYs for some exercise and a dance-a-thon in the Sports Hall!
…and a Sticks & Stones anti-bullying seminar.
Health Week may be over but that does not mean that healthy eating stops at St. Conleth’s. See Chef Mark’s latest menu to see how the dishes served up in our canteen are good for both palate and person!
Ismail Squashes Munster!
St. Conleth’s First Year Ismail Abdelwahed reached the final of the Munster Junior Open held in Waterford over the weekend and took home the Silver trophy. Ismail won all his matches, including two consecutive five setters to reach the final. Unfortunately he was not able to continue the winning streak and lost a hard fought match 3-1, with the games’ scores really tight. This is a good step forward after winning Bronze in the Connacht and the Ulster Open competitions earlier this year. This form is guaranteed to see him represent Ireland in the European championship to be held in England in April 2020.
An Early Christmas Present!
At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December! And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Christmas and good luck!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
On the offensive! Conlethian swordsman continue to win plaudits and trophies! Claudio Sosa took Bronze in the Irish Open at the Senior level: yes, fencing against full-grown (and bearded) men! And in the the opening round of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, Luke Sherlock took Gold in the U16s and Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14s (fencing above his age level)!
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What a Load of Falafel!
and pak choi, and couscous, and lentils, and mac & cheese… this week’s menu (pdf):
Sound Bodies and Minds
Get ready for Health Awareness Week! Both Junior and Senior Schools are getting ‘psyched’ for a week in which we pay special attention to the mental and physical health of both ourselves and those around us. Activities will include: free porridge in the canteen, mental health talks, Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying workshops, a Screen Free Day, a skip-a-thon, Zumba dance, a healthy Tuckshop, a 5000 step walk, Mindfulness sessions, a surprise film showing… amongst other events. And our Principals, Mr. ODulaing and Mr. Kilcommons, have asked that all students also deliver at least one random act of kindness each day- preferably to your teachers, but friends and family are also eligible. This week will certainly focus our minds and bodies on health but we believe we have already made a good start: see below for some pics from various Wellness trips to Herbert Park (before and after the recent monsoon season). This little green oasis is literally our Happy Hunting Ground!
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STEM Club’s Stunning Start!
Over twenty First Years (and a few Fifth Year helpers) showed up for the first meeting of the All-New St. Conleth’s STEM Club! And it sure was a stunning start as one of our more over eager participants decided to lick a plasma globe that had the tiniest crack in it… all’s good though, as there was enough electricity hanging around the lab for the reviving shock, and a bit of gas to settle any lingering nerves. The kids got to learn about physics and biology in one quick experiment! In all seriousness, this was just the first meeting of what we hope will become a Conlethian tradition. Stay tuned for news of dissections, reanimations, multiverse portals and other cool stuff as Mr. Morris leads his charges into the exciting world of Science!
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A Different Shade of Green!
He shoots, he dribbles, he passes, he scores… and now he plays for Ireland! Luke Gilleran has made the ‘final 22’ of the Ireland Under-18’s Mens Basketball Team, joining past Conlethian hardcourt luminaries such as Peter Herron and Mark Ryan, who also represented their country. Here we see Luke demolishing the competition but we will be showing you him in that other green jersey, soon!
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Will a new STEM Star arise at St. Conleth’s? Will we finally have an R-12 series droid? Well, grab your imagination and your pocket protector and come along to the lab and find out! Mr. Morris is starting a First Year STEM Club today at 7:45 and it will run every Friday in the lab going forward. Come along and do your part to bring on the android apocalypse!
Gotta Love a… TYer!
In the old country, ‘Gotta Love a Trier’ is one of those ambivalent sayings: a double-edged sword, a backhanded compliment… You say it with a sardonic, Southern drawl when you are standing on second base, chewing a plug of tobacco, and watching a teammate give three almighty swings at the baseball…. and come up empty, all three times. You admire his effort, but you also almost pity his irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude… in the face of overwhelming genetic evidence to the contrary. Well, here, in our brave new Land of the Celtic Tyger 2.0, everything is possible and all efforts are worthwhile… especially in Transition Year. The whole programme, as implemented by Co-ordinator Gav Maguire, is about trying as many new things and skills as possible, and just a half term in, the boys and girls have already stretched their reach, as well as their CVs.
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Above you see them working at First Aid certification and here they are in a mix of activities from earlier in the year: The Law Module, an Auto Safety seminar, Build-A-Bank interviews and out catching a professional performance of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.
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And that little trip to the theatre was a hint at what is surely to be the biggest TY ‘try’ of all: a big budget, professionally produced rendition of the play at the end of May. (Thank you, Emer Hartnett and Seamus Gallagher!) The rehearsals and the try-outs have already started and so has the fun. Stay tuned for more highlights of the musical machinations and the TY experience overall!
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News to Warm and Cheer
After an all-too-short midterm break, it is hard to come back to the daily grind… especially when it seems to be usually dark and always raining. Luckily we have Chef Mark and Co.’s culinary arts to warm and cheer us up! This Week’s Menu (pdf):
Maths Week Unlimited
Like a repeating decimal, Maths Week at St. Conleth’s just refuses to die! At our Halloween Assembly, Ms. NiAonghusa presented our Maths Week Challenges winners with specially procured mugs. And the pics from the first-ever-but-sure-to-be-repeated St. Conleth’s Maths Murder Mystery were finally developed. But like pi, Maths Week just does not stop! Mr. Morris has been combining Maths and ‘music’ by promoting the boy band, the ‘The Math Street Boys’ (with rumours abounding of another band, the ‘S∏ice Girls’, in the pipeline) and the TY ‘Maths Eyes’ competition continues. Maths magic, indeed!
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Spooks and Scholars!
Here at St. Conleth’s, we pride ourselves on the ways in which the Junior and Senior Schools interact. We think it benefits both groups of students, the big and the small, to be part of a community where children of all ages share a space and an ethos.
There is no better example of this than the annual Halloween Assembly when the Prepster goblins and ghouls are invited into the Performance Hall to liven up our term-ending assembly with a ‘Spooks Parade’. Of course there is some business to get done at these things, too: Mr. ODulaing gave his Gaelic-tinged interpretation of Halloween; Second Year Ciara Thornton roused the troops to be greener and do their part against climate change; Junior Certificate top finisher Louis Cullen received his ‘Murph’ Cup and LC perfectionists (625) Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill were presented with their Bernard Sheppard Medals; and our Captain Emily Mansfield introduced all the Student Officers/Class Captains, presenting them with their badges of office. This being St. Conleth’s/FAme Academy, in between these talky bits, there were plenty of musical interludes, and of such quality that we think the next Past Pupil Concert may have to be at the 3 Arena. See the video above and pics below, and enjoy the break!
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All Work and No Play…
We all know St. Conleth’s is not a grind school or a points factory though we do a fine job at generating those all important totals come mid-August (see news on LC results below). We also consider the development of the ‘whole child’. This website is replete with news of sports, extra-curricular and other goings-on which have nothing to do with three weeks of exams in June in Sixth Year but everything to do with a healthy, cohesive culture of personal growth over six years of secondary school.
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Even our Sixth Years get to share in the formative fun. Above you see them put on the style for the annual trip to the opera. Continuing a tradition started years ago by Mr. Kelleher, the students enjoyed The Barber of Seville at the National Concert Hall. And earlier in the year, there was the overnight retreat to Ovoca House, where both bodies and spirits were reinvigorated. Of course, it was back to the books afterwards!
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Italy, India… Ireland?
Is Ireland finally going to join the gastronomic greats of the world? Well, if we had more chefs like Mark of the school canteen, we would surely be up there with the other ‘I’s. This week, we sample the best of Parma, Bologna and Central Asia but Mark also has pride in the simple but profound native dishes, inevitably spud-based. Enjoy your colcannon!
A Soirée to Remember!
Ms. Fay, our stylish musical maestra, and Seamus Gallagher, our agent to current and future recording stars, pulled out all the stops and put on a concert to remember, one of which the sweet-sounding reverberations will be felt down the years… Whoever is planning the 85th celebrations better get started because it will be nigh impossible to beat the 80th Anniversary/Soirée Musicale of last Friday night when the Kevin Kelleher Wing was alive with exquisite music, the swishest of fashion, the finest food and drink and, of course- this being St. Conleth’s- the most compelling conversation in town. It was also the launch of the latest St. Conleth’s Quinquennial, edited by the the two Charleses, Crimmins and Latvis, and chock full of alumni and staff reminiscence. The book may have kept you busy over the weekend but Friday night, all our attention was directed to the stage where the ‘best of’ past pupil and current musical talent took the stage. ‘Eclectic’ was certainly the theme of the night as the stars and styles came from across the musical spectrum: ‘Conlethian’ and ‘consummate’ being the only descriptives in common.
Greg Purcell (2007), with indie matinee star looks and moves, started us off with a pitch perfect and powerfully emotive power ballad, Pink Rabbits from The National. Current pupils Caoimhe Moore and Trevor Bolger showed no nerves and played an exquisite version of Gymnopodie No. 1 on clarinet and piano. Molly Van Der Lee (2011) sang and played Landslide, evoking Stevie Nicks in her best incarnation. Then, The Band to be Named Later took the stage with the lively 21 Pilots tune, Heathens. Michael Horan, Rory Clark, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty-Smyth made such a powerful impression, belying their relative lack of experience, that we are sure this band will soon have a name, as well as a fervent following! Noah Brabazon (2016), as always, calmed things down in his own smooth way with Gold by James Vincent McMorrow on piano, before the legendary Patrick Fitzgerald (2008) took the stage to turn up the reverb and the feedback and rock out with his own ‘love’ song : Goodbye!
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Two stars of the Class of 2019, Matthew Rockett and Joe Gallagher, then played their own compositions, Notturno and Slipping, stunning us again with their talent and making it rather obvious why they are pursuing music at the third level. Sisters of 2016, Hannah Collins and Maryrose Counihan, accompanied by the calmly ubiquitous Noah on guitar, made Radioactive by Imagine Dragons the most pleasant sounding of emo musings. Seán Keane (2017), did what he always did when a student: he took out his fiddle and, without fanfare or fuss, took us all elsewhere, someplace more beautiful, for a little while. And then, as if to finally prove the versatility of this Past Pupil line-up of talent, Evan Kennedy (2014) made Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye his own, ending the Soirée Musicale with both style and substance.
The Tiger Roars Again!
Most of our current students are too young to remember but for a few years after the turn of the millennium, Ireland was the happy hunting ground of the Celtic Tiger and we did things and bought things (mostly the latter) of which we will probably never be able again. Locally, we mark the height of the ‘Tiger’ with two historical events: one, when they started selling straight pomegranate juice at the Baggott St. Spar and two, when the Boys’ U19 Basketball team flew, yes- ‘flew’, to Cork for an All-Ireland Cup match. Somehow we convinced ourselves that the logistics demanded air travel, just the way one of our big men, Gavan Duffy, thought it logical that he should spend all of his €20 traveling money on sunglasses at 6:30 in Dublin Airport, in the rain. Really, you had to be there.
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Well, the cranes are up again, and there is a €200 steak available on Shelbourne Road, but we have learned our lessons and now spend our money much more surreptitiously, like holidaying at Centre Parcs in County Longford. But one thing that harkens back to the golden years is the state of St. Conleth’s basketball. Coaches Ingle and Gahan and their charges, both boys and girls, are absolutely ballin’ it! The Conlethian teams went. combined 5-0 last week, including a return trip to County Cork (alas, via coach this time) where the U19 Boys, once again led by Luke ‘Lord of the Paint’ Gilleran and Colin ‘Bomber’ Bolger, trounced the country cream of Rosscarbery. The dynamic duo had their usual support in the feverish antics of Keane Acosta and the glove-like ‘D’ of Dylan Alvez as well as some new contributors: Luke ‘Silky’ Sherlock stepping up from the 16s and off-season transfer ‘Dapper’ Daniel Duarte making his big game debut. And the boys were not alone this week in snapping the nets and cleaning the glass: the Girls, U16 and U!9 versions, beat St. Pat’s Cathedral and Pres.-Terenure, following up on their double over Ballinteer the previous week. Overall, an impressive slate of victories and a return to hoopla headlines for St. Conleth’s. Who knows? We may be on to Ryan Air for the next round of the cup…
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It appears that we have a new budding fencing champion in St Conleth’s. Michael Davitt (3rd Form) competed in his first fencing competition and won bronze in the U10 Mixed Foil Category at the Lord Killanin Trophy in Loreto College, Dalkey last Saturday. Obtaining some helpful words of wisdom and assistance from his fellow Conlethian, Myles Moriarty-Smyth, this gave him the confidence to progress smoothly through the pools and onto the direct elimination phase of the competition, where he competed in the semi finals. Myles Moriarty-Smyth (6th Form) was also on piste and won bronze in the U14 category.
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Claudio Captures the Killanin!
Don’t be fooled by Claudio Sosa’s friendly demeanour and his winning, winsome smile. Let your guard down a moment… and the tip of his foil will soon be stuck in your heart! Or, at least, scoring a clear hit on the electronic scoring of modern fencing. Claudio added to his already impressive trophy hoard last weekend when he won a Gold in the Lord Killanin Trophy at U17-Foil and took Silver in the West of Ireland Open, a senior competition, losing only to a ranked Italian fencer who is almost double his age! And stay tuned… news of Claudio’s Conlethian friends and competitors, the famous ‘fencing brothers’ is also on the way!
Magical, Mysterious Maths!
What can we say about the subject that somehow gives 125% (on the LC) when all others are bound by mathematical limits? And the only subject where some students spend 80% of their time to get 20% of their points? Only Maths can beat maths!
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And, this week, the value of Maths approaches infinity as all of Ireland celebrates Maths Week and, as always, St. Conleth’s Maths teachers are integral to the equation with daily Maths challenges, a literacy/numeracy hybrid game of ‘missing vowels, a Maths Murder Mystery (see below), a ‘Dating Tips for Mathematicians’ seminar and numerous numerical surprises planned for later in the week. As you can see, we all agree with what a Department Inspector said about the quality of our quantifiers: she had ‘never before experienced a school with such a high level of Maths understanding’.’ The only subject that counts, indeed! And subtracts, and multiplies and divides…
Genghis Khan in the Canteen!
Fear not , the hairy horseman is at St. Conleth’s only in a disambiguous, inspirational sense for, according to Wiki: Tartar sauce gets its name from the Golden Horde Mongols who invaded Europe in the 13th century, who were known to the locals as Tartars. This name comes from confusion over their allies the Tatars, because of whom the Europeans called Mongolia Tartary. This misnomer came from associating the name Tatar with the Greek mythological hell known as Tartarus. Now, it is simply a rather ‘tart’ mayonnaise which chefs like Mark serve with his fish dishes. Mark also has two of our Italian favourites scheduled: pasta puttanesca and melanzane alla parmigiana so get ready for more fine canteen cuisine! Menu pdf
Brother (and Sister) at your Side!
Mr. Keenan does not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, he practises what we preach and issues an open invite to all students, both Junior and Senior School to join him on his Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years in Sixth Class and First Year.
And we do not just do quantity: there were some quality runners hidden amongst this horde of student athletes which Mr. Keenan led over the mountains and through the trees to the ‘Brother at Your Side’ Cross Country Meet in Santry. And our boys and girls showed great sportsmanship and camaraderie, too. It was a beautiful day and everyone involved enjoyed the run and the craic. Stay tuned for more Track and Field adventures with Mr. Keenan!
Nearly everyone worked late last Monday night, and it has taken us almost a week to recover but it was worth it as the St. Conleth’s Senior School Information Evening was once again a smashing success. Such was the queue snaking down Clyde Road and approaching Elgin that the US Embassy security staff were on high alert as they thought another political protest was afoot. But the Marines had nothing to fear as these youngsters and their parents were just young families from Ballsbridge, Blackrock, Blanchardstown and beyond, all lining up to get a taste of the best private co-education in Dublin.
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They literally got a taste from the school canteen as Chef Mark served up some a taster’s menu but they also got helpings from a ll the subject teachers and the sports and extra-curricular, too. And who were our best salespeople? Once again, the current students who amazed all and sundry with their affability, effort and sincerity. Apparently, a ‘free’ lunch is on its way, but we all know there is no such thing and this one was more than earned!
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What Goes on in Bundoran…
We meant to write this ages ago, but even our ace reporter kept coming up against a stony, cold wall of silence when digging for dirt on the Bundoran trip so we will have to keep it a bit general (and boring):
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We always knew that the Donegalese were the most civilised of the Irish, and that Bundoran is up there with San Francisco and Milan as far as cosmopolitan capitals of the world, but the fact that there is a top-notch French Language/Adventure Centre there, is still a pleasant surprise to some. Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley, of course, are not surprised, as they have been running the Annual Third Year Trip for years now, having taken on that mantle from Ms. Sheppard and Ms. Brotelande. And once again, this year, the trip was the perfect mixture of language lessons, indoor and outdoor adventure fun and good, old-fashioned bonhomie and camaraderie. And during the archery, surfing, climbing, rappelling, French lessons, obstacle course, tasty meals and sneaky midnight rendezvous, there were plenty of interesting, un-planned events happening on the sidelines, but alas you will have to be satisfied with the rumours and the gossip, for, as we all know: What goes on in Bundoran, stays in Bundoran!
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Did I See You at Ascot?
We have been a bit preoccupied with the impending release of our St. Conleth’s 80th Anniversary Quinquennial, but now that the printing presses are rolling, we intend on catching up with a few stories which we had stashed beneath the typewriter. One such story concerns one of the Past Pupil authors featured in that weighty tome: Philip McDonald, a solicitor and a gentleman (not often twinned, even at Slaughter and May) and general bon vivant from the Class of 2010 (a fine vintage).
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Philip dropped in a few weeks back at the invitation of Development and Guidance Guru John Carvill and he delighted the assembled Fifth and Sixth Years with a.rollicking account of his adventures since graduation and some more serious advice about the trials and tribulations of the Leaving Certificate. Having, we believe, scored a total of 590 (out of 600, back then), Philip was in a good position to offer advice, and having negotiated the UCAS system to gain entrance into Law at Cambridge, he also had some valuable pointers regarding studying abroad. Check pout the pics above and stay tuned for the Quinquennial and Philip’s article on ‘A Conlethian Christianity’.
Information Evening: Mon. at 7:00!
Come and see why St. Conleth’s Senior School is attracting so much attention and so many students at our Information Evening on Monday, October 7th, at 7:00 p.m. Here is our promotional flyer (pdf):
In a relatively short time, Ireland has expanded its culinary palate quite extensively. Thankfully, Nescafe is no longer served as ‘coffee’ in most establishments and defrosted lasagne carved piecemeal from the permafrost does not make the menus of most gastropubs any more. But we also have the confidence to hang on to our native strengths and even engineer our own ‘fusion’: chilli con carne served on the old baked potato, case in point. Chef Mark has placed this simple delight along with other easy dishes on this week’s menu (PDF):
Ready, Steady…. Sit?
I know it sounds strange at first, just sitting together- like some kind of college campus protest in 1968 Paris- but as with everything that originates in the wonderful spirit of our resident Mindfulness guru, Mr. Porzadny, we know it will turn out to be sublime and profound. Our very own dalai lama explains:
Sit Together for World Mental Health Day 2019
The Mindfulness in School Projects (MiSP) Community (www.mindfulnessinschools.org) is coming together to mark World Mental Health Day 2019 to raise awareness of the need for young people to develop skills to support their own wellbeing both inside and out.
Like many other school throughout the world we will have a mindful sit on Thursday October 10th2019 at 1pm in room 2.7. This will be a lead practice and will last 15 minutes. All staff and students are welcome to attend.
If you would like to know more about how Mindfulness can improve student’s lives I invite you to take 5 minutes and read the following interview between MiSP and Jon Kabat Zinn (one of the founding father of contemporary Mindfulness):
Intrepid explorer Gav Maguire is at it again! Like an aged country and western singer desperately trying to keep the taxman from the door, Gav is once again wrapping up the old bones in fleece and lycra and taking to the hills- this time leading a motley group of 4th and 5th Years over the hills surrounding Lough Dan in preparation for Tanzania and Uganda 2020.
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The boys and girls involved got a bit wetter and fitter, learned how to cook over an open fire and how to talk to each other for more than five minutes without resorting to screen reference. Stay tuned (and well-stocked with cash monies) for the all-important fundraisers for East Africa 2020!
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There are not too many sports where competitors separated by 47 years (a rough estimate!) can face off against each other in a fair fight. Well fencing is clearly one, as last week, Claudio Sosa (Class of 2022) beat fellow Conlethian Philip Lee (1975) in the Semifinals of an international fencing tournament in Cork. Yes, fencing has been at the heart of Conlethian sporting endeavour for generations, and you can see from this website that a passion for it still runs in Conlethian veins. Thanks to electronic scoring, none of it was actually spilled during this intense but friendly civil war! Claudio was narrowly beaten by a world-ranked Italian in the final. But remember, he is only 15 years old!
Return of the Kings
You know we can’t resist a LOTR reference, but the ‘kings’ in this case do not (yet) possess any sovereign kingdoms but they did certainly royally rock the Leaving Certificate in 2019 and now they have returned to spill their secrets to the Class of 2020. Tomás Clancy, Hugh Downes, Pearse Roberts and (Queen) Maggie Tighe were not necessarily our highest point-scorers (there were many!) but they all did extremely well and had gained acceptance into the course of their choice. Perhaps most importantly, they were also willing to tear themselves away from Freshers’ Week hedonism for a couple of hours!
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Tomás is now happily lambasting any sufficiently ‘unwoken’ ones still lurking in the medieval recesses of TCD where he is pursuing a degree in History and Politics; Hugh is conversing with the higher beings in Theoretical Physics on the other side of the same campus (but light years away); Pearse is exploring a broader spectrum of Science at UCD with his usual humble excellence and impeccable manners; and Maggie has chosen the noblest pursuit of all: mixing Classics, Music and English at UCC. To be honest, the ‘secrets’ which were spilled turned out to be just good common sense but the assembled Sixth Years did seem to receive a real boost in their confidence listening to those who were now on ‘the other side’ but who had so recently been in their shoes (and stylish purple Performance Space chairs). Mr. Carvill was once again the guiding Guidance spirit and he also arranged for a three hour professionally delivers study seminar to get the Sixth Years off on the right foot and into the world of ‘mind maps.’ Where will all this lead the Class of 2020? Hopefully to results as good as the Class of 2019. Below you see a graphic, courtesy of Ronan ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s, Jr.’ O’Kelly, which clearly sets out how well our graduates do compared to the rest of the nation. So, Sixth Years, who will be the returning kings next year?
Never Mind the Gloom: Burrito Friday is on its Way!
As the calendar turns and the shadows lengthen, the weather is starting to run its usual course of perpetual precipitation, but have no fear… Chef Mark has the scheduled the immortal burrito to appear next Friday! The rest of this coming week’s menu:
Menu Della Settimana
Chefs Mark and Emerson are again at their cosmopolitan best! This week we have dishes from Spain and France, as well as an Italian pasta dish originally devised for workers in a certain unmentionable profession. Print up this week’s menu here or check it out below:
Like his Roman Emperor near-namesake, Claudio is no slouch with the academic books, but unlike the bumbling, stumbling Claudius, our Claudio is also an all-star of agility, who would have given even the champion gladiators a run for their lucre and laurels in the Colosseum. Claudio Sosa, however, does not use the short Roman gladius, but the modern fencing foil and epeé. And how does he wield them! Claudio has continued his historic run from last year, competing and winning at well over his age level. Last week he won another senior national champion title, as part of a Queen’s University team which defended their second consecutive title in Belfast. And just this past weekend, Claudio was selected to represent Ireland in a senior male foil competition at the Five Nations Fencing Tournament. The Romans would have loved nothing more than an underdog taking down the big favourite, and despite an obvious growth spurt over the summer, the sight of this still mini (but mighty) fifteen-year-old warrior puncturing the defence and the pride of experienced professional swordsman, would have sent the terraces of the amphitheatre into rapture!
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From Bologna to The Barbary Coast…
Chefs Mark and Emerson scour the earth for the tastiest dishes to serve up in the Conlethian canteen. This week we have the traditional Italian favourite, Pasta Bolognese, but also couscous, originally cooked up by the Berbers of North Africa, and TriBeCa chicken wings, removed from birds whose fate was sealed by the gentrification of their lower Manhattan neighbourhood. Print up this week’s menu here or check it out below:
And so is the salad… and the pasta… and the sandwich made to order. This week’s canteen menu:
It is a phrase of which you do not hear much anymore… after all, is it not oxymoronic? Good and tired? But it is possible: just ask the TYs (and their accompanying teachers) after their whirlwind outdoor adventure sojourn in Carlingford.
Transition Year Head Honcho Gav Maguire did indeed bring the TYs back from their Carlingford Adventure Centre experience utterly exhausted but also deliriously happy! As they somnambulated off the bus on Friday afternoon, their sun-, wind- and salt-burned faces were contorted in a look that could only be interpreted as joy, though there was a bit of relief mixed in.
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After two days of pier-jumping, rock-climbing, laser-shooting and axe-throwing, Gav’s TY boys and girls learned how much fun there is to be had doing things together other than a Fortnite Battle Royale. And we are sure co-leader Ms. Speller will concur… as soon as she wakes up from her nap on the staffroom couch!
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Happy 80th Birthday!
Just by chance yesterday, at about noontime, a woman and toddler were walking down Clyde Road and, when they came to No. 28, they happened to run into one of our many resident wits of Sixth Year, who was casually leaning against one of the gateposts and enjoying his second (at least) ice cream cone of the day. The woman stopped (with the potential Conlethian child in tow) and stared aghast past said wit at the glorious mayhem of our 80th Anniversary Celebration, with children from four to eighteen (and Mr. Keenan) milling around with well-mannered abandon. The woman pulled her child closer and demanded to know if the school were like this every day. Our Sixth Year politely replied, ‘No, miss. Just on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.’ The woman shook her head in disbelief and stomped off down the road, perhaps to visit that more austere academic institution in Ranelagh.
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What that child will probably now never know is what eighty years of Conlethians have proudly known: our school is more than the sum of its parts (or its marks). It is community of individuals who, despite their differences, and in some cases, because of them, meld together in a shared pursuit of learning, yes, but also, camaraderie and good humour. And these qualities were very much on show at our 80th Birthday Party. Bernard Sheppard’s vision and Kevin Kelleher’s mission were recalled and celebrated as the school begins a brave, new era. Mr. ODulaing took the stage and set it with nostalgia for the past but also enthusiasm for the future.
Fr. Collins, Mr. Gallagher and several student readers brought our Christian ethos to the fore and Mr. Kilcommons made sure to include the Junior School students in the reverie. Ms. Sheppard cut the cake itself, with the help of two Conlethian legacies, Daniel Carroll and Charlie Power. And this being St. Conleth’s, there was beautiful music during the interludes. Then, to the delight (if not surprise) of all, the ice cream truck rolled in and the party really started!
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And The Special of the Day is…
It has long been known that an army runs on its stomach, but every experienced teacher knows that so does a school. And Chefs Mark and Emerson and the multi-talented Anna do such a great job in our school canteen, that we must say a visit to their domain does your heart and spirit wonders, in addition to the rumbling tummy! See what’s on offer this week below on our Weekly Menu (PDF to print) or each day in the Events to the right. Bon Appetit!
The TYs’ summer officially ends on Thursday at 11:00 but all the other years and classes have already taken that brave step… But really going back to school is not so scary at St. Conleth’s. In fact, judging from these photos, it seems like a lot of fun! Check out the smiles on the faces from the other years on their first day in the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools.
The Senior School
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The Preparatory and Junior School
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Hooray! Supervised Study Starts Monday!
Time to face facts: summer is over and it is time to get some work done! But the worst part of ‘work’ is not working at all… but dodging, delaying, dithering and dilly-dallying, instead. Once you start doing your homework and your necessary revision, you will realise how manageable it all is… so just get started! One way which may ‘work’ for you is attending ‘Supervised Study’. There are two separate ‘programmes’: Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ (click for details) is open to everyone and runs from 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed. Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’ (for 5th and 6th Years) runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Monday and Thursday (details have been emailed to parents). You must sign-up and pay for each programme separately through Easypayments Plus. Study starts next Monday (September 2nd) so sign up soon!
Welcome (Back) to St. Conleth’s!
We are sure all our students, old and new, are eagerly looking forward to the start of school (and perhaps their parents even more so!), so we are giving you all the information necessary to make it a great start. Start of school dates and times can be found below and under Events on our homepage, as well as on our calendars which are always available, along with booklists and information on uniform and the canteen, under Calendars and Information, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior)to our uniform supplier, and our Cashless Canteen deposit page. We will see you all over the next few days, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at No. 28, Clyde Road!
Senior SchoolStart Dates and Times:
Junior School Start Dates and Times:
Of Points and Plans
There is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition, especially when the end result is a shared victory. On Leaving Certificate Results Day, in a sense everyone is a winner as everyone gets that piece of paper which serves as a key in unlocking their future. Obviously, there is always a range of results and myriad paths forward. We congratulate all of the Class of 2019 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to the guidance of their teachers. We particularly congratulate Hugh Downes and Ian O’Neill, who both managed to garnish the full quota of 625 points on offer and finish in a draw atop the class and the nation. These perfect scholars, but also perfect gentlemen, will be headed where they want to go come September, as will the rest of our recent graduates and we wish them all well at university and beyond. Stay tuned as we await news of offers and acceptances and a more detailed breakdown of results.
Yes, it is only early July but we bet the kids are already starting to annoy you… So, if you are lucky enough to be the parent of an incoming Conlethian First Year, here is your chance to shorten that summer a bit and give your child a running start when it comes to meeting and mixing with the other students. Head of Sport, Gavin Maguire, takes over here:
In August, St. Conleth’s College will be running a Multi-Sports Camp for incoming 1styear students in Wanderers F.C. It is an opportunity for students to get to know their new classmates in a fun and friendly environment before their first day.
All girls will participate in hockey on Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. They will walk (accompanied) to and from Pembroke Hockey Club from Wanderers F.C.
The boys will stay in Wanderers F.C. and participate in other sports.
Date: Wednesday 21stAugust until Friday 23rdAugust 2019
Times:09:30 a.m. until 12.30p.m.
What To Bring:Girls: Hockey stick, gum-shield and shin-guards. Tracksuit, shorts, polo shirt, sports shoes, socks, and a smallsnack for break time.
Boys:Tracksuit, shorts, jersey, sports shoes, socks, and a smallsnack for break time
The cost of the Multi-Sports Camp is €30.00. Payment for the Multi-Sports Camp may be made via Easy Payments Pluswhich is located on the school website.
Gavin Maguire, Head of Sport, email@example.com
The Golden Sword!
Past Pupil Philip Lee (Class of 1975) has become Ireland’s first ever European Champion in fencing! He won the European Veterans Championships in Cognac in France in early June, in the ‘Over 60’ age category in men’s foil. Yes, just a few years shy of getting his free travel pass (not that he needs it), Philip is still travelling the world, still fencing and still winning trophies! And judging from the effervesecent energy levels evident in his winning hit (and cavorting celebration and gentlemanly condolence for his opponent) and his acceptance of his medal, fencing must be the sport that keeps the spirit as well as the body young. Well done to Philip, an inspiration to our young and up-and-coming student fencers.
Ann Cramp: An Appreciation
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Ann Cramp. Aside from the Kellehers and Sheppards and perhaps a certain games master, no-one has been part of St. Conleth’s for longer than Ann Cramp. And certainly no-one has been more universally appreciated and beloved. Generations of Conlethians have benefitted from the ‘ship-shape’ in which she kept the school for decades, for most of them almost singlehandedly, and, just as importantly, staff and students alike have been for so long blessed with the constant presence of our own benevolent fairy godmother, always there with a kind word, a cup of tea, a quick joke and an unswerving loyalty and a capacity for care. Ann’s domain had shrunk a bit in terms of time and place in recent years, but whenever and whatever part of the school she was in, it was always the cleanest… and the happiest!
Oops… And the Real Winner is..
There we were bragging about the efficiency of our awards ceremony and the lack of a Oscars-style snafu and, true enough, Mr. ODulaing et al did their jobs perfectly, but in the transfer to the digital world we ourselves committed a couple of gaffes… We are proud to announce that the universally loved and admired Rory Clarke was the winner of the Junior Music Award and that we had the Minor Hockey awards mixed up: Katya Bailey was the POY and Caoimhe Moore the MIP. That’s it, for now, but such is the frayed state of a teacher’s mind at term’s end, you had better stay tuned for more corrections!
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You Will Pass the Test!
No, we do not recommend you donning a visored helmet and relying solely on the force to pass your state exams, but you should be as confident as young Skywalker when approaching 28 Clyde Road tomorrow morning. Come in a bit early and join your teachers and fellow students for a short Mass in the canteen at 8:30. Good luck! JC Exam Schedule PDFLC Exam Schedule PDF
Beam Us Up, Simon!
The USS Enterprise’s loss has certainly been our gain. Since his arrival at St. Conleth’s on Stardate 96268.25, Ensign Simon Toal has displayed a remarkable talent for dealing with those who need a little extra help, those with behavioural issues or those who find it hard to get along with those around them… and that is just in the staffroom! In all seriousness, Simon has been a godsend for those students who have benefitted from his help in his official position as an integral part of the SEN team, alongside stalwarts Ms. Killen and Ms. Long.
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He has also, more unofficially, brought a breath of fresh air and a bright spark to the everyday life of the school with his wit, charm and inside knowledge on how to battle the Borg. On the last day of school, the Juniors got to experience another talent of Mr. Toal’s: Simonsmagicparties.ie landed its Tardis in our outdoor classroom and a special magic show closed out the term in style. Everyone, even brave volunteer Mr. Sheridan, enjoyed themselves immensely as you can see from the shots above and video below. New series starts next September!
Singing for their Supper!
As is now traditional, After School Study ended with a pizza party and though pictures of people stuffing their gobs with pizza slices piled high with pepperoni do not usually pass our ‘newsworthy’ test, we thought we might as well include them as we are heading into the ‘silly’ season and we need to prepare our readers for the more bizarre stories that lie ahead.
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More properly included here are the impromptu solo performances by Sammy and Manus, who took the condition that they must ‘sing for their supper’ rather literally. Once again, we gladly witness, enjoy and record things that just do not happen at other schools!
And The Winner is…
Mr. ODulaing avoided any wardrobe malfunctions and Oscars-style misadventures at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the ivory-tinkling of Sam Lynch and Charlotte McClaren (below) and the no frills presenting by Gavin ‘DOS’ (Direct of Sport) Maguire, he presided over a dignified yet joyous affair.
It was great to see so many students rewarded for their talents and effort but even more pleasing was the general bonhomie and good sportsmanship which characterised the event: we like to win at St. Conleth’s but we know that friendship and teamwork are more important. Without further ado, here are the individual winners of the awards:
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The Last Fence… Really!
Yes, we officially ended the seemingly endless flow of fencing news some weeks ago but a operantly we were foiled again… we had forgotten about the in-house St. Conleth’s Fencing League/Tournament! Started a few years ago by Fencing Captain emeritus Michael Li, it is a great way to end the season and the school year: a friendly but competitive series of bouts between Conlethians of all ages and sizes.
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Claudio Sosa instigated this year’s tournament but he needed help so Michael Li came back to both help organise (and compete) and Conlethian mom and alumna Kathrin Chambers kindly served as referee. The main combatants know each other well but still the competition was fierce, and even more exciting as it was conducted old school- sans electronic scoring! In the end the podium finishers were: First- Claudio Sosa, Second- Luke Sherlock and Third- Michael Li. See snaps of the action above and below!
We have outsourced much of our video production to a more talented (vastly!) and cheaper (free!) operative, namely new Vice Captain James McGowan, and he has been working overtime rendering, cutting, splicing and wriggling around copyright infringements. Here is the second instalment of Graduation Ceremony videos, including Gavin Roche-Griffin’s piano piece and Jaques Herbot’s barnstorming torch-song. A dangerous mixed metaphor, indeed! Stay tuned as we coax even more highlights from the night.
You Will Tell Us What You Know…
We are sure that on the eve of the start of the full exam period, following your extensive and intensive revision, you will be filled with ‘a new hope’. Here is all the info you need:
Did we take the wrong turn somewhere in the late 60’s, when Brian Wilson retreated to his room and stopped singing about his ‘409’ and his ‘Little Deuce Coupe’? Rock and roll wandered aimlessly through punk and progressive and not until Bruce nosed his Chevy out onto Thunder Road, did we once again have gasoline and testosterone in plentiful lyrical supply. And 1978’s Grease took it one mile further: transporting us back to a simpler time when the music was simple, the harmonies were plentiful and the fuel was fully leaded. Throw in the fact that the musical is an unrivalled camp masterpiece and you please everyone!
The audience at our TY year-end extravaganza was certainly thrilled with the performances, as maestros deBhal and Gallagher coaxed some stunning performances from our shy and retiring boys and girls. Actually, ‘coaxed’ might be the wrong term: how about ‘barely able to restrain’ an explosion of enthusiasm for hip-shaking, T-shirt-wearing, chorus-crooning and cross-dressing! The last, of course, is a long-standing St. Conleth’s tradition and, thankfully, the presence of real girls in the cast did not prevent Nathan, Fergal, Ian and Keane from taking a walk on the wild side. And the actors who suited up in their cisgender costumes were not that bad either! Stephen, Sophie, Zach, Robert, Emily, Omar, Jack and the vast supporting cast hit the right notes, shook the right hip and simply charmed us all with their talent and enthusiasm.
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The night marked Mr. Trenier’s swansong as TY Co-ordinator, and he certainly went out with a bang. The photos on the walls of the Performance Hall were a testament to his industry and the TY students’ reciprocal spirit: the physical evidence of fun yet educational trips all over Dublin; various courses, projects and competitions; and the conquering of the Wicklow Mountains to complete the Gaisce Hike. Scroll back through our news to read all about the wide range of TY adventures, but first check out the snaps and video of Grease (both rehearsal and performance) and the Roll of Honour for the individual TY awards. Well done to Mr. T. and the Transition Year Class of 2019!
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Many schools send their athletes to the East Leinster’s Athletics Championships (or the North, etc…) but we take pride in always having at least a couple of runners or jumpers or walkers qualify for the Leinster’s proper and this year we did very well indeed, with four athletes qualifying. First Year Luke Timlin did more than qualify: he won the Gold in the 100M and Silver in the Long Jump at Morton Stadium in Santry, adding to his Cross Country and Indoor medals, and becoming our most decorated First Year athlete ever.
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Then, last Saturday morning, John Kelleher and Andrew Latvis competed in the Javelin and High Jump Finals, with both notching their personal bests and finishing sixth in Leinster. Not bad, considering the two Sixth Years met Mr. Keenan that morning, coming directly from their nocturnal celebrations of their graduation the night before! Oh yes, race-walk qualifier Tomas Clancy was a no-show, but we understand completely as the after-hours graduation party was actually at the school captain’s house, and as with many things, Tomas’s manners as host are impeccable!
St. Conleth’s: Fame Academy!
Anyone wandering down Clyde Road last Friday evening very well might have thought that they were passing by a performing arts school at No. 28, such was the quality of sounds emanating from the sweetly reverberating edifice of the KD Kelleher Wing. Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2019’s time at St. Conleth’s and though his mixture of humour and gravitas was as well-measured as ever, but the stars of the show were undoubtedly our musical talent.
