Congratulations to the following, who have been appointed College Prefects for 2017-18:

Kate Bewley, Sasha Cole, Sean Cooper, Marc-Philipp Eichhorn, Kosi Emmanuel-Anyim, Joseph Gernon, Nyla Jamieson, Alex Lawrence, Ivan Moffitt, Kitty Morris, Julius Schäfer, Nathalie Verwijs, Hector Wright.

Due to the pouring rain on Saturday morning and afternoon the sports day was postponed to the following Wednesday. However the Sports Dinner was conducted that evening with Dan van Zyl as the guest of honour. A South-African rugby player and cricketer, he has represented his country at both sports to the highest level. It was very interesting to hear of his sporting career and his inspirational words after he had issued the awards. The following were announced as the captains and secretaries for next season.

Cricket: Captain: Ivan Moffitt Secretary: Thaddy McKeever

Rugby: Captain: Sean Cooper Vice Capt: Joseph Gernon

Secretary: Hector Wright

Girls’ cricket: Captain: Helen Crampton

Boys’ basketball: Captain: Tiernan Mullane Secretary: Franz Truchsess

Girls’ Basketball: Captain: Adaze Mbanefo Secretary:  Helen Crampton

Girl’s Hockey: Captain: Sasha Cole Secretary:  Helen Crampton

Boys’ Hockey: Captain: Marc Philipp Eichhorn   Secretary:  Ivan Moffitt

Tennis: Captain:Tiernan Mullane (boys), Kim Voggel (girls)

Athletics: Captain: Julius Schaefer (boys)

The following were awarded Colours and pictured above with Dan van Zyl.

Rugby: Douglas Boyd Crotty, Freddie Johnson, Michael Kennedy, Igor Petrenko.

Girls’ Basketball: Ciara Murray.

Boys’ Hockey: Eckart Geyer.

 

On Thursday 1st June in the Big Schoolroom, Old Columban Alex Panayotou will talk to all V, IV, II, I and Primary (those in exam Forms are welcome too).

A motivational speaker based in Spain and Greece, with an extraordinary story in extreme-long-distance running, Alex’s talk will be called “Dare to Dream – Dare to be You”.

Alex will based her talk on some of her own experiences, and focus on personal excellence, self-esteem, knowing yourself, accepting yourself, finding your passion and path, trusting yourself, empathy and team spirit, and emotional intelligence.

Alex left the College thirty years ago (she is in Dublin for her thirty-year reunion at the weekend, a close bond that has persisted over the decades), and has kept in close touch since. She knows the importance of  being part of such a community, and the fact that this is not the norm in most schools. The synergies and relationships that are created here are truly unique, and can help us all moving forward in our lives.

Alex also contributed a testimonial to our new prospectus:

“”St. Columba’s helped shape me into who I am today – my inner strength, my passion for sports, adventure, the arts, learning, and interpersonal relationships were nurtured through the unique curriculum, and helped enormously in the development of my career. My home away from home: the pupils and staff were my family.”

Check out her website, including videos, here.

Yesterday 15 candidates were confirmed at the Ascension Day service in Chapel on a gloriously sunny day by the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Reverend Michael Jackson, assisted by the Chaplain, Reverend Daniel Owen. Pictured, the group after the service.

On Sunday morning a group of 11 TY pupils walked along the Bull Wall to the lighthouse. Our run of luck with the weather continued and we enjoyed wonderful views across Dublin Bay.

We are holding our regular summer term Open Evening on Thursday 18th May, 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 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.

We were delighted to welcome back eleven Old Columbans today as speakers for this year’s Transition Year Careers Morning. The speakers took part in some career “speed dating” rotating around small groups of pupils, speaking with them about their roles and taking questions for 10 minutes. It was a great event and we were delighted to see our former pupils report great successes in their careers to date. The speakers this year were Jaspar Pickersgill (Royal Navy Engineer), Klara Douglas (Airbnb), Adam Philpot (Brooks Sports), Emma Mallon (Screentime ShinAwiL), Georgie Smithwick (Diageo), Aifric Tracey (J&S Automotive), Jack Dunne (Windmill Lane Recording Studios), Emma Klyne (Leading Social), Tom Crampton (Actavo), Jessica Dean (eBay) and Ian McKinley (Benetton Treviso). A huge thank you to all the speakers for giving so generously of their time.

