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.

May 16, 2019

Well done to Anna Ryan, Fifth Year, who was in action last week at the County Track and Field Championships. She won all of her events – Shot Put, Pole Vault and Javelin with a PB of 28:14 in the Javelin.

Hannah Murphy
It has been announced that Leaving Certificate student, Hannah Murphy, has been chosen as the runner-up in the post primary category of Trocaire’s annual Poetry competition run in conjunction with Poetry Ireland. The competition is entitled Until Love Conquers Fear and this year writers were asked to reflect on the theme Land is Life. Hannah’s outstanding poem, Home obviously impressed the judges and it follows on from her success in the same competition last year when she also scooped the second place prize with her poem about war called The Television. Hannah will now attend the awards ceremony this week taking place in the National Library of Ireland. Well done to wordsmith Hannah who clearly has great poetic ability and a talent for reaching out to others through verse.

Caoimhe Meade
Congratulations to Caoimhe Meade, Fifth Year, who was awarded the prestigious Michael O’hEidhinn medal for her Grade 8 Concertina exam. Caoimhe was presented with her prize at a ceremony held in Comhaltas, Monkstown. Caoimhe is a very talented traditional musician and this prize is a great honour and testament to her talent and hard work.

On Tuesday, 14 May three teams of First Years travelled to Rockwell to take part in the Tipperary Schools Football Blitz. They had some really competitive matches, putting in great performances against well matched teams in all three groups. The first team won games against Cashel, Presentation Thurles and Cahir which got them as far as the semi-final with St Anne’s. The Tipp Town side put in the better display to come out on top on this occasion. The second Ursuline team progressed to the final of their group dispatching Presentation Clonmel, Cashel and St Anne’s along the way. Their opponents in the final were Presentation Thurles, who were the eventual winners in this group. The third team beat St Anne’s and Templemore but lost to Presentation Thurles. There was plenty of great play from the Ursuline sides and lots of opportunities for the students to show their footballing skills and talents. Many thanks to Mr McLoughlin and Mr Kirby for their coaching of all football teams throughout the year.

HTAI History Quiz, Cork
Mount Mercy in Cork was the venue for the Munster HTAI table quiz for Junior Cert students. Two teams travelled from the Ursuline with History teachers Ms Downey and Ms Coman for what was a fun opportunity to revise topics that are related to the Junior Cert History Syllabus. The Ursulines scored highly in what was a tough competition that called on students to trust their historical instincts particularly on the trickier questions. Well done to competitors Eilish Naughton, Holly Fitzgerald, Taryn Kelly, Caoimhe Dooley, Ruth Brannigan, Katie Bergin Gráinne Gleeson and Fiona Breslin.

Breast Cancer Awareness Talk
The TYs and Sixth Years had a very informative talk on Breast Cancer given by Juliet O’Connell a Breast Cancer survivor herself. She spoke about her own diagnosis and told them about the importance of regular breast examination. She showed them how to check for lumps and what signs to look out for to aid early detection. The students and staff who attended learned a lot about the disease and more importantly how to protect themselves against it.

Cecilian Choir and Choir exams
Well done to Cecilian Choir who attended the Navan Choral Festival on Thursday, 9 May. They participated in the Post Primary/Youth Choirs Competition singing Fly me to the Moon and an African-American spiritual song Deep River. The Choir comprising of students from First Year to Sixth Year had a great day out and put in a brilliant performance. The Cecilian Choir, along with the TY Choir and Chamber Choir had RIAM exams on Tuesday, 14 May. All three choirs sang their prepared pieces with uplifting harmonies joining together exquisitely to perform in a variety of styles. Thanks to Choir Mistress Ms Joan Butler and Ms Quinn in the Music Department.

May 9, 2019

Musical Evening

The annual Musical Evening took place in the Sr Ursula Memorial Hall on Wednesday, 8 May. It was a pageant of music with something to suit every taste. Both school Choirs – Chamber and Cecilian sang and wowed the audiences with their repertoires that have proved so successful for them in competition this year. Chamber Choir won the Adjudicator’s prize at the recent Cork Choral Festival and Cecilian Choir won Limerick Choral Festival for the third year in a row. Other musical treats on the night included Junior and Senior Orchestra, soloists in a range of instruments including piano, harp, flute, cello and saxophone, trad groups and a variation of voice styles. Thanks to all the teachers from St Angela’s Academy of Music, Sr Cecilia, Ms J Butler, Ms Quinn and Ms Barry from the Music Department for all their hard work in making the evening the outstanding success it always is.