From the opening strains of Gavin Roche Griffin’s exquisite version of Clair de Lune and our pre-eminent flautist Maggie Tighe’s Morcean de Concours through two contrasting but equally beautiful piano pieces, Georgia Weir McErlean’s Woodbrook and Isabel O’Farrell’s Where is my Mind?, we knew early on that this night was going to more than match the impressive musical legacy already laid down by graduating classes past.
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The Class of 2019’s resident singer-songwriter then took the stage: Joe Gallagher played guitar and sang the self-penned Slipping, and it is clear that those lonely sounding Villagers may soon have company! Turning up the volume, our version of ‘The Highwaymen’ took the stage, covering the Waterboys’ Fishermens’ Blues, but with a Dixie twang. Surely, by this stage, John Kelleher, Brian Keenan and Eoghan Fitzmaurice, permanent fixtures of all our musical happenings, have logged as many miles, whiskies and women as Willie, Waylon and Mr. Cash. And our Mr. Kelleher then emulated his heroes and commandeered the stage for an unscripted encore! The Man in Black, indeed! Then the talented Matthew Rockett took to the ivories with his self-composed magnum opus Take Flight, stunning the audience into raptured silence and then thunderous applause. Could anything top that? Well, Stephen Allen expertly channelled Sam Smith but also made Writings on Wall his very own and Jacq Herbots absolutely brought the house down with his Muse masterclass. The shy clarinettest who so charmed us in years past had confidently taken the stage and just blown us away with his vocal talent and passion.
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Incredibly, the other non-musical partcipants in our ceremony managed to hold their own with the superstars. Mr. Gallagher’s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a warm and welcoming place and the speeches and awards which followed both recalled the good times of the past and the promising deeds of the future. Of course, this being St. Conleth’s where we are never at a loss for words, the musical challenge was more than met on the rhetorical front by Captain Tomas Clancy, Vice Captains Georgia Weir McErlean and Jack Cosgrave, Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU Treasurer Ronan O’Kelly. Their speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Jack’s carefully composed and hilarious slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings. Of course, awards were on the agenda and the The Mr. Porzadny Show is getting so popular we fear we may soon lose him to the Oscars, or at least the Emmys, such is his talent of combining genuine warmth, good humour, cupla francais and technical wizardry. You can see our winners and their prizes on the slider below. And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with succinct words of celebration, and surely making Mr. K proud. There was a bittersweetness to the night, as it was the first graduation ceremony in the wing named after Mr. Kelleher, and many of the graduating boys had grown up at St. Conleth’s, with Mr. K. being powerful and formative constant in their lives. And on this night, Mr. Kelleher’s physical absence only highlighted his spiritual presence in terms of the legacy which he has left behind and which was so evident in the words and songs: the legacy of a school which is ‘a home away from home’.
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After the ceremony, it was on to the RDS for a classy dinner for students and staff and surely some classy activities afterwards at the Clancys’. For specifics of those nocturnal celebrations you must, carefully, check social media, but for pics and video of the ceremony and details of the award-winners look above and below (and with more tocome in the next few days). And here is the Graduation Booklet, a testament to the hard work put in by Messrs. Carvill, Porzadny, Gallagher and Ms. DeBhal and Ms. Hopkins.
IMTA Maths Competition Participants:
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You will have to wait a bit longer for the full array of news, photos and video highlights from Graduation Night 2019, but in the meantime we will tease you with these from the post-ceremony dinner for the graduate and their teacher guests at the RDS.
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Mr. Tayto’s Apprentices
Gav Maguire and Shane Robertson hit it off so well with Mr. Tayto during the recent Third Year Business Trip to Tayto Park that rumour has it that there was quite a competition between the two Conlethian teachers/Past Pupils cozying up to the entrepreneurial spud, and even talk that one of the two may soon be chosen as the ageing executive’s heir apparent. Meanwhile, the students had a blast on all the usual amusement park rides and attractions but they also gained some valuable business insights with a factory tour and a seminar on all the finances that underpin such a successful enterprise. Regarding the aforementioned individual competition, we are not sure who won in the end but rumour has it that Mr. Maguire was seen making room between the Wanderer’s, Leinster and St. Conleth’s thirds of his wardrobe for new outfits primarily in red, yellow and blue!
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How Are We Doin’?
A few months back we enjoyed a ‘whole-school’ inspection and the Department of Education will soon be publishing its findings (spoiler: They are very positive!). But Self-Evaluation is also important, and at St. Conleth’s we take it very seriously. We ask all of our students and parents to complete a short survey which will help us to evaluate what is working and what is not working and make improvements for 2019-20. Here is the the Student Survey Link. You need to be signed in to the ‘trusted’ St Conleth’s domain. The link for the parents’ survey will be emailed next week. So, to answer Joey, we need to know: how are we doing?
We have been warned that we should deliver such an important item of news as the Summer Exam Schedule without any razzmatazz, fanfare or ironic undercutting, so we will do that, as in this matter the Exam Secretary has… unlimited power!
Yes, there were three great games of soccer these past few days, but though the last displayed similar levels of skill and entertainment, we really cannot claim that the Staff Soccer Team’s victory was as surprising as the other two. Yes, Kane was in the stands and Bolger was making soup in Naas, but there the similarity in expectation ends. After all, the last time the Sixth Years beat the Staff there was a weedy forward causing havoc for them upfront (and a classy Canavan patrolling midfield): that stringy striker was none other than Shane Robertson, who is now a middle-aged goal machine for the teachers. His four goals in this year’s 6-3 Staff victory were as stylish s they were emphatic and his ‘goals per minute ratio’ of 0.08 trails only Mr. Latvis’s 0.10 in the official statistics.
Of course, the usual stalwarts of Mr. Kilcommons, Mr. Trenier, Mr. Sheridan, ‘Gaelic’ Gahan and the impish delight of Mr. O’Brien were there to seal the deal and recent Barcelona transfers Mr. Coleman and Mr. Smith played important parts, the latter taking Messi-like liberties (and passes and shots) as he roamed the pitch with abandon. The adjunct faculty also played an important part with debating coaches Conor Power and Oisin Dowling making some serious points and Gavin Nugent backing up his lunchtime soccer legend. Sean Ingle brought some blacktop swag from his native basketball (and Northside) and office staff Gavin Sheridan and Jack were obvious talents at the back and top of the pitch.
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The Sixth Years, in fairness, did their best, playing like a hustling Huddersfield against Man City. Joe ‘Cabo’ Hyland was on the injured list but his teammates, particularly Rory, Jack, Mark, Aviral, Andrew, Kealan, Dylan, James, Mark, Hannah (!) and Hugh did their best but, as they say, ‘class will out’. Current Fifth Years are already talking up their chances, and they do have some Ringsend/East D4/Raglan Road grit, but we are not really worried. A dozen years with the Goblet of Fire in our grasp…. see you next May!
The Last Fence
Yes, our Conlethian contingent of debonair duellists did approach their last ‘fence’ of the season but unlike the figurative horse, there was no stumble! Inspired by the Game of Thrones, we will organise their Annual Awards and Irish Open results by ‘clan’:
The Sherlocks: Luke Sherlock was named ‘Fencer of the Year’ in both the U14 Foil and Epee, as well as winning the latter, and finishing third in the former, category at the Irish Open. Brother, Matthew, he of the angelic smile but devilish thrust, finished third in the U12 Fencer of the Year category, a s well as third in the U12 Foil at the Irish Open.
The Moriarty-Smyths: (Nominally arch enemies of the Sherlocks, but actually good friends). Myles Moriarty-Smyth was named U12 Foil Fencer of the Year and also took First in that category at the Irish Open. Big Bro James also enjoyed a very successful season but wrapped up early due to his preparations for the Junior Certificate.
Claudio Sosa Smatrala: Claudio was simply crowned as the Cadet, Junior and Senior Male Foil Fencer of the Year, beating out hordes of competitors much older (and a little bit bigger) than him! He also added the small matter of First Place in U17 Foil at the Irish Open.
Whew! Well done to the Three Clans. Summer is Coming and maybe the boys can catch up on Scooby-Doo and the parents can reacquaint themselves with their gardens. But, as we have said before, the fencers and debaters keep this rag in business, and we look forward to more swashbuckling exploits next season!
Sun and Fun at Sportsday 2019!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday. All the usual suspects were there: Mr. Keenan, our Games Master and rightly selective Bestower of Medals; Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire, witty yet deadly efficient Head of All Sport and Master of Ceremonies; various teachers, some rookie red-necks and some old hands at their various athletic stations; and, of course, hordes of Tuck Shop-fuelled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with adrenalin and competitive zeal. This last group spent the day, or at least the mid-afternoon, running, jumping (high and far) and throwing things with glee and either winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns.
Yes, we said running…
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running a bit further…
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or just hanging out!
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Stay tuned for pics of all the winners!
Past Past Pupils Union President Donal Milmo-Penny and Current PPU Pres John Carvill organised the first ever St. Conleth’s Business Lunch and it was a smashing success, with close to 100 attendees at the Lansdowne FC. The featured speaker was Past Parent and famous entrepreneur Brody Sweeney and, by all accounts, his talk was as entertaining as it was enlightening, with Brody displaying both the confidence and humility, the ambition and realism which have enabled him to climb to the top of the Irish business world… twice! The Conlethians and friends who were gathered had a blast, with a bit of networking perhaps, but only as a side dish to the main courses of friendship, reminiscence and shared interests. Many schools do ‘business lunches’ but, as with everything at St. Conleth’s, we do them our way!
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B-Ballers Bring the Noise!
Judging from the roars emanating from the Sports Hall on Friday at lunch-time, Steph Curry dropping 23 in the 4th quarter to shut the door the Rockets has nothing on Sean Ingle singeing the nets for four straight 3 pointers, each a dagger in the heart of the Sixth Year Basketball Team. And the crowd of enthusiastic student supporters grew even more rapturous with each thunderous pick set by Mr. Peter ‘Granite’ Gahan and each exclamatory block delivered by ‘Swattin” Shane Robertson. Rookies Mr. Smith and Coleman did their part too, transferring skills learned over their long and storied respective MMA and UFC careers and Mr. Latvis even chipped in with a couple of playground pirouettes. The students were full of effort and not without talent: ‘Jumpin” Johnny Barry was his usual engine of endeavour and Lil’ Latvis periodically established his class but they and ‘Gutsy’ Gavin Roche-Griffin, ‘Jugular’ John Kelleher, The Blyncher, ‘D-Train’ Dylan Browne and ‘Proper’ Pierce Roberts just could not stem the flow of staff swish and bang. And the crowd went wild…
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The Senior School hockey, rugby and basketball teams have thrilled us with their multiple finals and semi-finals and their efforts have added several new trophies and medals to the Sports Department’s mighty bag of swag. The chess team battled honourably in their inter-school competition and is now involved in the internecine battles of their labyrinthine in-house tournament. The fencers, having fought all over Europe this year, were last seen heading outside to settle, like true gentlemen (and ladies), an argument about the Shin v. Heidemann Controversy. That leaves it to Mr. Keenan’s tennis teams to take the Conleth’s colours into the other courts of Leinster and, as usual, the teams are battling at the very highest level. Enjoy some pics of our girls and boys teams in action and at rest!
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Hee-Haw! Welcome to MAGA Land!
Actually, that was just to get your attention: most of the debaters, even those supporting the Bouchier Hayes Plate Debate motion ‘THBT the current American president has made America great again’ quickly disavowed themselves personally from such a position, most hilariously by the impish Sammy Butler. Adam did bravely attest that the motion was irrelevant because America actually never lost its greatness and James H.R. as always, brought a rational evaluation to bear in his evaluation of ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’- noble efforts, indeed; but hardly ones to find traction in this local outpost of the intifada.
This being St. Conleth’s, there was quality up and down the Pro and Con benches with Manus channelling Peter Gallagher; Grace Childs doing the same with both Hillary Clinton and Blanche DuBois; Harry being Harry; Saul, Joe and Robert stylishly making important points; and Frank’s rapier wit and logic winning the ephemeral ‘best individual speaker’ award. John Kelleher made some spot-on comments in his own speech and then prompted Tomás Clancy’s debating-clinching rant with his rather pointed and personal Point of Information. Tomás and his partner, impressive newcomer Oscar, had earlier laid a solid foundation for the win, but it was this spirited, impromptu defence of his own administration, Barack Obama and Western Democracy that sealed it. Or was it truly impromptu? John is good friends with Tomas, and the latter was recently caught reading ‘The Prince’ in History class. Machiavellian, indeed…
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The McCarthy and O’Connor Cups followed on this Day of Great Debate, with Past Pupil debating coaches Conor Power and Oisín Dowling clearly earning their break-time sausages, adjudicating three debates in a row. They best adjust their work-rate if they ever want a career in academia or the Civil Service. First Year Turlough Dineen won the McCarthy over some tough competition with a spirited speech on the motion ‘TH would make Irish optional in schools’ and Second Year Coleman ‘InfoWars’ Hegarty took home the O’Connor after debating ‘TH Regrets Acts of Civil Disobedience’ with a lively bunch of Second and Third Years. Messrs. Power and Dowling stumbled out the door at 3:20, exhausted but with a shared, renewed belief that the quality of Conlethian debating remains undiminished.
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Absorbing the Hits
Apparently, when Mr. Trenier heard that his Transition Years were organising a fundraiser for the Irish Wheelchair Association he mistakenly thought they had decided on a charity ‘sponge-bath-athon’ and being a good Cavan man, he could not pass up the offer of a free wash, especially after a rather strenuous lambing season. To Mr. T’s credit, when he arrived in the courtyard at lunchtime on Friday and realised that it was, rather, a ‘sponge-throw-athon’, the semi-pro rugby veteran gamely took his position and absorbed the hits with good humour and barely a grimace. Apparently, a gangly First Year’s emphatic sponge-heave has nothing on a loose-head prop’s gouging scrum play!
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Mr. Smyth and Mr. Coleman joined Mr. Trenier in the line of fire, with the former’s already legendary sheer ‘niceness’ serving as an adamantine shield, and the latter somehow managing to retain his customary impeccable deportment despite the onslaught. Enjoy the pictures above and video below, but be warned, the latter is to be only viewed after the watershed!
Stars of Track and Field!
Mr. Keenan’s track and field boys and girls were at it again this week, this time at the East Leinster Athletics Championships in Santry, and once again his motley, merry minions returned with medals! Sixth Year Tomás Clancy bettered his Silver medal from last year, winning the Gold in Race-walking. And, even more impressive, he recited the Communist Manifesto (Sandymount Edition) from memory throughout the 3000 metres!
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But enough of such pedestrian affairs: there was running, and jumping and throwing, too. First Year Luke Timlin absolutely scorch his rivals, winning the 100m by quite a few ‘lengths’. This is Luke’s third Gold, having already won the Long Jump on Tuesday and Cross Country earlier in the year. Andrew Latvis took a Bronze in the High Jump, showing the same verticality and ‘hang time’ for which the senior Mr. Latvis is famous in his hoops game. John Kelleher then proved that all that practice whipping various projectiles around the classrooms was time well spent, winning the Bronze with the javelin, and then promptly skewering the Gold and Silver medallists with said implement. These Sixth Years will be campaigning on further fields of glory next year, but there was plenty of younger Conlethian talent on display, too. Luke, of course, has already proved that he is All-Ireland Class and joining him and the seniors at the Leinster’s will be fellow First Year, Ciara Thornton. And the girls’ relay team finished a very respectable sixth, despite all-star Hannah O’Sullivan’s injury. She is a sure medalist in the years to come, as is Second Year speedster Sydney Weir McErlean.
Zorro Strikes Again!
Third Year Claudio Sosa has once again established his credentials as one of the best fencers in Ireland: notice, we did not limit that claim to ‘best young fencers’ …. because he is simply one of the best overall, full stop! He recently competed in the 2019 Irish National Championships and finished third in the category of Senior Males- Foil. He was also rewarded as the best Junior fencer in the Foil category at the Nationals, and he is still technically only a ‘cadet’ (Cadets are up to 17 years old; Juniors are up to 20!).
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Earlier this term, he represented Ireland at the 2019 Word and European Championships where he gathered much needed international experience to make his dreams come true in coming years. All this was accomplished as one of the youngest participants, aged 14, in both international competitions! Claudio is currently leading both the Junior and Cadet Irish rankings and he consistently seeds in the top ten at Senior level. And when he is not poking holes in the defences of the best adult fencers in the country, what is Claudio doing? Getting ready for his Junior Certificate! Take that, Fortniters!
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Last Post of Spring!
We were just clearing our desks of all the news from last term and we found one roll of undeveloped film and, lo and behold, after a quick trip to the darkroom, we saw images of mountain vistas, smiling teenagers and grimacing teachers take shape. It could only meaning thing: the annual Transition Year Gaisce Hike in Glendalough. Every year in early May, as the TYs trudge onto the coach for the Gaisce hike, the irrepressible Gav Maguire treats them to a virtuoso performance of a medley of various one-hit wonders from his youth in the 80’s. He nimbly cavorts up and down the aisle of the bus, effortlessly reaching the high notes and hi-fiving and back-slapping as he belts out ‘Down Under’ or ‘Karma Chameleon’. Of course it as usually all lies because, despite Gav’s upbeat and sunny disposition, it nearly always rains on the TY Gaisce hike! And not just a ‘soft day’ drizzle…the TYs usually get the kind of downpour which turns the Wicklow mountains into a series of torrents and mudslides. Well this year, the clouds came and went, but it was ‘a bright, bright sun-shiny day’ in the end and the boys and girls, Gav, and his enthusiastic colleagues, Mr. Smyth and Ms. Long, all enjoyed this important right of passage of Transition Year.
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Health Week at St. Conleth’s wrapped up with an Aware talk on mental resilience by GAA legend Kevin McManamon (he should know!) and Nutrition Workshops with Helen Reddin. The Fifth Years found Kevin humorous, engaging and helpful, and a lot more gentle than his GAA opponents ever did! Helen Reddin led the Third Years through an eye-popping dissection of their daily diet. The international conglomerate which owns the Tuck Shop is considering legal action. And Ms. Halpin showed that the Arts are a suitable substitution for any sort of prescriptive mental remedy, leading students through some soothing tile-making in the Art Room. So successful was Health Week, we even had our First Years enthusiastic about inoculations, as you can see from the ‘thumbs up’ attitude below!
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Fratres in Armis!
Parent Robert Smyth mixes two noble professions, fencing and Latin, long associated with St. Conleth’s, in his latest report from the front lines.
Last Sunday marked the last round of this season’s Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. And a markedly auspicious occasion it most certainly proved to be. Continuing the union forged and tested under the proud Eagle of the XXIII Legion ‘Latvis’ during the recent Classics Quiz campaign, fratres in armis James and Myles not only each took Gold on the day, but also the season trophies for 1st place in Under 12 and Under 16 Boys, respectively. Of the other brothers in arms, Luke, absent due to being in action on the Spanish Front, took the season trophy and 1st place in Under 14 Boys, while Sherlock Minor, Mathew, finished in 5th place on the day. Given the outstanding performance of the Conleth’s cohort this year, perhaps Belfast’s motto “Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus” has never seemed more apt!
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Out On a High Note!
As always, our Spring Semester ended on a high note, with our Annual School Concert filling the Performance Hall with sweet sounds. When Peter Galllagher, princeps emeritus, first envisioned an annual school concert, he dreamed big, but started small: his first signed act was a whiskey jug and washboard band from the hillbilly hills above Stepaside. His successors then gradually built up a stable of stars and supporting acts, so now it is a primetime network staple, reliably beating even ‘Ireland’s Got Talent’ in the Nielsen ratings. Now, Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhál sweetly but sternly wield the conductors’ batons together and having just witnessed the latest dazzling edition of this extravaganza, we can now proudly say that the St. Conleth’s Spring School Concert is better (and quicker) than ever! It all began with quite a large and inclusive First Year Music Class group playing ukuleles and singing Riptide and then the piano took over for a while: the ubiquitous and ever effervescent Adam Rafter tinkled the ivories with charm; Matthew Rockett backed Stephen Allen singing a powerful version of the ‘Angel of Small Death’ (no Easter Bunny ditties here!); and Ollie West faithfully recreated the theme from ‘Up!’, bringing a tear to many a middle-aged man’s eye.
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Then, Joe Gallagher, a regular of the Conlethian stage, brought us something new: the self-penned- ‘Slipping’, with beguiling lyrics and mesmerising vocals. Judging from what we heard, Messrs. O’Brien and Prime may soon have competition for the biggest Conlethian alumnus on the Irish music scene! And it may also come from the trio that followed: John Kelleher, Brian Keenan and Jacq Herbots delivered a stunning, adapted version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’. Then it was back to an original: Paris Moran sang and played piano on ‘Perspective’, her own impressive composition. Trevor Bolger then took his accustomed turn at the piano, playing the difficult ‘Nocturne’ and his fellow Third Years wowed us with a group effort: Eva Stylianides and Anna Downey singing, Rory Clarke and Louis Cullen on guitars and James Moriarty-Smyth on drums for ‘Take My Hand’ by Picture This. And it was great seeing Eoghan Fitzmaurice take the stage again, playing guitar and singing ‘Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette’, despite shouts for ‘Joxer goes to Stuttgart’ from Mr. ODulaing. Rory and James picked up the axe and the sticks again, respectively, to combine with Sam Lynch on a mash-up of Queen, Wham and Chopin, and though dear Frédéric may be rolling in his grave, we are sure Freddie and George were, somewhere, as thrilled as we! And then it was the grand finale: the School Choir and School Band were led by Ms. deBhál through ‘All These Things That I”ve Done’ by the Killers. Enjoy the pics above and video below, and we apologise for the poor quality of the reproductions. Next time, we will match our equipment with the superior talent on stage!
Healthy Minds and Bodies!
Mr. ODulaing designated this week as ‘St. Conleth’s Health Awareness Week’ and he and the rest of the staff have organised a plethora of feel-good functions and activities. Already our SPHE classes have been on healthy hikes of 5k (or, if it was raining cats and dogs, the mellow mantra of creative colouring); all our classes have had their eye opened and screens shut by the Internet and phone safety seminars given by Zeeko; Ms. Halpin has brought the soothing power of art to bear with her clay tile workshops; Mr. Porzadny has unleashed Mindfulness at special lunchtime sessions; and Mr. Robertson has led the PE classes through Cardiovascular Fitness Tests. Still to come are Aware and Nutrition talks, vaccinations (what fun!), the TY Gaisce hike and something guaranteed to calm the savage beasts on the last day of term: our Annual Student Concert! A healthy mix of healthy happenings!
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TYs Take History and Botany 101
Last week the Transition years satisfied both their fauna and Fianna cravings by visiting both the Botanical Gardens and Glasnevin Cemetary. They enjoyed professionally led tours of both, learning loads about our history, both natural and political, and even had some time for the local delicacies: ‘a single’, washed down with a Lucozade. Check out the pics below and stay tuned for more TY ramblings!
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TY Activités Françaises!
You have already read below how a group of Mr. Porzadny’s TYs initiated an innovative project which involved the organisation of a ‘French-style’ football tournament for some Junior Schoolers. Well, more of the TY students’ Francophonic projects are coming to fruition: in particular, French (not Belgian) Waffles; student-created, French-themed board games; and a good, old-fashioned Kahoot tournament! ‘Les Gaufres Fantastiques’ premiered at lunchtime last week and though we are in the middle of Lent, the student punters must have plenty of indulgences saved up, as they kept Nathan, Fergal, Matthew and Hugh very busy serving up those waffles ‘au sucre et au citron’, ‘au sirop’ or ‘au chocolat’.
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The student-created board games were also French-themed and the amount of work and preparation that went into them was very impressive, with a French geography-themed game and a francified version of Cluedo particularly fun to play. There was also time for a class-wide game of Kahoot, based on the general culture and history of France: Mr. Porzadny won, ‘but of course’, but our new Spanish student Miguel was the real star of the show!
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Ms. Crowley’s Second Years completed their research on the regions of France and then served up some of the local specialties. Luckily, there was such a surplus of cuisine that Mr. Porzadny’s class was invited in to share and some delectable patisserie products even made it to the staffroom at break time. Merci beaucoup!
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Sci’s the Limit!
Mr. Callaghan led a merry band of First and Second Years to SciFest where two teams topped their groups and won first prizes! Second Years Sergei O’Brien and Shane O’Rourke impressed the judges and the spectators with their project Does classroom noise affect learning? (We wonder from where they drew their inspiration…) And First years Olivia Doyle, Evie Lynch and Ciara Thornton did likewise with their project titled Do stress balls really reduce stress? (They certainly do when you bounce them off the foreheads of offending students…) An enjoyable day was had by all and all the groups’ projects earned rave reviews. It is the last year of Kevin St.-TUD and staff were eager to promote the new TUD campus at Grangegorman “the biggest and most modern university in Ireland”. Maybe some of our STEM stars will someday continue their scientific adventures there!
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B-Ballers Still Bouncing!
It was a hectic end to the official basketball season as Coaches Gahan and Ingle led both boys and girls teams into the postseason. Our Second Year boys lost very narrowly to Rathcoole in the Semifinal of the Basketball Ireland Dublin Plate and our Second Year Girls team (filled out with several First Years) won a thrilling Quarterfinal match against Choláiste Chillain, but lost a very close game to Lucan Community College in the Semifinal of the Basketball Ireland Dublin League. The fact that their opponents had at least three club players, and were probably playing down at least a league level or two, makes our girls’ accomplishment even more impressive. But if you think that with the leagues finished, the gym will now only be filled with the becalming vibes of Mr. Porzadny’s Wellness workouts, think again, for Gahan and Ingle are readying their 80s mix-tapes and their boomboxes for their famous OG Post-Easter ‘3 on 3’ Tournament. The beat, and the bounce, go on!
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Art for Art’s Sake!
With Ms. Halpin at the helm, why would we ever settle for just the ‘a’ in STEAM? No room on our ever-expanding campus is responsible for more invention, imagination and fun than our lovingly lit Art Room and no academic or intellectual pursuit is closer to the Conlethian core mission of self-expression, creativity and the pushing of boundaries. We read earlier how Ms. Mellon is leading the Juniors to ever expanding artistic horizons: now it is time to check in on the Senior School. Below you see some of the work which Ms. Halpin’s charges have been getting up to, from exquisite watercolour paintings in Transition Year through the patterned glories of Second Year ‘wallpaper’ to the functionally fantastic clays of First Year. Remember to check our Art Subject Page, where we plan on showing off all of our recent masterpieces!
Transition Year Paintings
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Second Year ‘Wallpapers’
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First Year Clay Sculptures
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First Year Clay Snowmen
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Now, It’s Really Over!
We have to be honest: reporting about our First Year Rugby victories was starting to get a bit repetitive and onerous (they being so many in number!) so we jumped the gun recently in announcing the Naas match as the boys’ last of the season. Well, now it’s really over! The First Years closed out their glorious season with a victory in a Leinster-sanctioned De La Salle Palmerston Football Club Rugby 7s tournament, winning the final against a talented De La Salle- Churchtown team. Well done to all the teams involved and we look forward to meeting again in future battles as these promising youngsters grow and develop.
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Francophonic Football Flair!
Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley are at it again, keeping le français alive and active and fighting a two-teacher war against the ever-encroaching English and Mandarin. The French Transition Year classes are again involved with interactive projects with the Junior School but this year they taking new and varied forms. Below you see some snaps from a Football Français tournament run by the TYs for our Junior School friends. All the teams’ names (Monaco, Lyons, PSG…) were French as were the coaches’ and referees’ instructions (and a few muttered expletives when passes went awry). We even saw some French flair in the play on the field! Stay tuned as more of the projects come to fruition. Monday will see more French football (avec les professeurs!) and a special addition to our canteen menu: ‘French (Definitely Not Belgian) Waffles’!
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Yes, the rugby boys had their heavy metal year in 2016, when they added a treble of trophies to that groaning trophy shelf in the foyer, and our basketballers usually clean up each year with shields and SDBL plaques at the very least, but the hockey girls have won a serious amount of ‘shine’ this year, themselves. The Minor Girls won another league last Tuesday – the Dublin South and Central School Girls League Shield. They played two twenty minute matches: the first against Sion Hill – winning 1-0 with an excellent goal from Sydney and the second match against St. Raphaela’s, which the girls also won, 1-0, with a goal from the combined efforts of Sasha and Katya. Great wins and a fitting close to a fantastic season!
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The Senior Girls did not hit the headlines as much as the Minors but they also had a successful season, even though they are extremely young for their age group and were often outnumbered. Below we see some snaps from a recent close loss where the girls once again showed great skill and spirit even though they were quite the underdogs.
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A Golden Year!
We have made the comparisons before and we stand by them: the 2018-2019 First Year Rugby is so good that it merits being talked about in those hallowed tones usually reserved for past golden years like the SCTs of 2016, 2008, 2000 and a few that Mr. Keenan would have to tell you about. Judging by the way the team is ending its season, we may very well be talking similarly someday about the boys of ’24. Of course, there is a way to go before that happens and we have seen great promise melt away before but but there is something about the spirit and unity which Coaches Magee, Smyth and O’Brien have welded into this group that makes us believe that we are indeed on the cusp of another golden age for St. Conleth’s Rugby.
Coach Magee reports back about the team’s next-to-last match of the season:
The First Years expanded their rugby footprint to Naas Rugby club yesterday where they played Naas Community College in a number of matches. It was also a chance for the school to build new relations with ex-Conleths teacher Mr. Ronan Bolger’s new school. St. Conleths College came away as victors in a fantastic show of energy, fun and sportsmanship from both schools.
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Juniors Win Basketball Derby!
Nothing gets the blood up like a local ‘derby’. Just think of the blue versus the red of Manchester or the hoops versus the bigots in Glasgow… well St. Conleth’s also has its fair share of neighbourhood rivalries. Our Senior School Chess teams particularly love taking points from Gonzaga; the rugby and basketball teams get particularly ferocious against Marian and, before they relocated to a higher sphere of being, John Scottus and we used to have epic yogic flying races. Well the recent Junior School Basketball match in our Sports Hall (our first ever ‘official’ home basketball game) took it to a new level as we were facing St. Mary’s of Haddington Road, a school we know well from epic chess battles and the express queues at Tesco. And there was something extra on the line, for St. Mary’s was coached by none other than the brother of St. Conleth’s Head of Basketball Sean Ingle! This showdown had the makings of a Hollywood movie, or at least a Hallmark channel tearjerker.
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But there were no tears, only cheers as the two teams competed in a spirited but friendly manner and the nets were snapping at both ends of the court. The final score had St. Conleth’s winning 31-29 and that in itself tells a story: many junior basketball games end with baseball scoreboard totals: 8-6, 12-7 etc… But such was the enthusiasm and skills on display from both sides, that the scoreboard was spinning like it was an NBA All-Star game: a true tribute to the players and the Coaches Ingle!
Look What the Tide Dragged In!
Pity the Geographer, for he plows a lonely course as he strides through the sands of time and bends to measure the accumulated scree, for he he is caught between two camps: too social and humane for the hard science droids yet too rocky and jocky for the effete artsy crowd… except when he leads the Leaving Certificate Geography class on their mandatory field trip! Mr. Coleman was joined on his mid-morning jaunt along the seaside by Mr. Smyth and the best and brightest students of Sixth Year, as well as Andrew and Kealan. Even James strolled by for a chat a few hours later, en route to catching the Bhoys on the telly in Wetherspoon’s in Dun Laoghaire. Yes, a veritable party by Geography standards, but nothing on the bacchanalian festival that is the ‘Ides of March’ Classics Quiz!
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So, our resident rock-stars got down to work and measured their longshore drift, wave frequency, beach profile, cliff height and, yes, even beach fabric size and angularity. This being Killiney, the well-compensated tide rolled in just when it was supposed to, did its business and left quietly out the service exit. Job done, well…almost: now comes the hard part of writing it all up!
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Thriller in the Colosseum!
Our Classics Kids do indeed ‘kick as‘, or more precisely, ‘kick argentum‘ because they walked away with the silver, not the bronze, last night! Johnny ‘Julius’ Barry led XXIII loyal legionaries into battle at the ‘Ides of March’ Table Quiz in Mount Anville College where our vanguard team, ‘The Cyclops’, made up of Johnny, Matthew ‘Marius’ O’Farrell, Maggie ‘Messalina’ Tighe and Andrew ‘Lucius’ Latvis finished tied for first after the regulation battle and grudgingly settled for a close second after double-overtime, sudden-death gladiatorial combat. But this elite cohort had plenty of back-up: when the call went out to the provinces the recruits came in droves.
We had six teams for the first time in our long history of involvement with this august competition. Joining ‘The Cyclops’ were: ‘The Harpies‘: Grace ‘Gaia’ Childs and Katya ‘Karyatid’ Lawlor; ‘The Julio-Claudians‘: Oisín ‘Publius’ Power, Nathan ‘Numitor’ Harrington, An ‘Otho’ Other and Joshua ‘Marcus’ McCormack; ‘The Hoplites’: Shane ‘Octavius’ O’Rourke, Leo ‘Nerva’ Nolan, James ‘Hermes’ Hastings-Rafferty and fratres in armis James ‘Justinian’ and Myles ‘Miles’ Moriarty-Smyth; ‘The Lotus-Eaters’: Riccardo ‘Romulus’ Rassini, Adam ‘Flavius’ Fanning, Harry ‘Rufus’ Rooney and James ‘Jacobus’ O’Neill; and ‘The Epighoni’: Vivienne ‘Rufina’ Roberts, Kazim ‘Helios’ Haider, Zakaria ‘Charon’ Chabaane and Loghlann ‘Phoebus’ Flynn.
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It was a glorious night with a suspenseful end worthy of the greatest of Colosseum combats, and Classics Captain Johnny can now retire with pride, having earned his salt and rustic retreat to Ranelagh by serving loyally in six straight ‘Ides of March’ campaigns. Judging by the talent and enthusiasm shown by the raw recruits in the younger yeas, his legacy will certainly live on!
Negotiating the Minefield
Anyone with teenagers can attest to the difficulties involved in discussing the ‘big’ issues in life, and the preponderance of social media, if anything, has made it more difficult. The Senior School Parents Association has decided to do their part in helping all our parents (including themselves!) by welcoming Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins to give a seminar on ‘Consent’ on Thursday, March 28th at 7:30. All are welcome and encouraged to attend! The following is the PA’s own promotional information.
Parents Seminar on Consent: March 28th2019 7.30pm
Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins, part of Active Consent Programme team based in the School of Psychology NUI Galway on the 28thMarch at 7.30pm will address some of the issues on consent. (Link to Dr. O’Higgin’s biography.)
Supporting our children to safely navigate the world as teenagers and to emerge as happy and healthy young adults has never been a straightforward task. However in the contemporary world, concern may rise as we learn more about the possible negative effects of social media and how the internet generally may effect expectations and assumptions.
The seminar will include:
aims of the programme
experiences to date
the background to the Active Consent programme (our research data with 3rdlevel students, importance of comprehensive Relationships Sexual Education, and the issue of consent)
Please note also that next day, on March 29th Dr O’Higgins will present a Student’s Talk, which will be complementary to the Parent’s Seminar.
Students from TY and 5thyear will take part in a Smart Consent workshop that will examine understandings/definitions of consent and the ‘grey areas’ which do tend to confuse real life situations.
This is a very important seminar for parents and students, and we look forward to full attendance.
During Seachtain na Gaeilge even a school which lies at the top of Waterloo and Wellington Roads comes out ‘all Irish’! Not that our Irish Department has ever been shy about celebrating our native language and heritage: for years St. Conleth’s múinteoirí Gaeilge have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the whole school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine, but they certainly déan a ndícheall leading up to St. Patrick’s Day!
Fay and Dorman and DeBhal and ODulaing are the MacDonagh and MacBride and Connolly and Pearse of St. Conleth’s (without the bloody end!) and they have crammed i bhfad níos mó into 28 Clyde Road, turning it into the Gaeltacht is galánta this side of Carna!
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What was on the green agenda? As you can see above, First and Second Years got off their tóin to boogie in a special céilí, and Mr. ODulaing did not even need his hurl this time to keep them in time and in line! Each year had their very own Tráth Na gCeist, answering (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from the Erskine Childers to Eskimo Supreme!
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There was also the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians. Below you see Third and Fifth Years in action, but everyone had a go, including our visiting friends from Argentina. You also can see some of our poc fada and Tráth Na gCeist prize-winners.
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And a there was the traditional bodhrán worksop for Transition Year. You can catch the rhythm above and the pics below, and remember: these boys and girls had just picked up their instruments mere moments before! Well done to all our múinteoirí Gaeilge, whose hard work done in preparation for the festivities meant plenty of craic for the students who enthusiastically took part.
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Start Your Theatrics!
Our Second Years are often accused of being a bit ‘dramatic’, even ‘histrionic’: something about this age group makes them prone to ‘acting out’… Well, Mr. Gahan, Mr. Cummiskey and Mr. Toal decided to join them instead of beating them (the latter quite difficult anyways, nowadays) and led them on a trip to the Abbey Theatre for a workshop and performance of ‘The Country Girls’.
The trip began an adventurous ride on Dublin Bus and then a backstage tour of the Abbey theatre, which explored the history and significance of the Abbey as the national theatre, and then went to the stage itself, and behind-the-scenes, to discover up-close and in-detail of how a production comes together. This was followed by a theatre workshop which was led by a professional actor and which explored some of the creative and imaginative ways for inventing and performing theatre. After our boys and girls reliably pushed the envelope, they enjoyed a matinee performance of Edna O’ Brien’s ‘The Country Girls’. It was an incredibly unique opportunity which will be particularly relevant as the year begins their study of drama in the coming weeks.
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The Boyz Take Centre Stage!
The TY Bank Street Boys enjoyed taking the stage and pushing their concept and products at the Build-A-Bank final, while also exploring the futuristic activities available at the @AIBIreland Future Sparks Festival. With Mr. Robert ‘Baron’ O’Connor off with the SCT, Mark Connor, Zach Carr, Luke Gilleran and Matthew Lynch took the lead presenting their student banking franchise to the judges and they did a fine job, displaying not only matinee idol good looks and T-shirt cool, but also sound marketing and accounting practices. They did not place in a very crowded field, but the experience will certainly stand to them in the years to come. And there was the consolation prize for all of TY of sampling all the other cutting edge technologies and concepts on show at the over-arching Futuresparks Festival.
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End of an Era
The 2019 SCT bowed out nobly in the Leinster Schools McMullen Senior Cup Semifinal versus Gormanston College this past week. It was a spirited effort from both the younger members of the team and the graduating Sixth Years. Fifth Year Rian Lawlor and Fourth Year Nicholas Cunningham-Ash both scored impressive tries, while Fifth Years Oscar O’Luain and Michael Cook were making scintillating runs and cuts all over the pitch and Liam Reilly kicked strongly through a howling wind, showing that there is plenty of promise going forward. The Sixth Year players gave it their all in their last competitive match in the green and black: Captain Dylan was immense in defence; Hugh did not ‘touch down’ but was dogged in the scrum; Rory and Kealan were jinking and jiving as is their wont; Tom Finn was sparkling in his return from injury and Johnny Barry was his usual selfless self. Unfortunately, Jonathan Dillon came off injured, but it only emphasised what a passionate and loyal servant of St. Conleth’s Rugby Jonathan has been since his time in the Junior School. Head Coach Gav Maguire is immensely proud of him and of all of this cohort’s accomplishments.
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Let Us Eat Cake!
To be honest, for all the lawyers, doctors and engineers we churn out of this place, it is not like many of these past pupils often drop any complementaries into the staffroom for their old teachers, like a coupon for colenoscopy or a voucher for a discount on divorce proceedings. Now, the culinary arts boys, they look after you! Michael Li graced the school with his presence for six years and now he graces us with delectable confectionaries: the latest being an absolute divine cheesecake!
