A great man, and great friend both of the English Department and of St Columba’s, left us recently. Professor T.P. Dolan, of the English Department of University College Dublin, more commonly known as ‘Terry’, visited us for over 35 years until recent times. His funeral was held earlier today in Kingscourt, County Cavan, where he was buried alongside his mother, and we were represented by the current and former Heads of English.

In his homily, the priest appositely quoted Goldsmith:
“And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.”

Terry’s particular talent was a humorous lightness of touch, in discussing language and literature, that belied the deep scholarship on which that knowledge rested. This talent became known nationally-recognised due to his weekly slot on the Sean Moncrieff show on Newstalk FM, in which he explained the etymology of a bewildering range of words. This was also his party piece for so many Literary Society meetings here over the years: no pupil could catch him out (though at times he stretched things: he would look you in the eye and insist after some rather unlikely explanation “It’s true”, while a twinkle in his eye suggested otherwise). Regular subjects for his talks included American English, Geoffrey Chaucer (see below) and of course Hiberno-English: his masterpiece is his book A Dictionary of Hiberno-English, regularly updated, the definitive collection of English as it is used all over Ireland. He also particularly enjoyed talking about ‘bad’ language, his Queen’s College Oxford voice articulating the origins of the ‘f’ word to startled pupils. The photograph at the top of this post shows him lecturing in the Lower Argyle on a Saturday evening.

Terry’s Hiberno-English website can still be accessed via the Web Archive here.

In February 2008 Terry suffered a shock stroke that confined him to Tallaght Hospital for a long time. Visiting him there was to witness again his ease with everyone, particularly the nurses and doctors who looked after him, and his fellow patients. In these distressing circumstances, he never faltered from his inner core: kindness and cheerfulness. Almost a year later he returned to the Sean Moncrieff Show to public delight, and in February 2010 he gave an interview to Marian Finucane on surviving his stroke. Indeed, he became a prominent advocate of stroke awareness.

He was in great form when I interviewed him for a podcast on his beloved Geoffrey Chaucer. So here‘s a 30-minute treat from ten years ago (and at the bottom of this post).

Terry was also a stalwart of our annual Transition Year English evenings in May as a guest speaker, always commenting on pupils’ work with great sensitivity. He never patronised 16 year-olds but found the best in what they wrote. His imprimatur always gave such pleasure to them.

Terry Dolan was a wonderful man. May he rest in peace.

JMG

[first posted on SCC English]

We are holding our regular summer term Open Evening on Thursday, May 16th 2019, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and all are welcome: places may be booked by contacting the Admissions Officer, Amanda Morris via the contact form below or by emailing admissions@stcolumbas.ie.

Visitors are welcome at the Main House from 6.30pm. At 7pm there will be a short presentation by staff on the school, followed by 30-minute tours conducted by Junior pupils.

Register Your Interest

2 + 6 = ?

Open Evening Poster 2019

The end of the Hilary Term generally marks the end of the rugby, hockey and basketball season so it is the perfect time to reflect on the season as a whole. The final few weeks are always busy and usually involved some high-stakes knock out games, in all codes.

Firstly, to Basketball. Congratulations to the Minor Girls Basketball team (pictured above) who were crowned South Dublin Basketball League champions after defeating Holy Child Killiney (after double overtime) in the thrilling final of their league on Monday. Raichael Murray scored the winning basket with six seconds remaining in the game while Elizabeth Hart was awarded the MVP for her outstanding performance. The Minor Girls also reached the East Region semifinal lost narrowly to Mt. Anville 16-18. This was the first year, in recent College history, that the Minor Girls we have reached the knock out stages in this competition. The Junior Girls reached the East Region quarterfinals back in February losing to St. Colmcilles. They also missed out on a place in the South Double League with a loss to Sion Hill in early March, despite a great defensive hustle from the dynamic Spanish duo of Laura Casasus and Lucia Garcia. In January, the Senior Girls played their South Dublin Basketball League semifinal against Loreto Dalkey; Kate Maylor, the team captain, led the charge with great passion and spirit but, despite the team’s best efforts, they lost 30-36.

The Senior Rugby squad played a friendly against a touring German team Rugby Klub 03 from Berlin (coached by a former member of staff Graham Dean, photo above) with Peter Keogh scoring a hat-trick. Their season finished on Saturday 23rd with an internal Stayers (4th and 5th form) v Leavers (6th form), it was great to see many boys return to the rugby pitch for the last time at St. Columba’s. The Junior Rugby squad qualified for the quarter-finals of their post-Christmas league, losing in the final minutes against Blackrock J4’s in a nail-biting game. Tibradden have played a regular series of games against Clongowes, St Pauls and De La Salle in recent weeks.

