December 2014

Calendar Launch

St. Mary’s College marked the beginning of their 2014 Christmas Charity Drive with the launch of a specially prepared calendar at a ceremony in the College. This year’s beneficiaries will be the Children’s Cancer charity ‘Hand in Hand’, and representatives from that organisation, including their patron Hector O hEochagain, were present to mark the occasion. The calendar, entitled ‘Our Privileged Life’ depicts scenes from St. Mary’s and is meant to symbolise how privileged we are to have the opportunities we have compared with those less fortunate. Each month has been generously sponsored by local businesses and all funds raised from the sale of the calendar will be going directly to ‘Hand in Hand’

This year is the fourteenth year of the annual College Charity Drive, with the running total thus far collected currently standing at €203 000. This is due in no small part to the fantastic enthusiasm of students and staff in the College, and, of course, the never-ending and abundant generosity of the people of Galway. Each year local, national or international charities are selected to benefit, and along with ‘Hand in Hand’, the proceeds from the various activities, which include Carol Singing, Raffles and Auctions, will be shared with the suicide awareness group Pieta House. St. Mary’s wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported their efforts over the years and ask that they continue to do so in the future.

‘Hand in Hand’ Children’s Cancer Charity ambassador Hector Ó hEochagain along with Jennifer Carpenter from the charity at the launch of the new calendar produced by St. Mary’s College as part of their annual charity drive. Also pictured are, from left, St. Mary’s students Gerard Davoren, Kyle Waldron, Adam Hernon, Matthew McDermott, Cian McAndrew and Tadhg Flaherty

‘Hand in Hand’ Children’s Cancer Charity ambassador Hector Ó hEochagain along with Jennifer Carpenter from the charity at the launch of the new calendar produced by St. Mary’s College as part of their annual charity drive. Also pictured are, from left, St. Mary’s students Gerard Davoren, Kyle Waldron, Adam Hernon, Matthew McDermott, Cian McAndrew and Tadhg Flaherty


Pictured at the launch of the new calendar, ‘Our Privileged Life’ produced as part of the St. Mary’s College Charity Drive to help raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Charity ‘Hand in Hand’ are, Ms. Niamh Byrne (Staff Member), Hector Ó hEochagain (Hand in Hand ambassador), Mr. Ciaran Murphy (Principal St. Mary’s College), Jennifer (Hand in Hand) and Matthew McDermott

Pictured at the launch of the new calendar, ‘Our Privileged Life’ produced as part of the St. Mary’s College Charity Drive to help raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Charity ‘Hand in Hand’ are, Ms. Niamh Byrne (Staff Member), Hector Ó hEochagain (Hand in Hand ambassador), Mr. Ciaran Murphy (Principal St. Mary’s College), Jennifer (Hand in Hand) and Matthew McDermott






























College Feast Day

This year’s event once more passed off smoothly due in no small part to the immense amount of work put in by Jim, Mariola and their cohort of student workers in the kitchen. Feeding 400 hungry mouths with a full Christmas dinner is no mean feat, and is a tradition that will hopefully last for a long time to come.

Christmas Charity

As the Christmas bells start chiming it’s time to turn our attention to the St. Mary’s Christmas Charity once again. This year we have chosen the ‘Hand in Hand‘ Children’s Cancer Help,  and Pieta House Suicide Awareness charities to be the main beneficiaries, and for the first time are embarking on a new project to develop a charity calendar. We are seeking help from interested parents or guardians who may have a business they want to promote, the details of which are outlined in the accompanying letter. Please give it your attention and if you feel you could help out please do not hesitate to contact us.

November 2014

Multi-Events Athletics

St. Mary’s athletes had a very successful outing to the Connacht Multi-Events finals held at the splendid Athlone IT indoor athletics arena in November. Multi-Events involves athletes competing at five events, 60m Hurdles, 200m, 800m , Long Jump and Shot Putt, with points being awarded for performance.

P1370155There were 67 entrants in the Minor (U-14 Boys) event, including Francely Lomboto, Stephen Flaherty, Antonio Lingurar, Denis Onuoha and Enoch Abiadun from Mary’s. There were some great individual performances, Antonio was second overall in the Long Jump while Stephen was second in the 800m, but it was the combined performance of Francely that won the bronze medal on the day.

At Junior level (u-15) there were 44 competitors. Foe Mary’s Josh Pyne, Raoof Bazazadegan, Gabriel Dossen and Ryan Traynor-O’Toole took part, and of these Ryan finished best, qualifying for the All-Ireland finals in fourth place.