It was all arranged after Careers Guidance Counsellor Ann Ryan welcomed in the Technological University’s Mike J O’ Connor. He told the Fifth Years all about the re-christened DIT’s Culinary Arts courses and presented Jimmy Crowe with the college’s anniversary book. Past Pupils Tony Barry and Jack Andrews, as well as Michael, are currently thriving at TU. And the following week, the lovely cake arrived, courtesy of Mike and Michael! Now, lawyers, doctors and whiskey distillers, it is your turn!
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They have done it! It was a happy, historic hockey happening for St. Conleth’s, as the whole school downed tools and headed to the wilds of Rathfarnham to watch as our Minor Girls beat Loreto-Beaufort in a ‘1 vs. 1’ shootout to decide the Leinster Final and bring home the cup! Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley, Ms. Purcell and Ms. Leary were justifiably proud of the girls as they fought tooth-and-nail in a mighty defensive struggle which lasted the length of regulation time.
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Sydney was, as usual, omnipresent in midfield and Caoimhe set our hearts racing with some scintillating runs. And Meabh, Siobhan and Ciara were all making game-saving stops and clearances in a see-saw battle of wills. In the end it went to a ‘one-vs.-one’ shoot-out and the girls were confident stepping up to the mark, having dispatched mighty Mount Anville in a similar showdown. The pressure was on but the Conlethians did not wilt: Vivienne came up huge in goals, stonewalling the opposition by bravely dashing from her line and then Alanna cooly circumnavigated their goalie and scored emphatically. It all came down to Sasha.
She had been there before, and perhaps Beaufort did not know, but she has ice in her veins. Some impressive stick-play, a burst of speed, a confident shot…. and the crowd goes crazy! And what a crowd it was, with the numbers and the enthusiasm recalling glory days of the past in rugby and basketball. Well, those sports have made room on the top shelf for a new trophy: one that says ‘Leinster 2019 Minor Girls Hockey!
Into The Final!
Our Minor Hockey Girls are into the Leinster Final! A first in Hockey for St. Conleth’s. They beat Dundalk Grammar in the Semis in a hard-fought defensive match, winning 1-0 on a short corner by Sydney Weir McErlean! A charming footnote to the match is that three players had older Conlethian siblings on the sidelines- granted special release from classes: Sydney, Vivienne and Ciara were cheered on by Georgia, Pierce and Oisín. But for the next match, there will be more than just siblings: the Leinster Final is on Monday against Loreto High School Beaufort- and the whole school is going to witness this great moment in St. Conleth’s sporting history!
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Junior School fencer Myles Moriarty-Smyth ventured to Scotland last weekend to fence in the Edinburgh stage of this season’s Leon Paul Junior Foil Series. In a narrative worthy of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s ‘Eagle of the Ninth’, he wrestled 1st place, Gold, and the trophy from the amassed Scottish ranks of Under 11 Boys. He fenced extremely well, winning all his ‘DEs’ and the Final by comprehensive margins. What really added to the occasion was being refereed and subsequently awarded his medal by Britain’s 5-times Commonwealth Men’s Foil winner, Keith Cook. Big brother James and the other Senior School fencers had better watch out for this rising star!
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Yes, Still a Rugby School!
Our First Year Rugby Team reminded us all that St. Conleth’s is still a rugby school and that they too can, at least momentarily, stop killing each other to pose for a photo! The latest win in a season-long win streak was a tight one over St. Andrews College 49-44. Coaches Magee and Smith are justly proud of their charges, who stepped it up significantly for this match, playing against a team which was pulled from a much larger school and pool of players. Apparently, Andrew’s started their ‘B’ team but quickly learned that St. Conleth’s are no longer pushovers and the substitution of studs bearing ominous nicknames began… not that it did them much good! Two more matches to go! Enjoy the team pick from yesterday below, as well as some action photos from earlier in the year.
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Our Minor Hockey Girls Team is through to Leinster Semifinal! This historic hockey happening will take place on Friday vs. Dundalk Grammar at the YMCA grounds in Sandymount. It is simply amazing that in a few short years, St. Conleth’s has become a legitimate power in girls school hockey and it is a credit to Coaches Speller, Leary, Stanley and Purcell. We will also see, below, the First Year team join with the Junior School players for a combo training session and pics from the Junior School team’s recent blitz at Mount Anville. It looks like hockey is here to stay at St. Conleth’s!
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Two Wheels Good!
Now, that’s a real ‘pick and roll’! TYs enjoyed a day of sporting fun with a social dimension as they took part at Gormanston College in the Irish Wheelchair Association’s fundraising basketball league. It was a great day out and everyone played their part. Of course, our ‘regular’ basketball stars such as Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger and Keane Acosta were wheelin’ and dealin’ all over the court but it was great to see newcomer Ian Mauer showing off his skills and Vanshika Shukla and Ciara MacNally absolutely dominating the mid-court with their stylish pivots and passes. Check out the (many) pics below!
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Carvill Takes Control
So, this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause. Yes, the count has receded into the shadows and the chancellor has seized the reins of power… John Carvill has taken the position long prepared for him, with kingmaker Ronan O’Kelly smiling from the shadows and the outgoing Donal Milmo-Penny in gracious acquiescence. The new Past Pupils’ Union President presided over a riotous and raucous but ultimately redeeming Annual Dinner as we packed them in up to the rafters and the laughter and the reminiscences flowed as easily as the wine.
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In their speeches, both Ronan and John managed to walk that fine line between harnessing the energy of the mob and letting loose an anarchic frenzy. Ronan evoked Homer’s ‘catalogue of ships’ with his salutation to each year’s captain and John managed to be both heartfelt and tolerant in his very personal testament to the legacy he was inheriting.
And our guest speaker, Kevin Roche of the Class of 2014, had everyone rolling in the aisles with his masterclass in how to handle an audience that was increasingly resembling the assembled extras from The Vikings and The Walking Dead. His tributes to Ronan Bolger and our dear Jesuitical rivals, Gonzaga, were particularly touching. We retreated down Clyde Road earlier than most and hear that the party went on into the wee hours. At some point, however, not Elvis but Eskimo Prime did apparently leave the building!
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money!
Actually, just send the lawyers: guns are rendered redundant when truly rockin’ rhetoric is reverberating from the rostrum and the money, well, the bills usually follow the barristers, so just keep an eye on the in-box! TY Co-Ordinator Mr. Trenier, himself a self-taught expert in agricultural law (there was some issue over a prized stock bull a few years back), invited two of the top barristers in the land into St. Conleth’s to present a seminar on the life and work of our legal eagles and then lead the TYers themselves through a ‘mock court’ with the students themselves taking the parts of plaintiff, defendant, prosecutor, defence attorney and various witnesses. Newcomer Ian Maurer played a blinder as a police officer and Dylan Alvez was particularly adept at capturing the mix of deductive reasoning and moral flexibility which are the hallmarks of all great lawyers!
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Ballsbridge Braces for Past Pupil Party!
Let Blackrock prance and preen in the reflections off their 69 Leinster Senior Cups… let Michael’s attempt the same with their two… let Gonzaga brag about their chess dominion and accompanying groupies… and let Scotus win the yogic flying championships… but there is one thing these big boy schools cannot come close in comparison with dear old St. Conleth’s: the loyalty of our past pupils… and their propensity to party! Yes, the burghers of Ballsbridge and the dowagers of Donnybrook enjoyed one year of respite in 2018 thanks to the conspiring elements but nothing will keep the avalanche of alumni away from 28 Clyde Road this Friday night. And though we pride ourselves on simply having the biggest and best Past Pupils’ Union in the land, there are plenty of specific Conlethian accomplishments to celebrate, too. Kevin Roche (2013) will regale us with a first person account of how St. Conleth’s made the Irish Times Debate its own and there will be the shocking details of how we are now a hockey school! Come early and stay late but behave yourself reasonably well as you know well that Ronan O’Kelly, as always, will be watching!
Hockey Hits New Heights!
Our Minors won a thrilling penalty shoot-out over Mount Anville in the Quaterfinals of the Leinster’s. Head Coach Ms. Speller reports:
Today was the tensed match we have played. It was 0-0 at half time after some great defensive play on both sides. Into the second half and a Mount Anville goal in the first few minutes crushed Conleth’s hopes of a semi final win, but with determination they fought on to live another day! A late goal by the combined efforts of Sydney and Sasha meant that Conleth’s spirits soared. As the final whistle blew we stood at 1-1. The refs conversed and decided that ‘1v1s’ (hockey’s version of a penalty shoot-out) was the way forward.
With eight seconds each to score, the girls lined up: Sydney, Sasha, Maebh, Alanna and Caoimhe. Mount Anville had the first shot and scored. Syd stepped in and also scored. Mount Anville missed their next three, while Conleth’ss Sasha scored a secnd: 1-2 to Conleth’s! Alas, Maebh and Alanna missed the next two, leaving the score at 1-2 to us. Mount Anville stepped up for their last shot and scored. 2-2. Tensions were high. Mr ODulaing even looked rattled. All went quiet with nerves. It’s Caoimhe time to shine…. She steps up, goes right and shoots! In it goes and the crowd goes wild! St. Conelth’s live to fight another day and are through to the semi-finals! Ms Stanley’s brilliant (but unbiased) reffing and Ms Purcell’s coaching definitely had an impact. A great day out!
The Debate is Over…
…and the motion has been carried: “That this House declares St. Conleth’s to be the greatest debating school in the land!” We should have taken our own advice (given below), and laid a few quid down at Paddy Powers as the Conlethian contingent at the Irish Times Debate Final 2019 came up trumps. Conlethians took both top prizes: Daniel Gilligan (2016) won the team prize with his Trinity Hist colleague, Ronan Daly, and Kevin Roche (2013) won the individual competition, representing The King’s Inns. Ninety-eight teams and more than three hundred contestants entered the debate this year, and when all the point-making, theatrical grimacing, barracking, and petulant posturing was over, it was Daniel and Kevin at the rostrum accepting the laurels. And not far off the pace was a third Conlethian, Conor White (2015). Rumours that the Irish Times debate is to be renamed ‘The Irish Times/St. Conleth’s Alumni Debate’ are yet to be confirmed but we look forward to more Conlethians on this grandest stage of Irish debating in the years to come!
Balling with the Best!
Another busy Conlethian international sportsman! TY Luke Gilleran recently travelled with the Irish Basketball U17 Development squad to an international three day tournament in Mulhouse, France and played against top European competition from France, Serbia and Russia. Luke scored 63 points in 6 games including 21 points v KK FMP Belgrade and 19 points v Lokomotiv Kuban. He also ‘cleaned up’ a lot of defensive boards in particular. And it was raining 3s for Luke – he hit 5 3s in one game and 4 3s in another, and was selected to participate for the Irish team in the tournament 3 point contest. Luke’s Irish team played in the 3rd/4th place play-off in the main arena in the Palais de Sport in Mulhouse (7,000 capacity).
The Third Triumvirate?
As the gentleman involved here know well, there have only been two notable triumvirates in all of European history: those of late Republican and early Imperial Rome. Now, there are whispers and rumblings in the back-corridors of power that a third may soon appear to lead us through these troubling times… Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016), the ‘Baby-Face Killah’ of The Hist, is once again in the Finals of the Irish Times Debate, the pre-eminent third level debating championship in Ireland (won previously by PP Liam Brophy (2010). And this time he leads a Conlethian troika, as he is joined by Conor White (2015) and Kevin Roche (2013).
Kevin is currently using his bibulous barroom bluster to build quite a following amongst the brown-nosing barristers of King’s Inns while Conor has almost completed the process of gathering all the rings of power to himself in his hideout in UCD/Montrose/Mordor. Of course, the debating skills of all three were honed in the hothouse of roiling rhetoric that is the St. Conleth’s debating scene, and you will soon read how the current crop of debaters are living up to the lofty examples of these predecessors, in good part due to the fact that St. Conleth’s debating alumni, including this trifecta, always return to their alma mater to assure another bumper crop. So stay tuned, the Irish Times Debate Final is Friday, February 22nd and we have at least a three in eight chance of winning… and the bookies say that, really, it is odds-on!
Chicks Impressed By Chess Teams!
Yes, maybe it was just the shine off the trophies, but our little chicks did seem awfully impressed by our returning chess teams. Mr. Kilcommons, himself, give us the details.
All four chess teams competed in the Leinster School League Finals in St. Catherine’s Sports Centre, Marrowbone Lane on Monday 11th. Three parents travelled with the team as well as Mr. Kilcommons, with each assigned a team. Rafa De La Cruz gave a rousing motivational speech to the players on the road. It had the desired effect with all teams performing brilliantly.
Every one of the 32 players notched at least one victory from 5 matches. Patrick Coleman and Alex Dooley won individual prizes for remaining unbeaten throughout the day, a perfect five out of five. Declan De La Cruz Boylan is also worthy of mention with a score of 4.5 in the dizzy heights of Division 1- a great performance. Our “B” side also bagged a team prize, an 8-0 whitewash in their last fixture catapulting them up to 3rd place and a podium finish. We were one of only two schools to enter the maximum amount of teams- 4, so a gold medal for participation. The players will turn their finely tuned chess minds on each other later in the year for the annual in-house chess cup.
Mr. Keenan’s Army Moves Indoors!
Fresh off their Cross Country success of a few weeks ago, Mr. Keenan and his ever-growing Athletics Army was on the road again. This time, Mr. Keenan and a gang of First and Second Years stormed the Indoor Athletic Championships, where running and a variety of jumping was on the agenda.
We do pride ourselves on ‘participation’ in sport at St. Conleth’s: everyone gets a go and we never make ‘cuts’. But that does not mean that we do not have quality athletes amongst our student body. You read below how we won two medals at the Cross Country Championships and, this time, we were just off the mark in a quality field. Our First Year girls relay finished fifth in a star-studded final and the First Boys just missed their final by a fraction of a second. It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!
Don’t tell Gav but the word on the DART, in the queues at D-Brook Fair and at the pilates and spinning classes is that there is a new hockey school on the block and its name is…. St. Conleth’s! The ever-enthusiastic Helen ‘Rah-Rah’ Speller, and her coaching crew of Mses. Leary, Stanley and Purcell, have engineered a quiet revolution in St. Conleth’s sport. Actually, it has not been that quiet at all, as you would know, if you ever hear the hockey girls traipsing through the hallways en route to another amazing upset. The latest was when the Minor girls beat hockey-hallowed Mount Anville to qualify for the Leinster Quarterfinals, another notch in an already impressive list of hockey achievements. Below you see the minors celebrating that accomplishment and the Seniors saluting the sunset after another rambunctious training session.
A Vital Ingredient!
Student involvement in a school is obviously essential: if no students show up for school, we would soon be re-assigned (despite the union’s best efforts) to someplace like Cloughjordan. That might please some of the country folk, who teach the Sciences and miss the scents of peat and slurry in the air, but we culture vultures in the Liberal Arts would go mad! So, at St. Conleth’s, we keep the kids involved. You have read below about the Student Council’s contributions, but student participation here is not just about hobnobbing with the elites like some bevy of Brussels bureaucrats: all our kids get involved in every aspect of the school, even cooking up cuisine in the canteen. The eagerly awaited annual Porzowley ‘Masterchef Français’ is on the way, but Chefs Mark and Emerson (and Anna) are constantly and good-naturedly engaging with the students, in addition to keeping us all well-fed (and entertained). And a couple of weeks ago they served up generous helpings of First Year Nicolai’s own-recipe Curry. It was so spicy it sparked a spirited reaction in Emerson- not that he needs much encouragement!
It’s a Long Way…
… to Tipperary, indeed, but the likely lads (and lady) seen below, who accompanied Ms. Sheppard and Mr. Carvill on a trip down to the heart of the country passed the time by singing old rebel songs. Yes, for a neighbourhood which proudly returned a Unionist to the 1918 Dáil, there are now a surprising number of nationalist ‘green shoots’ arising from D4’s nutrient-rich soil! The sun was, indeed, setting over Slievenamon, as the plushly lined coach sped by, with rebel songs being belted out by those aboard, with that old rabble-rouser Mr. Carvill and James ‘The Bhoy’ Tempany taking the lead. Luckily, by the time the merry band reached their destination, the MacDonagh Heritage Centre in Cloughjordan, a more sober mindset had taken hold. For Ms. Sheppard and company were the honoured guests for the evening at the museum, as local historian and retired journalist Liam Doran was giving a talk on the legacy of none other than one Bernard Sheppard, who famously left the Tipperary town for Dublin and founded that great educational institution on Clyde Road of which we are all part. The talk was informative and entertaining and Mr. Doran and the locals were thrilled to have a contingent from ‘the big smoke’ in attendance.
St. Brigid and Bernard Sheppard!
With the belated arrival of the polar vortex and the permanent problem of dampness, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s warming words about the coming of Spring on St. Brigid’s Day. And with help from words of wisdom and delight in Irish, as well as a bit of Gerald Manley Hopkins (early GMH, thankfully), our annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment. Of course, there were student musicians to join the ensemble: Gavin Roche Griffin, Caoimhe Moore and Rory Clarke captured the mood perfectly.
There was also serious work to be done: the presentation of our State Examination awards for 2018. Zachary Carr scooped the Murph Cup for highest Junior Certificate results (named in honour of longtime St. Conleth’s teacher) and a trifecta of genii ( Simon Pettitt, David Loftus and Conor Power) won the coveted Bernard Sheppard Medals for highest Leaving Certificate Points (all three earning 589). Bernard Sheppard founded St. Conleth’s in 1939 and though that seems a long time ago, he was not actually a contemporary of St. Brigid. The story is though, that St. Conleth, himself, got along famously with St. Brigid, and we like to think of the two Celtic saints watching over our endeavours to this day.
Winners of the Bernard Sheppard have a tendency to go on and do memorable things, and we have no doubt that the three fine young men named above will follow suit. Ann Sheppard, St. Conleth’s CEO, recently had a first-hand experience of the persistence and vitality of her father’s legacy: a friendly chat with an acquaintance recently revealed that the woman’s son was none other than Desmond Maurer of the Class of 1987 and the winner of that year’s Bernard Sheppard Medal. He was the first Conlethian to sit Ancient Greek in the Leaving Certificate and, having been inspired by the legendary John Rooney, Desmond went on to study Classics at the University of Edinborough, winning academic acclaim each year and graduating with a first. Desmond then worked with the United Nations in Bosnia, met his wife, settled down and retreated into blessed academia in Sarajevo. And now, Desmond’s own son Ian is due to join our Transition Year class in September. Desmond is also notable for having tempted absolute damnation (and social exclusion) by daring to leave the deified Peter Gallagher’s History class for Physics in Fifth Year. Let him try to get a good table in any swish restaurant around this town if word of that gets out!
Fencing has been part of St. Conleth’s since the very beginning and regular readers would know how active and successful is the current crop of Conlethian fencers. Now we have news of another incredible fencing achievement: Third Year Claudio Sosa has been selected to represent Ireland in the Cadet European Championships 2019 in Foggia Italy and Cadet World Championship 2019 in Poland… at the tender age of 14! Claudio is pictured here with six times Olympic Gold medallist Valentina Vezzali, who kindly provided him with her autograph and huge motivation as a role model for the upcoming championships. Claudio qualified at a recent tournament in Rome, where he also found time to take in some Roman ruins, perfect preparation for his Latin Mock Exam!
Of Bankers and Buskers!
When you think ‘banker’ perhaps you think of the little moneybag grabbing Monopoly caricature… or, perhaps, some of the individual bankers who have been periodically in the news since 2008 come to mind… or the USC or PRD on your payslip flashes across your mind. One does not usually think of music, especially not the free-to-hear, just-for-the-fun-of-it tradition of busking, but the ubiquitous Robert O’Connor and the rest of the ‘Bank St. Boys’ took their endearing pun-ful name to its logical conclusion and promoted their TY Build-A-Bank by bringing back a modern Conlethian tradition: the lunchtime Buskers’ Corner! Musicians such as Rory Clarke, James Moriarty-Smyth and Sam Lynch were only too happy to respond with signature performances (in return for the promise of a tracker mortgage). Yes, commerce and the arts can work together! *Terms and Conditions do apply.
Johnny, Do You Want Them Back?
Magic Boots! Below you see our winners in the Junior School’s aforementioned ‘Johnny Sexton Legendary Drop Goal Boots Competition’. Maybe Johnny should have borrowed them back for Saturday’s match against the auld enemy? Ah well, you can’t win them all… Still, our Juniors were proud to be part of one of the most memorable moments in Irish sports history, as well as to help out with a good cause.
Well, it has not worked to well up north recently, but at St. Conleth’s we are firm believers in ‘power-sharing’. Actually, ‘power’ is a rather dirty word nowadays, so let us just call it ‘voice’. Everyone has a voice at St. Conleth’s, and the chance to use it. Our Parents Associations are extremely active (see the Senior School PA Committee below), organising the Christmas Tree Fair, the Sportsday refreshments, the Scholastic Book fair and various other fundraisers and events during the year, including the very enjoyable PA Social in the Spring, usually held at an obliging yacht club. The Student Council (also, below) don’t get to go to the yacht club for drinks (yet), but they probably do deserve them after working hard all year to represent their peers in partnership with the teachers and management. The School Captain Tomás Clancy and his Vices, Georgia Weir-McErlean and Jack Cosgrave, take the lead but they are helped by all the class captains as they organise the Buddy System, run various charity collections and events and field the concerns of the students and bring them to the attention of the Principal and play leading roles in all our assemblies, masses and other school gatherings. There are great plans in the making for the Spring Term so stay tuned, and play your part when your captain comes calling!
Fencing is cosmopolitan in the truest sense of the word: our band of brothers are racking up huge air miles (and bills for their parents) competing around the continent. As you read below, the Conleth’s Moriarty-Smyths and the Sherlocks recently dominated the Northern Irish Foil Series.
Now it was time for those Parisians to fall to our swashbuckling heroes. Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver on Saturday at the Tournoi De Fleuret Des Petits AS, hosted in Paris by CEP. He was the sole Irish entrant, and achieved a superb 2nd place finish out of a field of 46 Under 11 fencers. The competition draws foilists from all over France, and the prestigious host club fielded a very strong selection. Myles narrowly lost the Final 8/6 to their No. 1 seed, having despatched all others on his way. Another trophy for the shelf… and, undoubtedly, more to come!
Where were you when it happened? Yes, when you are old and grey and the memories are starting to fade there will be at least one etched forever in your sporting (and national) pride. Johnny Sexton’s drop goal at the death vs. France in the Six Nations will be played again and again and again until the rising seas short circuit all our screens. And somehow, I think, Johnny just will not let that happen either. Let us do our part:
But the story gets better. Johnny donated the famous footwear for auction to help a very sick girl and a certain St. Conleth’s family ended up with the prized bootikins. And this family loaned the hallowed hoofers to the school! Mr. Kilcommons then organised an interesting competition: one of our sports hall’s basketball hoops was festooned with said stilettos and all the Juniors had the chance to kick a hole-in-on, so to speak. Everyone had go, and the crack was mighty, with one particularly skilled booter being carried off the court by his classmates! Check out the pics below and stay tuned for the individual class winners.
Know Your Limits!
Is Kamran Roseingrave-Salim the Olivier Giroud of Maths competitions? Like the wonderfully whiskered Frenchman, Kamran and his ‘B Team’ cohorts came off the bench to score a moral victory in the latest Irish Maths Teachers Association Competition, finishing ahead of the much vaunted, pretty boy ‘A ‘team. That’s like the League Cup line-up beating the Prem starters! To be fair, both teams did very well in a tough, physical encounter. Who knows where the A Team would have finished if Captain Hugh ‘Touch’ Downes had not been hampered by an ankle injury? Hugh, Jack ‘Cos And Tan’ Cosgrave, Joe ‘Cabo’ Hyland and Ian ‘Integer’ O’Neill did their very best but it was refreshing to see the un-fancied and un-monikered B team (Kamran, Pierce Roberts, Gavin Roche Griffin and Stephen Allen) upset the odds and please the bookies.
And though both teams finished near the middle of the pack, we think they might be better off dwelling in the realm of mere excellence in Maths: the true geniuses often have a hard time in other, less numerical aspects of life. Previous Hopkins-o-lytes have finished further up the motherboard but emboldened by their success, they upgraded their operating systems, majored in Pure Maths or Computer Science and now speak only to each other and themselves, and even then, usually in binary. The 2019 contingent may forget to ‘carry the 1’ sometimes, but as you can see above, they will certainly meet more girls in college!
U19s’ Future Looks Bright!
With essential parts Mark ‘Ronan’ Connor and Johnny ‘Taz’ Barry on the shelf due to injury, the Boys U19 Basketball team was always going to be up against it in the SDBL Semifinal and when we drew perennial nemesis, St. Andrew’s, it was assured to be a dogfight. Only seven brave young men suited up, but they gave the perennial powers a run for the money, and though we lost on the scoreboard we won on the style and the swagger, in a sport where they matter, too. Like Philly last year and Brooklyn this, these kids may not always win, but they always put on a show! Colin Bolger was Iverson-like as he shot the lights out and hounded the St. Andrew’s guards relentlessly. Luke Gilleran was his usual rebounding and shot blocking machine and the quintessential big man dime dispenser. Andrew ‘Casimir’ Latvis, emulating his Eastern European NBA heroes, plied both the paint and the perimeter like a junior Jokić. Josh Bergin and Jack Doyle were doubling their minutes but showed no let-up in effort or skill and Keane Acosta was again a streak of green as he dashed up and down the court, shooting at a whim. And barrel-chested Jack Topliss, like a 1980s Piston, came on for some thumping picks… but somehow found time to also take the amazing pics below! Well done to the boys and Coach Sean on a great season. The future bodes well, with only Andrew and Johnny declaring for the draft.
Ireland Beat Brazil!
Well, not quite, but we want you to get a sense of the earth-shaking significance of our First Year Chess team vanquishing Gonzaga 5-0, as they did yesterday in their very first match of the season. Yes, the amazing winning streak achieved by the First Year rugby team has carried over into a sport which is a bit less physical but no less demanding.
Ms. NiAonghusa credits the Lunchtime Chess Club and the chess-specific work-outs in the Fitness Suite for helping this team exceed expectations. And, luckily, there were no significant injuries during the various games, with both sides competing with good humour and perfect sportsmanship. And our Senior Team were moral victors if not actual ones, as they bravely pushed their Gonzaga counterparts to a 2-3 finish. Not impressed? Remember: Gonzaga are like the Brazilians in soccer, the All Blacks in rugby, the Cubans in baseball…
Music Hall Adventures
Both our Junior and Leaving Certificate Music students took trips to the National Concert Hall this week to hear their ‘set works’ professionally played and analysed. Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal reported back that all the students were impeccably behaved and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. For the Seniors, the internationally praised music educationalist Tom Redmond and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra presented a step-by-step guide to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, highlighting key themes and sections, presented with big screen musical illustrations and concluding with a full performance. And the Juniors were treated to a full slate of excerpts: Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro Overture’; Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’; ‘Anitra’s Dance’ and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1; Vivaldi’s A movement from ‘Winter’, The Four Seasons; Copland’s ‘Hoe down’ from Rodeo; John Williams’ The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back; and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell. Even the trip home was a delight, as the sun was shining, the air was fresh and Ms. Fay, Ms. DeBhal and Manus were in perfect pitch (of course!) as they serenaded their charges with their own personal favourite arias, all the way home to St. Conleth’s!
Cross Country Army!
Mr. Keenan does not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, he practises what we preach and issues an open invite to all students to join him on his Track and Field outings. This time, he led his horde of student athletes over the mountains and through the trees to the East Leinster Cross Country Championships at Avondale.
As you can see from the smiles in the photos of our First Year runners above, the boys and girls have a blast and enjoy the day out in the crisp Wicklow air. And we do not just do participation, we also do ‘winning’! There were some quality runners hidden amongst this merry band, with Luke Timlin and Sydney Weir McErlean winning Gold and Bronze in their respective races and many of our runners placing in the top half of finishers. It was a long cold, day out, but the weather was bright and clear and Mr. Keenan kept warm by lining up competitors for the upcoming Leinster Schools Athletic Union Indoor Meet. Interested First and Second years should sign up now with Mr. Keenan.
A Thousand Words…
…is the supposed value of a picture but the frequent visitor to these pages knows that we often throw in the thousand words anyways, for good measure! This time, however, we will let the photographs speak for themselves. Our usual TY ace reporters Edwin and Seoyeon were joined by new recruit, Adam Rafter, and he proved a quick learner as he traipsed around the various sporting venues, snapping away with his usual good humour, despite having just roused himself from his sickbed . The events themselves were a trifecta of moral victories but actual losses: our JCT went down to Blackrock College (yes, that Blackrock College!) but put up a darn good fight; our Senior Hockey girls lost to Louth powerhouse Dundalk Grammar; and our U16 Boys Basketball team was edged out in the SDBL Semifinal by perennial foreign student-enhanced powers, St. Andrew’s. Three losses yes, but all against top-notch competition, and there is more to come in each sport as the JCT face the rugged farm-boys of Ardee (pronounced ‘AR-deeeee’) in the Duff Shield quarters; the Minor Hockey team is steaming into the post-season; and the U19 Boys have a SDBL Semifinal vs. St. Andrew’s later this week. We feel that… oh yes, enough said. Now, the photos!
Lost Limbs in Dangerous Dungeons
Never mind the risk of injury which our rugby, basketball, hockey and chess players face with each match and training session, imagine what horrific wounds our brave Dungeons & Dragons players suffer in nearly every game! All this happened before Christmas, but as the warriors involved have just returned from wandering lost in the land of Faerûn, we are just getting the news now. Ms. NiAonghusa shooed away her chess and coding disciples for one day (actually, there was quite a bit of overlap in participants) and transformed Room 3 into a classic D&D den, à la ‘Stranger Things’. The two hour session was overseen by Dungeon Master Evan Power and he was joined by assorted First, Second and Fifth Years, playing as various warlocks, dwarves, elves and halflings. All went well but the last we saw of Oisín Power, he was being carried out the emergency doors over the shoulder of a Kobold!
Of Kings and Queens…
All that sweat about basketball, hockey and rugby (with more to come!) put us in mind for news of a more cerebral and, dare we say, sophisticated Conlethian pursuit: chess. Ms. NiAonghusa, in addition to being Exam Czar, somehow finds time to run the Senior School Lunchtime Chess Club and organise our chess teams’ games against other schools. On Tuesday afternoons, many of our students seek out the solace of Room Three, fleeing the rough-and-tumble of the yard and instead engaging in a more intellectual competition. And out of those well-mannered clashes, our representative teams are formed. Recently, our top team bravely battled to a 2.5-2.5 score vs. powerhouse Colaiste Éanna, with Ricardo and Utkarsh winning their games in a very physical but fairly fought competition. And it was great to see Charlotte on the team: as we are now fully co-educational, it is only natural that the girls start to infiltrate this former purely male preserve. More games to come!
They’re (almost) Here!
Every great work needs its prequel! Just click below for the full timetable for this year’s Junior and Leaving Certificate Mock Exams, which begin on Wednesday, the 6th of February and finish on Friday, the 15th. Students should certainly familiarise themselves with the Guidelines, which are based on the real State Examination Rules, and will soon be emphasised by Exam Secretary, Ms. NíAonghusa. Good luck!
Is that a whiff of Chanel mixing with the scent of curry wafting from the cafeteria? Did a well-dressed and stylishly-coiffed professeur just nonchalantly douse her cigarette and sweep through reception en route to the Performance Hall? If so, it can only mean one thing: DELF days are here again!
Prendre le train en marche? Yes, schools all over the country are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ and getting into ‘DELF’ these days, but do remember that St. Conleth’s was the first school in Ireland to have its students sit this prestigious French exam. A few years ago, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley worked tirelessly to complete the quintessentially French labyrinth of paperwork to bring the DELF to St. Conleth’s and they made Trojan efforts again this week, and to be fair to the Transition Years, they responded to their teachers’ efforts and enthusiasm in kind, displaying both zeal and talent on the written and oral exams. Soon we will have the results and a little soirée to celebrate!
New Year: Same Swag!
A New Year, another round of fencing…. The band of brothers headed North on Saturday for Round 3 of the NIJF series, and in time-honoured fashion, they returned with a full complement of medals: James Moriarty-Smyth- Gold in Under 16 Boys; Luke Sherlock- Silver in Under 14 Boys; Myles Moriarty-Smyth- Gold in Under 12 Boys and Mathew Sherlock- Bronze in Under 12 Boys. In addition to fencing, James, as qualified Level One referee, officiated throughout the day, including all of Mathew’s poule matches; needless to say fair play and impartiality prevailed.
SCT Hang Tough!
Our First Year Rugby team is making history with their season-long unbeaten run and our JCT recently joined the party with an emphatic Shield win, but their elder brethren, the SCT, also have every reason to walk the hallways of St. Conleth’s with heads held high. Coach Gavin Maguire and his coaching staff have the SCT playing with spirit, style and success despite a devastating number of injuries this season. They recently went on a four game winning streak, only ending with a tough loss to Templeogue in the Shield (photos below), quite an accomplishment for a squad that may be small in number but is undoubtedly great in heart.
It is getting rather repetitive reporting on hockey victories, such is the run of success currently being enjoyed by both our Senior School girls teams…. but we still enjoy it! Yes, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley, Ms. Leary and Ms. Purcell have built in just a couple of years what is starting to look like a sports dynasty and the Minors added another win to the total last Thursday, beating St. Raphaela’s soundly 3-0. All the usual suspects were at it in a comprehensive victory but Siobhan particularly stood out for both her effort and skill. The Minors will have more matches to come, but now attention turns to the Senior team’s momentous showdown with Dundalk Grammar School. The Louth girls come from the furthest recesses of the Pale, and they are tough on and off the pitch, so our girls will need all the support we can muster. So come on down and cheer them on in this league group decider!
Mr. Callaghan and his STEM staff sidekicks bravely took on the onerous task of leading three full years of Conlethians down to the BT Young Scientists’ Exhibition. A great afternoon was had by all as the students were able to see and actively participate in various scientific ad mathematical projects… and pick up the all-important freebies!
And, once again, it was noted how the Conlethian contingent were the best behaved group of students in attendance: honestly interested in the exhibition and as polite and mannerly as always… with only the shyest of glances at the other talent on display! See above for some snaps of them enjoying themselves, as well as below, for an innovative montage captured by our ace photographer!
JCT: Shield Warriors!
After a tough, close loss in the Cup, we knew anyone facing our Junior Cup Team would have their hands full, as Coach Louis Magee has assembled a close-knit and spirited group of talented players and they certainly had more in the tank. And we were right, as the JCT had a great win yesterday in the Duff Shield beating St. Paul’s- Raheny 55-7. There were some very impressive individual performances with Andre O’Brien scoring a hat-trick of tries, Darrach Smyth and Conor Hyland touching down a brace each and Second Year Lucas Engmann striding the pitch like a collossus, scattering the mere mortals of St. Paul’s like so many toy figurines. Unfortunately one of our other stars, the fleet-footed and tough-tackling Daniel Weatherley, was forced off with an injury and will be out for some weeks. Afterwards, Coach Louis stressed the great overall team effort. The team’s undoubted unity and camaraderie will help them deal with the loss of such a key player as Daniel. On to the next round!
This Year, I Resolve to…
…study more! We all tend to the aspirational rather than the practical when it comes to New Year’s resolutions but here is one which is very appropriate and achievable for our students: supervised study. There are two ‘programmes’: Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’ runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Mondays and Thursdays. Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ runs from 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed. There is a discount for those hardy should who wish to do both. All the details are attached here. Payment will be made through Easypayments on this website (but please wait till the new term’s listing is up in a few days). Meanwhile, Night Study starts on the very first day back (Monday, 7/1) and After-School Study starts on Tuesday (8/1) so put away those crackers and start packing those books!
Holiday Hoop News!
We already know that our U19 boys basketball team have continued their winning ways under Coaches Ingle and Gahan and they have another postseason appointment with glory in the New Year, but let us bring you up to date with a couple of our other teams. The U16 Girls certainly had a successful season, narrowly losing their league semifinal in a toughly contested match but having a season full of wins to look back upon proudly. There was a one-point loss to start the season but then the girls reeled off victories against Sandford Park, Presentation-Terenure, Larkin CC and Mt. Anville, and mostly by comfortable margins! Well done to the girls and we look forward to one even stronger team next year.
And our First Years have picked up in basketball where they have been all year in rugby: winning! Coaches Ingle and Gahan lead them to the final of their first blitz of the year. Stay tuned as their season gets into gear in the new year!
The So-Young Quartet!
Everyone knows that Conlethians are the coolest of cats and that 28 Clyde Road is hipster heaven but last Friday we reached new heights of hipness as Piano Teacher So-Young invited some of her musical friends by to help out with the accompaniment: there was Dave Mooney plucking the Double Bass, Conor Murray keeping the beat on the drums and So-Young herself organising the whole affair.
And who was the fourth member of the quartet? Why, a whole slew of Conlethian ivory-ticklers, students of So-Young from First Class to Fifth Year took their turn at the piano stool and under the spotlight. It was a stylishly sonorous affair and, except for the brightness and cleanliness of our Performance Hall, you might have thought you had wandered into some Jazz bar in the depths of Manhattan or Chicago, such was the quality and coolness of the music. S0-Young was justifiably proud of her students and friends, and the parents and guests were very impressed, indeed, with this tasteful and pitch perfect use of our musical space. See and hear the action, above and below!
The Senior School Choir is at the heart of everything that we do musically at St. Conleth’s- in fact, it is at the heart of the school community itself, playing an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations. But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.
Judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. deBhal and Ms. Fay’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the names below is destined to join Alex Sheehan, Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage? In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.
At this time of year, much is bandied about about ‘The True Meaning of Christmas’. We certainly do not claim we have the the definitive answer to this old chestnut, but if you happened to be around the corner at St. Mary’s Home last week when Ms. Fay and a select group of student carolers made their annual visit, you just might be closer to the truth than most.
As usual, the Conlethian contingent brought, and were greeted with, great cheer and the music and singing were enjoyed and appreciated by both visitors and residents, with the line between them blurring as several of the retired folk joined in and sang along. And as usual, the students left with a new spring in their step, feeling just that bit more authentically Christmasy!
A Trophy in Every Stocking?
Yes, the band of brothers (and Claudio) have been busy leading into the holidays, building up their supply of precious metals… perhaps for re-gifting at Christmas? There simply is no more room on the trophy shelf! Pembroke Fencing Coach Olga Volga and Conlethian fencing parent Kathrin Chambers provide a round-up of our recent fencing exploits:
At the National Fencing Seniors Championship, Claudio Sosa won a gold with his team, the mysteriously-dubbed ‘Pound of Fleche Reloaded’, made up mostly of fencers from The Queen’s University of Belfast (which our young Claudio was welcomed to join!). They were crowned as the National Champions for 2018 in the modern pentathlon premises in Blanchardstown.
Then Claudio and Luke travelled to Marburg in Germany for the 18th Marburg International Open City Championships. The standard was high as every at the competition and both boys competed on both Saturday and Sunday. Their efforts were rewarded as Luke brought home Bronze in both the U14 Epee and U14 Foil competitions. Claudio brought home Silver in the U17 Foil and Bronze in Senior Foil.
