Congratulations to all the pupils who participated in the Senior Art Prize for 2024. The level of dedication and craftsmanship displayed in each submission is a testament to the commitment of the pupils. Throughout the academic year, amidst the mountains of responsibilities and extracurricular activities, the pupils worked away on their submissions in the art room.

We are very thankful to multidisciplinary Irish artist Serena Kitt, who was invited to judge the entries, which were based on the themes ‘Territory’ and ‘Encounter’.

The Earl of Meath Art Prize, Senior, was won by Ivan Zhu, Form V (his piece above). Serena commented that the work was extremely skilled and innovative for showing the other side of the war through the lens of the camera and for all of the hidden messages around the composition.

The Craft Prize, Senior, was awarded to Felicitas Ratibor. Serena added that her work (above) was thought provoking and visually arresting as it leaves you wanting to see more.

The Photography Prize, Senior, was awarded to Ella Taylor, Form VI. Serena thought this work (below)by Ella was beautiful and a really interesting and innovative take on the theme of territory.

Commendations for the Art Prize were awarded to Ella Taylor, Form VI, for her conceptual, sentimental painting. And to Sofia Gill-Torrejon, Form V, for her painting of the rabbit and fox and for its meaning about two animals in the animal kingdom each vying for territory. A distinction for the Art Prize was awarded to Georgia Goodbody, Form VI, for the scale and sheer skill in her work. Serena added that it was a joyous piece to look at. A distinction was also awarded to Calvin She, Form VI, for his sensitive, gentle rendering of a young girl.

Commendations for the Craft Prize were awarded to Constance Chambré, Form V, for her provoking ideas that she communicated through clay modelling, and to Arthur Jellett, Form VI, for the ship that Serena commented was “beautifully made” and reflected a lot of detailed work and skill and very interesting accompanying drawings. Distinctions in this category were awarded to Maximilia Holstein, Form VI, for her lively batik.

A Commendation for the Photography Prize was awarded to Jacob Owen, Form V. Serena was so impressed with the compositions and the dedication and effort he went to to shoot his photographs.

Generally, Serena expressed how impressed she was with the standard and variety of the submissions, which also included; pottery pieces by Aeladh Bradley-Brady, Amaya Street, Elisa Bulla, Ella Taylor, lino prints by Hedley Butler and batik by Joy Orogun. Photographs by Calvin She and Jason Zhang and drawings and paintings by Clodagh Walsh, Liberty Jacquier-Kende, Finn Tabb, Elisa Bulla.

We commend all the pupils for their outstanding achievements. Please enjoy viewing the work in the gallery below.


As Seachtain na Gaeilge draws to a close, we want to highlight some of the events and competitions which took place throughout the fortnight of the festival. Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week) is celebrated every year from the first day of March, all the way up to St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March. The festival aims to celebrate and promote the Irish language. The pupils’ enthusiasm throughout Seachtain na Gaeilge was outstanding and we want to extend our gratitude to all who participated and made it possible! 

We began our Comórtas Bileog G, or Bileog G Competition on the first day of the festival. The G stands for Gaeilge (Irish) and a bileog is a sheet or slip. Pupils can earn a ‘Bileog G’, if they are heard making an effort to speak Irish around the school. Every student can take part, and it is safe to say we heard more ‘Dia dhuit(s)’ around the school than ‘Hello(s)’ during the course of SnaG! Congratulations to Henrike Tertilt (Form V) who won 1st place in the competition, followed by Euan Flanagan (Form V) who won 2nd place, and Hughie Casey (Form VI) who won 3rd place. 

We had a Seachtain na Gaeilge chapel service on Friday the 8th of March. Thank you to Ms. Maybury who read the reading ‘as Gaeilge’. We also sang ‘Here I am Lord’ in Irish, and a big thank you to Ms. Lynch for the beautiful translation of the song and to the pupils for their excellent singing. 

The crux of the festival fell on the 9th of March, when we had our School Céilí! Each form had the chance to learn two famous Irish Céilí dances – Ballaí Luimnigh (The Walls of Limerick) and Ionsaí na hInse (The Siege of Ennis). Well done to all pupils for their boundless enthusiasm which made the evening unforgettable. Maith sibh! 

The Seachtain na Gaeilge Poster Competition ran throughout the fortnight also. Pupils based their posters on Irish ‘seanfhocail’ (proverbs). Congratulations to Hannah Fitzgerald (Form III) for winning 1st place, and to runners-up Harry Bowles (Form III), Chenjie Long (Form III), Bay Bunbury (Form III), and Alice Castagna (Form III). 

All in all, it was a fantastic fortnight which was all made possible by the pupils enthusiasm, curiosity and participation. Remember – Beatha teanga í a labhairt (The life of a language is to speak it.)

Congratations to Form IV pupil Herbert Feng who achieved fourth place in the All Ireland Programming Olympiad (AIPO) in UCC and, in doing so, has qualified for the national team. He will now go on to represent Ireland at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) 2024 in Egypt next September.