Samuel Samson once more showed his brilliant versatility and complete dominance of this event, in which he has won two national medals and been selected twice for Ireland, when he once more was a convincing P1370175winner of the Intermediate Boys (U-17) event. His teammates, Colin O’Reilly, Andre Ferreira and Shane Traynor-Canavan all put in very solid performances, with Shane finishing in 6th place out of 22 entrants.

At the following  All-Ireland finals, also held in Athlone, Ryan performed quite well but did not feature at the business end of the table. Meanwhile, Sam was in medal contention right up until the very end but it was not to be this year. He recorded personal best performances in the Long Jump (6.24m), 60m H (8.78s) and Indoor 800m (2.09s) but unfortunately, while lying in third position going into the event,  a poor set of throws in the shot putt put paid to any chances he had, and he eventually finished a very creditable 6th, a mere 100 points off the medals.




Senior Science Quiz

Congratulations to our Senior Science Quiz team of Rory Owens, Faddle Badiane and Amed Ibrahim who beat off opposition from practically every other school in the Galway-Mayo region to finish second in the P1370509PharmaChemical ISTA Regional finals at GMIT on Thursday November 13th. It was a hard fought contest, featuring 26 teams,  and in the end we just failed to match the Jes A team score, missing out on the overrall title by a single point.

However, we will have a chance for revenge soon as we have now qualified for the All-Ireland finals which will be held in Trinity College on Saturday November 22nd. This is the fifth year running that we have qualified and the lads will be hoping to emulate the team of 2010 that won the All-Ireland.


St. Mary’s Students Win the Matheson ‘Talk it Up’ Junior Debate

Saturday November 8th saw eighty of the best young debaters from around Connacht in a mammoth debating mace hosted by The Lit & Deb Society at NUIG for the Matheson ‘Talk it Up’ debate. St. Mary’s were represented by: Pedro Gill, Hubert Matuszewski, Xuan Yang, Mark Gilligan, Abi Sagani and Jordan Millar.

P1370339The debating mace kicked off at 9am and students debated a number of motions ranging from changing the Irish voting age to banning veganism. Eventually eight speakers broke through to the Junior Grand Final which took place at 5pm. Mark Gilligan and Jordan Millar were fortunate to represent St. Mary’s in the junior final where teams proposed and opposed the motion: This house would ban advertising.

Jordan Millar was the third proposition speaker and he argued that the advertising industry has too much power and influence. He protested that certain advertisements were responsible for projecting supposed quintessential images of perfection. He stated that as a result advertising is inextricably linked to mental health issues and more specifically to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. His colleague Mark Gilligan who was the runner-up speaker at last’s year’s debate continued the argument by clarifying the difference between advertising and branding. Controversially, Mark continued his debate by arguing that advertising condones the idea of the Aryan race and he also argued that the quality of a product should determine its success in a survival of the fittest model refuting the need for advertising. The boys had a very difficult job in proposing that advertising should be banned and yet they succeeded in winning the debate! They won the junior competition outright and received their award for the ‘Best Junior Debating Team’.

Winning Team in Talk it Up DebateNot only did the St. Mary’s team win the junior final but Jordan also won an award for ‘Best Junior Speaker’. Further to this, Jordan and Hubert Matuszewski; a first year student were chosen to represent Connacht as part of a group of thirteen students who won places in the Matheson Junior Debating National Mace Final in UCD: the biggest junior debating competition in Ireland. We wish the boys the very best of luck in the final which takes place later in the year. All of the St. Mary’s students who participated on the day are members of a very active debating society which is run by the English department in St. Mary’s.

October 2014

It was a very busy month for St. Mary’s staff and students this October. We had our very successful open day at the start of the month, an event that proved to be very popular with those who visited the school. A huge thank you is due to all the students who came in to help out on the night, and who helped to prepare the school displays. Also, to our hard working staff whose dedication to the College knows no bounds!!

DSC_7630 - Version 2 44Galway County Co Comhairle na nÓG Revision Guide Launch (1)Under the guidance of our very own Councillor, Ms. Niamh Byrne, students from her College Debating Society were on hand at the Galway Corporation Offices for an official reception with the Minister for Education Ms. Jan O’Sullivan. To mark the occasion she was presented with a copy of the College history book.

