January Newsletter

Dear <<First Name>>

Met Éireann lists the 1st March as the official beginning of Spring, however, in times past, the 1st of February was considered the first day of Spring as was known as Imbolc; now celebrated as Lá Fhéile Bríde or St Brigid’s day. 

While we have certainly experienced all four seasons in one week here, there are definite signs of renewal and growth as flowers and green shoots are appearing all over the park and woodland.

We have gathered together some of the highlights of the first four weeks of term - I am always astonished at how busy these young men are -  it has been a hive of activity here.

The Mocks begin next week and I would like to wish all of our 3rd and 6th Years the very best of luck; they should remember they will be rewarded with a long relaxing break at mid-term!

Best wishes,

Fr Simon
Recent News

Record Win in the IMTA Maths Quiz

A team comprised of Lucas Bachmann, Michael Gilbride and Seán Gilbride won the IMTA Team Maths Quiz in the Limerick/Clare region on 25th January. Eight different schools were represented with a total of 17 teams. Glenstal's score was the highest ever recorded for this event. The boys will now go on to represent the region at national level.

Senior Debating Society Success in UCC Competition

The Senior Debating Society has had a very successful run in the UCC Schools Debating Competition. Of the five Glenstal teams that participated, three made it to the quarterfinals in Cork on Wednesday 23rd January with Richard Enright and Hugo McElligott making it through to the semi-finals. These will take place in mid-February. An in-house league competition will also begin in February for both budding and accomplished orators.

Paris Trip - Notre Voyage Scolaire À Paris

Twenty-three 2nd-Year French students recently enjoyed a three-day trip to Paris with Fr John, Kieran Sparling, and Eleanor Egan visiting some of the wonders of Paris. A detailed account of the trip has been written by John Twomey.

Notre Voyage Scolaire À Paris
By John Twomey
Last Wednesday, at an ungodly hour of the morning Father John, Kieran Sparling and Eleanor Egan set off to Paris via Dublin airport with myself and twenty-three other tired boys. We got some fitful sleep on the bus before arriving at Dublin airport. We went through the airport groggy but excited. We were all awoken by the bustling C.D.G airport. Outside arrivals our coach was waiting for us. As Fr. John kept reminding us we were on a tight schedule so we were straight up to Montparnasse where we saw the impressive Basilica of Sacré-Coeur and got an amazing view of the city. We also got our first taste of Parisian crêpes. After a quick bus journey, we were strolling around Jardin des Tuileries which I thought were a very peaceful compared to the hum of the city around us. We then wandered down the glass pyramids of the Louvre. Back on the bus, Fr. John gave us his wistful insight on the Paris opera house. Beside the opera house is the vast Galeries Lafayette where we were very happy to browse for two hours. We were then joined on the bus by a Parisian with a great knowledge of the city who gave us a brilliant bus tour of the city. I was guilty of dozing a few times during the tour but let's not mention that. My highlight of the tour came next when we climbed fifty-six stairs of the Tower Montparnasse where we got a breath-taking view of Paris and the Eiffel tower.

Thursday morning, we were up bright and early for the busy day ahead. We travelled to the Palace of Versailles where I was shocked by the sheer size and vastness of the place. The rooms were decorated so lavishly, gold everywhere you looked. The gardens that stretched on forever were beautiful in the snow. We couldn't resist a quick snowball fight. We then went to the heart of Paris, the Arc De Triomphe. We saw the grave of the unknown soldier before climbing up to the top where we saw the twelve streets radiating from the Arc De Triomphe. We were then given the opportunity to stroll down the Champs-Élysées. That was a great experience for all the shoppers among us. Over the bridge to Île de la Cité and Notre Dame. We saw the spot that marked the centre of Paris. I thought the stained rose glass windows were really cool. The Gothic architecture hallowing with its spires, towers and flying buttresses were vraiment magnifique. We then walked le quartier Latin of the city which was really cheerful and relaxed. There we had some free time to explore and look around the cafes and shops. On our way back to the hotel we stopped for a much-needed pizza hut. After getting back to the hotel a few of us travelled to the Disneyland Paris village where the snow was bucketing down which was really cool.

On the third day we travelled to the Musée d'Orsay which was another of my highlights of the trip. We saw works from Van Gogh and Renoir which were really interesting. We spent a lot of time exploring the museum. We then went to the Eiffel Tower where we got some brilliant photos. A boat trip down the Seine was next on the agenda where we saw Paris from a different perspective. It was interesting but quite cold. We were then brought to Stade De France where we received a really good tour of the grounds from a wonderful tour guide. Unfortunately, when we arrived at Basilique St. Denis it was closed but we saw the building. It is a huge cathedral where the Kings of France were buried in the past. Fr. John gave us a great history lesson on the place. We then returned to C.D.G. (another day shopping would have been the icing on the cake according to Billy Twomey). We arrived back in Dublin tired but happy. Thank you very much to Kieran Sparling and Eleanor Egan for putting up with us for the trip.

I speak for myself and the other boys when I say we had a fantastic trip organised wonderfully by Fr. John.

Bronze Medal in the Irish Junior Cert Maths Quiz

A team made up of Luke Nicholas, Daniel Kennedy, Stefan Caulfield Dreier & Ódran Furlong came 3rd in the Irish Applied Mathematics Quiz held at NUI Galway on 24th January.

5th Year Economics Class attend Claire Byrne Live
After much planning, our 5th Year Economics class finally had the great opportunity to see Claire Byrne Live in Dublin which was an educational and enjoyable experience for all.

By Henri Cramer

After long term planning, our 5th-year Economics class finally had the great opportunity to see Claire Byrne Live in Dublin.

