Awards Night Celebrations

October 16, 2022

Presentation Castleisland hosted their annual Awards Night for the 2021/22 school year on Thursday October 13th. This celebration was held in-person at Presentation Secondary School for the first time since 2019.
Choir Soloists and the School Orchestra opened the celebration with a heart-warming performance of ‘One moment in time’ led by music teacher Ms. Ailish O’Connor.

During his opening remarks, Principal, Mr. Pierce Dargan, welcomed all in attendance including members of the 2022 leaving certificate class and special guests; Cáit Lynch and Eilis Lynch (Kerry Ladies Senior All-Ireland finalists and past pupils of Presentation Castleisland), Ciara Griffin (retired Ireland Women’s Rugby Captain, star of RTE’s Ultimate Hell Week and former student of Presentation Castleisland) and keynote speaker Elma Walsh from the Donal Walsh Live Life Foundation. Mr. Dargan remarked that the night was a celebration of the wide spectrum of talents and achievements of students in Presentation Castleisland.

Mr. Batt O’ Donnell, the MC for the evening, outlined that the theme for the celebration was ‘Celebrating Achievement and Living Life to the Full’. This was poignant for the first in-person awards since Covid. With restrictions now lifted, the school community were able to celebrate together and once again live life to the full.

Student achievement was recognised through a host of awards on the night:
• In memory of the late Seamus Falvey, School Principal from 2000 to 2012, the Seamus Falvey Award was presented to Hillary O’Connor, for her commitment to school life and the unwavering positivity she brought to the classroom. This award was presented by Mrs. Maria Falvey, wife of the late Seamus Falvey.
• The Sister Clement Award is presented each year to the student who works consistently and diligently in her studies, and this year, it was awarded to Caroline Blanchfield. This award was presented by Sr. Mary of the Presentation Order Castleisland.
• The CEIST Award was presented to Hanna Herlihy, a student who models the school’s ethos every day and who actively promotes the school’s core values of respect and inclusivity. The CEIST award was presented by Elma Walsh.
• The Sister Rita Art Award is presented to a Senior Cycle student who consistently proves themselves in Art. The winner of this award was April O’Connor. This award was presented by Ms. O’Reilly and Sr. Margaret of the of the Presentation Order Castleisland.
• The Junior sports person was awarded to Maireád Walsh and was presented by Kerry Footballers Cáit and Eilis Lynch. The senior sports person of the year was presented to Hillary O’Connor by retired Women’s Rugby Captain, Ciara Griffin.
• Awards were also presented to students in the areas of Music, Business Enterprise, STEM, Literature, Gaelige and many more.
• Winners of the Student of the Year were also announced – Annabell Killeen (first year), Amelie Kerin (second year), Emily Walsh (third year), Sarah Glennon Barreto (fifth year) and Laura Walsh (sixth year).
• Gold Medals were presented to Siobhán Brosnan and Laura Walsh for their most outstanding results in the Leaving Certificate in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Elma Walsh was the keynote speaker on the evening. A touching video was played for the audience about her son, Donal. The audience got a glimpse into Donal’s childhood and the battle he fought with cancer. Mrs. Walsh spoke about the message and the legacy her son Donal left behind. Elma spoke about Donal’s anti-suicide campaigns and further emphasised the theme of the night that everyone ‘should live life to the full’.

On his closing remarks, Mr. Dargan thanked all in attendance and he thanked the choir for always adding to and making each school event that little bit more special.

The ceremony ended with a choir performance of ‘Fix You’ led by Music Teacher, Ms. Deirdre O’Brien. Choir members also performed the song in sign language.