St. Columba’s College are delighted to announce details of a new and exciting Cultural Trip to China in March / April in 2018. The proposed trip to China will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for pupils to see many of the highlights that China has to offer. Over 12 days the pupils will visit Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and the stunning natural forests and mountains at Zhangjiajie. Staying in luxury hotel accommodation throughout, the pupils and accompanying staff will get the opportunity to experience a very different, and increasingly important, culture and cuisine while taking in the breathtaking scenery and cityscapes. The trip is currently only available for pupils entering Form IV and V this coming September.

The main highlights of the trip are as follows:

  • 3 nights in Hong Kong & Kowloon visiting the Science Museum, History Museum, Victoria Peak, Lantau Island, the Giant Buddha and a full guided tour of the city.
  • 2 nights in Shanghai visiting the Bund, China Maritime Museum, Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, the Old Town,  Yu Garden, Xintiandi and the popular and ancient “water town” Zhujiajiao.
  • 1 night in Zhangjiajie visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site & National Forest Park (Tianzi Mountain & Yuanjiajie).
  • 2 nights in Xian, former capital, visiting the Terracotta Warriors and Horse Museum, the ancient city wall and other attractions.
  • 3 nights in Beijing visiting Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Wangfujing Street, the Great Wall and the Summer Palace.

China is becoming a significant world power, culturally and economically, and exposure to this vibrant and important culture, in a safe and structured tour, will provide pupils with a unique opportunity and potential new perspective on the world. Full details on the cost and payment schedule of the trip have been emailed to all parents of all pupils entering Form IV and V next September. Applications are made via this online application formThe closing date for receipt of applications is Friday May 26th 2017.

If you require any further information about the trip or have not received the email with the full details, please contact the organising teachers Mr. Tristan Clarke (tclarke@staff.stolumbas.ie) or Mr. Humphrey Jones (hjones@staff.stcolumbas.ie).

An initiative of the Salters’ Institute, the objective of the competition is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young. The Festivals are one-day fun events held at universities throughout the UK and Ireland. Salters’ Festivals provide the opportunity for enthusiastic young students to spend a day in a university department and to take part in practical chemistry activities which are fun!

The tasks at Trinity College today provided our pupils, and those of other 21 schools, with the opportunity to work together and apply what they have learned in science so far this year to solve new and exciting problems. They immersed themselves in two challenges, the first of which required them to try and solve a murder mystery through utilising chromatography investigations. In the second investigation they were given an array of solutions with universal indicator and had the challenge of recreating particular colours. Following a well deserved lunch break the pupils got to experience an interactive demonstration of mini experiments.

In the end, it was the St. Columba’s team who triumphed, achieving the top prize in the murder mystery challenge which they completed in the fastest time and achieved the highest ever score of 123 points. They displayed great ability to think logically under pressure and were merited on their teamwork skills and ability to interpret new information.

 

The first new prospectus for some years has just come out. A beautiful production designed by Red Dog and with photography by Finn Richards, it can be requested from the College office by clicking here. It provides a thorough introduction to the school for any parent thinking of sending their son or daughter here, and is particularly strong visually. It includes 12 testimonials from Old Columbans who have been successful in a range of fields. Click here for a small selection of the photographs featured.

Congratulations to our Head of Irish, Dr Garry Bannister, on his latest excellent book, Proverbs in Irish, published by New Island Books.

An additional Columban connection is that pupil Tania Stokes has supplied the colour illustrations.

In the words of the publishers:

“Proverbs are like people – they can be humorous, sad, old, young, even have their own offspring. But they can also tell us a great deal about the time, the place and the culture that created them.

Proverbs are, however, much more than that. They are windows into our past, and a friendly nod from our ancestors. Sometimes they can remind us of our parents or grandparents as we once again hear their kindly voices speak to us in words of folk wisdom.

This book offers mainly Irish folk proverbs, but there is also a selection from Irish literature, the Bible, and other languages.

Garry Bannister travelled to Russia at the end of the 1970s, where he helped to establish the first Department of Modern Irish at Moscow State University. He has devoted many years to studying the writings of Tomás Ó Criomhthain, the literary works of Pádraic Ó Conaire, and the development of modern Irish literature in the first half of the twentieth century. Amongst his many publications he has to his name a number of popular dictionaries.”

 

The College is currently advertising for three teaching vacancies from September 2017: Head of Mathematics, Teacher of French, and Teacher of Irish. See our Vacancies page for more details.

There is a tremendous variety of activities on show in our annual Arts Week, which this year runs from Monday 20th to the evening of Sunday 26th. See below for a day-by-day outline.

