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St Mary’s HF Glasnevin celebrates 75 years

image001On December 8th 1939 the President, Douglas Hyde, an Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera and other dignitaries of the day attended the laying of the foundation stone of our impressive red brick school that currently caters for over 700 students. A celebration on December 7th and 8th marked the anniversary and acclaimed the provision of excellence in education to thousands of students through the decades.

The school opened its doors on Sunday December 7th to past pupils, former teachers and friends of St Mary’s. The Gym was the Welcome area where visitors were given a map of the school and invited to have refreshments in the Choir Hall after their trip down memory lane. The school was festooned with photographs, memorabilia and interesting facts about St Mary’s over the years. Many of the artefacts were supplied by Sr. Alice, archivist in the Holy Faith Convent adjoining the school. Sr. Jacinta Prunty gave a talk on the long history of St Mary’s, Glasnevin informing the captivated audience that the boarding school was founded in 1873 to provide an education for “respectable girls.’’ The corridors rang with laughter as people of all ages remembered and related incidents from their schooldays. The current students who acted as hostesses for the day were delighted with the stories from the past. Past pupils who were among the first boarders spoke about their experience of the then brand new building, evacuations to air raid bunkers during WW2 and hearing the Luftwaffe bombs exploding in North Strand. More recent past pupils delighted their teachers with their achievements since leaving St. Mary’s.

The day concluded with Mass in the Convent chapel celebrated by Fr Richard Sheehy. The school choir sang beautifully directed by Ms O’Rourke and Mr. Coll. The Board of Management paid tribute to the dedicated, talented staff in St Mary’s and presented the school with four beautiful porcelain pieces by Isobel Egan, each piece has a quote from the foundress of the Holy Faith order, Margaret Alyward .The pieces have been hung in the entrance hallway to the school for all to enjoy. The Board also presented Mrs. Margaret Lennon, the Principal, with a personal gift to acknowledge her visionary leadership.

On Monday 8th December, the School Community celebrated the 75th Jubilee. The Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin addressed the 6th Years and the staff of St Mary’s. All other year groups attended a Prayer Service organised by the Religion Department. The day ended with a quiz ‘’How well do you know St Mary’s? “

Many thanks to all who helped organise this momentous event in the history of the school. The spirit of hard work, collaboration and dedication to education lives on in St Mary’s and will continue to do so for many, many more years, enabling the provision of an excellent all round education for “respectable girls.”

Ms. Anne Murphy

Former Deputy Principal (2007 – 2014)

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Christina Noble visits St. Louis Rathmines on Pay it Forward Day

pay it Forward day 2015On Pay it Forward Day Students in St. Louis Rathmines prepared slips of paper with 'good deeds' written on them and handed them out in the school foyer as students came in to school leading to a day of great excitement and positivity throughout the school. As it happened, Christina Noble from the Christina Noble Foundation was visiting the school on the same day where she spoke to a large cohort of students about the work the foundation does with abandoned children in Vietnam and in Mongolia. The 6th Year Social education class and the Student Representative Council raised €950 for the organisation and they presented the cheque to Christina - a real 'pay it forward' gesture. This all happened as a result of the 6th Years attending the film on the life of Christina Noble last Christmas. A student 'tweeted' that she was very inspired by the film. The 'tweet' was picked up by the Christina Noble foundation who enquired as to what school had brought students to see the film and made contact offering to visit the school. The extreme warmth and loving personality of Christian Noble made the visit a special occasion and the girls really engaged with her making the first Pay it Forward Day a memorable one in St. Louis Rathmines.

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Image 2 SLHS caoimhe Kenny with Christina Noble
SLHS students with Christina Noble

 
Le Chéile Class has a bake and book Sale For St. Michael’s House

Bring a Book Buy a Book in Beneavin De La Salle College with the Le Chéile Transition Year Group

The College had a Coffee Morning and Book Sale in the school on Friday 20th March.  The event was hosted by Transition Year students and co-ordinated by the TY team of Ms O’Brien, Ms Baird and Mr Poole assisted by Laura Davis and Ann White, the administrators as well as  the Parent Council.  On the day the school had a Bring-a-Book, Buy-a-Book event with a wonderful coffee morning and there were lots of great books available to buy for €2.

The TY students also spent a day baking in advance of the event for the coffee morning so not only did the participants enjoy the books but also the wonderful baking of the TY students under the guidance of  Ms Dempsey. The main purpose of the event was to raise money for St. Michael’s House.  St. Michael’s House provides services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The coffee morning itself began at 9.30 and we also welcomed students from local primary schools along.

It was a wonderful community event and raised over €600.  Money raised will all go to St. Michael’s House.

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St. Louis Monaghan a third finalist in three years

Youth Volunteer from Monaghan is recognised in Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards Programme 

Roisin Dick from Monaghan has been recognised for the motivation, service and impact she has demonstrated for her local community as a 2015 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards top 20 finalist.

