On the road again! In one day, Junior Sport Honcho Louis Magee visited Willow, St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s to get all the rugby matches in! Fifth Form had a great comeback vs. CBC Monkstown, down 4-1 and drawing 4-4 and coming away with two draws and a win in three games, overall. And, thanks to parent Michael Davitt, we also have great pics from Sixth Form’s recent matches versus Willow Park and St. Michael’s. Super stuff!
Only Lidl gets rolling with the Christmas season earlier than us, thanks to Ms. Killen and Ms. Hopkins! Here are the Senior School Christmas Exam schedules, by year. We will carefully go over exam rules and regulations in class with the students, but the biggest change to the normal day is that if a student is not sitting the scheduled exam, they do not need to be in school for that period; however, if they wish (or their parents do!) they may attend and study quietly in their Exam Centre/Room seat. Otherwise, all normal school rules apply, Including uniform. Good luck!
Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:
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 2022 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.
Of course, the parents were there as well, proud as punch to see how well their sons and daughters turned out, on both the outside and the in. Whatever points were achieved in September, the more important personal gains made while at St. Conleth’s were fully in evidence on the evening: boys who short years (or months) ago were locking each other in cupboards, were now smoothly introducing their dates, and girls who perhaps apprehensively approached these doors not long ago, were now swishing across the floor with confidence and grace.
The only downside of the evening was that we, the board members of the ‘No Eye Contact with Girls Club’, have been forced to kick out a charter member: Oisín Power. Luckily, we still have several of his acolytes in the Debating Society… whose number of chaperones will henceforth be doubled!
Neil Quinlan passed away tragically while on a Transition Year hiking trip in April 2013. Neil was only at St. Conleth’s for Transition Year but in that short time he truly became one of our own: his fellow classmates and his teachers still attest to his infectious enthusiasm and friendliness and a laugh with which you could not help but join. Earlier this week, Mr. and Mrs. Quinlan visited St. Conleth’s to join us in celebrating Neil’s legacy, with Mr. ODulaing and Mrs. Quinlan both speaking emotionally and eloquently about Neil and the suitable way in which we are commemorating him with the planting of a magnolia tree. Those of us who taught Neil, especially his TY teachers Gav Maguire and Ronan Bolger, will always think of him when we see that tree in bloom and remember the warmth and joy he brought to those around him. And his classmates, many of whom joined us at the commemoration, will also see that tree on their visits to the school, or maybe just passing by, and Neil’s laugh will again be heard on Clyde Road.
In 2014, St. Conleth’s inaugurated an award in Neil’s memory for the Transition Year student who has the ‘best spirit’, as Neil showed in everything he did. Here are some of the past winners of the award. We know that in the years to come many others will be inspired by the spirit and legacy of Neil Quinlan.
For it is not every day of the week that a Conlethian alumna has a book launch! We joined Catherine Prasifka (2014), brother John (2011), Mr. Seamus Gallagher, parents (Sunniva and Bill) and friends (such as Michael Coleman (2011) at Hodges Figgis to celebrate the publication of None of this is Serious, Catherine’s debut novel which is currently garnering rave reviews and rocketing up the charts. Catherine was back with us just a couple of years ago, teaching creative writing to our Juniors and gathering inspiration in the staffroom for some of the odder side characters in her novel. And last night, Catherine was as polite and charming as ever. The sudden fame and fortune have yet to turn her head… but do check back with us soon, as rumour has it Hollywood may come calling!
St. Conleth’s takes bullying very seriously. This past week we welcomed the professionals of Bully 4u, an organisation who deal with all kinds of bullying issues, to come into the school to give a series of workshops to our students. The sessions were interactive, with role play and audio visual presentations and covered such topics as: the concept of bullying; the role of the bystander; empowering students to deal with a bully; and the unique features of cyber bullying. And, with Covid waning, the sessions were held in person: these things are always more effective face-to-face. Kevin Deering and the other counsellors were brilliant, and very impressed with the eager participation of our students. There will also be a Parental Workshop to be held remotely on Tuesday, the 29th of March from 7:00 – 8:20. Principal ODualing will be in touch with a reminder closer to the time.