And, finally (for now!), the merry fencers travelled to Belfast last Sunday for the 2nd of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series and they returned with their now customary haul of medals, with Claudio securing gold once again in the U17 category, Luke Sherlock gold in the U14 and Matthew Sherlock taking home a hard fought silver in the U12s. Alas, it was a slightly depleted group as they were missing the Moriarty-Smyth brothers. James suffered an injury playing a more modern (and less sophisticated) sport t break-time. However, he is on the mend and will soon be back in action, leading the charge onto new fields of fencing glory!
A TYer reports on their super-successful Christmas Fair (in partnership with Parents Association):
The TY Christmas tree fair all started in the TY Room, late October. Each student chose a role and a group to participate in the fair. Last week, the preparations began to heat up. Christmas trees were bought in bulk, ranging from 3ft to even 14ft, and were brought into the hall the Friday before the fair. Many TY groups made their own products, such as baked goods and Christmas decor, like logs and wreaths, which sold completely throughout the day. Other groups sold waffles, sausage rolls and Christmas cards. Saturday, the 8th of Dec., at 9:30 marked the beginning of our annual fair. By quarter past the school hall was bustling with parents and students alike, many of whom bought Christmas trees right away. The trees were selected, netted by the students and then carried outside where they were drilled. One of the TY parents even organised all the payments and receipts. Ms. Fay came in with the hand-picked best members of the Senior School Choir so that Christmas carols could greet our shoppers at the door.
Most stalls immediately began making some profit, the Christmas logs and wreaths likely made the most cash on the day, with the confectionary not far behind. There were also several Third Years taking part, raising money for their East Africa 2020 Expedition development work. By 12pm the Christmas trees were clearing out and many were sent out by delivery, in which two of the TY boys would carry a tree anywhere around Donnybrook and Ballsbridge, and then they set it up in the buyer’s house. Most of us made some money out of tips! Many of the students carried trees all over the local area and even a little further. By 2pm the fair was still going strong, the balloons had sold out and trees were still being delivered. Free tea and coffee were available on the day and some stalls were filled with books and small toys. At 3pm the were still selling strong and some stands, like the Christmas logs and wreaths had sold out and made maximum profit. The pastries and sausage rolls stocks had also almost depleted… everything was a hit!
The TY students all wore Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, this all added the Christmas cheer and even the parents dressed festively. By 4:30 pm, the fair had almost ended, and everything was pretty much sold out. Many students and parents volunteered to stay behind and clean up. I would hope we raised a great profit as 100% goes to the East Africa fund. We’d like to thank everyone involved, especially the Parent’s Association who worked very hard to help set up everything, and all who helped out on the day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Oooh! Look! It’s The Bank Street Boys!
Drift back, if you will, to this time of year in, say, 2005… You are working in mortgages at the AIB and the future is rosy: share prices are rocketing, interest rates are minuscule, bonuses are bulging and the first of your three fully comped Christmas parties is about to roll in. Your only complaint is a bit of the old carpal tunnel syndrome from scribbling ‘yes’ so many times… Yes, those were the days, but judging from the extravaganza put on by the Transition Year Build-A-Bank Team, those heady days are here again! The professionals from the AIB were around to provide shrewd advice and to assure due diligence but the show was all the boys’ alone, as Robert O’Connor, Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Zach Carr, Mark Connor and Matthew Lynch implemented their innovative marketing concept with consummate skill and a good bit of panache. Combining matinée idol looks with advantageous interest rates, the latest TY Build-A-Bank team are definitely destined for big things in the financial world! The competitions and freebies drew the youngsters in and, like with many a mortgage-taker in days gone by, when the smoke had cleared and the confetti had settled, the signatures were somehow on the bottom line! Seriously, a generous bonus was provided by the AIB for openers of student accounts and it was a win-win situation: the TY boys gained valuable business experience and the general student body got a whiff of the financial sector’s profits, while still learning the value of saving for a rainy day.
Long ago, Mrs. Patricia Kelleher initiated what has become a beloved Conlethian tradition: the Sheppard-Kelleher family invites Sixth Years out to the opera and all the young men and ladies (and a few select teachers!) get all dickied up and they enjoy a night of civilised, cultural entertainment. This year it was ‘Aida’ at the National Concert Hall and, by all accounts, it was an amazing production, even rendering principal emeritus, and noted opera aficionado, Peter Gallagher, momentarily stunned into silence. Mr. Carvill was also there, and we thank him for the following pictures of the swish style on display!
A Conleth’s Christmas!
The Annual St. Conleth’s Traditional Christmas Fair is being held this year on Saturday, December 8th from 9.30-4pm. As well as trees (€30-€120), beautifully hand decorated wreaths (€20-€80), poinsettias, lucky dip, raffle, hot refreshments, live music, carol singers and lots of Christmas cheer, the students will have lots of wonderful stands selling cakes, crafts, treats and much more (please remember to bring old-fashioned cash on the day!). This is a wonderful opportunity to do some essential Christmas shopping whilst helping a good cause and adding to the Traditional St. Conleth’s Christmas Fair Cheer! Proceeds as always will go towards the Africa Project. The schools past fundraising efforts have borne fruit and the latest development is that the villagers now have their own borehole to collect water – a huge step and a massive help to the community. Check here for our price-list and see our TY students’ artful promotions below, as well as a photo of the good which comes from it all. See you Saturday! Mr. Alan Trenier, TY Co-Ordinator.
Chess ‘A’ Team in the Thick of It!
Pardon if we sound a bit like Ross O’Carroll Kelly, but as it is with rugby, hockey and sports and culture in general, to be the best in Leinster in chess is to be the best in Ireland! Our Junior School A Team recently had their Leinster Division 1 Play-Off and, once again, competed with the best chess teams in the country. St. Conleth’s mother and chess guru Gillian O’Leary reports:
The Division One Chess Play Offs went very well today, with 10 teams of 8 players each competing. The standard was very high with St. Marys Haddington Road coming out on top. The top 4 teams will progress to the Division One finals, while the other 6 teams will participate in the Leinster Shield in February 2019. The St. Conleths team played 3 matches winning one in style (7-1) but losing two matches to strong opposition (1.5, 2.5). All team members played really well, and represented the school in an excellent manner. Special congratulations to John Byrne and Samson Labintcev who both scored 3 out of 4 and each won a team board prize. Having consulted with Alex Baburin, we selected the board order based on current strength (rather than the standings earlier in the year). Well done to all involved! Team members: Charlie Kennedy, Liam Hunter, David MacNicholas, Matthew Sherlock, Declan de la Cruz Boylan, John Byrne, James Maher and Samson Labintcev.
Talkin’ Turkey: Thanksgiving at St. Conleth’s!
Somewhere Squanto must be smiling… as he sees the celebration of the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to new shores. Of course, if the Mayflower had brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population! Be that as it may, the turkey, the pumpkin pie, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since. We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze: galumpkis on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod…. Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all! Both Juniors and Seniors and the ghost of Elvis Presley (he had seconds) joined us for a musket-bustin’ Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste. At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!
We Look Back… and Forwards
Our Annual School Mass is always an affair in which we engage with mixed emotions. In this liturgical time of remembrance, we rightly look back and remember the Conlethians who are no longer with us, a list which grows longer each year. But we also take great joy and hope in seeing the ever-renewing community of St. Conleth’s, gathered as one in celebration of our Christian ethos. Our Chaplain, Father Michael, as always, had the right words for the occasion, reminding us of the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, and also the universality at the heart of our ethos.
The many names of St. Mary’s Catholic parishioners on the World War Remembrance plaque poignantly drove home the message. We are more must-cultural and multi-faith as a community than we were in 1918 or 1939, but the essentials of our Catholicism are such that they find much resonance in many other faiths and beliefs, and though the rites may be different, there is much more in common to keep us together. Together also were the Junior and Senior Schools which is always a delight to see- and hear. Ms. Hartnett and Ms. Fay and Ms. DeBhal had their respective choirs in top voice, as you can hear and see below!
Senior Hockey Girls in Action!
We recently broke the bank with the purchase of a new camera which is capable of catching those split second moments of pivotal action during basketball games, debating meets, musical concerts, chess showdowns… and, yes, hockey matches! So, our first assignment with our new toy was for intrepid TY reporter Edwin Chang to follow the Senior Hockey Girls to their match versus Wilson’s Hospital at the nearby Pembroke Hockey Club. The girls maintained their incredible unbeaten record, drawing 1-1 with the team from this long-time hockey school, with Eve Harvey Graham scoring in a tough, defensive match. The girls were understandably pooped after their exhaustive efforts but joining them at the oxygen tanks was Edwin, who spent the whole game running up and down the sidelines! Coach Speller said she was so impressed she might sneak in a new player on the wing into the next match: exchange student Edwina Chang!
The Next Lord Chancellor of Ireland?
Yes, Conor Power of the Class of 2018 now moves in rarified company, joining the bishops, the parliamentarians, the lord chancellors and the Daniel Gilligans as Exhibition Scholars at Trinity College. Conor’s achievement is even more impressive than the that of all the Anglo-Irish magnates who came before him: this is the first year that Trinity has limited the award to one honouree per secondary school. 589 LC points did the trick and now Conor has some spending money for books as he continues his study of Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Sociology. (Afterwards, he immediately ran down to Hodges Figgis for a hardback copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’). The ceremony itself was dignified and ye-olde-worlde-ly in a way that only Trinity can do properly. We half expected Professor Dumbledore to take the rostrum and Nearly Headless Nick to come crashing through the portraits but Provost Pendergrast and Dean Mitchell filled in admirably, if less dramtically. Of course, there was wine and hors d’oeuvres and plenty of pleasant conversation. Conor felt very much at home, despite his hurley-playing, mass-attending and republican-sympathising past. Seriously, we should be very proud of Conor and not just because he earned the points to win the award. He was also one of the most well-rounded, honestly enthusiastic and just plain gentlemanly young men to ever grace the halls of St. Conleth’s.
Ouch! My Astigmatism!
Actually, we are not exactly sure where on our body we are suffering from said condition, but the winning contestants in the First Year Science Week Table Quiz certainly do- as well as how many toes has a dog, what a light-year measures, how many sides are on a heptagon and lots of other essential and perhaps not-so-essential nuggets of knowledge. Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Phelan were like younger, hipper and better looking versions of Stephen Fry and Sandy Toksvig as they sashayed around the Performance Hall, asking questions, checking answers and applying occasional behavioural therapy. You can see the two winning teams below but everyone was as happy as Pavlov’s dog (in the early stages of the experiment) and a great Science Week tradition was born! Click here and here for some more questions.
Top of their Classes!
We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent run by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results. You have recently seen our Maths results charts with all the numbers and percentages but earlier this week there was even more tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess: Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Simon Pettitt (Engineering), Oisín Gilligan (Science) and David Loftus (Computer Science) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results. Stay tuned, as next week we find out who of the Class of 2018 are the ‘winners at Trinners’!
JCT Pushes Sandford to the Wire
Louis Magee, St. Conleth’s Head of Junior Rugby, had his troops well prepared for this derby-like Cup clash with near neighbours Sandford Park and the boys brought all that training and skills development to bear during the match and left nothing on the pitch. Led by Captain Conor Hyland and with significant contributions from Morton Ainscough (19 points), the all-around excellence of Darrach Smyth and strong scrum-half play of newcomer William Norse, St. Conleth’s battling all over the field. In the end, however, and by the tightest of margins (27-24), our JCT had to leave the field and exit the competition, though with heads held high.
The next day the ball bounces differently, or the knock-on call goes the other way, and St. Conleth’s enjoys the victory: yesterday was just not that day, and Sandford Park moves on. Judging by the spirit and comaraderie evident on the day, St. Conleth’s has plenty left in the tank and whether it is League, Shield or friendlies, no-one is going to enjoy coming up against this fierce band of brothers. Louis has reinvigorated the Junior Rugby ranks at St. Conleth’s, and with an immensely talented gang of First Years growing in size and skill week-by-week, we see great things ahead for this JCT in the months and years to come. Just think: one of Louis’s toughest jobs each week is making up the team sheet as there are so many eager and deserving players. Yes, tough decisions have to be made and no-one is happy riding the bench, but the numbers and the enthusiasm bode well for the future of St. Conleth’s rugby.
Making News in Leinster!
With our JCT campaign kicking off today, it is good time to recall the essential role St. Conleth’s has played in the development of Leinster Schools Rugby… and to make one significant addition to our Leinster roll of honour. The latter, first: Nicholas Cunningham-Ash has been the starting No. 8 for the Leinster ‘Metros’ throughout the different rounds of the Bank of Ireland Shane Horgan Cup; the most recent match taking place on Halloween. It is a great honour for the immensely talented (and the impeccably mannered) Nicholas and he follows in a proud Conlethian tradition of sending our best players to play for their province or other selective teams. Nicholas now takes his place in a pantheon of Conlethian legends such as Ronan Cullen, Peter McAvock, Karl Finnegan, Kevin Dolan and Conor Gaul.
Of course, St. Conleth’s contributions to Leinster Rugby goes beyond providing stand-out players. A recent Leinster Match Programme detailed the pivotal role played by Paul Mullins in setting up the inter provisional dimension of the Schools ‘Section A’ and the contributions of many Conlethian coaches over the years. That would include Shay Keenan and Gavin Maguire, whose heroic holding high of the Section A Shield while being carted off the pitch on a stretcher remains burned on the retinas of all who were privileged to be there. And need we even mention the absolutely central role Mr. Kevin Kelleher played in Leinster Schools Rugby over the years? The Inter-Provincial Trophy now proudly bears his name, but references to Mr. K.’s influence and legend are made weekly on touchlines and in locker-rooms up and down the province. Ms. Sheppard was recently called on to present the trophy in his honour, with one of the recipients being a Junior School past pupil, no less!
Your Christmas Exam Schedule!
Galadriel did, but can you pass the test? At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December! And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, will hand the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them. Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page. We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Thanksgiving and good luck!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
Well, technically they do not actually compete on horses (yet), but our young fencing heroes do display all the necessary knightly virtues: fighting skill, courage, impeccable manners, an eye for the young fencing ladies… and the willingness to spend their weekends dressed up like medieval warriors! And the most ‘ye olde worlde-ly’ of all the fencing competitions must be the Lord Killanin Trophy: the title alone fairly reeks of the antiquarian aspect of the noble sport. But we fear that they may change that title soon to the ‘St. Conleth’s In-House Trophy’ if we continue to dominate the competition!
Last weekend, at Loretto-Dalkey, the band of brothers (Moriarty-Smyth-Smyth and Sherlock) and Claudio ‘Zorro’ Sosa once again bagged most of the shine available. In Cadets (Under 16s) Foil, Claudio won Gold and James finished 5th. In the Under 14 Foil, Luke won Gold! In the Under 12 Foil, Myles won Gold and Mathew placed 5th, and in the Under 15 Epee, Luke won Silver. That was just on Saturday. On Sunday (after completing several pages of their Study-Books), the merry band headed north to Belfast, where they competed in the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series Round 1. And our boys did not do the Brexit negotiations any favours! In Cadets (Under 16s) Foil, Claudio won Gold and James took Silver (another all-Conlethian final!) In the Under 14 Foil, Luke won Gold and in the Under 12 Foil, Myles copped Gold and Mathew finished 5th. Whew. And, yes, there are rumours of a jousting court being included in our next extension!
Berries! Alumnus Chris Luke Honoured in Cork
We all know (because the Corkonians keep telling us) that Cork is the best city (or very large town) in Ireland, if not the world… d’ya know like. And since they are used to living with such a high level of native excellence, Corkonians are notoriously parsimonious in bestowing laurels on anyone not borne within spitting distance of the Lee. So, for Conlethian Past Pupil Chris Luke (School Captain 1976) to be named winner of the Cork Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 (for “outstanding service to the people of Cork”) it is great honour, indeed.
Chris has been head of Emergency Medicine in Cork University Hospital for many years and, after supervising the repairs to many a stocious Corkman who had received a dawk from some langer for so long, news of his imminent retirement inspired this rare honour. Chris was back at his alma mater recently, having delivered the keynote speech at our Parent Associations’ AGM. It was entitled ‘A Little Nightclub Medicine: Keeping “Party Animals” Safe in the 21st Century’ and was as entertaining as it was informative. We saw firsthand the rhetorical skills which have earned Chris the honour of being one of RTE’s regular experts when it comes to matters medical. Stay tuned, as Chris plans a working retirement, and we are sure to hear more from him over the airwaves and podcasts. Da Berries, indeed!
A Plethora of Portfolio!
Ms. Halpin has been busy. You have already seen, in other news items, snaps of the new Art Room in all its glory. Well it certainly did not come ‘out of the box’ looking like that! Ms. Halpin was here in the waning days of summer, getting the new digs ready, moving the enormous variety of materials, tools and supplies which art demands and making the tough decisions about which student masterpieces get hung on the walls, which get returned to their creators and which become the fodder for future art, via the green bin!
Not an easy job, as you can see yourself above and below, where we have assembled photos of much of last year’s Junior and Leaving Certificate art students’ best portfolio pieces. Enjoy them and take a good look, because the current year’s art students are beavering away and soon their own creations will be demanding and deserving some attention of their own!
Maths: It All Adds Up!
A few years ago, a research report commissioned by UNESCO/UNICEF/The Illuminati found that Ireland’s schools were lagging behind the international competition in their Maths scores. In response, the rusty gears at the Department of Education and Skills slowly began turning and soon were churning out an endless series of STEM-promotions. Expensive and of dubious effectiveness, the mandarins of Marlborough Street would have been better off just paying a visit to 28 Clyde Road to see how Maths teaching is properly done! We recently celebrated another whirlwind Maths Week with daily puzzles, sudoku competitions, Maths Magic Shows and visits to special lectures at Engineers Ireland. And the winners of the competitions were honoured at our October assembly (and can be seen sporting their ‘Maths Mugs’ below). But the funny things is: every week is ‘Maths Week’ at St. Conleth’s! And our Maths teachers not only do the fun, happy-clappy, ‘up with people’ bits well, they also deliver the curriculum better than anyone in the country. The results, both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate, speak for themselves and can be seen on the slide below. Even more impressive is the high praise earned during an official inspection a few years ago. Click here to see the full inspection report or just take a quick look at their main findings, verbatim:
Notice the use of the word ‘excellent’? Inspectors avoid such words of enthusiastic endorsement like the plague, but they felt compelled to bestow them on our Maths teachers liberally. And our inspector personally vouchsafed that she had never before seen such enthusiasm and sheer Mathematical knowledge amongst students at any other school. And since that inspection, our Maths results have only gotten better. George Soros, and whoever else is really in charge, better take notice!
A Spectre is Haunting St. Conleth’s…
But have no fear: it is not the lumpenproletariat looking for the redistribution of wealth, it is a fun-loving gang of scary but innocent Junior Schoolers, led by the commander-in-chief of puerility! Every year we have an October assembly which marks the ever-more-important holiday of Halloween but also serves to recall the past and look to the future at this poignant point in the waning of the year.
Mr. ODulaing, once again, led our assembly, eloquently looking back with fondness and forward with enthusiasm, and Mr. Gallagher provided the multi-cultural background to this ancient feast day. And, this being St. Conleth’s/Fame Academy, Russell, Amy, Mark, Colin and Stephen musically accompanied the dignified affair. Everything was going swimmingly until a loud, obnoxious knock was heard at the door and in barged the Chief Executive of prolonged toddlerhood and his minions and an enjoyable chaos ensued. Check out the photos above, which include some of each Junior classs, captured in their own lairs before the attack on their rather delighted victims. And below we see and hear Stephen Allen, who has adorned our assemblies with his superb singing many times over the years.
Rugby Teams Roll On!
Winning is obviously infectious. Our First Year Rugby Team continued its record-setting start to the season with a blitz win at the High School and then a comprehensive whomping of Marian College 59-15, in the salubrious setting of the Aviva Stadium, no less! But this victory virus has also spread to our other teams: the SCT enjoyed a solid Leinster League victory last week, led by our very large Rugby Captain, Dylan Browne, and the gory old-school heroics of Johnny ‘Rambo’ Barry. Then the Sixth Form team joined the fun with a 13-1 win over St. Michael’s over the weekend. So, yes we applaud the successes of our hockey players, debaters and fencers, but let us not forget: St. Conleth’s ‘bread and butter’ is still rugby. Of course, that would be a sourdough loaf from Marco Pierre White’s, topped by butter which is hand-churned and organic!
Hockey Win in the Wilds of Wicklow!
Just in case you have yet to acquire the ‘postmodern patter’ dialect common amongst our youngsters and used below in the players’ match report, let us just give you the facts: yes, the Minor Hockey Girls won again, 1-0 over Dominican- Wicklow, scratching out a tough victory over worthy opposition. Or, as the gurlz put it:
The brave Conlethians girliepops set off down the N11 motorway to go over yonder in Wicklow Town they arrived only to be greeted with a pitch that was, like, we had only heard horror story’s about… a grit pitch…omg! Although the pitch was… like…different… it still didn’t stop the brave Conlethian girliepops from competing in a game that didn’t lower their standards (but did their speed). The game took a slow start but after a lot of grit in eyes, socks, shoes and everywhere you could think, yes you guessed it: our very own girliepops from our very own St. Conleth’s managed to put a breathtaking and unstoppable ball between the two goal posts of the D.C.W goal. 25 mins of hard hockey later our girliepops regrouped on the sideline and after a spontaneous photo shoot came back with a 1-0 victory over D.C.W. By 2nd year girliepops Alanna, Sydney, Caoimhe and Sasha
Omar Earns Squash Bronze!
Squash has a proud tradition at St. Conleth’s with both Ms. Sheppard and Mr. McGrath having competed at the highest levels and our student teams, under Mr. McGrath’s guidance, often topping the Leinster Schools table. Now, TY Omar Abdelwahed has joined that winning tradition, having achieved 3rd place in n the Ulster Squash Junior Open 2018 in his first season in the Boys U-17 category. Omar played some amazing squash to come back from two games down to win the game 3-2. Well done, Omar!
Our Own Little Zorro?
In the dark times of Spanish Colonial administration of California, a masked hero emerged from the shadows of the Los Angelean pueblo: a champion of the people who used his mastery of the sword and his quick-fire wit to fight injustice and puncture the pretensions of the arrogant and bloated overclass. Well, Claudio Sosa is obviously the Conlethian Zorro! Anyone who has him in class knows well about his undisputed rhetorical ability and the senior fencers of Ireland are quickly learning about his skill with the blade. Claudio (and classmate James Moriarty-Smyth) are competing now as adults, and Claudio has already racked up two bronzes and a gold on the senior circuit. Recently, he finished third in the West of Ireland completion (notice the facial hair on his competitors!) and now he has been crowned Intermediate Champion. Claudio is ranked 8th amongst Senior Fencers in Ireland and he is only 14! In other St. Conleth’s fencing news, we proudly announce the passing of the torch (or saber?) from Michael ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s Fencing’ Li to new Fencing Captain Stephen Rockett and Vice-Captain James Moriarty-Smyth-Smyth. Also making moves is James’s younger brother, Myles, who we see below, accepting a bronze medal at a Newcastle competition. With swordsmen like these, we are obviously in good hands despite that impending zombie apocalypse!
Sisters in Arms!
The St. Conleth’s Hockey Machine keeps rolling! You have already read about our Minor team’s stunning early season success. Now the Senior team are demanding their share of the headline, with a stylish win over Sandford Park. Below you see the pre-match team talk huddle, led by Georgia Weir McErlean (Captain) and Emily Mansfield (Vice) and the post-game celebrations with Georgia again leading the festivities. In-between these moments, was a great game with some lovely team work displayed by all involved. Georgia and little sister Sydney both scored, with Georgia’s coming from a strike from a short corner and Sydney’s from a lovely reverse sweep at the top of the D. Ava’s two goals both resulted from some impressive attacking ‘in the D’. Georgia and Emily’s instructions could be heard throughout, showing their great leadership and passion for the game. And, just like in class, adding a few comical moments to the game too!
This follows a blitz vs. Sanford Park, where our Minors teamed up with the Junior School’s Sixth Class, for an afternoon of good-natured but competitive hockey. We were on the winning side in all the matches, and though our goal-keeper got a bit bored, it was great to see the different age groups working together.
Another Helping of Creamed Corn?
Well, we cannot promise that traditional, dubious American ‘treat’, but we are sure Chef Mark will pull some Halloweeny surprise out of the pot before the midterm break. The already planned delectables are below on our special holiday menu. Mark’s menus can be found each week (from the previous Friday evening) under Information on this website and the meals on offer for each particular day are in the Events calendar. It would be great if parents looked over the menu with their children before the start of the week. This will speed those canteen queues and lead to healthier eating. Now, anyone for some succotash?
St. Conleth’s Maths teachers, both Junior and Senior, do not let traditional boundaries limit their enthusiasm for the world’s favourite subject! They have already earned 125% of the regular Leaving Certificate points and now they are giving 110% in promotion of all things ‘STEMmy’ during Maths Week 2018. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Nigel Tunnel would be proud! You have already heard below how our teachers are turning St. Conleth’s into a veritable ‘Manga High’. And now, with Maths Week upon us, they and their students are buzzing around like free electrons! There will be the usual, maddening Maths puzzles each day, a special Sudoko Challenge on Thursday, an extra special ‘Maths Magic Show’ by Mr. Toal on Friday and a session of ‘Dating Tips for Mathematicians’ somewhere along the way. And Ms. NiAonghusa is going to take her First Years to a special Maths Week Event, ‘Can You Engineer the Code?’, down the block at Engineers Ireland. Watch out, Singapore!
Cross Country Camaraderie!
Mr. Keenan does not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, he practises what we preach and issues an open invite to all students, both Junior and Senior School to join him on his Track and Field outings. As you can see from the photo below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years. And we do not just do quantity: there were some quality runners hidden amongst this horde of student athletes which Mr. Keenan led over the mountains and through the trees to the ‘Brother at Your Side’ Cross Country Meet in Santry. And our boys and girls showed great sportsmanship and camaraderie, too: the Juniors, in particular, as they decided to race as one block at the back, biding their time to make their move towards the front. Unfortunately the race ended, just as they were about to shift a gear upwards. Regardless, it was a beautiful day and everyone involved enjoyed the run and the craic. Stay tuned for more Track and Field adventures with Mr. Keenan!
Francophonic Fun… in Bundoran?
We always knew that the Donegalese were the most civilised of the Irish, and that Bundoran is up there with San Francisco and Milan as far as cosmopolitan capitals of the world, but the fact that there is a top-notch French Language/Adventure Centre there, is still a pleasant surprise to some. Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley, of course, are not surprised, as they have been running the Annual Third Year Trip for years now, having taken on that mantle from Ms. Sheppard and Ms. Brotelande. And once again, this year, the trip was the perfect mixture of language lessons, indoor and outdoor adventure fun and good, old-fashioned bonhomie and camaraderie. And during the archery, surfing, climbing, rappelling, French lessons, obstacle course, tasty meals and sneaky midnight rendezvous, there were plenty of interesting, un-planned events happening on the sidelines, but alas you will have to be satisfied with the rumours and the gossip, for, as we all know: What goes on in Bundoran, stays in Bundoran!
A New Dynasty?
Will the Class of 2024 SCT rival the of the legendary, record-setting team of 2016? Well, the First Year rugby teams are off to a good start: winning again, beating Sandford Park with strong performances from numbers 1-15, as well as off the bench. Well done to coaches Ciarán Smith, John O’Brien and David Pogatchnik and Head of Junior Rugby, Louis Magee. Below you see a team photo, as well as the boys warming up, and some pics of the behind-the-scenes work which is essential for a successful rugby system: all-years training and bonding sessions, classroom talks and tactics and our coaches completing a ‘safe rugby’ certification. HOS Gavin Maguire is justly proud of his coaches and players.
Good Grief, Greif!
Are you sure that is safe? Yes, we know we have molly-coddled our kids to the point where they risk and fun intolerant, but throwing them off Dun Laoghaire Pier with only wetsuits, helmets, flotation devices and security drones to protect them? Well, Past Pupil Sean Greif (Class of 2005) reassured us, we relaxed and the First Years had a ball.
Sean is taoiseach of Moontour, an innovative language adventure centre and for the past few years we have been sending various year groups down to him on Dun Laoighaire Pier for some cúpla focal and a whole lot of fun and the kids always come back happy, tired and satisfied. Ms. deBhal and Mr. Gahan were the lucky teacher escorts this time, and they brought back the action shots you see above and below.
Sixth Years Enjoy Action-Packed Retreat
Do you remember when retreats involved a lot of hushed voices, hastily drawn symbolic etchings and vague expressions of well-being? Well how about zip-lines, fire-starting, fish-gutting and sing-alongs? Yes, we believe that the Sixth Year Retreat to Ovoca House in Avoca has been a change for the better.
Never before have we heard a 100% approval rating from the students involved and it was not just because the hosts kept them moving with fun-filled and challenging activities: the boys and girls did do proper, traditional retreat stiff too, such as team-building, goal-setting and reflection. It was just that the whole overnight (x2!) trip was so well-planned and well implemented, it satisfied both the needs and the wants of those involved. A big thank-you to Ms. deBhal and Mr. Carvill for taking part so enthusiastically.
Together, We Are More!
Think of any of your favourite Power Rangers’ tagline and they all seem to apply here: Together, We Are More!; Back to action!; Go go!; The good guys are here!; It’s Mighty Morphin time- Okay, maybe not the last one, but certainly Mr. Porzadny and his select team of Conlethians are our super-heroes! They completed the Dublin Simon Community HomeRun charity five mile race in Phoenix Park on Saturday, raising important funds to battle homelessness. Students from all years took part, including a few Sixth Years, just back from a gruelling three day retreat. Everyone was in high spirits and several were in tights: and they looked great, as you can see below.
The Best in… The British Isles?
Conlethians are rather used to ‘All-Ireland’ titles: chess and basketball immediately come to mind… but to be the ‘Best in the British Isles’ is clearly another step up! With a slight sympathetic nod to republicans, we nevertheless will enjoy this new ranking for all it is worth! Apparently, our students have been digitally attending Mangahigh in droves and getting most of their challenging Maths problems correct. So much so, that we are now the top-ranked school in all the British Isles… and apparently that includes both Sark and Inisheer! Some of this success must be credited to our ICT Department: Mr. Travers and Mr. Porzadny are like Sheldon, BB-9E and Santa Claus wrapped up into one great big huggable user interface! The Google Chromebooks are particularly popular, as you can see Ms. Dillon’s class enjoying the portable digital experience, but so is our ICT room, where you see Ms. Leary’s class opting for the wired version of digitally interactive education. And the algorithms say that our Maths teachers, both junior and Senior, also have much to do with this success. Probably. But let us not forget an earlier technological invention: the Paperbook. Its death has been greatly exaggerated, and below you also see Third Forms reading ‘old school’ books such as ‘Tom Sawyer’ and the like. Another valuable wireless experience!
The members of the PE Department at St. Conleth’s are actually rather open-minded and experimental for a bunch of jocks. In between hitting the free weights (only the massive ones) and buying the latest protein bars and tight T-shirts, we try to introduce the students to a variety of sports and activities. Our latest venture was down at Herbert Park, where the rugby and cricket loving locals were rather shocked to hear bellowed cries of ‘Batter Up!’ and ‘He’s no pitcher: he’s a belly-itcher!’ The Third Years, after a brief period of confusion with the rather arcane rules, seemed to enjoy ‘the Great American Past-Time’, especially the gear and the jargon. Franco proved a natural at catching; Andre hammered a ‘grand-slam’; Evan, the two Oisins and Daniel were ‘painting the corners’ and Ignacio cleared the ‘ducks from the pond’. Stay tuned for curling and flagpole-sitting!
Our Minor Hockey Girls are on a roll! Now 2-0, after beating Our Lady’s- Terenure 5-0. They have scored 10 goals in League play and allowed none. Well done to the girls and coaches Ms. Leary, Ms. Speller and Ms. Stanley. Here are match reports from some of the players, themselves.
St. Conleth’s vs. Our Lady’s Grove
It started off with a very unusually quiet bus ride to the scarily big grounds of UCD. With the aid of Ms. Stanley, we finally conquered the grounds and made it to the pitch. We started our warm-up: a treacherous two laps of the pitch, followed by stretches. Finally, the very late Our Lady’s Grove showed up to face their fears. Then it began: Sasha took tip and we were off. After many unsuccessful trips to the D, we finally got a goal an amazing full power shot by Sasha, followed closely after by another. Then it was half time and our amazing team talk followed by our cheer that could be heard everywhere on the campus. Within no time at all, we were already up 3-0, all goals thanks to our amazing striker Sasha.
Then the magic happened…. Our Lady’s hit the ball over their own end line and it was a long corner to us. Caoimhe raced and got the ball and with an amazingly powerful shot (for such a small human being) she hit the ball into the back of the goal scoring a tremendous fourth goal.The match finished with an amazing score of 5-0 to us and all of us went home with smiles on our faces until it started to rain. Simply amazing! By Caoimhe & Alanna
St. Conleth’s vs. Our Lady’s- Terenure
It started off with a not so quiet bus ride which was thanks to the return of Sydney, after she had been previously injured and not been able to play with us. We bopped along to some classic pop while the First Years looked on in confusion. We arrived at Our Lady’s- Terenure with Caoimhe and Sydney battling it out to lead stretches. Then it was quickly onto the pitch and we got Tímea all kitted out in her amazingly marshmallow-like goalie gear. The captain for our first league match was Caoimhe, with Alanna as vice-captain. We lost the toss-up but still started strong. There wasn’t much activity in the backs as the forwards battled for their first goal. After slight toing and froing Jennifer got our first goal after being set up very nicely for the deflection from Sasha’s powerful shot. She managed to get the ball into the bottom left corner. After our first goal, Caoimhe and Sydney both got a goal each, making the score 3-0 at half time. A few substitutions later, the three first years, Ciara, Olivia and Sophie, joined us on our battle towards victory. With some amazing passes, outstanding blocks and great teamwork we managed to make the final score 5-0. By Alanna & Caoimhe
Over The Next Fence!
Another term, another fencing season…. This year the blade bar has been upped: James Moriarty-Smyth and Claudio Sosa, having been selected by Irish Fencing, are now fencing at Under 17 level on the European Cadet Circuit. Last weekend the Conlethian pair, along with 10 other selected foilists, represented Ireland at the inaugural leg of the 2018/19 circuit amid the impressive surroundings of Bolton Arena, Manchester. Despite both of them being two of the youngest competitors, they gave it their all. James very narrowly missed the DE tableau of 128 fencers, ending the day ranked 135 out of a field of 170. Claudio ended ranked 143. The numbers may not seem that impressive at first, but remember, both boys are fencing above their age level and that the competitors are the best in Europe. And the is just in: The European Fencing Federation website now lists both James and Claudio with European rankings, courtesy of last weekend’s competition in Manchester. James is ranked 400th out of 538, while Claudio is 417th out of 538. Not bad for two kids who can barely get into a 15s movie on their own! See some of the action below, as well as one last shot of Fencing Captain emeritus, Michael Lee, as he hands his foil to new Captain Stephen Rockett and Vice James. (Thanks to Robert Smyth for news and pics.)
What Are They Doing In There?
In his many years at St. Conleth’s, Mr. Callaghan has often drawn the attention of the wider school (and the smoke alarms) while cooking up some science in the school laboratory. Comparing him to the mythical Dr. Frankenstein is a bit rash, but let us just say that one day last year, after Science class, there was suddenly a new, slightly odd-looking member of 2A who sat in the back row for a couple of weeks, said little to nothing (therefore, standing out!), and eventually dissolved into a bubbling puddle of protoplasm in the corner of Room 2 (the stain is still there!). This year, Mr. Callaghan has scaled things back a bit, but he is still creating exciting science! Recently, he had First Years in the lab to make ‘fake cells’, a simple but still fascinating experiment. Even more fascinating, was the way Mr. Callaghan got a group of First Years to concentrate for over an hour on a task which did not involve blowing something up, though Mr. Callaghan promises that explosions are definitely on the agenda!
Style and Substance
We expected nattily dressed gentlemen and girls in gorgeous gowns and we were certainly knocked out with the style, but we also knew there would be a more important aspect of the Class of 2018 Debs’ reception at St. Conleth’s: a spirit of honest affection and appreciation, tinged with the tiniest bit of regret that we will no longer have these charming young men and ladies all to ourselves.
College degrees and career destinations were not the only topics of conversation on the evening: there was plenty of looking back as well as looking forward, with plenty of smiles and laughs about the years, whether two or twelve, these young adults spent growing up with us. After a very pleasant reception in the Performance Hall, the Conlethians headed off with their dates to Marco Pierre White’s for a meal to match their stylish attire. Well done to Mrs. Ivers and the other organising parents and to Past Pupil Michael Dunne for taking these amazing photos!
Principal Donal ODulaing and School Captain Tomas Clancy led the first Senior School assembly of the year, but there was plenty of support, especially regarding musical accompaniment. We always have an assembly at the end of September: a sort of ‘taking stock’ and ‘looking forward’ moment. Mr. ODulaing once again combined timely tidbits of wisdom from Irish popular culture and the sporting world to inspire us all to even greater things this year. Leading the way to these ‘great things’ will be School Captain Tomas Clancy and the other officers and captains who make up the Student Council. The rhetoric was skilful and significant but so were the musical interludes: First Year Giacomo Donlon and Sixth Year Matthew Rockett delighted the crowd with their piano pieces and Eva Stylianides sang a memorable version of ‘A Thousand Years’ (see and hear below!), backed by Rory Clarke and Sam Lynch. And Joe Gallagher, our resident crooner, smoothly delivered ‘Streetcar’, accompanied by Matthew on piano.
Some of the promised great things are already happening! Our golf team was saluted for their recent efforts in the Leinster tournament and we heard the news that Oisin McGinley has joined the European elites! Oisín has been selected to represent Ireland at the European Youth Parliament this year. His selection was based on his performance at the National event, in Cork, when he was in Transition Year. The event takes place in Rotterdam, from Oct 13th to 21st. Oisin is one of only six students from Ireland!
Thursday Night Lights!
As fans of ‘Friday Night Lights’ would know, in most of America (the red bits, that is), the biggest night of the year is the first high-school football game of the season. Bright lights, parades, homecoming queen, an impressive range of pulled pork delicacies… the whole shebang. At St. Conleth’s, the equivalent is the start of the Debating Season. And though we may not believe in all that razzmatazz, Chef Mark does cut a pretty smokin’ pulled pork sandwich, and it is very clear that debating is as essential to St. Conleth’s as the School Concert, ‘Colts vs. Crocs’, Ann Cramp and the Tuck Shop! Well, the Junior Leinster’s started last Thursday and from the opening kick-off, we knew that the Conlethian Debating Dynasty is here to stay. With Head Coach Conor ‘Belichick’ White in charge, there really was never any doubt. The Power Twins (Evan and Oisin) topped the tab, opposing the motion “That this house would abolish advertising aimed at children”, vanquishing such storied opponents as Loretos Dalkey and On the Green (the Dallas Cowboys of schools debating) and Belvedere College. And the other members of the team did very well indeed, and, again, against some stiff competition: Joymarita Ratinikanth, Trevor Bolger, Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney. Their motion was “THW: Remove the voting age in exchange with a voting test’. Stay tuned for news of the Juniors’ second round and debut of our Senior Team. This just in: The Twin Powers (Evan and Oisin) debated again over the weekend, placing in the top 10 (of 64 teams) in the first round of the National Junior Mace competition!
What are Those?
