40th Celebrations at Our Lady's Secondary School, Castleblayney

On the day that our new President, Michael D O’Higgins was inaugurated, Castleblayney had its own red letter occasion which saw Our Lady’s Secondary School celebrate its 40th anniversary with a day marked with celebrations aplenty.

On Friday 11th November, Principal, Mr. Gerard McGuill, staff and students were joined by friends past and present to mark and celebrate the beginnings of Our Lady’s which saw the amalgamation of Scoil Mhuire and St Mary’s Boys School in 1971 – a very ambitious and progressive step at the time.

The celebratory mood of the day was set by the Principal announcing a homework-free weekend! Throughout the day staff and students were joined by a ‘who’s who’ list of past pupils who shared their life and career experiences with the students.












Pictured above (LtoR) are school Principal, Mr. Gerard McGuill, Sr. Columba Gargan, Chairperson of School Board of Management and Finbar Brohan, Deputy Principal.

All in Our Lady’s are indebted to these inspirational and interesting speakers, all of whom had to re-schedule their working day and many of whom travelled long distances, they include Dermot McArdle inter county footballer and entrepreneur, Mrs. Margaret Conlon, former TD and Deputy Principal of St Louis, Monaghan, Ms. Fidelma Flanagan, consultant radiologist and Director of Breastcheck, Mr. Irene McCormack, Media expert and Lecturer, Tony Ward, Accountant and Marathon runner and Mary Kelly-Quinn, Lecturer and former Ireland and European Young Scientist of the Year.

On the sporting front, the 1993 All Ireland Basketball champions returned and proved their mettle by playing and beating the Senior Boys Basketball team, while the present Senior GAA team had a similar fate at the hands of the Ulster and All-Ireland Senior Football team of 2005, although the weather may have had an influence on that result!

Later that evening Mass was concelebrated in the Convent Chapel by School Chaplain, Fr. Adrian Walshe, Fr. Larry Duffy, past Chaplain and Fr. Paudge McDonnell, PP Clontibret, Fr. Daly, PP Broomfield was also in attendance.

The reception in the school afterwards gave the large congregation an opportunity to view the timeline – a photographic representation of the 4 decades in the life of the school – this being the brainchild of Mr. Jimmy Brophy who worked collaboratively with Sr. Joan and Mr. John Gallen.

After addresses from Mr. Finbarr Brohan, Deputy Principal, Sr. Columba Gargan, Chairperson of the Board of Management and Principal, Mr. Gerard McGuill, the large and representative group retired to the Concert Hall for an evening of reminiscence as past pupils, Brendan Gormley, Ciaran Hanratty, Andrea Gallen Beirne, Cathy Evans Farrell, Bernie Kellett McMahon, Dearbhla McCreesh, Tom Gillanders, Grace Denny, Mark McGuigan, Tickie McQuillan Murphy, Mark McEntee, along with present students, Sean McBennett, Cormac McKenna and Tara McCauley, took us down memory lane with excerpts from the Musicals under the direction of Joe Hanratty.

Truly a day of celebration of all that is good about life in Our Lady’s with past and present blending seamlessly to ensure that the next 40 will be as enjoyable, stimulating, exciting & formative as the last!