March 18, 2016

Commemorating 1916

The whole school gathered in Sr. Ursula Memorial hall on Tuesday, 15th March to remember 1916 in word, music, picture, song and dance. The ceremony began at 9.30 with an official folding of the tricolour by a group of TY students. The flag was then presented to 2nd year student Lily
Whelehan, a great great great great grand niece of Thomas Francis Meagher, the first man to fly the Irish flag in 1848 on the Mall in Waterford. She then presented it to Commandant John O’Brien, one of our guests on the day, who raised the flag. Then there was a short film shown about the Irish flag, its origins, the correct manner to treat the flag and its symbolism. The film, entitled ‘Our country, our flag’ was made by Mr. Kirby’s history class as part of their YSI project. Then another guest for the occasion, local historian Jimmy Duggan spoke about the Rising covering some of the main events of the Rising, the woman involved and what was happening in the Thurles area a hundred years ago. Constance Quinlan re-enacted part of Pearse’s rousing speech over the grave of O’Donovan Rossa. His famous, often quoted words, were a precursor to the events of Easter Monday 1916. Next the audience listened to two original songs composed to commemorate the Rising. Bridín Ryan, 5th year, sang the song which she wrote and entered in Scòr. She will represent Tipperary in the All Ireland final. Then 1st year student Clíona Nic Domhnaill sang her harp composition which she has entered into the National Concert Hall song for 16 competition. Both students mesmerised the audience with their beautiful performances. Then Ella Ryan, Jessica Dunne, Eva Morrissey, Isabelle Forde, Nora Brennan, Eimear O’Loughlin and Sophie Timlin took to the stage to read the poems they’d written especially for the event, interpreting, in their own unique way, the ideals of the Rebels. This was followed by a recitation of the iconic Yeats poem, Easter 1916, by Ms. Butler and Ms. Doherty. Second year students Eimear Bourke, Sarah Jane Gilmartin and Ciara Gleeson wowed everyone with an exhilarating Irish dance. The students performed to ‘Reel around the Sun’ from Riverdance dancing in hard shoes. There was a reading of the original proclamation both in Irish and English. Then Chairperson of the student council, Louise Cadell, read the new proclamation setting out the ideals the students of the Ursuline would like to see come to pass in the next one hundred years. Chamber choir entertained everyone with their Feis Cheoil winning songs Ave Maria and Incantations. Then the exquisite original artistic piece created by Ms. Lawlor and various students was unveiled. The emblematic painting incorporates the iconic GPO, the HQ of the Rising and remembers in particular the contribution of women and Cumann na mbán. This piece, which is bordered with beautiful Celtic design inspired by the Book of Kells and the work of Harry Clarke, will be displayed in the school as a memento of this historic year. To finish the ceremony the whole school stood, faced the flag and sang Amhrán na bhFiann led by Ms Farrell and the chamber choir. It was a very special commemorative occasion and thanks to everyone involved for making it so memorable.

Hockey

The Junior A’s won a Munster Cup title in a tough battle with Villiers in rockwell college on Tuesday 15th of March. The game started at high pace with Jill Shanahan scoring one on the left post about 10 minutes into the first half. It was 1-0 at half time. UCT started the second half well, Caoimhe Perdue scored a direct shot from a short corner about 12 min into it. Villiers had chances from short corners but scored a goal from play about 20 minutes into the second half. It was proving to be a very tense final but UCT held strong with Niamh long taking a ball off the line to deny Villiers an equalising goal. There was wild cheering from the strong home crowd when the final whistle blew. Well done to the team and to coach Ms. Rossiter and the other hockey coaches.

Athletics

The whole school was immensely proud of first year student Anna Ryan who not only won gold in the U15 National Pole Vault competition but also set a new national record of 2.50 metres. The National Juvenile Indoor Championships were held in Athlone and Anna was representing her county and her club Moycarkey Coolcroo AC. Anna also holds the County and Munster titles in the same event. Well done Anna on this fantastic record breaking achievement.

An Post National Handwriting Competition

Congratulations to 5th year student Nuala Fitzgibbon who won the National An Post handwriting competition. She wrote a 300 word letter on the rebellion of Easter Monday 1916. Her letter, transcribed in a gothic calligraphic style, included a brief summary of the main events of the Rising and an excerpt of the Proclamation. Part of Nuala’s prize is a trip to the GPO with her class which is very appropriate considering the significance of the building in this centenary year. Well done Nuala.

Written By Nora Tuohy