In recent years, a mainstay of the Junior School’s Christmas calendar has been the collection for Brother Kevin’s Capuchin Day Centre: students, parents and staff get together to collect food, toys and other suitable Christmas gifts, and the Centre makes sure they get to those who need them most. Brother Kevin and his team were particularly appreciative of the amount of donations from St Conleths this year, especially the number of toys, as he reported that a large number of families were attending and the St Conleths contributions were need and very welcome. Junior School Principal Brian Nolan thanks all those who made this year’s donation drive for the a smashing success!
Yes, by Saturday afternoon, all these little devils will be a good bit holier, having made their First Holy Communion at St. Mary’s Church. To be fair, they deserved the chance to let off a bit of steam, having missed out on so much, including this important sacrament, because of Covid, and even now, with the planned celebrations a bit restrained because of the safety protocols… not that any of that seemed to bother the kids themselves! if you were within 100 miles of St. Mary’s Home on Friday afternoon, the shouts of mischief and joy were evidence, loud and clear, that the communion candidates’ spirits were anything but cowed by covid! A big ‘thank-you’ to Ms. Dillon, Ms. Coleman, Mr. O’Brien, Fr. Fachtna and Fr. Michael for getting the boys and girls ready and the JSPA for the treats. And who baked those fancy cupcakes for the communicants? None other than Kate Green of the Class of 2015! Kate is making quite a name for herself in the creative confectionary business, with both Roly’s and Neven Maguire on the CV, and her own cakery side business rising nicely. See you at St. Mary’s on Saturday!
What… me worry? Well, you naturally do on the first day of school, especially if you are starting Junior Infants… or dropping off your first child for the first time to attempt such such a grand step. Such feelings of hesitancy evaporated very quickly last week as Ms. Dolores Kelly welcomed her charges with her usual grace and aplomb and left Mr. Kilcommons and Mr. Nolan to handle perhaps the more fragile if intensely friendly crowd of slightly worried parents. But moms and dads certainly put on brave faces at the door and they quickly found solace in a cup of coffee and the sharing of the experience: the first of many occasions when, as St. Conleth’s parents, they will band together. There was also the slow dawning of another realisation: the kids were gone for a few hours, maybe for the first time in years! Roly’s must have been rollicking until pickup time.
Meanwhile, the Junior Infants themselves were settling in as Ms. Kelly and Cecilia (our Afterschool Programme Manager) quickly made the boys and girls feel at home but also feel something brand new and exciting: they were at school and the adventure was just beginning!
Yes, it was the Irish rowers grabbed Olympic glory over the summer but we believe we have, right here at St. Conleth’s, a few talented and experienced sailors who may soon be piloting their svelte-hulled vessels through the spray of the whitecaps towards international glory. Conleth’s parent Rowena Bolger kindly brings us up to date with the maritime exploits of Russell Bolger, Daniel O’Connor and Louis McGovern.
Russell Bolger competed in the Laser 4.7 Worlds which were held in the Royal St George and National Yacht Club in August 21. It was a gruelling 6 days of sailing with teams competing from all over the world. Russell Bolger (TY) and Daniel O’Connor (3rd Yr.) competed and represented Ireland. They made the silver fleet and reached 34th and 49th place respectively, very respectable scores indeed. They are pictured here below with the other Team Ireland competitors.
Russell competed in the 29erNationals as on the 3rd and 4th July, his first ever event. The 29er is the high performing skiff. He sails with his long standing sailing pal Peter Williams. The The Elmo Cup was held in the Royal St George at the weekend and of course Daniel and Russell competed along with Louis Mcgovern(TY). The 29er team Russell and Louis’ team, the 29ers were runners up, losing by inches in the last 2 races. Pictured here receiving their prizes from Daniel’s dad, the current commodore of the RSGYClub. I’m sure Daniel is glad to back Laser sailing along with his brother Robert and Russell and Louis are delighted to be back in the exciting 29er. Good luck to Russell and Louis who compete in the RYNA Youth championships in Carraigfergus on the 11th Sept 21.
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’ which 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’ (only for 5th and 6th Years) runs from 6:30-9:00 on selective Mondays and Thursdays. Here are all the details. You must sign-up and pay for each programme separately through Easypayments Plus. After-School Study starts on Monday (6/9) and Night Study on Monday (13/9). Yay!
