September 17, 2020

Develop Me  – T.Y. Workshop

The TYs had their first workshop of the year facilitated by Owen and Ger from ‘Develop Me’. They introduced the classes to the experiential game ‘The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine’. The students worked in their pods of between four and six students to complete the challenge of getting as much lost gold as they could from the fictitious mine and returning home in twenty days. They had to find the most efficient route to the mine so as to maximise their time there and bring home as much gold as possible within the allotted time. Each group was given varying resources which could be traded and bartered with other groups. They also faced unexpected obstacles such as unforeseen weather conditions, canyon flooding and depleting resources and supplies. Once the task was complete the students had a debriefing session and reflected on how they had approached the task and what they might do differently if they were to start it all over again. It taught them the importance of good team work, good forward planning and the necessity of having as much information as possible to hand before beginning a task. It also showed that competitiveness is not always the best way to achieve goals and sometimes slowly and surely wins the race. The students will have a follow up session with ‘Develop Me’ in the New Year when they will be set the challenge of solving the problem of ‘Tom’s Canyon Ford.’ These workshops are always great fun and a fantastic opportunity to learn about strategic planning and project management.

September 10, 2020

TY Trip to Ballyhass Lake

The sun was smiling down on the TYs as they headed off to Ballyhass Lakes on Friday, 11 September for their adventure day out. This year four buses headed out the gates at 7.30 am, twice as many as usual, to ensure social distancing between students. While in Ballyhass, located near Mallow, Co. Cork the students stayed within the confines of their class group so as to ensure there was no mixing between the four TY classes. The students alternated between land based activities such as archery and rope challenges and water based activities such as kayaking and the aquapark. It was a great day out for the students and the teachers who accompanied them. Splashing around and dangling from ropes was an enjoyable and fun way for students to get to know each other and an important step towards establishing team work within each class, an essential element of TY.


Garda Talk to Sixth Years

Thanks to Garda Dan Brennan and Garda Kevin Russell who paid a visit to the Ursuline Thurles last week. They spoke to Sixth Year students about the continued fight against Covid 19 and praised the sacrifice that young people are making to slow down the spread of the virus. Their message was very positive and encouraging, asking the students to keep doing what they are doing in terms of washing their hands, keeping the recommended distance from others and wearing a face covering in public. They reminded the students of the dangers of large gatherings of people and not to place themselves in vulnerable situations. They spoke anecdotally of house parties where many young people had become infected with the virus and the knock on effect of community transmission. They answered questions put to them by the students and seemed genuinely impressed with the efforts of school-goers in adhering to public health advice. They were even happy to pose for a socially distanced photograph with some of the Leaving Certs.

September 3, 2020

It was with great delight that the staff returned to the Ursuline Thurles last week to begin the new academic year 2020/2021 and it appeared the students were also glad to be back in the building meeting and greeting their friends once again. Many changes and strategies have been put in place to keep UCT safe and operational during these times of continued difficulty. This term begins like no other in living memory with everyone on site adhering to and implementing the necessary health guidelines of frequent hand washing, social distancing and the mandatory wearing of face masks. Students are being encouraged to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the last of the sunshine during break times. It is also chance for them to get a welcome breather and pocket their face coverings for awhile. The compliance and resilience of the students has been exemplary and they deserve heaps of praise for handling all the demands placed upon them so well.


On Wednesday, 2 September the Ursuline was thrilled to welcome the First Years to the School. They were shown the ropes by their class tutors who were on hand all morning to help them settle in. Then it was out to the Hockey pitches in the afternoon for socially distanced ice-breakers and games which were rounded off with the traditional first day ice-cream which they seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

March 12, 2020

Maxine O’Sullivan Wins at Cheltenham

Ursuline past pupil Maxine O’Sullivan had a spectacular win at the Cheltenham Racing Festival on the 66-1 outsider ‘It Came to Pass’. The horse trained by her dad, Eugene, romped to victory in the St James’s Foxhunter Challenge, also known as the Amateur Gold Cup. The whole School is so proud of Maxine and delighted for her and her family.

Junk Kouture

Congratulations to the three Ursuline Junk Kouture teams who have qualified for the National Final. In all the School had six competitors strutting their stuff on the catwalk at the Regional Final in Limerick – Belle Ame, Get’cha Head In The Game, Glacé Plastique, Givin’ it Welly, Midnight Memories and Barking up the Wrong Tree. The three teams that will now go on and represent the Ursuline in the 3Arena are Barking up the Wrong Tree, Givin’ it Welly and Midnights Memories.

Givin’ it Welly draws on Ireland’s rich agricultural heritage for its theme. Milk filter socks, old wellies, twine, piping and meal bag string were used to make the elaborate beehive shaped headpiece and hooped mini skirt in beautifully contrasting gold and black. It aims to highlight the underrepresentation of women in farming.

Barking up the Wrong Tree is a beautiful woodland themed dress decorated with leaves, bark, twigs and moss in natural tonal shades of brown and green. Model Sarah Fitzgibbon’s hair has even been stunningly shaped to resemble a tree emerging from the crown of her head.

Midnights Memories concerns itself with all matters relating to sleep. The bustier, trouser and tie-dye coat combination is actually a social commentary on the dangers and effects of sleep deprivation. Insomnia is an ever increasing phenomenon, especially among the young, who are frequently disturbed at night by the bleeping and buzzing of social media on their devices.

