St. Mary's College annual Prize night was held on Thursday last in the Marist hall .'That some achieve great success, is proof, to all, that others can achieve it as well' an inspirational quote for all students, on a night when the students of the College ,were rewarded for their success in academic and sporting achievements as well as in other areas of school life.
Principal Con McGinley welcomed all, to the awards ceremony, especially the guest of honour, past pupil of St. Mary’s College Dr. Pearse Lyons, who travelled the long journey from Kentucky, U.S. to attend the prize night at his alma mater. Dr. Lyons founder and President of the hugely successful Alltech industries, opening speech inspired many. He remembered his days in the College, and the fact that it was at the Marist, the dream of Alltech first began. He reminded the students of the importance of education and encouraged them to reach their goals by applying the 5D’s – Dream, Dare, Desire, Decide and Dedicate and gave each one a card with these words .Explaining the 5D’s –follow your dream, have courage, focus on your goal and work to achieve it.
Dr. Lyons announced an annual bursary for a Science student in the College which will cover the cost of their Third level Education Fees and also includes work experience at the Alltech Bioscience Centre.
Alltech is a leading global animal health company with headquarters in Kentucky and business interests in over a hundred countries including a European Bioscience Centre in Ireland. There are over 1900 employees, and the company boasts group sales approaching $400 million. Recently Dr. Lyons was recognised as one of the top 15 Irish-American life scientists of the year, and has been awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of his contribution to Science and Industry. Alltech is also the sponsor of the World Equestrian Games 2010.
After Dr. Lyons inspirational speech the awards presentation began. The first presentation of the night was to Maurice Murphy who received the Ahern Cup for Leaving Cert Accounting. The Cup presented by brothers Tim and Dermot Ahern –past pupil and the new Minister for Justice, honours their father Gerry, who taught at the college for over 31 years. Each Award has a story- the Dermot Jennings Perpetual Award presented to Ali Coyle for Junior English, is dedicated to the memory of former English teacher at the College. Best Senior Irish student Zerena Corentin received the Sean Mac Suibhne Award which is named after a former Irish Teacher. The Best Home Economics students Stephanie Rice and Lorna Neary received the Fergus Commins Perpetual Award which is in memory of a former pupil at the College.
Best Leaving Cert English Student Matthew Deery received the Flanagan Cup. Justin Brayden was the Best Maths student and also received the Hearty Award for best pre-leaving results. Gerry Hearty who retired as deputy principal of the college last year after 18 years, presented the award named in his honour. The new Deputy Principal Mr. Gerry Lambe presented the best Leaving Cert. 2007 and Best Junior Cert. 2007 to Caroline Keating and Clodagh Lennon.
The MEA Award for Outstanding Contribution to School Life was presented by Mr. Kevin Jennings, Director of the Marist Education Authority ,to 6th and 5th Year Students Maurice Murphy and James Yore. The Oisn O’Dlaigh Award for the Senior Sportsperson of the Year was awarded to Eamon O’ Neill. Past pupil and Louth County Gaelic Player John O’ Brien presented two awards –the Fr. Mulligan Award to Michael Murphy and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in sport to athlete Toms Cotter.
The highlight of the night was the Student of the Year Award- the Fr. McGeough Perpetual Cup . The award is given to a student who is involved in and committed to many areas of school life including academic excellence. The award was presented by the guest of Honour Dr. Pearse Lyons to sixth year student David Lally.
The students themselves provided the excellent entertainment on the night. Andrew McKeown sang the Classical- Where ere You Walk, Traditional music by Grainne N Ir, Cillian Donlon, and John Wynne.The Final Act was by Stars in Yer Eyes Finalists Kylan Ross, Aishling Foley and their dancers. Congratulations to all on their achievements.
St Mary’s College Prize Night – List of award winners:
Fr. McGeough Perpetual Cup -Student of the Year – David Lally; Oisin O’ Dlaigh Perpetual Trophy- Senior Sportsperson of the Year-Eamon O’Neill; MEA Award (Marist Education Authority - Maurice Murphy & James Yore; Ahern Cup - Best Leaving Cert. Accounting Student – Maurice Murphy; Cooney Cup – Best 5th Year Business Student – James Duffy; Outstanding Achievement in Art Senior Award-David Lally & Mark O’ Hagan; Outstanding Achievement in Art Junior Award-Orlaith O’ Hagan & Aoife Ward; Murphy Cup – Best Fifth Year French Student – Louise Kelly; Junior French Medals – Patrick Conroy & Kylan Ross; Hanaway Cup – Best Leaving Cert Maths Student- Justin Brayden; Junior Science Award- Tim Hyland & Niamh Halpenny; Senior Science Award - Niamh Kirk; Flanagan Cup – Best Leaving Cert English Student- Matthew Deery; Jennings Award –Best Junior English Student - Ali Coyle; Junior Geography Award – Tim Hyland; Senior Geography Award – Sarah Donnelly; Thiel Prize- Junior Cert German – Davy Shaw; Hughes prize – Leaving Cert German – Lorna Neary & Cillian Donelon; Fr. Mulligan Award- Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Michael Murphy; Outstanding Achievement in Sport – Toms Cotter; Kilronan Cup for Public Speaking – Sorcha Quigley; Chaplaincy Award- Sonia Callan; Donnelly Cup- Leaving Cert History – Ann Donaghy; Fergus Commins Perpetual Award– Home Economics – Stephanie Rice & Lorna Neary; Henry Plate – Best Fifth Year Student – Christopher McGuill & Stefan Zlokapa; Mullan Cup – Best Junior Cert Result 2007 – Clodagh Lennon; Hearty Award – Best Pre-Leaving 2008 - Justin Brayden; Best Leaving Cert Result 2007 – Caroline Keating; Irish Cup- Junior Cert – Aoife Ward & Nicholas O’ Callaghan; Sen MacSuibhne Award – Senior Irish – Zerena Corentin.
Student Council Awards: 1. Maurice Murphy; 2. Justin Brayden; 3. Jim McEneaney; 4. Niall Lennon; 5. Grinne Mackin; 6. Sonia Callan; 7. Sean Fingleton; 8. Lyndsey Culleton; 9. Jenny McFaul; 10. David Lally; 11. Stephen Lally; 12. Tim Hyland; 13. Niamh Halpenny; 14. Stephanie Rice; 15. Conor Murphy; 16. Niamh McKeever; 17. Katie Bailey; 18. Aoife Ward; 19. James Yore.