Tipp VEC honours students at its final awards before abolition

Nenagh Vocational School - North Tipperary VEC Award Winners.  Photograph: Bridget Delaney
NORTH Tipperary VEC hosted its final annual student awards ceremony last week ahead of the amalgamation of North and South Tipperary VECs. Under the proposed legislation, the VECs will be renamed Education Training Boards.

NORTH Tipperary VEC hosted its final annual student awards ceremony last week ahead of the amalgamation of North and South Tipperary VECs. Under the proposed legislation, the VECs will be renamed Education Training Boards.

The awards ceremony was described as one of the “major” events on the North Tipperary VEC’s calendar.

Outgoing CEO David Leahy told parents, students and VEC staff members that his was a “huge time of change for the learners, the staff and the country”.

He pointed out that the Bill giving effect to the amalgamations was brought before the Dail on the same day as the awards, May 2.

Mr Leahy, who will head up the Galway / Roscommon Education Training Board, told the gathering that the VECs had given “essential service” to the country since they were introduced in 1930, and that “most likely” that will cease from this summer.

Mr Leahy hoped the new board will give an increased quality of service to the people of Tipperary as well as an increased quality of learning through having a superhighway of broadband.

He pointed out that students in India were teaching themselves, through Google, the 200 or so words that were necessary to be computer literate.

He cautioned whether this would mean that there would be no need for teachers, no need for homework and “no need to get up for school on a Monday morning”.

However, the CEO remained optimistic, saying he believed school was crucial for the future because people needed interaction.

“The method will greatly change but the person-to-person contact will never be done way with. The need for teachers to inspire will remain,” he said.

Mr Leahy said that social interaction was as important as “what we learn in the classroom”.

Students received awards in nine categories, with one bursary being awarded, the Phil Carroll Bursary, to a music student.

Among those to receive an award was Val Finney of Pobal Scoil, Ros Cre, who made his debut in League of Ireland football at 16 years of age with Athlone Town, and who has had trials with Manchester City and Birmingham.

In the personal achievement category, Team Kilimanjaro of Nenagh VS were rewarded for their fundraising efforts. The team of Klara Moylan, Edwina Flannery, Donal Hogan and Michael O’Connor, raised E2,000 as part of their eight-day trek up Africa’s highest mountain.

Other students were honoured for overcoming personal difficulties to attain their academic achievements, including being involved in a car accident, hearing and sight problems.

The Phil Carroll Bursary was awarded to harpist Shannon Ramzan from Borrisokane Community College.

The following are the winners of the 2013 North Tipperary VEC Awards:

Literature: Vera O’Brien, Nenagh VS; Sarah Coonan, Borrisokane CC; Michaela Duffy, Colaiste Phobal, Rs Cre.

Sports, individual: Ciaran Mulroy, Borrisokane CC; Darren Aitken, Roscrea Education Centre; Killian Cullagh, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed; Val Finney, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre.

Sports, team: Senior camogie team, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre; Lauren Moylan, Nenagh VS.

Information and Communications Technology: Rachel Hayes, Borrisokane CC; Sean Loughnane, Colaiste Eile; Thomas McDonagh, Teach an Leinn; Dan Collison, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre; Gary Hogan, Templemore College; Kyran Healy, Newport College; Michael Beaton, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed; Silver Falcon F1 Team, Nenagh VS; John Cummins, Nenagh College of Further Education.

Gaeilge: Emma Ni Chiara, Nenagh VS; Ciaran O Duinn, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed; Brian O hOgain, Colaiste Thulach Sheasta; Janet Ni Laobhais, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre; Aoife Nic an Chnoic, Borrisokane CC; Eimear Ni hAodha, Teach an Leinn.

Educational Achievement: Marilyn McDonagh, Roscrea Education Centre; Kathleen Sheppard, Colaiste Eile; Lucinda MacKinnon, Templemore College; Nicola Morrissey, Ceim Eile; Derek Seymour, Teach an Leinn; Grace Reddan, Borrisokane CC; Shannon Shimmon, Newport College; Kristina Matieskova, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre; Robert Beaton, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed.

Personal Achievement: Peter Wright, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre; Johnny McInerney, Colaiste Mhuire, Co-Ed; Breda O’Driscoll, Roscrea Education Centre; Team Kilimanjaro, Nenagh VS; Maggie Ryan, Colaiste Eile; Claire McLoughlin, Newport College; James Whelehan, Teach an Leinn; Mary Kate Moore, Templemore College; Paddy O’Halloran, Ceim Eile; Alice Simpson, Borrisokane CC.

Arts and Craft: Mercedesz Csizmadia, Youthreach; Blathnaid O’Meara, Borrisokane CC; Callum Crawford, Templemore College; Paul O’Meara, Teach an Leinn; Samina Sadig, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre; Klara Moylan, Nenagh VS; Porsche Dwyer, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed; Paul Fogarty, Community Education.

Academic Achievement: Luke Roinson, Nenagh VS; Eileen Stone, Nenagh College of Further Education; John Buckley, Colaiste Eile; Eanna Dooley, Borrisokane CC; Sean Slattery, Teach and Leinn; Niall Devitt, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre.

Phil Carroll Music Bursary: 1. Shannon Ramzan, Borrisokane CC. Other nominees: Ellen Lynch, Templemore College; James O’Meara, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed; Dylan Rooney, Nenagh VS; Louise Ryan, Borrisokane CC; Nicole Drought, Colaiste Phobal, Ros Cre.