Recipients of awards at the Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School Awards Ceremony held on Friday 24th October. Back L to R: James D’Arcy (Best Attendance 4th Year); Vanessa O’Donnell (Sports Award); Fintan Maher (Junior Fiction Writer Award); Lory Kenny (Student of the Year, 1st Year); John Frewen (Student of the Year, 3rd Year); Ronan Shee (Student of the Year, 2nd year); Jonathan Hall (Poster Art 14-17); Joe Fogarty (Best Attendance 1st Year); J. P. McGrath (Poster Art 11-14); Dave Gorey (Poster Art 11-14); Brian Kennedy (Student Council Award); Shane Walsh (Business and Enterprise Award ); Miriam Carroll (Student of the Year, 5th Year). Front L to R: Stephanie Lawrence (Sports Award); Samantha Morrissey (Poster Art 11-14); Richard Gorey (Sports Award); Past Pupil and Special Guest Speaker, Alice Leahy; Mr Ernan Britton (Principal); Gillian O’Connell (Junior Poetry Writer Award); Suzanne Gorey (Paddy Broderick Memorial Award) and Sara-Mai Ahearne (Padraig Pearce Perpetual Trophy).
A Friday October 24th dawned crisp and clear with our own Slievenamon glistening in the October sunshine. An air of expectancy filled the school from early morning Awards Day, and no doubt the prospect of a week’s relaxation for Halloween mid-term.
The student body assembled at 11am in the main hall, accompanied by staff. The guests then arrived Parents Association, Board of Management, Fethard and District Credit Union, our special guest speaker Alice Leahy and her husband Charlie, and of course a gathering of parents.
To the strains of, ‘O God beyond all praising’, familiar to many as the world in union rugby anthem the choir, with accompanist Kevin Hickey who does such a wonderful job on these occasions, greeted Fr. Gerry Horan, Prior OSA, who celebrated the mass, Fr Tom Breen P.P. and Canon Jim Power.
Fr Gerry Horan, who has such a pastoral role in the school, and also does some substitute work, gave a homily, which reached out in its sincerity to all the student body. At the conclusion of the mass Mr Ernan Britton, Principal, addressed all and thanked all who had contributed such time and energy to the day. The organizing committee of Mr Michael O’Gorman, Mr Denis Burke and Mr Richard Prendergast had done a great deal of ground work to make this day a success.
School Principal, Ernan Britton (left), presenting guest speaker and past pupil, Alice Leahy with a print of the ‘Millennium Sunrise’ on behalf of the school. Also included is Alice’s husband Charlie Best.
Miss Mary-Ann Fogarty had preluded the occasion with a harvest thanksgiving for all classes, where she had arranged a wonderful display of all the fruits of the harvest in the music room. Alice Leahy, a past pupil of the school, then addresses all in a humane and touching manner. Alice, as a director of TRUST, set up in 1975 to provide medical and related services for people who are homeless, is a woman of immense depth and humanity, whose message to the students was a simple and clear not to judge others too harshly.
Alice has a deep sense of community and recalled when she was sitting her Leaving Certificate how Mrs Halpin and Mrs Newport, mother of Tony and Goldie, invited her to lunch every day, knowing she was a girl from the country. She stressed the fact that we all need this sense of belonging and community.
Mr Ernan Britton, principal Patrician Presentation Secondary School Fethard presenting student Sara-Mai Ahearne, Redcity, Fethard, with the ‘Padraig Pearse Perpetual Memorial Cup’ for her academic excellence in Irish and History in the Junior Cert examination. The perpetual trophy was donated to the School in November 1991 by Mr. Breffny O’Rourke, a native of Ballingarry who spent most of his life in California and wished to make the presentation to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
Alice then presented the student of the year awards to 6th year Barry Shee (Leaving Cert); 5th Year, Miriam Carroll; 3rd Year, Sara-Mai Ahearne; who received the perpetual Padraig Pearce award for excellence in Irish and History in her Junior cert. Suzanne Gorey 3rd year received the Paddy Broderick memorial award for her junior cert results in geography and Irish. Ronan Shee received the student of the year in 2nd year 2003-2004 and Lory Kenny in 1st Year. Brian Kennedy 5th year and Sarah Kennedy 5th year received commemorative plaques of both the Padraig Pearce and the Paddy Broderick Awards, as they were last year’s winners.