On the science front we had a busy time preparing for the BT Young Scientist competition. The entries went in at the start of the month and then we had to sit back and wait for the judges decsiion to see if we were successful in making it through the finals. Over the mid-term then the good news filtered through that out of 2077 projects entered nationwide we had been successful for the first time ever in qualifying. And, not just one team but three!! Second year students Thomas Caffrey, Dion Darcy and Thomas Levalds will present their project searching for the perfect volume for study; ‘The Goldilocks Volume’, Patrick Davoren, Danny McDonagh and Ethan O’Brien, also from second year, will present a view of their future for Irish farms with their project ‘Insect Farming: is the future for Irish Agriculture’ , while third year students Shane Hastings, Jeroen O’Flaherty and Hari Kharel will be exploring student responses to critical questions with their project ‘Hiding in the Net’. We are really looking forward to seeing the lads in action in the RDS in January. Commiserations to the three other teams who didn’t make it through this time.

ReelLife Science, a competition we finished second in last year, occupied the time of many second and third year students as well this month. The three minute video entitled ‘Strictly Ireland’s Got Science Talent Factor’ tells the story of Ireland’s greatest Science heroes in a rather unusual way. Produced and edited by Shaoor Ahmad and Patrick Davoren, and starring a lot of their classmates its worth an educational peek!

On the sporting front our senior soccer team virtually secured their place in the Connacht Senior Quarter Finals with victories over Presentation Athenry and Gort CS, while the senior footballers got their Connacht League campaign off to a great start with a victory over HRC Mountbellew, and the senior hurlers did likewise with a win over Presentation Headford. Meanwhile, our senior basketballers marched on in the Irish Senior Cup with a merited victory over St. Munchin’s of Limerick

Our first years were also very busy on the sporting front, with the month long first year inter-class sports competition being won by St. Gerards. Well done Lads. They were also very busy on the Gaelic front, losing out very narrowly to Presentation Headford and HRC Mountbellew, but showing great signs of promise for the future.

P1370071A successful non-uniform day at the end of term raised valuable funds for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, and, not to be outdone,  some of our staff showed their fitness levels (particularly Mr. David O’Boyle and his trusty mountain bike) while taking on the Bike to Bofin 90km cycle challenge in aid of Voices for Down Syndrome Galway.




September 2014

This year’s festival of Hurling for U-10 teams will take place in the College grounds on Saturday September 20th, commencing at 9:30.

Details are outlined through the accompanying links

Results and Photographs



Game Rules
















All-Ireland Athletics

Well done to all the athletes who travelled down to Tullamore on the June bank holiday weekend, especially to Fifth year student Sam Samson who won another All-Ireland medal, his sixth for the College, when finishing third in the Intermediate 400m final. Well done also to fourth place finishers Eimhin Mulkerrins and Bryan Ndego, whose brave performances saw them fall just short of a medal…this time! Full report on the athletics page

May 2014

LC Graduation

Congratulations to each and every one of our Class of 2014 Leaving Certificate Group who graduated following an emotional ceremony at the College at the end of May.

The church service was excellently prepared, with the choir once more providing a fitting backdrop to the proceedings, especially with their final offering ‘Happy Day’. Key note speeches from Fr. Hogg, and principal Mr. Ciarán Murphy struck the exact chord with the students, and their parents gathered in the church.

Special guest speaker Mr. Joe Connolly once again spoke eloquently and passionately on behalf of all the past graduates of the College, before  the Graduation Certificates were presented to each student by their tutors. And then, as usual, Chef Jim Gilchreest and his hard working kitchen staff and cohort of fifth year helpers, presented an excellent barbecue that was well received by all.

All that need be done now is to knuckle down and do your very best in your examinations, and hopefully achieve the results you want.

 Historic Athletics Victory

St. Mary’s College became the first school in history to win all four shields at the Aviva Connacht Schools T&F Finals held recently in Athlone. Runaway victories in the Senior, Inter and Junior competitions were made all the better when it emerged that we had won the Minor shield by a single point, demonstrating clearly the value of every single point, including the fourth places! On the day we won 14 gold, 13 Silver and 11 Bronze medals


Full report on the Athletics Page











All-Ireland Schools Chess Runners-up
Back: Mr. Cian O’Grady, Diarmuid Mulkerrins, Patryk Waniak, Caolan Kelly-Delaney, Faustus Tamulis, Krystan Gabzdyl, Jarek Janas, Mrs Máiréd Uí Dhomhnaill. Front: Andrejs Kozlovs, Eddie McDonagh

All-Ireland Chess Championships

On Saturday 10th May, 2014, St. Mary’s College hosted the All-Ireland Chess Championships for the first time ever. Indeed, it had been many years since this prestigious competition was held west of the Shannon. Over 70 players participated on the day representing 12 schools from each of the four provinces. Some of the biggest and best schools from all over the country travelled to Galway to make it a great day for all the players  at St. Mary’s.

