By tom ryan email@example.com @tippstar
Thurles Sarsfields and Tipperary hurling hero, Michael Cahill, was Guest of Honour at the annual Awards Night of Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed School, Thurles.
On a glitzy night the Colaiste was bedecked with balloons in the colours of the County Senior Hurling Champions, Sarsfields and in attendance was the Patron of the GAA, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly and Ms Jean Forbes Cooke of LIT (Thurles Campus) which has close links with Colaiste.
The many guests included numerous recipients of awards in Animal Care, Business Administration, Èarly Childhood Care and Education, eBusiness, Healthcare Support, Nursing Studies, and Sports Recreation and Exercise.
The attendance also included Colaiste Deputy Principal, Ms. Clare Wallace, Rev Gerry Hennessy, CC, (School Chaplain) and the PLC Co-Ordinator, Ms. Karen Stakelum and Mr Anthony Condron of the Board of Management.
The ever capable Bean a Ti for the convivial occasion, Seosaimhin Ni Cathail, who is aunt of the Guest of Honour, Michael Cahill, profiled the star corner back’s illustrious hurling career during which he won All Ireland Senior Hurling medals in 2010 and 2016, All-Ireland Minor Hurling medals in 2006 and 2007 and All-Ireland under 21 honours in 2008 and 2010.
Michael made his Senior inter-county debut as a substitute in the 2009 National Hurling League against Limerick.
He made his championship debut against Cork at left half back in in May 2010. He was nominated for an All-Star award in 2010, 2011 and 2016, winning the All Star Award at left cornerback in 2011. He won County Senior Hurling medals with Sarsfields in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and Munster Club Hurling medal in 2009.
He won a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with UCC in 2009. He also won Minor A hurling and football medals and numerous under-age medals, including some with Durlas Og.
Seosaimhin also outlined how Michael met with adversity through injury but rose above it and came through “with flying colours”.
Michael Cahill, who received a mighty bualadh bos from the appreciative audience, said it was a great honour to be there and he paid tribute to all those who were receiving awards on the night.
He said “Follow your dream and do what you want to do and be happy in what you do.”
He told the awards recipients, “You should all be very proud, you are an absolute credit to your families.”
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Patron of the GAA, congratulated Michael Cahill and endorsed his sentiments in relation to following your dream and doing what you want to do.
”Keep striving for the best things in your life”, advised the Archbishop.
PLC Student of the year
Seosaimhin Ni Cathail lauded PLC Student of the Year, Yvonne Crosse, who studied Administration (Level5) and stated “Yvonne is extremely hardworking and really embodies the spirit that imbues PLC. She is a competent and confident learner, enjoying the course and also embracing the serious aspects of her work, while managing to have a great sense of humour. She is very much a team player and has proven to be a great leader at times in the group. She has a caring nature, is highly motivated and has a great attention to detail”
The Norma Kelly Perpetual Trophy was won by Ms Tina Loughman. The late Norma completed Level 5 and Level 6 in Business Administration over the two years, 2012-2013.
Ms Ni Cathail said “Norma was gentle, kind and earnest and a warm lady. She, in her own quiet dignified way, was very supportive and selfless in the classroom”.
Norma’s father addressed the gathering also.
Seosaimhin Ni Cathail stated “Tina Loughman, a Business student, is a hardworking and diligent individual. And one of those people who give up their time to help others. She is highly motivated and will let no obstacle stop her from reaching her goal. She is currently completing Administration (Level 6)”.
The late Mary Ely
Seosaimhin Ni Cathail said, “It would be remiss of me not to mention the lady who was current PLC Co-Ordinator, Karen Stakelum’s predecessor - the Mrs PLC in Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed -over a number of years, the late Mary Ely”.
“Mary embodied the spirit of giving in her teaching career and in her role as PLC Co-ordinator. She coaxed, she encouraged, she laughed, she soothed, she created, she initiated and she cared passionately about her students and only wanted the best for them. She was present at our ceremony here last year. She gave generously of her time on the Board of Management and she is greatly missed in our school community.”
A moment of silent prayer was observed for the late Mary Ely (Ar dheis De a hanam cinealta).
Mr Denis Quinn, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed School Principal, thanked everybody who had come to their “very special night” and he lauded the team of people both inside and outside the school, who had made this “exciting occasion” happen.
He lauded Seosaimhin Ni Cathail “who had done a great job here tonight”. He thanked a number of people, including Archbishop O’ Reilly and Michael Cahill and Ms Jean Forbes Cooke of LIT, (Thurles campus), who never failed to turn up for various occasions in the Colaiste, the families of students and also PLC Co-ordinator, Karen Stakelum and School Secretary, Una Fogarty.
He wished the award recipients every success in the future and told them they were welcome to “drop in” to the Colaiste at any time.
In the best traditions of the Colaiste the cupan te agus ar uile was enjoyed by all.