Leinster Schools Track and Field – reports by Senan O’ Reilly (parent) and Ms. Mullen (teacher)
The Irish Life Health Leinster Schools T&F Championships took place at Morton Stadium, Santry on 16 and 19 May. This event has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Wexford athletes in recent years. And so it was again last week with athletes from schools across the county making their mark in all categories from Minor through to Senior. Loreto Wexford, in particular, made their presence felt ending the championships as the most successful Co. Wexford school and placing near the top of the overall medals table.
Here, in brief, are the main results for the school:
- Eimear Halpin won the Minor Discus with a throw of 25.22m.
- In the Junior 800m Eimear Fortune was the width of a singlet away from a podium place, her time of 2.27.44m being 0.01s behind the Bronze medal winner.
- Aoife O’ Connor in 2nd year was 3rd in the under 16 long jump with a distance of 4.45 m.
- In Intermediate Girls Róisín O’Reilly started her Leinster campaign with a Silver medal in the 1500m Steeplechase (5.23.05 mins). Ahead of her was last year’s All-Ireland Schools runner-up Róisín Tracey who is currently chasing a place on the Youth Olympics team. The Wexford Róisín went one better in the 1500m when she won a spirited last-lap duel to take the Gold in a time of 4.51.34 mins. She must now choose which race to go for in the All-Irelands.
- Aisling Kelly placed a very respectable 4th place in a high class Inter 100m final in a time of 12.33s.
- Danika Gilshinan placed 5th in the Inter 800m (2.29.54 mins).
- Amy Forde (6th year) was 3rd in the Senior Girls Discus with a throw of 33.63 m.
- 4th place in the Senior Shot Putt was claimed by Zara Power from 5th
- In Inter High Jump a heavily-strapped Maeve Hayes was happy to qualify for Nationals with a Silver medal winning 1.50m jump. She will be hoping that the injury that has curtailed her activities over the past couple of months is behind her.
- The Loreto 4x100m Relay team of Liadh Dwyer, April Keeling, Rachel Power and Aisling Kelly took a brilliant Silver behind a very strong St Vincent’s Dundalk team. With a little technical work they should be in the mix at the All-Irelands.
Good luck to all girls at the All-Irelands in Tullamore on 2 June.
Poetry Ireland success – report by Senan O’ Reilly (parent)
Sinéad O’Reilly, a 1st year student at Loreto Wexford, is proving herself to be something of a burgeoning literary talent having won her second award at a major poetry competition.
Sinéad (13) was outright winner of the Post-Primary Junior category at the annual Trócaire / Poetry Ireland Competition 2018. This is her second year to win an award in the competition as her poem ‘Foreboding’ garnered her a runner-up prize last year. Poetry Ireland Director Maureen Kennelly was one of the first to congratulate Sinéad on her success.
In her address, Ms. Kennelly mentioned that, in a packed calendar of events, the competition is one of those which she most enjoyed. She praised all of the prize-winners saying that, given the volume of entries received and the difficult task the judges had in making their selections, their awards should be cherished.
The competition has been running for seven years as a collaboration between Trócaire and Poetry Ireland. Its primary aim is to use “the arts to raise awareness about the leading global issues of our time”. Each year has a different theme and that for 2018 was ‘Until Love Conquers Fear’. This year’s award ceremony at the National Library of Ireland was introduced and presented by Trócaire’s Patricia Groves, an established author, and Poetry Ireland Education Officer, Jane O’Hanlon.
Sinéad’s poem, ‘The Olive Tree’, was singled out by Éamonn Meehan, Exec. Director of Trócaire, for its strong symbolism and the power of its message. Having just returned from Palestine he said that the olive tree has huge significance, both economically and emotionally, to those living there under such trying conditions. Thousands of olive trees have been cut down to make way for illegal settlements. The Olive Tree Campaign is the response of a number of farmers and their families. It involves planting olive trees on land under threat of takeover.
In ‘The Olive Tree’ the nostalgia evoked in the lines: “He remembers picking olives with his father / In the warm evening sun”, cannot hide the sense of upheaval, loss and fear which has been experienced by so many Palestinians.
Recent years have, unfortunately, provided us with plenty of other examples of countries and regions in which war, political instability and climate change have led to thousands of lives lost and millions displaced, Mr. Meehan added.
Take Syria: “11 million people forced to flee their homes. Over 5 million have sought safety in other countries, with 6.5 million displaced inside Syria”.
Eileen Casey, an award-winner in the Adult Published category with ‘The Power Of Poems’, says “Poems detonate hope in those who are cast down”. It is this simple fact, so eloquently expressed by Ms. Casey, that makes the union between Trócaire and Poetry Ireland so vital and timely.
Sinéad, from Spawell Road, Wexford, who describes herself as a lover of literature, a bibliophile even, said she looks forward to putting pen to paper whenever the muse strikes. She says she would like to see lots more Wexford children taking part in this competition. According to Sinéad, one does not require any expertise to write poetry. “Your poems do not need to rhyme or have a particular structure,” she says. “There are no rules.”
And it gets you a day off school!
The Olive Tree
He gazes out the window
Through shattered glass,
The tree of his childhood
Jagged and broken.
He remembers picking olives with his father
In the warm evening sun.
A distant boom jolts him back to reality.
This town is a ghost town.
Grey shadows slink silently through the rubble,
One eye on the ground, the other on the sky.
A broken people
In this town wrecked by war.
One day this will end.
A new tree will grow
And he will pick olives again.
School Prizegiving Ceremony – report by Ms. Griffin (organising teacher)
On Monday, 21 May, we made our way to Rowe Street church for our prize giving ceremony.
The service included presentations being made to Prefects, Students’ Council Members, Meitheal and Cara leaders, Sports Captains and Vice-Captains and Head Girls. The Student Achievement Awards were presented to students for their positive contribution to school life. These students had been nominated by both teachers and students. Special sports awards were presented to students to recognise their excellent contribution to various sports. The Parents’ Council sponsored the Sports Achievement Awards which are presented to 6th year students who represented the school in various sports from 1st year to 6th year.
The Spirit of Marianne MacGonagle Perpetual Award was presented to Clodagh Jackman by Mr. Brian MacGonagle. Rebecca Jones, 6th year, received the Principal’s Award. Other special awards included The Spirit of Inclusion award to Niamh Coleman, Justice and Peace award to Olivia Middleton. The Spirit of transition Award went to Ellen Lambert. Gia Simmons’ participation in the Rotary Leadership Awards was also acknowledged. Gia won the school and Wexford Rotary Club final. She went on to represent Wexford in the regional final.
The ceremony was interspersed with beautiful musical performances. Ciara Breen and Saoirse Bates sang “Red is the Rose”. Sadhbh Murphy performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. The Instrumental Group played ”A Whiter Shade of Pale”.
Academic awards went to Philome Power for Art. The Modern Languages Award went to Aisling Caldicott. Aisling was also awarded the Una Hickey English Cup. Doireann O’Sullivan recieved Gradam na Gaeilge. The Sister Mary Walshe Memorial Cup for music was awarded to Holly Rossiter.
Thirty four students received certificates to recognise their full attendance during the year.
These are some of the many awards presented during the ceremony. We congratulate all the students who received awards on their achievements during the year.
The school extends its best wishes to its students who will be sitting their Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations from Wednesday, 6 June to Friday, 22 June 2018.