March Newsletter

   Dear <<First Name>>

As I write these words, the sun is shining, the magnolia trees are in blossom, and there is a definite sense of spring being in the air. The equinox has come and gone and the days are getting longer. It is a hopeful time of year. In a few short weeks, Christians will celebrate Easter, the greatest feast in our calendar, when we celebrate the ultimate triumph of light over darkness in the resurrection of Our Lord from the dead. This central truth of the Christian faith brings strength and courage when we are faced with challenges, suffering or injustice, whether on the global scale or here in our school. 

The longer days also remind us that the year is moving fast. Our Transition Year students will shortly complete the school-based part of their year and will be heading off on exchange. I look forward to their presentations on the year's work before the Easter holidays. The season for oral exams and project submission is upon our Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students and we wish them all the confidence and wisdom that they need as they face into the final part of this exam year. Meanwhile, in the midst of all the teaching, studying and learning, some truly wonderful and wondrous things have been taking place inside and outside the school. The variety of activities and the number of students involved fill me with delight, and more than a little pride.

With good wishes to all.

Fr Martin Browne OSB
Recent News
The Boys Choir performing at the memorial service in the Regional Hospital

Choir Wins at Limerick Choral Festival
Congratulations to Fr Columba and the School Choir for being awarded Gold in the Plain Chant and Early Music section at the Limerick Choral Festival held on Saturday 2nd March in St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick.

It was a busy weekend for the choir who apart from singing at Mass also went into the Regional Hospital on Sunday afternoon to sing at a memorial service there for children who have died in the hospital in the past year. It was a very moving occasion, and the choir sang beautifully throughout. We are indeed fortunate to have such a high-quality choir in our school.

Congratulations to all.
First Prize in Mathematics Olympiad
The Glenstal team of Inish Crisson, Michael Gilbride, Lucas Bachmann and Seán Gilbride took first place in the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association Olympiad Final which was held in Renehan Hall in St Patrick's College Maynooth.

Congratulations to all those involved and many thanks to Mr Thomas Franklin (pictured with the team) for preparing and encouraging the boys for the competition.
Cormac Feeley Wins Silver in Coxed Fours

Cormac Feeley (5th Year) and the Castleconnell Rowing team took Silver in the Junior Under 18s Coxed Fours at the Enniskillen Regatta held on Saturday 2nd March.

Cormac rises early three mornings each week to train in Castleconnell, and the silver medal is a tribute to his dedication at this sport.

KBS/BSTAI Junior Certificate Business Studies Awards
by Laurence Tuohy (TY)

After plenty of diligent work from both myself and James Hales, all that was stopping us from attending this amazing event was this dreaded envelope - our Junior Cert results. We anxiously received our results in September while walking the hills of the Spanish countryside on the Camino trip. It was good news; we got the A! Our business teachers had been encouraging us to strive for this achievement for almost three years now!

Through countless exam paper questions, many late nights, painstaking accounts to balance, and the hot June Junior Cert, we got there. To be sitting among other students from all over Munster in the UL Concert Hall was an honour. That night, Wednesday 6th March, we both dressed up nattily in our Glenstal formal wear and walked with pride. As my name was called to collect my Award, I could feel my heart thumping with a concoction of excitement and nervousness. 

Many photos, beverages and congratulations later we returned to Glenstal proud of our achievement. Overall it was truly an honour to be recognised, and it was a very convivial night. 

I would like to thank Ms O’Sullivan and Ms O’Connell for all of their hard work in helping us effectuate such amazing work. 


Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at Féile Luimnigh
Once again, Glenstal students scooped many medals in the Féile Luimnigh Finals held on 10th March:

Elfrieda Atkinson Memorial Cup for Sacred Songs:
  • Zach O'Connor came second singing Pie Jesu
  • Luke Nicholas came third singing Panis Angelicus
  • Calum Blake received a commendation, also singing Panis Angelicus
O'Dowda Cup for Musical Theatre U15
  • Zach O'Connor and Calum Blake took joint third place
Corn Uí Riordáin for Boy Trebles:
  • Luke Nicholas won the Gold Medal, Calum Blake won the Silver Medal, and Zach O'Connor won the Bronze Medal
Voice of Féile Shield and the Corn Uí Riordáin Bursary
  • Luke Nicholas won both awards
Third Years Qualify for History Quiz National Finals

Three Glenstal teams took part in the North Munster H.T.A.I. History Table Quiz held in St Munchin's recently. Congratulations to Luke Nicholas, Daniel Kennedy, James Cannon and Jack Nolan who go through to the National Finals in UCD in April. Well done to the four of them and we look forward to hearing of further success.

Many thanks to Ms Helena Foley for organising the Third Year teams and for preparing them so well.

Paul Perrot takes Bronze in Fencing Championships

Congratulations to Paul Perrot (TY) who took Bronze in the Schools National Fencing Championships held in Dalkey on Saturday 2nd March.

Paul performed excellently on the day exiting the preliminary round as the No. 1 seed and remaining so until the semi-final. This win is Glenstal's first Fencing achievement, and some promising fencers are coming up through the years. We look forward to hearing about their further accomplishments.

International Junior Science Olympiad in Botswana

by Joe Gilbride (TY)

I returned from Botswana recently where I was participating in the International Junior Science Olympiad. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I won’t soon forget.

The first thing that struck me when I was there was the heat. After three flights it wasn’t great to be stepping out an aeroplane door to a wall of heat that knocked the wind out of me. But I was too excited about the week ahead to care all that much about the heat. We took a bus to the hotel where we were staying, and it was just a complete culture shock to me.

After the first day though I began to get used to the way, things were over there. The heat became less stifling, the culture started to become more normal to me, and I was ready to start the competition. The competition comprised three exams: a multiple choice exam, a theory exam and a practical exam. To be honest, I don’t remember much of what was on the exams because I didn’t really understand most of it. What I do remember is being completely lost in the theory exam, making educated guesses in the multiple choice test and being comfortable in the practical test.

Aside from the tests, we were also taken on different trips throughout the week. We went on cultural tours of the area and went to two game reserves. At one point we went to a tribal settlement and got a tour of the village hall and got a talk about the history of the tribe. The game reserves were interesting as it gave us a chance to see terrain and animals which we are not used to. Another thing that struck me was how welcoming the people of Botswana were and how friendly the competitors and hosts were. I enjoyed the company of both my own teammates and the competitors from other countries, many of whom I am still in contact with.

All in all, I think it was a valuable experience that is definitely out of the ordinary. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to compete in another olympiad or go back to Botswana, but I hope I get to do both again. I’d definitely encourage anyone who’s willing to work hard to strive for it as it is an unforgettable experience.

Library Picture: Harry riding Monaincha-Ross

Harry Swan's First Winner

Congratulations to Harry Swan (5th Year) who rode his first winner at Navan on 18th March. He won the Bumper on Fiddler on the Roof. No doubt Harry will be featuring and winning again before long, and we wish him every success.

Emmet Aylward and Daniel O'Mahony Get Highly Commended at Science Olympiad

Sixth Years Emmet Aylward and Daniel O'Mahony were Highly Commended in the Chemistry section of the National Science Olympiad held in Dublin City University on Saturday 2nd March.

Congratulations to both Emmet and Daniel for receiving such a prestigious honour.

3rd and 6th Year Lunchtime Concert

The Third and Sixth Years treated us to some great music at lunchtime on 22nd March. They were performing ahead of their Junior Cert and Leaving Cert Musical Practicals. Well done to all who participated and thanks to Ms Hazel O'Herlihy for preparing each of the students so well.

Watch the Video Here
Upcoming Events and Activities
Easter Holidays
Easter holidays will take place from Friday 12th April - Sunday 28th April.
Early bird registration for this year’s Darkness into Light event in
Murroe (on May 11th) is now open.

Register Early for Darkness into Light 2019

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

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