The First Year Camogie players competed in the Munster Blitz on Wednesday, 8 May in Mallow. The first team beat Blarney. Cashel and Laurel Hill proved to be more of a challenge in this group. The second team got as far as the semi-final stage beating Borrisokane and Fermoy in their group games. This saw them qualify from their group games for the semi-final but lost to Middleton by a point. A great day out was had by all the girls and there was some fabulous displays of skill and grit by all who participated. Thanks to Camogie coaches this year Ms O’Friel and Ms Hogan for all their hard work and effort.

TY Trip

The end of year Transition Year trip happened last week with all three classes and their tutors heading off to Dublin and Belfast for a jam-packed schedule of fun and sightseeing. They attended the Junk Kouture National Final on Thursday, 2 May in the 3Arena to cheer on their fellow TYs Caitlin Power, Nora Brennan and Cora Norton and their fabulous design ‘A Shoulder to Crayon’. The tour took in the Viking Splash, Tayto Park, the Belfast Titanic Museum and a bus tour of Belfast. They had a brilliant time with fab weather thrown in for good measure.

Charities Committee

The Charities Committee organised a fun run on Thursday, 9 May to raise money for the ISPCC and Cameo Care. The whole school got on their runners and pounded the pavements around the town and along the Jimmy Doyle Road. It was brilliant for fun and fitness. Cameo Care is a local charity caring for people with Dementia while the ISPCC is a national organisation dedicated to Children’s rights. They collected €550 for both of these worthy causes.

May 2, 2019

Junk Kouture National Final, 3Arena, Dublin
It was a magnificent performance by Caitlin Power in the 3Arena on Thursday, 2 May at the Junk Kouture National Final. Caitlin owned the stage exuding plenty of attitude and fun as she confidently took to the catwalk. Dancing to the Little Mix hit Salute it captured perfectly the essence of their design which was that education is vital for the empowerment of women and girls. Caitlin along with fellow TY team mates Nora Brennan and Cora Norton used over 15,000 bits of erasers, crayons, markers and crushed pens to design their stunning piece – A Shoulder to Crayon. The flared trousers and peplum top were accessorised with a spiral headpiece created from colouring pencils. The education of girls was the theme which motivated their creation. They wanted to highlight that opportunities for women are severely hampered if they are denied access to proper schooling, particularly in developing countries. Well done to the trio on qualifying for the National Final out of the highly competitive Regional Final and for their excellent presentation and performance last Thursday in the 3Arena. Thanks to all the supporters who made the journey and to the teachers who worked with them to complete their entry.

Athletics- East Munster Track and Field, Templemore
The South East Munster Track and Field took place 1 May in Templemore. The day started off very well with Anna Ryan winning gold in the 3 kilo Shot Putt. Anna has the Pole Vault competition to follow next week. She’s just back from the UK where she spent part of her Easter break being coached by Scott Simpson at the High Performance Centre in Loughborough University. Scott is the coach of Holly Bradshaw who is the current British Pole Vault Champion. Bradshaw won gold in the Athletics World Cup 2018 and is the current silver medallist from the European Indoor Championships this year. Fifth Year Chloe Slattery finished in second place in the Senior 100m and fourth in the Senior 200m.
Leona Maher qualified for the final of the Junior 100 metres and won silver along with bronze in the Long Jump. Chloe Byrne competed in the Junior 75 Metres Hurdles bagging the silver. Emily Davidson is emerging as one of the new athletic stars of the school and won gold in the Minor Long Jump and followed it up with bronze in the 75m Hurdles. Emma O Meara had a great day with gold in the 200m after making the final of the 100m. Marion Gillman had a great race in the 100m and took top spot on the podium. Louise Hickey finished in silver medal position in the Junior Shot and fourth in the Junior 200 metres final. Anna McCartan competed in the under 16 Mile and had a great race. Sophie Walsh competed well in the Intermediate 100m. Aodhamair Cronin, Grainne Lawler, Joyce O Sullivan and Emily Davidson all ran well in the Minor 100 Relay finishing fifth out of the nine competing teams. Rachel Ryan, Olivia Delaragy and Robyn Fanning took part in the Junior 100m, 200m and 800m finishing well up the field. The final event of the day for the team saw a really exciting 4 x 100 Intermediate Relay race with Anna Ryan, Emma O’Meara, Leona Maher and Marion Gillman lining up for the Ursuline and finishing strongly in silver medal position.