On the day, the classes couldn’t have seemed longer and we all couldn’t wait to go. We left Glenstal at 5.00pm As a stop at Obama Plaza is essential to any trip towards Dublin, we filled up on some Pizza and Soft-drinks.

Finally, the three-hour journey to the RTE studios had an end. Arriving there we took a picture in front of the RTE sign, which is now hanging in MIss O'Sullivan's classroom. When going into the waiting area we were all given cards to fill out with a question we wanted to ask on the show. The main topic of that night was very foreseeable, Brexit. The manager and Claire Byrne were very impressed by a couple of questions the lads and I asked. For my question, they wanted me to raise my hand during the show and give me an opportunity to ask this. I was thrilled and couldn’t keep my hand down. As a disappointing result, there was no time for me to ask my question, whether Ireland is ready for a Brexit in the skies. This really interested me as a German national travelling between Glenstal and Berlin almost monthly. Well, a senior citizen argued too long with Claire Byrne, and the guests invited to the show, which sadly was the result of my arm almost falling off, but me not being able to ask my question. Although this was dragging me down for a couple of minutes, the trip was still an incredible experience.

Seeing such a debate live and not in front of a screen is something everyone should definitely experience. Especially with the topic Brexit, as this is something world changing that will impact every countries economy in any type of way. Interesting to see, was how unprepared everyone actually is for March 29th, especially with the failed vote on Theresa May’s referendum.

After the show, we were able to have a short chat with Claire Byrne herself as well as taking a picture with her as a group. After the show, we were all pretty tired and couldn’t wait to be back in our beds. The adventure had an end when we came back to Glenstal at 3 am. Luckily, we were able to sleep a little late and enjoy a late breakfast the next morning.

Definitely, this was the best school trip I was able to experience to this point. I can speak for all the lads when I say, that I would definitely go back to Dublin to see another show. 

Finally, we would like to thank Ms O’Sullivan for organising this trip and enabling us to experience what real-life Economics and its problems are like.

We would also like to thank the Glenstal caterers for providing us with packed lunches and a late breakfast the morning after.

Medal Winners at Féile Luimnigh

Glenstal won an impressive hoard of medals and certificates at this year's Féile Luimnigh held on 24th and 25th January:

  • Jack Given and Cormac Murphy were awarded Certificates of Merit in the Under 14 Impromptu Speaking.
  • Calum Blake took a very impressive Gold in Under 15 Solo Verse amongst a group of 23 competitors.
  • Ethan Tierney won Gold in the Under 14 Poetry Sight Reading. Ethan also won Silver in Solo Verse.
  • George Von Stranz won Gold in Senior Public Speaking.
  • Henri Cramer won Gold in Under 17 Public Speaking.
  • Matthew Lynne won Bronze in Senior Poetry Reading.

Uiseann Cooke Wins Galway Athlete of the Year Award

Uiseann Cooke (5th Year, shown on the far left) was named as Galway Young Athlete Swimmer of the Year for 2018.

What a year Uiseann has had winning Gold in the 50m Breaststroke at the Irish Summer Nationals in addition to claiming Silver in the 200m Breaststroke in a field of top international competitors at the same Championships.

Over the course of last year, Uiseann also qualified for a plethora of finals, including the Irish and Scottish Opens and these performances did not go unnoticed as he was the only Galway swimmer to be selected on the 25 strong Irish National Squad.

In December last Uiseann capped off a fine season when he was part of the Limerick Junior team that broke the Irish record in the 4 x 50 Medley Relay.

Erasmus Trip to Germany
Six members of the 2nd Year German class took part in a week-long Erasmus trip to Munsterschwarzach. Please click the link below to read Fr William's in-depth account of the trip.
Read More
Special Performance
One of the highlights of assembly this month was having Br Jarek performing a traditional Polish song on the violin accompanied by Br Cyprian on the organ. A uniquely magnificent performance.
Watch Here
Upcoming Events and Activities
Machu Picchu Expedition Training Day - Slieve Felim Way
Sunday 3rd February @ 8:30 am
The Earth’s Edge Expedition Leader will meet the team at Glenstal Abbey and travel on the school bus to the starting point of the trek, Toor, Co Tipperary. The trek will finish back in Glenstal Abbey by around 4:30 pm.
Mock Exams
The junior and leaving cert mocks will be held from 4th February - 15th February.
School's Out for Mid-Term!
Mid-term break will take place from Friday 15th February - Sunday 24th February.
2nd Year Ski Trip
The 2nd Year ski trip to Italy will take place during the mid-term break, departing on Saturday 16th February and returning on Saturday 23rd February.
The Glenstal Parent's Ball will take place on Saturday 2nd March at the Dunraven Arms Hotel, Adare, Co. Limerick. This will be a black-tie evening commencing with a drinks reception on arrival followed by a four-course dinner to include wine, after which entertainment will be provided in the form of a band and a disco.

For new parents and guardians, the ball is a great opportunity to meet with the parents from your son's year group.  Year groups are typically seated together. This evening promises to be a fun-filled event. Anybody wishing to stay the night or indeed the weekend can avail of the special rate of 130 B&B (double room). Please contact the hotel directly to book your accommodation.  Telephone (061)605900 or email
Tickets for the Ball are priced at  €100 per person, payment can be made by bank transfer to the following:
Account: Glenstal Parents Fundraising
IBAN – IE98 BOFI 9043 1719 4812 97
Please ensure to include your name and your son’s year (i.e. John Brown 4) to enable the funds and seating be allocated correctly.
Please purchase your tickets as soon as possible or before 15th February.
Please feel free to share with your family and friends
Copyright © Glenstal Abbey School 2018, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Glenstal Abbey School
Co. Limerick, V94 HC84

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Glenstal Abbey School · Glenstal Abbey · Murroe, Limerick V94 A725 · Ireland

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