Despite the vastly experienced teams in attendance our team of Andrejs, Krystian, Diarmuid, Eddie, Faustus and Caolan secured the silver medal in an what was an extremely close finish . Games got underway at 11am and our lads first game was against St. Columb’s, Derry. This proved to be a decisive victory , with particularly strong games from Andrejs and Faustus. Spurred on by the encouraging start, confidence was high and St. Mary’s were not to be disappointed. St. Benildus, Dublin, one of the biggest chess playing schools in the country, were next up. In what turned out to be a very evenly matched game, St. Mary’s just shaded it with the final point secured by Andrejs on board one. Going into the last game of the day, St. Mary’s were facing Leinster kingpins Gonzaga College from Dublin. Our final opponents proved to be too strong, emerging eventually as the tournament gold medallists.  The race for the silver medal was still very much alive and our six players had all their attention focused on the other game being played in the group. By the time the last buzzers sounded on the clocks all the hard work and long hours practising had paid off and the 7.5 points that St. Mary’s had secured proved to be enough to win the silver medal.

As all the teams received their medals from tournament director Frank Daly (St. Benildus College, Dublin). In addressing the players at the medal ceremony, Frank was highly impressed with the St. Mary’s team’s standard of play and was equally complimentary of the ‘Galway hospitality’ that all teams enjoyed at the College, chiefly down to the fine organisation of Fr. Barry Hogg. Indeed the tournament organisers were so impressed by the lads strong showing that they received an invitatin to represent the Irish Schools at the Millfield International Chess Tournament in England to be held this coming October. A huge congratulations not just to the successful team but to all the lads who have been participating and pushing them all year and with some more practice who knows what next year will bring. A special mention for Patryk and Jarek who unfortunately couldn’t make the team of six on the day.



Mary’s Got Talent

…it sure has, and that was undoubtedly proven last Friday afternoon as thirteen acts took to the boards to display those talents to the collected school…students, staff and a few parents. Each act performed excellently, treating us a diverse range of singing, comedy, magic and impressions. In the end the decisions proved very difficult, as indicated by the closeness of the voting, but the winner emerged in the guise of Niall Stenson, whose new range of impressions won over the audience, and helped him retain the title he won last year. Peter Francis finished a close second, with perennial favourite Dillon Browne taking the third place prize.

In truth everyone was a winner, as there were no weak links on the day, a testament to the talent we do certainly have in Mary’s!!

 DVD launch

DVD CoverAfter a lot of painstaking work, Mr. Kieran Concannon has finally finished his masterpiece documentary portraying the past 100 years of life in St. Mary’s College. This DVD was launched in the College on Friday May 16th

The MC for the night was Mr. Dave O’Connell, editor of the Connacht Tribune, and there were contributions from Mr. Peadar O’Dowd and Mr. Joe Connolly.

Mr. Ciaran Murphy, School principal, spoke eloquently about the DVD and thanked Kieran and Mr. Paul Concannon for all their hard work in organizing what is an excellent account of the first 100 years of our school.


DVDs are for sale from the College, at Zhivago in Shop street and Headford Road Shopping Centre, and at one or two other outlets throughout the city, price €15.


April 2014

 Hewlett Packard Coding Challenge

HP Codathon runners-up 2014; Jeroen O'Flaherty, Hari Kharel, Shane Hastings and Jordan Miller

HP Hackathon runners-up 2014; Jeroen O’Flaherty, Hari Kharel, Shane Hastings and Jordan Miller

Hewlett Packard Galway recently staged their highly successful Hackathon for secondary school students in the Clayton Hotel. Eight schools from all around Galway participated, and when the final challenge results were totted we emerged as the runners-up. Second place was a brilliant performance, and this was then enhanced when taken into account that our team consisted entirely of second year students, while the other teams were all seniors!

Mr. McCaul’s computer club sessions were the inspiration for these students who had to undergo a number of challenges on the day. First challenge up involved having to crack the password code so that they could actually start the competition. We succeeded in being the first team to manipulate this task. We then had to master a number of challenges, but a bit of over-caution cost us first place here, as we decided to check results rather than posting them…better safe than sorry!! Nevertheless, our third place finish here gave us a total score of 14 points, two points behind the winners. The organisers made some very positive comments about our team, commenting not only on their obvious ability but also their attitude and how neatly they were turned out!! Well done all.

