Gaelbhratach Award for St. Mary’s College

Bronnadh stádas an Ghaelbhrataigh ar Choláiste Mhuire don dara bhliain i ndiaidh a chéile mar aitheantas ar an sárobair atá déanta acu an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn agus a úsáid sa scoil. Bronnadh an t-aitheantas speisialta orthu ag searmanas sa Pailliún ag Ráschúrsa Bhaile na Lobhar le déanaí. Chuir Eoghan McDermott (2fm) agus Clíona Ní Chíosáin (TG4) an t-imeacht i láthair. Chuir an grúpa ceoil “Seo Linn” ceolchoirm ar fáil do na daltaí.

St. Mary’s College has been awarded the esteemed “Gaelbhratach” status for the second year in a row in recognition of its excellence in the promotion of and the use of the Irish language in the school community. It was awarded the special status at a ceremony at the Pavilion, Leopardstown Racecourse recently. Eoghan McDermott (2fm) and Clíona Ní Chíosáin (TG4) hosted the event. The band “Seo Linn” provided a concert for the participants.

Tá sé mar aidhm ag scéim “An Ghaelbhratach” úsáid agus feasacht na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn. Bhí bliain ghnóthach ag coiste na Gaeilge sa scoil, a bhfuil ionadaithe air ó na bliainghrúpaí éagsúla, ag cuidiú le tréan mór imeachtaí a reáchtáil ina measc, Gaeilge 24, An Céilí Mór, Abair, Díospóireacht Gael Linn, tráth na gceist tras-scoile, An Fhéile Scoildrámaíochta, Scoláireachtaí Gaeltachta, Seachtain na Gaeilge, mar aon le neart comórtais agus gníomhaíochtaí eile. Tá na comharthaí ar fad inár scoil nua dátheangach anois fosta, rud a chuaigh i bhfeidhm go mór ar na moltóirí agus a chuireann go mór le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge sa scoil. Bhí toradh iontach ar an obair dhian ar fad a rinneadh agus is féidir leis an gcoiste bheith thar a bheith bródúil. Maith sibh!

The Gaelbhratach scheme aims to encourage the use of and create greater awareness of the Irish language. The Gaelbhratach committee in the school, which has representatives from the various year groups, had a busy year helping to organise many activities to promote the language including Gaeilge 24, An Céilí Mór, Abair, Gael Linn debates, an inter-school quiz, An Fhéile Scoildrámaíochta, Gaeltacht Scholarships and Seachtain na Gaeilge, as well as various other Irish language competitions and activities. All signage in our new school building is also now bi-lingual which hugely impressed the judges and greatly contributes to the promotion of the Irish language in the school. All this hard work culminated in the awarding of the Gaelbhratach for which the committee can justly be proud. Maith sibh!

Prize Night 2017

On Wednesday St. Mary’s College hosted their annual prize-giving ceremony, a night when students are rewarded for their excellent achievements in various areas of school life. On this special night the opening address was made by the guest speaker, local businessman and former Marist student Mr Keith Agnew, who spoke to students about his personal journey and experience of entrepreneurship.

The highlight of the night was the presentation of the Student of the Year Award. The Fr. McGeough Perpetual Cup was awarded to Bartek Baran for his outstanding contribution to the academic and social life of the school.

This was also the last prize-giving ceremony presided over by current principal Mr. Con McGinley, as Mr. Alan Craven will take over as the new principal of St. Mary’s College in September. A special presentation was made to Mr. McGinley in recognition of his service to the school.


Congratulations to all who received awards on the night – their dedication, enthusiasm and talents are an inspiration to all.

View more photos from the night in our photo gallery.

Carlingford Hike with French Exchange Students

St. Mary’s College Transition Year students, along with some French exchange students, completed a hike across the Cooley mountains into Carlingford on Wednesday, 17th May 2017.

Competently led by Mr. Peadar Gallagher, along with Ms. Gallagher and Ms. Ní Dhoirnín, the group enjoyed comradeship, beautiful scenery, fun and frolics in a relaxed setting on a bright sunny day in May. All arrived home tired but happy having completed the hike at a good pace.


Marist Leaving Cert History Trip 2017

As the Marist Leaving Cert history students returned from their Easter break they were treated to a very educational and enjoyable trip to Kilmainham Jail and Glasnevin Cemetery. Along with their history teachers Mr Lally, Ms Ní Dhóirnín and Mr McGeever 50 pupils experienced guided tours that linked perfectly into the history curriculum and helped to enhance their learning.

First stop was Kilmainham Jail where students learned how, from the 1790s onwards, a remarkable number of leading figures of Irish nationalism were imprisoned and executed there. Each prison cell had its own story and the tour culminated in the stone-breakers’ yard where, between 3rd and 12th May 1916, fourteen men were executed by firing squad. Students heard the stories of the condemned and of how one of the leaders, Joseph Plunkett, was given permission to marry his fiancée, Grace Gifford, in the chapel of the Gaol just hours before his execution. The final execution was that of James Connolly, a key personality on their leaving cert course.