This has been the schools most successful South East Munster Championship for several years. The level of participation and effort from the girls was well rewarded in terms of making finals and winning individual medals and team medals. For several of the girls it was their first Athletics Championship and it just shows the depth of talent present in the school.

First Year Munster Football Blitz, Mallow
First Year Footballers travelled to Mallow Sports Complex on 1 May to compete in the Munster First Year Football Blitz which consisted of fifty five teams on the day. Having won the ‘A’ title two years ago and the ‘B’ title last year, the current First Years had a lot to live up to. However all three First Year teams competed brilliantly.

The ‘A’ team beat John the Baptist in their opening game 4-3 to 3-3. Captained by Danielle Ryan and Sarah Bell, they found themselves behind 1-1 in the opening few minutes. However, they soon regained momentum as Alice O Donoghue and Sarah Corcoran scored 1-1 and 1-2 respectively. Sarah Bell also added to this tally by converting a penalty as Lia Malocca impressed with a goal to the top corner. Next they secured a comprehensive victory over Mercy Mounthawk, Kerry. From the very outset they bombarded the Kerry goal and eventually ran out winners 9-8 to 0-0. Danielle Ryan scored a whopping 4-1 and both Sarah Corcoran and Kate Carr raised the green flag twice. Defenders, Paula Quirke, Alisha Kearney and Lia Malocca had made their way upfield to score points of their own while Andrea Quirke scored two brilliant points to cap off the win. Having won two of their pool games the As were handed a Semi-Final slot against Milltown of Kerry. There was nothing between these teams for much of the match and a late goal for Milltown sealed the win for them. Milltown started brightly and were four points up in the first five minutes but the Thurles girls rallied back and had 1-1 scored to draw the two teams level. Good work from Aoife Bourke in midfield who kept the blues in the game and all was level at half time. Milltown led again shortly after the restart but UCT had soon pegged them thanks to Lia Malocca. Although Thurles had a lot of possession they failed to convert it and only for Muireann Treacy in goals Milltown would have been out of sight. Muireann caught the eye of some county representatives during the day with her impressive kick outs and shot stopping abilities. However, near the end of full time Milltown struck the net and that late opportunity meant they progressed to the final.

The ‘B1’ team lost their first match to Coláiste Mhuire Ennis, Clare but responded brilliantly in the next by beating Presentation Listowel. Captained by Anouska Dunne and Evie Smyth they led by example and played excellently throughout to win. Kate Bergin, Anna O Brien and Rebekah Smith were central to a lot of Ursuline scores in the first two matches. Although progressing to a Semi-Final they were beaten by a few points at the end of full time.

The ‘B2’ team captained by Emma Carey were up against a strong St Angela’s, Cork team in their first match and lost 5-1 to 0-6. Ursuline points coming from Emma Carey, Katie O Neill, Mia O Dwyer and Tara Gleeson. They also played Colaiste Íde, Kerry and Edmund Rice College, Cork in their remaining games but unfortunately lost both games by narrow margins. Well done to all the First Year Footballers on what was another brilliant day out on the pitches and thanks to Mr McLoughlin who travelled to Mallow and coached the teams all year along with Mr Kirby.

Chamber Choir
It was a very successful day out for Chamber Choir who competed in the Cork Choral Festival on Thursday, 2 May. Their rendition of Sí do Mhaimeo Í won them a special Adjudicators Award and a Certificate of Excellence for the choir. Well done to all members and to their Choir Mistress Ms J Butler. It is particularly poignant for the Leaving Certs as this was to be their last occasion singing in competition with the Chamber Choir. Thanks to them for their commitment and for enhancing the musical life of the school with their talents.

Olivia Swan, Third Year, from Cloughjordan won her first International Event at Ballindenisk on the eight-year-old Rockon Pedro on Easter Sunday, 21 April. This duo have had numerous wins and were second in the National Championships 2018. This is Olivia’s final year in ponies and her focus is now on Tattersalls’s International which starts on the 28 May.
Among Olivia’s many supporters on the day of her great win were her parents Charlie and Carol Swan, grandparents Donald and Theresa Swan and maternal grandparents Timmy and Trish Hyde.

Ellen Duggan, TY
Congratulations to Ellen Duggan on her recent win in an essay competition. As a result of her success and as part of her prize she gets to go to Cambridge College during the summer for a two week course in creative writing.

