March 14, 2019

Junk Kouture Regional Final, Limerick
A Shoulder to Crayon will represent the Ursuline at the National Final of Junk Kouture this year. This stunning creation made from melted crayons, crushed biro casings, markers and old erasers was the genius of Nora Brennan, Caitlin Power and Cora Norton. The flared trousers and peplum top in grey with the effective marbling of primary colours throughout made for a head turning piece that certainly caught the eye of the judges. Caitlin added to the appeal of the outfit with her dramatic catwalk performance. The message the students want to convey with their recycled haut couture ensemble is that the education of girls is a vital human right if gender inequality is to be eradicated particularly in developing countries.
Well done to the two other Ursuline entries who made it to the Regional Final this year – Disconnected and Lean Cuisine and to the other three groups who were equally hardworking and committed, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Horses for Corsets. They all did tremendous work in bringing their fashion concepts to fruition and the whole school is immensely proud of their achievements.

Knights of Columbanus Public Speaking

The Ursuline has had great success over the last number of years in the Knights of Columbanus Public Speaking competition with teams making it to the All-Ireland Final for the last three years. Last year Gemma O’Dwyer, Mary Kate Barrett and Erika Carroll were the 2018 winners. This year again the Ursuline had two teams in the final nine. Maynooth was the destination for the Fifth Year team of Saoirse Grogan Ryan, Rebecca Leahy and Erica Ryan and the TY team of Ellie Culliton, Chloe O’Connell and Leah Phelan on Saturday, 9 March where they competed with other schools from all four provinces. Erica, Saoirse and Rebecca spoke with passion about the tragedy of world hunger. They left the audience to ponder the disturbing statistic that three million children each year die from hunger and malnutrition. Ellie, Chloe and Leah discussed how the church should be doing more to help families in crises. They mentioned that the widespread use of the internet and social media may have left families more fractured than connected in this modern world. Well done to all on their thought provoking speeches and to their Public Speaking teacher Ms Quinn.

Kilkenny Music Festival.
A number of Ms Purcell’s Speech and Drama pupils competed in the Kilkenny Music Festival on Saturday, 9 March because for the first time in its 21 years as a Music Festival, Speech and Drama was included in the competition. The Ursuline students were entered in the monologue and dualogue sections. It was a positive and worthwhile experience for all those competing who spoke and dramatized with great effect. Every girl performed to her best potential on the day.
In the Under 15 monologue Julianne Barrett, Second Year, was highly commended for her performance. Lauren Brannigan, First Year was also highly commended, while Fay Lannon, First Year was placed joint second and Anouska Dunne, First Year was awarded first prize. In the Under 15 dualogue section Lauren Brannigan and Fay Lannon came first. Anouska, Fay and Lauren also had the honour of performing in the Gala Concert held in the Watergate Theatre on Wednesday, March 13. Well done to the students who took part and to their Speech and Drama teacher Ms Purcell.

RIAM Choral Exams
Well done to the First, Second and Third Year Choirs who completed their RIAM exams last week. The choirs under the tutelage of Ms Butler and Mr Farrell sang impressively for the examiner displaying a wide vocal ability. The First Years sang ‘Castle on a Cloud’ from Les Mis and the swing jazz favourite ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing’. The Second Years performed the soulful Adele classic ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘One’ from the 70’s Broadway Hit Musical A Chorus Line. The Third Years had an eclectic rang of songs including Britney Spears pop classic ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ from Journey and ‘Siyahamba’ a traditional South African hymn written and performed in Zulu. School. Choirs form an essential part of the curriculum from First Year to TY and are actively being promoted nationwide as part of the new Junior Cycle Well Being programme.

Munster Junior Football Final
Ursuline Thurles created history on Wednesday, 6 March as they travelled to Boherlahan to compete in their first Munster Football Final at Junior level. They had beaten, Limerick, Clare and Kerry winners along the way and Cashel CS were their final opponents. While Ursuline were aided by the wind in the first half they could only manage three points from the foot of the highly effective Katie O’Dwyer. Ursuline had a few opportunities for scores but they shot wide. Marion Gillman, joint captain for Ursuline, also had a great chance at goal early in the first half but it was excellently saved by the impressive Cashel CS goalkeeper. While Ursuline found it hard to find scores Cashel took their chances well and had raised the green flag three times before the half time whistle. Half time score was Ursuline Thurles 0-3 Cashel CS 3-0. Cashel started the second half strongly and had two further goals and 2 points scored within the first 10 minutes. However, Caoimhe McCarthy Ursuline’s other captain, rallied her players and Rebeca McCabe finished a well worked attack to find the back of the net. Rachel Quinlan was impressive for Ursuline at midfield and grabbed 1-1 further reducing Cashel’s lead. But they quickly responded with 4 successive points, unanswered by the Thurles side. However Rebecca McCabe was again on hand for the Ursuline to grab a second goal in the last few minutes of the game which ended with Ursuline 3-4 Cashel 5-6. Ursuline Thurles Junior players can be proud of their achievement on reaching the Munster Final. The school would like to wish Cashel CS the best of luck in the All-Ireland Semi Final and hope that they go all the way for Tipperary Schools Football.

All Ireland Cross Country
The Junior Athletics team and Kate Ferncombe, First Year travelled to Clongowes on Saturday, 9 March to compete in the All Ireland Cross Country Championships. Kate qualified as an individual competitor in the Minors and did well over the 2km course. Camille Ryan, Alexandra Hourigan, Chloe Byrne, Robyn Fanning and Rachel Ryan made up the Junior team who ran a distance of 2.5km. A great day of running was had by all and well done to all competitors.

Well done to the 16 staff members who took part in the Runamuck Challenge held in Coolcarrigan Estate, Kildare on Saturday, 9 March. The run, through mud, bog, fields and forests, over a distance of 5.5km and many obstacles was done in order to raise funds for ‘A Little Lifetime’ Foundation. This Irish charity helps bereaved parents and families with the loss of a baby that dies at any stage of pregnancy, during or after birth. The students and teachers travelling to Kolkata in April with the Hope Foundation will also benefit from the money raised. The inspiration behind this fun, fit, muddy run was the Music and Religion teacher Mr Shane Farrell. He is completing a different personal challenge each month and raising money for many good causes along the way. The staff were delighted to be able to join him, support him in some of this journey while having great craic completing the course together. If you would like to support these worthy causes you can go to the Maestro’s Go Fund Me Page and make a donation. Thanks to everyone who has done so already.

On Thursday, 14 March a TY team from the Ursuline played in an emerging schools Rugby tournament. They lined out against teams from Rockwell and the Presentation Thurles to put into action all the skills and tactics they had been practicing in training.

On Wednesday, 13 March the TYs started a new workshop in Fencing. This has never been done in the school before and it was very exciting for the students to learn the basic elements of this most ancient of sports. They donned all the safety equipment before they were ready to duel and score points against one another. Maybe there could be a future Olympian among them if they get a taste for it.

Written By Nora Tuohy