Awards Evening at Our Lady's Secondary School, Castleblayney

On Thursday May 16th, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan community gathered together to recognise and honour special achievements, both academic and altruistic, by its students with an Awards ceremony where there was an impressive display of silverware to be presented.

In welcoming the assembled guests who numbered among them Chairpersons of the Board of Management & Parents Association, members of the business community, parents, teachers & students, Principal, Mr Gerard McGuill complimented the young people on their successes and their participation “it is not only school achievements that we acknowledge tonight.

Our students participate and compete at county, provincial and national levels. In doing so they achieve great success but it is not only the victories that we recognise but also the manner of their participation.

The hallmark of students from Our Lady’s on all these stages is their courtesy, consideration and basic good manners.

For this above all else I commend all students who have represented our school over the last 9 months. Their successes, individual and team will be recognised as the ceremony continues”. Mr McGuill then introduced, Ms Rosaleen McNicholas, co-ordinator of the evening who officiated over the general awards section.

Presentation of Cups

The breadth and depth of the students’ successes and achievements were mirrored in the many cups being presented on the night.

The many and varied programmes and opportunities on offer to students at Our Lady’s were reflected in the awards being presented.

Two groups of students were singled out for special mention: the 24 school prefects who have been pillars of the school community and the 24 Peer Support students who give unselfishly of their time to counsel and befriend any vulnerable junior students and to ease the transition from Primary to Secondary school for 1st Years.


In introducing the Sports section, Deputy Principal, Mr Finbarr Brohan commented “ sport provides an important counter balance to the academic side of school life, it is where friendships are made and the ability to work with and for others is cultivated.

The past year has been one of the busiest and most successful years ever in terms of sport in Our Lady’s. It is important to remember that while a number of individuals are being honoured tonight they are indebted to their colleagues for their success.

The students also owe a huge debt to all our staff who so willingly give of their own time to coach and prepare the school teams. A welcome addition to our sports programme this year was athletics in which a number of students competed under the guidance of Mr.Mulroe”. Mr Brohan wrapped up the sports section by extending good wishes to our girl’s U14 football team and their management, Ms. Bolger and Mr Graham in their Ulster final on Tuesday 21st May against Castlewellan.

Academic Achievements

Principal, Mr Gerard McGuill, returned to the podium to conduct the final section of the Awards Evening – Academic achievements. In this section there were no less than fifteen cups being presented and Mr McGuill congratulated the young people on their extraordinary talents and their commitment to excellence.

Two new cups had been added this year, the Junior and Senior Cups for Excellence in German, sponsored by the German/Swiss Embassy.

Mr John Sheridan of Castleguard Security Services Ltd, sponsor of the Gaelic Jerseys was on hand to present the Senior GAA Player of the Year.

Before handing over to traditional group, Spraoi, Mr McGuill expressed his thanks to the many people involved in the organization of the evening, to the sponsors, parents, staff and students, without whom there would be no awards evening.

The programme for the evening was interspersed throughout with some very talented performances from the Music and Drama departments in the school. Music interludes were provided by some hauntingly beautiful performances from Spraoi, the traditional group who travelled to North Wales to compete in the internationally renowned Eistedfodd, also from the school choir who are as much at home in the National Concert Dublin as our own Concert Hall!

Two scenes from the highly-acclaimed ‘Blood Brothers’ allowed the cast of Sean McBennett, Cormac McKenna, Ellen Quinn, Melissa McMahon, Shamara O’Flaherty Daly, Tomasina McGinnity & Logan McQuillan show why they packed the Concert Hall and Drumhowan Community Centre in recent weeks.

This very special evening concluded with light refreshments in the GPA.

Award Winners 2013

Arts, Literary & Student Welfare Awards:
Prefects: Megan Atkinson, Lorna Bishop, Niamh Boyle, Laura Brohan, Aoife Connolly, Fiona Cummins, Eimear Forde, Mark Gormley, Barry Hanratty, Joey Hughes, Cliodhna Kelly, Mark Magee, Kerrie McArdle, Mark McCabe, Sean McCahey, Rachel McCann, Cillian McDonald, Eimear McEneaney, Aisling McGinn, Ross McGinn, Emma McKenna, Sarah Murray, Donatas Slakaitis, Niall Walsh.

Junior Poetry Bank of Ireland Cup: 1st Joshua Kelly, 2nd Michelle Mohan Senior Poetry Parents’ Association Cup: 1st Aisling Hughes, 2nd Danielle Dickson Drama: Senior: Best Actor: Eimear Quinn, Junior: Best Male Actor: Joint Award: Sean McBennett & Cormac McKenna, Best Female Actor: Tomasina McGinnity Performing Arts Award: Gabriele Ajauskaite Junior Short Story Credit Union Cup: Dearbhaille Farrell, 2nd Elana McKenna. Senior Short Story Castlecool Cup: Joint 1st Laura Brohan & Eimear Quinn. Junior Music Performance Award: Stephen McMahon, Senior Music Performance Award: Lisa McCabe

Student Council Awards (6th Years): Megan Atkinson, Kerri McArdle, Mark McCabe, Sean McCahey, Michaela McQuaid.