Monday 20th March

Look Up, Look Forward, Look Out with James Shone 8.30 am (pupils) and 7.00pm (for parents and friends) with James Shone. Venues: BSR in the morning and the Drawing Room in the evening

11.45am: Dancersize, Sports Hall, 11.45 am Form IV

1.20pm: everyone and anyone, including staff.

6.30pm  French Theatre for Schools, BSR, I/II/III.

 

Tuesday 21st March

10.30am : Instituto Cervantes trip for Form IV Spanish pupils.

3pm:  Primary Schools Choral Day concert, Chapel (P, I, II).

Emily Archer workshop, Art Centre, Second Form art pupils

6.30pm  (Drinks and Dinner);  8.oopm  Lecture (VI, V art pupils). Opening of Hector McDonnell exhibition, Whitehall & Lower Argyle.

7pm,  Flamenco Dance Workshop, BSR, Fourth Form.

 

Wednesday 22nd March

8.10am, Art and Social Conscience with Hector McDonnell, Chapel

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Second Form Actiontrack drama workshops, BSR, during class-time.

Morning: Art Workshop with Hector McDonnell for Form V and VI, Art Centre

Lunchtime:  Speaker’s Corner, Chapel Square

8pm, Guitar Recital with Shane Hennessey, Chapel

 

Thursday 23rd March

Morning: Poetry Slam with Jasper Bark (pictured) (different times for P, I/IV), Library. [CANCELLED]

Morning: Photographic Workshop with Erin Quinn, Art Centre

VI and V art pupils to exhibitions of Caravaggio at NGI and Lucien Freud at IMMA.

8pm, ‘William Trevor Remembered’, BSR, with Joseph O’Connor and Julian Girdham – talks and readings. Reception in Whitehall for visitors afterwards.

 

Friday 24th March

Morning: Poetry Slam with Jasper Bark (different times for P, I/IV), Library. [CANCELLED]

7pm, Poetry Slam Competition Final, BSR (P to IV) and performance by Jasper Bark [CANCELLED]

 

Saturday 25th March

8.15pm, Art Prizes Evening  with Mick O’ Dea, president of the Royal Hibernian Academy, BSR.

 

Sunday 26th March

8pm: Music Recitals and Music Prizes Evening, BSR, with adjudicator Margaret O’Sullivan Farrell.

Activities that will be running through the week

WE ARE UNIQUE – drop into the Science Lab and create your unique handprint for display.

Fifth and Sixth Form  art pupils will reconstruct a figurative painting of their choice from their course work which will be photographed and displayed during the week.

A soiree with Hector McDonnell, on Tuesday, 21st March, 6.30pm for drinks and dinner. 8.00pm lecture. 

(Tickets for the dinner and drinks are 15 euros each; please contact Cathy Boobbyer at cboobbyer@staff.stcolumbas.ie if interested).

This year as part of Arts Week we are fortunate to be holding an exhibition of one of Ireland’s most successful contemporary realist painters.

Hector is the younger son of the 13th Earl of Antrim and was brought up in Glenarm, Co Antrim.  In 1964 he left Ireland to study painting in Munich and then went to the Akademie die Bildende Kunste in Vienna for a year.  He then studied history at Oxford University while continuing to paint and draw on the side.  After graduating, Hector decided to become a full-time artist.  Within two years he held his first solo exhibition.  Since then he has travelled extensively and has exhibited in Germany, Paris, Stuttgart, Belfast, Stockholm and Madrid, as well as in London and Ireland.

Hector has not shied away from difficult subject matter.  Parts of his work reflect scenes from the time he spent in Rwanda and the camps of Zaire following the tragic massacres that took place.  After that he spent a number of years living between New York and Antrim.  After the events of September 11th 2001, Hector exhibited work which is a poignant record of post 9/11 New York life.  He described how when he walked around Ground Zero, it smelt and felt like Belfast in the Seventies.  “The smell of burning buildings. And smell can remind you very strongly, it shook me.”

Closer to home, Hector was commissioned to paint the moment that the Queen crossed the street to visit St. Michael’s Catholic Church after attending a service in St. Macartin’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in Enniskillen on 26 June 2012 as part of her two-day Diamond Jubilee tour of Northern Ireland. Canon Peter O’Reilly reflects on the work, “The street is the focus of the painting because it is the place where the Queen gave a new direction to our common history, while it remains as a place for growth and development.”

