Our Lady’s Castleblayney News – May 2018

Our Lady’s choir claim 1st place in Navan Choral Festival for the third consecutive year

Navan Choral Festival Pictured are the 75 strong choir from Our Lady’s, who under the direction of their teacher, Ms Cara Murray, won 1st prize in the Glee section of the prestigious Navan Choral Festival, doing so for the third year in a row!!

Our Lady’s Secondary School Choir is very proud and delighted to claim 1st Prize in the Navan Choral Festival for the third year in a row. This 75 strong choir and dancers, under the direction of Music teacher, Ms Cara Murray, wowed both the audience and judges with their performance drawing positive words of commendation and praise from the judges while the audience gave them a standing ovation.

Navan Choral Festival was established in 1979 and prides itself on attracting competitors of the highest standard. They seek to bring the best choirs to Navan and to increase the standard of choral singing in Ireland. And each year in Our Lady’s the choir aspires to perform in this prestigious Festival.

A 14 minute performance in a Glee Style with songs from Jessie J, Pharrell Williams, Francois Mulder, Dan Gillespie, Andrea Day & Sara Bareilles ensured that this talented group of singers and dancers would take home 1st Prize in their category. Judges complimented the students on a ‘performance of power and presence’, with ‘precision of movement’, ‘full of expression’, with every student ‘entering into the spirit’ of the occasion and performance. Their theme was based on domestic violence visited on men and the choir were commended on taking on this perspective.

Music teacher, Ms Murray could not commend her young charges enough, “they are a great bunch of young students, eager, enthusiastic and bubbling with energy. They work extremely hard and do everything I ask of them. They are very deserving of this award”. Speaking at the school during the week the Principal Mr. Kelly congratulated Ms. Murray and the students on yet another outstanding achievement. He acknowledged ‘the outstanding commitment and dedication made by Ms. Murray in preparing the students to such a high standard and that the students’ success is a just reward for all their hard work and efforts. Ms. Murray and the students are now looking forward to continuing with their preparations for the International Eisteddfod festival in Wales during the summer.’

Huge congratulations from everybody in Our Lady’s


Our Lady’s U-14 Girls are in the ‘A’ class in Ulster

Player of the Match Jade Myles been presented with her award

History was made in Our Lady’s on Wednesday 1st May when the U/14 Ladies GAA team won the Ulster A title in dramatic fashion defeating Ulster kingpins, Loreto Cavan with a late goal from Hazel Hughes who contributed an impressive 4-01 in the match. Aided by the breeze the Cavan girls made an impressive start and went four points clear in the early stages, some resolute defending and wayward shooting from the Loreto girls kept the Blayney girls in touch. However disaster struck in the 21st minute when Cavan hit two goals inside a minute to stretch their lead to eleven points. To their credit Our Lady’s girls failed to capitulate and responded with their opening score from Grace Hanratty. The game took a decisive turn minutes later when livewire full-forward, Hazel Hughes combined with Faughs club mate, Grace Hanratty to score two majors. Hannah Haughey hit a point to close the first half proceedings leaving the half time score Loreto 3-03 OLSS 2-02.

The second half began with a score from Roisín Lennon, Cavan were struggling to break down a well organised Blayney defence where Sarah Carragher and Áine Gibbons made numerous interceptions. With scores at a premium both sides added points to their tally with Aoibheann McCooey and Hazel Hughes hitting scores for the Blayney girls. The game was set for a grandstand finish as Cavan upped the ante with ten minutes remaining and it took some spectacular saves from Our Lady’s keeper Jade Myles to keep Loreto Cavan at bay. A goal from Loreto with five remaining looked to seal the game as they went four clear. Blayney responded with points from Hughes and McCooey. There was to be one final twist in proceedings in the 33rd minute when Hazel Hughes finished a move, started by Grace Cumiskey, to the net to put the Blayney girls one up deep in stoppage time. The final whistle sounded soon after and wild scenes of jubilation followed as the pitch was invaded by hundreds of Our Lady’s supporters. This was a first ever ‘A’ football title for the school after losing six previous Ulster ‘A’ finals, five at the hands of the Loreto girls who have set the standard for ladies football in Ulster in recent years. At the end of the game Our Lady’s keeper Jade Myles who had made several decisive saves during the game was named player of the match.

