The first Cunningham Silver Medal for History at Coláiste Phobal was presented during Open Night at Coláiste Pobal.
Carmel Cunningham presenting the medal said: “I am particularly delighted to be presenting this, the First Cunningham Medal for History, to Gráinne McNicholas on behalf of George and myself and on such an apt evening as Open Night for new entrants.
“I taught in this school for over 30 years, when it was the Vocational School and loved every minute. Both our sons received their post-primary education here. I still call it ‘our’ school and am proud to be a former teacher of this institution.
“We are thrilled our archive pertaining to Roscrea and District is being safely housed at Coláiste Phobal, where students now and in the future, can avail of its contents for further studies. And we are particulary proud that some 3500 books of ours are now here for use of the staff and students.
“Just to say I have used the Royal ‘We’ there. While it is our archive, practically 100% of the work in the Roscrea and District Archive is due to George’s endeavours and diligence, and I am inordinately proud of him, and the work he has done in Roscrea and District and much, much, farther afield, and indeed of all his achievements.
“And we are also very pleased with the part we have been able to play in helping create a new library. We are particularly proud that some 3500 books of ours are now here for use of the staff and students.
“Congratulations Gráinne please accept this first Cunningham Medal for History from both of us. We wish you well in your future studies and life. Thank You.”
George Cunningham spoke of how delighted he was that a granddaughter of Ciarán MacNiocláis was the first recipient of the history medal. He had been privileged to edit and publish Ciarán’s two books on Muintir Ros Cré and had no doubt but that Ciarán was smiling down on the occasion. George wished Gráinne well in her studies at UL. He spoke briefly on the uniqueness of the archive that Coláiste students and staff now had at their disposal.
George said he hoped it would be widely used.