After the usual hectic start to the school term students and staff at Our Lady’s have banished the post-summer blues and are fully engrossed in the term’s work. Induction ran much more smoothly this year as the new school building is fully operational and much more comfortable and user-friendly than the situation this time last year. A date for the official opening of the new school will be arranged in the near future. We had hoped to have the Minister for Education in attendance but he is proving a little elusive at present.
The school welcomed 110 new students to Our Lady’s over the first days of the new term. These included the usual crop of bright faced and enthusiastic first years, international students from Italy, Spain, France and Germany as well as transfers from other schools in Ireland and elsewhere. Well done to all students and staff on the welcome afforded to all new students. Special thanks to Guidance Coundllor, Ms Therese Boland and the Cairdeas group who will help the first years through the first few weeks of secondary school. This can be a daunting time for some students as they transfer from the familiar surroundings of their much smaller primary school.
Like all of Tipperary this last week, the school community at Our Lady’s has been basking in the reflected glory of the Tipperary Senior and Minor teams’ recent exploits. We are delighted at the success of both teams are and we are particularly proud of the involvement of fifteen of our past pupils in the historic events of September 4th . Our Lady’s was represented on the minor team by Captain, Brian Mc Grath, Paddy Caddel, Tom Murphy, Lyndon Fairbrother, Gerry Kelly, Stephen Nolan and Diarmuid Ryan. Their success augurs well for the future of Tipperary hurling and indeed will raise expectations of another solid Harty campaign for Our Lady’s in the current year.
On the senior panel the school was represented by Noel Mc Grath, John Mc Grath, Dan Mc Cormack, Tomás Hamill, Gearoid Ryan and Willie Ryan. Again we are proud of their connection with the school as we are of the fact that manager, Michael Ryan and selector, Conor Stakelum are past pupils. We congratulate them and thank them for the lift they have given to GAA spirits in Tipperary and for the sense of anticipation of future glory their heroic exploits have created.
We had hoped to have arranged a reception for all our sporting heroes by this time but, like the Minister for Education, Liam Mc Carthty is proving a little elusive to date. We hope to make it happen, however, in the not too distant future.
The official opening of the school library took place last week. For the duration of the building project this important facility was not available to students due to a number of constraints. Over the summer holidays, however, Ms Martina Butler and members of the English Department undertook a major re-decoration and re-stocking of the library including the acquisition of new books, installation of more comfortable furniture and preparation of a schedule to promote more use of the library for research and recreational reading. Though the school is a leader in Information Technology use in teaching and learning we are still strongly committed to the promotion of reading from books and the use of books for research and recreational purposes. Therefore we are delighted with this initiative and thank MS. Butler and the members of the English Department who have led this initiative.
Final casting and rehearsals for this year’s school musical, Les Miserables have been taking place over the past two weeks and excitement is growing in anticipation of the performance on October 20th & 21st. A huge amount of work remains to be done in the meantime as this is the most ambitious undertaking by the production team at Our Lady’s to date. As usual the task in is the capable hands of music teachers, Ms Anne Marie Johnston with Ms Eimear O’Callaghan, Fran Garry and Pat Murnane as musical directors and Therese Maher as Director. So we anticipate a production which will equal or surpass the high standards they have set for themselves in recent years.
On Thursday 31st March the Senior Ladies Football team travelled to Oola to compete against Rockwell in the Munster Final. Although the pitch was very soft, weather conditions were perfect for the occasion as both teams took to the field.
Our Lady’s were playing with the aid of a breeze and hill in the first half so it was important to start well and get scores on the board. Niamh Treacy playing at full forward was settling the teams nerves by scoring Templemore’s first three points but defensive fouls were allowing Rockwell to keep in touch. A long ranged kick by Miriam Campion from the side-line went over the head of Rockwell’s keeper Claire Bennett resulting in a much desired goal for Our Lady’s. A couple of minutes later a well worked succession of quick passes down the field and Aine Delaney found the net once again for the girls in maroon and white. This goal was much sought after as it was just before half time and Our Lady’s had missed a lot of chances to extend their lead. Score at half-time Our Lady’s 2-4 Rockwell 0-3.
Rockwell came out all guns blazing in the second half and tried to open up Templemore’s defence but all six backs along with our keeper Katie Bourke stood strong and tall and kept Rockwell’s scores to a minimum. Miriam Campion kicked over two consecutive frees to keep our tally moving in the right direction. Elaine Fitzpatrick and Kate Cashman covered every blade of grass several times as they defended and attacked to keep Templemore on top. The game was very much a stop-start affair but once again Our Lady’s out-scored Rockwell to be crowned Munster Champions at the final whistle. Final score Our Lady’s 2-9 Rockwell College 0-7
Every girl on the field played fantastically well they displayed heart, determination and a drive to win. A special mention must go to our goal keeper Katie Bourke who was outstanding between the posts, her saves, kick-outs and reading of the game were all elements of a top drawer performance,
Our Lady’s Team: Katie Bourke, Kate-Anne Bergin, Christina Brennan, Danielle Healy, Caoimhe O’Brien, Kate Cashman, Katie Collins, Elaine Fitzpatrick, Leanne Gleeson, Sarah Buckley, Aisling O’Dea, Miriam Campion(1-4 (0-2f), Aine Greed(0-1), Niamh Treacy(0-4 (0-2f), Ruth Butler, Aine Delaney(1-0), Orlaith Maher, Aimee Gleeson, Grace Martin, Courtney Shields, Claire Quigley, Ciara Manton, Brona Bergin, Ava Ormond, Grainne Hennessy.