The dearly departed, and sorely missed, Mr. Bolger was known for his collection of shoes. (Have no fear: he has only departed to Naas, which is a strange place, indeed, but not quite the great beyond!) Anyways, Mr. Bolger’s footwear collection included an incredible array of runners, trainers and outright sneakers, and many a rainy day on the sporting pitches of St. Conleth’s did we gnash our teeth in jealousy of Mr. Bolger’s Gore-Tex wrapped little hoofs. And though Mr. Bolger is now prancing around the Curragh, another member of staff has ‘stepped up’ to take the ‘Imelda Marcos’ crown. She shall remain nameless, but clearly Ms. Halpin’s latest artistic tour-de-force was inspired by her colleague! First, the students ‘borrowed’ an incredible range of footwear from their homes, from sturdy Clark’s to confectionery Jimmy Choo’s. Then, the haul was assembled into a stately pile in the middle of the art room. Finally, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year art students were encouraged to create some interpretive drawings of this idol of mammon. And the results speak for themselves! But just in case you have your sound turned off, ‘creative, original, endearing and stunning’ immediately come to mind!
Uisce, Teanga agus Craic!
TYs enjoy a day of water-sports and Irish at Moontour, an innovative language adventure centre run by Past Pupil Sean Greif (Class of 2005). More details from Ms. Dorman, as Gaeilge:
Chuaigh lucht na hIdirbliana (TY) go dtí Dun Laoghaire an Mhairt seo caite chun lá a chaitheamh ag déanamh sport uisce as Gaeilge le hiar- dhalta St Conleth, Sean Greif. Bhí an-lá againn. Rinne siad ‘kayakadoireacht’ agus léimt on gcé (pier jumping!) Bhí an aimsir go hiontach, bhí an t-uisce ina chlár agus bhi an craic go maith! Thapaigh Jack Buckley an deis foto a fháil le Brendan Gleeson ar fheiceáil dó é ag siúl sios an cé, rud a chur an-áthas air!
School Self Evaluation is a very important process which we undertake each year and it is an integral part of our School Improvement Plan. Here are the latest versions of the documents detailing our efforts in these essential aspects of school development:
The revolution continues. And this is no long, drawn-out insurgency in the hills. This is Castro riding into Havana, with all guns blazing! Yes, a couple of years ago we went fully co-educational. And yes, we allowed them to play their rather darling girls’ sports, encouraging them with the politest patter of patrimony…. but we did not expect them to take over the gym and the pitches and hog the headlines! Coaches Helen Speller, Elaine Leary and Chloe Stanley must be beside themselves with joy (and HOS Gav Maguire, too, of course!) as both the Minor and Senior teams started their seasons with stunning success at Alexandra College on Saturday. The Minors (1st + 2nd Years) battled manfully to a 0-0 draw, in their first match on a full-sized pitch, with Sasha and Katya leading the charge. And the Seniors, in the first-ever official St. Conleth’s Senior Hockey match, won a thriller 3-2, with Eve (twice!) and Vanshika rippling the nets and Georgia proving a stalwart in defence and Eva immense between the sticks. So, rugby boys and basketball boyz, it is over to you!
S.cience T.renier E.ngineering M.aths
Mr. Trenier is multi-talented mountain of a man. His Cavan neighbours know about the range and depth of his rodeo talents: from steer roping through steer wrestling to steer riding, he has mastered them all. We all know him as TY Co-Ordinator supreme (more on that later!). And give him a white coat and stick him in a laboratory and another facet of Mr. T. emerges: Master of all STEM!
The Junior School Science Club (Tue. @ 3:45) is quickly learning about this side of his skill set. Drop by the lab on Tuesday afternoons and you will here all sorts of solutions bubbling, cathodes emitting and artificial intelligences lamenting the absence of a soul. But don’t be afraid! It is all in the name of Science and Mr. T. follows the strictest of safety protocols. This Tuesday, the Junior kids fashioned their own simple robots and set them free (briefly) to draw the perfect circle. ‘Perfect circles’ sound quite Mathsy to us, and guess what? On Thursdays, Mr. Trenier runs an After-School Maths Club, too!
No Magic Bullets…
Even School Captain emeritus Harry Mansfield, who very soon will be handling real ammunition as a Defence Forces Officer Cadet, had to admit: there is no magic bullet for doing well on the Leaving Certificate. Yes, consistent hard work seems to be the only key to success, but there are plenty of little tips and nuances which were teased out by Harry and fellow hi-fliers from the Class of 2018: Emer Healy-O’Reilly (Medicine-TCD), Oisin Gilligan (Science-UCD) and Gavin Nugent (BESS-TCD). The audience, the Class of 2019, hung on every word, seemingly paying more attention to these young veterans returning from the front lines than we old, armchair generals who are always banging on about the same things! Mr. Carvill once again organised the affair and once again it was an undoubted success: you could just feel the steely sense of determination in the room as the recent alumni wrapped up their comments and the current Sixth Years immediately got down to work!
Chrome Book Heaven
That long-awaited new album by Gary Numan? No, it is simply where we are living nowadays at St. Conleth’s, as our latest advance in ICT has taken the school by storm! Whether it is rolling them in for an interactive tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in English class or researching the latest Elon Musk entrepreneurial shenanigans in Business or finally getting the alchemy going in Chemistry, the Chromebook have been a real boon to the forward-thinking teachers at St. Conleth’s. They even come in handy in After-School Study, where marking schemes and sample answers may be perused without the periodic pings of social media. Of course, the jet-setting Junior School teachers have been at it for years! Now, we can join them at L&C’s for a leisurely latte as the kids quietly tap away at their touch-screens…. of course not! These early days Chromebook adventures demand careful guidance and supervision from the teacher, which we can see Ms. Phelan providing below. Now, once they are established and the students are well coached, Skyping your class from a cafe (or other beverage dispensary), near or far, is a distinct possibility!
All Changed Utterly…
Yes, the terrible beauty of the new Junior Cycle has been born… but to be honest, things really have not changed much. All the traditional subjects are gradually switching over to their new Junior Cycle versions, with more student-centred and skills-activities and more continuous assessment, but the three ‘Rs’ are still the heart of the curriculum and good teachers are still good teachers and young people are still, given the chance, eager to learn. Some of those eager learners can be seen below, in the familiar environs of the front steps of 28 Clyde Road, totting up the plentiful As, Bs and ‘Merits’ and a good few ‘Distinctions’, to boot! From the days of the old Intermediate Certificate, through the glory days of the Junior Certificate, and now at the dawn of the Junior Cycle, St. Conleth’s has always given these state examinations their due reverence, and the students their due preparation, and we have celebrated on those steps with many cohorts of exam-takers over the years, but we also know there is more to school than exams, and more to a child than results, and it is this more inclusive and holistic approach that is at the heart of our school. By now those certificates have been framed or filed away, and the TYs are getting on with some of that ‘holistic’ education under the guidance of TY Co-Ordinater Alan Trenier. They have already been adventuring in Carlingford, sailing in Dun Laoghaire and treading the boards with drama guru Seamus Gallagher. Stay tuned for more!
First Year Rugby Enjoys 3-0 Debut!
We have decided that last Wednesday’s stunning start to the St. Conleth’s rugby season, with First Years winning all three matches, deserves a bit more attention! Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee (and Celestial King of All Sport Gavin Maguire) must be very proud of their First Year players and coaches (Messrs. O’Brien, Smith and Pogatchnick), indeed. In the annals of St. Conleth’s Rugby History, rarely have we seen a rugby team begin with such chutzpah and bravado in the locker-room… and then actually back it up on the pitch! The participation rate, particularly in First Year, was almost 100% and we encourage the boys to keep turning out. Everyone played their part, but below we see some of the leading try-scorers (mind you, only some of them): Russell Bolger, Harry Cooper-Reid, Matthew O’Leary, Luke O’Keefe, Luke Timlin and Daniel Fagan. Alumni might recognise some of the names: Matthew is the little brother of Ryan (the famous scholar athlete of the Class of 2015) and Harry is the cousin of Myles (the famous entrepreneur of the Class of 2011 ), proving that there is something special in that Conlethian blood! The coaches were also thrilled to see so many parents on the touch-lines. If we keep up the support and the training attendance, these boys can go places!
All Day and All Night!
We all know what ‘All work and no play…’ does to Jack but for many youngsters the opposite situation applies, yet the outcome is the same! We recently saw the happy faces of the Class off 2018 as they received their results; well, the happiest of them were on those who put in the work and reaped their just reward. One way of getting that ‘work’ in is to avail of our After-School and Night Study programmes. They are already in full swing and space is limited, so come on in (into the Performance Space/Study Hall) and give it a try. If you like it, then sign up and pay through Easypayments on this website. All the details are attached here. Happy Studying!
And They’re Off!
Sings of the change in seasons: shorter evenings, darker mornings, leaf fall… and Conlethian fencing triumphs! After a short summer break, which James and Claudio spent raising heck in Morocco and Mexico, respectively, our dynamic duo returned to international competitive action against serious fencers from all over the UK and Ireland. It was the Youth Four Nations in Cardiff, and of course, the boys came home with their usual bag of swag, and a bit of swagger, too. Claudio and James won Bronze in Sunday’s Team Event, while Claudio also took Bronze in Saturday’s Individual Mens Foil Event. Well done to the boys, and their road weary parents. And the busy fencing season is just getting started!
A Walk on the Wild Side
We have cultivated, nay, invented a good-natured competition regarding our Past Pupil accomplishments: Who has been more influential, the STEM-siders or the liberal artists? Well, here is one alumnus who strides both sides of that artificial line. Colin Stafford-Johnson (Class of 1982) has been filling British and Irish TV screens with stunning wildlife photography and insightful, knowledgable commentary for decades. So, Biology, English and Art teachers of yore, all take a bow! What is Colin up to now? Well, paradoxically in a culture of digital dominance and ephemeral video bites, the grand Victorian tradition of the ‘Talking Tour’ has returned with gusto. It seems people do want meet, see and listen to real people in the flesh, and share in their extraordinary experience. Well, there is no-one with more tales to tell and experiences to recall than Colin, and I am sure the moors, the bogs and the mountain-tops will come through in vivid colour and their wildlife will spring to life when he walks on stage and takes the mic. See the dates and details of the tour below and stay tuned for more St. Conleth’s Alumni News!
It did not take long for our First Year Boys and Girls to find a suitable and satisfying place at St. Conleth’s. Yes, the first few days were a bit hectic with three way subject splits and multiple room switches but all that confusion had a noble purpose: to give as much academic choice as possible to the newest Conlethians. And there were the usual negotiations around the water fountain, canteen queue and break-time ball-games in the yard but they are all part of settling in at No. 28 Clyde Road and part of growing up. There to give a helping hand to our ‘freshmen’ were Mr. Carvill’s small army of Fifth Year Mentors, old pros at cultivating the culture of St. Conleth’s.
Of course, our Juniors are also settling in and one place which is new to all is the Art Room. With acres of space and copious amounts of light, it is the kind of room that just draws you in and you simply don’t want to leave. Past Pupils Mati Remi (a great artist himself) and Muireann Dempsey dropped by for a visit and were duly impressed. Below you see Junior School Art Teacher Ms. Mellon with some of her budding Bacons at work!
Actually, the students did not look dazed at all, hitting the ground running on their first day of the new school year at St. Conleth’s College. Yes, some of the teachers may have had a somnambulant glaze as they struggled to adjust their seasonal clocks and certainly some of the parents looked a bit punch-drunk (and relieved) as they jettisoned their precious cargo at the door (of our newly renovated reception area) but the boys and girls themselves were full of vim and vigour and decidedly gung-ho about the start of a new school year. Yes, the Juniors may have been more willing to reveal and revel in their enthusiasm, but even the coolest of the cats in the Senior School cracked a smile, admitting it is not such a bad thing to be back at school, when that school is St. Conleth’s!
Our Juniors got right back into the swing of things with a full school day!
But Junior School Principal Tony Kilcommons and Preparatory School Principal Dolores Kelly knew their staff were up for it!
While the first batch of our Seniors opted for the taster menu, whetting their appetite for the whole shebang on Thursday!
Welcome (Back) to St. Conleth’s!
We are sure all our students, old and new, are eagerly looking forward to the start of school (and perhaps their parents even more so!) so we are giving you all the information necessary to make it a great start. Start of school dates and times can be found under Events, as well as on our calendars which are always available, along with booklists and information on uniform and the canteen, under Calendars and Information, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior) to our uniform supplier, and our Canteen deposit page on Easy Payments Plus. We will see you all over the next few days, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at 28 Clyde Road, but in the meantime checkout some of the further developments to the St. Conleth’s campus accomplished over the summer.
A Photo Finish on LC Results Day!
There is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition, especially when the end result is a shared victory. On Leaving Certificate Results Day, in a sense everyone is a winner as everyone gets that piece of paper which serves as a key in unlocking their future. Obviously, there is always a range of results and myriad paths forward. We congratulate all of the Class of 2018 for working to the best of their abilities and responding so well to the guidance of their teachers. We particularly congratulate the three young men pictured, who each managed to garnish 589 points and top the class. Conor Power, David Loftus and Simon Pettitt will all be heading where they want to go come September, as will the rest of our recent graduates and we wish them all well at university and beyond. Stay tuned as we await news of offers and acceptances and a more detailed breakdown of results.
For a relatively small school, St. Conleth’s punches far above its weight in many areas, including alumni accomplishment. You have read all about our scientific, business and artistic alumni hi-fliers below, but now we have news of a Conlethian past pupil making waves in a very different talent pool. There we were minding our business en route to the Jordan Peterson rap gig when we were suddenly addressed with a mighty ‘Yo!’ from across a crowded Starbucks. Lo and behold, Eskimo Supreme himself approached with hearty greetings and warm reminiscence. See, once upon a time, Mr. Supreme was known as Alex Sheehan (Class of 2014) and we had the pleasure of his company in Latin class. Alex showed his verbal dexterity (and, yes, his ‘verse-atility’) even then, often handing in his own lyrics, or those of noted American rapper Maximus Minimus, instead of the the requested lines of Catullus.
Whatever his homework assignment accuracy, Alex was always friendly, witty and energetic and these qualities have come to the fore as he has forged a now international career as half of Ireland’s foremost rap duo, Versatile. With millions of views on YouTube, feverish media attention (including the venerable New York Times), a contract to be the ‘face’ of Lifestyle Sports trainers ads, and an upcoming, headlining gig at the Olympia, Versatile are already big, and getting bigger. And the Conlethian connection runs even deeper. For who is the ‘third Verasatiler’, the shadowy figure behind the decks, laying the beats and tinkering with the tracks for Eskimo and his performing partner Casper, and approaching George Martin- status in the rumours and whisper of the Irish music scene? None other than Evan Kennedy, also of the Class of 2014, and the dominant musical performer, producer, guru and roadie of the St. Conleth’s music scene during his six years at the school. Due to some rather mature (but usually ironic) lyrics, you will have to search up their music on YouTube yourself, but hurry up: Eskimo Supreme and Co. are going places!
East Africa 2018: The Lasting Effect
By now, the young Conethians who were part of Expedition East Africa 2018 have settled back into their cushy South Dublin teenage lives: a barbecue at the friends or relatives, a jump off the 40 foot, a daily hour (or six) on Instagram, a burrito at Tolteca and maybe a walk out the pier to get an ice cream at Teddy’s… everything is back to normal, nothing seems to have changed… but take a better look at these young men and women. You see the suntan and the fitness, honed over five weeks of hiking and biking under the African sun, yes, but look even closer, into the eyes, and try to see more deeply: ‘where the meanings are’ in the words of Emily Dickinson. The fact is the members of the expedition are changed and will never be the same again.
A new maturity? A more open mind? Less complaints about the choice of cereal in the cupboard? Hard to pin down, but let us just say that no-one who goes on an expedition of this scope and intensity returns the same person. And it is a change for the better. Above and below you will see photos of just some of the adventures and activities which Expedition Leaders Gav Maguire and Dolores Kelly led them through (with the help of Earth’s Edge): hiking through a rainforest, sampling the local markets, teaching (and learning) at local schools, attempting a native dance, biking across the wild plains and, of course, climbing Kilimanjaro. The photos capture much but to truly grasp the value of an expedition like this takes time. Over the years to come, these lucky (and brave) Conlethians will, from time to time, think back, remember and savour again, the experiences of a lifetime.
Stop Doodling, Jack!
Yes, we ourselves were guilty of occasionally shouting that at Jack Siggins (Class of 2009) back when he was in LC Classics and instead of listening to our repetitious yet sonorous description of Alexander the Great’s precise cavalry movements, he was carefully putting the last deft pencil marks to a masterful portrait of the legendary Indian King Porus, sitting astride his war elephant. If corrected, Jack would then launch into a full-throated defence, in the posture and accent of said Porus, and in Broadway musical style, with eager accompaniment by Maurice and Laurence Wright, Gavin Duffy… Yes, there was no denying Jack’s artistic talent (or his wicked wit): it was just the question of finding the proper time and place for its application. Well, we are happy to report that Jack has found his niche and it is at the exiting nexus of art and technology as he has combined his undoubted creativity with digital know-how. Check out his work below (and on Instagram and here) and drop him a line if you are in the business. With all our previous (mostly imaginary) malarkey about a STEM vs. The Arts alumni competition, it is great to see someone who has talent and a promising future in both traditions!
Back to School???
In this splendid summer weather it is almost a sin to mention those three words beloved of advertisers (and, sometimes, parents) but dreaded by most children, even the normally happy and well-adjusted kids of St. Conleth’s: Back to School! But we realise plans must be made, books must be bought… so here are the new calendars and booklists. They can also permanently be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ along with information about Uniform and the Canteen. Now, back to enjoying this summer while it lasts!
No, Really, What Did We Do This Year? *Corrected Edition!
Well, loads, judging by the 47 (!) pages of the 2017-2018 St. Conleth’s College Parents Association Combined Newsletter (*now with the proper 2018 message from Principal ODulaing!)! If you are a parent, check your email or get it right here. Well done to PA Chairs Michael Mansfield and David MacNicholas and all the parents and students who contributed. Perfect beach reading!
And They’re Off!
The St. Conleth’s East Africa Expedition 2018 has landed in Djibouti!
Troll through our news from the last few years (or look below at the highlights of past expeditions) and you are bound to see St. Conleth’s students and Indians, Ugandans, Kenyans, Mongolians and Peruvians linked by tired arms and satisfied smiles. Mr. Maguire (and trusty side-kick Ms. Dolores Kelly) have been leading student expeditions for years and the overwhelmingly positive results for both travellers and hosts are beyond doubt. Well, the inveterate explorers are at it again: a group of select Conlethian students and the expedition company Earth’s Edge have touched down in East Africa, continuing a now long-established Conlethian tradition of partcipation in exploration and develomemet around the world.
These expeditions however are no Brangelina-type dalliances of superficial charity: they involve hard work and it started months ago. Over the last two years the gang have been walking up and down the hills of the Dublin and Wicklow Coast in preparation for the slightly higher (and drier) topography of East Africa. And they have been enjoying (and enduring) several planning meetings with Earth’s Edge representatives in the Conference Room with their maps out and the routes marked in and endless equipment checks. It took a lot of time and toil before they even get to the airport, but look at the happy faces below and know that it was all worth it! You can check out Gav’s presentation here and this Earth’s Edge link for information on the expedition but be sure to check Twitter (@Stconleths) for updates as the adventure continues!
Avoid The Summer Doldrums: Get ‘Food Active’!
An army runs on its stomach and a school runs on its canteen. At St. Conleth’s College we are convinced that Chef Mark McColgan is the main reason why attendance rates are so high amongst both students and staff. A common scene in the early a.m. on the southside of Dublin: “Oh… French test today….I don’t feel very well…wait…it’s Tandoori Chicken Salad today…I’m in!”
Well, you can spend part of this summer not only enjoying those fave dishes, but making them too! Chef Mark is returning with his popular ‘Food Active’ Summer Camp and July at St. Conleth’s is sure to be an exciting and eclectic mix of cookery, sport and fun. Find all the contact details here or above and get onto Chef Mark. Places are limited and Food Active is always the place to be when those long summer days roll in!
It Is How You Play the Game…
… well, yes, it does matter but winning is okay, too! Mr. ODulaing avoided any Oscars-style overt political statements (except for the usual reference to Dublin GAA) at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the string-pulling of Rory Clarke and the skin-bashing of James Moriarty-Smyth, he presided over a dignified yet joyous affair. It was great to see so many students rewarded for their talents and effort but even more pleasing was the general bonhomie and good sportsmanship which characterised the event: we like to win at St. Conleth’s but we know that friendship and teamwork are more important. Without further ado, here are the winners of the academic awards:
and of the sports awards:
And lest we forget the people who will soon run the world (or turn on the machines that do), we also have some group shots of STEM/SciFest entrants, who tend to stick together in groups like the ionic pawns of a crystal lattice structure… obviously for the banter and scientifically themed similes!
Bullets Over Broadway!
The one problem I have with this new TY musical is that all these wiseguys and dames… why do they keep moaning about getting to ‘Hollywood? I mean, whatsamatta with the Big Apple? With Brooklyn?With Broadway? Fuhgettaboutit…. Otherwise, Mr. Trenier’s swansong Transition Year night was a smashing success! Bullets (and sparks) flew across the stage and around the room during the Gallagher/deBhal production of ‘Bugsy Malone’!
This was certainly an ensemble production: with everyone from the sound guy to Fifth Years Joe and Matt on the strings and the bright guy who arranged for the pro lighting and the AC playing important parts in making it such a special evening. The dancers and the gangsters may have had small parts but they all played them perfectly: not a step or a note was out of line (except for a few cracking knuckles!).
But, yes this was a show after all, and there were stars, too: Rian passed the toughest test of all, impressing a native New Yorker with his accent and his chutzpah; Grace out-Tallulahed Bankhead with her style, her voice and, most of all, that pout; Lola matched her sashay for sashay and note for note; James was the most elegant floor-sweeper the stage has ever seen; Manus channelled the Marx Brothers (all of them!) and won the audience’s laughter and affection; and Jimmy and Oisín wowed us by being themselves: wiseguys… but nice guys. The audience ate it up and the perfect setting certainly helped: the Performance Space came really came into its own as a place where we can show off and enjoy ourselves. It was the consummate finale for a amazing year as TY Co-ordinator Mr. Trenier once again organised the perfect mix of courses, projects and adventures to enable his young men and women to really make a transition in their lives. Check out the programme here and snaps (and full video!) of their performance and the Roll of Honour for TY awards above and below. Well done TYs, and get ready for the Real World come September!
The Last Fence?
You knew the fencers would not give up the headlines to all that graduation hullabaloo without a fight. Two fencing parents Kathryn Chambers and Robert Smyth report on the last salvos of another record-setting season, and as you might expect, our young competitors did not fall at the last fence!
Our Conlethians were all on the piste again two weekends ago at the Irish Youth Open. We have three newly crowned Irish champions from the event. Claudio Sosa won both the U14 and U17 categories in foil, Myles Moriarty-Smyth won the U10 foil category and Luke Sherlock won the U14 mixed épée. Claudio, Myles and Luke also won the Pembroke Fencing Club’s best fencer trophies for their categories. James Moriarty-Smyth finished second in the U14 foil and Matthew Sherlock third in the U10 foil.
We are also thrilled to announce that Myles Moriarty-Smyth has been awarded an Adrian Lee & Partners Fencing Scholarship for 2018/19. He ended this season ranked No.1 in Under-10s Mixed Foil both here and in the North. He amassed a record 210 points for his age group, taking Gold in all competitions on both sides of the border. Aside from winning Pembroke Fencing Club’s Best Fencer Award for Under-10s, he also ended this season ranked joint 6th in the Boys U-11s category of the UK’s prestigious Leon Paul Junior Foil Series.
And last Friday, the St. Conleth’s Fencing Club annual competition took place in the school sports hall. The aim of this competition is to put to test the skills of all the fencers in the school, and there was certainly stiff competition to see who came out on top! The 2018 champion was Claudia Sosa (2nd Yr); in second place was Luke Sherlock (1st Yr) and in 3rd, Matthew Sherlock (4th Form). There was a nice mix of 2nd years, 3rd years as well as a couple of 4th formers competing on the day. Other 4th formers also fenced it out in old fashioned style… that is, without electric equipment! There was also the poignant moment captured on film below, when Michael Li, Conlethian fencing god, handed the Captaincy over to Stephen Rocket. Well done Michael on captaining St. Conleth’s during a tremendous period of growth and best of luck to Stephen taking us even further!
And the Winner is…
…everybody! Well, considering how beautifully Graduation Night went last Friday, everybody was a winner and it is almost a shame to separate certain people from that great, big, celebratory group-hug for individual commendation… almost I said, because excellence must be awarded: otherwise, we prove Darwin wrong and might as well go visit that museum in Kentucky! Mr. Porzadny, like a uncanny concoction of Billy Crystal and Johnny Hallyday, again displayed his consummate showmanship and fairness of mind, detailing the merits of the almost-winners as well, with a few students unfortunately displaying the ‘Buzz Aldrin Effect’ (finishing second in more than one category). A detailed explanation of the awards can be found in the Graduation Booklet here. Envelopes please…
A Fond Farewell!
The new Performance Space provided the perfect warm and cosy setting for the fitting finale to the Graduating Class of 2018’s time at St. Conleth’s. Master of Ceremonies Mr. Carvill presided over a beautiful ceremony which mixed prayers, music, words of wit and wisdom and a considerable amount of style. Some of the boys have been at the school since First Class while the girls joined us just two years ago, but all involved seemed full of bittersweet emotions at leaving a place which for them had very much become a second home. Mr. Gallagher ‘s opening liturgy once again reminded us all of the ethos which helps make St. Conleth’s such a welcoming place and the speeches and awards which followed both recalled the good times of the past and the promising deeds of the future. Of course, this being St. Conleth’s where we are never at a loss for words, the musical challenge (detailed below) was more than met on the rhetorical front by Captain Harry Mansfield, Vice Captains Gavin Nugent and Emer Healy-O’Reilly, Principal Donal ODulaing and PPU President Donal Milmo-Penny. And Eoin MacNally did right by the legacy of Mr. Kelleher with a stirring, personal tribute to ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s’. All the speeches captured perfectly the nostalgic nature of the evening and Rory and Corey’s carefully composed (and hilarious) slideshow provided the perfect backdrop for their musings. Even better was Rory’s Tarantino-esque commentary afterwards: the boy already sounds like World Cinema auteur! Of course, awards were on the agenda and the The Mr. Porzadny Show is getting so popular we fear we may soon lose him to the Oscars, such is his talent of combining genuine warmth, good humour and technical wizardry. (You can see our winners and their prizes here… soon!) And Ms. Sheppard closed the ceremony with her eloquent but succinct words of celebration (and surely making Mr. K proud!).
It is certainly no coincidence that a new music room cum performance hall was the central feature of last summer’s (and autumn’s) building frenzy . Music is now at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s, including last Friday’s beautiful graduation ceremony. In both the religious ceremony and the awards and speeches event that followed, with maestro Ms. DeBhal pulling the strings, music was the perfect accompaniment for the prayers, thoughts and memories, from Emer’s delicate opening harp piecethrough the plaintive sounds of Lucy Coleman Black on piano; Emer and Ciara Cole’s instrumental duet ‘Morning’ ; Emer and Luke McKay’s slightly more flirtatious duet ‘I Wouldn’t Be’; Jonathan O’Connell’s stirring ‘I Won’t Complain’, backed by Ronan Connor on piano; Rory’s boundary-pushing DJ set (a first at Graduation!); a rocking’ version of ‘Hotel California’ performed by Oisín Dowling, Tim Leary and Alex McCarthy; Tim’s brave solo version of ‘Little Lion Man’ and an absolute show-stopper: ‘Three Cool Cats’, namely Tony Barry, Jack Andrews and P.J. Terry- none of whom really had to step that far out of character for the performance. The evening and the music culminated in the rousing whole-class rendition of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’. And then it was outside for our graduation class photo in front of our gazebo and on to the RDS for a classy dinner for students and staff and surely some classy activities afterwards at Jonathan O’Connell’s. For specifics of those nocturnal celebrations you must, carefully, check social media, but for pics of the ceremony and details of the award-winners look above and below. And here is the Graduation Booklet, a testament to the hard work put in by Messrs. Carvill, Porzadny, Gallagher and Ms. DeBhal and, of course, Ms. Hopkins.
Nicholas Makes Metros!
Congratulations to Nicholas Cunningham Ash on making the U16 Leinster Metro Rugby squad for 2018/19.There were over 500 rugby players (including fellow Conlethians Ted O’Kelly and Keane Acosta) who attended trials over the season and Nicholas managed to make the 35 man squad. Well done, Nicholas. A great achievement! JCT Coach Louis Magee
Things did not look good for the Staff Team in the moments leading up to kick-off. Yes, we had retained the legendary ‘Goblet of Fire’ for over ten years. Yes, we always play a stylish sort of football, which leaves the students and the various Irish national teams which frequent the Irishtown facility gnashing their teeth in jealousy on the sidelines. And yes, the current 6th Year soccer-heads did not look remotely capable of organising the proverbial beverage imbibery in a brewery (or even at Wetherspoon’s in Dun Laoghaire). And yet, doubts had sneaked in and multiplied as the team news leaked onto Twitter: Mr. ODulaing, our Paul McGrath, and Mr. Kilcommons, our Tony Adams, were unavailable. Mr. Bolger was pre-occupied with domestic duties and, our talisman, Mr. Ahern, he who had somehow scored three times without using his feet or head, had moved on to a different team. And everyone, especially Mr. Trenier, was a year older. And the Sixth Years had Marlon.
But Pat McGrath, our Director of Football, showed up with a bag full of tactics, having recently returned from the Soccer Academies of the Basque country. And he and Mr. Latvis managed to field the perefct mix of veteran guile and youthful (relative) energy. Answering the call were ‘T-Dawg’ Trenier and ‘Show -Me’ Sheridan, the well-seasoned anchors of our defence; Mr. ‘Hightower’ Magee, an agile giant in the leftback position; Mr. ‘Ace’ O’Brien, who brought his skater-punk ethic and fashion sense to the right wing; youngsters ‘Dig it, Dag it’ Doggett, ‘Pretty Boy’ Murphy, Shane ‘Robertson’ Robinson and the crossover duo of Mr. Gahan and Sean Ingle. There were some ‘adjunct’ staff, too: another Mr. Latvis, who teaches Applied Latin on Saturdays; Gavin Sheridan, our night watchman; and Dr. Jack Nolan, who once moved some chairs for an Alumni Dinner a few years ago. Tirelessly pursuing Marlon all over the pitch, and partially disrobing him, was our resident, hard-nosed ginger midfielder: ‘Wolverine’ Lonergan. And contrasting in style, but just as efficient, were Mr. Conroy, who played wing with modern language flair, and our Wellness Guru, Mr. Porzadny, who played right back while in a permanent state of ethereal bliss.
To be fair the students gave us a great match, and the football was surprisingly flowing. Except for one titanic, manly mid-air collision between Trenier and McKay, which seemed to rip a hole in the space-time continuum, most of the play was stylish and pleasing. There was a bit of whinging on the students’ side about some good, old-fashioned tackling, but the youngsters did also manage to play a bit: Alex Murphy was strong in goals; Ronan Connor combined some American-style athletic play with attempted continental skulduggery; Gavin Nugent brought the strength and Pedro brought the style (and one dirty tackle); Tim Leary never stopped running; Conor Power was as solid and noble as ever and Rory was avant-garde in his moves as he is with his movies. There was a strong supporting cast, and, of course, Marlon. That old football commentary of ‘A different class! A different class!’ was ringing in our ears every time he took the ball and floated through midfield. But we had some style, too. A Mr. Latvis scored a stunner of a free-kick; Shane’s tireless efforts chasing everything down yielded a hard-won goal, and our part-time, night watchman Gavin Sheridan launched an unstoppable blast from another dead ball. Okay, there was a bit of Stoke in our Barcelona, but… job done, Goblet of Fire retained!
The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cow-paths of Ringsend and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday. All the usual suspects were there: Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire, witty yet deadly efficient Head of All Sport and Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Keenan, our rightly selective Bestower of Medals; the teachers, enthusiastically shouting ‘Go!’ and ‘Foul!’ for the umpteenth time; and, of course, hordes of tuckshop-fueled adolescents, bouncing up-and-down with adrenaline and competitive zeal. This last group spent the day, or at least the mid-afternoon, running, jumping and throwing things with glee and either winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns. Yes, we said running…
or just hanging out!
The deck was stacked against the Staff basketball team from the start. The Sixth Years (the Man City of schools basketball) had a veritable All-Star team ready to roll, having recently bought up most of the available free agents at the trading deadline, including the expensive foreign imports, Marlon ‘Air’ Marishta and Michael ‘Lethal’ Lee. What could the Staff team do but resort to the time-honoured Irish method of trying to nip a victory with heart and grit (and a bit of hold and trip) or, at least, making the loss as difficult and as bloody as possible! There was also some native talent on the student team: Conor ‘Tower’ Power performed his usual, thankless task of impersonating a Wisconsin farmboy and methodically pulling down rebound after rebound; Oisín ‘Puck’ Gilligan floated around the 3-point arc all day like his Shakespearean hero, flitting from side to side and occasionally inflicting dagger treys; Alex Murphy, despite feeling a bit queasy as it was all a bit cosier and sweatier than a lawn tennis match at the Fitz, still managed to make some spirited drives; Luke ‘McHey’ McKay’s quickness, dexterity and cockiness transferred well from rugby as did Gavin Nugent’s heart and hustle; and Captain Harry launched shots from every possible position and angle, even making a couple. Coupled with Marlon’s F-15 assaults on the rim and Michael’s lethal defence, it is no wonder the Staff team felt the pressure!
Coach Sean Ingle’s dramatic, just-in-time, tip-off arrival harkened back to 1970 when Willis Reed stumbled out of the locker-room at half-time and spurred the Knicks to championship glory. And the support of the many watching student fans 9both Junior and Senior), decidedly Staff supporters, gave us extra impetus. Our own ‘High-Tower’, Mr. Magee, battled nobly with the student giants; relative youngsters Gahan and Robinson ran and jumped with abandon; and Mr. Lonergan brought his usual Wolverine effort to loose ball pursuit and Mr. Sheridan showed a bit of French flair with his passing, all complementing true pro Ingle’s masterclass in floor generalship, but in the end, alas, it was not to be, as the study march of time and Mr. Keenan’s quick whistle eventually did us in. It is a good thing we not have long to wait for revenge: the Staff are looking to extend their ten-year unbeaten streak vs. Sixth years on Tuesday in the annual soccer match in Irishtown!
A Bright, Bright Sun-Shiny Day!
Every year in early May, as the TYs trudge onto the coach for the Gaisce hike, the irrepressible Gav Maguire always treats them to a virtuoso performance of the Johnny Nash/Jimmy Cliff classic ‘I Can See Clearly Now’. He nimbly cavorts up and down the aisle of the bus, effortlessly reaching the high notes and hi-fiving and back-slapping as he predicts a ‘sun-shiny day’… and lies through his mellifluous teeth! Because, despite Gav’s upbeat and sunny disposition, it always rains on the TY Gaisce hike!
And not just a ‘soft day’ drizzle…the boys usually get the kind of downpour which turns the Wicklow mountains into a series of torrents and mudslides. Well this year, the clouds came and went, but it was on the whole, actually a bright, bright sun-shiny day and even the notorious curmudgeons in the class begrudgingly admitted that they enjoyed the experience, completing 31km over two days! It was so much fun that Gav did it again with Fifth Years the following week! Well done, Gav, on the singing and the hiking, and, of course, to Mr. Bolger, Ms. Speller and Ms. Long for providing the accompaniment!
All this recent falafel about art, music and cooking has annoyed the STEM lords and stirred them to action! You previously read here how the Sixth Years did so well in the IMTA competition. Now, Ms. NiAonghusa sends us a wrap-up of the other goings-on in Maths this year, and to be fair, they have been busy!
Michael Donnelly and Coleman Hegarty qualified for the Junior Maths Competition, hosted by Oatlands College. Qualification is through a open but rigorous examination, and to have two students from first year get selected is quite an achievement.
Sixth Years enjoyed trigonometry al fresco in Herbert Park, where students mimicked Hipparchus of Nicaea, using their theorems (and calculators) to measure real-life geometric shapes.
Second Years explored the exciting realm of three-dimensional figures, by making ‘nets*’ (and decorating them with interesting ads). *A “Geometry Net” is a flattened out three dimensional solid (a three dimensional shape) — like a cube, a prism or a pyramid. When you cut out the “net”, fold it and glue it together you can see what the three dimensional shape looks like.
Of course, there is always lunch-time sudoku to pass the time.
And, far below, you see a panoramic shot of all of 1B exploring their ‘median’ height. It will be interesting to see how this line-up changes over the years: sometimes the late-bloomers pass out the early birds. Watch out, Lucas! Come on, Shane!
Conlethians: Here and There!
Regular readers might surmise that we have no editorial process at all, but St. Conleth’s is such a busy place that we actually do have to sift daily through a pile of news and events, trying to determine what is ‘fit to print’. For example, look what happened in and around 28 Clyde Road, just in a couple of days, last week: 1) Mark Hainbach, School Captain of the Class of 1973 and current administrator with the Ballsbridge College of Further Education, visited to give Fifth Year students a careers talk and to chat with his old rugby coach, Mr. Keenan. 2-3) Mr. Bolger’s Geography Second Years (and Trevor’s drone!) helped Ordnance Survey Ireland with mapping Herbert Park 3) A motley soup of Fifth Years goggled through the window at After-School Study 4) Juniors photo-bombed Gav’s SCT photoshoot 5) The girls torched the boys in tag-rugby! 6) The Friday Champions League entered its crucial stages 7) Latin Second Years pick their flores like Proserpina and 8) found some interesting graffiti and 9) joined with Ms. Leary’s First Class for an impromptu picnic. 10) Sixth Years practise their graduation song. 11) Classics kids had a civilised discussion about Hellenistic sculpture. Busy, busy, busy! 12) And this just in off the wire: We previously reported that Ciara MacNally had finished a hard-luck second (by 1 pt) in the Leinster Girls Golf Competition, but due to a correction in the handicap calculation, she has now been declared the winner! Well done!
La Grand Finale!
We bestow the title of ‘TY Masterchef Français’ as carefully as the Americans choose a president so it should be no surprise that it takes three rounds to pick our winner. But now it is all over except for the tallying of votes and the licking of spoons. The grand announcement of the winner will be made on TY Night but below you see our four finalists and some of their classmates and teachers enjoying the student chefs’ culinary creations.
Or should we say rarae aves? Our First Years do not need much to get them excited so when a real, live pigeon flew in through the window of their classroom, there was pandemonium! Ms. NiAonghusa came to the rescue and immediately noticed what must have ‘drawn’ our feathered friend. The amazingly realistic student artwork on the wall above! Said bird was quickly (well, eventually) humane captured and released by a Ms. NiAonghusa-led strike-force, but in his short time at his desk he managed to attain a rather impressive mid-level academic ranking in the class! Tweet!
First Order: Summer Exam Schedule!
We do cozy, cuddly, and, dare we say, ‘quirky’ very well at St. Conleth’s but sometimes we have to be structured, organised and precise: that’s when we call in the Maths Teachers! Assistant Principal Ms. NiAonghusa, amongst her other duties, is in charge of our exams and she once again has delivered an an efficient and understandable schedule. Below (and under ‘Calendar + Information’) are the overall schedule and links to PDFs for each individual class (including Third Year Bock Classes). The individual exams for each day will also show up in ‘Events’. Good luck!
The School Concert not only annually awes and delights its audience: it also serves as a useful musical primer! From classical piano pieces through Irish harp compositions, from heavy metal thunder through avant-garde originals, the concert this year once again ranged across the gamut of musical formats and styles, with the only constant being the excellence of performance.