The group then made the short journey to Glasnevin Cemetery where they got a valuable insight into its unique history and into the final resting place of the men and women who have helped shape Ireland’s past and present. The expert guides told the stories of the dramatic events and personalities they had experienced in class which was followed by a trip to its new state of the art museum. The day out definitely increased their enthusiasm for history!


Success for Krzysztof in the final of Abair

Krzysztof Baran from St. Mary’s College recently took part in the final of Gael Linn’s prestigious ‘Abair’ Irish public speaking competition, which was this year held at Navan Fort in Armagh. Krzysztof qualified for the final having previously qualified from the regional bout in Dundalk. Speakers from across the nine counties of Ulster and Co. Louth compete in the annual cross-border competition.

Competitors on the day had to speak about a topical issue as Gaeilge for three minutes each. In the final Krzysztof spoke about his chosen topic of Daoine Gan Dídean / Homelessness, where he discussed the extent and severity of the problem throughout Ireland today. He was delighted to achieve second place in the Junior Certificate Section and received high commendation from the judges. He was awarded a trophy, an electronics voucher and a half scholarship to attend Coláiste Gael Linn Bhun an Inbhir Gaeltacht College in Donegal to recognise his success. Comhghairdeas mór leis!

Marist Easter Trip 2017 – Glasgow

Easter was an exciting time at St Mary’s College as a group of students, under the guidance of Mr. Murphy, Mr Lally and Mr Hegarty embarked on what was destined to be an experience of a life-time.

Setting out from Dundalk their journey firstly took them to the Glasgow Science Centre where students enjoyed interactive exhibitions and workshops. They then made the short journey to Celtic Park, or what their supporters fondly call ‘Paradise’. What followed was an action-packed game in which the newly crowned champions defeated local rivals Kilmarnock in an unbelievable atmosphere.

Sunday witnessed the group participate in a competitive game of ten – pin bowling and some shopping but the trip was capped off with a personal guided tour of Celtic Park and St Mary’s Church Hall, the spot were Celtic FC were founded. Students were treated to a visit to the first team dressing room and followed onto the pitch in the footsteps of their heroes.

It was a poignant moment for the Marist students as they learned of how Brother Walfrid, a Marist Brother from Sligo, established the club in order to feed the starving Irish immigrants in the east end of Glasgow. The strong Marist connection and ethos of Celtic was undoubtedly felt by the young group who left determined that this trip would be on an annual basis.



New ASPIRE Programme in the Marist

Back Row (L – R) Eimear Kelly, Holly Lambe Sally, Peter Lambe Fagan, Niamh Walsh, Eoghan McGee, Aimee Coburn and Ainnle Kinney. Front Row (L-R) Sadhbh Rafferty, Kerrie Gregory, Nicole Cumiskey, Kerry Lawless and Katie Rice.

ASPIRE Academy recently hosted a one-day programme during the Easter holidays for Transition Year and 5th year students at St. Mary’s College in Dundalk.

ASPIRE deliver specialised programmes for both teenagers and parents of young children to support the development of essential key skills for building lives that flourish.

ASPIRE Teen Academy is an active and engaging 5 day programme for teenagers aged 14-17, designed to further enhance:

  • Communication Skills & Creative Expression
  • Self-confidence, Mindfulness & Well-being
  • Study Skills & Future Ambitions

Students learn and put into practice the practical life skills they will use each day to make their own successes. They become confident that they can work to attain whatever goal they set their sights on whilst maintaining a strong sense of personal well-being. They begin to lay the foundations for building the life of their dreams.

In St. Mary’s College, on Thursday the 13th of April, ASPIRE focused their one-day programme on the areas of spontaneous creativity, strategies to support and strengthen voice for public speaking, developing presence and confidence for interpersonal communication, cultivating mindfulness practice for student well-being, improving study skills and exploring future ambitions.

When asked about their experiences, some of the students’ responses were:

I really enjoyed the mindfulness and well-being because it was nice to connect with your inner-self.

It was fun and helped me up my confidence for speaking.

The activities at the start were quite challenging for me because it was a bit out of my comfort zone to just jump in, but after I got stuck in, it was brilliant.

I really enjoyed how relaxed the activities were throughout the day. The mindfulness section was the most interesting part for me, learning how to realise my thoughts and stay in the moment was really helpful.

ASPIRE are launching their 5 Day Summer Teen Academy in both Dundalk and Dublin this summer.

Information Meetings: Venues and Dates

Dundalk: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Thursday, 4th May, 7 pm – 9pm.

Dublin: Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Saturday, 6th May, 11 am – 1 pm.

Teen Academy Programmes: Venues and Dates.

Dundalk: Creative Spark, 10th July – 14th July

Dublin: Trinity College Dublin, 31st July – 4th August

ASPIRE will also present workshops in June and July for parents of young children in the areas of positive social and emotional behaviour and language and communication development.

See for more details.

Conor Clune and Camilla Marks – Course Directors.

Dundalk Park Run

Well done to the Sky Sports Living for Sport and Marist Transformation students who took part in the Dundalk Park Run 5k on Saturday!! Super stuff!