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.

February 28, 2019

Knights of Columbanus Public Speaking Munster Final
The Ursuline was not only thrilled to have two teams competing in the Munster Final of the Knights of Columbanus Public Speaking Competition but was even more delighted that both teams came out on top winning much coveted places in the National Final. This is a repeat of last year when the Ursuline also had two teams competing in the last leg of the competition. Well done to the Fifth Year team of Erica Ryan, Saoirse Grogan Ryan and Rebecca Leahy and the TY team of Ellie Culliton, Chloe O’Connell and Leah Phelan. All speakers impressed the judges with their assured deliver and their well-researched, thought provoking content. A special mention must be given to Ms Quinn their public speaking coach and biggest supporter.

Alix Noonan Rotary Club Youth Leadership Winner
Alix Noonan, the Regional Winner of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award recently joined 24 other young people from across Ireland on the trip of a lifetime. The group got to visit three parliaments – Stormont in Belfast, Dáil Eireann and the European Parliament in Strasbourg. In the European Parliament they got to be MEPs for a day, casting votes and debating topics like migration and the future of Europe. It was an amazing prize and Alix was honoured to be selected by the Thurles Rotary Club to represent them in this national competition. She won the Regional final due to her impressive personal achievements and her volunteering spirit, both of which demonstrated her considerable leadership abilities.

Amber Flay Day
On Thursday, 28 February the Amber Flag committee organised a positive mental health day. They started in the morning with a healthy breakfast of fruit, healthy cereals and yoghurts at 8.15 am. Thanks to the Home Economics teachers for supplying the food and healthy eating expertise. Students were encouraged to wear orange and everyone got a healthy body, healthy mind bookmark. There was a fun dodgeball match between the teachers and the Sixth Years at lunchtime. Finally best-selling author and psychotherapist, Stella O’Malley, spoke to the students about strategies they can incorporate into their lives to keep themselves positive, resilient and aware. Well done to the Amber Flag committee and their co-ordinator Ms Loughnane for incorporating a wide range of activities into the day and for taking such a great interest in the well-being of the school community.

The Minor and Junior Athletics teams travelled to WIT on Friday, 15 February after qualifying from both the Tipperary Schools Cross Country and the East Munster Schools Cross Country Finals. The Minor girls, Kate Ferncombe, Paula Quirke, Alisha Kearney, Tara Gleeson, Rebecca Danagher and Rachel Phelan ran a solid race over the 2km course with the talented Kate Ferncombe securing an individual All Ireland Final placing. Next up was the Junior girls team who ran excellently over 2.5km coming in silver medal position. Camille Ryan, Alexandra Hourigan, Grace Murtagh, Chloe Byrne, Robyn Fanning and Rachel Ryan are now heading to the All- Ireland Cross Country Final on the back of this performance. Congratulations to all competitors and to their coach Mr McDonnell.

It was a brilliant day out in Bandon for the Minor As and Junior As. As well as enjoying the gorgeous Spring sunshine both teams secured an important victory each. The Junior As won well by 3-0 in their quarter-final clash against Bandon Grammar. The Minor As were also impressive with their 2-0 scoresheet.
In other results last week the Minor As, Minor C2s and Minor Bs all won in their games against Loreto Kilkenny, while the Minor Cs drew 1-1.

Gael Linn Debating
The Senior Gael Linn all Irish Debating team of Rachel Madden, Zoe Bracken and Jennifer Murphy put in a valiant effort in their quarter-final show down in Kilkenny College on Tuesday, 26 February. They were up against Kilkenny College and Cistercian College Roscrea. The Ursuline opposed the motion ‘The Culture of Ireland is Safe in the Hands of the Young’ or ás gaeilge ‘Tá Cultuí na Típe seo Slán Sábháilte i Lámha an Aosa Óigi’. The Ursuline students spoke beautifully in Irish and argued their stance with a combination of vigour and preparedness. Well done to the team and their mentors Mr O’Dochartaigh and Ms de Barra.