Well done to all participants and to the team of teachers involved. The School also eagerly awaits the Nationwide episode recently filmed in the Ursuline that will feature this year’s entries.

All Ireland Cross Country Athletics

On Saturday, 7 March the Ursuline Junior Cross Country team competed in the All Ireland Schools Cross Country in Santry having qualified out of both the East Munster and Munster Finals. Santry will certainly live long in the memories of all the Junior cross country team. Having won the Munster title for the first time since 2014, the team of Kate Ferncombe (Captain), Orla Ryan, Paula Quirke, Grace Fitzpatrick Ryan, Aoibheann Fogarty and Niamh Hayes were looking forward with slight trepidation to the 2.5k event over a fairly flat course. The race started off very quickly and over the first lap groups began to emerge. Kate and Orla Ryan stayed very much side by side and kept up what was a relentless pace over an unforgiving course. Paula kept within sight of the front two Ursuline girls along with Grace, Aoibheann and Niamh.

The second lap which was the longer 1500m lap brought the competitors down into a wooded area and back up along a muddy uphill section. This was a tough part of the course and at that stage the Ursuline runners were competing with the eventual winners Lisburn along with Loreto Dalkey and Scoile Muire, Ennis to be one of the top three teams in the country. Coming into the home straight, it was hard to know which teams had medalled.

Internet results put UCT in joint silver medal position as the girls finished on equal points with Loreto Dalkey. At the medal ceremony the team was presented with the bronze medals due to the system of counting that the AAI use. Later on in the day everyone was a little surprised to see that the Juniors had been promoted to outright silver medal position and this was later reversed to bronze again. It was a bit disconcerting and there has been no official explanation to date as to why exactly the positioning was changed and changed again. Well done to all the girls involved and coupled with the wins for the Track and Field girls in the Munster Indoors, it brought to an end one of the Ursuline’s best weeks of performances in many years.


There was plenty of First Year play on the Hockey pitchers last week with three groups in action. The First Year A team had a drawn games against Bandon and Rathdown. The Bandon clash finished up 2-2 while in the encounter with Rathdown yielded no score for either side. The First Year Bs had better luck beating Bandon 7-2 and Rathdown 5-1. The First Year Cs had a 1-0 win against Rathdown in their match.

The Junior Bs lost out to Rockwell while the Junior C team beat them 1-0. The First Year C’s ended their game against Loreto Clonmel in a nil all draw.
The Minor A Final against Crescent saw the Ursuline team play out of their skins to end 1-1 at the full time whistle. The UCT goal came courtesy of Lauren Brannigan.. This meant it was down to shuttles to decide who would be taking home the Cup. Well done to the Minors and their Crescent counterparts on a thrilling game and congratulations to Crescent on their win.

School Council

The School Council, under the chairmanship of Maria Connolly, recently started a communal walk around the Hockey Pitches at lunchtime on Fridays. The aim of this initiative to get as many students as possible out in the fresh air stepping it out and to count up the collective steps at the end of each session. The plan was to walk the distance between Thurles and Brescia in Northern Italy, the birthplace of St Angela Merici, founder of the Ursulines. Each students’ step would be totted up at the end of the Friday walking session to eventually reach the distance of 2088 km. As it stands the students have managed collectively to walk from Thurles to Dublin which is no mean feat. This is a fun, enjoyable activity that everyone can get involved in regardless of age or ability and the School Council have appealed to the students of the Ursuline that they need their steps. The more who take part, the more steps that are generated, the closer Brescia will be.

The School councillors also had a fun movement to begin the School day every morning last week. The aim was to get everyone out of the early morning slump, help them feel energised and ready to take on the day. The councillors played a minute of music over the intercom and teachers and students did a minute of exercise each morning such as jumping jacks, squats, the cha cha slide, before lesson began. It was a brilliant wake up, get up and go aerobic starter to the day and thanks to the School Council for organising it.

March 5, 2020

Munster Indoor Athletics
A small team of Ursuline athletes competed in the Munster Indoor Championships in Nenagh on Tuesday, 3 March and many thanks to the parents who accompanied them. Anna Ryan, the Track and Field Captain, now in her Leaving Cert year, was once more, the star of the show for UCT. She had an outstanding competition, bringing home two gold medals with a jump of 5m26 in the long jump and a throw of 10m24 is the 3k shot putt. Anna did not do her number one event on Tuesday the pole vault so hopefully we are witnessing the development of our very own Tipp version of Jessica Ennis! Louise Hickey also made the Shot putt final finishing in a very respectable fourth position, just out of the medals with a throw of 8m16.

Next out on the track for Ursuline was Emily Davidson. Emily ran a great time of 8.26 to pick up bronze in the Junior 60m. she followed this up with a fantastic jump of 4m94 to pick up a
second bronze in the Junior long jump.

Leona Maher jumped 3m87 in the Intermediate long jump and made the semi-final of the 60m. Our Minor trio of Naoise Qunilivan, Ruth Scholfield and Lily O’Reilly saw both Naoise and Lily making the 60m final and Naoise bringing home a bronze medal for the Ursuline. Our last event was the Intermediate relay with a good team of Leona Maher, Emily Davidson, Louise Hickey and Emma Gleeson. The girls ran a great race and finished in bronze position! Well done to all athletes

Green Flag
The Green Flag Committee had an important assessment on Wednesday 4 March in pursuit of their eighth Green Flag – Global Citizenship and Marine Environment. They met with Catherine Broderick, Environmental Officer with Tipperary County Council who was impressed with their presentation. They outlined the comprehensive body of work they have been involved in over the previous two years in preparation for this Green Flag. They spoke with enthusiasm, knowledge and conviction about the responsibilities of citizens towards the environment and the action that needs to happen to protect the oceans of the world. The Green Schools Committee are leading by example rather than preaching about what should to be done. Catherine commended the team for their many innovative schemes to promote sustainability and environmental awareness including the highly successful Swap Shop and their make-up wipe campaign.

