May 23, 2019

Child of Mary Mass
On Thursday, 17 May the Leaving Cert Class of 2019 celebrated their Graduation Mass, fondly known as the Child of Mary Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption in the company of their family, friends and teachers. They were joined by the other year groups in a lovely recollection of their time in the Ursuline and the journey they have completed together through secondary school. ‘It’s the moments together that change us forever’ was the theme the Sixth Years choose for their mass and Kerry Tierney expressed this theme aptly when she spoke about how they were unfamiliar to one another when they started out in First Year and how they leave now as firm friends. Fr Jim Purcell encouraged them to keep showing up and the miracle will happen and to be kind and gentle on themselves. Many of the Sixth Years expressed the theme in a liturgical dance at the beginning of the mass with the orchestra playing a beautiful symphonic version of Coldplay’s Paradise. The music, singing and artwork all helped to make this last school mass a special occasion for this year’s Leaving Cert class. Thanks to all the teachers and staff involved in the mass which was a lovely celebration of friendship and togetherness. A special thank you to the Home Economics Department who provided refreshments in the Sr Ursula Memorial Hall afterwards.

Jessie Buckley
The school was delighted to welcome to back past pupil and rising star of the film, television, stage and music worlds Jessie Buckley. She came to wish the Leaving Cert class of 2019 well on their last day in school and recalled fondly her time as an Ursuline. Jessie who graduated from secondary school in 2007 has gone on to have an illustrious acting career with her most recent hits including Beast, Wild Rose and the mini-series Chernobyl. She gave a very powerful and emotional address to the students encouraging them to believe in themselves, in their abilities, to listen to other people’s stories, to share their own stories, to look after their bodies, to open their ears, eyes and hearts to the world, to be passionate about living their lives and not to be afraid of their own potential – that it is a most powerful thing. She told them life takes work but to bring dignity to whatever it is they do. Jessie was accompanied by her mother Marina, who is Music teacher in St Angela’s Academy. She was warmly greeted by many of her old teachers in the school and her sister Lilly, who is in First Year.

Awards and Final Year Assembly
The whole school gathered for the Final Assembly of the Year in Sr Ursula Memorial Hall on Thursday, 23 May. Ms Butler wished the class of 2019 well in the Leaving Cert and thanked them for their contribution to the school over the years. There were awards presented for various achievements in Music, Sport, the Creative Arts, Performance, Public Speaking and Debating and overall contribution to the school.

The Helen Larkin Fitzgerald for student of the year was received by Shauna Fogarty. Shauna was recognised for giving 100% to everything she does and always showing great leadership abilities. The Bank of Ireland Award was presented to Megan Brophy by Marie Cuniffe of the Bank. Megan was commended for her positive impact on those around her.

The Sports Award was presented jointly to Niamh Long and Lauren Murtagh. Both played Senior Football and Lauren also played Hockey while Niamh was an integral part of Junior and Senior Camogie teams during her time in school. The Excellence in Sport Award was presented to Katie Morrissey the current U18 Irish Junior Tennis Champion who has also represented Ireland in International competition.

The Sr Ursula Memorial Medal for a piece of original creative work was awarded to Mimi O’Grady for her powerful essay on a moment of insight and inspiration. Ella Flynn, who achieved a distinction in her Grade 8 Harp Exam, was presented with the Dwan Salver by her Harp teacher Marina Buckley. This is given to the student who receives the highest grade in a Music Exam. The Music student of the year was awarded jointly to Caitríona Timmins and Emma Nesbit for their selfless contribution to the musical life of the school.  The David Moloney Medal for Performance was presented to Erika Carroll by his wife Eve. Erika was a member of Debating and Public Speaking teams throughout her time in school and performed in four school shows.

Other awards included Gaisce Bronze and Silver medalists and Certificates of Merit and Certificates of Attendance. It was a lovely ceremony and a nice way for the Leaving Cert class of 2019 to finish their time in school. Best of luck to all of them in their State Exams.

To entertain there was a fabulous performance by Chamber Choir of the beautiful Michael McGlynn arrangement of Sí do Mhaimeo í. Chamber Choir won at the recent Cork Choral Festival with this song and received a special Adjudicators prize for performance of a song in Irish. They were subtly and skillfully accompanied by All Ireland winning Bodhran player Sarah Bourke, Sixth Year.


Teacher v Student Soccer Match
The annual Teacher v Student soccer match was played in the glorious sunshine on Wednesday, 22 May. This is always a tense affair with the pride of the parish at stake for both sides. The game ended in a dubious 1-1 draw. The highlight of the event was not the fancy footwork on the field but the action on the sidelines with the Sixth Years dressing up as teachers to add colour and fun to the occasion. It was like double vision on the hockey pitches with the teachers and their doppelgängers and the likeness in dress and mannerism was freakishly similar in many instances.


County Fleadh
Congratulations to the students who competed in the County Fleadh in Ballina on Sunday, 19 May. Sarah Bourke came first in both over 18 Bodhran and Celli Drums. Emma Nesbit came second in the Slow Airs fiddle over 18 and first in the fast tunes. Naoise Barrett, Third Year, won first prize in the Harp Dance tunes 15-18. Naoise and Ciara Cheshire, Third Year, were part of the Killa Celli Band that took first prize in the 15-18 Celli Band Competition. Laurna Ryan, Sixth Year was part of a Grupa Cheoil which also qualified for the Munster Fleadh. Well done to all students who competed in what is a very high standard traditional music competition.


Worlds Irish Dancing
Sarah McCarthy, Third Year, has qualified for the CRN Worlds’ Irish Dancing Competition to be held in Killarney in June. Sarah will dance in the U15 competition a reel, traditional and set dance. Good luck to Sarah from all in the Ursuline.

Written By Nora Tuohy