Anything new? Well, Ms. Fay and Ms. DeBhal, our resident musical maestros, went for a more efficient programme this year. Yes, we enjoyed the Woodstock-like rambling line-ups of years past (and the accompanying 26 minute tambourine solos) but the genteel residents of Ballsbridge were getting fed up with the ad hoc camping, hemp stalls and double-parking caravans.
This year, the music was as ethereal and imaginative as ever but the organisation and management of the show made it seem a bit like the annual conference of the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands. A great combination: beautiful music and an early dismissal! Check out the stills above and extensive high-lights below. And, parents, please do not listen to just your own prodigy progeny: enjoy them all. The talent below would rival any Voice or XFactor final!
Master Chef, Français!
When the Dynamique Duo of the French Department, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, sat down to discuss what innovative/interactive/’make your colleagues’ classes look boring in comparison’ lesson plans they could come up with for Transition Year this term, short courses on ‘Great French Military Victories’ and ‘Parisian Metro Manners’ were mooted, but in the end they went with what we know the French really are best at: cooking.
And so was born Master Chef Français! And so, Ms. Crowley and Chefs Mark and Emerson recently led the Transition Years through two gruelling rounds of their Master Chef competition. No, ‘gruel’ was not actually on the menu but innovative versions of pizzas, omelettes, pancakes, salad and croquettes were! And it is not over yet: stay tuned for le grand finale!
Double Silver at the East Leinsters!
Mr. Keenan’s track and field boys and girls were at it again last week, this time at the East Leinster Athletics Championships in Santry, and once again his motley, merry minions returned with medals! Fifth Year Tomás Clancy found a sport in which he could compete while still maintaining his monologue about social justice: race-walking! And his was no mere pedestrian effort: Tomás took the silver medal in his first ever race-walk! Tomás dedicate this win to the ‘world-wide distribution of wealth’, to which we all look forward, but we also eagerly anticipate his next race-walk. Imagine what Tomás could do with a bit of experience under his belt!
The storied athletics venue of Morton Stadium also witnessed our First Year Sidney Weir McErlean adding to her already impressive list of sporting achievements (Gaelic, hockey etc…) by winning the Silver in the 200m. Well done to our two medalists but also to all who took part: the dozens of Conlethian athletes giving it there all in a variety of events, from the long jump to the shot-putt, including the First Year girls relay team who would have won another Silver except for a technical disqualification. It was a great accomplishment for the boys and girls and a ringing endorsement of Mr. Keenan and Mr. Maguire’s efforts to mix athletics into the sports schedule this past few years. Stay tuned for the Leinsters!
It is all about the abbreviations these days in education… and you probably have not yet even heard about the CBAs and the FoQs and the rather scary-sounding SLARs? But that is for another day… sometime after our Junior Cycle Inservice, next Thursday! Well, in comparison, CSPE is old hat: pretty much old-school Civics with a new coat of political correctness. But the kids learn real-world ‘stuff’… and actually enjoy it! We recently heard about Mr. Bolger’s Third Years’ foray into Wicklow. Well, Mr. Gahan’s First Year CSPEers are giving them a run for their headlines: a few weeks ago they had a Bake Sale Action Project (AP) that raised over €225 for the DSPCA (another oldie but goodie). And just recently, a representative from that worthy group dropped by to pick-up the cheque (and learn whether most Conlethians were either Blood nor Crips). So. CSPE on the AP for the DSPCA…OK?
The Home of Debate
We were already the ‘home of debate’ in the way that Brazil is the home of football but with John Carvill perennially hosting the Junior Mace in the Senior School and Dr. Fallon the same with the annual AIJS debate, we are literally the home of debate! Dr. Fallon once again organised and ran a spectacularly successful AIJS Debate at St. Conleth’s this past Wednesday. Ten schools took part with more than twenty teams competing. Loreto on the Green narrowly won the overall competition with the St. Conleth’s team of Emilio Sadofschi, Russell Bolger and Turlough Dineen taking second place. Luke Timlin and Turlough were also named Best Speakers of each chamber. Luke and his team-mates, Richard Caldwell and Kazim Haider, won out their room and the third team (Lochlann Flynn, Nicolai Bjerke Morris and Louis McGovern) won their first round but lost in the final. Not a bad showing for the home-side! And six Senior School debaters were on hand to serve as the impressively impartial adjudicators, more evidence of the special partnership between St. Conleth’s Junior and Senior Schools.
Fraternité and Fun!
Well, not quite, as both Transition Year and Fifth Form are now co-educational, but 1/3 of the French national motto serves well in describing the close relationship between the Junior and Senior Schools of St. Conleth’s, and when Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, the dynamique duo of the French Department, and Mr. Sheridan are involved, you know all this Francophonic co-operation will also be a lot of fun! The Transition Years used fun and games to teach grammar and usage to their Junior School fellow francophiles, and such was the craic (French?), the youngsters were learning about such things as prepositions, imperatives and l‘imparfait without even knowing it! And, of course, since the educational theorists say that the best way to learn is to teach, the TYs came out of the experience winners, too!
TYs, By the Seaside!
Cross-curricular was the name of the game as our TYs united under the flags of Chemistry and Geography, and the leadership of Ms. Phelan and Mr. Lonergan, for an educational ramble along the seaside. Ms. Phelan reports:
We were in Whiterock Killiney – not far from Bono’s house (and a famous Geography teacher’s)! Chemistry were studying the effects of acidification of the ocean due to the absorption of excess Carbon Dioxide. This essentially means that shell fish must be very worried about their houses dissolving: a whole new dimension to the problems of homelessness! We also looked for evidence of enrichment with Phosphates and Nitrates (possibly due to sewage) which causes algal growth and ultimately bacteria populations to decompose the algae, thus depriving the water of oxygen. Not good news for Spongebob, Patrick and all in Bikini Bottom! Meanwhile, the Geography kids were studying beach-drift and different rock types and measuring the height of the cliff… with a bit of stone-skimming on the side!
Yes, we all enthusiastically welcomed the arrival of full co-education a couple of years ago and, yes, we knew that the old ‘boys club’ mentality at St. Conleth’s would have to change as the girls arrived in greater and greater numbers… but did they really have to take over the place so quickly? Especially in sport… formerly the exclusive fiefdom of us troglodytes? First, it was the basketball girls winning matches despite numerical disadvantage…. then, the First Year Hockey girls made it to the Leinster League Final (in their first year!)… and, now, the Minor Tennis Girls win their first match 3-0 over Sanford Park! The boys are doing their best to keep up, with our Minor Boys team losing narrowly… but at least they looked dashing in defeat!
Girls Tennis (Remaining Matches)
May 4th v Teresian School at Donnybrook TC 2.0pm.
May 8th v Loreto Balbriggan at Balbriggan 1.0pm.
La Vie en Rose!
Mr. Porzadny took Transition Year to see the French Film “Le voyage de Fanny” at the IFI. They also enjoyed a lovely voyage of their own, in the sun along the Grand Canal and through Merrion Square and Trinity College. A nice easy day for the TYs…. and they needed it because now starts the hard work on their year-end musical, Bugsy Malone!
Who is King (or Queen) of the Castle?
Somewhere back in the mists of time, not long after the Norman invasion itself, Mr. Peter Gallagher inaugurated a Castle-building Competition amongst the First Years at St. Conleth’s and over the subsequent centuries it has developed into one of the most prestigious competitive events at the school. The rules are simple: build a castle (by yourself, not with your parents or architect uncle!) and earn points for historical accuracy and creativity. We always enjoy the influx of inspired and even outlandish concoctions which for a few weeks take up every horizontal surface in the school. Apparently, not all Conlethians build their castles merely out of air!
This year, Ms. Speller was in charge and, having been raised in a fortified tower house somewhere well within the Pale, she certainly had the required experience to draw the best from the boys and girls. We have castles made of Lego, wood, styrofoam, cardboard and some gooey stuff of which Mr. Callaghan took one sniff and retreated to the lab for his gas-mask! And who is the 2018 ‘King of the Castle’? You will have to wait till the Awards Ceremony for the dramatic announcement. Until then enjoy the pictures below of the semi-finalist castle-builders and their creations!
Mr. Keenan’s Athletics Army Assembles Again!
Those bellicose tweets hurled daily across international divides have thankfully come to nothing but here in leafy South Dublin the only army big enough to disrupt the latte-lapping at Lolly et Cooks is the one formed when Mr. Shay Keenan, Godfather of all Conlethian Sports, assembles his Track and Field minions. Such is the popularity of Mr. Keenan’s outings that on days with Cross-Country or Athletics meets we teachers are left alone in our classrooms with our lesson-planning… and jealousy of not earning a place as chaperone on that banterful bus heading north! But it is not just fun and games: our athletes are serious competitors, as evidenced by Sydney Weir McErlean’s and the Senior Boys’ Bronze medals in Cross Country (see pics below). This time it is the whole shebang of Track and Field events on offer at the East Leinster Schools Track & Field Athletics Championships in Santry and we are sure to be in the running (or jumping) for a medal. With Fitness Coach Shane Robertson having started his open Tuesday and Thursday 7:30 runs, we will surely be fitter than ever! The events will be spread over two days, Monday (30/4) and Thursday (3/5), and the full schedule can be seen here. Best of luck to Mr. Keenan, all the boys and girls who are competing and the brave bus driver!
Fencers Climb National Rankings
We can barely keep up with the fencing news and results at St. Conleth’s! This just in off the wire:
Saturday saw a sizeable number of Conlethians, both past and present, fence Senior Men’s Foil at the Irish National, hosted by Irish Fencing and held at Loretto Abbey, Dalkey. The two day event is the high water mark of the calendar as it is the last opportunity for Senior points and therefore the decider for final ranking and international selection.
Conlethians: Philip Cripwell – Silver (in a gripping final, losing 14-15 in the extra minute!); Philip Lee – 7th (Best Veteran); Claudio Sosa – 10th; James Moriarty-Smyth – 18th; Adrian Lee – 24th. And Kathrin Chambers (both alumna and fencing mom!) placed 10th in the women’s foil and also gained the title of Best Veteran!
For the current crop of St. Conleth’s foilists, the day’s results give final Senior rankings of Claudio 29th and James 39th out of a season’s field of 88 fencers. Not bad for a couple of school-kids, fencing against adults!
Conlethians Impress the Sensei!
Last weekend, Fencing Ireland invited a senior coach from the internationally acclaimed Club Jesi in Italy to Dublin. The St Conleth’s College gym was packed to the gills with 26 up-and-coming fencers from all over Ireland.
Coach Filippo Triccoli put James Moriarty-Smyth and Claudio Sosa Smatrala through their paces during two grueling days and each received two private lessons with the Sensei Filippo Triccoli. Luke Sherlock joined them on day two, following a Saturday spent sailing with other Conlethians at the INSS, and he also benefitted from a one-on-one session with the international master. The noble art of Fencing may be relatively new to Ireland, however, its traditions here are firmly rooted in St Conleths’ College!
Mr. Bolger: The Last Action Hero
Like all of us, Mr. Bolger is getting on in years, but unlike the rest of us, who have retired to rather sedentary extracurricular activities, the ‘Badger’ continues to be a dynamo of action: in this case, literally ‘action’ as he led Third Years on their Action Project expedition into the wilds of Wicklow. Third Year student Sophie Lee reports back:
Last Friday the 3rd years did their CSPE hike action project which was for their Junior Cert.
The hike took place in Glendalough and was 10km long, with Nickolay’s selfie stick making repeated appearances along the way. Edwin constructed several useful weapons from recyclable materials en route and Mr. Bolger bravely scared off several mammals which emerged from the undergrowth.
The hike was in aid of Cycling Without Age, a charity in which elderly people are cycled around the locality by volunteers. The funds raised by Third Year will go towards a new bike for the charity.
Fortunately, no mishaps or casualties occurred even though it was Friday the 13th!
St. Conleth’s Hockey Reaches New Heights!
Our First Year Hockey Team pushed Mt. Anville all the way in the Leinster B League final, losing only 1-0, with the girls earning rave reviews from coaches, spectators and even the impressed opponents. Little more than one year on from a historic tip-off in Herbert Park, hockey is already an established and successful sport at St. Conleth’s and Coaches Leary, Speller and Wafer have much to be proud of as we compete at a very high level despite a numerical disadvantage. All of our girls show up with regularity and enthusiasm at the training sessions in Herbert Park and Pembroke HC and the results are a testament to this dedication as the First Year and Junior teams have rippled the nets with regularity this year. In fact, the hockey players have been so successful (and so photogenic) this year that we have had to nudge over some rugby pics to make room on the bulletin board! Another sign that co-education and girls sports are two aspects of St. Conleth’s destined for further growth and success!
The Senior School basketball and hockey teams have thrilled us with their multiple finals and semi-finals and their efforts have added several new trophies and medals to the Sports Department’s mighty bag of swag. The chess team battled honourably in their inter-school competition and is now involved in the internecine battles of their labyrinthine in-house tournament. The fencers, having fought all over Europe this year, were last seen heading outside to settle, like true gentlemen, an argument about Aldo Nadi. That leaves it to Mr. Keenan’s tennis teams to take the Conleth’s colours into the other courts of Leinster and, as usual, the teams are battling at the very highest level. Enjoy some pics of last year’s teams below and take a look at the fixture list, and you will see that we play tennis do it against the best…. and we do it well!
Girls Tennis (Remaining Matches)
May 4th v Teresian School at Donnybrook TC 2.0pm.
May 8th v Loreto Balbriggan at Balbriggan 1.0pm.
Our dedicated Guidance Counsellor Anne Ryan organises an endless stream of visitors, from universities near and far, who speak to the 5th Years about courses, degrees and careers. She also leads them to the various Open Days and on special visits as this recent trip to the RCIS. Ms. Ryan reports back on an afternoon spent exploring a university with exciting opportunities:
On the 13 April, twenty 5thYear students (all aspiring doctors, pharmacists and physiotherapists!) visited the RCSIs new €80m medical education building located at 26 York Street, Dublin 2. Students enjoyed a tour of this state-of-the-art facility, over 10 floors – six above ground and four below which provide medical students with modern ‘cutting-edge’ learning facilities. As well as being the home of the new National Surgical & Clinical Centre, 26 York Street also includes a 540-seat auditorium, a library spanning three floors with 500 study spaces, a sports hall and fitness suite, and has been designed to be both energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
Apart from learning about the schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy, students also learned about the history of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, one of Dublin’s iconic buildings and how it came to be built. They were told about some of the individuals and events which have shaped, not just the College’s history, but local and national history over the past 230 years, including when the College was seized by rebels of the 1916 Easter Rising, led by Michael Mallin and Constance Markievicz.
RCSI is a progressive and innovative environment with a culturally diverse student population. 80% come from outside the European Union, with a significant portion coming from North America, the Middle East and Asia. RCSI is among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). RCSI was the first medical institution of learning to offer a 4-year graduate entry programme for medicine in Ireland and has been a recognised College of the National University (NUI) of Ireland since 1978.
Que Bonita Es Barcelona!
What would you give to spend a few glorious days and sleepless nights with over sixty tweeners in beautiful Barcelona? Well, the St. Conleth’s staff have a rigorous testing and competition regime in place to select the right teachers for the privilege of chaperoning on school trips and those who ‘win’ are always the object of much jealousy…. and a considerable amount of PTSD therapy upon their return. This time, intrepid adventurer Gav Maguire led a decidedly sporty team, made up of Ms. deBhal, Ms. Speller, Ms. Wafer, Mr. Magee and Mr. Robertson. As soon as they are out of quarantine and the debriefing process, we will ask for their impressions, but in the meantime, see what First Year Colman Hegarty and Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth thought of it all:
During late March, 1st and 2nd year went on a weekend trip to Barcelona. After a smooth trip across the sea, we hopped on a bus for a great trip around the city, stopping at the 1992 Olympic stadium, the Sagrada Família and la playa. We went to the hostel for dinner and the next day we were off to Porta Ventura. We tried all the rides and got the coach back to the hostel. On Saturday the weather was not cooperative but we had a great rugby
masterclass as the girls went shopping. Sadly we ended up playing much older players in our match but we still played a great game. The next day we played our second match and once again were outclassed but the girls had a fun masterclass. We made to the airport and on our flight in no time. Gavin, Louis, Ms Speller, Lydia and Shane all were amazing at organizing and keeping everyone in check.
I don’t think any of us expected there to be a time in our lives where we’d wake up at 3am on a cold Thursday morning to put on our school tracksuits, without complaint, and be excited about it.None-the-less, that’s exactly what we ended up doing, to our surprise and that of our parents.Between the buzz of being with our friends and the coffee which many of us had downed on the way to the airport, it was safe to say that the teachers didn’t have a fun time getting us through security.I think the only time the teachers where able to get us all to shut up was when we were finally on the plane and the lack of sleep finally hit us!But, unfortunately for them, it was back to chaos again once we hit Spanish soil. The warmth only seemed to amplify our babble, if anything. How the teachers were able to get through the trip without going bonkers, is beyond me. (Ed.’s note: statement yet to be verified.)
I’m pretty sure the tour guides – who, despite all the mindless chatter, managed to drill a bit of history and culture into our heads – were counting the seconds till they could depart all the noise. But, though they might not admit it, I could have sworn they were hesitant to leave the company of us, Conlethians, in all our friendly glory.The rest of that day consisted of thrilled remarks as we toured Newcamp Stadium – most of them coming from the boys -, messy unpacking, groans at the thought of dinner and victory dances at bowling alleys.
It was an experience none of us will ever forget, to say the least 🙂
The St. Conleth’s U16 Boys Basketball Team torched Blackrock College in the Semifinals and then steamrolled St. Andrew’s in the SDBL U16 Basketball Final. Luke Gilleran won Finals MVP for his dominating yet mobile big man game and Colin Bolger shot out the lights out in both matches, including a Steph Curry-like 75% from beyond the arc against Blackrock. Credit, however, must go to Coaches Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan and the whole team: Luke, Colin, Mark Connor, Neill O’Gorman, Keane Acosta and Nollaig Mulligan, who was co-captain on the day and dropped a legendary dime.
Yes, a small team in numbers but huge in talent and in heart. It has been a long but incredibly successful season for the team. They thrilled the whole school at the Ireland East B Plate Finals as they were part of a memorable double victory (several of the boys also play U19) and then they traveled up and down the country to make it all the way to the All-Ireland B Cup Finals where they lost narrowly and honourably. A fantastic season now goes into the books and room must be made on that groaning shelf for another trophy!
Conlethian Fencers Rampage Through Europe!
The Conlethian fencers, again, went international and grabbed the gold in foreign fields of glory. Poland, Durham (UK) and Northern Ireland all fell to our swashbuckling swordsmen. Details from Robert Smyth…
The Easter holiday period saw the St. Conleth’s boys (come on, girls!) continue to fence across the waters of the Irish Sea:
Claudio Sosa and Luke Sherlock journeyed to Poland for the worldwide Challenge Wratislavia, with Claudio reaching the last 64 in the Boys Under 15 out of 220 and Luke achieving his goal of placing in the top 100 in the Boys Under 14 out of 240 fencers. Meanwhile, James and Myles Moriarty-Smyth returned to Britain’s North East to compete at the Durham leg of the Leon Paul Junior Foil Series. They returned with Bronze medals for Under 15 and Under 11, respectively.
The second week of the holiday saw the whole band travelling North on Saturday to compete in the final round of this year’s Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, and as usual, they returned with medals and trophies: Under 10s – Myles won Gold and overall 1st place for the season and Matthew Sherlock took Silver, after an all-Conlethian final. Under 14s – Claudio Gold and overall 1st place for the season. James took Bronze and overall 2nd place for the season. And Luke won Bronze and overall 3rd place. And you just ate chocolate all break long!
A Gentleman… and a Schol!
We all knew that Daniel Gilligan was the perfect gentleman: no Conlethian had won as many laurels as Daniel in his time at 28 Clyde Road, and no Conlethian had worn them so lightly. Now Trinity College is enjoying the benefits of having Daniel Gilligan as a debater, student leader and downright, old-school intellectual. Everyone knows about the ‘schols’ of Trinity: an elite group of students who are selected by rigorous examination to receive a generous scholarship, including rooms and ‘commons’, a Hogwarts-like daily gathering of the berobed great and good of TCD for conversation, a meal (with ‘Grace’ said in Latin!) and a tipple. Daniel now joins this august company and we look forward to his future battles (rhetorical and otherwise) with rival Conlethian alumni great, Conor White, who is currently marshalling his crew amongst the Ad Astra crowd at UCD. Batman vs. Superman II!
Conleth’s Classics Kids Kick ‘Aes’!
Marcus Aurelius, our departed deified emperor emeritus, would not be happy if he looked down from his heavenly abode and witnessed the current state of his formerly glorious empire: war rages across ‘our sea’; dangerous cults proliferate within our borders; provinces are breaking away and, due to the poor state of the roads on the Roman periphery, it takes over a fortnight for word to reach us of the outcome of our brave legionnaires’ battles! An exhausted rider has just returned from far-off Goatstown with this despatch:
Mount Anville was once again the setting for the ‘Ides of March’ Classics and Latin Teachers Table Quiz and, once again, the panis et circenses were staged with the most pleasant hospitality. But do not let the camaraderie amongst the small and tight Classics set fool you: this was a battle royale and no quarter was expected or given!
St. Conleth’s always shows up with strength of numbers for these affairs and this time we fielded three strong teams: Sixth Years Paul Ralph, Eoin MacNally, Cian O’Mahony and Sterre Van Egmond formed a solid testudo-formation phalanx to do the grunt infantry work. Fifth Years Johnny Barry and Andrew Latvis united with Third Year ‘Ancient Wars Wunderkind’ Matthew O’Farrell and polymath Hugh Etchingham-Coll (called up from the Chemistry auxilia) to perform a function befitting their equestrian status, outflanking many of the barbarians and scouting for future engagements. TY Zachary Carr bravely took on a legate’s roll with one of the more outlandish barbarian outfits, St. Mary’s of Drogheda, though the language difference did hamper communications amongst this motley crew. And let us not forget the all-important rear guard: Fifth Years Maria Azzia and Diletta Santuari (from the Roman ‘home’ counties), dogged TY Joe ‘One Poem’ Downing and another Chem Kid Auxiliary, Oisín Gilligan, intentionally took up a position at the back of the legion to enable the vanguard make a grab for the laurels and the lucre.
In the end, all of our teams did the eagle proud but we just could not match the zealots of Gonzaga where, reputedly (as in ancient Sparta) their hatchlings are cast into a Renalagh ravine if they cannot name the six rivers of Hades soon after birth.
Not Putting Their Chocolate Where Their Mouths Are!
We take Lent seriously at St. Conleth’s and the Prep and Junior School pupils especially like to ‘give something up’ or ‘do something extra’ to honour the special Christian season. This year, one of our Third Form parents, Ms. Tonia Spollen, devised a way they could do both and everyone (except perhaps the dentist) was happy. Tonia’s son Lenny and all the other Prep and Junior School boys and girls (with some pivotal assistance from the Transition Years) gathered up 387 eggs which could have ended up in their tummies and donated them to the Capuchin Day Centre where Director Kevin Crowley ofm will make sure all 386 will end up with people who need a little pick-me-up on Easter morning. The only problem was where to store 385 eggs. Ms. Kelly enlisted the help of her Junior Infants to carefully store and guard the 384 eggs and we are happy to say that all 383 are now neatly stacked and ready for delivery!
LC Orals and Practicals Soon To Bloom!
‘When April with his showers so sweet/ Has pierced the drought of March to the root…’ was Chaucer’s optimistic appraisal of next month but T.S. Eliot’s ‘April is the cruellest month…’ may better capture the mood of Sixth Years with this news: Ms. Killen has released the official dates for the LC Orals and Practicals. But have no fear, and look forward to the bloom, as your teachers are here to help you, especially Ms. Killen who is offering an extra Mock to her LC Spanish students. Here is the schedule:
And Ms. Killen’s Spanish ‘extras’:
Tuesday, 27th March:
Spanish Mock Leaving Certificate Written Exam : 10.00-12.30
Spanish Mock Junior Certificate Written Exam : 10.00-12.00
During Seachtain na Gaeilge even a school which lies at the top of Waterloo and Wellington Roads comes out ‘all Irish’! Not that our Irish Department has ever been shy about celebrating our native language and heritage: for years St. Conleth’s múinteoirí Gaeilge have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the whole school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine, but they certainly déan a ndícheall leading up to St. Patrick’s Day… and afterwards!
Dorman and DeBhal and Fay and ODulaing are the MacDonagh and MacBride and Connolly and Pearse of St. Conleth’s (without the bloody end!) and they have crammed i bhfad níos mó into 28 Clyde Road, turning it into the Gaeltacht is galánta this side of Carna!
What was on the green agenda? As you can see above, First and Second Years got off their tóin to boogie in a special céilí, and Mr. ODulaing did not even need his hurl this time to keep them in time and in line! Each year had their very own Tráth Na gCeist, answering (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from the MacBride to Macklemore and while we were dismayed by The Script replacing U2 as the most commonly proffered incorrect answer but, alas, leanann an saol ar aghaidh! There was also the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians. Below you see Alex Murphy edging out Tim Leary in Sixth Year, but everyone had a go, including our visiting friends from Argentina.
And a new Seachtain na Gaeilge activity premiered this year: a special bodhrán worksop for Transition Year. You can catch the rhythm below, and remember: these boys and girls had just picked up their instruments mere moments before! Well done to all our múinteoirí Gaeilge, whose hard work done in preparation for the festivities meant plenty of craic for the students who enthusiastically took part.
We are very proud of what our students accomplish between the walls of 28 Clyde Road, as well as at school-sponsored events, but we also applaud those who achieve success in other, wider fields of endeavour. You have read here before how our thespians have become Dublin and European stars; how our alumni are accumulating accolades and how our fencers are bagging swag all over Europe. Now, add two individual efforts to that list of laurels: Third Year Ciara MacNally was edged out by only one point (39-38) in the ILGU East Leinster Golf Competition. Ciara also plays hockey for the school and has been a great addition to St. Conleth’s since joining her older brother, and inspiration, Eoin at the school. Leo is a born performer, to which anyone who has taught 1B can attest. Recently he put that love of the spotlight and his polished rhetorical skills to great use, winning First Prize in a poetry recitation competition.
Darth Phelan the Wise!
Did you ever hear the story of Darth Phelan the Wise? It’s not a story the Classics Quiz Team would tell you. It’s a STEM legend. Darth Phelan is a Dark Lord of the STEM, so powerful and so wise, she can use the Force of Chemistry to influence the Second Year scientists to create… titrations. Yes, STEM strikes back after all that wooly nonsense about art and debating! And the First Order of business for Second Year Science students under the new Junior Cycle Specifications is to get them hands-one experience and encourage them to ‘learn by doing’. Ms. Phelan had 2A up in the laboratory doing titrations which, sadly, have nothing to do with midi-chlorians and a lot to do with volumetric measurement, or as Sheldon might say: ‘a common laboratory method of quantitative chemical analysis that is used to determine the unknown concentration of an identified analyte.” This will all lead up to the students’ first CBA (Classroom Based Assessment) a hall mark of the new Junior Cycle where assessment itself is a learning process. (Don’t worry! There is still a ‘proper’ exam, too!) Well, the kids certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, like those giddy Jedi younglings early in Episode III, and everyone who took part got to take home a little vial of their favourite nitrated explosive analyte!
Yes, we dare compare the heroics of Lonergan, Trenier, Weatherley, Mansfield and Steyn with the triumphant return of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins from the distant moon to the welcoming sea: such was the courage and charisma (and splashing) shown at lunchtime on Tuesday. Mr. Lonergan and 2A did the hard groundwork for this biannual fundraiser for the very worthy charity, Mary’s Meals: organising, promoting and collecting for the Sponge-a-thon and No-Uniform day, but we must particularly praise the fortitude of those who put their lives, or at least their dignity and sniffle status, on the line when it came down to actual hostilities.
Lonergan and Trenier are used to this kind of thing: the vales of Tipperary and Cavan breed them tough and ornery but little did we know that the hinterland of Dublin 4 would produce such stalwarts, albeit lovingly wrapped in Hilfigger and Superdry. Funny, super dry is exactly what Rory and Anna remained, as they were tasked with the actual money-counting and, boy, did they do their Math teachers proud: over €500 raised, and proceeds from the Trenier and Lonergan-autographed pictures still to come! Well done to all involved, including the bucket boys such as Oisín and Utkarsh, who soldiered on despite repeatedly taking hits from ‘friendly fire’.
Putting the ‘A’ into STEAM!
Yes, we are proud of the many STEM stars amidst the current student body and our past pupils (see news below) but let us not forget that St. Conleth’s is quite the ‘artsy’ school, too, and Ms. Halpin and the St. Conleth’s Art Department have been for years churning out world-class animators, illustrators and various other experts in craft and creation. One of our current students who is sure to join the list of our artistic alumni greats like Mati Remi, Becky Donnelly and Jack Kirwan is Second Year Ignacio Sadofshi, whose amazing sketches you see below.
Of course, this being St. Conleth’s, we do not just cultivate the already talented: we also install an appreciation for art in the rank and file. Few, if any of us, have the talent to create the masterpieces above, but we all can enjoy art for the chance to express our creativity and even just for the social aspect of the close-knit art-room experience! Ms. Halpin (with the generous support of the Parents Association recently arranged for an oil painting expert, Eilis O’Toole, to come in and give our TYs a a series of special workshops where they can gain some valuable hands-on (and hands-in) experience. As you can see, everyone has enjoyed themselves so far, so much so that they did not even mind helping with the extensive clean-up!
Ms. Halpin explains, herself, the processes involved, regarding both funding and the fun stuff:
I applied for a grant through the Creative Engagement initiative to do a project with a group in the school. The idea is that it is something different to what the students normally do and the teacher is upskilled too. I then contacted the Parents Association to help with funding so I could offer the project to the whole of TY. The first class was a learning process! Prep is essential, research crucial and imagery from which to work, a necessity. Set-up took a long time… We realised oil painting is smelly, messy and a lot more complicated than just ‘putting paint to canvas’. The paints require mediums such as turpentine and oil to make the paint ‘move’. Said mediums melt plastic containers so those glass jars are necessary! Colour mixing is fun but also requires concentration. There was some distress that we had no black (a popular colour with introspective and gloom-loving teenagers!) But we moved on. The first step ridding ourselves of that white canvas with a base wash and now these canvases await our next moves!
Check out the canvases below and stay tuned for news of the next step!
All Aboard! Senior School Sailing Starting After Easter!
Head of Sport Gavin Maguire’s mighty realm extends over both land and sea:
For the last few years in conjunction with the INSS we have run a sailing club. The sailing club will run over 7 Saturdays after Easter. It is for all Senior School years and sailing abilities and has been a great success the last few years. The cost of the club is €140 for the 7 weeks.
Please pay on Easy Payments and print off and complete the booking/permission form which can be found here. Please download and fill out the form and bring it in on the first day of the course.
The sessions will run on the following dates:
1st session – Saturday 14th April (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
2nd session- Saturday 21st April (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
3rd Session – Saturday 28th April (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
4th session – Saturday 5th May (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
5th Session – Saturday 12th May (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
6th Session Saturday 19th May (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
7th Session – Saturday 26th May (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
What to Bring… It is necessary to bring the following items each day:
Change of Clothes
Hat and Sun cream
Swimming Togs and Towel
T-Shirt and Sweatshirt
Old Trainers / Wetsuit Booties / Crocs (flip flops are not suitable for the activity)
Wetsuit – see below
Parental Consent Form – see above Sailing Gear… We will provide a buoyancy aid for you. Please note, we do not approve the use of ‘shortie’ style wetsuits on any of our courses as from experience we find they do not adequetley keep your child warm during the course. We can provide full length wetsuits if required.
Where to Go on the First Day…. We’re located on the West Pier. Landmarks close-by include The Purty Kitchen Seafood Restaurant and the Topaz Filling Station.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday: Normal School Day
Because of the unexpected missed days due to the storm, the planned Junior Cycle Inservice for Senior School teachers has been postponed and Monday will be a normal schooldays for both Senior and Junior Schools.
Applied Maths Class Cancelled
Due to closing of the school, Saturday’s Applied Maths class has been cancelled.
LC Spanish Mock Orals Postponed
Due to closing of the school, LC Spanish Mock Orals are postponed until further notice.
Past Pupil Dinner Cancelled
The Clyde Road Residents Association, the local constabulary and the gendarmes may be relieved, but it is with great regret that we announce that the 2018 Past Pupils Dinner has been cancelled. Full refunds are available. It is the first time in the full seventy years of its existence that the ‘show’ has not gone on. We will leave you with some photos from last year’s soirée to ease the pain and hope to see you all back at your alma mater in 2019!
School Closed: Wed.-Fri.
St. Conleth’s College, both Junior and Senior Schools will be closed Wednesday- Friday, 28/2-2/3, by order of the Department of Education.
Bank! And Your Debt is Gone!
We have been punished over the years with various build-a-bank names which play upon famous film franchises (remember The Empire Strikes Bank and Banchorman: The Ledger Continues?) but we have to admit that The Cillit Bank really pays dividends buy bravely venturing into the realm of household cleaners. It works so well that we have forwarded the photos and promotional pieces to the heirs of Barry Scott, and they said that their lawyers will soon be in touch… obviously to congratulate Mr.Trenier and his TYs! In the meantime enjoy the pics below of the bank’s launch. The professionals from AIB were around to provide shrewd advice and to assure due diligence but the show was all the boys’ alone, as Giorgio Mucciacito, Suyash Patidar and Oisín McGinley launched their student bank with consummate skill and a good bit of panache. The competitions and freebies drew the youngsters in and, like with many a third-mortgage-taker in days gone by, when the smoke had cleared and the confetti had settled, the signatures were somehow on the bottom line! Seriously, a generous bonus was provided by AIB for openers of student accounts and it was a win-win situation: the TY boys gained valuable business experience and the general student body got a whiff of the financial sector’s profits while still learning the value of saving and austerity.
Basketball Gurlz Win Two On The Bounce!
We knew things would be different at St. Conleth’s when co-education took full effect and the girls began to appear in our younger years in significant numbers. We imagined a kinder, softer social milieu at the school, with better manners in the hallways and perhaps an additional request or two, for scented soap in the lavatories or better colour co-ordination of the summer flower plantings, for instance… What we did not expect was a bunch of rip-roaring, backboard rattling, net-snapping gangsta gurlz raising the gym roof with their gusto and running riot over the opposition! So much for the potential debutante dates for the ‘sons of Catholic gentlemen’!
Well, Basketball Coaches Ingle and Gahan have no problem with the vitality and velocity so far exhibited by our First and Second Year Teams as they have showed tremendous spirit in every game, and just last week, emerged with a double victory over Sandford Park. And let us not forget the First and Second Year boys, who also have begun their season displaying considerable amounts of both talent and effort, losing a few close ones and with our First Years winning an exciting buzzer beater. After the U16s and U19s title-winning seasons, and a strong start from the younger teams, it looks like St. Conleth’s Basketball may well be entering a new golden age!
How dare those debaters steal the spotlight! Don’t they know that pride of place on the front page is always reserved for fencers? Sure enough, the swashbucklers were at it again over the ‘break’…
Last Sunday, James Moriarty-Smyth and Claudio Sosa competed in the East of Ireland Open, a Tier A-ranked Senior National Circuit competition, hosted at UCD. In a series of twists worthy of the pen of Dumas, Conlethian youngsters were pitted against some savvy old boys! James ended his campaign against Philip Cripwell (see above!) at the Second ‘DE’ stage. In a parallel ‘current versus past pupil’ contest, Claudio found himself facing Philip Lee, founder of Pembroke and current Irish Fencing President, in his first round of poules! The Conlethian Contingent, both old and new, fenced extremely well, with the ‘New Wavers’ of Claudio and James placing 10th and 31st respectively. Not bad for boys fencing men!
Yes, it is a sign of our tremendous success at debating that we must periodically recycle past debating headlines (see above) as we just cannot seem to keep up with the demand as Conlethians, past and present, continue to dominate the rostra of Leinster, Ireland … and the world! First off: the premier senior debate in Ireland is undoubtedly the Irish Times Debate and Daniel Gilligan, of the illustrious Class of 2016 and current school debating coach, has made it to the final, following in the footsteps of Liam ‘Trophy’ Brophy (2010) who swashbuckled his way to the title in 2013 . Daniel is already a legend at the Hist of TCD (and not for merely playing pronoun games) and had been a fixture (and captain) of the Irish Schools international team throughout his years at St. Conleth’s. And, as you can see below, Daniel also picked up a few additional trophies during his student days, at the intramural, Leinster and national level. (Such success almost erases that memory of getting dunked on (and we mean ‘on’) in Second Year Basketball. Almost.)
The reason that St. Conleth’s is, ‘beyond debate’, the best in the country is because alumni like Daniel and the ubiquitous Conor White (c. 2013) keep coming back to nurture the next generation of Leinster and world beaters. Current Auditor Oisín Dowling and Conor Power made it to the Leinster Senior Semifinals and the Junior teams of Oisín and Evan Power and Joymarita Rajinikanth and Trevor Bolger are into the Quarterfinals. And the ‘house’ debates are heating up, with Oisín Power and Conal Richards winning the first one of the year and the serious ‘trophy’ debates about to begin. So, stay tuned as the debaters battle the fencers and the chessmen for pride of place in the headlines!
Brothers in Gold!
Did we ever happen to mention that fencing is important at St. Conleth’s? We were actually in the process of publicising Philip Cripwell’s impressive accomplishment, when even more news about fencing at St. Conleth’s came through on the wire. Apparently, the notorious (in a good ‘Captain Jack’ kind of way) Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock brothers were at it again last weekend, poking holes in the fences of young fencers up north. It was Round Four of the Northern Ireland Junior Fencing Series and, yes, teh boys came back with their usual bag of booty. In the Under-10 Mixed, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Gold, while brother James copped the same shine in the Under-14 Boys with Luke Sherlock finishing just outside of medals. Philip better not get soft, sitting on that scholarship. Plenty of competition is on the way!
The recent exploits of Philip Cripwell, Class of 2014, marry two of our consistent themes at stconleths.ie: fencing and STEM. Fencing, as you can see above and below, is a consistent good news generator at the school, as training continues for both Juniors and Seniors under Maître David Couper and our merry band of swordsmen gather trophies from far and wide. Of course, fencing has been a part of St. Conleth’s since the beginning, and Philip played a pivotal role in its legacy while a student here, winning at every level in many competitions. And as you can see from this attached letter from TCD, Philip’s fencing has gone from strength to strength since graduation and is current East of Ireland, Irish Open and Senior National Champion, and now the proud recipient of a Trinity College Sports Scholarship. And what is Philip’s chosen field of study? Mechanical Engineering (that would be the ‘E’ in STEM). So, yes, the laboratory and school sports hall can claim equal credit for this latest Conlethian alumnus making the headlines!
All in the Family!
With students and teachers from across the globe, it is very evident that have a diverse community at St. Conleth’s and we are very proud of it. This, of course, does not mean that we have no common ground (or double negatives): our agreed ethos, rooted in the lay Catholic tradition but welcoming to all, assures a unity that underlies any difference in opinion or particular of debate.
Last week was Catholic Schools Week in Ireland and St. Conleth’s did its part to reaffirm this great tradition of education and faith. The Religion teachers engaged their classes with activities based upon the theme of ‘A Family of Families’ and we all gathered for a special assembly. Mr. Gallagher, our Pastoral Director, outlined the significance of the week and the special emphasis made by the Pope and our bishops, tying it all in to the Celtic calendar and the legacy of St. Brigid and Mr. ODulaing made an impassioned connection between our greater mission and our everyday school life.