Empowerment and Equality Conference, University of Limerick
Victoria Cottrell, Fifth Year, had the honour of being asked to address the Empowerment and Equality Conference in University of Limerick in such distinguished company as Dr Mary Ryan and former Tanaiste Mary Harney. Victoria spoke for five minutes about female empowerment, a topic on which she is well informed following on from her success in the Regional leg of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition in which she touched on some of the same issues.

Fifth Year Ecology Trip
The FifthYear Biology classes headed off on Wednesday, 1 May to Castlecomer Discovery Park to complete an Ecology study in the company of their teachers. This work is in preparation for exam questions asked on the Leaving Cert Biology paper. The students examined insect life and recorded their findings. They got to apply some of their knowledge in a practical way and got to grips with the scientific processes of finding evidence and writing up results. They got great weather for their trip and really enjoyed being out and about.

Scifest LIT
The Ursuline had six projects entered in Scifest in LIT Thurles, Thursday, 2 May. It was the Ursuline’s First Years scientists who dominated on this occasion chief among them Anna O’Brien, Joyce O’Sullivan, Orla Redfern, Lauren Brannigan, Nora Kilrane, Sarah Grace Ginty and Katie Healy. Projects varied from investigating taste, baking powder, uptake of water by plants, the browning of apples, artificial intelligence and sound perception/auditory illusions. Nora Kilrane won the Best Technology Prize while Sarah Grace Ginty and Katie Healy won the prestigious Irish Science Teachers Award. Well done to all participants who worked so hard in preparation for this competition.

April 11, 2019

PI Maths Quiz
Well done to the Ursuline team of four Third Year students who won the Irish Maths Teachers Association Junior PI Maths Quiz on Friday, 5 April. It was a closely fought contest between Ursuline Thurles, Kilkenny College and CBS Kilkenny with Ursuline snatching victory by a single point in the end. There were competing teams from around the region including Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wicklow. The UCT winners were Caoimhe Dooley, Katie Gleeson, Emma Synnott and Gráinne Gleeson and it was a great opportunity for the students to flex their mathematical muscles.

County Schools Athletics
The Ursuline was well represented at the County Schools Track and Field in Templemore on Wednesday, 10 April. The students from First Year to Fifth Year competed across a range of events including long jump, shot putt, 100 metre sprints, 800 metres, hurdles and relays. Congratulations to Louise Hickey, Lorna Ryan and Leona Maher who qualified for the final of the Junior 100 metres. Leona finished in the gold medal spot and Lorna came in fourth. Sophie Walsh and Marion Gillman both made the final of their 100 metre sprint in the Intermediate Girls and Marion finished second.

In the Junior hurdles two Ursulines got on the podium, Chloé Byrne in second and Louise Hickey in third. There were four competitors in the 800 metre final of Minor Girls, Rebecca Danagher, Alysha Kearney, Paula Quirke, and Kate Ferncombe. Congratulations to Kate who came first. She’s had a great year competing in the school singlet both at Cross Country and Track and Field. Chloé Byrne’s second medal of the day was a bronze in the Junior Girls 800 metre final. Anna McCartan came home second in the 1500 Intermediate. The Intermediate relay team managed a third place finish in the 4×100 metres. Anna Ryan, Fifth Year, took gold in three events, Intermediate Girls pole vault, shot putt and high jump. Well done to all competitors and to their coach Mr McDonnell.

HOPE Trip to Kolkata
Best wishes to those Ursuline students and teachers who are currently in Kolkata, India with the HOPE Foundation on their Schools Immersion trip. The group, including Fifth Years and TY’s, are the largest ever to travel from the Ursuline. In the previous months they have been fundraising furiously to contribute to HOPE’s ongoing work with impoverished street children in Kolkata and other Indian cities. The students will get the opportunity to see how this money is spent on providing life-saving and life changing services. Best of luck to Fifth years Marie McGrath, Noirín Harty, Emily Kavanagh, Laura Power, Laura Ryan, Rachel Madden, Ellie Hannon, Ellen Liffey and TYs Amie Nolan, Kaci Kerwick, Sarah C. Fitzgerald, Caoimhe Brennan, Michelle Bergin and Jean Grace. Thanks also to Ms Carew and Mr McLoughlin who are accompanying the students and who also raised vital donations through their own efforts.