The Senior Boys Hockey team had a largely unsuccessful season in the league but they had an opportunity to get their hands on some silverware in the Senior Trophy. They eased through their quarterfinal against Sutton Park winning 3-0. However, they were then drawn against a strong Wesley College team in the semifinal.  Even though the team put up an excellent fight they were well beaten.  A special mention must go to Georg Mueller-Methling who had an excellent year as captain of the team.The minor team is one to watch for the future!  There are a number of players in this team who have the potential to play on representative teams.  The highlight of their season was reaching their league final which they narrowly lost 2-3 to The Kings Hospital.The u13 team were easily the most improved team. They struggled early on in the league managing only a draw. The second half of the season included an excellent cup run. They reached the semifinal of the cup playing against St Andrew’s College A team. Andrew’s had won the league while we lost to their B team in the same competition. At full time the score was 2-2, a fantastic achievement, but unfortunately, we lost in extra time. Frederik Strantz had a remarkable season playing matches for every age group from u13s all the way to up to the Senior Team. He is one to watch out for in seasons to come!

Over one hundred Girls Hockey matches were played this season, across the Senior (4 teams), Junior (2 teams) and Minor (2 teams) panels.  It was fantastic to see the great progress made both individually and by teams.  The remaining Senior players next season will be complemented by a set of strong Junior players and likewise, the remaining junior players will be bolstered by an enthusiastic and competent set of players from the Minor teams.  The season ended with an Iona vs Hollypark match, in which Iona emerged victorious (3-0, photo from the match above taken by Amy Cosgrove). Much thanks must be given to all the coaching staff for their time, enthusiasm and commitment, but in particular to Mrs Johnson, Ms Harkin and Dr Rice from the academic staff. Well done to the following girls who received an award in recognition of their fine season:

  • Best Minor Goalkeeper: Valentina McAree
  • Best Junior Goalkeeper: Ealga Ejase Tobrise
  • Best Senior Goalkeeper: Orla Conlon Batey, Antonia Bullrich, Camilla Garcia, Elise Williams
  • Best Minor Defender: Ines de Castro Ferreira Lopes
  • Best Junior Defender: Emily McCarthy
  • Best Senior Defender: Charlotte Moffitt & Georgia Keegan Wignall
  • Top Goal Scorer: Eva Dillenberger
  • Most Improved Player:
    • Minor B: Abbie Murray
    • Minor A: Laura Casasus
    • Junior B: Iona Chavasse
    • Junior A: Elys Walker
    •  4th XI: Paula Ruiz
    •  3rd XI: Caroline Ratibor
    • 2nd XI: Tatjana Hopkins
    • 1st XI: Éile Ní Chaináin

The summer games programme is already underway; athletics, cricket, tennis, golf and football are the summer games in the College.

Emma Hinde, Form III, reports on her experience of participating in this year’s Art Prize and on the prize giving evening, held last weekend. Emma won the Junior Art Prize this year with her painting above.

The Art Prize was different this year. It used to be just drawing or painting any picture or making something within any theme for the craft. But this year there were set themes: Journey and Identity. We also had to make a mind map relating our artwork to the chosen theme. This meant that fewer people entered fewer pieces of work, but also made it easier for our visiting artist, Conrad Frankel, to judge.

On Saturday evening, he came in to talk about his work and announce the prizes. The talk came along with a slideshow, which showed some of his paintings and how they had evolved over time. Inspirations change. He mainly paints landscapes now. We were given lots of useful tips for painting. I will tell you some of these now:

“The sky is light and the Earth is a shadow,” “Shadows are cold” and; “the best colour you can make is unnameable.”

He also told us how he started his paintings; beginning with the sky with a palette knife, looking at what he is painting with his peripheral vision to get the outline, and then blocking a silhouette of the land.

It was a very interesting talk, and then the prizes were announced. Jeanne Levesque won the Earl of Meath Senior Art Prize, Tania Stokes won the Senior Craft Prize, Verlaine Bolger won the Photography Prize, Isabel Warnock won the Junior Craft Prize, and I won the Junior Art Prize. When I heard my name and saw my paintings on the screen, I felt like I could almost have jumped up and down in joy. It was an amazing feeling.

Amelie Buzay , Form IV, reports on her experience of the recent print workshop with Debora Ando.

During Arts Week on Thursday, March 28th, Form IV and V had the opportunity to take part in a print workshop. Debora Ando, who is a specialist in printing visited St. Columba’s for this day to teach us how Intaglio Drypoint printing works.