Gael Linn Debating
The Junior Gael Linn Debating team of Gráinne O’Donnell, Kate Ryan and Lauren Mullally were in action on Thursday 5 March in Cahir in the All-Ireland semi-final. The students were up against tough opposition going head to head against teams from St Anne’s Tipperary Town, Macroom and Clonakilty, all vying for a place in the All-Ireland Final. They spoke with great flair and eloquence in Irish on the topic of ‘Young people need to have space for Religion in their lives.’ Their arguments and counter arguments were convincing in their preposition of this motion. Well done to the team and to their mentor Ms Barry.

Angus Beef Competition
Well done to the UCT Angus Beef Team who had a tough day presenting their project in the All-Ireland Final held in Croke Park on Wednesday, 4 March. It was an early six am start for agricultural enthusiasts Katie Gleeson, Michelle Flanagan, Megan Searson and Laura Phelan who have put immense work into this project since they first saw it advertised at the Ploughing Match in September last year. Under the guidance of Ag Science teacher Ms Ryan the students organised an Angus Beef Burger day, a Name the Calf Competition for primary school children, went on a fact finding tour of Dovea and got speakers in to discuss the quality of Angus Beef and also talk about opportunities for women in agriculture. The spent the entire day being interviewed by a total of nine judges from the Angus Beef Producers Association, ABP, Kepak and other stakeholders in the beef industry. Well done to them on all their hard work and fingers crossed as the winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Ursuline Second Year Basketball team are through to an All-Ireland final following their win against St Bridget’s Callan on Thursday, 5 March. This decider was a home game for UCT and they didn’t disappoint their supporters. They were leading well but a bit of complacency crept in and they gave the Kilkenny side an opportunity to get back into the game. It was full steam ahead from the team in the last quarter in order to ensure victory was theirs. The final score was UCT 26 St Bridget’s 22. Well done to all Second Year players and their coach Ms Ryall. This follows on from the decisive First Year victory on Friday 28 February in the South East Quarter Final which saw Ursulines win against Waterpark College Waterford by a whopping 48 points to 6.

Transition Year CSI Workshop
Now in its Second Year the CSI Workshop is a really popular day of practical learning for the TYs. Kieran and Jim were in UCT from Monday to Thursday last week doing full day forensics workshops with each TY class. They learned about the science behind investigating crime scenes and learned about this work from the facilitators who are former members of An Gardaí Síochana who spent the majority of their careers working in CSI. The afternoon session gave the students an opportunity to put on white jumpsuits and do some forensic investigations themselves taking finger prints, shoe prints, DNA prints from a ‘murder’ scene that the facilitators had set up. It was all really interesting and a very practical glimpse at what happens at the scene of a crime.

The Junior As ended their match against Bandon in a 2-2 draw. The Junior B side beat Castletroy 2-0. The Minor B team played a Quarter Final Cup game against Laurel Hill Coláiste which ended in a nil all draw. Unfortunately UCT lost on shuttles. The Minor As played won their semi-final Cup game against Laurel Hill Secondary, Limerick by 2-0.
The Junior As are through to a Cup Final after beating St Angela’s 2-0 on Thursday, 5 March in a hard fought battle from start to finish. Ursuline won the Junior A Cup last year so hopefully this team are on track to emulate the success of 2019.

The Ursuline had some very talented musicians who travelled to Belfast over the mid-term break and were featured on TG4 playing with the In Tune for Life Orchestra. Naoise Barrett, harp, Caoimhe Meade , concertina, Ciara Cheshire, fiddle and Sarah Brett, tin whistle were there supporting Ned Kelly, one of the founders of the Orchestra who received a Gradam Ceoil award for his commitment to traditional Irish music. Well done to all these talented Ursuline trad musicians and to Ned on his well deserved award.

Aidan Fogarty Visit
There was great excitement with the arrival of Dancing with the Stars contestant Aidan Fogarty visited the Ursuline on Thursday, 5 March. Aidan was accompanied by his dance partner on the show Emily Barker. He showed a bit of his fancy footwork to rapturous applause. He has lots of support in the school and everyone is delighted he is doing so well.

February 27, 2020

Ursuline Junk Kouture Nationwide
There was fierce excitement in the Ursuline on Thursday, 27 February when a crew from the RTE show Nationwide came to meet and interview this year’s Junk Kouture contestants. Presenter, Zainab Boladale, accompanied by cameraman Denis, spoke to the students and teachers involved in this long standing, national competition which sees young people from across the four provinces create high-end fashion from throwaway, disposable, scrapheap items. Zainab met with the six teams through to the Regional Final in Limerick. She spoke to the girls about the process of making their Junk Kouture outfits, from the genesis of their initial idea, to making up mood boards, sketching their designs, sourcing materials, overcoming fabrication problems, sewing, stitching, gluing, taping and stapling their designs to turn Junk into something worthy of a Milanese, Parisienne or New York catwalk. Zainab spent the day talking with the eighteen students involved and spoke with Technology teacher Mr English about the importance of Junk Kouture for TYs interested in fashion, design and technology. It gives them a real insight into what it takes to bring an initial concept to fruition making it into something that is not only wearable but has that important wow factor too. Best of luck to the six Finalists in the Regional Final in UL on Friday, 6 March and the whole school is eagerly awaiting the Nationwide programme featuring the Ursuline Thurles.