The Senior Camogie players travelled to Nenagh on Wednesday to play St Mary’s in a Tipperary schools competition. It was a close encounter with the Nenagh side pulling through by a point against UCT in the finish.

First Years competed in a blitz organised by Tipp Talons Basketball club. It was a great chance for them to play and enjoy the game. They won a game and lost a game but had fun on the courts.

Kaja Gorwa came fourth in the All-Ireland Final of the ARTiculation Public Speaking which was held in Kilkenny Castle recently. She had compiled a very interesting presentation on ‘The Great Wave of Kanagawa’ a woodblock print by renowned Japanese artist Hokusai who made his best, most famous work when he was in his 70’s including the iconic Great Wave. Kaja was proud to represent her school having qualified from the Regional Final in Clonmel where she beat off some excellent speakers. She did very well in Kilkenny speaking to the audience with confidence about the techniques used by Hokusai as well as giving a fascinating insight into this artist and his work.

April 4, 2019

Well done to the Junior A team who are the new Munster Cup Champions. The team scooped the title in a tight finish against Mount Mercy in Rockwell on Wednesday, 3 April. The girls played with a lion’s heart bagging victory in sudden death shuttles. They kept their cool right to the end and never took their eyes off the prize.
UCT started the stronger team in the Final with the majority of the play. However, after fifteen minutes Mount Mercy went on the attack. Their forward pounced on a rebound in front of goal and crashed the ball into the net. Despite this setback UCT didn’t let their heads drop and continued to apply pressure on Mount Mercy in all areas of the pitch. They managed to finish as the stronger team at the end of the first half.

UCT continued to find the gaps in the Mount Mercy press from brilliant out letting by Andrea Halley in the Second half, with another counter attack from Andrea to Kate Ryan who played the ball down the line to a speedy Emma O’Meara. Emma did not waste this golden opportunity and struck the post with a rocket of a shot. UCT were now firmly on top and were duly rewarded for their efforts with an equaliser that was deflected in by Alex Halley. Fifteen minutes later an excellent Emma O’Meara run up the right wing only for it to be disallowed due to a back stick.
Despite this disappointment at a crucial moment in the game UCT kept plugging away with great positional play and linking by the Mids Lucy, Aoife & Kate Ryan. Within three minutes they had equalised after winning the ball from a hit out. Emma O Meara intercepted, found Grace Murtagh free on the penalty spot who took her goal brilliantly, placing it cleverly passed the Cork keeper.

Every single player on the team worked tirelessly to ensure Mount Mercy had no space to play and all atacks were cancelled out with sheer hard work and effort. Huge credit must go to the UCT defence, Ellen Hourigan, Kate McGrath and Rachel Quinlan, who stood firm right to the end when Mount Mercy mightily tried to pushed for the winner. The Ursuline goalie Annabelle Ryan made a superb point blank save in the dying moments to ensure a draw on the scoreboard.

Now UCT faced their opponents on shuttles. It was 3-3 after round one of shuttles with Alex, Kate and Ellen scoring for UCT with Annabelle making some great saves in goal to keep us in it. Round two was sudden death, Alison Ryan scored her shuttle to put the pressure on Mount Mercy. Annabelle stayed calm in the goal deftly deflecting Mount Mercy’s final effort. The UCT girls thrilled to be taking the title of JUNIOR A MUNSTER CHAMPIONS, 2019

The First Year Basketball team faced tough opposition in the form of Ardscoil Phadraig, Granard in the Final of the Midlands C Plate on Tuesday, 2 April. Despite this they were raring for the challenge and ready to give it their best shot. It was neck and neck between themselves and the Longford side until about three minutes to go when the Ursuline got three baskets in quick succession to snatch a last gasp victory. The final score was Ursuline 20 – 14 Ardscoil Phadraig. Well done to this determined bunch of First Years who never gave up and to their coach Ms Ryall.
Transition Year
The TYs had a talk last week given by Sergeant Frank Lavin who works in the Garda College in Templemore. Sergeant Lavin spoke to the students about the work of forensics and in particular the science at play behind this most important police work. He explained to them how Maths and Physics are applied in real life situations and in particular how they are put to use in the area of collision forensics so as to determine the facts of road traffic accidents and fatalities. He spoke to them about the painstaking work of gathering evidence and also talked to them about the importance of road safety.

