Cricket, athletics and tennis are the principal sports played this term, although the pupils have also utilised our fantastic golf course over the past month too. In cricket, the Senior Boys had a decent season, reaching the semi-final of their league but were defeated by eventual winner CUS. The star performance was Daniel Swift’s ‘88’ against Sandford, albeit in defeat. He also produced some decent spells of bowling and was assisted by all-round performances from Thady McKeever and Philip Shekleton. Daniel was selected to represent Leinster Schools’ Development Team against Marylebone Cricket Club yesterday ….. There were some good wins and individual performances in the Form III and Form II boys teams also, with the latter reaching their semi-final but, once again, being defeated by CUS. The Form I boys also had a decent season and showed good promise. They started with a good win against St.Andrew’s and also defeated “arch-rivals” Headfort, thanks to ‘87’ not out from captain Isaac Dijkstra.

The Girls Cricket season was extremely compressed, with all league fixtures played within a ten day period. The results were mixed but all teams showed great promise. The Senior Girls were coached by Laura Delaney, captain of the Irish national team, and their progress over the short season was excellent. The College entered two teams into the Junior and Senior leagues and were competitive throughout. The Form I girls also had a great season, under the guidance of Avril Haughton.

The advent of two weeks preparation before the Easter break ensured a successful start to the Trinity Term for Athletics. Sending a group of pupils to the East Leinster Athletics Championship on the first day of term might sound like a logistical nightmare but it came together and from the two days of competition in Morton stadium, 11 medals were garnered with 9 athletes qualifying for the Leinster Championships; an extremely successful outing! These pupils went on to compete in the Leinsters, facing seasoned athletes and gaining vital experience and knowledge. Avouka Assebian emerged from the Senior Girls Triple Jump competition in 1st place with a ticket to the All-Irelands which take place tomorrow, Saturday 1st June. We wish Avouka the very best of luck!

The now annual College ‘Mountain Run’ took place recently with Tobias Voelsgen and Shannon Dent defending their titles and improving their times on the challenging 8km track. Tobias ran the race in 30min 37sec and Shannon in 38min 10sec.

Tennis is an extremely popular sport amongst the pupils and our fantastic all weather courts see plenty of use. Our Girls team won one, lost one and were given a walkover in our third game (we’d rather have played and lost!). The Boys Team beat Gonzaga III, St. Mary’s College and Terenure College in the pool stages to reach the semi-final of their league but lost out to a strong St. Andrew’s College (2-3). Internally, Hippolyte de Preville won the Beresford Cup, our annual boy’s tennis competition.

Tuesday evening saw the 26th annual TY English Evening, the longest-established Transition Year event in the school’s calendar. It was presented by the Head of Department, the Sub-Warden, who welcomed his predecessor, Mr John Fanagan, as the guest speaker. He also remembered with fondness Professor Terry Dolan, who died recently, and who for so long was an established visitor at the Evening.

A variety of writing was heard, and afterwards Mr Fanagan commented on the pieces: Aiyuni O’Grady’s personal piece looked back at holiday experiences on Lough Corrib (‘a vivid sense of place’), Maybelle Rainey read ‘The Silver Night’ (with ‘excellent pace and strong voice’), Éile Ní Chianáin’s ‘Learning to Dance’ about a young puffin was ‘a beautiful observation of nature’, Gioia Doenhoff’s ‘Being Underwater’ ‘got across a sense of tension in a very creative way’, Oscar Yan’s ‘The Wells of Silence’ from the eco-fiction module was ‘very thoughtful and philosophical’, Ellen Homan’s entertaining ‘Day in the Life of the Person Beside You’ achieved humorous effects with ‘a light touch’, Raphaela Ihuoma’s ‘A Casket with John and Me’ was ‘very different and very controlled’, Eva Dillenberger’s ‘Perfect’ on images of the female body was a strong piece, and finally Sinéad Cleary’s piece on Ted Bundy and ‘murder-chic’ was ‘really effective, and very hard-hitting.’

Finally, Mr Fanagan announced winners of the Premier awards: Imogen Casey, Éile Ní Chianáin, Sinéad Cleary, Gioia Doenhoff, Raphaela Ihumoma, Charlotte Moffitt, Oscar Yan.