This year’s theme was particularly suited to a school that prides itself on its family atmosphere. Students took part through their Prayers of the Faithful and special musical performances by Matthew Rockett, Elizabeth Counihan and Joe Gallagher (see above and below). In a time of global fracture and uncertainty, it was reassuring to see our family of St.Conleth’s so multifaceted but united and at peace with itself.
Another STEM Star From St. Conleth’s!
Whatever alchemy Michael Manning, Brendan Doyle and the other St. Conleth’s Science teachers were up to in the school lab over recent decades, it certainly did work! You can read about the multiple American based professors of Maths and Science spawned in the Manning/Doyle lab in our 75th Anniversary Annual and you have read in these very pages about Dervilla Mitchell, an Irish female engineering pioneer, nevermind the Zorin brothers, more recent Conlethian alumni (of the Mr. Callaghan era) who are shaking the very foundations of the Microsoft Empire with ZorinOS.
Well, now they all must make room in the pantheon of Conlethian STEM greats for physicist Michael Moloney, recently named the CEO of the prestigious American Institute of Physics, one of the most influential science organisations on the planet and industry leaders in science publishing and research. Basically, Mr. Moloney is now Tony Stark, Professor X and Dr. Bruce Banner all rolled into one! Check out the AIP and the press release above, and try to pick Michael out in his graduation photo below!
Slightly Altered Mock Exam Schedules
Link to slightly altered Mock Exam schedules follows. (Click ‘more’ and then the link.) Good luck!
St. Conleth’s Chess Teams, both Junior and Senior, have had more than their share of success in recent years and both are currently playing their way through their respective Leinster leagues but we have to admit that taking points from Gonzaga College, where they have instituted a training programme last used by Ivan the Terrible, has always been a particular pleasure. So, when our very own Utkarsh Gupta had the nerve (and the talent and the guts) to make the short journey to Ranelagh and bring home one of the main trophies of the Gonzaga Chess Championship, we feel entitled to crow about it!
Above, you see Utkarsh receiving his prize and, below, the final tally of the tourney: only the top 10 that is, as Utkarsh actually finished atop a list of 82 of the best young chess players from Ireland, and beyond!
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 competition at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock (and Rolle’s) theorem! We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s. Just look at departmental inspection report.! And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Corey, Conor, Simon and David earning a very respectable joint 4th place (of 46 teams) finish. Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz and when the boys were asked, “Do competitions like this, where not only are the wonders of Maths explored, but the very essence of teamwork is enjoyed and the parameters of friendly competition probed, represent the very best of our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-obsessed eduction system?’, Simon replied, ‘Yes.’
And the team of Hugh (c), Harry, Emer and Luke also did well, winning both the ‘Personality’ and ‘Best Dressed’ awards, amidst stiff competition. Well done, Maths guys (and girls)!
Le Text Perdu! Les Voix Retrouvées!
Most Conlethians are notoriously lacking in shyness when it comes to getting up and expressing themselves. This mostly positive and useful attribute must stem from the nurturing, supportive atmosphere of the school… and the many dinner-party pieces they have performed at home since they were ‘knee-high on a grasshopper’. In fact, our students are so adept at speaking up for themselves, we sometimes cannot slip in a word edgewise and most sometimes politely request them to shut the heck up!!! Well, the French Department super-héros Crowley and Porzadny (above, and ubiquitous) have figured out how to get them, momentarily at least, to avatar lemurs langues: ask them to get on stage and speak and act…in French! As you can guess, the silence was deafening when Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny asked for volunteers to inter-act with the professionals of the French Theatre Company, but it was also temporary: slowly but surely, a few brave individuals stepped forward, especially when the protective garb of costumes was promised. In the end, there were plenty of volunteers, as well as a few unwitting conscripts on the day, and a fun and informative francophonic day was had by all. Below you can read about the plot and see action from the play itself.
Our actors have landed a great new job in a professional theatre company. To celebrate they go to a disco and one of them promptly loses the only copy of the script they have between them. The trouble is – they must have their parts learned by Friday. They go to great lengths to locate another copy without success. Just as they are despairing the text turns up. But a lot of anguish has been caused and to pay back the actor who lost the script the others decide to play a trick on him.
The Guidance Department at St. Conleth’s College, like a Jedi Force Ghost, just does not quit! Ms. Ryan and Mr. Carvill are run ragged looking after our students’ needs, both the personal and the academic/career-related. Here are the details of the upcoming psychometric testing for Fifth Years an below we read Ms. Ryan’s account of an important outing for our Transition Year students. Remember, our Guidance Page has more information, useful to both parents and students.
Conlethians Join 7,000 Students at 2018 Student Leaders’ Congress
Students from St. Conleth’s joined 7,000 other teenagers from around Ireland at the 3Arena last week for the 2018 Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders’ Congress. The event, which started as a gathering of 40 students in 2012, is now the largest young people’s mental health conference in Europe. The theme for the congress was #EmpowerYourVoice. Cycle Against Suicide spreads the message tirelessly that “It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”. There were wonderful speakers lined up from USA and Ireland: Dr. Harry Barry, Dr. Eddie Murphy & Dr. Niall Muldoon to name but a few, as well as sports, TV & music personalities, Snapchat and Instagram influencers, students and teachers who spoke about such issues as bullying, suicide and positive mental health. Motivational speaker Kevin Hines spoke of his own experience with suicide. “I live with severe mental illness, but I believe that no matter what issues we struggle with we can not just survive, we can thrive,” he said. A range of other Mental Health Organisations were exhibiting on the day. The students left the Congress with tools that will support them for many years to come.
Avast Ye! Hand Over The Fencing Trophies!
Last Saturday saw more fencing and more swag for the motley band of Conlethian fencing pirates!
The prestigious Excalibur Cup competition in Dalkey yielded the exciting podium results:
Under 10 Mixed Foil – (This time an all Conleth’s final!) – Myles Moriarty-Smyth: Gold; Matthew Sherlock: Silver. Under 14 Foil – Claudio Sosa: Gold; James Moriarty-Smyth: Bronze; Luke Sherlock: 5th. Under 17 Foil – Claudio Sosa: Gold; Under 14 Mixed Epee – Luke Sherlock: Gold!
Raise A Glass to the Explorers!
Dr. Livingstone is long gone, but there is now a kindler, gentler explorer trekking the wilds of Africa: our very own Mr. Gavin Maguire! And gone too is the weighty baggage of messianic zeal and cultural imperialism: Mr. Maguire’s expeditions are an exquisitely crafted mix of adventure and development, mutually beneficial to both student traveler and the local resident. After two trips to India, the focus is back on Africa and Mr. Maguire and his TY/5th Year team members have been walking up and down the hills of the Dublin and Wicklow Coast in preparation for the slightly higher (and drier) topography of East Africa.
Check out the pics above from these hikes but we would also like you to get personally involved… don’t worry, no malaria and yellow sickness shots for you, just a glass (or two) of a fine Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc! Below are more details (pdf) from Mr. Maguire regarding this tasteful fund-raiser (and more on the expedition itself), so have a look and come on out and grab that rare opportunity to do a good deed while having a bit of fun!
On Thursday 1st February the Transition year students going on the East Africa expedition will be hosting a wine tasting. The East Africa expedition is taking part in June 2018 with 32 students from 4th year and 5th year. The students have two big challenges on this expedition: the first and biggest challenge is Kilimanjaro where they will attempt to summit the highest free-standing mountain in the world at a height of 5895m. Students will spend 7 days attempting to conquer the mountain after which they set out on a cycling tour in the Massi Mara in Kenya for 4 days covering over 220km. Once recovered, the students make their way into Uganda to work in a school where they will teach the local students about Irish culture and where the local students will teach the St. Conleth’s students about their culture. The expedition finishes off with white water rafting on the Nile!
Fencers Strike Gold! And Silver, and Bronze…
CEO Ann Sheppard often talks about the storied history which fencing has at the school, and rightly she does, as it goes back to the very foundation of St. Conleth’s in 1939 and contains chapters about national champions and Olympic competitors. Perhaps St. Conleth’s fencing is entering a new golden age as the names Moriarty, Sherlock and Sosa continue to dominate the Irish national junior fencing scene.
This past Sunday saw the Conleth’s contingent in Belfast once again; this time for Round 3 of the 2017-2018 Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. All our young fencers acquitted themselves well, ensuring another medal ‘full house’ was achieved!
Under 10s Mixed – Myles Moriarty-Smyth: Gold; Matthew Sherlock: Bronze.
Under 14s Boys – Claudio Sosa: Gold; Luke Sherlock- Silver; James Moriarty-Smyth, Bronze.
Duo Dynamique Deliver the DELF!
Are the duo dynamique of Porzadny and Crowley again jusqu’a quatre-vingt-dix? (Are they ever not?) Are eyes of our TYS actually reflecting the bright lights of thought and gumption? Did a well-dressed and stylishly-coiffed professeur just douse her cigarette and sweep through reception en route to the Performance Hall? If so, it can only mean one thing: DELF days are here again!
Prendre le train en marche? Yes, schools all over the country are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ and getting into ‘DELF’ these days, but do remember that St. Conleth’s was the first school in Ireland to have its students sit this prestigious French exam. Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley worked tirelessly with Nathalie-Zoé Fabert , the Attachée de Coopération pour le Français en Irlande, to complete the quintessentially French labyrinth of paperwork to bring the DELF to St. Conleth’s two years ago and they made Trojan efforts again last year and just this week, and to be fair to the Transition Years, they responded to their teachers’ efforts and enthusiasm in kind, displaying both zeal and talent on the written and oral exams. And they did all this while the rest of the students had the day off! Soon we will have the results and a little soirée to celebrate!
Mock (ersatz) Exams Schedule: Riddikulus!
imitation, artificial, man-made, manufactured, simulated, synthetic, ersatz, plastic, so-called, fake, false, faux, reproduction, replica, facsimile, dummy, model, toy, make-believe, sham, spurious, bogus, counterfeit, fraudulent, forged, pseudo, pretended… Just thought the JC and LC students would enjoy some diminutizing synonyms of the word which will torment them for the next month or so. Apparently ‘mock’ has French origins… no surprise there! Perhaps more encouraging are the words of Development Officer and guidance guru Mr. Carvill regarding this particular rite of passage:
– I’ve suggested they (the students) go into May mode. This means, between now and the end of the mock exams they should practise what it will be like in May. I describe this as eating, sleeping, exercising and studying. – It would help all the students if socialising stops for this period, so postpone birthdays etc. – Students should not try to get everything done between now and the mock exams, they can’t. They should focus on June and use the mocks primarily for experience. – It is often the case that students get in to a tizzy and end up getting little done because they have so much to do. I’ve emphasised “baby steps” and just focusing on what they have to do next…
So, fresh from Exam Officer Ms. NiAonghusa, here are the exam schedules. Good luck!
Coaches Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan have led their U16 Boys basketball Team on a rollercoaster ride this season, but one with many more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’. The highpoint was definitely the glorious ‘double’ when the U16s joined the U19s as Ireland East B Plate Champions. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger shot out the lights in both games as the whole school rooted them on rapturously. It was one of those days, and games, when everything went perfectly so perhaps it was unrealistic to expect a repeat performance in the All-Ireland B Cup Semi-Final vs. Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, a longtime member of school basketball royalty. The boys endured a long bus ride to Limerick as well as ‘home-cooking’ refereeing but still fought valiantly to the last whistle as their season ended just one step from the national summit. Well done to the coaches and all the team members for taking us all on a memorable ride this year and we look forward to next season!
New Year’s Resolution: Supervised Study!
We all tend to the aspirational rather than the practical when it comes to New Year’s resolutions but here is one which is very appropriate and achievable for our students: supervised study. There are two ‘programmes’: Mr. Maguire’s ‘Night Study’ (click for details) runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Monday and Thursday (except for this week: Wednesday instead). Mr. Latvis’s ‘After-School Study’ (click for details) runs for 3:30-6:00 on M,T,TH and Fri. and 1:30-4:00 on Wed. You must sign-up and pay for each programme separately through Easypayments Plus(though there is a discounted rate for Mr. Latvis’s if you also do Mr. Maguire’s). Study starts on the very first day back (Monday, Jan. 9th) so put away those crackers and start packing those books!
Music is at the heart of everything that we do at St. Conleth’s- in fact, it is at the heart of the school community itself, recently evidenced by the central role it played in our Open Day and the Special School Mass which marked the opening of the Kevin D. Kelleher Wing.
The Senior School Choir justly garners much of our attention (you can see and hear why, below) but we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to deadly effect- Sidewinder, The Backdoor Boys, Head 6 and the various incarnations headed by Evan Kennedy come to mind.
Well, 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 toughest job for musical maestros Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal is to narrow down the playlist- who knows which of the names below is destined to join Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage? Check this playlist for the details and enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.
B-Ball Boyz Do The Double!
We were all thrilled with the SCT’s historical run to glory a couple of years ago, and the girls are quickly making a name for themselves in hockey, but some of us still save a special place in our hearts for the unmatchable heat and hoopla that accompanies the hardcourt drama of a big basketball game. Last Wednesday, we had two big basketball games, as both the U16s and U19s fought for the Ireland East Plate in the cauldron called ‘The Oblates’ in Inchicore, and Coaches Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan and their boys added another two chapters to that short but storied tradition that is St. Conleth’s Basketball. One difference between rugby and basketball is their spiritual homes: the former is still imbued with the fierce but fine manners of the British boarding schools while the latter proudly parrots its swag and jargon from the American ghetto. Both have their charms, but isn’t it particularly heartwarming to see Marian’s Filipino lads and Ringer locals, Castleknock CC’s provincials and St. Conleth’s Ballsbridge-belt boys united by Compton’s gangsta’ style? Over the last few years we have made quite a few trips to finals like these but have been left like Miss Havisham at the altar, with no ring to bring home. This time it was different and it was the Conleth’s boys who bossed it big-time and brought the rings and the nets home… and the house down!
In the U16 game, Luke Gillian was simply Lebron-like: an unstoppable force of nature and he dribbled and drove with a grace that belied his intimidating size. And his partner in crime, as always, was Colin Bolger, he of the uncanny court sense and sniper’s eye, who banged in threes and mere 2-pointers from all over, all afternoon. These two were the stars, but just as when Heron and Purcell were making headlines, a strong supporting cast is essential: Mark Connor continued his family’s tradition of quick, strong and smart play; Neill O’Gorman did all the little things right and sank two exquisite baskets and had a couple of dimes on the side; Dylan Alvezwas like the second coming of Dennis Rodman: a rebounding and defensive machine; and the bench was also a factor, with Keane Acosta and Nollaig Mulligan needed providing some spark and Kai And sinking a memorable trey.
Luke, Colin and Mark all played up (as they always do) with the 19s but there was no fatigue factor despite the long minutes: if anything, Luke was even more bullish bringing up the ball and Colin was snapping the nets with a regularity not seen since Lil’ Scottie Butler in his prime. Of course, Conor Power was his usual tower of power, good-naturedly absorbing some border-line, bush-league banging. Marlon was running and jumping at twice the speed of everyone else and Captain Oisín Gilligan was the voice and dribble of reason, as the Conlethians came from behind and withstood some furious rallies. Ronan Connor was also there to provide some skill and muscle when it was needed and Jack Topliss thrilled his many fans when he came off the bench for some inspirational minutes and interesting chants. There were many lovely dishes on the day but the biggest assist of all was from the fans: Gavin Nugent, John Kelleher and their cohorts kept up the noise throughout the game and willed the team to complete an unprecedented one-day double. The pressure in the building down the stretch was so unbelievable Coach Ingle felt like a barista, but all the lads had ice in their veins when they approached the charity stripe to put the dagger in a Castleknock team that had manfully charged back numerous times. And then, finally, there was the glorious sight of Colin dribbling out the clock and the stands emptying to celebrate a long-awaited return for St. Conleth’s Basketball to its accustomed court of glory!
Merry Christmas… ouch!
No, our fencers do not pause for some holiday bonhomie. In fact, they are even more determined to make their points, as you can see from the latest news form Robert Smyth:
Round Two of this season’s Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series took place on Saturday the 9th amid the august surroundings of the Royal Belfast Academical Institute. Despite the hibernal conditions, the Conlethian contingent once again used their passion for fencing to warm to the occasion and perform extremely well, each ending the day with a medal:
Under 10 Mixed – Gold for Myles Moriarty-Smyth, Bronze for Mathew Sherlock
Under 14 Boys – Gold for Claudio Sosa, Bronze for James Moriarty-Smyth & Bronze for Luke Sherlock.
A TYer reports on their super-successful Christmas Fair:
The TY Christmas tree fair all started in the TY Room, late October. Each student chose a role and a group to participate in the fair. Last week, the preparations began. Christmas trees were bought in bulk, ranging from 3ft to even 14ft, and were brought into the hall the Friday before the fair. Many TY groups made their own products, such as baked goods and Christmas decor, like logs and wreaths, which sold completely throughout the day. Other groups sold waffles, sausage rolls and Christmas cards.
Saturday, 9th of Dec., at 9 o’ clock marked the beginning of our annual fair. By quarter past the school hall was bustling with parents and students alike, many of whom bought Christmas trees right away. The trees were selected, netted by the students and then carried outside where they were drilled. One of the TY parents even organised all the payments and receipts.
The other stalls immediately began making some profit, the Christmas logs and wreaths likely made the most cash on the day, with the confectionary not far behind. By 12pm the Christmas trees were clearing out and many were sent out by delivery, in which two of the TY boys would carry a tree anywhere around Donnybrook and Ballsbridge, and then they set it up in the buyer’s house. Most of us made some money out of tips! Many of the students carried trees all over the local area and even a little further. By 2pm the fair was still going strong, the balloons had sold out and trees were still being delivered. Free tea and coffee were available on the day and some stalls were filled with books and small toys. At 3pm the were still selling strong and some stands, like the Christmas logs and wreaths had sold out and made maximum profit. The pastries and sausage rolls stocks had also almost depleted… everything was a hit!
The TY students all wore Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, this all added the Christmas cheer and even the parents dressed festively. By 5pm, the fair had almost ended, and everything was pretty much sold out. Many students and parents volunteered to stay behind and clean up. I would hope we raised a great profit as 100% goes to the Uganda fund and the rest goes out to the Parent’s Association who worked very hard to help set up everything.
We’d like to thank everyone involved and all who helped out on the day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
A Grand but Tasteful Opening!
St. Conleth’s celebrated its Annual Mass in the new Sports Hall and welcomed back some special guests for the Grand Opening of the Kevin D. Kelleher Extension. The music, as usual, was amazing with Ms. Fay and DeBhal leading the School Choir and several soloists chiming in.
The con-celebrants- Frs. Paul Lavelle, Michael Collins and Noel Redmond- all have a long, warm relationship with the school and they, and Mr. Odulaing spoke movingly about the great strides made by the school and the great man, Mr. Kelleher, who made it possible. It was a significant, watershed moment for St. Conleth’s as everyone from Junior Infants to Sixth Year was able to gather comfortably in our newly extended hall and share in the Annual School Mass, a time-honoured tradition of the school. There were also tours and a Chef Mark-catered lunch for the grandees… and ice cream for the masses!
The Alumnus, The Drummer and The Keeper
Evidently, the fat lady has still not sung…. as Past Pupil and rennaisance man Nick Kelly has continued to push boundaries and mix media in a variety of creative pursuits: first, as the main singer/songwriter of the aforementioned, seminal 1980’s alternative rock band, then as a solo artist and fluid musical collaborator while working a commercial film director and, most recently, as the writer and director of The Drummer and The Keeper, an innovative and daring look at the issues of autism and mental illness through the captivating story of a young man’s friendship with an ageing rock star. Nick was kind enough to invite our older students to a special showing of the movie and then followed it up with a Questions and Answers session back at the school in our new Performance Hall. It was a fantastic experience for the students, as these issues touch many of our lives and Nick was so open and engaging. And our film aficionados, such as Cinema Club president Rory Sweeney, particularly enjoyed this chance to hobnob with a professional. Rory recently spent time working with the Gleesons (Brendan et al) on the shooting and production of a short film and seems destined for a career in the field. Also on hand was fellow Sixth Year Alex McCarthy, cousin to The Drummer and The Keeper lead, Jacob McCarthy.
Oops! We Meant the ‘Ireland East Regional’!
Yes, we got a bit carried away about our recent basketball success… apparently we are not actually in the All-Ireland Cup Final but the Ireland East Regional Plate Final. It is still quite an impressive achievement and we are sure this U16 team will some day fight for national honours. And there is more bombastic bball news: the U19s defeated Naas to book their place in their own Ireland East Regional Plate Final. A St. Conleth’s double… so it is just like the old days. Here are the details of the big day, as dictated by Head of All Sport Gavin Maguire:
The U16s and U19s yet again have reached the East regional Basketball plate finals. The two finals will be played one after the other on Wednesday 13th December. Throw in for the U16s game will be 10am with the throw in for the U19s 11.15am.The Entry fee for the game is 2 Euro. Buses will be leaving after 1st class. All students will be encouraged to go to the game but must have their 2 euro in by Tuesday morning to confirm their Seat.
So, enjoy another glimpse of all our basketball heroes, and book that seat!
What’s All the Hoopla About?
The glory days of basketball might very well be returning to St. Conleth’s, as Basketball Coaches Ingle and Gahan have guided the U16 Boys to the All-Ireland Cup Final. We have not had a trip to the NBA for an All-Ireland Final since the heady days of 2012, and not won one since the legendary double of 2008-9, when immortals named Heron, Purcell and Nolan bestrode the paint like colossi. Now, new names await enshrinement in the St. Conleth’s Sports Hall of Fame: Bolger, Gilleran, Connor, Acosta, Ando, Alves, O’Gorman, Doyle, Patidar and Mulligan. The U16s have put together an all-mighty cup run, culminating (for now) in the despatching of Castleknock earlier this week. And now a big day in Tallaght looms, with the busses about to be ordered and the face-point to be applied.
And our other teams? The U19s may be small in number but they certainly ‘play big’, as they say. Oisín Gilligan, Conor Power, Ronan Connor, Marlon Marishta and Jack Topliss have had help from the U16s ‘playing up’ as they beat traditional rivals Colaiste Eoin (despite the Irish bonus!) and St. Benildus and lost to basketball power Marian by only 1 point. The U19s will too be playing in the Dublin Plate Semifinal. And the U16 girls have transferred some of their gusto from hockey, battling all the way in their first league match and losing only narrowly. Waiting in the wings: the First and Second Year Teams who have been showing up for training in big numbers and eagerly awaiting the start of their season in the new year. So, enjoy the pics above and below and stay tuned for news on that trip to the NBA…. and a chance to share in St. Conelth’s sporting immortality!
Only 5 More Sleeps! The TY Christmas Fair is This Saturday!
It’s this Saturday! Only 5 more sleeps till the St. Conleth’s TY Christmas Fair this Saturday, Dec. 9th, from 9 to 5! Tell your friends, family, neighbours… tell everybody!
Pre-Order Now for delivery on Saturday 9th December!
From: The Christmas Fair Committee, St Conleths Parent’s association
To whom it may concern,
We would like to introduce you to the St Conleth’s School Annual Christmas Tree Sale. This year it is being held on Saturday 10th December. This is an ideal opportunity to source a Christmas Tree for you or your business and to assist a local school in funding a worthy charity.
Since 2010, St. Conleth’s College has worked directly with the Kitatya Secondary Schoola school in Uganda, and last year with the Ever Green National school in Minali, India. More than €35,000 has been raised at the annual Tree Sale and this money has made a direct impact on the lives of school children and their communities. Projects included solar power, staff accommodation, livestock development and educational subsidies for children.
Students from St. Conleth’s have raised their own funds to travel to the schools, to live within the school communities and to exchange learning in language and culture. The legacy of these wonderful journeys has proven profound and lasting for students.
If you, your staff or customers would like to attend the sale on the 9th of December we’d be delighted to meet you and help select a tree. We will also have snacks, free tea and coffee, a range of stalls from our Transition Year students and a raffle with some great prizes.
For this raffle, we would be very grateful if you could consider donating a small prize. Any donation would be greatly appreciated and raffle proceeds too, go directly to our fund.
We have also some publicity material and would ask you please, to display the poster in your place of business. The help of local retailers and businesses in the Donnybrook and Ballsbridge areas has been invaluable in “spreading the word” every year.
Thank you for your time. If you have any queries about any aspect of the Fair, or indeed would like to pre-order your tree, please email email@example.com. Prices are below.
May we take this opportunity to wish a Happy Christmas to you and yours!
The So-Young Quartet!
Everyone knows that Conlethians are the coolest of cats and that 28 Clyde Road is hipster heaven but last Friday we reached new heights of hipness as Piano Teacher So-Young invited some of her musical friends by to help out with the accompaniment: there was Dave Mooney plucking the Double Bass, Conor Murray keeping the beat on the drums and So-Young herself organising the whole affair.
And who was the fourth member of the quartet? Why, a whole slew of Conlethian ivory-ticklers, students of So-Young from First Class to Fifth Year took their turn at the piano stool and under the spotlight. It was a stylishly sonorous affair and, except for the brightness and cleanliness of our brand new Performance Hall, you might have thought you had wandered into some Jazz bar in the depths of Manhattan or Chicago, such was the quality and coolness of the music. S0-Young was justifiably proud of her students and friends, and the parents and guests were very impressed, indeed, with this tasteful and pitch perfect christening of our new musical space.
An Early Christmas Present… Your Exam Schedule!
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:
You have read here about our French debaters. Our English rhetors are currently charging through Leinster (as they have charged through the history of schools debating). And now Gang Gaeilge have joined the party! Bainisteoir Fay had the boys and girls well-prepared and Emer Healy-O’Reilly, Conor Power and Oisín Dowling definitely did not let the tribe down and came first of four schools in this opening round match of the DÍOSPÓIREACHTAÍ AN PHIARSAIGH, run by Gael Linn.
Perhaps the fact that it was a home fixture helped: the presence of feisty muintir na háite such as Paul Ralph, Harry Mansfield and Gavin Nugent certainly did seem to spur the team onwards. This being Irish debating (and this being St. Conleth’s), though the competition was fierce, it was also friendly and tae agus plé tar éis na díospóireachta. Well done to Ms. Fay and the whole team. They somehow found time and energy to prepare for the debate despite having taken part in another Irish Department outing the previous day, attending a performance of An Triail at UCD: a riveting play, indeed… but it does tend to be a bit gruama. It is even more impressive, then, that our team could still find their bronntanas do na gab!
Big Bang Theorists!
Edgar Allen Poe opened his ‘Sonnet: To Science’ thus:
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
Obviously Poe had a problem with the STEM side of the curriculum but he may not have felt that way if he had Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Phelan as Science teachers! Our dynamic duo of Chemistry always run their classes and lab sessions with aplomb, but also with plenty of fun… and then they turn their Bunsen burners up a notch for Science Week! Last week their was a Science Quiz Competition question each day (see below) and all the Science teachers brought ‘hands-on’ lessons to class all week long, as we can see with the ballons and test tubes above. Fifth and Sixth Year Chemistry kids were especially lucky as they were brought to Kevin St. DIT for a special lecture on Forensics. So, Mr. Poe, stick to ravens and the like, for Science’s wings are not ‘dull realities’ but imagination and fun!
Sisters in Arms!
We already were very impressed with Ms. Speller and Ms. Leary’s hockey programme as the girls were turning out in numbers and training and playing with great camaraderie and enthusiasm, but to be honest, we thought that for some time the results would reflect the fact that hockey is just in its infancy at St. Conleth’s and progress would be incremental. Well, yes, it took time (just a few weeks!) and, yes, progress has been incremental… but as in increments of leaps and bounds! Both the Junior and First Year teams are burning up the astro and rippling the nets regularly as they are winning matches way ahead of schedule. The Juniors won last week in a scintillating performance, 3 – 0 over St. Raphael’s, with three different forwards scoring (Mei, Eliza and Vanshika) and Caoimhe, only a First Year, ‘playing up’ and earning the ‘Queen of the Team’ laurel. Ms. Speller was a bit hoarse from haranguing the kids in History class so, thankfully, Mr. Gahan was there to amplify her in-match instructions!
And the First Year team keeps rolling along, and rolling over opponents of considerable hockey pedigree, adding a 5-1 victory to their already impressive record. Sasha and Sydney were joint ‘Ladies of the Match’ and their was an inspiring performance by rookie goalie Siobhan. Determination and skill were on display by Katya, Jennifer, Maria, Lucia and Augustina, all up front and scoring goals and there was fantastic midfield play and defending by Caoimhe, Charlotte and Alanna.
With the girls laying claim to much of the school’s recent sporting glory, and this being close to Mr. Kelleher’s year anniversary, we wonder what the great man himself would have made of such a change for St. Conleth’s. Past Pupil Mary Martin (and mother of Junior team star Elizabeth) observed as such back in October when the girls made their league debut:
I was delighted to be the at the St Conleth’s hockey league debut, both as a proud parent and particularly as a past pupil! I felt quite emotional, it was awesome. Mr. Kelleher would have been so proud of all his girl pupils. In St. Conleth’s colours, they tore up and down the pitch fearlessly, and frustrated all St Andrews’ attempts at scoring. They were great.We’ve come a long way from when we handful of girls were indulged by him with a free day off school for Ladies’ Day at the Spring Show! Today’s match was a fitting tribute to The Boss, in this his first anniversary month. Beir bua cailini Many thanks to all the organisers and coaches, Mary Martin
With such parental support, inspirational coaching and the spirit and skill of the girls themselves, it is clear that hockey has truly arrived at St. Conleth’s, and is here to stay!
The Joy of Poetry!
CityWest was the suitably grand setting for the ceremony at which Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth received her first place prize in the Junior Cycle section of the National Wellread Poetry Award.
The prize itself was a very impressive engraved silver plate, but the real treat was the opportunity for Joymarita to read her poem aloud to the gathering of students, teachers and academics. Joymarita’s English teacher, Mr. Seamus Gallagher, was there, as was her friend and classmate, Julia O’Callaghan. Instead of us waxing less lyrically about Joymarita’s gifts, we have decided to let her speak for herself. Her prize-winning poem follows, as well as a video of her reading at the prize-givng ceremony.
by Joymarita Rajinikanth
I have spent hours upon hours,
Willing it to be,
But the Oh so simple truth is,
I am not made of poetry.
When the script in my head goes blank,
Sweet words fail to roll off my tongue,
In their place come mumbled sorrys,
Sentences not yet carefully strung.
Like that book upon my mantelpiece, untouched for years,
My covers tattered and worn,
But that’s okay because for every loved word,
There stands a page of smudged ink, bedraggled and torn.
My hair never sits prim and proper,
Unlike a poem, sitting neatly on its line.
And occasionally, I feel like a word,
Too complicated for people to define.
I am not a caterpillar discovering its inner butterfly,
Nor am I a bird of prey defeating its competitor.
I’ve realized I’m simply too complex,
To be crammed into one common metaphor.
I like taking my time to think,
Since my thoughts don’t all have to rhyme.
And although a poem once written is eternal,
I have the freedom to change over time.
I contain more emotion than can be written onto a page,
There is no title across my forehead saying ‘This Is Me.’
I can’t be locked into pages of a notebook,
Because I, I am not made of poetry.
We already had a bit of a reputation as a school for ‘culture vultures’: last week’s extracurriculars will only seal it, as all of Sixth Year were treated to ‘La Traviata’ on Tuesday night… and then a good few of them followed it up with ‘Swan Lake’ on Friday! Long ago, Mrs. Pat Kelleher initiated what has become a beloved Conlethian tradition: the Sheppard-Kelleher family invites Sixth Years out to the opera and all the young men and ladies (and a few select teachers!) get all dickied up and they enjoy a night of civilised, cultural entertainment. This year it was ‘La Traviata’ at the National Concert Hall and, by all accounts, it was an amazing production, even rendering principal emeritus, and noted opera aficionado, Peter Gallagher, momentarily stunned into silence! Ms. Fay and Ms. deBahl, our dynamic duo of music, were also duly impressed, but their appetite for the classics was not sated, so they then led their Fifth and Sixth Year music classes up to Belfast on Friday to see ‘Swan Lake’ at the Grand Opera House! Perhaps all this ‘research’ means something… as rumours are swirling that the Transition Year musical this year (in our brand new performance hall) is to be a full-blown operatic (and/or balletic) version of the Lord of the Rings! Stay tuned!
Fencers on a Cross-Border Raid!
If the Conlethian contingent of fencers continue to bring home the booty as they have been doing, there will surely be a border ‘incident’ once Brexit comes in! So, they had better gather as much ‘shine’ a they can before they are charged duty on it! And their performance at last Saturday’s inaugural round of the 2017 – 2018 Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series at Grosvenor Grammar showed just those intentions, as their medal hoard was once again quite impressive. The Mixed Under 10 saw Myles Moriarty-Smyth take Gold, with Mathew Sherlock finishing just outside the medals in 5th and the Under 14 Boys had a full St. Conleth’s podium, after another all-second Year Final: Claudio Sosa took Gold and James Moriarty-Smyth, Silver. And another Conlethian, Luke Sherlock, won the Bronze!
Cool Cross Country Kids Cop A Bronze!
Like Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, Mr. Keenan has been leading a bus-full of Conlethian runners (and enthusiastic hangers-on) to various athletics events for some time now. There have been some significant successes, such as Lucy Colman-Black’s Leinster medal last year, but win or lose, there is always a good-time feel to the trips, due in large part to the presence of such characters as Tomás Clancy, Conor Bourke, Jack Andrews, John Kelleher and Tony Barry.
These boys have been stalwart supporters of every athletics endeavour (and any chance to get of class) over the years, and we are particularly thrilled to see that the miles logged by Tony endlessly pacing the corridors of the school have finally paid off! In all seriousness, the Senior Boys’ Bronze Medal at the Blackrock College Invitational was a great achievement, as was First Year Sydney Weir McErlean’s placing 13th of 190 in the Minor Girls (top 6%!). Well done to Shay and his gang and we look forward to more good news from their next athletics adventure!
It has taken a little while to get the new Art Room settled down, but Ms. Halpin and her art classes are now back up to her already legendary rate of masterpiece production!
Above and below you will see just a sampling of the pieces produced in just the opening weeks of the term and we hope to bring you more as the year progresses. Of course, you can also see current and ‘classic’ student pieces adorning every open space in the school. We are always proud of displaying our students’ best work and loathe to simply hide them way in storage!
We have been sitting on this report on the St. Conleth’s French Debating Team by Maria Azzia for weeks and we have no excuse for the delay, except that we just can’t take our eyes off France 24. Maria, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, je suis désolé!
On the 18th of October, the St. Conleth’s French debate team had its first competition of the year. After a few weeks of preparation, together with the help of Mr. Porzadny, Mr. Conroy and Ms. Sheppard, we arrived at the Alliance Française ready to talk. The team’s captain was Oisín Dowling and the other members of the team were Alex Murphy, Conor Power and me, but we also got helped by Simon Pettitt and Tony Barry, who, even if they didn’t have the chance to debate, helped us with our speeches and were very supportive.
The motion we had to support was “Il faudrait interdire les zoos”: “Zoos should be forbidden”. During the two weeks of preparation to the debate, we thought of all the points in favor of the motion, we decided who would have focused on which one, we worked on our speeches, we ran through them and we gave each other advice. Mr. Conroy, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Sheppard have been very important during this process, since they helped us with the French grammar, the pronunciation, the content of our speeches and they gave us advice about our stage presence in front of the judges and the audience.
Every Thursday we had meetings to improve what we wrote and finally the long-awaited Wednesday arrived. The opposing team was the Dominican College Sion Hill. I could feel that tension was a common ground for both the teams before, during and after the debate. Our team did an amazing job: our points were always coherent to the motion, we had a good stage presence, we rebutted efficiently what the other team said and our rebuttals were appropriate as well. But our opponents were quite good too.
At the end the president of the Alliance Française declared the winners and we weren’t really happy to hear that the winner was the Sion Hill College. The president also said that we were really close to winning, but I think we didn’t leave that room with a complete defeat, but with a reason to get up again and keep working.
We lost the competition but we didn’t lose our desire to keep debating and improving our French, so we’re not giving up on meeting and working on it. This experience, despite its duration, has been important for us and very useful, because it helped us giving us advice for our future and made us grow.
A New Hall-oween!
We miss Mr. Kelleher everyday at St. Conleth’s but there are certain days on which we miss him more. Halloween is one: no-one (not even the various vampires, witches and Batmen) enjoyed the annual ‘Spooks’ Parade’ more than Mr. K himself. He would lead the assorted Junior terrors around the school, invading senior classes with his army of ghouls and delighting in disrupting the humdrum with a burst of creativity and fun. That this year’s Halloween festivities also marks Mr. Kelleher’s year anniversary seemed especially suitable: Mr. ODulaing and Fr. Collins presided over an assembly that perfectly mixed the celebration of the holiday with the remembrance of the man who was its ringmaster for so many years. That this day also coincided with the opening of our new sports hall seems uncanny: no-one over the last 75 years did more to promote the development of the school than Mr. K. We are not too sure if he would have personally used the ‘Fitness Suite’ (being a bit ‘old skool’ himself regarding his personal fitness regimen) but he would have understood its potential and he certainly would have been delighted with the Performance Hall which is soon to grace the treetops of Clyde Road. Mr. Kelleher loved to hear the students show their musical talents, and the Halloween assembly provided a tantalising foretaste of the treasures to come, as Eoghan Fitzmaurice’s Dubinersesque ballad and Emer Healy-Kavanagh’s classical harp piece bewitched us all.
The Pro Shots Are In!
Yes, we entertained you with those live-action shots of the Class of 2017 Debutants Ball, but even the iPhone 8+, de riguer at St. Conleth’s, cannot match the skill and touch of a pro. Here you see a sampling of the portraits taken on the night by professional photographer Seamus Travers. If you would like more, in hi-res originals and/or prints, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, well done to PA Chairman Mr. Mansfield, the Organising Committee and in particular, Alan Collins, Treasurer of the SSPA, on organising such a successful night… and such a talented photographer!
Maths Week Unlimited!
This just in from Ms. NiAonghusa, St. Conleth’s Assistant Principal and Maths teacher (and Head Implementer of the Age of Numeracy):
Thanks to Hurricane Ophelia, which travelled in an admirable arc across Ireland but also scuppered our plan to have Maths Professor and past-pupil Colm Mulcahy visit the school to address the students, Maths week is doing a logical shift by two days so the maths fun continues Monday and Tuesday this week. On Tuesday, we will be having a timed sudoku challenge at lunchtime and the daily puzzles for the whole school will continue. In addition, Ms Hopkins’ maths jokes such as
are drawing groans from students who read them. Here are the three maths puzzles from last week. Stay tuned for the last two and remember, all solutions will be posted on Thursday, so everyone needs to get cracking on their responses and post them in the box by reception!
The fencers and the debaters who have dominated the social scene at St. Conleth’s (and these pages) for some time now may have to exit stage left as the drama kids start to stake their claim! Earlier this term, Fifth Year Joe Gallagher and First Year Ollie West earned rave reviews starring in ‘This is a Room’ at the Project Arts Centre and ‘Hamnet’ at the Abbey, respectively. Both were sold-out, cutting-edge, edge-of-your-seat contemporary dramas which pushed theatrical and social boundaries. Second Year Eva Stylianides now takes Conlethian drama kids in a new dimension and a different direction: singing and dancing in the Billy Barry tribute ‘Her Stars Will Shine’. Ms. Crowley was privileged to see Eva’s talents first-hand, accompanying a gaggle of Eva’s Second Year classmates to the Gaiety. Perhaps with our new Performance Hall opening soon, St. Conleth’s will now be known as a drama school! As well as a debating school, a fencing school, an art school, a music school, a rugby school, a basketball…
A Geordie Joust!