Since their return after the Christmas holidays the rugby teams have been very busy – both in training and in competition. Almost every boy in the College plays rugby and, over the past five weeks, have experienced both the jubilant buzz of winning and the piercing numbness that comes with defeat. The players and their coaches have been working hard and progress is being made. Skills and fitness are improving and the teams are gelling together better than ever.

Our youngest boys in Form Primary & I, the Ducks, have played five games from January to half term with mixed levels of success. The boys had three good wins over Sallins, St. Andrew’s B’s and Wilson’s Hospital while going down to Temple Carrig and Clongowes C’s.

Our Leps (comprising boys from Form II and less experience players from Form III) have played four fixtures in as many weeks, with some mixed results. After a heavy loss to St. Paul’s on their return to the College after Christmas, the Leps regathered and played out of their skin in a tour-de-force performance against Belvedere U14 D’s. Unanswered tries from Mikhail Sukhachev (2), Ben Sigurvinson, Edward Onyeka Patrick and Killian Morrell along with a Patrick Hare penalty and brace of conversions saw the boys claim the victory 32-0. A few days later they participated in a cracking match against St. Michael’s U14 C’s. Despite some great tries from Edward Onyeka Patrick (2), Borys Shvalov and a Harry Petch conversion, the defensive solidity from the previous game was lost and the game ended 38-17 to St. Michael’s. Just before the exodus weekend they sadly lost to a Temple Carrig’s Form II team 35 – 5, with their try scored by Javier Ledo San Nicolas. Despite the loss the boys are really enjoying their rugby and making great progress.

The Junior Cup Team have been involved in both league and friendly fixtures in the past few weeks, with mixed fortunes. Back in mid January they suffered a heavy defeat to Clongowes J3’s, who played a simple but effective brand of rugby. A week later they lost again to St. Michael’s J3’s. Thady McKeever was in great form and scored two tries (converting both) while Andrew Pollock also grabbed a five pointer. But again the defence was porous to say the least and St. Michael’s scored a bucket of tries, winning the game comfortable 38-19. There was frustration amongst the players and coaches and plenty of “work-ons” for training. Unfortunately, a few days later there was another heavy defeat – this time to Kings Hospital JCT. A comprehensive win 69-12.

The fixture congestion eased for the J’s and the coaches, Aoife Thomson and Mr. Peter Stevenson, were able to really focus on a number of key skills in training. Defence was a big problem but also the boys were lacking confidence after some heavy defeats. Earlier this week the JCT travelled to local rivals De la Salle Churchtown needing a boost. Fixtures between the two schools are generally close affairs, and keenly contested, and this was no exception. St. Columba’s had to fight for every inch but succeeded in coming away with the victory. A hat-trick of tries from Sam Lawrence – a superstar in the making – along with another from slippery Matthew Russell (he also scored three conversions) saw the boys edge the fixture 28-22.

With confidence high, the boys played their second fixture of the week earlier today, against Gonzaga J3’s. Sam again scored a brace while Thady and Sakhile also dotted down. Thady also added two conversions. It was a super performance – in attack and defence – with the boys winning 29-12 in the end.

The Senior boys rugby teams – the SCT and the Senior Development XV (generally comprising of Form IV and V pupils)- have shown great progress over the past few weeks. Some eye-catching individual and team performances have produced some excellent results but, more significantly, revealed the potential within the group. After their recent run of results the SCT now have a league semi final to look forward to – against Drogheda Grammar.

Back in mid-January, after their confident return to action after the Christmas break the previous week (against Terenure) the Senior Development side hosted Clongowes Wood 5th Year XV. St. Columba’s started brightly and soon got on the score board through George Guinness. He added another later in the game to compliment the tries from Sean Cooper, Ivan Moffitt and Callum Pery Knox Gore. Henry Carroll added four conversions and the team were well satisfied after securing a comfortable 33-12 win.

A week later, the Senior Development XV travelled to Blackrock to take on a Transition Year side – their TY B’s – in a league match. It took time to gel the defence and a few soft tries were leaked. However, SCC scored a couple of good tries from Aifo Abeleghe and Sean Cooper but it wasn’t enough as the home side won out: 36-12.

A few days later, just before the January exodus, the Senior 1st XV took on Mount Temple in the league. It was probably their most complete performance of the season to date and they won handsomely 44-0. There was a brace of tries from Aifo Ebeleghe and others from Hector Wright, Douglas Boyd Crotty, Thomas Meijer, George Guinness, Sean Cooper and Max Hopkins. Henry Carroll added two conversions while the SCC defence kept Mount Temple scoreless.

