Following a busy December we have a few items to report.
Our senior football team have now progressed to the Connacht Quarter-finals following a victory over Balla Community School just before Christmas. Next up for the boys will be Carraroe CS in January.
Charity Drive 2016
The Christmas Charity drive went very well with all students and staff putting in a great effort to ensure that this year’s chosen charities received the full benefit of the generosity of the people of Galway. Through our numerous events over €7000 was raised and this was forwarded to the two beneficiaries Waterways Patrol Galway and YouthWork Ireland, both very deserving organisations that serve the mental health and well-being of Galway. Pictured below are some of the activities we had to help raise money.
Mary’s Feast Day:
We continued our annual tradition of feeding the students as every student received a Christmas dinner courtesy of the College…plenty of full bellys afterwards.
Christmas Carol Service
As usual the College Choir gave us an excellent service that was very well received in the College Chapel
Charity Carol Singing
In aid of the Charity a grand bunch of hardy souls braved the elements to raise over €650 down in Shop Street…
It was great to have Connacht Rugby player and former Mary’s student Ronan Loughney in the College today to help formally launch this year’s Christmas Charity Drive. Over the past 13 years students and staff from the College have raised over €217 000 fro various Local, National and Intentional charities, helping thousands of people along the way.
This year we will be focusing on mental health with Galway Waterways Patrol, and Youth Counselling Service Galway being the chosen beneficiaries. Mary’s students will be embarking on a series of fund raising activities over the next couple of weeks and we urge you to give them your support in this important endeavour
World Boxing Medal
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks following the exploits of our LC student Gabriel Dossen as he competed at the IABA World Youth Boxing Championships in Russia. As he progressed through the competition we got our new projector system in the Study Hall up and running and were able to pile in and cheer him on as he progressed all the way to the World Semi-finals. We cheered his victories over the US, Monaco and the Dominican Republic fighters, and felt bad for him when he finally succumbed at the penultimate hurdle to his powerful Russian opponent.
The whole school is proud of the achievements of this exemplary young man.
It was a very successful month for the College on many fronts as Mary’s students excelled.
At the start of the month Shane Traynor Canavan followed up his excellent Connacht Senior Combined Events title with a brilliant bronze medal performance at the national finals in Athlone.
So close! Hard luck and well done to our Senior Science Quiz team Ali Shabu, Jeroen O’Flaherty and Andras Fejar who finished fourth from 24 teams in the Galway Mayo region final. The lads missed out on a three way first place tie by a single point! Unfortunately only three head off to the All Ireland so double disappointment.
Our Debating Society had a great win over Coláiste Baile Chláir (Claregalway College) in the Concern Debating Competition.
As part of our Science week activities our first years are participating in a series of lectures and classes from Futurewize Ireland, we have hosted the second Fr. Seán Manning Primary Science Quiz and facilitated the visit of Inspirational Science’s Dr. Ken Farquhar and his ‘It doesn’t add up’ maths show.
Our senior soccer team unfortunately lost out 4: 3 to a last minute Ballina goal despite a stirring comeback from 3 :0 down. Our Junior footballers also put in a sterling performance to draw with Headford in the Connacht League while our basketballers were also in action, the seniors losing out narrowly to Presentation Athenry while the Junior’s beat the same opposition, and also had a victory over Ennistymon.
The big news has been the progress of LC student Gabriel Dossen in the World Youth Boxing Championships in Russia. Gabriel has at least secured a bronze medal and will be boxing for a place in the final later this month.
Our second Primary School Science Quiz in honour of Fr. Seán Manning will be taking place on the afternoon of Friday November 18th as part of our science week celebrations. Details can be found on the poster below.
A fantastic day’s hurling saw Castlegar emerge victorious over a gallant Liam Mellows team.
A taste of the action can be found through the following link.
Come along and brush up on your Gaeilge…every Wednesday lunchtime in the library…
A reminder of last years competition to whet the appetite…
Healthy Eating Week
As part of our healthy eating policy we encourage every student to tuck in to a nice juicy apple all this week…available for all in the canteen.
This new club is now up and running, aiming to help those students who need a little extra help…come along and suss it out.
St. Mary’s is officially under new management this week as Mr. Tom Nolan takes over as Principal and Mr. Kieran Sweeney steps into the Deputy Principal role. All in the College wish them the best of luck in their new posts.
St. Mary’s achieved great success at the All-Ireland T&F finals in Tullamore when they won 3 sets of medals. Star performer was Kelvin Samson, who won bronze in both the Intermediate 400m Hurdles and the Triple Jump. The senior relay team of Kemil Szymaszek, Selassie Seshi Doe, Kelechi Asonye and Shane Traynor-Canavan, then went one better to finish in second place behind a very fast Cork team. This was an excellent performance from the lads and just reward for all their hard work and effort this year.
For the tenth year in a row St. Mary’s captured the Best Overall School title at the Connacht T&F Championships held at Athlone IT. For good measure we also won the Senior Shield, also for the tenth time in succession, and the Junior and Intermediate shields. Full report on the Athletics page.