[first posted on SCC English]

Yesterday evening in the Big Schoolroom Mr McCarthy and Ms Maybury presented the annual TY awards. Mr McCarthy, shortly to step down as TY co-ordinator after 8 years, reviewed the impressive range of activities Fourth Form have undertaken during the year. He said it was particularly important that pupils grab the opportunities they are presented with, and that it was enormously gratifying when they did so. He thanked the rest of the TY team for their hard work in maintaining the Programme. Ms Maybury presented certificates for the Columban Award Scheme, which includes self-chosen activities and ones such as Emergency Aid, hikes and CPR training.

The Warden thanked Mr McCarthy and his team for all they have done for the pupils this year, and wished Ms Kilfeather as she takes over as Co-ordinator from September.



  • Sveva Ciofani: Spanish
  • Kaspar Twietmeyer: Physics
  • Paula Ruiz Sanchez: Chemistry
  • Casimir zu Hohenlohe: Latin
  • Éile Ní Chianáin: Irish
  • Imogen Casey: Geography
  • Gioia Dönhoff: Economics
  • Amelie Buzay: Design and Art
  • Oscar Yan: Maths and History
  • Raphaela Ihuoma: Business, English and Religion
  • Sinéad Cleary: French, Biology, Music and Classical Studies
  • Columban Award Scheme: Elise Williams
  • Spirit of Transition Year: Sinéad Cleary



Yesterday, Form VI pupils from Stackallan House, accompanied by Liam Canning (Housemaster) and Michael O’Shaughnessy (Assistant Housemaster), visited their chosen charity, the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice. The pupils and staff formally presented their charity with a new 55′ television, purchased with the funds raised over the course of the year, provided for Hazel House’s newly designed play and sensory room.  Laura Lynn is a wonderful organisation, whose vision is that ‘all children who need us can access us’, provides holistic palliative care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

The members of Stackallan wanted to donate something practical and tangible rather than a cheque. They raised the money by hosting a variety show, self imposing a pizza tax, a chapel appeal collection and House fines. The television is used to play soothing sensory music during the day and for special cinema nights and sporting occasions.

That lovely late-season annual event, Voices of Poetry, took place on Sunday evening in the Big Schoolroom. It is a fine pause in the maelstrom of the ending of the school year, just before examinations start: listening to great verse in many languages is balm for the soul.

Again Mr Swift co-ordinated with his characteristic skill and lightness of touch. Helen Crampton started with a reading of the first poem she had learned as a child, Wordsworth’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud‘ (aka ‘Daffodils’), followed by Mr Finn’s strong recital of D.H. Lawrence’s evocative ‘Piano‘ (‘Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me’). He was followed by Iona Chavasse’s ‘Wild Like the Sea That Raised Her’, composed in the Poetry Slam in March, a haunting incantatory piece.

Then it was on to other languages, including Spanish (Anna Laurenceau with Neruda), French (David White with Baudelaire), Sicilian dialect (for the first time, from Ms Pirrone), Latin (Tania Stokes with Horace), Turkish (Liz Kolat), Mexican dialect (Camilla Garcia), Ukrainian (Dmytro Kasienenko), Dutch (Cato Oldenburg), German (Tatiana Hopkins), Igbo (Sarah Maduwuba), Irish (Naoise Murray), Cantonese (Sinéad Cleary) and Mandarin (Zong Yuan Kou).

In English we also heard Stella Jacobs with Whitman’s ‘O Captain, My Captain!’ and Ms Morley with Liz Lochhead’s thought-provoking ‘The Choosing‘. The Warden recited Newbolt’s ‘Vitaï Lampada’, and Mr Swift paid tribute to his late brother in his reading of John Updike’s ‘Perfection Wasted’ (here read by Garrison Keillor). Senior Prefect Harry Oke-Osanyintolu gave us Brendan Kennelly’s optimistic ‘Begin’ from the Leaving Certificate poetry course.

Two highlights were readings by this year’s winners of the poetry prizes, Emma Hinde (junior, with ‘Tree-maker‘) and Tania Stokes (senior, with her sonnet ‘Seeing Tunnels‘).

No better way to finish it all off than with William Carlos Williams’s ‘This Is Just to Say’, read by Daniel Murray:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
[first posted on SCC English]

On Saturday last the annual Sports Day took place. The College was awash with colour and, thankfully, sunshine as the boys and girls competed in a range of events from traditional track and field to tug of war (and everything in between). In the end, it was the Blue Team that triumphed!

That evening our annual Sports Dinner took place in the Dining Hall, celebrating the sporting achievements of individual pupils and their collective teams. The assembled pupils, staff and coaches were treated to an extraordinary speech from our guest Old Columban Alex Panayotou; Alex is an ultra-endurance athlete whose story is awe-inspiring.