After the exodus weekend, the Senior Development XV took on ST. Michael’s Senior 5ths. These fixtures are a great chance for coaches to develop players, combinations and new tactics. On this occasion the tactics didn’t quite get across and St. Michael’s won easily on a score of 40-3.

The Senior 1st XV travelled to Mullingar and Wilson’s Hospital school for a league fixture. In a hard fought game St. Columba’s didn’t get the rub of the green (or some of the referee decisions) and eventually lost out 29-14 to the home side.

And just before half term the Senior Development XV took on Rathgar’s High School Senior 3rds, winning on a score line of 20-10, with tries coming from Max Hopkins, Sean Cooper, Hector Wright and Alex Russell. With this season closing to an end there is considerable potential within this group, which bodes well for the coming years.

The season comes to a close in the coming weeks but there is a sense of all teams building towards next year. Look out for the end of season report in the coming weeks.

A few weeks back 28 pupils and 5 staff travelled on the Junior Cultural Trip to London. Now that the dust has settled, Form IV pupils Caspar von der Schulenberg reflects on a busy but enjoybale trip.

As some of you may know, several pupils from second, third and fourth form were participating in the London Trip over the January Exodus. During our 4-Day-voyage we were accompanied by Science teachers Mr Jones, Mr Jackson and Ms Harrahill and by History teachers Mr Finn and Ms Duggan.

We left the school on early Friday morning and from the moment we set foot on English ground the excitement began. Our itinerary was packed to the edge with visits to museums, famous London attractions and entertaining facilities. Speaking of “packed”, undoubtedly everyone’s favourite aspect of the trip were the stunning “packed lunches”, provided by the hotel staff who managed to make every single ham-and-cheese sandwich a unique experience.

On our first night we had the gratifying pleasure of experiencing the “Lion King Musical” live in the Lyceum Theatre. For me, that was the highlight of our tour. The setting, the performances and of course, the singing were absolutely breath-taking. Speaking of “breath-taking”, I cannot get around of mentioning that the travel in the London Tube System was a particularly suffocating and claustrophobic experience. I can accurately recall Julius Reblin nearly being decapitated by the sliding doors and William Zitzmann losing half his hand in the locking mechanism. Just kidding!

Anyway, the following days we visited The National History Museum and The Science Museum which especially fascinated Mr Jones, Mr Jackson and Ms Harrahill, while at the Imperial War and the Churchill Museum Mr Finn and Ms Duggan were very much in their element. When visiting the National Portrait Gallery, we bitterly regretted not inviting our Art Teacher Mr Watts on the Tour.

In midst all the turmoil and pouring rain, we especially liked the more relaxing functions we did, such as the visit to the Odeon Cinema and the London and General Knowledge Quiz, which we did on the final night. How guessing the ages of our teachers has anything to do with general knowledge is beyond me, but, in the name of my time, I would still like to apologize again to the absolutely youthful Mr Finn for slightly misjudging his age.

Overall, the Trip turned out to be an enjoyment for everyone involved and I would like to thank all the teachers and people that gave up their free time to make this trip possible.

We are delighted to annouce details of St. Columba’s College’s second Mental Health Awareness Week, beginning next Monday February 13th 2017. We have a jam-packed programme of events, centred around the theme ‘Mind Your Mind’. Pupils and staff will get an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities including yoga, mindfulness, stress management workshops, sound baths (well worth a Google), movie nights (with a positive mental health message of course), a fun run and a phone free day. We also have some visiting speakers including Joseph Dixon from the Cycle Against Suicide – a fastastic chariable organisation who raise funds and awareness in the area of suicide prevention. The school will also participate in their #SchoolsGoOrange awareness day, where pupils and staff will be invited to wear orange instead of their normal school uniform.

We hope that our Mental Health Awareness Week will help everyone in the school community realise that it’s ok to not feel ok but to seek help when needed. Follow the College Twitter feed for photos and updates of the week’s events. To see the full programme of events click here.

Jimmy O’Connor, well known and loved by many generations of the wide Columban community, retired today after 52 years of loyal and dedicated service. Ninian Falkiner, a boy here around the time when Jimmy joined the College, paid tribute to his work on the school grounds over all those years. His presence, comradeship, general bonhomie and knowledge of the College will be greatly missed. We wish him well on this special day and hope that he has a long and enjoyable retirement.

Click here for some photographs of the occasion, taken by the Chaplain.