A heart warming gesture by the Leaving Cert pupils of St. Patrick’s Secondary School saw an invitation to the school’s graduation ceremony dropped into nearby, retired shopkeepers, Tom and Margaret O’Leary. The couple ran a grocery business at 136 Upper Main Street until last Christmas Eve.
It was a gesture of appreciation and one which speaks volumes about the school, its management and its students – and equally so about the recipients of the invitation.
I can’t say if it’s unique but it’s certainly rare. That such a level of appreciation and awareness of a service provided and availed of and the bond created with generations of students would be marked in this way.
On this side of the fence, me and my equals do look out for the kind of heart-warming, community gelling stories typified – if not topped – by this fine example. It truly is a credit to all involved. And lets wish these and all students here the best of luck with this year’s exams which begin this morning.
The Graduation Ceremony
The Leaving Certificate Class of 2014 of St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Castleisland graduated on Thursday, May 22nd. A mass was celebrated by school chaplain Fr. O’Flynn at the Church of Saints Stephen & John and the awards ceremony was held in the River Island Hotel afterwards.
In his address principal, Denis O’Donovan welcomed teachers, students, parents, former teachers and invited guests: Fr. O’Flynn, Denny Porter, George O’Callaghan and Tom and Margaret O’Leary of Griffin’s Shop. He congratulated the class of 2014 for reaching the end of a very significant stage in their lives and thanked them for the contribution they had made to school life in many ways.
Mr. O’Donovan said he hoped that they have been prepared and are ready to move on to a more independent stage in their lives and spoke to them about the importance of maintaining great character. This means doing the right thing and more importantly doing the right thing when nobody is watching.
He told them that there will be many instances in their lives where doing the right thing will often be the hardest thing to do. He encouraged them to look out for each other and especially for those who might find times difficult and to remember that very often the right word, a smile, a compliment could mean a lot to someone at a moment in time.
He wished all the students well for the future and to work hard and follow their dreams.
Contributions to School Life
Special presentations were made to: Denny Porter and George O’Callaghan for their contributions to school life during the year. A special presentation was also made to the first year basketball team who won the All Ireland ‘A’ basketball title earlier in the month.
Joseph O’Callaghan on behalf of all students past and present made a presentation to Tom and Margaret O’Leary of Griffins Shop who retired from business at Christmas. Joseph thanked them for all they had done for the students of the school down through the years and all students had seen their shop as an extension of the school and they were always so well looked after by Tom and Margaret. Joseph wished them both a very happy retirement.
List of Award Winners
The list of award winners is as follows: Attendance Awards: 1st Year: Blue, Stephen Murphy; Red, Dylan Browne, Charlie Conway and Tommy Curtin. 2nd Year: Padraig Brosnan and William Brosnan. 3rd Year: Patrick O’Connor, Conor O’Shea and Jack Walsh. 5th Year: Joseph Brosnan.
Student of the year award winners: 1st Year, Blue: Luke O’Loughlin; Red: Tommy Curtin. 2nd Year: Padraig Brosnan. 3rd Year: Jack Daly. 5th Year: Jimmy Dowling. 6th year awards: Sports Award, Tomás Lynch. Mathematics: Jack O’Sullivan, Hugh Mulligan and Luke Lyons. Languages: Larry Prendiville, Dara DeLacy. The Jim Lyons Award: Luke Lyons. Sciences: Daniel Kearney, Sean Cremin and Joseph O’Callaghan. Technology: Daniel McCarthy, Brian Hanrahan and Daren Moloney. Overall Student of the Year 2014: Daniel Kearney.