The First and Second Year Basketball teams were in action on their own home court this week against Mountrath in the Midlands C League. The First Years played out of their skins to produce impressive basketball and equally impressive wins. The final scores in both games were Ursuline 44 – 14 Mountrath and Ursuline 30 – 16 Mountrath. The Second Year game saw the girls in blue put in a lot of hard work against an equally determined Mountrath opposition. It was tight all the way with Mountrath winning by the narrowest of margins in the end. The final scoreboard read Ursuline 21 – 22 Mountrath.

Fairtrade Talk L.I.T.
The TYs attended a Fairtrade talk in LIT Thurles on Tuesday, 26 February. They listened to a speaker from the Dominican Republic who enlightened them as to the importance of Fairtrade for farmers and growers in developing nations.

February 14, 2019

Tipperary Schools A Camogie Blitz
Well done to the Ursuline First and Second Year teams who competed in the Tipperary Schools A Camogie Blitz in St Patrick College, Thurles. The two Ursuline teams of mixed First and Second Years played Nenagh and Cashel. There was great display of skill by all teams and an enjoyable day was had.

The Minor B’s played Loreto, Clonmel last week. They were prepared for a tough game having suffered a bruising lost against the same side on a previous occasion. Although Loreto proved the stronger side winning 1-0 the Minor B’s were pleased with their overall performance.
The Minor A’s were in action on Wednesday against Scoil Mhuire. The full time result was a 2-2 draw with goals courtesy of Kate Ryan and Rosie Farrell. UCT won out on shuttles thanks to the accuracy of Kate Ryan, Emma McCabe and Elaine Frawley.

Public Speaking
Well done to the Fifth Year team of Erica Ryan, Rebecca Leahy and Saoirse Grogan Ryan who successfully navigated the first round of the Knights of Columbanus Public Speaking Competition held in Clonmel. The students spoke eloquently and passionately about the scourge of child hunger in a world of abundant resources. This win secures them a place in the Munster Final.

First and Second Year Debating
The winners of First and Second Year Debating, organised by Ms Quinn, were presented with their prizes on Thursday last week. The Second Year in house competition was won by Vera Ryan, Gillian Bourke and Evie O’Carroll. They opposed the topic up for discussion, ‘The Ties Between Business and Sport are Unsustainable’. They narrowly defeated the valiant proposers of the motion Camille Ryan, Audrey Lawlor and Anna McCartan. Individual Best Speaker Awards were given to Julie Ann Barrett and Sophia Whelan. In the First Year competition the teams grappled with the same motion with Rachel Ryan, Sarah Gleeson and Ellen Cass winning out in the final against Mary Ryan and Hannah and Katie O’Mahoney. The noted individual Best Speakers from First Year were Molly Lowry and Lily Buckley. Their delivery throughout the competition was both enthusiastic and passionate.

The First and Second Year teams travelled to Mountmellick last week to play Mountmellick Community School in the Midlands C League. The First years lost to a strong Laois side.
The Second Years proved their mettle with a decisive 27 – 8 win.

Fifth Year French Exchange
The 25 Fifth Year students returned from their visit to Nantes where they attended an Ursuline School or Lycée Blanche de Castille in Nantes from 3 to 8 February. They thoroughly enjoyed their time with their host families visiting the sites around Nantes including the Château and the Cathedral. They experienced French culture with a workshop in Breton dancing and a trip to the cinema to see French film Les Invisibles. The students had a wonderful cultural experience and greatly improved their language skills during the duration of the exchange.

February 7, 2019

Anna Bradish Trip to Brussels
Anna Bradish, National winner of the EU Soapbox Public Speaking award travelled to the EU Parliament in Brussels last Tuesday, 29 January. This exclusive look at the workings of the European Union Parliament formed part of Anna’s prize. She met four Irish MEPs including Séan Kelly. She was given a tour of the Parliament building and got to see debating and voting in the Chamber from the viewing gallery. Anna’s prize winning speech was on the importance of voting in European elections so it was amazing for her to get to see European politics in action.