Speaking at a whole school assembly during the week the Principal Mr. Kelly congratulated the girls and their coaches on this historic achievement ‘ On the day the girls showed fantastic character, resilience and composure to win the game in the circumstances that they did. Great credit is due to the girls and their coaches Mr. Graham and Ms. Aherne for all their commitment and dedication throughout the year. This success is a just reward for all the hard work and effort that compliments their obvious skill and talent and we at Our Lady’s are justifiably very proud of their achievement in winning the school’s first ever Ulster A title. Our school has gone from strength to strength in Ladies GAA since we won our first Ulster C title in 2012, since that time we have won 4 Ulster B titles and 16 Ulster Colleges Ladies All Stars and we are delighted to finally get our hands on that first and elusive Ulster A title. The high levels of success that we have enjoyed in GAA in recent years is a testimony to the talents and abilities of our students but also to the great work done by all teachers in coaching and promoting Gaelic Games. I would like to thank this group of girls and their mentors Mr. Graham and Ms. Aherne for giving us the wonderful memories that we had in Kingscourt last Wednesday and at the celebrations in the school again on Thursday. I have no doubt that this success will inspire this group of players and other teams in the school to even further success in future years.’

the team and scores Jade Myles (Castleblayney), Grace Cumiskey (Donaghmoyne), Aine Gibbons (O’Neills), Tara Renaghan (O’Neills), Aedine Drury (St Brigid’s), Ellen Finnegan (Donaghmoyne), Chloe Kavanagh (O’Neills), Aoibheann Mc Cooey (Castleblayney) ( 0-2) (jc), Ulrika Mc Mahon (Aughnamullen),Roisin Lennon  (0-1) (Donaghmoyne) (jc), Niamh Flanagan (O’Neills), Hannah Haughey (0-1) (O’Neills),Sarah Carragher (O’Neills),Hazel Hughes ( 4-01) (Castleblayney), Grace Hanratty (0-1) ( Castleblayney) sub used Aoife Eccles (O’Neills),Ealagh Toner ( Magheracloone) Shannon M Entee, Ellie Ward &Abby Connolly (all Aughnamullen) Ellen Burns & Kate Lennon ( Donaghmoyne) Kate Glynn & Emma Finnegan (Castleblayney) Emma Kellet, Caoimhe McNally & Muireann McCague ( O’Neills)


Our Lady’s Excel in Athletics

Students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney took part in two days of Athletics starting with Clones on 7th May, followed by Antrim Forum 9th May. We enjoyed great success with the following claiming victories in their fields:

  • Hazel Hughes winning Gold 800m
  • Aideen Drury winning Silver 75m Hurdles and Gold Long Jump
  • Jayne Drury winning Gold 100m
  • Jason Duffy winning Silver 400m
  • Emma Glynn winning Gold 400m
  • Pauric Christie winning Gold Long Jump and Silver 100m
  • Charlie Laverty winning Gold Shot and Silver Javelin

Well done to all!

Pictured are athletes from Our Lady’s Castleblayney at the Antrim Forum who all performed brilliantly. Back: Jayne Drury, Emma Glynn, Pauric Christie, Jason Duffy Front: Katie Glynn, Aideen Drury, James Martin and Charlie Laverty

Athletes from Our Lady’s who participated in Clones last week. Edel Murphy, Aideen Drury, Hazel Hughes, Katie Lennon, Reece Brady and Ryan Buckley


Success for Our Lady’s in Young Economist of the Year 2019

Congratulations to budding young economists in Our Lady’s Castleblayney who were successful in the Young Economist of the Year competition held in UCD on May 2nd, taking home an impressive haul of two silver and three bronze medals. This competition which attracted a huge entry, showcases and acknowledges the work of students and their teachers in creating innovative projects across a range of economic concepts and topics.

