In the death of Mgr Tommy Maher St Kieran’s College has lost one of our great past pupils, a legendary former staff member and former President. Mgr Tommy served here from 1964 until 1983 and was President of St Kieran’s College from 1973 to 1983. Conscious of his contribution to St Kieran’s College and in particular his love of, and dedication to, the game of hurling we invited the Chairman of Kilkenny County Board, Ned Quinn to prepare a piece on Tommy. We are honoured to have it to mark this sad occasion.
Rev Dr Dermot Ryan,
It is both a great privilege and deeply humbling for me as the current Chairman of Kilkenny GAA County Board to have been invited by St Kieran’s College to pay tribute today to Monsignor Tommy Maher who during his life has made such a enormous contribution to the College, to the Parish of Mullinavat and to Kilkenny Hurling.
All will have their own particular memories of Fr Tommy and the positive influence that he was as a teacher and subsequently as President of St Kieran’s College and of his time as Parish Priest of Mullinavat where his footprint continues to be visible every day. I should say that the care, loyalty and support shown to him during his latter time in that parish spoke far more eloquently of the regard people had for him than any words could possibly do.
Hurling was a major part of Fr Tommy’s life. He was an outstanding hurler himself and was a member of the 1946 Kilkenny All-Ireland Senior hurling final panel and but for his vocation to the priesthood he would have been part of Kilkenny All-Ireland winning team of 1947.
Despite having to call time on his playing career at a relatively young age the then young priest continued his involvement in the game and went on to become one of the most visionary and successful coaches of all time. He was instrumental along with Donie Nealon, Tipperary; Dessie Ferguson, Dublin; John Hanly, Clare; and Ned Power, Waterford in setting up the first ever Hurling Coaches courses initially in Gormanstown and subsequently in St Kieran’s College. These were the forerunners to the Coaching Courses that are available today and that continue to offer so much to our game.
His achievements with St Kieran’s College, with Kilkenny and the Mullinavat team, whom he coached to Junior Co-Championship honours in 1984 (their first such title in almost 40 years) are legendary.
With St Kieran’s he reestablished the College amongst hurling’s elite and his legacy there is that they are now top of the second level schools National Roll of Honour and will be hoping to stretch that lead when the contest this year’s All-Ireland Final on Saturday next (4th April).
Of course, it was his role as coach to the Kilkenny team that brought him to National Prominence. It is difficult now to realise the fallow period that Kilkenny hurling was experiencing when the then Co Secretary, the late Paddy Grace, invited him to take on the role in 1957. Suffice to say only one All-Ireland, that of 1947, had been won in the previous 16 years. What was to follow then, and what has followed since, could not have been foreseen but there can be no doubt but that the All-Ireland victory achieved in 1957, his first year in charge was seminal in changing the course of our County’s hurling history. Further All-Ireland successes followed in ’63, ’67, ’69, ’72, ’74 and ’75 before Fr Tommy relinquished his position.
What has followed since in Kilkenny GAA owes much to his work as Coach over that period of time. He revolutionised the approach to coaching and training teams and it can hardly be a coincidence that each of our successful County Team Managers in the intervening years – Pat Henderson, Eddie Keher, Ollie Walsh and now Brian Cody – all played on teams that he coached.
So as we say our final farewell to someone who has contributed so much to hurling, to St Kieran’s College, to the parish of Mullinavat and to Kilkenny hurling in particular, we express our sympathy to the members of the Maher family, to the College community, to his brother Priests and to those in the hurling family of Kilkenny all who owe this man so much.
Chairman Kilkenny County Board
Fifty years is a long time to be away from a place, but for the twenty-five former students of St. Kieran’s College who gathered there for a reunion last week, some things had not changed at all (the old class halls, the walks, the undependable clock, the hurling trophies on display) and some things had changed beyond recognition (the number and variety of the staff, the range of subjects studied, the amount of extracurricular activity).
The visiting group, made up of former boarders and day-boys from the late 1950s-early 1960s era, also included two of its surviving teachers (Fr. Seamus McEvoy, now ministering in Seir Kieran, and Joe Lambe, Castlecomer Road) and a former head prefect (Monsignor Ciarán Ó Mearáin, formerly of Camden diocese, New Jersey, and now living in retirement in Dublin).
Before the formalities began in the afternoon of Thursday August 21st., a small group toured the classrooms, library and learning areas of the National University of Ireland at Maynooth in the former seminary facilities. They also visited the former Burrell’s Hall student residential complex, which is now a temporary home to approximately twenty technical and service research and development companies.