East Munster Schools Cross Country Athletics
The Ursuline were well represented with four teams competing in the East Munster Schools Cross Country Athletics held in Waterford, WIT on Thursday, January 31. It was a great start to the day with First Year student Kate Ferncombe romping home in first place in the Minor girls race. She was ably supported by team mates Paula Quirke in eighth position, followed by Alysia Kearney, Rachel Phelan, Rebecca Danagher and Tara Gleeson. These stellar performances meant a first place slot for the Minor team. Next up were the Junior girls with Camille Ryan coming in a sure footed third. She was followed shortly after by Grace Murtagh and Alex Hourigan, eleventh and thirteenth respectively. Chloé Byrne, Robyn Fanning and Rachel Ryan completed the course to put the Junior team in a solid bronze medal position. In the Intermediate competition Kate Burke was first over the line. The other athletes who equipped themselves admirably over the tough course were Anna McCartan, Emma Osborne and Hannah Sheehy. Finally after a long wait in the freezing cold it was the turn of the Senior team. They were led home by Chloé Slattery, Fifth Year, with Isabelle Tyrell and Georgia O’Driscoll following closely behind. Well done to all teams, competitors and medalists and to their coach Mr McDonnell.

The Junior B team played Laurel Hill Secondary School in a recent Cup game. Laurel Hill were the stronger side on the day, winning 4-0.

French Exchange
A group of Fifth Years enjoyed the return leg of a cultural exchange last week with a number of students from an Ursuline school, Blanche de Castille in Nantes. The Thurles girls and French teachers Mr McDonnell and Ms Flanagan stayed with host families and participated in numerous social and cultural activities in and around Nantes. It was a very exciting opportunity for the UCT girls to see what school life is like in another country and improve their proficiency in French.

CSI Experience TY
TYs participated in a new and very exciting workshop last week. They spent a day learning about forensics, what is involved in this type of work and its importance in discerning the facts of a crime. The classes also had an opportunity to collect evidence using techniques like dusting for fingerprints when the team behind the workshop, Jim and Kieran, set up a ‘crime scene’. The students each had the chance to be part of the forensics team sent in to find the clues of what happened.

Mini Med UCC
Kiera Scanlon and Sarah C. Fitzgerald, TY, along with Guidance Teacher, Ms Golden, got a fantastic opportunity to see first hand what a career in Medicine is like. They attended the Student Prep For Medical School programme organised by UCC. There were talks and demonstrations by various doctors on the wide range of opportunities a career in Medicine affords. The Assistant State Pathologist Dr. Margaret Bolster discussed the forensic examination of a crime scene. They witnessed a live surgery and heard about the difficult ethical decisions doctors have to make from a consultant breast surgeon. The students also got an insight into how clinical skills are taught. It was certainly a worthwhile experience for any student seriously considering the study of medicine.

February 1, 2019

Model UN
The Ursuline were well-represented at the DCMUN in Cork last week with seven delegates representing various nations from around the globe. The conference, hosted by Davis College, took place in Cork City Hall with the Ursuline students being among the 580 attendees who came from across the country and abroad. Flying the flag for Ursuline Thurles were Rebecca Leahy, Dominica, Victoria Cottrell, Macedonia, Saoirse Grogan Ryan, Uzbekistan, Siobhan Greene, Cape Verde, Jennifer Murphy, Tonga, Aoife Dempsey, Ghana and Aislinn Maher, the Central African Republic. The girls represented their countries well, distinguishing themselves with both clarity and sincerity. Some of the interesting topics discussed by the group included the rehabilitation of drug users in society and ocean pollution. There were also special conferences dealing with domestic abuse and the use of drones. The experience was a very realistic snapshot of how the UN operates and the difficulties faced by smaller, less powerful nations in having their voices heard in the assembly.

Soroptimist Public Speaking
Victoria Cottrell, Fifth Year, was among ten speakers who reached the Regional Final of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition, held in the Park Hotel, Clonmel on Saturday, January, 26. Victoria, an able and experienced speaker, presented an impassioned talk on importance of the female empowerment. She mixed knowledge and wit very capably in her speech and did both herself and her school proud.

