January 16, 2020

Joanne O’Riordan Visits the Ursuline
The Ursuline was delighted to welcome Joanne O’Riordan to the School on Friday, 10 January, 2020. Joanne, a Sports Journalist with the Irish Times and disability activist, is one of only seven people in the world with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a condition whereby she was born without limbs.

She was vivacious, energetic and her message of positivity really resonated with students and staff. The twenty-three year old self declared people person has a great attitude to life. She doesn’t give up on things easily refusing to let her disability or anything else get in the way of achieving what she sets her mind to. Joanne, a natural speaker with a quick and lively wit, had the students laughing, smiling and nodding in agreement at her wise words. She spoke about her life now, growing up, her degree in Criminology, her love of Sport and her work in Journalism.

The students had loads of questions for her such as what did she think her life would be like if she’d been born in a different era when technology wasn’t as advanced, what would she love to achieve as a journalist and what her typical day is like. She told them she loves meeting people, ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things and listening to their stories. She always tries to show the brighter side of life rather than focusing on all the sadness and badness in the world, both in her personal life and her work. She advised them not to be too tied to specific goals as life throws up random things so it’s best to keep an open mind. She told them to put positivity into the world and they would get it back in spades.

She was thanked by Fifth Year students Katie McCarthy and Méabh Casey, who made the initial contact with Joanne and had a big part in arranging the visit. Before she hit the road Joanne met with the Senior

A Camogie panel to give them some motivational words ahead of their Munster Final the following day. She told them everyone on the team has the potential to be a hero. She urged them to go out, give it their all and find the hero within. She certainly empowered them to rise to the challenge as they came back from four points down at half time to beat the reigning Munster and All Ireland Champions, St Angela’s, Waterford. Thanks to Joanne for taking time out to come to the Ursuline and making such a big impression and leaving a positive imprint on all who heard and met her.

Irish Ambassador to Sweden Visits the Ursuline
Past pupil, her Excellency, Dympna Hayes, the Irish Ambassador to Sweden was an honored guest at the School on Friday, 10 January. She spoke to the TY’s about the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Ireland’s role in the United Nations. She was accompanied by Corporal Patrick Dollard who has served as an UN Peacekeeper in the Lebanon, Liberia, Chad and the Balkans. He spoke about Ireland’s 60 years of unbroken UN Peacekeeping service, the only country in the world with this lengthy record. Currently there are 600 Irish personnel working with the UN overseas. Her Excellency, Ms Hayes, lives and works in Stockholm. As part of her duties she invites Irish people to the Embassy to celebrate Irishness and promotes engagement and fosters links between the Irish Government and the Swedish Government. She also spoke about Ireland’s bid to become a non permanent member of the UN Security Council. She presented the School Council members with a UN Flag and got to meet her niece in TY Ella Hayes. It was a huge privilege for the School to welcome back Dympna and everyone is very proud of the important work she is doing in her ambassadorial role.

Little Princess Trust
On Wednesday, 15 January, 33 students from First Year to Sixth Year and two teachers, Ms Carew and Ms Coman cut their hair and donated at least seven inches each off their luscious locks for a very worthy charity, the Little Princess Trust. This unusual charity drive was the brainchild of Ms Carew’s Second Year Tutor class, 2C. Little Princess Trust uses the hair to make wigs for children and young adults who have lost their own due to illness, treatment or medical conditions such as alopecia. The School would like to thank the trainees and staff at St Sheelan’s College, Templemore who kindly cut the students hair on Wednesday and for the really nice atmosphere and sense of camaraderie among the Ursuline students and the students of St Sheelan’s.

Presentation of Mission Day Cheque
On Friday, 10 January Sr Claire Ursula, of the Ursuline Missions in Kenya met with Sixth Year School Councillors and their Year Head, Ms Bourke to receive a cheque for €5000. The money, the proceeds of Mission Day, organised by the Leaving Certs last November, will go directly to the education of young Kenyan girls and women. This money will be used to provide them with important vocational skills needed to secure employment and gain access to better opportunities for themselves and their families. Thanks to all students who donated so generously on Mission Day and to the Leaving Certs who gave the whole School a fun ‘Day at the Races’ and made it a day to remember.

It was a great start for the Senior A Hockey Team on Wednesday, 15 January when they beat Laurel Hill Cólaiste in the first round, quarter-final of the Munster Cup. It was a decisive 5-1 victory for the UCT girls who travelled to Limerick for the match. The initial goal came within five minutes thanks to Marion Gillman. Her fortuitous start was followed by Eimear McGrath who rocketed a ball into the net from a penalty corner. Emma O’Mara secured the third Ursuline score with a run along the base line and a cool finish. Coláiste’s only goal came at the end of the third quarter from a straight strike short corner. Aoibhinn Fanning knotched up a UCT fourth, a shot from the right side of the circle. With ten minutes to go and Ursuline well in front, Emma O’Mara made another base line run and slotted the ball home. A great team effort and an enthusiastic start to the season.
The Minor As also took on their Laurel Hill Coláste counterparts and similarly did the business with a 3-0 win.

Basketball Results
In Basketball the Cadets secured wins against St Ailbe’s Tipp Town and Killenaule.
Ursuline Thurles 28 St Ailbies 15
Ursuline Thurles 9. St Anne’s. 30
Ursuline Thurles 30. Killenauale 2
Ursuline Thurles 11. Pres Clonmel 23

The Seniors had very good outcomes in their games against St Ailbe’s, St Anne’s and Killenaule. This qualified them for the South East Quarter Final against Ardscoil Na Mara.
Ursuline Thurles 29 St Ailbies 7
Ursuline Thurles 35. St Anne’s. 32
Ursuline Thurles 52. Killenauale 9
Ursuline Thurles 24. Pres Clonmel 40.

Well done to all players and to their coach Ms Ryall

Written By Nora Tuohy