This year’s Marist Education Authority Public Speaking Competition took place on Friday the 13th of May in CUS in Dublin. This competition is held annually between First Years from each of the three Marist Fathers’ schools in Ireland, which are under the patronage of the Marist Education Authority. St Mary’s College had six First Year students representing their school in the competition, against six students from CUS and six students from Chanel College in Coolock. The motion of the competition was “It is hard being a teenager in today’s world.”
The participants were divided into two teams, three students proposing the motion and three students opposing the motion. Proposing the motion were Jack Lambert, Amanda Onanaku and David Osiobe. Opposing the motion were Xin Dacao, Shana Dodsworth and Teleola Olowookure. The students prepared their speeches in the weeks leading up to the competition, helped by their English teachers and their fellow students. A contingent of six students also travelled to Dublin to support the competitors, accompanied by Ms. Shaw and Ms. Lennon.
On the day, the St Mary’s College students spoke outstandingly, proudly representing their school to a very high standard, with Xin Dacao taking first prize against able competition from Chanel and CUS. A huge congratulations is due to all students who took part in the preparations and in particular the six students who represented their school so well on the day.
They came from Rome, and from Paris, and from all over Europe, for the official opening of the new St Mary’s College school building in Dundalk. Fr John Hannan Superior General of the Marist Fathers and a former pupil, came from Rome and Fr Hubert Bonnet-Eymard, European Provincial came from Paris.
Many past pupils, and people representing much of the community, attended the Mass in the new school gym celebrated by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All-Ireland. In his blessing Archbishop Martin thanked the business community, the Government and the Department of Education, voluntary organisers and the Marist Fathers, for their combined contribution towards the building project.
The old school building was originally a house, Church Hill House, opposite the Green Church, and it was from here that a procession, led by the Marist Marian icon, made its way to the new building.
Archbishop Martin chatted on the way to pupils, who formed a guard of honour, and local people and later said that he could feel a real sense of the significance of the occasion. It was indeed another historic moment in the history of St Mary’s College Dundalk.
The site for the school building was provided by the Marist Fathers. The eco-friendly building is expected to reduce energy costs and the classrooms and teaching spaces include specialised rooms for the teaching of a broad curriculum.
“This new building is an exciting renewal of St Mary’s College, a part of Dundalk for over 150 years,” Mr Con McGinley, Principal, St Mary’s College said. “We will continue to provide excellence in education for all our students.”
Three Students from our Junior Basketball Team were selected to represent Louth at the 4 Counties competition which was held in Virginia, Cavan on Sunday 22nd May. Thomas Rice, Luke Markey and Elijah Faapito took part in Louth trials the previous week and were selected as part of a panel of 12. They played extremely well in all three of Louth’s convincing victories over Meath, Monaghan and Cavan. The inter-regional team coach was present on the day to choose the inter-regional provisional squad, which will train throughout the summer. We are extremely proud of the three boys. We would like to wish the three lads the very best of luck in the selection process and hope they get the chance to show off their abilities again and represent the Inter-regional team.
Massive congratulations to our 1st and 2nd year Boys Basketball teams on two very successful seasons. Both teams managed to get to the North East Regional C Final on the 7th of April 2016.
April 7th was a memorable day for our Second Year Boys Basketball team when they secured a fantastic victory over St Pats Navan in Carrickmacross by 44-30, to win the North East Regional C Final. Spectacular performances were given by Thomas Rice, Luke Markey and Elijah Faapito on the day as well as a brilliant team performance. The win ensured qualification to the All Ireland Playoffs which we then hosted here in St Mary’s College.
The Playoffs were held on Sunday the 24th April. 4 teams competed in a league style format where the winner of the group qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals. We got off to a nervous start and were beaten by last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Piper’s Hill College, Naas. However the team showed tremendous courage and determination to put the loss behind them and show their true talent by winning their two remaining matches against St Pat’s Ballymena and Grange CS from Sligo. They were two very enthralling encounters in which Dean Carroll scored a last minute 3-pointer to win the match against St Pats, Ballymena. Elijah Faapito demonstrated great composure to score two free throws in the last few seconds of the last match of the day against Grange CS before a brilliant defensive display closed the game out. It meant we finished second overall and provided this young team with invaluable experience playing in the All-Irelands. It has showed a lot of talent and promise for the coming years ahead. It was a fantastic team effort with some standout performances both defensively and offensively by Graham Stevens, Craig Callan, Elijah Faapito, Luke Markey and Thomas Rice. We are immensely proud of our students and are eagerly looking forward to next season. Well done and congratulations to their coaches Mr McShane, Tiernan Reilly and Gavin Erasmus.
The 1st year Boys team didn’t win on the day after a hard fought encounter with Mercy Ballymahon from Longford. Having reached the final, they still qualified for Round 1 of the All-Ireland playoffs against Castleknock in Dublin a week later. Unfortunately, it wasn’t their day but they showed great fight and determination. A massive congratulation and thank you to their coaches, Ms Gallagher and Tiernan Reilly for all their efforts.
St Mary’s College student Patrick Fu has been presented with the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year for Republic of Ireland award by Sky Academy Ambassador and Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor.
The Dundalk pupil was surprised by Katie during what he thought was a boxing masterclass with Sky Sports Boxing’s Johnny Nelson, but Sky were really there to capture the surprise, which was broadcast on Sky Sports News.
Patrick, 15, is one of thousands of secondary school pupils participating in Sky Sports Living for Sport projects throughout the UK and Ireland. The free Sky Academy initiative, delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, uses sport to help young people build practical skills and self-confidence. The annual awards recognise and reward the success of students and teachers.
Patrick was nominated to take part in Sky Sports Living for Sport because he was struggling with some aspects of school life. During the project Patrick went on a life-changing journey with his attendance improving and becoming fully engaged in class.
His confidence has grown and he now has clear goals and ambition, believing he can change and achieve his dreams. He is also now part of the Student Council. Sky Academy Ambassador Katie Taylor said, “Patrick’s shown incredible improvement since becoming involved in Sky Sports Living for Sport, it’s really rewarding to see such progress. The projects run by St Mary’s College are the perfect way to inspire students to sporting and academic success.”
Inline skating champion Jenna Downing was St Mary’s College’s Athlete Mentor throughout their project, and she was delighted that Patrick was chosen as the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year for Republic of Ireland: “It was a pleasure to meet and work with Patrick as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme. Through a brilliant judo project at St Mary’s College Patrick has improved in confidence and is now fully engaged within school.
“I had a fantastic couple of visits working with Patrick and as his Athlete Mentor. I am so proud to hear that Patrick is now a member of the College’s student council. Well done Patrick, your success is truly deserved!”
See a video of the moment Katie Taylor surprised Patrick with his award here