The Ursuline had a large representation of TYs and Fifth Years who travelled to the Model United Nations hosted by Loreto Convent, Clonmel on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Ms Quinn organised the twenty-four delegates in the week’s prior, making sure that they researched thoroughly the topics up for debate, resolution and voting, in a forum that aims to mirror the workings of the UN. The students represented delegations, countries or non-governmental organisations and had a wide array of hot topics to consider, discuss and amend. On the menu for the two day conference was discrimination against minorities, sustainability in fashion, designer babies and germline engineering, drug related violence and automation in the workplace. Not only do students get some understanding of the machinations of the United Nations whereby agreement on change and compromise comes dropping slow, they also learn about the culture, economics and society of their adopted country or the raison d’etre of their NGO. Well done to all students who attended LCMUN and Ms Quinn for preparing them.

It was a brilliant result for Ursuline’s Second Year Basketball Team in the South East Quarter Final on Thursday, 27 February. Ursuline left nothing to chance in their victory against Tramore’s Ard Scoil na Mara. The final score was Ursuline Thurles 32. Ard Scoil na Mara Tramore 18.

Angus Beef Competition
The Ursuline TY team who have reached the National Final of the Aberdeen Angus Beef Competition continue in their quest to promote Angus Beef. Last week they organised a guest speaker from Kildalton Agricultural College for their fellow TYs. Mèabh O’Hagan, a lecturer in the College, spoke about her own career in Agriculture and the opportunities available for women in the sector. She outlined the many avenues of study open to those interested in Agriculture including Horticulture, Machinery and Grassland, Dry Stock, Dairy, Farm Management and Equitation. This year the UCT Angus Beef Team have engaged in a wide variety of activities all aimed at raising awareness of the benefit of choosing quality Irish beef. They had a hugely successful Burger Day in January when they sold over 150 Angus beef burgers to students and staff. They had a ‘Name The Calf’ competition for Third to Sixth class students in Scoil Angela Primary School. The winning name was BoBo. They are putting the finishing touches on their presentation which will take place in the first week of March before a panel of judges and experts including those from the main competition sponsors Kepak, ABP and the Irish Angus Beef Producers Association. They have worked really hard all year and been utterly passionate about the benefits of eating Angus beef. Best of luck to them next week in Croke Park where they will be hoping to scoop the top prize of five Angus calves.

Cáith Amach É
The Leaving Cert Irish students from the Ursuline were delighted with the workshop they attended on Monday, 24 February. It was facilitated by ‘Caith Amach É’ whose unique, comedic take on Irish had the students energised and rolling in the aisles. The smash hit show is based on the oral pictiùirí, a required element of the examination and it always goes down a treat. The madcap antics of the facilitators made a lasting impression on the students and what better way to learn Irish than through drama, song, music, movement and of course heaped with huge dollops of hilarity. Thanks to the Leaving Cert Irish teachers for organising this fun, interactive learning experience.

Cecilian Choir
Cecilian Choir competed in the Limerick Choral Festival on Friday, 28 February. The Ursuline have done well in Limerick having won the Post Primary Schools Equal Voice Competition for last three years. This year they sang two pieces, Cerf Volant’ from the French film Les Choristes. Their other song was ‘Gloria’ by Italian composer Vivaldi. They sang beautiful renditions of both works. Well done to all students for their commitment to Cecilian Choir and to Music Teachers Ms Kehoe, Ms Quinn and Ms Eva McNally for preparing the Choir so well.

Well done to Kate Ryan, Third Year, who travelled to Lilleshall, Shropshire over the mid term break with the Irish U16 team for a series of games against England.

The Munster Schools Cross Country took place in Clarecastle in County Clare just before the mid-term break. Ursuline had three teams who qualified from the East Munster leg, Minors, Juniors and Intermediates. Thankfully Storm Ciara did not interfere with the performance of the Junior team. Captained by Kate Ferncombe, the girls came away with gold team medals by the slender margin of one point. Kate led from the front and went off with a trailblazing pack of five. The lead was exchanged several times during the race and broke just a little ahead of a second group led by Orla Ryan. Eventually Kate hung in for a bronze medal, followed closely by Orla in seventh place. Paula Quirke was the next runner home, followed by Grace Fitzpatrick Ryan and Aoibheann Fogarty. Well done to the girls who brought home the Munster gold in the Junior Competition for the first time since the 2012.
The Minor team had a very respectable run and finished in seventh place out of the twelve. Niamh Hayes captained and was ably assisted by Lily O Reilly, Emma Ely, Aisling O’Loughlin, Naoise Quinlivan, Ruth Scholfield and Emma Hickey.
The Intermediate team had the longest run of the day over a distance of three kilometres. It was challenging to say the least. By the time of their race the ground was very cut up and extremely muddy. The team was led by Robyn Fanning, its’ captain, who had a great run and is getting used to running at the higher distance. Lorna Ryan and Orlaith Ryan finished very strongly along with Jade Carroll and Chloé Byrne.