Our second student excursion to Germany and France passed off really successfully at the end of February. Ten students and two teachers made the journey were they once more met up with the students from the other four participating countries and worked together on the group projects. Along the way they also toured Strasbourg and the European parliament buildings. The next trip will be to Romania in May
The Connacht Cross-country championships in Sligo saw Mary’s capture the coveted Senior Team title after some very strong running from each of the team members. Full details can be found on the Athletics page.
Four of our students, Gerard Davoren, Michael Lukyanov, Shane Folliard and Pedro Quaresma, along with their teacher Ms. Niamh Byrne made the trip to Croke Park where they were presented with the Irish Flag by president Michael D Higgins. We then had a ceremony in the Study Hall, at which Andrius Sirvyus, Pedro Quaresma, and Patrick Davoran all gave very eloquent presentations to the student body about the events of Easter week and its repercussions. Senior Prefect Eoghan Kelly next read out the Proclamation after which we watched as the newly acquired Irish tricolour was raised over the roof of the College.
Hard luck to the second year basketball squad who were narrowly beaten by a single basket in their Western Region final versus the Bish. Considering we were only promoted from the B division this year, and the loss of one of our most valuable team members Gerard Davoren whose family have returned to the US, this was a remarkable performance. Hopefully we’ll have more luck at the National Play-offs in May.
Irish Team Members
Well done to second year students Paul Kelly and Hakeem Ryan who have been chosen to represent Ireland over the next few weeks. Hakeem will line out with the U-15 Schoolboys squad, while Paul has made the Irish U-16 Basketball team. Best of luck lads
Congratulations to second year students Pedro Quaresma and Hubert Matuszewski who competed at the All-Ireland Mace finals in Trinity College recently. They competed very well and considering they were a number of years younger than their opponents will hope to have learned plenty and be back better and stronger next year.
All mock results are now in and everyone, both LC and JC, now have a better idea of how they’re progressing. Heads to the books now as we push on the success in the summer of exams…
Two cheques were donated to deserving charities following a special ceremony at St. Mary’s College during the week. This was the culmination of the extensive charity drive carried out by students in the College in the period leading up to Christmas. Since 2001 the College has been engaging in their annual charity drive and so far has raised in excess of €225 000 for deserving local, national and international charities. Teachers in St. Mary’s are the driving force behind the idea, but it is the hard work and dedication of the students that results in the success of the operation. Every year students sing carols on the streets of Galway, collect prizes for and organise raffles and auctions, and go door to door around the city and its environs collecting for the chosen charities. They also learn all about the chosen charities and their work, a practice that benefits them greatly and helps them understand the importance of helping those less fortunate than themselves. This year the beneficiaries were the Galway Hospice and the Rehabilitation House for the Irish Kidney Association at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. Representatives from each of the charities were on hand and thanked the students sincerely for the work they had done. On that note the students and staff of St. Mary’s College would sincerely like to reciprocate that thanks and offer a huge ‘Thank you’ to the people of Galway without whose help, support and generosity this venture would not succeed.
All-Ireland Handball Final
St. Mary’s 5th year student Diarmuid Mulkerrins took 1st place in the All-Ireland Handball Championship, held in Kingscourt, County Cavan on Saturday, February 13th. Mulkerrins won the championship in a hard-battled game with scores of 7-15, 15-7, and 15-14 against Kilkenny’s Eoin Brennan. Competing in the under-17 40×20 category, Mulkerrins advanced to the finals after beating St. Paul’s Cavan’s Caolan Smyth 15-9, 8-15, and 15-0.
This year’s championship marks the second time Mulkerrins has made it to the All-Ireland Championship, and his first time as champion. At one point, Mulkerrins was losing 10-14 in the tie-breaker. “My odds weren’t looking good, but I took it one point at a time and thankfully I came out on the right side,” Mulkerrins said. He went on to say, “I want to especially thank my coach, Mr. Gerry Dempsey, who has travelled all over the country with me during the last few years.”
Senior Soccer Final
Hard luck to our senior team who went down fighting against Presentation Athenry in the Connacht Senior Cup final played in a wet and windy Mervue during mid-term. Full report on the soccer page.
South Connacht CC
With the St. Mary’s grounds still bearing the scars of last week’s South Connacht Championships the results have finally come in. All four Mary’s teams safely made it through to the Connacht finals to be held in Sligo on February 23rd. Our minor (U-14) team finished in third place of the 19 teams entered, our Junior(u-15) team finished in second place while the Intermediate (U-17) are the South Connacht Champions after winning their team race. Our senior team have also qualified despite not having to run on the day. Full report and photographs on the Athletics Webpage.
It has been a very busy couple of weeks on the Mary’s calendar with numerous activities successfully taking place outside of the usual hard graft to do well in our studies.
The Erasmus+ exchange was a huge success, with each of the 61 students and their 15 teachers all heading back home to their respective countries with high praise for the College and all it stands for. During the week they participated in a host of activities in and around the College, the details of which can be found on the Erasmus section of the website. The mayor Cllr. Frank Fahy visited on Friday morning and met with the entire group, praising the work being done especially in developing ties that could enhance Galway’s drive to become the European City of Culture 2020. He also made a presentation of Certificates of Merit from the city to our BT Young Scientists.