College ‘Colours’ are awarded to those who are deemed exceptional in every way in their sport: ability, attitude, commitment on and off the playing field, consistency, reliability, character and courage. This year ‘Colours’ were awarded to Avouka Assebian (Athletics), Georg Mueller-Methling (Hockey) and Orla Conlon Batey, Helen Crampton, Anna Laurenceau and Valeria McQuillen (all Hockey). Congratulations to them.

The following were appointment captains of their respective sports for the next academic year:

  • Athletics (Boys) – Leo Moreau
  • Athletics (Girls) – Avouka Assebian
  • Basketball (Boys) – Pedro Grimalt
  • Basketball (Girls) – Calina Sacolax
  • Cricket (Boys) – Daniel Swift (Vice Capt Thaddy McKeever)
  • Cricket (Girls) – Eile ni Chianain
  • Cross Country – Shannon Dent
  • Hockey (Boys) – Alexis Haarman
  • Hockey (Girls) – Sophia Cole (Vice Capt Megan Bulbulia)
  • Rugby – Thaddy McKeever (Vice Philip Shekeleton)

Below is a collection of photos from the day’s activities, courtesy of Rev Owen.

This evening the annual Public Speaking Competition for Second Form was held again in the Upper Cadogan. In recent years this has highlighted the work of pupils in their Classroom Based Assessments (the oral presentations), which are neatly timed to coincide with this event.

There were excellent 2-3 minute presentations from Elys Walker, Kate Higgins and Zofia Cannon-Brookes (all on climate change – as Mr Jameson, the compere said, rightfully the most common subject), Solomon Babajide (school shootings in America), Ealga Ejase-Tobrise (xenophobia in South Africa), George King (the snowflake generation), Matilda Pringle (gingers) and Tyrone Shi (the band AC/DC).

In his comments, judge Mr McCarthy (who adjudicated alongside last year’s winner, Donald Thompson), commended the excellent work of all eight speakers, and said how important it was that ideas are turned into ideals in the way young people articulate their thoughts. He then announced the first three placings: 3rd= were Matilda and Elys, 2nd was Ealga, and this year’s winner was Kate Higgins.

On Tuesday night the seventh annual TY Modern Languages evening was held in the Big School Room. Eleven pupils presented in Spanish and French on topics such as El Flamenco, Le Tour de France, Las tribus de América and Les Jeux Olympiques. Leon Moreau also gave an outstanding recitation by heart in Bavarian of a childhood poem. During the interval we we enjoyed lusty renditions of the German and French national anthems.Many congratulations to the winner and recipient of the Alyn Stacey Cup, Sveva Ciofani, for her presentation on Pablo Escobar. In second place was Eliz Kolat (Les stéréotypes français) joint third were Oliver Townshend (Mis aventuras con Diego) and Sinead Cleary (Les fromages français). The standard overall was extremely high. Well done to all those who participated and made this such a successful event.

We are delighted to present an extraordinary discovery on film. In early 2018 the Sub-Warden, while researching old editions of the school magazine for his book Floreat Columba: 100 years of The Columban magazine, 1879-1979, came across repeated references in the 1930s to ‘Mr Barnardo’s film of the College’. This had apparently been regularly shown to the boys, and regularly updated. It seemed extremely unlikely anything remained of it, but the references were intriguing.

Eventually the trail came to the Barnardo fur business in Grafton Street, which was founded in 1812 and is the oldest such surviving family business in the world. Harry Barnardo had entered the College as a very young boy in 1934, and left in 1941, and it was his father, a keen amateur film-maker, who had put together the film. Harry continued his father’s interest, becoming very involved in the Dublin cinema world, and when he died (still only in his 50s) in 1978 his widow Caroline kept the film paraphernalia passed down from his own father.

So it was that in early July 2018 three 16mm films were discovered in the attic of the family home. When transferred into digital form, there was revealed an extraordinary amount of material from the 1930s of the school in action: swimming, cricket, prize-giving, the surfacing of the main drive, the openings of buildings, the visit of Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde and more. You can now watch an edited and captioned selection from those reels below (the music has been added), including some sequences in colour.

This is a very special discovery.

The Barnardo Films from St Columba’s College on Vimeo.