 Evan wins major cookery competition

IMG_2744IMG_2745Hearty congratulations to Leaving Certificate student Evan O’Ceallaigh who finished second in the Restaurant Association of Ireland Schools ‘Fine Dine at Mine’ competition held in St. Angela’s College Sligo.

Celebrity Chef, Gary O’Hanlon was the adjudicator appointed by the Restaurant Association of Ireland. Gary is Head chef of VM @ Viewmount House in Longford. This restaurant has featured in the Bridgestone ( Mc Kenna’s guide ) top 100 Restaurants & top 100 places to stay in Ireland. He was awarded “Best chef in Leinster” for 2013.  Viewmount House is Restaurant of the year for 2014 awarded by Georgina Campbell. Gary has worked on Master Chef Ireland & TV programme, Four Live and was  Head chef on RTE’s  “The Restaurant”. He has featured on TV 3’s Late Lunch Live.

 Evan entered the competition with the help of his Home Economics teacher Ms. Mary McKearney and, having been mentored by Aniar restaurant in Galway,  came through qualifying rounds that featured 1350 entries. From these 17 finalists from all corners of the country were selected and our Evan narrowly failed to win the overall title, despite some extremely favourable comments from the judges, and great praise from his teacher!!


Read all about the competition through this link

Connacht Schools Chess

The first Connacht schools chess championship had 10 teams competing for the title of Connacht Kings of Chess. The finals were held on Wednesday, April 8th in St. Gerald’s Castlebar. Our team of Andrejs Kozlovs, Diarmuid Mulkerrins, Krystian Gabzdyl and Edward McDonagh did extremely well. In the semi-final the lads, after an extremely close match, drew 2-2 with an experienced St. Gerard’s team. Each player was then given five minutes on the clock to decide the result in a blitz play-off. Each game came down to the wire and we were very unlucky not to win as the team’s endgame technique showed just how much they had progressed all year. They ultimately lost out to the eventual winners, ending up as Connacht silver medallists,  and deserve huge credit for the way they represented the school and will have gained invaluable experience for future competitions.

By virtue of their strong showing, our team has now qualified for the All-Ireland Chess Championships. They are to be held at St. Mary’s on May 10th, 2014. All the players who have been attending the games club throughout the year deserve the credit for the honour the school has been given to host this prestigious competition. The first time it has been held in Connacht.

 Danish Visit

We bade farewell to our visitors from Norre Gymnasium in Copenhagen over the weekend, following a very eventful couple of days. Having arrived on Thursday night the students and their teachers were officially received by organisers, Mary’s staff IMG_2555members Gráinne Kelly and Mary McKearney, and soon settled into their new surroundings. On Friday morning the visiting students were paired with some of our students and visited a number of classes throughout the morning, engaging with our lads as they experienced a taste of Irish education. After this they were encouraged to engage in some Hurling, Handball and Football exhibitions…maybe we’ll see the GAA offshoot to Copenhagen soon enough!

Friday night saw them attend a feast of Irish Culture, as they attended a céilí, featuring some of our former musicians and Irish dancers.

Saturday saw everyone up bright and early to head for InisMór, and a close encounter with Dún Aonghasa. A group of 18 Mary’s students accompanied them on the trip…and apparently great fun was had by all! A weary and well refreshed bunch arrived back in the College, hopefully laden with many happy memories to take back to Denmark.


 All-Ireland Feile Scoildrámaiocht winners

IMG_0748Comghairdeas ana mhór do na scoláirí agus a bhainaisteoirí Máire Ní Ghráinne & Emily Ní Shiúrtáin a bhuaigh an Comórtas don Scoláirí i Ranganna an Teastais Shóisearaigh (nó GCSE). Maith thú!

Well done to all the students (actors!) and their coaches Emily Jordan and Mary Greaney who won the All-Ireland prize for the best drama by Junior Certificate students. Brilliant stuff!










“MEP Mairead McGuinness Launches St. Mary’s College Debating Society”

Students and staff of St. Mary’s College were delighted to welcome MEP Mairead McGuinness to the College. Students in St. Mary’s College have a long proud tradition with debating, having had numerous debating teams represent the College at regional and national levels over the last century.

Recently senior students have represented the college at an EU Model Parliament organised by NUIMaynooth. Further to this, junior students represented Connacht on April 5th in the ‘Matheson All-Ireland Junior Debating Final’ which was held in UCD.

