Long ago, Mrs. Patricia Kelleher initiated what has become a beloved Conlethian tradition: the Sheppard-Kelleher family invites Sixth Years out to the opera and all the young men and ladies (and a few select teachers!) get all dickied up and they enjoy a night of civilised, cultural entertainment. Newly crowned CEO Tony Kilcommons proudly continued this tradition this year, delighted that his personal favourite, ‘Carmen’, was serendipitously appearing at the Bord Gais Theatre. Tony relates how he and the other forwards of the Athlone Rugby Football Club would often serenade (and console) each other in the showers after particularly tough matches with arias from the risqué Bizet, and, by all accounts, it was an amazing production, even rendering Oisín Power, noted opera aficionado, into a blubbering mass of tears at the most poignant moments… but that could have been the thimble of Jameson quaffed beforehand at The Palace. Ms. Fay and Ms. McGuinness, our dynamic duo of music, were also duly impressed, as were Form Teachers, Ms. NiAonghusa and Mr. Coleman, who worked wonders organising the outing on short notice. Good to see that the culture vultures, a migratory bird banished by the Covid reaction, have returned!