FORM PRIZES: congratulations to the following, who have been awarded prizes based on their academic work this year:-

SIXTH: Helen Crampton, Georgia Keegan-Wignall, Harry Oke-Osanyintolu, JiWoo Park, Caspar Schulenburg, David White.

FIFTH: Camila Garcia Herrera, Oda Michel, Poppy O’Malley, Eliza Somerville, Tania Stokes.

FOURTH: Imogen Casey, Sinéad Cleary, Gioia Dönhoff, Oscar Yan.

THIRD: Tom Casey, Iona Chavasse, Emma Hinde, Avi Johnston, Marcus O’Connor.

SECOND: Kate Higgins, Emily McCarthy, Cian Slyne, Elys Walker.

FIRST: Elizabeth Hart, Rachel Shaw, Beatrice Somerville, Lorne Walsh.

The Warden’s latest thoughts, on racism and diversity:

It is very worrying that in the last year or two we have seen a rise in racist attitudes around Europe and in the USA. It is staggering that once again premier league footballers are being subject to racist chants and having bananas thrown at them. This kind of behaviour is redolent of the dark days of hooliganism in the 1970’s, but I guess it reflects a rise in nationalism in many countries, aided and abetted by the increase in migration and the toxic rhetoric of Brexit. When things are not going well the solution is easy: blame migrants and foreigners, or at least people who look different from the majority.

Today there were two news stories that illustrate my point. Firstly the non-white players of the Boston Red Sox, who recently won the Baseball World Series, are refusing to go to the traditional reception at the White House, because they think that the President is a racist. The last couple of years in the USA have, of course, seen the rise of players ‘taking a knee’ during the national anthem, in protest at what they see as a failure to root out racism in the police. It does not help when the President refuses to condemn far-right racist groups. The other incident today was the sacking of Danny Baker from the BBC after he tweeted a picture of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their new baby, who had been substituted for a chimpanzee! Yes, really! And he claimed it was just a silly error of judgment and that it was absurd to sack him. Having worked for four years in an all black school in South Africa, in a rural environment where there were many with ‘old-fashioned’ attitudes, I am more sensitive than most to anything that smacks of racism. Actually my closest encounter with racism was when I played a season of cricket in Australia and was stunned by the way that the locals spoke about the indigenous people of the country and also by the abuse that was hurled at the English players of West Indian origin.

Racism comes from ignorance, from not knowing the culture and context of the other person and not being prepared to find out by actually getting to know people outside one’s own ethnic group or social circle. I often say to parents who are contemplating boarding that there is no better preparation for life in the real world than living in a boarding house full of people who are different from oneself. A boarding house is a melting pot, in which young people learn to appreciate each other, those who have totally different interests, often those whom one might not naturally like! In work we all have to work with people who are different and who approach things in their own way, and that is not easy. However, we do it, like it nor not, and in doing so we learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of those others. I don’t know how many nationalities are represented at St. Columba’s, but our racial diversity is a strength. I would be devastated if any person of a different colour or culture did not feel fully accepted and cherished in the school. However, in a world in which tolerance is a rare commodity, we cannot take it for granted and we need to keep our antennae sensitive to anything that might creep in and seek to divide.


Mark Boobbyer, Warden, 9thMay 2019.





The College will host a Gala Fashion Show, Dinner and Auction on Friday, May 10th 2019, in aid of the new social centre currently under construction in Whispering House. Tickets are almost sold out but can be purchased by clicking here. The auction will consist of online items but with the best lots saved for the live auction on the night. The online auction is NOW LIVE and bidding has begun – don’t miss out on these fantastic items including:

#1 Ashford Castle Hotel, 3 nights Dinner, B & B Plus Extras!

#24 Formula 1 – Belgium Grand Prix – 2 Weekend Grandstand Tickets

The College appreciates your support. The online auction is being hosted on ‘Galabid’ and instructions to take part are below.

To Register via SMS
1.       Text: columbas (capitals are not required) followed by your full name – Example: columbas Brad Pitt
2.       To: 353861803764
3.       Follow the registration link you are sent from GalaBid to login and place bids.

To Register via Browser
1.       Visit:
2.       Click on the ‘register’ button
3.       Enter your details and click ‘submit’.
4.       You will then receive a text to your mobile phone with the link to the auction catalogue and a passcode. Use the passcode to login on any browser or click the link in the text to be automatically logged in on the browser on your smartphone. You are now ready to bid!

To bid anonymously: Go to My Account; Edit My Information; tick the box “Make me Anonymous”