Herbert also recently competed in the 37th Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) at the end of January, finishing in tenth place, once again earning him a spot in the national training squad. This squad will be whittled down to a team of six, who will represent Ireland at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2024 in Bath, UK, in July.

In other mathematics success, Form I pupil Laurence Sun took part in the Irish Maths Teachers’ Association 1st Year Maths Quiz, which has been taking place since 1994. The quiz, which was sat by over 14,000 students around Ireland, consists of 15 multiple choice brain problem solving questions, to be answered within a 40 minute period. Laurence was one of only 63 who achieved above 84% and was awarded a trophy. He scored a hugely impressive 93%.

On Sunday last, the pupils, staff and visiting parents were treated to a hugely enjoyable and varied Music Prize Concert. The best musicians and singers in the College performed, all hoping to win one of the coveted Music Prizes. We were hugely thankful to Mr Jonathan Browner (BMusEd), Principal of Educate Together Secondary School in Goatstown, for acting as the adjudicator for the evening. The winners of the Music Prizes 2024 were announced on the night; congratulations to everyone who performed but, in particular, to the following winners:

Junior Music Prizes: Matilde Matera (Form II) and Laurence Sun (Form I)

Senior Music Prizes: Sarah Bruder (Form V), Harry Powell (Form V), Rachel Shaw (Form VI) and Coco Xu (Form VI)

Aeladh Bradley Brady, Form V, reports on the Art History trip to Florence at the end of January.

The senior art and culture trip this year say us travel to beautiful Florence, Italy to immerse ourselves in the culture and to see the art we have been studying in class. We took an early flight on Friday morning the 26th of January and arrived at our Bonifacio hotel later that day. We unpacked, settled into our rooms and then went to the San Marco Restaurant for a three course evening meal. (The tomato pasta dish was absolutely delicious.) After we sat, ate and caught up with each other we were brought to see the Duomo for the first time. The Duomo was absolutely beautiful, the sheer size and detail that went into the building of the cathedral was breathtaking. The detailing on the doors in particular caught my eye. I was amazed at how someone could create such a technically detailed piece of art.

On our second day we got up at around 7:30 am for breakfast. We were greeted by a spread of delicious pastries, cold meats, bread, cereal and fruits. After our breakfast we got ready for the day and collected our sketchbooks to go on our way to the Galleria Dell’Accademia. The gallery was full of people from all around the world who had come to see pieces like the sculpture of David and the numerous collections of paintings and sculptures. I was taken aback by the realistic aspects of the sculpture of David by Michelangelo. The musculature and veins were particularly impressive. My favourite part of the tour was the sculpture room. Numerous sculptures of men, women, young boys and girls were littered throughout the expanse of the room. It was very interesting to see the process of how they would have been made on a video also. I really enjoyed my time in the Galleria Dell’Accademia.

After this we went to visit the Piazzale Degli Uffizi. We saw paintings by Giotto, Cimabue, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Titian and Caravaggio. We saw paintings we had studied by Giotto and Cimabue, both their renditions of Madonna enthroned. The sheer size of the paintings were incredible. We went around the town to find somewhere to eat.

Myself and some of the other fifth years went to get pizza. It was so delicious. Possibly the best pizza I have ever had. After lunch we went to the museum of the Medici Chapel. The Medici’s were a patron family who sponsored the artists and commissioned some paintings. In some cases they even paid to be in some of the paintings. Many students were drawing in their sketchbooks during our visit here as they were rightly very impressed by the architectural style and beauty of the chapel. That evening we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. There was a large selection of meals on offer from burgers to Caesar salad. All were thoroughly enjoyed. We were allocated free time. We went around and admired the architecture and tried some deserts such as tiramisu and macarons. Later on in the evening when we all met back at the carousel a man was playing the accordion. Soon a dance had begun in the square started by two fifth form pupils and many other pupils on the trip and locals joined the conga line.

Day three we went to the Pitti Palace (Galleria Palatina) and the Boboli Gardens. It was a lovely warm, sunny day so walking around the gardens was very relaxing. We soon after walked over the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest of Florence’s six bridges. It is one of the city’s most famous images. The shops housed under the porticos first belonged to the Commune. Towards the 15th century, they were sold to private owners and they began to develop them further structurally.

That night for our final dinner out we went to the Vecchia Firenze Restaurant for our final three course evening meal. We had a lovely pesto pasta, chicken and also an ice cream dessert. We then headed back to the hotel for an early night as we were going on an early flight back to Dublin.

I would like to thank Ms Murphy for organising the trip and I’d like to thank Ms. Cullen and Mr Finn for the amazing trip also. We all had an excellent and unforgettable time and made many new special memories in Florence.