Whilst students are very happy with their debating accomplishments to date they felt that the college students would really benefit from a society which would enable all students to get involved on a regular basis so students are not just waiting for their next debating league or competition. Debating allows students to go beyond the curriculum and explore topics which go far beyond the textbook and the classroom. Such topics include governance, areas of scientific exploration, ethics,human rights and social responsibility.

At the launch of the debating society two avid debaters and second year students Mark Gilligan and Jordan Millar demonstrated their excellent debating skills whilst debating the motion ‘This House Believes that the European Union has failed the People of North Korea’. MEP McGuinness was very impressed by the students’ ability and she commented that both students showed great promise to pursue law or politics after secondary school. MEP McGuinness told students that her public career representing Ireland in Europe is the result of a journey which started out from debating whilst in secondary school from the age of fourteen. Ms.McGuinness commended the students for their dedication and assured them that such an interest during these formative years would be testament to their future college and career choices.

Senior debating student Gerard Mangan thanked MEP McGuinness on beheld of all members of the newly founded debating society and presented the MEP with a token of appreciation. Teacher and debating coach Ms. Niamh Byrne applauded MEP McGuinness for taking valuable time out of here election campaign to inspire students.

U-11 Football blitz

At a launching ceremony held in the College on Monday April 7th details of the forthcoming blitz were announced to representatives of each of the teams. In attendance, along with the teams and the College organizers, were many of our former students who are current members of the Galway Senior Football Panel.

The tournament kicks off in the College grounds on Sunday morning. Eight teams, representing Moycullen, St. James’s, St. Michael’s, Annaghdown, Claregalway, Barna, Oranmore-Maree and Salthill-Knocknacarra will be participating, with the throw in for the first matches scheduled for 10:00 am

Mary’s in Maroon

1 (36)

St. Mary’s representatives who are current or former members of the Galway Senior teams: Eddie Hoare, Gareth Bradshaw, Seán Armstrong, Liam Sammon, Bosco McDermott, Seán Óg De Paor, Conor Costello and Paul Conroy

1 (20)

Representatives of each of the U-11 teams competing at the St. Mary’s College Blitz on Sunday morning April 13th



Junior Sports Day

A very successful sports day for 1st and 2nd years was held at the start of April. Practically every student participated in at least one event, with some finding out that they had a hidden talent!

Results at the following link.

Sports day results 2014

Photographs of the events and winners are found in the collection below:

March 2014

Senior Hurling All-Ireland Semi-final

Best of luck to the College Senior Hurlers who will be competing in the All-Ireland Colleges semi-final V Munster champions Scoil Pobail Roscrea in Whitegate Co. Clare on Saturday March 22nd, with match throwing in at 2:00pm

Special thanks go out to all those businesses in the locality who have sponsored the team over the past two weeks, especially Mace/Maxol in Whitestrand, Londis at UCHG, Go West pharmacy in Westside, Smyth’s toyshop on the Headford road and The Planet Recreation Centre also on the Headford road. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Bicycle offered for our fund-raising raffle by Smyths of Galway

Bicycle offered for our fund-raising raffle by Smyths of Galway

Mace/Maxol at Whitestrand

Mr. Niall Kenny, Manager of Mace/Maxol at Whitestrand, pictured with members of the senior hurling team following his generous sponsorship of the team

Londis/Subway at UCHG

Londis/Subway at UCHG

Go West pharmacy Westside

Go West pharmacy Westside

P1330629Many thanks to Mr. Pat Ryan (father of team captain Cathal Ryan) from Smyths toystore for his very generous donation of a fantastic mountain bike for the school raffle. Smyths have a large range of these top range bikes for sale, at prices well below the price found elsewhere.

Tickets are limited to the school and can be bought for €2 from any of the lads going around the classes. The draw will be held on Friday 14th March, in the front hall at lunchtime. This is an excellent opportunity to win a bike valued at €400, as there will only be a limited number of people in the draw. Also, runners up have the chance to win 3 months free gym membership, or bowling vouchers,  from the Planet on Headford road

*** Winner allright…well done to Mr. Colin McCaul who cycled away with the main prize following the draw last Friday***

St. Mary’s Students to Represent Connacht in Matheson National Final

IMG_3529Saturday 1st March saw nearly fifty of the best young debaters from around Connacht partake in a mammoth debating session hosted by Coláiste Iognáid in the Matheson Junior Debating Connacht Final. Second year students Mark Gilligan and Jordan Millar represented St. Mary’s College, with the team being organised by their teacher Ms Niamh Byrne.