There were five project teams from our Our Lady’s invited to display their work on the day. Maria Duffy and Mia Mackie investigated the contribution of women to economic growth over the decades and earned a silver medal for their work. Gordon Chi and Ciaran Martin researched the effects of the US China trade war and claimed silver for their efforts. Andrew Duffy and Cormac McCusker chose to do their project on the effects of Article 13 and earned a bronze medal, as did Louise Murphy and Kornelia Liqudzinska for their project on possible careers in Economics. Joshua Ward and Joseph McNaney investigated a very topical issue on the economic effects of a possible united Republic of Ireland as a consequence of Brexit and earned bronze. The students had the opportunity to speak with Dr Brian O’Boyle, lecturer in Economics in St Angela’s College, Sligo and Associate Professor Kevin Denny who is senior lecturer in Economics in UCD as they visited their stands and discussed their projects with them, both academics being extremely impressed with the students’ work and their ability to converse on the topics.

Economics teacher, Ms Kathryn Clarke was fulsome in her praise of her students whom she said had really embraced the competition and showed great initiative and interest in the topics they had chosen to explore, they are already looking forward to next year’s competition!

The students finished their day in Dublin with a visit to the Central Bank of Ireland where they had a guided tour of the two current exhibitions, the first was “75 years of change – the story of the Central Bank of Ireland” and the second was “Pounds, Shillings and Independence” which explores the development of an independent Irish currency from 1922 to present day.  The new Governor of the Central Bank, Gabriel Makhlouf from New Zealand was actually appointed on the day that they visited, a day to remember.

Congratulations to all concerned!

YEOTY Pictured at the Young Economist of the Year competition held in UCD last week are a group of Economics students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney who under the tutelage of their teacher, Ms Kathryn Clarke, had an impressive haul of 2 silver and 3 bronze medals for their group projects on various economic topics.

Central Bank After collecting 2 silver and 3 bronze medals at the Young Economist of the Year competition held in UCD, students from Our Lady’s finished off their day with a visit to the Central Bank.


Leon is Student of the Year

Leon Campbell, the Gerald Gillanders Student of the Year 2019 in Our Lady’s Secondary School is pictured here being congratulated by Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly, Deputy Principals, Mr Finbarr Brohan & Ms Jane Treanor and Mr Darren Bishop, Sixth Year Year Head.

Sixth Year student, Leon Campbell is the proud recipient of the Gerald F Gillanders Student of the Year Award for 2019, becoming the 34th student to be honoured with this prestigious award.  Before the entire student body and to tumultuous applause, Leon received this very prestigious award which was constituted in memory of the late Gerald Gillanders, who was Deputy Principal of Our Lady’s at the time of his sudden death in 1984.

Leon received an inscribed crystal clock and a scroll while the four other worthy nominees were presented with a scroll and an engraved pen at the ceremony.   All five were fed the following night before their parents at the Annual Awards ceremony in the school.

School Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly, congratulated Leon as the Student of the Year for 2019.  “This is a much coveted award and a great honour for any student to receive. On behalf of the staff, I would like to congratulate Leon and thank him for his contribution to school life over the last six years.  We are indeed very proud of Leon and we extend to him and all the class of 2019 every good wish for their Leaving Cert and in their career decisions over the next few months”

Leon is son of Aidan & Alicia Campbell, 2 Blaeberry Walk, Castleblayney.


Student Awards

Successes lauded at Our Lady’s Awards evening as the many diverse talents and energies of students are recognised and commended.

On Thursday 16th May, Our Lady’s Secondary School community gathered together to recognize 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 members of the Board of Management, Chairperson of Parents Association, members of the business community, parents, teachers & students, Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly complimented the young people on their successes and their participation in a wide range of activities both inside and outside the classroom “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 Kelly then introduced, Ms Rosaleen McNicholas, co-ordinator of the evening who officiated over the general awards section.


National Accolades
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 school prefects who have been pillars of the school community and the 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. Special awards were made to the National Show Choir Winners who won the Navan Choir Festival for the 3rd consecutive year with a presentation also being made to Music teacher, Ms Cara Murray for all her endeavours with the choir. Best wishes were extended to Spraoi in Eisteddfod International Music competition in July.


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. 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 gives of their own time to coach and prepare the school teams”. A special presentation was made to Mr Tony Graham and Ms Orlene Aherne to acknowledge their work with the U-14 Girls ‘A’ Ulster champions.