Chamber Choir
On Tuesday, 2 April Chamber Choir travelled to the RDS to compete in Feis Ceoil. They sang in the Alice Yoakley Quirk Cup for mixed voice choirs. Their repertoire included Stars by Essnvaldes, in which they harmonised with water glasses. Their other piece was a Gospel Spiritual Roll, Jordan, Roll, the origins of which go back to the African American slave tradition of singing lyrics that contained coded message. This year the Choir also entered the singing in the Irish Language Competition. Their arrangements included a traditional air Fill a Rúin and Sí do Mhaimeo a comic song scored by Michael McGlynn. Sarah Bourke accompanied on bodhrán and the Choir got Highly Commended for their singing in the Irish language. Well done to all forty-three members and to their Choir Mistress, Ms Joan Butler.

Fifth Year Economics students took part in the Bank of Ireland Bond Trader Challenge held in the Dome in Thurles on Friday, 29 March. This competition gave students an introduction to the world of markets and trading. The competitors had to deal with real market scenarios and make decisions on how to manage their own bond portfolio under time pressure. It was a great experience and one that the students thoroughly enjoyed.

Public Speaking
As always First and Second Year Public Speaking has generated huge interest this term with students lining up to demonstrate their speech writing skills and thrash out a good old argument with their peers. Ms Quinn asked the competitors to get their thoughts and intellectual might behind the topic ‘There has never been a better time to be young.’ Such was the high standard that even after preliminary rounds the First Year final contained a long, short list of candidates who made a return trip to the podium in a bid to be the overall winner. Those who got through included Lauren Branigan, Emma Moran, Lilly Buckley, Molly Lowry, Sarah Kenny, Rachel Regan, Nora Kilrane, Aoife Kavanagh, Dearbhla Ryan and Lisa O’Conner. The students spoke for three to four minutes and wit, style and passion were very much in evidence with speakers taking a logical look at both sides of the topic.
In the Second Year Final held on Monday, 1 April students were also required to speak for three to four minutes expounding the joys or otherwise of being young in the modern world. The finalists included Róisín Astwood, Megan Boland, Sinead Tuohy, Lauren Mullally, Leona Maher and Sophia Whelan. Well done to Róisín who won what was a hotly contested, terrific final with powerful contributions from all contestants. Congratulations to the two runners-up Leona Maher and Sophia Whelan.

March 28, 2019

The Second Year Basketball players played Ardscoil Na Trionoide recently putting in a decent performance overall. Ursuline got off to a slow star in the first quarter but picked up the pace after that to give the Lilywhites a run for their money. The lead built up by the Athy girls in the opening minutes however proved too hard to make up. The final score Ursuline 18 – Ardscoil Na Trionoide 22.

The First Year game against the same school was also a nail biting encounter. Ursuline held their nerve in a closely fought contest to emerge victors and bag a place in the Midlands Plate Final. The fulltime scoreboard read Ursuline 21 – Ardscoil Na Trionoide 20. So well done to our youngest Basketball stars and to coach Ms Ryall. They play the final on Tuesday, 2 April

Thurles Sports Awards
The Ursuline was well represented at the Thurles Sports Awards held in the Anner Hotel on Saturday, 23 March. The Junior 7s Camogie team received the Camogie Award following their Munster Final win in October, 2018. They had the honour of representing Munster in the All-Ireland Competition. This is the School’s fifth Munster title in 7s Competition since 2014. Well done to all camogie players involved and to coaches Ms Hogan and Ms O’Friel.
The Soccer Award was given to the First Year Soccer team who won the Tipperary and Munster titles in the Futsal First Year Schools Soccer Competition run by the FAI. They qualified for the National Finals proudly representing their School and province in the WIT Sports Centre in December. Well done to soccer coach Mr McGlynn.

Chemistry Olympiad
Well done to Niamh Hickey, Leaving Cert, who took part in the Irish Science (Chemistry) Olympiad in DCU recently. Niamh is a keen Chemistry student and represented her school with great distinction at this competition.

The Senior B Cup Semi Final against Clonakilty ended in a full-time draw Ursuline 1-1 Clonakilty so it was all down to shuttles. The Cork girls pipped UCT at the post 2-1.
The Junior A League playoff between UCT and Rockwell ended in a 1-1 draw.

