Our school community was greatly saddened this week at the passing of one of our students, Tommy Hanley. What follows is not a eulogy to Tommy. Rather, it is an effort to capture the essence of a gentle young man. A young man who had that endearing capacity to always manage a smiling ‘sorry’ whenever he was mildly corrected for what he loved most – a wee chat!

Tommy’s seat, these past few months, was often left empty. It was as if the class or providence knew no one else could fill it but him, often prompting us to pray and hope, and pray and hope, for a miracle. That miracle didn’t come. Not in the way we wanted it to anyway.

But the miracle of his smile, his courage, his tenacity to come in to school just to see us, just to have a normal day again, to be at ease and make others at ease, that memory will always stay with us. Despite knowing, as he did, that the journey ahead would be very difficult and that the odds were against him, Tommy stayed strong throughout. And he kept smiling.

Tommy had something precious, a gift that Our Lady had too, and that was humility. He had a virtue that really marked him out as a young man on the path to becoming a real man. He never thought he was on this earth to show how important he was. Rather, without him ever realising it, he showed us that true humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. It would never dawn on Tommy the difference he could make in the lives of his classmates and teachers. Our students are the ones who knew the real Tommy. He was their friend and classmate and they are missing his presence deeply. It is fitting that our students get to express their memories of Tommy and so the following lines have been composed by the students themselves in an attempt to capture their memories of a friend:

“We remember a normal teenage lad who loved sports. He was competitive and he was so passionate about winning. He loved basketball and it was him who taught us the rules for Australian football. He was also mad about computer games – he loved the play station.

“I remember his infectious smile. It was a mischievous smile. He often played tricks on us like pulling the seat out from under us! Both of us would get in trouble but Tommy always smiled a “sorry” and somehow that eased the punishment we were both due from the teacher!”

“We remember a young fella who was always positive even when he got in trouble! He sometimes got a punishment essay but even this would not get him down. He was known to fill most of the essay with pictures and diagrams instead of words! He always seemed to get away with it because, like us, the teachers seemed to see he was impossible to give out to!”

“Tommy was always so positive – he always saw the good side of things. In a way we were all inspired by that and we’ll remember it even now that he’s no longer with us.”

“We studied a book in class called “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In the book, Atticus Finch says that real courage is carrying on even when you know the odds are against you. “…real courage….It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” We don’t need a character from the book to show us what he meant. Tommy showed us.”

Tommy carried a cross only he and his family could know the weight of. He was an astounding witness to hope and he taught us, students and teachers alike, the meaning of the word courage.

Tommy, we’ll miss you, your seat is irreplaceable.

May we have your hope, your sense of fun, your humility and your courage.

We will never forget you.

You are always in our prayers.

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Key Dates (Please note the calendar is subject to change)

  • Friday Morning, August 26th School re-opens for class.
  • Monday, October 3rd School Closed – Long Weekend.
  • Friday Evening, October 28th November Break begins.
  • Monday Morning, November 7th School re-opens.
  • Thursday, December 8th Immaculate Conception – School Mass.
  • Thursday Evening, December 22nd Christmas Holidays begin.


Please note the above calendar is provisional and is subject to change.

  • Monday Morning, January 9th School re-opens.
  • Monday 6th to Thursday 9th February Junior Cert. Trial Exams (Mocks)
  • Friday 10th to Friday 17th February Leaving Cert. Trial Exams (Mocks)
  • Friday Evening, February 17th Shrove Break begins.
  • Monday Morning, February 27th School re-opens.
  • Friday, March 17th St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Friday Evening, April 7th Easter Holidays begin.
  • Monday Morning, April 24th School re-opens.
  • Monday, May 1st School Closed – Bank Holiday.
  • Friday Evening June 2nd Summer Holidays begin for non-exam classes.
  • Wednesday Morning June 7th State Examinations begin.


Please note the above calendar is provisional and is subject to change.

  • Thursday, Sept. 1st 2016 Memory Lane Photos for 1st, 3rd & Leaving Certs 9.15a.m.
    (class as normal for all students)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15th 2016 P/T Meeting Second Year 4.15p.m. – 6.45p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 24th 2016 P/T/ Meeting First Year 4.15p.m. – 6.45p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6th 2016 P/T Meeting Leaving Certs 4.15p.m . – 6.45p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 12th 2017 P/T Meeting Fourth Year & TY 1.20p.m. – 3.50p.m. Class finishes at 12:40p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28th 2017 P/T Meeting Third Year 1:20p.m. – 3:50p.m. Class finishes at 12:40p.m..
  • Saturday, Feb. 4th 2017 Enrolment / Open Day 10.00a.m. – 2.00p.m.


Please note the above calendar is provisional and is subject to change.

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