The Junior Team will be vying for All Ireland honours in Dublin on March 7. Best of luck to them for getting that far and anything else in simply a bonus! Well done to all athletes who competed on the day, flying the Ursuline blue. Minor Team: Niamh Hayes (capt) Lily O Reilly, Emma Ely Aisling O’Loughlin Naoise Quinlivan, Ruth Scholfield, Emma Hickey.
Junior Team Kate Ferncombe (capt) Orla Ryan Paula Quirke Aoibheann Fogarty, Grace Fitzpatrick Ryan
Intermediate Team: Robyn Fanning (capt) Rachel Ryan, Jade Carroll, Chloe Byrne, Orlaith Ryan

February 13, 2020

Kaja Gorwa, Fifth Year student in the Ursuline, has won the County Final of the ARTiculation Public Speaking competition for the second consecutive year. The event, run in conjunction with Tipperary County Museum, aims to marry interest in Art with Public Speaking. Second level students can combine PowerPoint presentations and oratory skills to present an all encompassing picture of an artist or piece of art combining both imagery and words. Kaja’s chosen topic this year was the amazing work of Polish sculptor Jerzy Kędziora. His balancing sculptures, both permanent and temporary installations, have gained him worldwide renown. The gravity defying human and animal figures have enhanced public spaces in many countries. Best of luck to Kaja as she goes forward in the competition representing Tipperary.

Undeterred by Storm Ciara tracking in from the Atlantic the Ursuline Senior A Camogie team and their supporters headed west on Saturday, 8 February. Clarinbridge was the destination where they faced Connacht champions Athenry in the All-Ireland Semi Final. This was always going to be a tough decider with a coveted final place in the All Ireland up for grabs and the weather certainly didn’t make it easy for either team. Athenry got the upper hand from the very start making vital use of the strong wind they were playing into in the opening half. Ursuline couldn’t catch a break and despite valiant efforts they went into the dressing room at half time facing an uphill struggle. Athenry had it less their own way after that but Ursuline couldn’t make up the first half shortfall. UCT picked up their pace and game to put it up to the Galwegians with some fine displays from Eimear McGrath, Caoimhe McCarthy, Emily Kavanagh and Emma Dunphy. Overall it was a great team effort on what turned out to be a disappointing, wet end to a brilliant season. Well done to all Senior Camogie players but a special mention to the Leaving Certs who have given so much to UCT. They have anchored the team throughout their time but this year in particular – Eimear McGrath, Eimear Bourke, Stephanie Dwan, Meg Ormond, Niamh McCormack, Kate Dwan, Emma Dunphy, Maria Connolly, Kayleigh Davern, Jennifer Ryan, Gráinne Long, Emily Kavanagh and Aoife Carroll.

Ursuline First Year and Second Year Basketball teams have now qualified for the Regional Quarter Finals of the Midlands C League to be played after midterm break. They had their final qualifying games last week against Scoil Ruain. The First Years won by a single point in a closely fought contest with the final score Scoil Ruain 23 Ursuline Thurles 24. The Second Year team had a few to spare clocking up an eight-point advantage at the final whistle. Scoil Ruain 20 Ursuline Thurles 28

All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad
Congratulations to Ursuline’s Megan Boland, Third Year, who has made it through to the next round of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad. The initial round involved students from all over the country completing online linguistic challenges. Megan also represented the School last year in the same competition so she clearly has a talent for decoding language and etymological problem solving.

Chemistry Olympiad
Three Leaving Cert students from the Ursuline will be attending the Chemistry Olympiad over the mid term break. Best of luck to Kate Lynch, Caoimhe Meade and Ella Flynn who will be competing in Trinity against the country’s brightest and best Chemistry students who have been nominated by their schools.

TY Work Experience
TYs were on their second work experience placement last week. Thanks to all local employers, service providers and businesses who gave them the opportunity to learn and work.

February 06, 2020

Jessie Buckley at the BAFTAS

The Ursuline Thurles was so proud of past pupil and acclaimed actress, Jessie Buckley whose star shone bright at the BAFTAS on Sunday, 2 February. Her moving performance of the song Glasgow (No Place Like Home) from her 2019 hit film Wild Rose has been hailed as one of the highlights of this years ceremony. Jessie received a nomination in the Best Actress category for her portrayal of troubled Glaswegian Country singer Rose-Lynn. This is Jessies second BAFTA nod in as many years being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award the previous year for her role in Beast. Her Judy co-star Renee Zellweger scooped the Best Actress award and had some very kind words for Jessie in her acceptance speech, telling the world, what we in the Ursuline already knew, Jessie Buckley, you are a superstar. Im so proud of you for this evening, you are such a special person, you elevate everything you do and I am so grateful for our friendship.


Tipperary Garda Individual Youth Award

Ursuline student, Alix Noonan, Sixth Year, is this years recipient of the 2020 Tipperary Garda Inidividual Youth Award. She attended a ceremony last weekend in the Garda College, Templemore and will now represent Tipperary in the National Garda Individual Youth Awards. Alix received the award for her volunteerism and the leadership qualities she had shown in many areas of her life. In the past few years she has devoted a lot of her spare time to parish work. This has entailed being a camp leader for the Moycarkey-Two-Mile Borris summer camp and being a founding member of the childrens liturgy group. She is currently a Sixth Year representative on the School Council, a role which involves organising activities for the whole school and meeting with First Years in her capacity as a Big Sis mentor. This Pastoral Care initiative involves Sixth Year School Councillors helping First Year classes settle in to Secondary School, thereby making the transition from Primary School a bit smoother. Alix also won the Roatary Youth Leadership Award last year and was a Youth Ambassador for Ireland in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Best of luck to Alix as she represents Tipperary in the National Final.