Public Speaking
As always First and Second Year Public Speaking has generated huge interest this term with students lining up to demonstrate their speech writing skills and thrash out a good old argument with their peers. This year Ms Quinn asked them to get their thoughts and intellectual might behind the topic ‘There has never been a better time to be young.’ Such was the high standard that even after preliminary rounds the First Year final contained a long, short list of candidates who made a return trip to the podium in a bid to be the overall winner. Those who got through included Lauren Branigan, Emma Moran, Lilly Buckley, Molly Lowry, Sarah Kenny, Rachel Regan, Nora Kilrane, Aoife Kavanagh, Dearbhla Ryan and Lisa O’Conner. The students spoke for three to four minutes and wit, style and passion were very much in evidence with speakers taking a logical look at both sides of the topic.

March 21, 2019

Tipperary Drama Festival
Congratulations to the TY drama group who won the Tipperary Drama Festival in Holycross for the second year running. Their production of ‘The Struggles’ won a raft of awards including Best Overall Play, Best Performance for Kaci Kerwick, the Best Director award for Mr Kirby and the Adjudicators Ensemble Award for the seven girls playing the Struggles. This year’s production was a one act play written by US dramatist Kendra Thomas. The protagonist Megan, is a teenager coping with the struggles of school life with the added burden of dyslexia and ADD. It is based on Kendra Thomas’ own experiences of trying to keep on top of school while grappling with both of these learning challenges. In the play The Struggles are personified and follow her around. They are the voices that she hears. Some are echoes of self-confidence others of self-doubt, and these are her constant companions in the dream-like world in which the play is set. Well done to the whole cast and to Mr Kirby on yet another outstanding dramatisation.

Kemmy School of Business Awards, 2019
Well done to the 27 students from both Fifth Year and TY who received Certificates of Excellence
from the Kemmy School of Business, University of Limerick recently. This is awarded to students who achieve an A grade (Honours) in their Junior Certificate Business Studies Examination. Well done also to the Business Studies Teachers who prepared them to such a high standard.

Second Year Class Mass
Second Year class 2E were the first group to celebrate mass in the new Prayer Room. The group decided to organise a mass as part of their Junior Cycle Religion Journal and asked School Chaplain, Fr Jim Purcell to preside over their Eucharistic celebration. Fr Purcell was more than happy to oblige. The students decided that it would be a mass of friendship and decorated the new Prayer Room with beautiful artwork with friendship chains, friendship banners and posters with friendship quotes. They picked music that reflected their theme and there were plenty of musicians and singers in the class who lent their wonderful talents to make the occasion even more special and memorable.

Seachtain na Gaeilge
Irish culture – music, dance and song, was celebrated in the school last week for Seachtain na Gaeilge. In their Irish classes students from all years were encouraged to prepare a party piece to perform. There was unbelievable talent on display from poetry to the Siege of Ennis, everyone took part, did their little bit and the craic was mighty. On Friday at lunchtime there was a performance for the whole school. The trad group with a range of instruments – fiddles, concertinas, tin whistles, bodhráns and uilleann pipes played a selection of Irish jigs, reels and airs. This group of very accomplished musicians from all years included several Fleadh winners. We were treated to Irish dancing from students who have attended the Worlds and beautiful sean-nós singing from Fiadh Fitzpatrick, Third Year. It was a real treat for everyone to have such entertainment and talent on display at lunchtime. Thanks to everyone who participated and to the Irish Department for organising this sessiún.

The Minor Cs lost in their recent game against Castletroy College.
First Year A and B teams both had matches against Laurel Hill. The As won decisively by 4-0 and the Bs ended their encounter in a draw. The As also played Mount Mercy in the League last week. The final score was 1-1.
The Junior A Cup Semi-Final was a home game against Scoil Mhuire from Cork. The full-time whistle blew with no score clocked by either side. Ursuline won through on penalty shuttles.
The Senior C and Junior C teams played Presentation Thurles. The Seniors were unsuccessful and the Juniors drew 0-0.
The Senior As had their final competitive game together of this season. They played Mount Mercy losing 3-1. Thanks to all Sixth Year Senior A students who have given such service to hockey throughout their time in school.

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.

March 7, 2019

Limerick Choral Festival
Cecilian Choir have won the Limerick Choral Festival for the third consecutive year. They competed in the Post Primary Equal Voice Competition, impressing the judges with yet another powerful performance. The 120 strong choir, comprising of students from all years and vocal abilities, sang the old crooners classic ‘Fly me to the Moon’ and ‘Deep River’ a gospel, spiritual piece. Well done to those students who dedicatedly turn up to weekly practice and to their Choir Mistress Ms Butler, accompanied by Mr Farrell.