In the first weekend in March, the Wesley Interschools Music Festival took place at nearby Wesley College. Hundreds of secondary school pupils from all over the country gathered to take part in over fifty competitions, including twenty two pupils from St. Columba’s College, competing in both singing and instrumental competitions. We were delighted when Laurence Sun took first place in U14 piano, Lauren Ng was placed second in O17 piano while there was a number of third place finishes. Below are the notable results from the competing pupils from St. Columba’s. Congratulations to every pupil who took part; we’re exceptionally proud of all our wonderful young musicians.
Laurence Sun, 1st Place Piano U14
Eric Wang, 3rd Place Piano U14
Sarah Bruder, 3rd Place Popular Singing U17
Lilei Spies von Buellesheim, 4th Place & Highly Commended U17 Singing Classical
Sarah Bruder, 3rd Place Singing Classical U17
Cerys Mordaunt, 3rd Place Singing Popular U17
Lauren Ng, 2nd Place Piano O17
Alison Wang, 3rd Place Piano O17.
Saul Fitzgerald Hollywood, Highly Commended & 4th place O17 Piano.

Old Columbans, parent and friends of the College, who live in (or regularly visit) the UK, are cordially invited to attend reception in the Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall, London on Thursday 9th May, 2024 between 6:30 – 8:30pm. 

At the event, I will bring you up to date with news of the College and its plans through the Foundation. We will also hear from a number of OCs about their careers and what they are doing now. 

This event will provide a great opportunity for our community to get together and is very kindly being hosted by a current parent and OC who is a member of the Athenaeum (a private members’ club which is not open to the public). Joining me at the event will be Sarah Love (Chairperson of the Fellows), former members of staff and current staff members. 

The event is now full. For queries, email Sonia Young using the details below.

The club dress code: as a private club, the Athenaeum has a strict dress code which it describes as jacket and tie for men and for women to dress with equivalent formality. Please see the club’s website for more details.

Whilst the Foundation is, of course, willing to meet the cost of refreshments we would very much welcome a voluntary contribution of £25 per person per ticket, if you are able to do so, so that we can concentrate our funds on the College itself. For more details, please email Sonia Young directly at: 

I very much hope that you will be able to join us for what will be a most enjoyable evening in London. 

With very best wishes, 

Mark Boobbyer Warden 

Over the February half term two TY pupils, Safia Walker and Delia Brady, visited Kolkata in India with the Hope Foundation. This is their report.

On the February 8th, we began our journey to Kolkata, a city in northeast India (formally Calcutta). We arrived exhausted on the following day and, after sleeping for a few hours, we visited our first project sponsored by the Hope Foundation. The project was an orphanage for disabled children aged 0-6. While we were there they sang us a few songs and we coloured in pictures with them. That evening we went to a temple and we walked around for fifteen minutes. The next day, we visited the tomb of Mother Teresa and saw artifacts from her life and we played a football match against a boys’ team from one of the Hope Foundation’s homes. Afterwards, we had lunch at the Hope Foundation’s skills cafe where they teach underprivileged individuals skills such as tailoring, cooking, computer coding and programming.  That evening we went to a local market to look around but also to buy traditional clothes for the last night. Dinner in the hotel consisted of naan bread, dahl, vegetables, noodles, rice and chicken in various spicy sauces. Each night there was an evening activity that took place in the hotel after dinner, so that night we got our henna done.

The third day was one of our favourite days. In the morning, we started off with a city tour. We visited a church, saw the Victoria memorial, which is a beautiful building near the centre of the city, dedicated to Queen Victoria. We also visited the gardens and walked along the river Hooghly. Like the day before, we played another football match, but this time with a girls’ team from a different Hope home. They had practised all week and it really showed as they beat every team they played. Our activity that night was a presentation where we watched children perform traditional dancing and we had dinner with them. On the fourth day we got up early to visit a private school outside the city and that’s where you really noticed the road difference between India and Ireland. There were cows on the side of the motorway, motorcyclists driving the wrong way down the side of the road and people just running across. At the school we were welcomed warmly and we did different activities such as yoga, traditional dancing and art. Afterwards, we went to the first of many after school clubs based in a slum. You’ll never forget the look on these kids’ faces when they see you. You’re immediately ushered over to them to talk and play. They sang and showed us dances and we exchanged stickers and toys we brought. That night we did traditional dancing, which from experience is very hard, but beautiful and certainly an experience.

The next three days we visited more schools and crèches, but they were a lot harder to visit as they were in the centre of impoverished communities. Most of the children didn’t speak English, especially the younger ones, but it didn’t matter as we handed out stickers and played with them. On the last night we had our traditional clothes and dancing competition; the girls wore Saris while the boys wore a traditional long shirt.

Unfortunately, it was the last day and we visited our final crèche and visited a girls’ home. These girls were aged 6-17 and were some of the kindest people you would ever meet. They were amazing dancers and presented us with bracelets and home-made cards. When it was time to leave, nearly everyone was in tears. Six hours later we were back in the airport ready to start the journey home and twelve hours later we were back in Dublin. It was amazing to see these kids, who despite having very little in life, were so joyous, and we even met some girls who played cricket for India under 18’s. Overall it was an amazing experience and worth every bit of effort you have to put in to go.