Our Ladies Castleblayney - School News

Lots to celebrate at Our Lady’s

The Principal and staff of Our Lady’s Secondary School were delighted to welcome back the Leaving Cert Class of 2017 to a reception in the school last Thursday 31st August. Leaving Cert results… college places….debs… there was much to talk about and discuss. In what can best be described as an atmosphere of congratulations and celebration, these young people took time out from their busy college preparations to once again meet their teachers with whom they had worked so closely for the last six years. The staff, for their part, took the opportunity to offer congratulations to this group of students who had achieved outstanding results, many attaining personal bests.

Speaking at the school during the week Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly commented on this year’s excellent Leaving Cert results, “as a school we are absolutely delighted with this year’s Leaving Certificate results as all of our students across many different levels achieved above and beyond what they had expected. Over 10% of the year group achieved in excess of 500 points, 41 students achieved in excess of 400 points and over 60 students achieved over 350 points. A special word of congratulations goes to two students, Deslit George and Cormac McKenna, both of whom achieved in excess of 600 points. We are extremely proud of all our students as they leave not only with a set of excellent Leaving Certificate results but have necessary traits & characteristics that will ensure they will be successful as they move into next phase of their lives”.

These results allow them to pursue courses in Medicine, Pharmacy, Primary School teaching, International Business, Performing Arts, Science, Commerce, Arts, & nursing to name but a few, and puts them up there with the best in the country. Like their predecessors, this fine group of young people, leave a very strong legacy behind them in their sporting, literary and theatrical pursuits and achievements and have left their mark on the school with their friendly, generous and balanced natures. Any school in Ireland would be proud of such fine ambassadors.
As many of the students head off to take up their college places over the next few weeks, there is an air of anticipation and expectation although tinged with a little sadness, as one student put it ‘they were leaving their second home, in leaving Our Lady’s’. This year’s group, like other years, head off in large numbers to DCU, UCD, Trinity, Maynooth, IT’s, St Pat’s, Wilkes College, Cardiff, MIFET and Cavan IT to name but a few.

As we bid farewell to this class, preparations are already being put in place by Guidance Counsellor, Mr Geraghty, for the current 6th Years to attend the Higher Options Conference in the RDS mid September and so the cycle begins again.

Pictured at a reception for the Leaving Cert Class of 2017 in Our Lady’s Secondary School are Cormac McKenna & Deslit George seen here with Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly. Huge congratulations to Cormac & Deslit both of whom achieved in excess of 600 points.


Ms Eithne O’Hanrahan is pictured here with Caoimhe Duffy, Hannah Duffy & Shauna McMahon at the Leaving Cert reception in Our Lady’s

Thomas Boyle, Michael Connolly, Gavan Callaghan & Darren McEneaney chat with school Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly

High Achievers at Our Lady’s

Pictured in Our Lady’s are the 32 students who achieved a Grade C or higher in all honours subjects. They are seen here being congratulated by Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly, Deputy Principal, Mr Finbarr Brohan and Year Head, Ms Karen Clerkin. Congratulations to all concerned.

Front Row (left to right): Jasmine Huang, Zara O’ Gorman, Sophie O’ Sullivan, Hannah O’ Brien, Nicole Mc Caghney, Andrew Connolly, Gearoid Coyle, Jayne Drury, Muireann Harrigan, Ellen Mc Mahon.

Middle Row (left to right): Mr. Eddie Kelly (Principal), Ms. Karen Clerkin (Year Head), Katie Carragher, Shauna Casey, Yasmin O’ Sullivan, Frances Horgan, Charlotte Mc Quillan, Delvit George, Sam Jones, Patrick Clarke, Holly Havanagh, Mia Daly, Grace Xue, Mr. Finbarr Brohan (Deputy Principal).

Back Row (left to right): Anais Mc Guire, Ailbhe Brohan, Sinead Reilly, Dean Carragher, Jason Carragher, Tara Mc Ardle, Chloe Keenan, Conor Brennan, Sean Callan.

Absent from Photo: Charlotte Carragher & Darragh Ruddin

Our Lady’s Secondary School receives Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Award

On Tuesday last, September 12th, the now annual Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Awards ceremony was held at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. These awards recognised the immense efforts of 89 schools around the island of Ireland who have completed the Ambassador School Programme, and became actively involved in mental health promotion. The Ambassador School Programme is one aspect of a wide range of Cycle Against Suicide initiatives and programmes, is school-led, and involves the completion of “Five Gears” over the course of a year, all of which are aimed at raising awareness of the message that “It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”.

The Programme provides a framework for schools to integrate mental health activities into the school plan, and rewards schools who go the extra mile. The Programme also aims to recognise innovative and effective initiatives, and facilitates schools to share and showcase good practice.

At the special reception, Our Lady’s Secondary School was awarded the prestigious status of Ambassador School by Cycle Against Suicide in recognition of their fulfilment of the Five Gears, and their exceptional commitment to the promotion of positive mental health.