Athletics, East Munster Schools Cross Country, 2020.

The Ursuline had three teams competing in the East-Munster Schools Cross-Country on Friday, 31 January in WIT . First out were the Minors who ran in a very competitive field of fourteen teams. They were led home by Niamh Hayes, who was ably supported by Ruth Schofield, Naoise Quinliven, Aisling OLoughlin, Lilly OReilly and Emma Ely. The girls won bronze medals!


The second team up was the Juniors, captained by Kate Ferncombe. Kate had a great race over the 2000m course and led all the way around just to be pipped on the line for first place. Orla Ryan finished just behind her in third place. UCT had three other girls in the top twenty with Paula Quirke in seventh place, Aoibhinn Fogarty in eight place and Grace Fitzpatrick Ryan in nineteenth place out of a field of 60 runners. The Juniors won gold team medals for their excellent finishing.

The last race of the day saw the Intermediate team, led by Robbyn Fanning and closely followed by Orlaith Ryan, Jade Carroll, Chloe Byrne and Rachel Ryan, finish in the top four teams to qualify for the Munster Finals, to held  in Clarecastle on Thursday, February 13. Well done to all Minor, Junior and Intermediate competitors on great individual performances and team races.

German Debating

Well done to the Ursuline German Debating team comprising of Fifth Year students, Captain Rebecca Walshe, Ellie McMinn, Jennifer Murphy and Ellen Duggan. They beat their opponents Christrian Brothers College, Cork arguing against the motion that Students learn how to use social media only through their own experience.It means that UCT now progress to the next round of the competition organised by Goethe Institut Irland.

All Ireland Languages Olympiad

Three Ursuline students, Fifth Years Rebecca Walshe, and Malwina Malysza and Megan Boland, Third Year, recently entered the All Ireland Languages Olympiad, AILO. This linguistic contest, the first round of which is online, is open to secondary school students who have a penchant for all types of language. Students compete by developing their own strategies for solving problems in fascinating languages from around the globe. Competitors must use their own ingenuity to crack puzzles such as decoding Ancient Greek or interpreting ancient Mayan Poetry. The girls will find out after mid-term break if they have progressed onto the next round to be held in DCU, so best of luck to all three UCT contestants.


Well done to the Junior A team who won their quarter-final clash with Regina Mundi in a stylish 3-1 finish. In the Minor A Cup quarter-final UCT beat fellow Ursulines from Cork, St Angela’s 2-1. The Minor Bs lost out to Kilkenny College while the Junior Cs won in their game against Kilkenny College.


The TY and Fifth Year students, who are representing the Ursuline in the Loreto Convent Model United Nations after mid-term break, are busy researching their countries and the myriad of issues up for discussion. The students represent delegations, countries or non-governmental organisations to debate issues of vital importance in todays world – discrimination against minorities, sustainability in fashion, designer babies and germline engineering, drug related violence and automation in the workplace. Quite a menu to digest and all issues from discrimination to drugs impinge directly on our future. Best of luck to all those involved and to Public Speaking and Debating mentor Ms Quinn.

LIT Climate Action Photography Competition

Congratulations to Lucy Hubbard Rice, Second Year, who was among the award winners of the LIT Climate Action Photography Competition. Lucy’s winning picture was a beautiful landscape scene and she was presented with her prize by Mr Ciaran Lynch, Joint Chairperson of Cabragh Wetlands Trust. Well done to Lucy on her stunning pic that clearly caught the yet of the judges.

January 30, 2020

Angus Beef Burger Day

Monday, 27 January was Angus Beef Burger Day in the Ursuline. The staff and students relished the opportunity to eat gorgeous beefy Irish burgers. This delicious lunchtime option was courtesy of a team of four TYs who have qualified for the finals of the Irish Angus Schools Competition. The students have been tasked with promoting Aberdeen Angus Beef and coming up with genius marketing ideas to get more people eating wholesome Irish beef. A chance encounter at the Angus tent at the Ploughing Championship first piqued the interest of the enterprising Katie Gleeson, Laura Phelan, Megan Searson and Michelle Flanagan. So far the girls submitted a video about Ag Science in the Ursuline, agriculture in the local area and their own interest in farming. They attended an interview in Limerick where they put forward their promotional plans which included the hugely successful ‘Burger Day’. The burgers were supplied by ABP Cahir, who are sponsoring the competition along with KEPAK and the Angus Producers of Ireland association. They sold about a hundred and fifty burgers with toppings which were devoured in jig time. Next stop for the Ursuline Angus advocators is the national final in Croke Park on 4 March. Best of luck to them as they go forward in the competition. Thanks to the local businesses, McKevitts and Tesco, who’ve supported them and the Home Economics Department who were on hand to help with the cooking.


There was a double whammy of good news this week with the appointment of two Ursuline past pupils, Aoife McGrath and Claire Stakelum, as co-captains of the Tipp Senior and Intermediate teams. Brilliant news and best wishes to both teams in the season ahead.