Academic Achievements
Deputy Principal, Ms Jane Treanor, introduced the Academic section and took charge of the Junior awards, while Principal, Mr Eddie Kelly returned to the podium to conduct the Senior section of the Academic achievements. In this section there were no less than twenty cups being presented and Mr Kelly congratulated the young people on their extraordinary talents and their commitment to excellence. He 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 program for the evening was interspersed throughout with some very talented performances from the Music and Drama departments in the school.  The award-winning choir straight from the Navan Choral Festival gave some fabulous performances while Ms Hughes & Mrs Mason Drama students were very relevant & controversial with their dramatics! Award-winning Spraoi completed the entertainment for the evening which concluded with light refreshments in the GPA.

Click here to view a full list of all award winners.


Transition Year Awards

Áine Kerr Past pupil of Our Lady’s, Áine Kerr was the keynote speaker at the Transition Year Awards in the school and gave all present an inspirational talk and left them with much food for thought. Áine is teacher turned journalist, editor, tech executive, an entrepreneur, co-founder and COO at Kinzen, a new Irish start-up developing solutions for people who want conscious control of their news experience.

Áine Kerr Past pupil of Our Lady’s, Áine Kerr was the keynote speaker at the Transition Year Awards in the school and gave all present an inspirational talk and left them with much food for thought. Áine is teacher  turned journalist, editor, tech executive, an entrepreneur, co-founder and COO at Kinzen, a new Irish start-up developing solutions for people who want conscious control of their news experience.

Transition Year Awards night at Our Lady’s is always a colourful, energetic and highly entertaining night and last Thursday the TY class of 2019 were not found wanting.  All their talents were on display with 15 stalls on show from the different subjects and modules in TY. Students from the Drama, Dance and Musical Theatre modules all performed on the night with most of the students in TY participating in some way, either by manning the different stalls, on stage acting, dancing or narrating.

TY Co-ordinator, Mr Bishop welcomed all the students and their families to this celebratory evening which was truly a TY event, from the entertainment right down to the delicious refreshments prepared by the students. Touching on the wide diversity of the experiences to which the students had access, Mr Bishop mentioned Build a Bank, Mini Company, M-Power Programme & Peer Educators Programme and our TY Blog. All of this coupled with talks on Drugs Awareness, Road Safety, Mental Health, First Aid, CPR and Internet Safety among others, makes TY a wonderful opportunity for the young people with something for everyone.

Introducing the guest speaker for the night, Mr Bishop warmly welcomed Ms Áine Kerr to the podium. Áine is a past pupil of Our Lady’s and has since gone on to be a teacher then turned journalist, editor, tech executive, an entrepreneur, co-founder and COO at Kinzen, a new Irish start-up developing solutions for people who want conscious control of their news experience as well as being a fanatical Monaghan GAA supporter!  Áine passed on some sound and valuable advice to our TY students and we are extremely grateful for her support and wise words on the night.

The evening concluded with Áine presenting the certificates to the students, with presentations also being made to the TY chosen charities, Castleblayney Cancer Society and the New Alzheimer’s Café in Castleblayney. This rounded off a very memorable evening.

Alzheimers Pres TY student, Justine Perez makes a presentation to Maeve Montgomery of the Alzheimer’s Cafe, the proceeds of a fundraiser by TY classes in Our Lady’s.

Castleblayney Cancer Ann Carragher representing Castleblayney Cancer accepts a cheque from Sarah Wilson TY student in Our Lady’s.

Our Lady’s receive their first Gaelbhratach

Pictured at the presentation of Our Lady’s 1st Gaelbhratach (Irish Flag) are members of an Coiste in the school who worked very hard to promote Irish and to achieve the targets set for them by Gael Linn. Left to right, Ms Linda Darby, Irish teacher & co-ordinator of an Gaelbhratach, Emily Monaghan, Caoimhe Gibbons, Delvit George , Brigitte Metcalfe, Adam Dolan, Ionut Lungu & Ms Lorna Brennan, Irish teacher.

Bhí áthas agus spleodar mór in Our Lady’s in recent days when the news came through that the school would be receiving their first Gaelbhratach (Irish Flag). This is a scheme co-ordinated by Gael Linn which awards this Irish flag to schools to recognize and acknowledge their efforts to encourage and promote the use of Irish. The primary aim of the scheme is to create and encourage a culture of speaking Irish informally within the school community and beyond.

