December 20, 2015

Gaelic Footballer of the Year

Congratulations to Lauren Murtagh Junior Cert student who has been awarded the U14 Gaelic Football Player of the year in her home county of Kildare. This Lilywhite, who plays Gaelic Football for the Ursuline Senior and Junior teams, saw off competition from both boys and girls of the same age. It is a great honour to be recognised as the best player in your county and for Lauren, who gives her all to the sport, it is a justly deserved reward for her commitment and talent. Well done Lauren.

Carol Service

The Annual Ursuline Christmas Carol service was held on Monday night last, December 14 in the Sr. Ursula Memorial Hall at 7.30. This is one of the highlights of the Christmas time calendar and this year’s service was beautiful. The carols were sung by candlelight giving the sports hall a magical, Christmas feel. There was an array of musical talent on show with Chamber Choir, Cecilian Choir and a harp ensemble arranged by Ms Buckley singing and playing. Soloists included Galina Kennedy and Naomi Ryan with a duet of ‘O Holy Night.’ India Leonard and Caoimhe Fitzpatick sang a slow version of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. They arranged the music themselves and harmonised wonderfully together.
A talented first year harpist, Cliòna nic Domhnaill sang her own composition and accompanied herself on the harp. This young composer, it seems, has a bright musical future ahead of her. Lucy Bell, Megan Long and Maeve Carew did a performance of the much-loved poem ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement C. Moore. Chamber Choir sang a Michael McGlynn arrangement of ‘Santa Nicolai’ and also ‘Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine”.’ The Cecilian Choir regaled the audience with their version of the well known Christmas hits ‘Walking in the Air’, ‘The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth) and ‘A Spaceman came Travelling’. Ms. Marina Buckley and her harpists played ‘Carol of the Bells’ and ‘Still, Still’. The service was well attended by students, parents and staff and everyone agreed it was a very special evening. Thanks to everyone who volunteered in getting the hall ready and of course well done to all who were involved from both the Secondary School and the School of Music.

Junior Debating Results

Following hotly tested semi-finals this week the second year teams who go forward to the final in January are Caoimhe Meade, Lavinia Bowe and Anne Marie O’Byrne Casey who are proposing the motion. Taking up the opposing side are Nessa McGrath, Kerry Tierney, Isabel Quirke with Gràinne McNamara doing the job of research. The fist years who succeeded to the final are the proposition of Emma Osborne, Rachel Madden and Zoë Bracken. In the opposition corner are Ellen Moriarty, Mollie Lloyd and Isabelle Tyrell. Speeches will be at least three minutes long and not longer than four. The topic both First and Second years will be arguing either for or against is:
“The world’s obsession with celebrities is damaging people, particularly young people.”
There were many outstanding speakers who unfortunately did not progress to the final on this occasion. Ella Finlay, Ellen Duggan, Victoria Cotterall and Heather Hourigan Powell all spoke and argued eloquently and with passion. They will have a chance to shine in individual public speaking in the New Year. Thanks to Ms. Quinn for her continued energy and commitment to debating and public speaking.

Hockey

There is only one hockey result this week as the games take s break now until after Christmas. The First Year blue team beat the Presentation Thurles by 5 goals. Well done. Thanks to all the hockey coaches for their hard work this term.

SVP Toy Appeal

On Thursday, December 17, the secretary of the Thurles conference of St. Vincent de Paul, Ellie O’Dwyer, came to speak to Ms. Keating and Mr. Cleary’s First Year classes about the work of the organisation. The First Years study the Saint Vincent de Paul organisation as part of their Junior Cycle Religion curriculum. She told them that the SVP reach out to those in need in various different ways. They provide holiday breaks, educational funds for third level students, they run charity shops and give the government pre budget submissions on the best ways to protect those in poverty and offer solutions on how to tackle poverty. Above all, she told the students, the organisation is confidential, non judgemental and tries to meet people where they are at in their lives. After her talk some of Ms. Casey’s Leaving Cert LCVP class presented Ellie with hampers of toys that had been collected in the school for the SVP Toy appeal. All students organise to buy gifts in groups through their Religion class in the spirit of goodwill and to think of those less well off during the Christmas season. Ellie thanked the students, on behalf of the St. Joseph’s Conference, for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Thanks to Ellie for giving the students a valuable insight into the work of SVP.

Students v Teachers Annual Christmas debate

One of the biggest showdowns of the school year happened in the Sports Hall on Thursday December 17 at lunchtime when three Leaving Certs took on the intellectual prowess of the teachers in the annual teachers v students Christmas debate. The motion, as usual was about the big man himself,
‘That Santa Claus is the greatest man in history.’
The teachers were the proposition on this occasion and their team was Ms. Butler, Ms. Doherty and Ms. Keating. Therefore the students were left opposing the motion and representing the hopes of the entire student body. The team, which was more than up to the task included Dervla Lynch, Emer Breslin and Ciara Quinlan. Ms. Butler started the proceedings by saying that history was about facts and she was going to deal with the facts. She argued that in historical terms Santa, with his track record of giving to everyone over many centuries, was indeed the greatest man in history. Ms. Doherty spoke about how Santa provides work and training for 6.2 million elves in the North Pole and without Santa the elvish population would be facing annihilation and devastation. Ms. Keating said that Santa was a saint and a miracle worker and that fact alone should qualify him as the greatest man who ever lived.
The opposition was not prepared to take such arguments lying down. Dervla Lynch said that Santa was an attention seeker. Emer Breslin argued that far from saving the elves as Ms Doherty has alluded to Santa was in fact exploiting the elves. She also said that he was ageist as he only delivered presents to children. Ciara Quinlan presented the case that St. Nick is actually stealing the limelight from Jesus Christ at Christmas. She said because of Santa we have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. She also said that Santa didn’t even get to Mass on Christmas as he was jet setting around the world delivering presents.
In the end the winners were decided by the loudest cheer. As always, the students got a tumultuous deafening roar compared to the “boos” for the Teachers’ team. So again the title of supreme debaters goes to the students this year. Well done to the School Council for organising this fun event.

Camogie Senior A Munster Semi Final

On Wednesday, December 16, the Ursuline played in the Munster Semi Final Senior A Cup against St. Joseph’s Tulla in Dr. Morris Park. The Clare team got off to a good start with an early goal. The Ursuline girls clawed back points and just before half time got a vital goal to leave the halftime score 1-8 to 1-7. Scores were scarce in the second half. Tulla scored another goal and UCT answered with two more points which levelled the game. In a dramatic twist Ursuline got a goal which now put them two points up. It would be a nail biting finish. In the dying minute of the game Tulla hit the back of the net leaving them with a one- point advantage as the final whistle sounded. A heartbreaking result for an Ursuline team that showed great heart throughout the game. The final score was 2-10 to 3-8. Well done to a gallant bunch on such a courageous performance in their first year at Senior A level. Well done to Ms. Hogan for her dedication to camogie in the school.

Written By Nora Tuohy