Junk Kouture

The Ursuline had a record seven Junk Kouture entries vying for selection to the Regional Final this year. The high end fashion pieces, created using recycled and throwaway products, were showcased to the whole School recently in a stunning catwalk show. There were nature themed, sports themed, ocean themed, nocturnal themed and confectionary themed creations showcasing the imagination and dexterous design talents of all the entrants. Sickly Sweet, modelled by Nonie Lavelle, is inspired by the overconsumption of sugar in Western society. It is made with ring pulls collected from cans and sweet wrappers. Get’cha Head In The Game is an ode to women in Sport and took the 2020 campaign as its inspiration. The vibrant, reflective design incorporating many sporting motifs is modelled by Niamh O’Brien. Midnights Memories concerns itself with all matters relating to sleep. The bustier, trouser and tie-dye coat combination is actually a social commentary on the dangers and effects of sleep deprivation. Insomnia is an ever increasing phenomenon, especially among the young, who are frequently disturbed at night by the bleeping and buzzing of social media on their devices. Carolina Cuban is the model for this team. Barking up the Wrong Tree is a beautiful woodland themed dress decorated with leaves, bark, twigs and moss in natural tonal shades of brown and green. Sarah Fitzgibbon’s hair has even been stunningly shaped to resemble a tree emerging from the crown of her head. The reflective mirrors jigsawed together by Ariana Krasniqi, Anna Ryan and Rachel Quinlan create a petite ballet inspired dress resembling the work of a master glassmith. The piece, entitled Belle Amie, means beautiful soul and is a reminder that what is often portrayed by a person on the outside is not a true reflection of what is on the inside. Glace Plastique is an aqua themed ocean creation made from discarded milk cartons and other single use plastics. It is a reminder of the damage of Global Warning and its contribution to melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Givin’ it Welly draws on Ireland’s rich agricultural heritage for its theme. Milk filter socks, old wellies, twine, piping and meal bag string where used to make the elaborate beehive shaped headpiece and hooped mini skirt in beautifully contrasting gold and black. It aims to highlight the under-representation of women in farming. Well done to all entries who have done Trojan work since September and to their team of teachers led by Mr English. In particular well done to the four teams who have qualified for the Regional Final Midnight Memories, Get’cha Head In The Game, Givin’ it Welly and Glace Plastique.


Well done to the Ursuline Equestrian team of Orlaith Ryan, Third Year, Daisy O’Keefe, First Year, Alexandra Hourigan, Third Year and Isobel Hourigan, First Year who recently competed in the Inter Schools Showjumping Competition held in the Tipperary Equestrian Centre, Thurles. The team came fourth overall with Isobel and Alexandra both having double clear rounds.


It was a vital win last week for the First Year Basketball Team when they emerged victorious from their encounter with the Presentation Clonmel. The scoreboard read UCT 29 Pres Clonmel 14. The.Second Years played well but were up against with Clonmel. The final result in this match was UCT 16 Pres Clonmel 29.


The Senior As played Mount Mercy in the Semi Final of the Munster Senior Cup on Wednesday, 29 January in a home game. It was a tough battle between two worthy adversaries. Well done to Mount Mercy who took their chances to go through on a 3-0 win. Well done to the Ursuline Senior As on a great Cup season and to the Leaving Certs who have committed wholeheartedly to Hockey during their time in the Ursuline.

Other Hockey results this week included the Junior Cs who won against Kilkenny College 3-1. The Minor Bs and Cs lost to Kilkenny. The Senior Bs had no luck either in their Cup game against Loreto Clonmel. In the Minor B League the Ursuline beat Villiers 3-1 while the Minor Cs lost to their Villiers opponents.
The First Year A and B Hockey teams won against Mount Mercy on Wednesday, 29 January. The A team won 4-0 while the Bs won 9-0.

Public Speaking

The Ursuline has two teams through to the National Final of the Knight’s of Columbanus Public Speaking Competition. Well done to Fifth Year students Michaela Grace-Ginty, Erica Ryan and Kaja Gorwa and the other team comprising of Leah Phelan, Ellen Duggan and Ellie Culliton.

January 23, 2020

Public Speaking
UCT had a very busy week with four teams preparing for the regional round of the Knights of Columbus Public Speaking. This national competition allows young people the opportunity to research and explore their religion and in particular its relevance to today’s life. Representing the School from Fifth Year are Ellie Culliton, Leah Phelan and Ellen Duggan. The other Fifth Year team is Erica Ryan, Kaja Gorwa and Michaela Grace Ginty. TY also fielded two teams in the competition with Julie McConnell, Isobel Doyle and Caoimhe Martin comprising one team and Aoife Curran, Saoirse Barrett and Leanne Party Power making up the other TY trio.
Ellie Culliton is this year’s Ursuline qualifier for the Soroptimist Munster Final in Limerick. Following on thirty years of UCT tradition in this competition we wish Ellie the very best of luck in what is always a worthwhile and stimulating endeavour.

On Saturday 18, January Ursuline competed in their second Munster Final in as many weeks. The Seniors were through to an All-Ireland Semi-Final so fingers were crossed that the Juniors could make it an Ursuline double in Munster. The Junior As travelled to Cork Camogie Grounds to play the uncompromising Scared Heart Clonakilty. It was always going to be a challenge. Clonakilty got an early lead leaving the score 2-1 to no score after ten minutes. Ursuline tried very hard but could only manage two points from frees despite a huge push. The opening of the second half saw Ursuline rally further and after scoring 2-1 were only two points off their West Cork rivals. Frees kept Clonakilty to the fore and that momentum carried them through to leave the final score 2-9 to 2-3. Wishing Sacred Heart the very best in their All Ireland Semi-Final.

