Our Lady’s Castleblayney News – September 2019

Reception for the Leaving Certificate Class of 2019 at Our Lady’s

Staff members Mr. Tourish & Ms. Murray with students from the Leaving Certificate class of 2019

The Principal and staff of Our Lady’s Secondary School were delighted to welcome back the Leaving Cert Class of 2019 to a reception in the school last Thursday 29th August. 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. Almost 20 % of the year group (one in every 5 students) achieved in excess of 500 points, 54 students achieved in excess of 400 points (an increase of 9 students from last year) and over 67 students achieved over 350 points. A special word of congratulations goes to Ciaran Mc Kearney who achieved the maximum of 625 points with 6 H1’s and 1 H2 in higher level subjects. 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. We thank the students for their fabulous contribution to our school over the previous six years and wish them well in all their future endeavours”.

These results allow them to pursue courses in Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Primary School teaching,  International Business, Law, Performing Arts, Science, Commerce, Arts, & nursing to name but a few, and puts them up there with the best in the country.  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, NUIG, DKIT,  St Pat’s, 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.


Staff member Mr. Geraghty with students from the Leaving Certificate class of 2019


Staff members Mr. Bishop & Mr. Graham with students from the Leaving Certificate class of 2019


Minister Humphreys Launches Border Conference at Monaghan School

Pictured at the launch of the Border Conference at Our Lady’s Secondary School are Mr. Eddie Kelly (Principal), Mr. Darren Bishop (Deputy Principal), Anais Mc Guire (student), Dr. Paddy Mulroe (teacher), Minister Heather Humphrey’s, Mr. Aidan Campbell (Board of Management), Ellen Mc Mahon (student), Dr. Gary Carville (Chairperson of the Board of Management), Ms, Jane Treanor (Deputy Principal)

Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys has officially launched an innovative conference to be held at a county Monaghan school. The event, which takes place on the last weekend of October, aims to examine the future of the Irish border in the context of Brexit. There is an impressive array of national and international experts attending. The conference, which is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Communicating Europe Initiative, takes place at the campus of Our Lady’s Secondary, Castleblayney on October 26- ‘Brexit weekend’.

Among those speaking are Dr Peter Leary (Oxford Brookes University), Dr Ed Burke (University of Nottingham), Dr Thomas Leahy (Cardiff University) and well known Irish historian Dr Brian Hanley. Each of these have published major works on the border. Also contributing will be Monaghan authors Darach MacDonald and Patrick Mulroe, who have both written well received works on the topic. Additionally, speakers will be in attendance from community groups, such as the Border Communities Against Brexit, as well as former MEP Marian Harkin. The final session of the day will include presentations from agriculture specialist Senator Ian Marshall and Dr Katy Hayward (Queen’s University). Dr Hayward is generally regarded as the leading expert on Brexit in Ireland and her presence is sure to attract a large crowd.

The Principal of Our Lady’s, Mr Eddie Kelly, complimented those involved in organising the event;

“We pride ourselves on being innovative in this school and this event is a good example of that. We have parents, teachers and students on an organising committee working away for months to make this event happen and I am delighted with the interest it is generating. We introduced Politics and Society as a Leaving Certificate course this year and the conference fits in very well with that. Obviously, there is concern in the community over Brexit and we see the conference as part of our role as educators in the broadest sense.”

Echoing Mr Kelly’s words, Minister Humphreys stated;

“This is a very significant event. That it is taking place in a school is particularly important as I know there is considerable concern among young people about the potential implications of Brexit, especially in terms of educational opportunities. The Department of Foreign Affairs is to be commended for supporting this conference and I am sure those who attend will have a very informative day.”

The event is free but places are limited and attendees require a pre booked ticket. Those interested can get register by visiting the Eventbrite link on the school’s website www.olss.ie or its twitter page @olssblayney.