After an exciting and eventful second term at Our Lady’s, school closed for Easter on March 16th. While the mock exams dominated the academic programme for Junior and Leaving Cert students , the high and lows of the Harty and Croke Cup campaigns permeated all areas of school life. Though the final outcome was a bit disappointing we are immensely proud of the commitment and maturity of our players who represented the school with honour since the group stages of the Harty Cup in September. We acknowledge the generosity of all those who supported us throughout the year, especially those who helped with or supported our fundraising endeavours.
Students and staff were delighted to move into the new school extension in February. The completion of the project is the culmination of a painstaking twelve year process and marks the first significant State investment in the school’s infrastructure since the 1070s. For many years to come students will enjoy the benefit of this major investment which has transformed all aspects of the building and provided state of the art infrastructure and equipment throughout the school. The official opening of the school will take place in September 2016.
While the extra- curricular calendar was dominated by the Harty Cup, other sports continued to prosper throughout the second term. The first and second year basketball teams and the athletes enjoyed a number of successes while the Senior Ladies Football team continued to prepare for their Munster Final which will be played on March 21st. A fuller account of all sporting activities during the second term can be read in the school newsletter which is available on Our Lady’s School Website and www.ourladystemplemore.ie
Other highlights of the term included Catholic Schools’ Week, participation in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, the Siansa Gael Linn traditional music competition, the UCC Philosophical Society Debating competition, Proclamation Day, and the return visit of students from Prémilhat , France as part of the French exchange programme. A full account of these events can also be read on the school website.
It was wonderful to finish off the term by winning first prize in the Templemore St. Patrick’s Day parade. Well done the all the students who created Our Lady’s exhibit consisting of a re-enactment of the reading of the Proclamation outside the GPO and to singers, Glynn Stewart, Russell Doyle, Cheyenne Stewart and Aisling Meehan who provided suitable music and song for the occasion. Thanks to Ms Denise Flannery and her team, to Ms Siobhán Bailey, Ms Anne Marie Johnston ,Ms Mary Byrne and Mr. Paul Fogarty who oversaw the St. Patrick’s Day entry. Well done to the Templemore St. Patrick’s Day committee who made a huge effort this year to create an event which would be a suitable commemoration of the historic events that happened in Ireland one hundred years ago.
On Monday 22nd February, Our Lady’s Secondary School welcomed twelve French Exchange students from Prémilhat, Auvergne. They arrived at our school at nine pm after a long tiring journey and were officially welcomed by the Templemore Twinning Committee. We were delighted to receive our French friends as they had hosted us in Prémilhat last March.
On Tuesday the French students accompanied us to school and attended all of our classes. They thoroughly enjoyed the school day with us and found it very different to theirs in France. The students spent the evening with their host families and some were taken to the cinema while others went to local G.A.A. clubs where they experienced Irish culture at its heart.
The French students attended school on Wednesday morning where they taught the First Years some French. They then enjoyed a tour of the Garda College where the practice for the St. Patricks Day Parade was in full swing. This was one of their favourite aspects of the visit. Having lunched in the Spinning Wheel, it was back to school where they enjoyed a traditional music and Irish dancing session, performed by some of Our Lady’s talented students. The French visitors entertained us with songs such as “La Marseillaise”, “Aux Champs Elysées” and “Je Vole –Sardou” and had fun learning some Irish Dancing. Later that evening most of the Irish students and their French counterparts went bowling in Portlaoise while some others accompanied our debating team to Cork.
The next morning we travelled by bus to Kilkenny, where we visited Kilkenny Castle and had some time for shopping. We showed them the Design Centre, Butler House and other famous landmarks. This was one of the highlights of their trip and they really enjoyed the day. Overall the visit was of great benefit in developing the language skills of both sets of students. The time flew by and on Friday morning the students gathered at Our Lady’s for the last time. We sadly said our goodbyes and bid them “Au Revoir” on their way back to France. We thoroughly enjoyed their stay with us and we hope to remain in contact in the years to come.
We would like to thank our French teacher Ms. Harding for all of her hard work in organising the visit. We are very grateful to the Templemore Twinning Committee for their support and their continued hard work. We thank the Prémilhat Twinning Committee for their cooperation and assistance. We wish to thank the management of the Garda College for facilitating our visit, Ms. Johnston for arranging the Irish music and dance session, all of our students who participated in the various events and finally, the families who hosted the French visitors.
Both teams travelled to St. Mary’s Naas on Wednesday 24th February. The First Years were in action first, and this proved to be a close encounter in the first quarter with Our Lady’s holding a slender two point lead. However, a strong second quarter saw Our Lady’s lead by 15 points at half-time. They continued to control the match in the second half and went on to win comfortably on a score line of 48 points to 21. This was a very good team performance with the majority of the team getting on the scoresheet. They have now played four games, winning all four and will top their group if they can beat Kilcullen next Tuesday 1st in the school gym.
The Second Year match was a very tough match. Unfortunately, Our Lady’s girls were unable to close the lead set by the opposition. Final score was 38 points to 12. Top scores- Colleen Giles (4 points), Rachel Leonard (4 points), Ava Ormond (2 points), Victoria Leszuk (2 points).
1st Year Panel: Rachel Burke, Rachel Leonard, Emma Fitzpatrick, Jean Rush, Sarah O’Sullivan, Kirsty Quinlan, Kate Shanahan, Aoife Shelly, Laoise Cummins, Lauren Quinlan, Clodagh Bergin, Kate Fogarty.
2nd Year Panel: Ava Ormond, Grainne Hennessey, Katie Fennell, Coleen Giles, Brona Bergin, Sophie Keane, Wictoria Leszuk, Emma Holly, Nicole Butler, Emma Kelly, Lauren Faherty, Emily Kennedy, Aine Friend, Louise Wallace, Nicola Buggy.