Loreto Convent Model United Nations
Rebecca Walsh, Leah Phelan, Jennifer Murphy, Eva Morrissey and Kaja Gowra represented the Ursuline at LCMUN. The three day Model United Nations, held in Loreto Convent, Clonmel, was attended by over 190 delegates and proved to be a lively and educational outing. Each student researched her own country, prepared and delivered her resolution, opening speeches and generally contributed to the debates. Important topics of the day such as protection of the rain forest and indigenous people, reproductive rights, cybercrime, the Jammu Kashmir conflict and brutally within the legal system were explored and debated with passion and sincerity. As usual Loreto Convent had everything running smoothly and the opportunity for social mingling with peers was an added bonus. Well done to all the girls and congratulations to Jennifer Murphy on her Best Delegate Award.

Well done to Kaja Gorwa, TY, who won the Regional Final of ARTiculation in held in Clonmel Museum on Wednesday, 6 March. The competition combines Art and Public Speaking and students are required to give a ten minute presentation on a topic of their choice. Kaja’s chosen topic was ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, an iconic work by the Japanese painter Hokusai. Kaja gave an in-depth presentation, wowing the audience with her passion and expertise. Kaja is now destined for the All Ireland Final where she will get to speak on the same topic once again. Well done Kaja on her fantastic win and to her mentor Ms Quinn.

Build a Bank
Well done to the Build a Bank team who organised a Family Fun Bingo Night in the school on Saturday, 2 March. The money raised from the night, totaling over €1500, will be going to Suir Haven Cancer Support Centre, a most worthy cause. Many thanks to Bingo hosts, Paul and Martin, who donated their services for free, supplying both the Bingo equipment, calling out the numbers and making the evening a lot of fun for everyone. Congratulations to First Year student, Aoife Maher. A regular saver with the school’s ‘Just Bank’, Aoife won the jackpot house prize of €200. Best of luck to the Build A Bank Team of Sophie Cornally Ryan, Ella Ryan. Eve Corbett, Shauna Durack, Jean Grace and Amy Cloonan Fennelly who compete in the National Final in the RDS this week.

Kemmy School of Business Excellence Award
Congratulations to our 27 TY and Fifth Year students who achieved an A grade in their Junior Certificate Business Exam, 2018. They were awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Kemmy School of Business in UL in recognition of this accomplishment with the ceremony taking place on Wednesday 6 March.

The Minor As showed their mettle in their semifinal Cup clash against Crescent this week. They shook off a bruising three – nil deficit in the opening fifteen minutes to claw their way back into contention. For the remainder of the first half and the opening quarter of the second half the Ursuline had all the possession. This was capitalised on by goal scorers Emma McCabe, Kate Ryan and Grace Murtagh to bring the girls level par with their opponents. The Minor’s conceded two goals in the dying minutes to make the full time score 5-3 in favour of the Limerick side but the girls in blue did not make it easy for them. Well done to all and to coach Ms Kelly.

Munster Schools Junior Ladies Football Final
The Junior Football Team lined out against local rivals Cashel Community School on Wednesday, 6 February in the Munster Cup ‘C’ Final. This had all the ingredients of a tense and exciting encounter with two closely tied teams. The Cashel girls got off to a great start but the Ursuline did not stay on the backfoot for long. They fought their way back into the game and the final score was a very respectable 5-6 – 3-4 in favour of Cashel. Well done to Cashel on their victory and we wish them every success going forward in the championship.

Anna Ryan, Fifth Year, competed in the Munster Schools Indoor Games in Nenagh on Tuesday, 5 March. Anna took part in both the Intermediate shot put and long jump events, as well as guesting in the high jump. In the shot put, Anna’s best throw was an impressive 11 83 in a highly competitive field. In the high jump she equaled her PB of 1.60m set at the National Juniors this year. Well done Anna.

Linguistics Olympiad
Congratulations to Megan Boland who has qualified for the National Final of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad. She will travel to Dublin City University on Wednesday 20, March to compete against other finalists from the various regions. She will be vying for a chance to make the Irish team who then go onto the International Linguistics Olympiad in Yongin, South Korea.

Games Fleadh
The TYs learned loads and had loads of fun at the Games Fleadh hosted by Thurles LIT last week. Computer games and coding with microbits were the order of the day for the girls. The students also learned about the many opportunities available in this area and the diversity of careers on offer.