Peer Support Award: Laura Brohan, Fiona Cummins, Anthony Cunningham, Barry Duffy, Nicola Duffy, Aoife Durkin, Barry Hanratty, Aaron Kelly, Michelle Kerr, Steven Kingham, Dasha Kovalenko, Rachel Malone, Kerri McArdle, Sean McCahey, Rachel McCann, Aisling McGinn, Emma McKearney, Emma McKenna, Naoimhe McNally, Emma Mooney, Laura Murray, Sarah Murray, Hannah O’Brennan & Josh Sherry.

Sport Awards:

Junior Basketball Awards: Brandon Rice, Orlaith Maguire. Senior Basketball Awards: Mark Magee, Olga Tavey Junior Ladies GAA Award: Muireann Atkinson, Senior Ladies GAA Award McElroy Shield: Alanna O’Donoghue U-14 GAA Award (Boys) Oram GFC Cup: Frank Connolly U-16 GAA Award Faughs Cup: Barry Kerr Senior GAA Player of the Year (Castleguard Security Services): David McMahon. Junior Sportsperson of the Year Declan Loughman Cup: Eoin McKearney Senior Sportsperson of the Year Philip Brady Cup: Emma McKenna
U-20 B Ulster Champions GAA Award – Team: Emma Forde, Alanagh McElroay, Emma McKenna, Bronagh Sheridan, Elaine McKernan, Alanna O’Donoghue, Aine McElroy, Muireann Atkinson, Aoife Duffy, Michaela McQuaid, Chloe Woods, Roisin Finnegan, Niamh Callan, Megan Atkinson, Ellen Tibby, Michaela Curtis, Michaela McCabe, Niamh McBennett, Aoife Connolly, Eimear Finnegan, Blaithin Bishop, Cliona McDonald.

Academic Awards:

LCVP Award: Laura Murray. Art: Senior: Bronagh Maguire, Junior: Orlaith Maguire, JC Project: Ronan Merrick, Music Award Academic: Senior: Kerri McArdle, Junior: Colm Murray Home Economics Award: Senior (McArdle Meats Cup): Hannah Leonard, Junior (Ginger C Cup): Emma McShane, JCSP: (Ginger C Cup) Ronan OReilly. Junior History Award: Andrew McMahon. Music Awards: Junior: Pierce Callaghan, Senior: Joint Recipients: Jamie Bishop & Shay Sweeney, Science Awards: Junior: Kavisha Yatagampitiya, Junior German Award: Colm Murray, Fintan Traynor Memorial Cup for Junior Business Studies: Romans Serskis. Junior Cert 2012 Awards: Muireann Atkinson, Sophie Brennan, Ryan Callan, Christopher Carragher, Mark Connolly, Saoimhe Courtney, Daniele Dickson, Noah Donnelly, Aoife Duffy, Annie Hannaway, Emma Heavin, David Hughes, Neasa Kelly, Gary Loughran, Éanna Malone, Karen Markey, Clíona McDonald, Barry McGinn, Muireann McHugh, Katie McNally, Robert Metcalfe, Eimear Quinn, Jamie Walshe, Chloe Woods. Best Junior Cert 2012: Emma Heavin & Eímear Quinn.

Catherine Conway Cup for Excellence in Chemistry: Emma Mooney
Carna Transport Cup for Excellence in Physics: Hannah O’Brennan
Parents Association Cup for Excellence in Maths: Hannah O’Brennan
Fr Frank McKenna Memorial Award (for Leaving Cert Maths & Physics): Fearghal Donaghy
Sr Margaret Lyons Cup for Senior Geography: Eimear McEneaney
Cooltrim Cup for Business: Laura Brohan
Callaghan Cup for Excellence in Irish: Laura Brohan
Nogent Sur Vernisson Cup for Excellence in French: Sean McCahey
German/Swiss Embassy Cup for Excellence in German: Emma McKearney
O’Dufaigh Cup for Excellence in History: Joey Hughes
Board of Management Cup for Excellence in English: Emma McKearney
Academic Achievement Award/Anthony Gallen Cup: Fearghal Donaghy
Student of the Year Nominees: Laura Brohan, Barry Hanratty, Joey Hughes, Eimear McEneaney & Emma McKenna
Gerald F Gillanders Student of the Year 2013: Laura Brohan

Pictured above are the four nominees for the Student of the Year award Emma McKenna, Eimear McEneaney, Joey Hughes and Barry Hanratty, along with the winner Laura Brohan , Mr McGuill, Mr Brohan and sixth year, Year Head Mr Kelly.

Class of 2013: Pictured above are the Leaving Cert students on their last day of school in Our Lady's Secondary School, Castleblayney.