With the last words scribbled into the Leaving Certificate answer booklets, and the sun shining on Ballsbridge and its environs, it was time to give Chefs Mark and Emerson the signal so they could fire up the BBQ and get the Class of 2021’s sedate but extremely satisfying sayonara started. The setting was the quaint, Victorian gardens of St. Mary’s Home, next door, and after a very tough year, both the students and staff in attendance were thrilled to have the opportunity to recall the good times and say good-byes, without a mask muffling our words and emotions.
The food was delicious, of course, and the mood was relaxed, with exam autopsies quickly put to the side and everyone simply enjoying the weather and the company. Mr. ODulaing eloquently praised the class for their grace under pressure and the young men and women walked away happily with two gifts: their Class rings and specially commissioned hoodies, a gift of the Parents Association. Our very recently retired CEO Ann Sheppard was also on hand to say her fond farewell. She will certainly still be involved with the school going forward, but we all agree Ann deserves a bit of a break. It was fitting that the afternoon closed with an especially poignant moment: the presentation of the Françoise Brotelande Award for School Spirit. Françoise was our much-loved colleague and friend, but especially Ann’s, and we would like to think that Françoise, too, would have been immensely proud of the remarkably resilient young men and women of the Class of 2021.
Our Junior School students have been very busy this year, especially since returning to school in their full running, jumping, learning, talking, playing, questioning selves. And their parents, after one long deep breath of relief, have returned to their own working (and maybe a bit of playing) lives. But many Conlethian parents are involved in the Parents Association, and a few of them, led by Rhonda Leech Doyle, took on the extra task of documenting the children’s learning adventures over these last few months. Here is the result, the April 2001 Edition of the JSPA Newsletter. As you will see, Covid did little to dampen spirits or quell activity, especially amongst our youngest!
All this talk about a ‘lost generation’ of young people, whom have been irreparably marred by the Covid catatrophe and destined for a life on the analyst’s couch, seems a bit over-the-top if the resiliency, optimism and sheer quality of our Class of 2020 graduates are anything to judge by. On Friday, they had their long-delayed, offical commencement and award ceremony and the intelligence, humour and good will on display bode well for a world that is left in their capable hands.
And all this talk about ‘Boomers’ not being able to handle technology and being prone to gaffe-ridden social media memes-in-the-making, Well, take notice, Zoomers! Mr. Carvill and Mr. Gallagher, the producers, directors and emcees on the night, are actual ‘Boomers’ by date of birth (unlike most of their much younger colleagues) and they pulled off an absolute stunner of a ceremony! It was so good we are thinking of doing it every year via Zoom, except that some of us still want to get a free dinner from the students.
Mr. Carvill and Mr. Gallagher were spot on in their selection and delivery of prayers, memories, awards and videos; and they were well complemented by the speeches of Principal Dónal ÓDúlaing, CEO Ann Sheppard, PPU Pres Peter O’Neill, Chaplain Michael Collins and, most poignantly, School Captain 2020 Emily Mansfield. You can read Emily’s heartfelt and pitch-perfect speech here but you will have to watch the video to hear all the speeches and see the winners of all the awards. Enjoy!
Do come to the JSPA Family Quiz Night but the registration process is quite different than previously advertised: The JSPA Family Quiz Night is this Friday (12/2 at 6:30pm) and is for Preparatory and Junior School families only and, remember, it is a fundraiser! To register: 1: Click here. 2. You will receive an automatic ‘Thank You’ from gofundme. 3. And then a ‘Thank You’ from Marianna Dooley (JSPA Rep) with the Google Meet link for the quiz. Sorry for the confusion and best of luck!
Charles Crimmins (Class of 1990) is the man behind Crimmins Visual Communications and all the more impressive parts of this website. Lately, Charles, and our multi-talented Development Co-Ordinator Ellen Long, have been particularly busy bringing light and a deft touch to publicising the various adventures of our far-flung alumni. Click here, or on the Alumni tab above, to see what Charles and Ellen have been up to, including the first issue of our new Alumni Newsletter and the latest winner of the most hotly contested competition in the land: the St. Conleth’s College Alumnus of the Month!
Quite a bit, actually, if you are a St. Conleth’s Junior School student… or a member of the Junior School Parents Association. The kids themselves have carried on with their usual enthusiasm and gusto and Rhonda Leech and her JSPA colleagues have chronicled it in their latest JSPA Newsletter. Enjoy!