Our Senior Soccer team overcame Ballinrobe CS on a 3-2 scoreline to qualify for our first Connacht A Senior Cup final since 2012. We await confirmation of our final opponents in what promises to be another great occasion in Mary’s soccer history. Not to be outdone our U-17 team also qualified for the Connacht quarter-finals following a 3-0 victory over Ballinasloe, while the U-15 team scored a last minute winner over highly fancied Claregalway team to win 4:3 and consequently are in the driving seat in their group, looking odds on to progress to the quarter finals.
Diarmuid Mulkerrins was the main winner at the Galway Handball championships held in the College last week. He had to overcome a stiff challenge in his age group, winning four matches to emerge as county champion.
In Gaelic Football our Juvenile team recorded a fine league victory over the Bish, winning a good tough match on a 2-8 to 1-6 scoreline.
Mary’s hosted the South Connacht Cross-Country championships on Thursday 28th, on what proved to be a nightmare of a day weather-wise. Relentless rain and gale force winds proved a vicious test for each of the young athletes the majority of whom battled very bravely to finish their races in what became a mud-bath. Mary’s lads were again to the fore as we qualified teams for the Connacht finals in each of the four age groups. Results are not to hand yet and a full report will follow on the Athletics page.
At the BT Young Scientist second year student Éamonn MacDonnacha received a Highly Commended Award from the judges for his project detailing the effects of light on hermit crab activity levels, and is already looking forward to next year’s event. Similarly, the bus load of 51 students who visited the exhibition on Thursday January 7th hopefully will be looking to be more than spectators next year. Next up for our budding scientists will be the SciFest competition in May. Photos from the exhibition and visit can be found on the Gallery page.
On the sporting front we had mixed luck as our Senior basketballers succumbed to a one point defeat to the Bish in a match that would have seen them progress to the All-Ireland series. With victory in our grasp we unfortunately lost possession at the death and surrendered our lead almost on the final buzzer. Competing at A level has been a tough learning curve, but one that the lads will have benefited from greatly. Meanwhile, our senior soccer team march on as they overcame Summerhill College from Sligo to progress to the Connacht semi-finals. Ourselves and the Summerhill have undoubtedly been two of the biggest forces in schools soccer over the past 20 years and this match was one that brought out the best in both teams. Having gone 2 – 0 up the Sligo lads fought back to equalise, but a moment of brilliance from Tommy Molloy eight minutes from the end saw ten-man Mary’s come away with a well-deserved victory. Full report is in the soccer section.
A big thank you is also due to all those who supported our charity efforts before Christmas. The final tally stands at about €7 200 and the two cheques will be presented to the Galway Hospice and the Irish Kidney Association over the next couple of days. Photographs from the Charity Day in Mary’s and the Carol Singing downtown are now in the Gallery section.
Next week sees the next stage in our Erasmus + project, when we welcome 90 students and teachers from France, Germany, Spain and Romania to the College for a week’s visit. Ms Geoghegan and her team of helpers and organisers have been working exceptionally hard to put a programme in place and we are all looking forward to seeing it all fall into place next week
BT Young Scientist
We have two projects currently on show at the BTYS in the RDS in Dublin. Eamonn MacDonnacha has a project exploring the effects of different coloured lights on the activity of land hermit crabs while the team of Shane Hastings, Jeroen O’Flaherty and Mark Gilligan are investigating the evolution of language from idioms to emoticons.
St. Mary’s 2nd year student Eamonn MacDonnacha earns Highly Commended award at the 2016 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.
St. Mary’s 2nd year student Eamonn MacDonnacha was one of nearly 1,200 Irish students who competed for the title of “BT Young Scientist(s) & Technologist(s) of the Year” this past week in Dublin. The 52nd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition featured 550 projects this year and was held at Dublin’s RDS January 7th-9th.
MacDonnacha’s project, titled “An investigation into the best type of light suitable for the activity of Hermit Land Crabs during daylight hours” was entered into the Biological and Ecological project category. MacDonnacha found that in green light the crabs exhibited the most movement but seemed irritated, in red and normal light they showed normal activity, and in blue light they exhibited little movement but seemed relaxed.
MacDonnacha’s project earned him one of the 120 Highly Commended awards, which included only 100 or so of the 500 entrant projects. “It was an interesting experience and definitely worth doing” said MacDonnacha, who really enjoyed doing this new research. “It was fun to figure out what was happening with the Hermit Land Crabs!” MacDonnacha intends to continue researching and improving on this project. He hopes to one day work as a marine biology scientist.
In addition, the St. Mary’s College team of 5th years Shane Hastings, Jeroen O’Flaherty, and Mark Gilligan entered a project titled “Language: The Next Generation.” The team investigated how language has evolved from idioms to emoticons and identified age-related correlations. The boys had this to say about the experience, “It was rewarding! We learned how to do a real research project. It was great to get positive feedback from the judges, who thought our project was professional and unique.” The team also enjoyed the opportunity to experience the other projects at the Exhibition..