French Exchange
The school was delighted to throw its welcoming doors open to the French students and staff from the Ursuline in Blanche de Castille, Nantes. The group of 27, including their teachers Amalie and Lara, arrived on Monday evening, January 28. They met their exchange partner from Ursuline Thurles and were treated to a flavour of traditional Irish music in the school library. Ms Flanagan and Mr McDonnell had a full itinerary planned for the guests for the rest of the week showing the best that the school and the area has to offer. They were treated to a sean-nós dancing workshop, Irish cookery demonstration and pottery workshop and attended various normal classes in the company of their UCT host student. Trips to Kilkenny, the Rock of Cashel and Holycross were also arranged. They sampled Irish sporting culture with a camogie display and a visit to Lar na Pairce GAA Museum. Saturday was spent in the company of their host families. The Thurles students are very excited about the return journey next week when they travel to their sister Ursuline school in Nantes to experience a slice of French school life.

The Senior As played Crescent in the Cup Semi Final in Crescent on Wednesday, 30 January. The team played well in harsh conditions with plenty of good hockey on display from both sides. The final score 4-1 in favour of Crescent belied the good performances put in by the Thurles girls. Well done to the team and coach Ms Cregan on a great Cup season. The Senior Bs had more luck in their Cup game against Laurel Hill Coláiste winning 3-1.

Feast of St Angela and Catholic Schools Week
The feast of Ursuline founder, St Angela Merici was marked on Friday, January, 25 with a prayer service over the intercom asking Angela to watch over and protect students, members of the congregation, teachers and staff, both past and present. The TY choir added to the liturgy with their lovely singing and as always there was a treat for everyone in the school. It was also the day chosen to mark the official opening of the new prayer room. Once the service on the intercom was completed, twelve students, two from each year group processed to the Prayer Room, in the company of their Religion teachers. The new sacred space was blessed by school chaplain, Fr Jim Purcell and was given the Irish name Tighín Dé, meaning small house of God. This will be a lovely, calm space within the school grounds where students and classes can go to have a quiet word with God.

Catholic Schools Week began on Monday, January 28. There was a prayer service on the intercom on Wednesday thanking God for the gift of grandparents. There was also a Catholic Schools Quiz with a series of 20 questions posted all around the school. Many students and classes had great fun testing their faith knowledge with this during the week.

CBS Show
Well done to the Ursuline TY’s who treaded the boards at the CBS Show Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story last week. Those students who were delighted to be part of this brilliant and enjoyable production included Kaci Kerwick in the role of Maria Elena, Maria Maher, Jade McCarthy, Kate Ryan, Kiera Scanlon, Sorcha Scott, Ellen Duggan, Kate Maher, Michaela Grace Ginty, Enya Hogan and Ella Ryan.

January 25, 2019

Junk Kouture
The whole school was treated to the unveiling of the Ursuline Junk Kouture entries for 2019 this week. The fashion preview was a very exciting occasion with everyone in awe of how the six TY teams coaxed, bended, sewed and molded the most unlikely, throwaway materials into something worthy of a haute couture runway.

Team members Nora Brennan, Caitlin Power and Cora Norton used over 15,000 bits of old erasers, along with markers and crushed pens to create the wonderful A Shoulder to Crayon. The students took education as their inspiration to highlight the opportunities having access to schooling can open up for girls and how they are severely disadvantaged by a lack of education, particularly in developing countries.

Disconnected was a dress made from 1500 metres of wire which was knitted and crocheted together. Jessica Dunne, Grainne Quinlan and Orla McLoughlin wanted to show that even though technology has revolutionized the way we live everyone is still connected.

Plastic pollution of our oceans was the theme for Lean Cuisine. Aoife Qian, Eve Corbett and Katie McCarthy used waste products from the catering industry to highlight how much plastic we use and throwaway in our daily lives. They incorporated bottle caps, plastic cutlery, 1300 aluminum containers and food nets to produce a wonderful petal-like two-piece outfit.

