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.
Congratulations to the Senior Hurling team on their comprehensive 1-18 to 0-14 victory over Gort Community School in the All Ireland Quarter Final of the Croke Cup at Kilmallock on Saturday last. The Croke Cup, All Ireland Senior “A” hurling competition is the equivalent of the “back door” for beaten provincial finalists in inter-county hurling and offered Our Lady’s a chance to re-group and re-focus following the Harty final disappointment. Any fears that the team might not be up for the contest were soon dispelled and by the end of the first quarter Our Lady’s were ahead by 1-5 to 0-4 and went on to a 1-11 to 0-8 lead by half time. In the second half, in spite of a spirited Gort fightback, Our Lady’s held firm and finished on a convincing scoreline of 1-18 to Gort’s 0-14. It was a solid team performance but Brian Mc Grath, Paddy Cadell, Anthony Ryan, goalie Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Faribrother and Tom Murphy contributed most to Our Lady’s success. We now face Leinster Champions, St. Kieran’s College, in the All Ireland Semi-final on Saturday next at a venue to be decided. Well done to the team and to mentors, Mr. Tom Byrnes, Mr Noel Fogarty and Mr. Joe Gallagher. Thanks to Claire Hassett (Physio-Elite), Ms Teresa Brennan and Mr. Rory Purcell who provided first aid and physiotherapy for the game.
Hard luck to our brave Harty team who were defeated by a margin of three points on a scoreline of 0-11 to 0-8 in the final at Nenagh on Saturday last. Conditions on the day were atrocious for hurling and Our Lady’s opted to play with a strong wind in the first half. In spite of our best efforts we only had a two point cushion at the break and the outlook was bleak for the second half. However, playing with characteristic Templemore spirit, the team fought bravely to the end and with a bit of luck might have earned a draw. Ardscoil Rís were probably a little bit stronger, physically and that was a big factor, considering the conditions. Given the relative size of the school and the resources at our disposal, we are immensely proud to have reached the final and of the performance of our team throughout the year. We congratulate them on their commitment and dedication and wish them well in the Croke Cup in which we face the Connaught champions in two weeks’ time.
Thanks to the mentors, Mr. Tom Byrnes, Mr Noel Fogarty and Mr. Joe Gallagher for their immense commitment to the Harty team since the beginning of the school year. We commiserate with them on Saturday’s loss and wish them well in the Croke Cup.
We wish to thank all those who supported us on the way the final, and especially those who contributed to our fundraising drive for games in the school in the past weeks. We are especially grateful to Mr. John Costigan and to Mr. Martin Bourke, Clonmore for their help with our fundraising project. All our sponsors will be acknowledged in due course.
Phased opening of the New School
A new era of education began at Our Lady’s on Monday when students gained access to a large section of the new school building. For students and staff who had to endure a certain amount of discomfort and inconvenience since the project began, the wait will have been worthwhile as they now occupy some of the most modern and best equipped classrooms in the country. The €8M project will be complete by the Easter holidays and the new building will be fully occupied for the last term. An open day for parents and the wider community will be arranged for later in the year.
A reminder to parents of incoming first years who have not submitted their application forms to date – please get these to the school by the end of the week as work on the timetable for next year will commence in the near future.