Denis Burke and Bernie O’Connor, our P.E. teacher then took to the podium to present the sports awards. Denis spoke of the huge advantage of participation and teamwork; it’s not about winning or losing, but being involved. For outstanding school sportsmanship, awards went to Vanessa O’Donnell and John Conway. Huge achievement had been made out of school in Judo by both Richard Gorey (4th Year) and Stephanie Lawrence (2nd Year) for which they received certificates.
Jonathan Gilpin, representing Fethard Credit Union, making ta presentation of the Business and Enterprise Award to Shane Walsh at the Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School Awards Ceremony.
Deputy principle Marian Gilpin then called on Credit Union director Jonathan Gilpin to present the perpetual credit union award for business and enterprise to Shane Walsh (5th Year) with a commemorative award to Martin Sheehan, last year’s winner.
Under the careful eye of Art teacher Patricia Looby, the schools Credit Union Poster Competition awards were then presented by Jonathan Gilpin. In the 11- 13 years age category 1st prize went to David Gorey, 2nd to J.P. McGrath and 3rd to Samantha Morrissey. In the 14 17 years age category, 1st prize went to Siobhan Prout, 2nd to John Frewen and 3rd to Jonathan Hall. In this category Donna Burke was highly commended. The theme of the poster competition was ‘Credit unions The heart of our community’, which was very appropriate in the light of Alice Leahy’s emphasis on community.
The principal Ernan Britton and deputy principal Marian Gilpin, then presented certificates of attendance to Miriam Carroll (5th Year) James D’Arcy (4th Year), Suzanne Gorey (3rd Year), John Frewen (2nd Year) and Joe Fogarty (1st Year)
English Department teacher Majella Whelan then presented the Fethard Quill Creative Writers Award 2003 to Jodie Gilpin (Senior Fiction), Daniel Lawrence (Senior Poetry), Fintan Maher (Junior Fiction) and Gillian O’Connell (Junior Poetry).
Prefect badges for the academic year 2003-2004 at Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary Schoo were awarded to L to R: John Frewen (3rd Year), Miriam Carroll (Head Girl), Paul Kenny (Head Boy), Lory Kenny (2nd Year), Mary Gorey (5th Year) and Sara-Mai Ahearne (4th Year).
Mr Britton and Mrs Gilpin then awarded prefect badge to Lory Kenny (2nd Year) John Frewen (3rd Year), Sara-Mai Ahearne (4th Year), Mary Gorey (5th Year) and our Head Boy, Paul Kenny and Head Girl, Miriam Carroll for the academic year 2003-2004.
Justin McGree of the Geography/ English department presented Student Council Awards to Nial Maher and Sarah Healy (6th Year), Brian Kennedy and Sharon Duggan (5th Year), Liam Ryan (4th Year) and Nial Hayes (3rd Year).
The ceremony concluded with a gift to Alice Leahy of ‘Millennium Sunrise over Slievenamon’
Congratulations to all, and to the student body well done on their enthusiasm and behaviour. Of course no important day would be complete without thanking Gwen Cronin (Office) Tracey Wallace (Office), Con Sullivan (Caretaker) and Patti Thompson and Catherine Flynn of the ancillary staff.
Student Council Awards were presented to L to R: Sarah Healy (6th Year), Nial Maher (6th Year), Sharon Duggan (5th Year) and and Brian Kennedy (5th Year). Other Student Council awards were presented to Liam Ryan (4th Year) and Nial Hayes (3rd Year).