Our Lady’s Secondary School was represented at the event by Link Teacher Grace Duffy and students Colin Merrick, Neasa Boyle and Our Lady’s choir who understandably are very proud of their achievements. “The Ambassador School Awards ceremony was a great day. It’s wonderful to attend such a positive event, and have the efforts of the students recognised. Our participation in the Ambassador School Programme has had an enormously positive impact on our school community, fostered a school-wide approach to the promotion of positive mental health, and provided incredible opportunities for student leadership”, said Grace Duffy speaking at the event. Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee presented the awards to students on what was a very positive enjoyable day for all involved. More information on the Ambassador School Programme is available on

Pictured at the Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Awards ceremony held at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham are Neasa Boyle & Colin Merrick, 6th Year students at Our Lady’s who were accepting the Award on behalf of the school for the 3rd Year in a row. Helen McEntee, Minister for State for European Affairs presented the awards.

School Musical

As young students receive standing ovations for 3 consecutive nights...............

‘Bring it On’ as staged by Our Lady’s in Iontas from Oct 11th to 13th was an impressive musical extravaganza with high-stakes stunts that left audiences gasping! The 82 strong group of TY & 5th Year students would have been at home on Broadway and would have left that audience shouting for more. Standing ovations on the 3 consecutive nights left these talented, artistic young people in no doubt that their passion, high energy, enthusiasm, sheer vitality and raw talent had captivated audiences. Life was pulsating from each and every young member of the cast!

This is the story of Campbell Davis (Lisa Rose McMahon), a young cheerleader & teen queen who dreams of leading her squad to victory at a National competition. Her rival and eventual ally, Danielle (Caoimhe Tourish) teaches Campbell about friendship as she tries to make sense of her new ‘outside’ status, having been relocated to the multi-ethnic Jackson High school from her former uber-affluent Truman High. This show is a lively blend of high energy dance with acrobatic tricks interspersed with romance and growing friendships between high school students. As the story unfolds we are introduced to the other leading roles as played by Ethan Clark (Randall), Eva (Aoibheann Maguire), Bridget (Laura Brereton), Nautica (Rohanny Llamas), La Cienega (Jamie Anderson), Stephen (Leon Campbell), Cameron (Rytis Maciukas), Kylas (Cianna Kierans), Skylar (Lauren Keenan), Twig (Michael McMahon) & Announcer (Tara McArdle).

No show can go on stage without their Musical director who was Music teacher, Ms Cara Murray with Ms Gabrielle Tuomey as Producer, Assistant Musical director, Colm Murray and Assistant Producers, Ms Hughes & Ms Martin. Choreography was by Sinead Courtney of Leaving Cert class 2017 who is now attending Wilke Performing School London. Visual backdrop was designed and produced by the talented Sam Jones. The extremely talented in-house band was led by past pupils Colm Murray & Tomasina McGinnity accompanied by present students, Ryan Matthews, Emer Ruddin, Katie McCabe, Caoimhe Sheridan, Ruadhán Curran, Fiona Harrigan & Vincentas Ajauskas, superbly led by teachers, Ms Murray & Ms Marron. Set design was by Ms Lynch and special thanks to Hugh Carragher & Stephen Smith for construction of props. Special mention also goes to Gymnastics coach, Lisa Boyle of Kileevan Gymnastic Club.

It was all hands on deck as prefects ran the raffle each night and the back stage crew and set design team were extremely efficient and professional in their stage management and in helping with sound, lighting & make up. Well done to everyone.

Speaking at the school during the week, Principal Mr Eddie Kelly congratulated everyone involved in the production of the musical which was an outstanding success. ‘What the audience witnessed over the course of three nights was a culmination of a tremendous amount of sacrifice and dedication by staff and students. It was a great testimony to the talent and commitment of staff and students that in the space of seven weeks they managed to produce and perfect a series of outstanding performances characterised by huge energy, enthusiasm and an incredible amount of talent. We are extremely proud of the students involved in the musical and they are excellent ambassadors for our school and I’ve no doubt that the characteristics they have developed and the values they have learned this past few weeks will be put to good use over the course of their remaining time at Our Lady’s. On behalf of management, parents and students I would like to thank all staff involved in the production of the musical at so many different levels but in particular to acknowledge the vision, guidance, commitment and dedication of Ms. Tuomey and Ms. Murray. This was the first musical that was produced and directed exclusively by the staff of Our Lady’s and the attention to detail, level of professionalism and quality of performance was second to none. As a school we are indebted to Ms. Tuomey and Ms. Murray for their incredible generosity of time and their continued hard work and dedication to our school and students’.

Just can’t wait until the next one!!!

Ellen to attend National Olympiad

Congratulations to Ellen Mc Mahon, TY student in Our Lady’s Secondary School who has been invited to attend the National Olympiad in DCU next month. Ellen was identified by the State Examinations Commission as a high achiever in Maths & Science on the basis of her excellent Junior Certificate results.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Ellen who will work alongside other high achievers from schools around the country. After weeks of training and preparation, a number of students will be selected from the National Olympiad to represent Ireland in the International Junior Science Olympiad and the European Science Olympiad.

Ellen, daughter of Pete and Paula McMahon, Corracloughan bears the good wishes of the entire school community in Our Lady’s.

Pictured in Our Lady’s Secondary School is TY student, Ellen McMahon being congratulated by School Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly and Science teacher, Ms Karena Reilly.