IMG_3536In the final the students debated the motion that ‘Parents should be held Criminally Responsible for the Crimes of their Children’. Mark Gilligan was the first proposition speaker; he started the debate by providing an extremely insightful, informative, and persuasive proposition. His fellow proposer and classmate Jordan Millar then provided an inspirational analogy between the execution of leaders in the 1916 Rising and the punishment of parents. From here the arguments flew to and fro furiously, checked by Harry McGee, until IMG_3535the jurors retired to make their decision. At 7:00pm, Judge Mary Fahy finally delivered her verdict and the proposition won the debate!

Mark Gilligan was very deservingly named as runner up best speaker and he received a trophy for this. Jordan and Mark were chosen to represent Connacht as part of a group of twenty pupils from six Galway schools who won places in the Matheson National Finals Day: the biggest junior debating competition in Ireland. We wish the boys the very best of luck in the final which takes place in Dublin on April 5th.

February 2014

St. Mary’s Parliamentarians 2014

IMG_3521On the 21st of February 2014 a debating team organised by Ms. Niamh Byrne went to NUI Maynooth to represent the school in a model parliament which was organised by the University’s Department of Law. The model parliament is designed to inspire and encourage the next round of young parliamentarians. The model parliament is a simulation of a Dail sitting and it was led by An Leas Ceann-Comhairle Michael Kitt. On the day backbencher TDs, Taoiseach and Leader of the opposition debated an amendment to the Irish constitution on the ‘Same Sex Marriage Bill’.

The St. Mary’s team consisted of two fifth year students Gerard Mangan and Daniel Walsh-Keary. Both Gerard and Daniel participated as backbencher TDs for the governing party. The boys both made very persuasive speeches as to why the aforementioned bill should be amended. Gerard made a very controversial point about the link between Catholicism and marriage, and, Daniel pointed out the frightening correlation between suicide and gay people. The boys did St. Mary’s College proud when they succeeded in getting the bill passed with a majority vote of seventeen to twelve.

Participating in the model parliament was a very beneficial experience for the students and in the process they developed key skills in research, public speaking, leadership and teamwork. The students felt that they learnt about respect, tolerance and self-discipline and they got a taste for the world of law and politics.



Connacht Cross-Country

Once again St. Mary’s emerged as one of the top schools in Connacht athletics when winning four sets of team medals at the Connacht finals in Sligo, as well as an individual bronze medal for second year student Ryan Traynor-O’Toole. Full report of all races on the athletics page

Connacht Champions:

Well done to our senior hurling team who annexed the Connacht Senior B title following a thrilling match against Garbally College Ballinasloe in Athenry. Great performances from a number of players, chief amongst them ‘man of the Match’ Adam Mooney, laid the foundation for what was an outstanding team performance. Full report and photos to follow.


February 2014


Comhairdeas mór don fhoireann drámaíochta a bhuaigh an chéad duais ag Féile Scoildrámaíochta na Gaillimhe le déanaí leis an dráma Taibhsí Loch Léin. Faoi stiúir Máire Ní Ghráinne & Emily Ní Shiúrtáin léiríodh an dráma i Seanscoil Shailearna san Indreabhán ar an 14ú Feabhra.  Tar éis dianchleachtadh bhuaigh Coláiste Muire an chéad duais ins an Roinn ‘Teastas Sóisearach agus Faoi’.  Is mór an lúcháir a bhí orthu freisin nuair a ainmníodh na taibhsí – Alan Duggan & Maik Lumpp (2ú bliain) agus Thomas Caffrey (1ú bliain) mar aisteoirí is fearr.  Tá siad chun páirt a ghlacadh sa chéad babtha eile- Féile Scoildrámaíochta Chonachta, ag deireadh mí  Feabhra. Go n-éirí  leo go léir.


Huge congratulations to St Mary’s actors who recently won first prize at Féile Scoildrámaíochta na Gailllimhe with the drama Taibhsí Loch Léin.  Under the direction of Ms Mary Greaney  & Ms Emily Jordan they performed in Seanscoil Shailearna in Inverin on Friday Feb 14th.  After intense rehearsals they claimed the Galway title in the Junior Cert section.  Further success was attained when Maik Lumpp & Alan Duggan (2nd yr) and Thomas Caffrey (1st yr), were named as best actors. The cast now go forward to take part in the Connaught round of the competition at the end of February.  Best of luck to all involved – Break a leg guys!!