Splendid news from the fencing front! James Moriarty-Smyth ended the Newcastle campaign with Bronze and 3rd place in Boys Under 13 Foil and brother Myles fenced superbly in a higher age group than usual, narrowly missing medal spot and ending the day a very satisfying 6th in Boys Under 11 Foil. And these impressive results were earned against the notoriously tough, street-smart fencers of Newcastle!
DEMONS, DICE AND DUNGEONS!
Calling all free peoples of Middle-Earth, the Outer Rim and the United Federation of Planets! It all starts tomorrow (Thursday)! Come in early give it a toss of the dice!
TABLE-TOP AND BOARD GAMES CLUB
Newcomers of all types welcome! As all games will be explained to new arrivals
Every Monday, Wednesday & Thursday from 7:20 to 8:15 before school starts.
Venue: Room 4
Monday: Dungeons and Dragons Campaign*
Wednesday: Dungeons and Dragons Campaign
Have a favourite board game at home that you want to share with the club? Bring it in on…
Thursday: Miscellaneous one-off games from home (just tell us on the previous week)
* If you would like to join our Dungeons and Dragons campaign we will be holding an introductory session on Thursday the 18th of October. After which you should contact us for a personal intro:
Evan and Oisín in 2A! See you there!
The Guidance Department at St. Conleth’s never sleeps. You read below about Mr. Carvill’s invitation/shanghaiing of last year’s high-fliers. Meanwhile, Guidance Counsellor Anne Ryan has been leading 5th Years on a special Mental Health outing and putting together some very useful documents, (which are available here or on the Guidance Page):
And now, Ms. Ryan’s own account of the 5th Year trip to Zeminar:
On Tuesday 10 October, Mental Health Awareness Day, 5th Year students attended Zeminar in the RDS. Zeminar is a social enterprise created to bring all those invested in the development and well-being of young people in Ireland to one place. It is an event for Generation Z, particularly those aged between 15 and 20, and their parents, teachers. The philosophy of the event was: “A Life Changing Day” and each speaker, exhibitor, professional and workshop host was tasked to reflect this in their interaction with the attendees. According to research conducted by Headstrong, anxiety, stress, sleep issues, cyber bullying and isolation are some of the difficulties hindering academic and personal growth today. These factors in conjunction with fast-moving technology, academic pressures, unhealthy diets and ever-changing career options present an increasingly complex and challenging environment for young people to navigate. Zeminar offered students the chance to explore the above above issues. They were also introduced to invaluable tools to enable them to live more satisfying and productive lives.
Zeminar gave students the chance to discuss career opportunities, but what set it aside from the traditional careers fair was the opportunity to listen to inspirational speakers such as The O’Donovan Brothers, The Rubber bandits and Sr. Stan to name but a few and the opportunity to engage with youth focused organisations who are specialists in areas such as mental health, healthy eating, safety, equality, sexuality and the environment. All in all it was a memorable and fun school outing.
Back to Work!
St. Conleth’s College (Prep, Junior and Senior Schools) is open for all business on Wednesday, October 18th!
School Also Closed on Tuesday Due to Ophelia
Due to a national directive in response to Hurricane Ophelia, St. Conleth’s College will be closed on Tuesday, October 17th.
High-Flyers Point the Way!
As Deadalus once told his son Icarus, steering the middle way is the way to succeed in most enterprises, including getting enough Leaving Cert points for your desired CAO course. That was the advice, anyway, from some of the high-flyers of the Class of 2017 who, at the behest of Mr. Carvill, came back to their alma mater to inspire the current Fifth Years and Sixth Years. Each of the current university First Years had their own take on study strategies but all agreed that a sensible balance of schoolwork and a healthy, active lifestyle is the way to go . And with the point totals and university courses such as these, the youngsters were all ears. Just don’t tell them where Icarus ended up! Sean Keane- Points: 613, College Course: Biomedical Science (UCD); Jamie Lawless- 566, Law and History (UCD); Isobel Nugent- 521, Business & Law (UCD); Annalisa Sorensen-554, BESS ( TCD); Ross Murphy- 543, Business & Law (UCD).
Mr. Cummiskey Serves Up A Budget Breakfast!
In the suitable setting of the Chartered Accountants House on Pearse Street, Mr. Cummiskey gathered his Fifth and Sixth Year Economic students for a ‘Budget Breakfast’, courtesy of Grant Thornton. Over his years of teaching Economics at St. Conleth’s, Mr. Cummiskey has always kept at least one eye on the ‘real world’ economy, supplementing the students’ textbooks with copious cuttings from the Irish Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and, for some light relief, the Guardian. An annual trip downtown on Budget Day is part and parcel to his attempt to keep his students from getting too ‘macro’ in their studies. And, of course, getting served up complimentary pastries by a big financial firm is a loss leader with which we can live! Minister Donohoe’s first budget was the main course of the breakfast but there was plenty of expert analysis and discussion as starters, including the views of guest speaker Ronan Lyons, Economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft.ie reports, who presented an overview of the impact of the budget on the wider economy.
Juniors and Seniors Run Away Together!
Mr. Shay Keenan does not do things by halves: when he heard about the happy coincidence that there would be both junior and senior Cross Country races at Morton Stadium in Santry, he hired a bus and welcomed all comers! ‘The more, the merrier’ is the St. Conleth’s sporting philosophy and so it should be, as participation is the name of the game at our school and we make sure that no-one is ever left out. Sadly, this trip was the first in a long time which did not include our tracks and field talisman, Tony Barry. (He was busy… off trying to scupper the Budget!).
We did worry a bit for Mr. Keenan’s personal safety (and sanity), as filling a bus with Juniors and then throwing in a bunch of First and Second Years at their seasonal hyperactive peak is the not the recipe for a morning ‘milk run’ but Shay is an old hand at these things and the increased proportion of girls certainly helped settle things down (in decibel if not pitch!). As you can see form our pics above, everyone had a great time and completed the race in very good times. There will be more races ahead and if any Seniors are interested, their are efforts being made to get Athletics training up and running again! Stay tuned!
Le retour des aventuriers!
This just in from Mr. J-Poz, notre meilleur (et seulement!) journaliste:
Quel magnifique weekend!
Sunday the 8th of October, 7:30am, and Clyde road has never felt so quiet. Apart, maybe, from a little group of students playing basketball in the front yard of the school (who would have ever thought such dedication to a school existed). Little by little, the sidewalk took its share of half sleepy, half smily youngsters. What was happening so early on such a lovely morning?
Sunny Donegal awaits
After a particularly quick 4 hour bus ride, the group of 34 students (a record so far), Mrs. Crowley and myself arrived at the Bundoran Adventure Centre. Collie, the manager of the place, gave one of his famous speeches which quickly set the tone. A quick walk and we then arrived at the fanciest Italian restaurant of the town: La Sabbia awaited us! The expertise of the chef from Sicily did not fail our hungry students.
French Flair and Fun
Lots of ropes (and infinitives) were used over these 3 days: to swing, to hold, to walk onto, to pull. Fearless as lions the band of brothers (and sisters) faced many challenges. Rain, of course, was not one of them. They surfed the famous west-coast waves, they teamed up to find their way through a maze of mud and they helped one another in French class to make sure “Madame la prof” would come up with plenty of new challenges for them.
Et c’est déjà fini!
Joymarita is Made of Poetry!
Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth has won first place in the Junior Cycle section of the National Wellread Poetry Award! Joymarita had already repeatedly astounded her English teacher, Mr. Seamus Gallagher, with her creativity and wordplay, and had impressed Dr. Fallon enough to win last year’s overall St. Conleth’s Creative Writing Award, but this is taking it to another level: winning first prize in a national competition amongst stiff competition. Instead of us waxing less lyrically about Joymarita’s gifts, we have decided to let her speak for herself. Her prize-winning poem follows, as will photos after she receives her award on November 7th at a special ceremony!
by Joymarita Rajinikanth
I have spent hours upon hours,
Willing it to be,
But the Oh so simple truth is,
I am not made of poetry.
When the script in my head goes blank,
Sweet words fail to roll off my tongue,
In their place come mumbled sorrys,
Sentences not yet carefully strung.
Like that book upon my mantelpiece, untouched for years,
My covers tattered and worn,
But that’s okay because for every loved word,
There stands a page of smudged ink, bedraggled and torn.
My hair never sits prim and proper,
Unlike a poem, sitting neatly on its line.
And occasionally, I feel like a word,
Too complicated for people to define.
I am not a caterpillar discovering its inner butterfly,
Nor am I a bird of prey defeating its competitor.
I’ve realized I’m simply too complex,
To be crammed into one common metaphor.
I like taking my time to think,
Since my thoughts don’t all have to rhyme.
And although a poem once written is eternal,
I have the freedom to change over time.
I contain more emotion than can be written onto a page,
There is no title across my forehead saying ‘This Is Me.’
I can’t be locked into pages of a notebook,
Because I, I am not made of poetry.
Conlethians Simply ‘Own’ the Killanin!
Signs of Autumn in D4: frappuccino sales plummet, Kiely’s sells more hot port, the DART is delayed because of ‘leaf-fall’ (Could not see that coming!) and Conlethian fencers start arriving at school with bags full of swag! This time, the well-travelled merry swordsmen were closer to home as the St. Conleth’s fencing contingent competed in the Dublin-based Lord Killanin Cup, culminating in an all-Conlethian final in the Under 14 Foil! Results as follows: Under 10s: Myles Moriarty-Smyth – 1st Place and Gold Medal; Mathew Sherlock – Joint 3rd Place and Bronze Medal; Under 14s: Claudio Sosa -1st Place and Gold Medal James Moriarty-Smyth – 2nd Place and Silver Medal; Luke Sherlock – 5th Place. And there is promise of more treasure as, next weekend, James and Myles head to the UK to compete in Newcastle as part of the Leon Paul Junior Series. Stay tuned!
Aonghus and Friends: The 2017 Debs!
Forgive the delay in reporting on the St. Conleth’s Class of 2017 Debutante Ball. First there was the little issue with Fireman Sam and then we had the darndest time finding some suitable photos! PA Chairman Michael Mansfield did his part, sending us a report before the slow set had even started, but then we waited in vain for the avalanche of images to arrive! So we resorted to trolling (in the old-fashioned sense) Bebo, MySpace, Orkut and various other hip internet chatrooms but all to no avail. Finally, Sixth Year Enya O’Brien hooked us up with some stylish snaps of stylish date Luke Nestor and friends and then we hit the goldmine by raiding Aonghus Hegarty’s Facebook page. This explains the presence of Aonhgus’s beaming visage in nearly everyone of our photos, but to be honest, one could do worse: Aonghus is one of the most handsome, friendliest and most-missed members of the Class of 2017!
And the evening itself? A smashing success. A huge congratulations is due to Mr. Mansfield, the Organising Committee and in particular, Alan Collins, Treasurer of the SSPA who did trojan work behind the scenes to make this happen for the graduates after cancellation of other venue only two weeks ago. We have been promised more photos (please send to email@example.com!), including some formal shots, so stay tuned!
It’s All in the Mind!
Mr. Porzadny is the starship Enterprise of the St. Conleth’s faculty, bolding going where no Conlethian teacher has gone before… Staff and pupils have benefitted from his ‘Relaxation’ sessions these last few years, and now he is taking us on the next step to enlightenment, introducing a ‘Mindfulness’ programme which is all the rage at the Department of Education, and for once, something from Marlborough Street actually makes good sense!
“A sloth…because sometimes it is slow. A cheetah…because it runs very fast. A unicorn…because it is creative. An ‘anti-elephant’…because I forget stuff. A Pikachu…because it is over-rated but still pretty useful.” These are just a sample of the beautiful answers I got from my 1st years yesterday when asking them: “Which animal could we sometimes compare our mind to?” Now you may wonder, why would I ask them such question? For the simple reason that after “playing with our attention”, but before we will look into “recognising our worries”, we started our next mindfulness lesson to discover how to “tame our animal mind”.
It is with an immense pleasure that I am able to introduce this year the .b (pronounced ‘dot-be’) Mindfulness Programme to the 1st Year and senior cycle students of St. Conleth’s.
But what is mindfulness? Mindfulness involves training our attention to experience the present moment with greater curiosity and kindness. This helps us to not only to appreciate what is going well but also to respond more skillfully to life’s inevitable challenges. In one word, Mindfulness is all about “possibilities”.
You may have heard of mindfulness or read some of the recent media coverage about it. A great deal of this media interest has arisen because of the growing body of research evidence regarding the potential benefits of mindfulness for young people.
At its most simple .b is an awareness-raising exercise to give all students a taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so.
.b aims to help young people:
To improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others.
To fulfil their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, both academically and personally.
To experience greater well-being (e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled).
To work with difficult mental states such as anxious thoughts and low moods.
To cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams, relationships, sleep problems, family issues.
The feedback from students who took part in other schools in .b is very positive. If you are interested, there are some Testimonials on the Mindfulness in Schools Project website where you can hear students speaking about their experiences in taking part in the .b programme.
Finally, if you are interested in learning more about mindfulness yourself then please let me know, there are very accessible mindfulness courses for adults taking part on a regular basis here in Ireland.
With warm wishes,
Michael O’Dea: Alumnus, Trustee, Architect and Friend of St. Conleth’s
It is quite an achievement to say that one arrived at St. Conleth’s at the same time as a certain Kevin D. Kelleher and Michael O’Dea was as proud of this distinction as any other in life full of personal and professional distinctions. Michael’s life, family and legacy are as intertwined with that of St. Conleth’s as was Mr. Kelleher’s, and it is fitting in this time of such great excitement over the new KDK Wing, we also remember the man who did so much over the years to build this great school, both in bricks and mortar and in ethos and spirit. Ann Sheppard, CEO of St. Conleth’s, remembers Michael’s life-long loyalty and friendship:
It was with great sadness that we learned that Michael O’ Dea had passed away on Monday evening. Micheal had been a Trustee of St. Conleth’s since the Educational Trust was set up in 2001. He started in St. Conleth’s in 1944 as a nine-year-old pupil, the same year as Kevin started as a teacher and has been a friend to us all ever since. His brother Mark, as well as his four children – Michael, Caroline, Stephen and Joe, his niece and nephews – Ruth O’Dea, Paul, David and Ben Moore, and his grandson Sam O’Dea were all pupils with us and his grand-daughter Eva Stylianides is currently a bright spark in Second Year. He has been president of the Past Pupils Union, a proud winner (twice) of the Kinlen Cup and many of us will remember his gifts as a public speaker and his memorable voice as the official voice of Lansdowne Road for all interntational rugby matches.
My last official business with him was to seek approval to appoint Peter Gallagher as a Trustee, with which he wholeheartedly agreed. He had been so disappointed not to be able to attend our Board dinner last year. He has always been so supportive of St. Conleth’s and interested in all that was going on and thrilled that his granddaughter Eva was in the first bunch of First Year girls and was Pupil of the Year. Needless to say his contribution to the development of St. Conleth’s, as its architect, has been enormous, starting with the revamp of the kitchen around 1961. The yellow formica table, around which we all still gather, is still in great nick, a small but fitting legacy to a man who did so much to build the essence of St. Conleth’s.
We will miss him. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.
Do you remember when retreats involved a lot of hushed voices, hastily drawn symbolic etchings and vague expressions of well-being? Well how about zip-lines, fire-starting, fish-gutting, sing-alongs … and an impromptu birthday party, to boot?
Yes, we believe that the Sixth Year Retreat to Ovoca House in Avoca has been a change for the better. Never before have we heard a 100% approval rating from the students involved and it was not just because the hosts kept them moving with fun-filled and challenging activities: the boys and girls did do proper, traditional retreat stiff too, such as team-building, goal-setting and reflection. It was just that the whole overnight trip was so well-planned and well implemented, it satisfied both the needs and the wants of those involved. And, of course, Alex (and his friends) enjoyed the birthday cake and the resultant craic. A big thank-you to Ms. deBhal and Mr. Carvill for taking part so enthusiastically!
Ladies Who Brunch!
It is recently established tradition at St. Conleth’s whereby each September, after the dust settles, the girls are invited to a hobbit-like ‘second breakfast’, or ‘brunch’ if you like, in the school canteen. Such are the numbers of girls at St. Conleth’s these days, we now do two sittings: one for the blue jumpers, and one for the green. Vice Captain Emer Healy-O’Reilly organised the little fêtes this year, and as with everything she does, she did it with efficiency and with good humour. The pastries were passed around, the coffee and tea were poured out and the chatter soon took off. We are not privy to the actual topics of conversation but we assume particular individuals in that other noted group of Conlethian students, ‘the sons of Catholic (and other) gentleman’, came up. And at the same time of these polite little gatherings, said gentlemen’s sons were in class, gnashing their teeth in jealousy and whinging about the privileges of St. Conleth’s now significant minority! Who knows? Perhaps some day we will be taking out-numbered boys out for some special treatment, scones and cream!
A Historic Goal!
Never mind the final result (a respectable 3-1 loss to Our Lady’s Grove)…. never mind the fact that the girls, during the half-time talk, looked like they were awaiting their turn with the guillotine… never mind that the swish new St. Conleth’s ‘skorts’ will not be in till next week… this was still one of the proudest days in St. Conleth’s sporting history! Ms. Springer and Ms. Leary’s U16 Hockey players gave it their all in their full pitch debut (at UCD), in a proper match and against a team from a higher division, and they scored a historic first hockey goal for St. Conleth’s: Elizabeth Counihane charged through the midfield, retrieved the ball and crossed it to Eva Stylianides, who buried it in the back of the net. Everyone gave it their all, with Julia Huckfeldt shadowing the opponent’s best player and Eliza Flynn logging the most milage on the pitch. Overall, a great start to this first official season for St. Conleth’s hockey!
Captain Trevor Leads the Way!
Second Year Trevor Bolger continues to make waves in the world of junior competitive sailing. Last year he won the inaugural St. Conleth’s ‘Sailor of the Year’ Award. And just last weekend he captained the Royal Saint George racing team as it represented Ireland at the Warsaw Invitational Regatta. The Royal St. George team were invited to represent their country along with the Royal Cork Yacht Club team, the two top Optimist racing teams in the country. With Trevor ‘at the helm’ the RSGYC made the finals and came 4th overall, quite an achievement for Irish sailing. Of course, St. Conleth’s knows the RSGYC very well, as it is there that our Fifth and Sixth Formers go sailing on Fridays, hoping to follow in Trevor’s wake to sailing glory! Below you will Trevor and his team as well as our Juniors as they hit the water, with none other than Past Pupil Evan O’Connor, showing them the ropes, and the knots!
A Friend Remembers Ishan
This past Thursday, St. Conleth’s held a memorial prayer service and informal get-together to remember and honour the recently deceased Ishan Prasai. Fr. Michael Collins presided over a sad but heart-warming recollection of the huge impact made by Ishan on all of us in just a few short years. Several students, including Ciara McCracken and Matthew Hassett, gave eloquent testimony to their feelings of sadness but also of pride and good humour regarding their personal memories of Ishan. Oisín Herbots, School Captain of the Class of 2017, and a good friend of Ishan’s wrote this testimony:
Ishan was a wonderful person and a loyal friend. I did not discover this till we became good friends in the stressful atmosphere of 6th Year. I wonder how Ishan and I actually became such good friends because I made not just one faux pas but two when I first met him.
I was studying Plutarch’s Alexander the Great when I had my first conversation with Ishan. It was all thanks to Plutarch we became friends. Alexander never lost a battle, except to his own men. They had conquered the known world but had refused to conquer what remained of India for fear of having to face the King of Praesii. I could not believe my luck: could I be in school with a descendant of the King that Alexander the Great never conquered? While Ishan was from Nepal, this was a country that borders India. Could Ishan be a descendent of a great king? At lunch I disclosed my findings to him: his royal lineage.
I surprised him by establishing that he could be from a family nearly 3,500 years old. I remember him looking at me ‘as if I had two heads’. “Oisín do you know how to spell my surname?” he asked me. “No” I replied, feeling my excitement pop like a bubble. In truth I had never seen his name but heard it only from roll calls. “It is not Praesii; it is Prasai” he told me. I felt terribly embarrassed; but Ishan realising this did not take offence; instead, he invited me out for lunch. On the way to Baggot Street we chatted about school and how tough 6th Year was. Ishan, having a huge interest in astronomy but especially the Zodiac signs, asked if I was a Sagittarian. I suprised him when I told thim that in fact I was a Capricorn. Ishan was surprised because this was the first time he had ever misjudged someone.
I asked Ishan a safe question, or so I thought: “what’s your favourite band?”. Nirvana he screamed. I am not a musical person but I knew of the band so before Ishan could get another word in, I interrupted him. Trying to establish a common interest, I told him I loved their songs too, especially “Smells like teen sweat”. I could see his face twisting and then lowering. ‘What did I do now?’ I thought. For the second time today I had stepped into the metaphorical caca. Ishan laughed for a full minute; he laughed in the middle of Baggot street. When he recovered from his fits of laughter he told me it was ‘teen spirit’ not ‘teen sweat’. How we ever became friends after that, I do not know. But since that day we spent most of our lunch times together.
Ishan was a super chilled guy with a calming effect when you were with him. It was great to spend lunch with him as you could just talk and forget about the stress of the Leaving Cert. Ishan was quiet; but when he spoke I listened. He told me he couldn’t wait for university and the freedom that came with it. So, it is heart breaking to think he did not get a chance to enjoy that freedom. But Ishan was a positive guy and so he should be remembered.
My favorite memory of Ishan was at the Captain’s party: a house party that the entire graduating year and teachers were invited too. As the host, and a proud Northsider, the entire year had to trek out to the forbidden part of the city. The party started at 7.30pm (which really meant 8.30), but by 10 pm there were only a handful of people in my living room and I was afraid the party was a dud and a huge failure. Ishan had been one of the first to arrive. It is no secret that at a party, Ishan was not the same quiet person we knew from school. Oh no; Ishan knew how to party. I’ll miss him. He told me if we put on some music it might disguise the silence: a terrible sound for a party. As Ishan worked on the sound with my brother; the doorbell rang. I opened it expecting one or two late going partiers; instead there were thirty people from my year. I learned afterwards that they had all managed to take the same bus up to the party (perhaps a little scared to come to ‘DNS’ alone). Talk about scared southsiders sticking together. They all made their way into my house. As the new group joined the party and the old smaller group of classmates there was a moment of silence. Then the music played. It was the perfect song, it was Ishan’s song, it was ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.
Seeing everyone dance to the music, not needing much encouragement (as they had come from pre-drinks) made me so happy. It was not only my fondest memory of Ishan, it was the highlight of the year for me and Ishan made it possible. Watching Matt and Christian give it their all on the dance floor and hearing the year yell out the lyrics like wild hooligans was superb. It was the right song for the right moment and it put the life back into the party. That night he followed the lyrics to a tea and entertained us all. Ishan saved not only my night and the party but my reputation as a good school captain. Only after the song died down and another one replaced it did Ishan find me in the mass of people. He told me in ecstasy “Oisín that was my song they played, my song!” Ishan that was your song. From now on whenever I hear it, till the day I play my last tune, I’ll think of you and that perfect moment and all the fun memories we had together.
Jolly Hockey Sticks!
The old line, ‘Jolly Hockey Sticks!’, may have been originally intended as a ‘reverse snobbery’ slur by the begrudgers against the over-enthusiastic elite but at St. Conleth’s it is quite accurate and we actually take it as a straight compliment! Our hockey players really are jolly and enthusiastic! One year on from a historic tip-off in Herbert Park, hockey is now enjoyed by dozens of girls in both the Junior and Senior Schools and, though it is still early days, Coaches Leary and Speller have pushed the girls so hard in their development that the big hockey schools have started to take notice of those plucky players from 28 Clyde Road. The Senior School girls now practise twice a week (Tue. and Thur.), once on the full, proper pitch at Pembroke Hockey Club, where they get professional guidance from the Club coaches as well as the attention of St. Conleth’s Strength and Fitness Guru Shane Robinson. And the Junior School girls recently had their first hockey session down on the astro… another sign that co-education and girls sports are two aspects of St. Conleth’s destined for further growth and success!
Ishan Prasai, 1999-2017: An Appreciation
It was with a sense of disbelief and then heavy hearts that we heard the news that Ishan Prasai, a member of the Class of 2017, had passed away in his native Nepal after a short illness. Ishan was a quiet but vibrant member of the St. Conleth’s community for three years, and we have nothing but the fondest memories of his time with us. Friendly, good-humoured and talented, Ishan was one of those rare people who could light up a room without raising his voice, but when he did, everyone listened. Ishan was a good friend to those in his inner circle but he was also a good friend to those in the wider circle of St. Conleth’s. Schools, like any other group of people, tend to split into cliques of people who share similar interests. Ishan moved between these groups with consummate ease and impeccable manners. Just one demonstration of the extent and depth of Ishan’s influence is that when the news filtered through of his passing, several of the younger Conlethians were visibly upset when they connected the name with the Transition Year boy who had so gently and kindly tutored them during their Junior School days.
This active kindness was also on display when Ishan, inspired by the suffering in Nepal after a devastating earthquake, organised and managed the single most successful charitable fundraiser in the history of St. Conleth’s. He spurred his fellow Transition Years to raise over €4,000, showing that, yes, there is something that can be done in the face of tragedy and that you do not need to be loud to be a leader. Of course, it is also with music which we associate Ishan. From his stunning solo performance at Transition Year Night through his starring role during the Graduation Ceremony, Ishan was at the musical heart of St. Conleth’s. He was a member of the school choir which performed at nearly all our events and went out into the community, especially to sing yuletide carols at the local nursing home. For someone from a non-Christian background, Ishan was particularly good at spreading Christmas cheer! One of Ishan’s standout performances at our school concerts was his solo rendition of Hozier’s ‘Take me to Church’, during which he radiated passion and humility. Ishan’s vocal and musical performances matched the way he lived among us: with sincerity and grace.
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.”
Junior Cert? Oh Yes, I remember that…
Remnants of Irma were threatening on the horizon but the sun shone down in eye-blinking brilliance as our current Transition Years came through those familiar doors, clutching the first significant document of their young adult lives. And yes, of course, the boys and girls were nervous and excited, but even just two weeks of TY under Co-ordinator Mr. Trenier had already adjusted their world view to the point that the biggest exam of their lives, so far, assumed its proper proportions. When the seals were broken, and the As and Bs and ‘High Merits’ were brought to light, smiles wiped away whatever worry there was, and for some, a few hard-fought Cs and passes brought an equally justified sense of satisfaction. Lunches with parents and friends awaited and perhaps a bracing cup of tea later in the evening, but after the results and celebrations were digested, all were eager to get back to TY business. We were especially proud of our first ever Junior Certificate girls: Well done to Emily, Lola and Katya. You paved and braved the way for that gang of girls now bursting from the locker-room!
Words of Wisdom
Alumni (and alumnae) are constantly dropping in at 28 Clyde Road, and the door is always open to those past pupils who would like to stop in for a visit or a chat or a character reference for the gardai… Sadly, Mr. Kelleher, a mainstay of these reunions for so many years, is no longer with us, and though we could never match Mr. K’s uncanny ability to remember the faces and names which go with them from the past 70 years, we do our best. When Michael O’Dwyer (2010) recently dropped in, no arduous memory-trawl was necessary, such was the impact he made on St. Conleth’s. Captain of that memorable Class of 2010, winner (with Cathy McShane) of the All-Ireland Debating Championship and all-around smart (but nice) guy, Michael made an indelible impression on his classmates and teachers while he graced these halls. And he continued to impress when he left for Law and Economics at UCD, the European University Debating Finals and the illustrious start of a legal career with the prestigious law firm of Slaughter and May in London (and Singapore!). The teachers were thrilled to see one of our best return but the current Sixth Years also benefitted: Michael was dropped into an impromptu lecturer/guidance counsellor position, from where he offered our nervous young men and women some warm words of wisdom about the year ahead and the looming, two-headed behemoth of the CAO/Leaving Certificate, somehow managing to be both reassuring and inspiring. It was great to see a Conlethian who had done so well come back and help nudge others along the same road to success.
No Rest For Our Fencers!
While other kids their age were home lost in the Amazing World of Gumball, the Moriarty-Smyths were living real-life adventures as they continued with their fencing forays on the continent:
Not content to rest on the laurels won earlier this year, the summer holidays saw the boys again continue their campaigning season into Europe; in early June they headed into deepest Gallia to attend the two day 2017 Mini Foil International Marathon hosted by CEP Paris. Both fenced extremely well and their efforts clearly showed the progress made by each of them over the season. Saturday saw Myles compete in the Boys’ Under 10 which followed an unusual four rounds of poule format with elimination after each round; multiple victories ensured he made all four rounds before going out just prior to DE. He ended the day ranked an extremely impressive 38th out of a field of 68 fencers, having after Round 3 reached a rank of 19! James fenced Boys’ Under 13 and similarly had to contended with elimination after each poule. Having made the 1st cut he likewise narrowly went out just prior to DE stage, placing a strong 55th out of 68. Stay-tuned as the Conethian fencers continue their international careers!
Back with a Bang!
Alas, the Kevin D. Kelleher Wing is not quite finished (builders and their promises!) and we must wait a little while longer for all those architectural goodies, but school started with some style, nonetheless. The Junior and Senior Infants seemed distinctly unperturbed by the scaffolding, getting right to work (and play) under the watchful eye and encouraging words of Ms. Kelly and Ms. Redmond, and First Form seemed delighted with their new teacher, Ms. Leary, while the older Junior Forms also seemed happy to be back amongst welcoming faces and in friendly places. First Years admittedly seemed a bit nervous, as did our new arrivals in the other Senior Years but the ice was quickly broken by a few classroom quips and canteen-queue tussles and by close of business on Thursday, fledgling friendships were flourishing in the proverbial Conlethian calm.
Welcome to St. Conleth’s!
We are sure all our students, old and new, are eagerly looking forward to the start of school (and perhaps their parents even more so!) so we are going to give you all the information necessary to make it a great start. Click for start of school dates and times for the Junior/Preparatory and Senior Schools. Booklists and information on the uniform and the canteen are always available under Calendars and Information, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior) to our uniform supplier, and our Canteen deposit page on Easy Payments Plus. And below are the Booklists, along with the welcome letters sent earlier this summer. Enjoy this last weekend and we will see you next week, bright-eyed and bushy-tailled, at 28 Clyde Road!
It is understandable that students and their parents and teachers get obsessed with the ‘points race’ when it comes to the Leaving Certificate: for better or worse, that mid-August sum is quite significant when it comes to plotting one’s immediate future. And this year’s Results Day was particularly nerve-wracking, as a new system of grades was instituted with Hs and Os replacing ABCs and totals no longer finishing in multiples of 5. Mr. ODulaing and even Ms. Hopkins were pushed to their arithmetical limits mastering the new arcane numerology necessary to find out if you were likely to be doing Medicine at UCD with Sean Pettitt or Basketweaving in Bangor with the kid from the next estate. We will soon do further number-crunching of the results overall but we can say already that there were many satisfied smiles on the day, as you can see below!
St. Conleth’s recognises the value of those CAO points but we also know there is much more to the education and development of children and young men and women. Coincidentally, on that day of the cut-and-dry points totals, we also received a letter from parents, Irene Bloemraad and David St-Jean, who wished to thank St. Conleth’s for all the good things that made up their son Maxime’s year at the school. We will leave you with their points!
We write to express our thanks for everything the school has done during our year in Ireland. Please feel free to share our very positive experience with other prospective families.
St. Conleth’s College was a wonderful school. It is not easy, as a teenager, to transition to a new school, especially when this involves moving to a new country and learning a new educational system. Maxime’s experience was made more of a challenge by the fact that he was coming into Third Year and had to catch up on two years of material for his Junior Certificate exam. His teachers were very supportive in making sure that he succeeded.
The St. Conleth’s students deserve special praise. They welcomed Maxime without question, including him in their activities, and provided a warm, friendly community. St. Conleth’s small school environment meant that he quickly felt comfortable. The students have a strong ethos of embracing the unique interests and talents of their peers—letting them be individuals—while including and accepting everyone within the community.
Despite being a small school, Maxime had the opportunity to try new activities that he had never done before. He was welcomed into the rugby team and enjoyed learning and playing the sport. He participated in a math challenge team. He became involved in debating and really enjoyed participating in regional debating tournaments. He has now developed an enthusiasm for debating that he plans to take to his next school…
Thank you Irene and David, and best of luck to you and Maxime!
From East Wicklow to East Africa!
Inveterate explorer, Gav Maguire, is at it again: he is deep into preparations with a group of select Conlethian students and the expedition company Earth’s Edge getting ready for a trip next summer to East Africa. Over the summer the gang have been walking up and down the hills of the Dublin and Wicklow Coast in preparation for the slightly higher (and drier) topography of East Africa.
The planning started as soon as Gav landed back from India last summer (their last destination) and the students have been busy all year working to raise funds for the trip. And over the last few weeks Gav has led the group from Bray to Greystones (and Greystones to Bray) and to the top of Howth Head. Check out the pics above and below from these hikes and stay tuned for more information of the latest chapter in a now long-established Conlethian tradition of partcipation in exploration and develomemet around the world.
Where Do the Builders Go in August?
28 Clyde Road, Apparently! Only our older students will remember personally the last, heady days of the Celtic Tiger when cranes crowded the horizon and a postage stamp apartment near Five Lamps cost a half a million. Another feature of the high times was the absolute scarcity of tradesmen and builders, especially during August, the traditional month of “builders’ holidays”, when you had a better chance of getting a chippy named Murphy or a sparky named Kelly on the Costa da Sol then in Phibsborough. Well, as we all know, times have changed, and that is good news regarding the construction of the Kevin D. Kelleher Wing. Our Fundraising and Development specialist, Mr. Carvill, has been keeping an eye on things better than a quantity surveyor from Cavan, and he reports back that the bricks and beams are going in on schedule and that the coming weeks will certainly see our new gymnasium, performance hall and fitness suite taking shape. Enjoy the pics below and stay tuned as we get closer to opening day!
St. Conleth’s Marches Onwards!
Mr. Kelleher would surely be proud of the drive and efficiency with which Robert Quinn Ltd. have taken to the construction of the new wing which is to bear his illustrious name. It is interesting that Mr. K’s most famous rugby feat has been in the news again thanks to ‘Sonny’ Bill Williams’s recent misdemeanours against the Lions. Mr. K was justly proud of sending Colin Meads to the showers all those years ago, and was not shy about recounting the event over the breakfast table, but he was never one to dwell solely on the past. He knew that those who stand still inevitably get left behind. Mr. K., himself, oversaw several expansions to St. Conleth’s and we know he would be thrilled with the next step in development, now taken by CEO Ann Sheppard, Principals Donal ODulaing and Tony Kilcommons and the Board of Trustees.
Indeed, St. Conleth’s never sits still… and continuous development is so important to the school that Mr. John Carvill has taken on a new position which will allow him the time to organise and co-ordinate the fundraising which is essential to the future development of the school. Read all about it in Mr. Carvill’s Development Newsletter and check out the photos and video of the early stages of construction. Stay tuned for more news as St. Conleth’s strives to be bigger and better from the very first day of school this autumn!
St. Conleth’s ‘School Self-Evaluation’
Those highly paid and well-benefitted civil servants of the Department of Education are certainly earning their keep! We recently enjoyed a one-day ‘drive-by’ inspection and earned an overwhelmingly positive appraisal (Inspector’s feedback), with the girls and boys of 1B (and their teachers) impressing their official visitor…for six class periods in a row! This follows several subject specific inspections and a ‘Whole School Evaluation’ not too long ago, all of which may be read about in previous ‘News’ posts. But the sun may be setting on the ‘Age of the Cigera’ as the Department is now promoting ‘School Self-Evaluation’ as the way forward. Or as they say themselves: School self-evaluation (SSE) is a collaborative, reflective process of internal school review. It provides teachers with a means of systematically looking at how they teach and how pupils learn and helps schools and teachers to improve outcomes for learners (link).And St. Conleth’s has responded enthusiastically to this challenge, with Assistant Principal Ms. NiAonghusa leading the way with a comprehensive survey of students and parents about their perception of the overall effectiveness of the school, with special emphasis on assessment and learning, numeracy and literacy. Ms. NiAonghusa’s report on her findings can be found here and please do stay tuned for more news and information from St. Conleth’s implementation of School Self-Evaluation.
2017-18 Junior and Senior School Calendars are Here!
Rumour has it that the tiger is back and with it, for the lucky ones, the custom of multiple, exotic, annual family holidays! So, to help you plan that mid-term adventure in Thailand (and/or the long weekend in Bundoran) we attach the school calendars for next year.
Yes, the sun is shining once more for the beginning of State Exam Season! Remember, showing up is half the battle, so here are your JC and LC schedules. Good luck and remember, as your official Examination Aide, Mr. Trenier is at your beck and call!
The Parents’ Associations not only do loads for the school: they also write it up and publish it in a slick, attractive and easily digestible package! Michael Mansfield and Peter O’Neill, Chairpersons of the Senior and Junior School Parents’ Associations, and Paul Allen, Chairperson Emeritus and Editor in Chief, organised a small army of active parents and once again they have finished it off just in time for you to pack it away for some beach reading! Click below and enjoy!
Mr. ODulaing avoided any Oscars-style adventures at the Annual Awards Assembly and, aided by the ivory-tinkling of Sam Lynch and the rather oddly verbose speechifying by DOS (Direct of Sport) Gavin Maguire, he presided over a dignified yet joyous affair. It was great to see so many students rewarded for their talents and effort but even more pleasing was the general bonhomie and good sportsmanship which characterised the event: we like to win at St. Conleth’s but we know that friendship and teamwork are more important. Without further ado, here are the individual winners of awards:
And lest we forget the people who will soon run the world (or turn on the machines that do), we also have some group shots of STEM stars, who tend to stick together in groups like the ionic pawns of a crystal lattice structure… obviously for the banter and scientifically themed similes!
TY’s Rockin’ Finale!
Our School Concert this past Spring was once again a magnificent spectacle of student musical talent but we did notice a decline in the number of shouting and jumping, hairy retro-rock aficionados who used to frequent and shake the stage (and our eardrums). We had at least thirteen tasteful classical piano solos but not a single note of grungy reverb! So, Transition Year took it on themselves to bring back all three chords of modern music and ‘rock the Casbah’, staging their very own version of the classic Jack Black vehicle, ‘School of Rock.’ Maestros deBhal and Gallagher concocted a daring, ‘fourth-wall-breaking’ Ionescuesque pastiche, with multiple stages and plays within plays and concerts within concerts. And the boys and girls responded with a veritable explosion of enthusiasm for stage-stomping, hip-shaking, concert-shirt-wearing, chorus-crooning and cross-dressing!
The last, of course, is a long-standing St. Conleth’s tradition and earlier in the year the male TYs were beside themselves with worry that the presence of females in TY might eliminate the need for them to break free from their La Cage aux Folles. But turns out they had nothing to fear as Mr. Trenier, TY Co-ordinator, runs a very tight camp indeed, but it is quite a camp camp! In all seriousness, Mr. T. did a brilliant job integrating the girls as smoothly as possible this year and further fine-tuning an already impressive programme, from trips all over Dublin (see recent pics from the Viking Splash Tour below), through pushing the boys and