First and Second Year Basketball players had games last week against St Anne’s, Tipperary Town in the South East league. There was success for both teams.
The First Year result was Ursuline Thurles 18 St Anne’s.12. The Second Years had a comprehensive win in their encounter Ursuline Thurles 34 St Anne’s.6.
The First Year’s also played CTI from Clonmel last week and kept up their winning streak with a 36 – 0 victory. Well done to all involved.

On Monday, 20 the Junior Bs won their league game against Presentation Thurles 4-0.
The Seniors As beat Scoil Mhuire 2-1 in their League play-off game and have Senior A Cup Semi at home to Mount Mercy on Wednesday next.
The Minor As also had a 2-0 victory in their Cup Quarter-Final match against Scoil Mhuire, Cork.
The Junior As drew 3-3 against Scoil Mhuire coming back from 2-0 down in the opening stages. They will now play Scoil Mhuire in the return fixture.

CBS Show
Well done to the sixteen Ursuline TYs who were part of the cast of The Greatest Show. Congratulations to the staff and students of the CBS who staged a fantastic musical again this year.

All TY classes are currently completing a two day First Aid course which will certify them as first responders for two years.

Anna Ryan

Last weekend Ursuline student Anna Ryan, Sixth Year, won the National Junior Women’s Pentathlon in Athlone. Anna competed in five events – 60mH, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Putt & 800m. This extraordinary feat was followed the next day in Nenagh by winning the Munster Girl’s U/19 Pole Vault and High Jump and finishing second in the Shot Putt and second in the Senior Women’s Pole Vault. On Sunday 5, January Anna won the Munster Junior 60mH & Shot Putt and was second in the Pole Vault.

In February, she is receiving a Munster Star Award for the Best Tipperary Juvenile Female Athlete at Munster level and a Tipperary Star Award for the Best Juvenile County Tipperary Athlete and an Achievement Award for representing Ireland at the Youth Nations Cup last August.

Anna’s athletics career continues to go from strength to strength and in the Ursuline their is huge pride at all she has achieved . Well done Anna.

Both the Senior and Junior Football teams qualified for Munster Semi-Finals which were played last week.

Ursuline travelled to Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Tuesday 21, January to play Clonakilty in the Junior Football Munster Semi-Final. Clonakilty started out strong, racing to a 1-2 lead. Ursuline then took hold of the game and scored two points from joint captain Katie O Dwyer. Sarah Bell, Grace Fitzpatrick and Clodagh Morris were now getting on top and setting up numerous attacks. Ursuline took the lead when Chloe Byrne intercepted a kick out to race through on goal and hit the back of the net. Clonakilty grabbed another point before Katie O Dwyer raised another white flag from a free. The half time score was Ursuline 1-4 Clonakilty 1-3, still anyone’s to play for. Clonakilty began the second half by scoring a goal to put them back in front. Ursuline responded by two points from Grace Murtagh and Katie O’Dwyer. Grace Murtagh and co-captain Rachel Quinlan were creating chances and equally defending at the other end. Clonakilty then opened up a lead by scoring two quick goals against the run of play. However, Ursuline kept the pressure on and were awarded a penalty when Katie O’Dwyer was fouled. She duly slotted to the bottom left hand corner to reduce the lead. Soon after she pointed for Ursuline from an impressive individual run and as Ursuline piled on the pressure with minutes left Clonakilty counter attacked to score their fifth goal of the game. The game ended on a final score Ursuline 2-6 Clonakilty 5-3. The girls in blue can hold their heads proudly. They produced great displays of football and showed grit right up to the final whistle. Well done to all.

The previous week the Ursuline Senior Footballers played Mercy Mounthawk on Friday 17, January in Charleville in their Munster Semi-Final decider.. In what was expected to be close game, only a few points separated the teams throughout. Mercy Mounthawk, from the Kingdom, started well and were 1-3 ahead in the first ten minutes. Ursuline soon gained momentum with Niamh O’Dwyer pointing followed by a goal from Marion Gillman. Captain Maria Connolly and Vice-Captains Aoife Cashman and Katelyn Ruddy were starting to get on top in the full back line and kept Mercy Mounthawk scoreless for the rest of the half. Eimear McGrath and Kate O’Connor pointed for Ursuline and the half time score ended with Ursuline 1-4 Mercy Mounthawk 1-3. The Kerry contenders started the second half quickly and found the net with their first attack. Ursuline responded with a flurry of points from Katie O’Dwyer and three from Eimear McGrath. Emma Dunphy, Erin Bourke and Caoimhe McCarthy setting up the attacks from the wing back line. Ursuline were leading by two points when with ten minutes to go they conceded three crucial points and suddenly found themselves behind. Katie O’Dwyer grabbed a point in the dying minutes but Mercy Mounthawk responded with 1-1. Cathy Hogan raised the green flag for the Ursuline and in the last minute of injury time she had a goal attempt blocked on the line. The final score was Ursuline 2-9 Mercy Mounthawk 3-9. The Seniors played out of their skins and were heartbroken to end their epic battle only one score off Tralee.