Roisin Dick who is a sixth year student from St Louis Secondary School, Monaghan volunteers with Irish Water Safety, the local Arch Club and the youth committee of her local Credit Union. Her interest in helping others has extended to Tanzania where she faced many challenges working on a renovation project in a local school and orphanage.

Volunteering her time throughout the week with people with special needs and teaching lifesaving and basic life support skills to children and teachers.  This keeps Rosin busy but as she explains helping those less fortunate than herself and seeing the look on the children’s faces makes it all worthwhile. “The work that I do locally has a real positive effect on the community. My trip to Tanzania as a volunteer was a personal challenge. I wanted to visit a country with a different culture and the entire experience was amazing.”

Teacher Marie McDonnell says Roisin is a responsible and highly motivated young lady who is always sensitive to the needs of others.  “Roisin has excellent leadership qualities and her commitment to everything she does is superb. I admire her perseverance and diligence and she is also very thorough and decisive in everything she undertakes.”

The only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind is run in partnership with The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) and recognises outstanding acts of volunteerism by Ireland's youth.

Twenty post-primary students, who hail from all corners of f Ireland, will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at the gala awards ceremony on 12th March in the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa by special guest Brent Pope.  At the gala, two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year and will receive €1,000 for a charity of their choice, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.

“The caliber of entrants was exceptional this year and we’re delighted to recognise and showcase such exemplary young people,” said Andrea McBride, vice president, Pramerica. “Since we launched the programme in 2006, the awards has given us the opportunity to acknowledge the voluntary activities of hundreds of extraordinary youth ambassadors who are actively making a difference in their communities. They are the future leaders in our society and they are a benchmark for other young people to strive towards.  We are thrilled to honour their commitment to volunteerism through this awards programme.”

 
Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders’ Congress a report by Caroline Leetch St. Louis Community School Kiltimagh

Student Leader’s Congress 2015

image2On Wednesday 14th of January, the Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders’ Congress took place in the RDS Dublin. The aim of the annual Congress is to encourage help-seeking behaviour in young people by promoting the message It’s OK not to feel OK, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’. The Congress brought together young adults and teachers from all over Ireland who battled snowy road conditions to attend the event.  They were all passionate about one main issue - breaking the cycle of suicide on our island of Ireland!

The Student Leaders’ Congress as its name suggests is very much a student-led event and a large portion of the day involves students: discussing projects they have engaged with, providing entertainment, conducting peer interviews and interacting with a range of mental health organisations exhibiting on the day.

I attended the Congress as a Student Leader Ambassador.  I became an ambassador last year after undergoing a residential training Programme at Kippure Estate in Wicklow. I was selected for the programme following a selection process having been nominated by my school.  In the course of this amazing, life -changing training programme, we had the opportunity of gaining many new skills such as social entrepreneurship skills, communication, teamwork and leadership skills. This leadership programme had a profound impact on me and I am committed to playing my part towards eliminating the stigma of mental illness in my school and community.

The theme of this year’s Congress was ‘Appreciate Your Mind’. This theme was chosen by myself and the 13 other fantastic Student Leader Ambassadors during our stay at Kippure. Over a 100 schools including St. Louis Community School, attended the Congress totaling an astounding 4000 people. Each school is aspiring to become a Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador school for 2015. The Ambassador School Programme aims to encourage schools to become actively involved in mental health promotion. The programme provides a framework, structure and incentive for schools to integrate mental health activities into the school plan, and rewards schools who go the extra mile.

Each school was asked to produce a project based on the Congress theme. This was a very enjoyable and interactive way to get students engaging and participating in the promotion of positive mental health. Some schools made a video or they created a poster campaign in their school community. Some others created an artefact or an inspiration wall.
St. Louis chose to create a video, ’10 ways to appreciate your mind’, and our ingenious video clip was played as part of the project showcase. It was truly amazing to witness the great impact the projects had on everyone.

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Throughout the Congress there was an abundance of speakers, all of whom had their own unique story to tell. The congress began with an inspiring talk by Bressie, and then there was a Panel Discussion on Mental Health. The panel consisted of: Bressie, as the Chair, Alan Quinlan, Conor Cusack, Seamus Hennessey and Ellie Mc Namara.  Each captivating discussion left each and every person in awe of how brave, courageous and willing the speakers were throughout their journeys and struggles.

The Congress was a huge success, and I’m delighted to be able to say that everyone took something home with them whether it was a Cycle Against Suicide Jersey, an inspiring story, a poster, or even a nice hot cup of coffee. As one of the student leader ambassadors working on the day it was without a doubt, a very busy day, but it was also one of my most, influential, spectacular, and inspiring experiences I have ever had.


After being involved in the Cycle Against Suicide campaign there has been a prodigious increase in the existing awareness of positive mental health in our school. By working together, shoulder to shoulder, we have been able to spread the significant message, It’s Ok not to feel OK, and absolutely OK to ask for help’. We strive to continue our work in raising awareness of this prevalent issue, and we know we are helping to break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland!


- Caroline Leetch

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