Firstly, she showed us some examples of her work so we could see what this type of printing is about. There were many different kinds of prints in different colours and sizes. Secondly, she showed us how the actual printing works; firstly, you need to have an idea of what you want to print. If what you want to print is a photo you need to print it out first, on the other hand, if what you want to print is an idea you have in your mind you need to draw it with pencil on a sheet of paper. Once that is ready, you need a small plastic plate that is placed on the drawing. You need to use a tool called a drypoint (a wooden handle with a hard metal tip) and you scratch with it on the plastic as you were using a pencil. The lighter you scratch, the lighter the print. Once you are finished you put the chosen colour of ink on the plastic plate and spread it into the scratched image with a small piece of cardboard. After you finished that, you place the plastic plate in the printing machine. On top of this, you place a wet piece of printing cotton paper. Finally, you run your paper and plate through the print press. This called pulling a print.

We all tried doing our own piece and the results were wonderful prints. It was really interesting trying something new and we all had great fun with this workshop.

Sveva Ciofani (Form IV) describes her recent visit to KennardPhillipps exhibition ‘Finnegans Woke’ at Rua Red Arts Centre, Tallaght; this was an Arts Week event.

Unique, fun and interesting are the words that I would use to describe our Art trip. It was a sunny Wednesday and my art classmates and I took the bus with Ms Cullen to the Finnegans Woke exhibition in Tallaght. We arrived around 3pm we entered a small building  I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of interesting pieces of art in such a small building! A really pleasant man explained in detail some of the pieces and all of them had a really deep meaning. My favourite piece was the first one that we saw: a skyscraper with a background of polluted soil that represented pollution spreading nowadays. The reason why I highly appreciated this piece is that lately, we heard a lot about global warming, pollution and strikes around the globe. Another reason why I like the piece is because it wasn’t actually a painting but a photoshop, a type of art that I find really interesting because it’s related to technology and not to the typical use of markers, paint and pencils. We also saw other pieces, for example, we saw a piece that played with the shadows and represented multiple things; in all pieces, there were various meanings. In general, I thought that all pieces were really controversial and unique, they all dealt with very important themes: racism, war, pollution. These are all issues of which we need to be aware. In fact, I strongly believe that this exhibition is made for opening people’s eyes, to make people aware and most importantly to actually do something about it, so I invite everyone to go visit it.

The exhibition does not just teach us, but also involves the viewer.  In the middle of the room, there was an enormous raft made up of all the posters that were made by the visitors. I think that the raft brings to the world some hope. The posters represented a good vision and awareness of the issues, and all of us made some posters. The poster that Ana and I made was about the gap between rich and poor and how this expands every year. It was about over consuming items and about bad lifestyles. We decided the divide the paper into two different parts, a colourful one and a dark one, because we thought that gave a strong visual impact.

My other classmates made posters about other important issues: for example body shame, inequality, racism and the acceptance of the LGBT community. All of the pieces expressed creativity and a sense of awareness, that is a positive thing in my opinion, because our generation is going to be next one, and if all of us are tolerant, educated and aware it is going to be positive for our society.

We had a good time and I think it was worth the trip.  Apart from learning a lot of things, it was also a way of changing our normal routine and try something new. We also had the opportunity of spending some time together, to work in pairs and to think about how privileged we are to have access to some things.

Below is a gallery of photos taken all the events during Arts Week, including the visit to Finnegan’s Woke.

The Art and Music Prize events took place over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday nights respectively. These events traditionally bring to a close our annual Arts Week.

On Saturday evening we welcomed artist and Old Columban Conrad Frankel to speak with the whole school on his journey as an artist and, of course, to judge the entries for the prize. After a fascinating and humorous talk, Conrad announced the winners in each category. The prizes went to Jeanne Levesque (Senior Art), Tania Stokes (Senior Craft), Verlaine Bolger (Photography, one of her photos featured above), Emma Hinde (Junior Art) and Isabel Warnock (Junior Craft).

The Music Prizes Concert was held on Sunday, March 30th; the adjudicator was Mr Jonathan Browner. He is currently headmaster in Educate Together School in Bray, but was previously Director of Music in Sandford Park School. It was a very entertaining evening with performers from 1st to 6th Form. He gave a very good adjudication and especially praised the high standard of singing in the College. Prizes were awarded to Harry Oke Osanyitolu, Toby Green, Alexandra Murray Donaldson, Alex Russell, Andre Stokes and Songyon Oh.

Well done to everyone involved in a hugely entertaining and engaging weekend, but especially to the prize winners!