Aisteoirí – Alan Duggan, Maik Lumpp, Thomas Caffrey,  Mark Gilligan, Abraham Shomefun, Joshua Brodericks, Paul Conneely, Daniel McDonagh, Conor Delaney,  Cormac Kay, James Browne, Bojan Petrovic, Matthew Walsh, Patrick Daveron.

Fear Fuaime & Ēifeachtaí Speisialta – Shane Hastings       Bainisteoirí Stáitse – Aaron Cooke & Enda Shaughnessy

Dearadh Seit – Tommy Gibbons, Stephen Donohue

Míle Buíochas freisin do Mr. Richie Bell,  Mr. Seán Armstrong & Mr  Ronán O’Connell .


Farewell Mary

It is with a heavy heart that this St. Valentine’s Day sees not love and kisses but instead is tinged with sadness as the College bids farewell to our respected secretary Mary Clancy.

Mary retires from her post today, and we, students and staff alike,  can unanimously say that we will miss her  smiling face   and calm demeanor whenever we enter the office, as well as P1330276her calm welcoming voice on the end of the phone line.

Best of luck Mary, go n-éirí an bóthar leat.


Well done to our senior hurling team who overcame St. Cuan’s Castleblakeny to advance to the Connacht ‘B’ Senior Hurling final. Full report can be found on the hurling page.

Hanballers 2014
Galway County Championship Handball winners: Shane Kyne, Diarmuid Mulkerrins, Dessie Conneely, John Lalor, Conor Noone

Congratulations also to team members Conor Noone and John Lalor who won the Connacht senior doubles handball championship over the weekend, but who now face the probable heartbreak of not being able to compete at the All-Ireland finals which clash with the hurling final versus Garbally College Ballinasloe, a match which is scheduled for 3:30 on Saturday afternoon Feb 15th….FEB 14…NEWS: MATCH NOW POSTPONED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS

Well done also to second year student Diarmuid Mulkerrins who won the U-15 Connacht Handball championships, while commiserations are offered to Shane Kyne and Dessie Conneely who narrowly lost their handball matches.

Hurlers V St. Cuans 2014

January 2014

Sports success

St. Mary’s athletes completed a very successful day of cross-country running when they succeeded in qualifying all four teams for the Connacht finals. On a sunny, but muddy and demanding,  Loughrea course our athletes proved well up to the task as they powered their way through the South Connacht championships, finishing up as Minor (U-14) and Senior (U-19) champions, and Junior (U-15) and Inter (U-17) runners-up. Next up will be the Connacht finals, which will be held in Sligo on February 25th.

Full report and photographs can be found on the gallery and athletics page

Meanwhile on the previous day Mr. Gerry Dempsey’s handballers proved to be champions in their own right as they annexed no less than four Galway titles. First year student Shane Kyne was the first winner as he captured the first year title, Diarmuid Mulkerrins won the U-15 title, while Desmond Conneely staged a stunning comeback to capture the Intermediate title. In a timed contest Des was three aces down with time almost up and somehow managed to win the next four points to nick the championship at the death. Doubles pair Conor Noone and John Lalor were the final winners as they overcame all-comers to take the Senior Crown.

Photos on the Handball page

It wasn’t all success for Mary’s though, as our highly fancied U-15 soccer team departed this year’s Connacht Championship at the quarter-final stage. In a very hard fought match they went down 3-2 to an impressive Presentation Athenry team, missing a penalty along the way.

Fr. Sean Manning RIP

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce the death of our colleague Seán after a short illness. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


John William Manning entered St. Mary’s College as a first year student in September 1953. He completed his Leaving Certificate in June 1958.

He entered St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth in September 1958. Seán was ordained for the diocese of Galway in June 1965. He was appointed to St. Mary’s College to study for the H.Dip.Ed. He joined the teaching staff of the College the following year, where he spent many years teaching Science and Chemistry. He was appointed President of the College in 2002 and continued in this role until his retirement in 2006.

He studied for a year and in September 2007 he returned to St. Mary’s as School Chaplain. After a short illness he passed away on January 22nd 2014.

His service to St. Mary’s was, and will be, without equal. May he rest in peace.


BT Young Scientist Visit

A group of our future Einstein’s enthusiastically headed off for the long trip to the BT Young Scientist competition in early January, a trip that will hopefully inspire our current bunch of young scientists to get their thinking caps on and get their projects ready for next year’s competition. It was a very interesting and successful trip, with many an idea being bandied about on the bus journey home. The photos of the day can be found in the gallery section of the website