Fr Dunphy and Fr Shem administered ashes to all students to mark the beginning of Lent/Ash Wednesday in our new Chapel.
Our Annual Tractor run on Friday was a huge success, with an impressive total of twenty-three tractors on show. The aim of this student-led event was to raise awareness and funds for Embrace Farm, a Farm Accident Support Network. A non-uniform day was organised in conjunction with the event. Well done to all.
The name Chris Conway is synonymous with the famed Gaelic Football nursery, Knockbeg College. As a pupil he was a decorated footballer and to the fore of his teams but his real impact has been since his return to the teaching staff in 2002. The school had decided to drop to the B competition at schools level. Conway had an immediate impact as a coach winning South Leinster, Leinster B league and Championships that year.
The school returned quickly to A level, and in 2003 he the led the College, with Fr. Dan Dunne, to u16 glory. With Mr John Rouse joining Chris at the helm, Knockbeg contested Leinster Senior finals in ’04 and ’05, famously winning the ’05 decider with a late free. That team continued to the All Ireland final against St Mary’s Galway and recorded a famous victory in Semple stadium to capture the prestigious Hogan Cup. The school continues to compete annually at A level, a remarkable achievement for a school of such a small student population. His eye for player development and retention ensures that no talent goes wasted and all players will get a chance to improve themselves. The school has contested a number of Leinster finals in recent years across the age grades and Chris himself was on the line alongside side Laois Ladies Footballer Ms Jane Moore for this year’s U14 Leinster football final against St Mels, Longford.
While the victories grab the headlines his best work may be in the sheer volume of young men who he has influenced and encouraged to fulfill their potential. The team sheets of the surrounding GAA clubs and inter-county squads are filled with past pupils. He has also shown a deep interest and encouragement to all aspects of the sporting life of the college and as an educator has touched the lives of thousands. His personal energy and drive has ensured the continuation of a strong culture within the school which will serve it well for decades to come.
At the Carlow GAA Annual Awards night in Mount Wolseley, Chris received an award in recognition of his huge contribution to Secondary Schools GAA.
Last Friday, January 31st, saw the end of an era for Knockbeg College as friends and family of Tony Monaghan gathered in The Lord Bagenal to celebrate his contribution to the College as caretaker over the past 20 years.
Many teaching staff, current and former, kitchen and domestic staff, secretarial and ancillary staff as well as various personnel who worked with Tony over the years turned up to bid farewell to the much loved caretaker.
Tony was the man responsible for the up keep of the school. He was and had to be a jack of all trades – caretaker, general maintenance, plumber, electrician, gardener; the list goes on.
Tony had a great rapport with everybody in Knockbeg and was highly regarded by all and this was reflected in the many colleagues, friends and family members who joined with him to mark this special occasion.
Tony will be fondly missed in the Knockbeg community and by his own admission he will miss the banter and the commraderie.
We wish Tony all the best in his retirement and hope he enjoys a long, happy and healthy life. Thanks Tony from all in Knockbeg!
The Kilquan players cast their Drama/play “Love Thy Neighbour” in Coon Hall, Co. Kilkenny. The cast includes some of our past students and of course, present teacher – Mr. Tom Murphy. This year, the players very kindly agreed to allow Knockbeg run the raffle on their first night, 7th February. All money raised will go towards the rising costs of producing this year’s College Annual.
St. Mary’s Knockbeg College Past Pupils’ Union will hold its AGM on Friday 24th of January. A tour of the new school buildings will be provided from 6.30pm prior to Mass at 7.30pm. The AGM will commence at 8pm to review the events of the year and plan for future activities. Light refreshments will be provided afterwards. All Past Pupils welcome!
Mr Carew & Monsignor Byrne welcomed past pupil Andrew (Andy) Quinlan back to Knockbeg yesterday. A boarder from 1958-1963, Andy was educated at Knockbeg under the “Quinlan Burse”. He later went on to set up the first “Mobile Phone”System(088) in Ireland in 1983 on behalf of Ericsson for Eircell.
Andy’s career in Ericsson involved working on prototypes of leading edge Telecommunications & IT technology. It was thanks to the late Fr James Kaye, his science teacher in Knockbeg, that gave him the interest in Technology. After a tour of the new and re-developed buildings by Mr Carew & Monsignor Byrne, Andy was interviewed by 2nd year student Luke Doogue, for our College annual which will be published later in the year.
Andy has kindly offered to donate some folders and instruments, such as the “Ericsson Review” documents, which may inspire some of our students to pursue a career in technology!
Our Junior Basketball team and their coaches, Ms Dowling and Mr Maxwell, were presented with sports tops by Mr Bolger and Mr Conway, on behalf of the Past Pupils’ Union . Having Defeated Castleknock CC (65-36) and Rockwell College (52-42) in the All Ireland Playoffs, they now progress to the All Ireland Quarter Finals in two weeks time.
Congatulations to our former students Donal Kaye and Oisín Chelmiah who received academic scholarships to the Institute of Technology, Carlow at a presentation ceremony this week. Both have entered the Faculty of Science. Donal is studying for a Bacholer of Science in Biosciences and Oisín is undertaking an Honours Bachelor of Science in Cybercrime and IT Security. Both had the highest points total of all entrants in their chosen area of study.
Donal Kaye and Oisin Chelmiah, with Mr Carew (Principal), and Mr Hoyne (Careers & Guidance Counsellor) at the IT Carlow Entrance Scholarship Presentation Ceremony recently.