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This weekend was an important one, in the St. Columba’s Debating Calendar. Two houses, Glen and Iona came together in the House Debates Final. Tensions were high as boys’ house Glen -previously on 189 points- competed against girls’ house Iona who were twice winners of the previous rounds and on 181 points. The motion before the house was that “this house believes that, in the current era of climate change, non-violent direct action is vital”. While it was a wordy motion, adjudicators Mr Brett and Mr Canning felt that all speakers engaged in a high standard of debate. In the end, Iona were deemed House Debates Champions, “on the basis of their passion for what they argued”. Amy Cosgrove, Head of House for Iona, was awarded best speaker on the night.

Speakers on both sides included Ben Upton, Thady McKeever and Phillip Sheckleton for Glen and Amy Cosgrove, Sinead Cleary and Megan Bulbulia for Iona. A special thanks to Dmytro Kasienenko for his excellent chairing of the debate and Shannon Dent who acted as time-keeper. Third formers Amelia McKeever and Nina O’Flynn kindly set up the BSR and helped Ms Morley to coordinate the rooms.

In other debating news, Saturday was also the evening of the last round of Junior Debates. In a most engaging manner, pupils debated the motion that “this house this house believes that, in order to be allowed to vote, citizens must pass a mandatory test on politics, general knowledge and current affairs”. Points of clash included the question of inclusion, good decision making and the extent to which such a move would promote the kind of equality upon which democracies are built. Mr Swift, adjudicator for the evening, commended all speakers for their efforts, but particularly those who spoke with clarity and conviction.Winner on the night was first former Shannon Walker-Kinsella who first made her debut as winner of the second round of Junior Debates. The motion was successfully opposed. Christopher Atkins was awarded ‘best point of information from the floor’.

Speakers on both sides included Tadhg Rane O’Chianain, Lorne Walsh, Florian Zitzmann and Alex Hinde (all proposition) and Carl Krenski, Calvin She, Naoise Murray, Tyrone Shi and Shannon Walker-Kinsella (all opposition).

Best luck to Gioia Von Doenhoff, Elise Williams, Sinead Cleary and Aiyuni O’Grady who will represent the college in the second round of the UCD Leinster Senior Debates on Tuesday 21 January.

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.