During the year,  the Coiste of 7 students from Our Lady’s attended two workshops and were given targets which they had to meet. As a result of all their hard work, the students were rewarded with the presentation of the Gaelbhratach in Leopardstown last Tuesday 21st May. Fifty-seven post primary schools were in attendance at the ceremony and Our Lady’s were the only post primary school in Monaghan to receive the Gaelbhratach this year.

Co-ordinator of the scheme in Our Lady’s, Ms Linda Darby, spoke very highly of the Coiste, the group of students who were the driving force behind the Gaelbhratach. “The students are drawn from different year groups and worked very well as a team. They endeavoured to promote their initiatives within each year group and worked extremely hard. Activities were many and varied and included Gaeilge 24, Comhra 18, Comórtas Amhránaíochta, Comórtas Seanfhocail, Ciorcal Cainte and Suirbhé faoin nGaeilge, something for everyone! I am delighted that they have received just reward for their efforts. A big bualadh bos for all of them”.


Nathaniel wins in National ‘Maths Eyes’ Competition

Pictured at the Awards presentation of the National ‘Maths Eyes’ competition is TY student in Our Lady’s, Nathaniel McEntee, whose photograph illustrating ‘Tessellation’ captured a prize for him in this National competition promoting Maths and encouraging us to see the subject in a fun way. Also in the picture is TY students, Taryn Clarke & Amy Cadden with Maths teacher, Ms Eithne O’Hanrahan.

Huge congratulations to TY student in Our Lady’s, Nathaniel McEntee who was a winner in the Maths Eyes competition, a national competition which aims to raise the profile of Mathematics and engage students in a fun way. Maths Eyes competition allows students, parents and the community to interact and provides a platform for them to share their maths eyes in their everyday life whether they are shopping, walking, driving, at sports events – everywhere. It helps us to see that Maths is all around us and can be great fun.

Nathaniel, son of Rosanna & Daniel McEntee, Gate Lodge, Aghadreenan, Broomfield, recognised the Mathematics concept of Tessellation one day while visiting a local restaurant. Tessellation is an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together, especially of polygons in a repeated pattern without gaps or overlapping. Nathaniel submitted his photograph and was declared a winner. The awards ceremony took place in the Dept of Education Clock Tower Dublin last Thursday 23rd May. Nathaniel, accompanied by his Maths teacher, Ms Eithne O’Hanrahan and TY students, Amy Cadden & Taryn Clarke had an early start on the 7am train from Dundalk in order to be at the ceremony for 8.30am. A great day was had by all!!


Chloe represents Our Lady’s at the MOS 4N Irish final in Dublin

Pictured at the MOS finals held in Microsoft Ireland’s Dreamspace Dublin is TY student in Our Lady’s, Chloe Caulfield who was chosen as one of the top performing students in Word in Ireland.

Congratulations to TY student in Our Lady’s, Chloe Caulfield who was chosen as one of the top twenty performing students in Word in Ireland and attended the MOS finals held in Microsoft Ireland’s Dreamspace on Monday May 13th.  The Microsoft Office Specialist Programme is the world’s most recognised computing qualification for proving a person’s skills and abilities in Microsoft Office Applications.

The MOS finals event was an action-packed day of digital skills learning for students.  Along with sitting an exam in her respective Microsoft programme, Chloe participated in a Minecraft workshop led by Global Minecraft Mentor, Peter O Doherty and a Makecode with Microbit workshop led by Amanda Joliffe, Dreamspace Lead, Microsoft Ireland.

MOS co-ordinator in Our Lady’s, Ms Kathryn Clarke was delighted with Chloe’s success, saying it was richly deserved, “this was an exciting and educational opportunity for Chloe and one which will stand her in good stead in the future. We would also like to send our good wishes to Mai Witthoff, Transition Year student who beat all entrants from Ireland and the UK in her MOS exam and will now represent Our Lady’s and Ireland in the MOS Four Nations Competition final in London on June 14th 2019 ”.

Chloe is daughter of Fiona & Gerard Caulfield, 36 Cois Locha Doohamlet, Castleblayney.