Orlaith Ryan, Katie Ruding Barnes and Rebecca Walshe wished to bring the issue of road safety to mind with their creation Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. They brought coffee capsules, seat belts, road safety netting and wipers together to produce a fashionable piece capturing the idea that tiredness and driver fatigue can have detrimental effects.

Horses for Corsets is the brilliantly equine inspired design from Saoirse Fogarty, Leah Ralph and Fiona Hayes. The dress is made from horse hair including a headpiece fashioned from horse nails and rosettes, The bit and girth belt and stir-up shoes complete the look.

Transportation was the idea Sarah C. Fitzgerald, Chloe O’Connell and Leah Phelan decided to focus on. All modes of travel were incorporated including train tickets, airbags, bicycle tyres and wheels in the form of roller skates. Trains, Planes and Automobiles is intended to show how transport brings us together, connecting us with family and friends, making the world a much smaller place.

Well done to all the students on the work they have put in over the last number of months and to the Junk Kouture team of teachers who advised them and helped them every step of the way. We wish all six teams the very best of luck We hope they emulate the success of the previous two years.

Junior Football
The Junior Footballers won their Munster Semi Final in impressive style on Thursday, January 24. They travelled to Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale to meet Kerry rivals Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee. From the very outset Ursuline dominated the game getting off to a super start with Katie Gleeson and Marion Gillman both raising the green flag. Katie O Dwyer, Alex Hally and Roisin Bambrick were also at hand for Thurles with three superb points. Rachel Quinlan joined the score sheet when she struck the back of the net with 10 minutes left in the half. Mercy Mounthawk put over three successive points to try and get themselves back into the game, however, joint captains of Caoimhe McCarthy and Marion Gillman led by example and pushed Ursuline to an 18 point lead scoring 0-1 and 2-1 respectively. Half time score was Ursuline 5-6 Mercy Mounthawk 0-3.

Ursuline started the second half with the same determination and a well taken goal from Marion Gillman. Jess Gleeson and Katie O Dwyer added three further points between them. Mercy Mounthawk replied with two goals but still had a massive uphill battle to try and get back into the game. Grainne O Donnell and Roisin Bambrick finished off two impressive attacks by grabbing a goal each. Chloe Byrne finished off the game with another Ursuline goal. With this decisive win under the belt they take a well-deserved Munster final spot. Final score was 10-8 to 2-4. They will now face Cashel Community School in the Munster final in what should be a thrilling local derby.

Nantes Thurles French Exchange
The Ursuline was delighted to welcome 25 French students and their two teachers to the school this week. The group from a sister Ursuline school in Blanche de Castille, Nantes arrived on Monday, January 28 and are staying with host families until Sunday, February 3. They will return in the company of 25 Thurles Fifth Years and two teachers from the French Department, Ms Flanagan and Mr McDonnell, During their six day stay in Nantes the students attend classes and see various sites the area has to offer. The school is thrilled to forge this link with a French Ursuline school and it is hoped the exchange will have positive cultural and linguistic benefits for the UCT students and their French counterparts.

Anna Ryan Athletics
Congratulations to Anna Ryan, Fifth Year who secured a double victory the National Youth Girls Pentathlon and the Munster Youth Girls Pentathlon on Saturday, January 19. To top it all off she also won the Girls U/18 Shot Putt at of the Munster Indoor Championships on the following day in Nenagh.

Kellyann Ryan, Racquetball
Kellyann Ryan, Fifth Year ended the year in style when she won the U17 All Ireland Racquetball title in December. She also bagged herself silver in the Women’s Singles and won the Women’s Novice Doubles All Ireland with partner Tia Coleman from Mitchelstown. Her younger sister Katie, Junior Cert, took home the bronze in the U15 All Ireland. Well done to both girls and wishing them every success in the season ahead.

There were great victories for both the Junior As and Junior Bs last week.
The Junior As won in their preliminary round Cup game beating Leesiders Ashton 4-0.
The Junior Bs won 2-1 against Laurel Hill Coláiste in their Cup Quarter-Final header.
The First Year Hockey players were in action this week against Villiers on Wednesday, January 23. Teams A and B won their games 4-0.