News from Our Lady's Secondary School, Castleblayney

Sports Scholarships for Aoife and Alanna

Congratulations to Aoife Duffy and Alanna O’Donoghue of the Class of 2014 in Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan on being awarded sports scholarships to NUI Maynooth.

Aoife, daughter of Gene and Angela Duffy, Aughnamullen and member of the Aughnamullen Ladies team has accepted her place in NUI Maynooth to study Primary School teaching.

Alanna O’Donoghue, daughter of Tommy and Deirdre, Derrygasson, Emyvale and member of the Emyvale Ladies will study Arts in Maynooth.

These sports scholarships give both girls priority access to accommodation on campus and offers them a whole range of sporting facilities like health screening, strength & conditioning, nutrition, fitness testing, physio as well as access to the Maynooth training facilities and a financial benefit.

Both girls have been the backbone of the Senior Ladies GAA team in Our Lady’s which has enjoyed phenomenal success progressing from Ulster ‘C’ competitions to Ulster ‘A’ in as many years, being just pipped at the post in 2014.

Aoife, the recipient of an All Star award in 2014 was Vice-Captain of that team while Alanna was Captain and was also a member of the Monaghan Co. Senior panel which she had to leave due to Leaving Cert study commitments.

Speaking at the school during the week, Principal Mr Eddie Kelly congratulated both Aoife and Alanna and expressed his pride on the girls’ achievements.

“A huge congratulations to both girls, Aoife and Alanna. I am delighted to see them get the opportunity to continue their involvement with GAA as they progress to 3rd level and to further hone their skills at this level. They have played an important part in our Senior Ladies team over the last 3 years and I am quite sure this is not the last we have heard of them! Being deeply involved in the GAA life of the school over the years, I would like to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of all the coaches but in this case, Mr Tony Graham, Miss Roisin O’Keefe and Ms Karen Clerkin who have mentored the Ladies teams over the years. Well done to all of you and continued success to Aoife and Alanna.”

Pictured above are students Alanna and Aoife. 

Past Pupil Appointed as Principal of Our Lady's

Castleblayney native, Mr Eddie Kelly has been appointed to the position of Principal of Our Lady’s Secondary School replacing Mr Gerard McGuill who is leaving after 12 years in the role. He is the first past pupil to be appointed to the position and Mr Kelly’s appointment was very warmly welcomed by staff, students, parents & the wider community.

Mr Kelly is son of Maria & the late Bosco Kelly of Park Road, Drumillard. He is married to Catherine (nee Finnegan) & they reside in Leonsgarve, Carrickmacross with their three children, Peter, Caoimhe & Cormac. He received his primary education at Castleblayney Boys School & his Primary degree & Teaching Diploma from University College Dublin.

He is widely known in sporting circles having played Gaelic football for many years with his native Castleblayney Faughs.

More recently he has made a name for himself as a coach with Toome, Cremartin & the Faughs as well as being involved in the Management Teams with both Monaghan Under 21’s & Minors.

Pictured above outgoing Principal, Mr Gerard McGuill hands over to newly appointed Principal of Our Lady’s, Mr Eddie Kelly, native of Castleblayney and past pupil of the school. Mr Kelly carries the good wishes of the entire school community and the wider community as he takes over his new role.

Mr Kelly joined the teaching staff of Our Lady’s in 2002 having first served as Student Support Worker with Monaghan Youth Federation attached to Our Lady’s. He very quickly established himself & in 2004 took over the History Department where he developed & advanced the subject. Indeed the only reservation expressed by students & parents on his appointment as Principal was that the school was losing an outstanding History teacher.

Mr Kelly committed himself totally to his career in Our Lady’s including the promotion of Gaelic Games within the school. He was determined to make Our Lady’s a force in Ulster Colleges Football & working with a team of equally committed teachers, he succeeded in doing so. Over the last 12 years the school has won 9 Ulster Titles & an All-Ireland Title in 2005 with a team co-managed by Mr Kelly & Mr Paul Lonergan. During this time 7 students from Our Lady’s have received Ulster Colleges All Star Awards.

Mr Kelly has been a Year Head since 2008 & this experience, together with his involvement in all areas of school life over the last 12 years and his unbridled passion for education in general & Our Lady’s in particular, make him an ideal appointment as Principal.

Speaking at the school during the week Mr Kelly thanked the school’s Board of Management for the confidence & trust it has placed in him & promised to repay this with one hundred percent commitment over the coming years. He went on to say how honoured, proud & humbled he feels, particularly as a local & past pupil, to be taking up this leadership role in Our Lady’s. He spoke of how much he is looking forward to working with Deputy Principal, Finbarr Brohan & all the staff.

He went on to pay tribute to the dedication, hard work but most of all commitment to the students of his predecessor, Gerry McGuill. He then spoke about his confidence for the future “I feel privileged to be taking over a school in such excellent shape as Our Lady’s & I will work tirelessly with the staff, students & parents to build on what is there & to move our school forward to meet the challenges & embrace the opportunities which we will meet in the coming years. I am extremely lucky to have a staff, teaching & non teaching which is second to none & together we will continue to provide the very best possible education to the young people of the area, who deserve nothing less”.