The incubation units co-ordinated by RIKON, a service of Waterford Institute of Technology, offer an amazing variety of activities in areas as varied as tourism, agricultural technology and telecommunications. Also there is the offices of the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency.
The residential units in the adjoining Birchfield residences are now available for Arts students who study for a year at the Kilkenny campus before continuing at the main campus in Maynooth.
Mass in the college chapel was concelebrated by priests from the class and the college, led by Fr. Tom Norris, now Spiritual Director of the Irish College in Rome, and Rev Dr. Dermot Ryan, College President. Also in attendance was Monsignor Jim Walsh, a class member now retired from service in the diocese of San Jose, California.
A reception was held in the college parlour at which Dr. Ryan gave an inspiring assessment of the role of St. Kieran’s College in the region, the country and (as represented by its alumni) the world at large. He observed, if St Kieran’s doesn’t make a real difference in the life of its students, then it has no reason to exist. But, and this was his point, the consensus of those gathered was that it did and does make a massive difference: Time and again the results in everything from Leaving Certificate examinations to sporting championships to semi-academic competitions and award schemes suggested that the ‘black and white’ of the college colours really adds something to its students.
Each year on the first Tuesday after the 15th of August – this year the 19th August – the grounds of the College will be awash with colour as we are home to the St Kieran’s Reunion. It is a wonderful occasion for which many, who were ordained from the College, return from all parts of the world to celebrate together.
While all who studied here are most welcome, special attention is paid to the Jubilarians. For this reunion those who are celebrating jubilees are invited back from all parts of the world and will gather in the College to celebrate together on that day. Priests will join in the celebration from around Ireland, England and hopefully, also, even further afield. Those returning love to meet and renew connections with those here in the diocese.
The celebrations begin with a concelebrated Mass in the College Chapel at which Bishop Seamus Freeman will preside.
On Thursday, August 21st, St Kieran’s College is delighted to welcome back the class of 1963 for their Class Reunion. A lot of memories were made during their years here in the College (1958-1963) and we look forward to sharing those with them when they call into the College on that afternoon. Work to prepare the reunion has been carried out by one of that class – Denis Bergin.
With the advent of Parish Pastoral Councils and the structured involvement of lay people in the life of the diocese, St Kieran’s College Kilkenny, as part of its mission of education and formation, wishes to offer, on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Ossory, a programme of education for those involved in parish life.
The Programme will be accredited by St Patrick’s College Maynooth as a Level 7 Certificate in Theological Studies (20 credit ECTS).The programme will be offered on the Kilkenny Campus of NUI Maynooth, based at St Kieran’s College. It will continue a tradition of education based on the values of the gospel, of both lay and clerical students, which began in 1782.
This course will be of interest to people who are involved in parish life or to those who are involved with the Diocesan Forum. It may also be of interest to those who wish to deepen and enrich their own understanding of their faith and who are prepared to become involved in parish life.
- To provide general theological education and formation in the main aspects of faith.
- To provide the theological background needed for lay involvement and leadership roles at parish and diocesan level.
Specific Admission Requirements
- Applicants under 23 must have achieved matriculation requirements.
- Applicants over 23 are asked to submit a short piece of no more than 100 words on why they want to do this course.
- Final selection will be based on a short interview.
Special requirements for progression to Certification
- Attendance and participation (85% attendance mandatory).
- Satisfactory completion of assignments.
Methods of Assessment
- Written assignment will be completed at the end of each module.
- The assignment will be decided by the staff member in charge of the module. Such an assignment could range from an essay, a reflective project or review, the completion of class assignments or a learning journal.
100 hours part-time over one academic year from September to May
€400 (Parish sponsorship may be available for those who gain a place on the course).
For further information please contact the following:
Declan Murphy M.A. (Course Director)
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone 056-7753624 or 087-9081470
Application Forms can be downloaded HERE
Closing date for applications: 22nd August 2014
Diploma in Catholic Education
St Kieran’s College in joint initiative with Notre Dame and Maynooth
St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, is about to embark on a joint education initiative with the renowned American University of Notre Dame and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
To download the brochure and application form click on the links below
The country’s oldest secondary school with a strong tradition in learning has introduced a new Diploma in Catholic Education and will join forces with the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and St Patrick’s College to run the special programme for teachers.
The Diploma, which takes place in the magnificent setting of St Kieran’s College is a Level 8 Course, and it aims to equip and support both primary and post-primary school teachers in exploring and understanding the special ethos which underpins Catholic schools. By increasing awareness of the faith and how it should shape the role of the educator, this new course will enable participants to contribute more actively to the Catholic school ethos.
Welcoming the launch of the Diploma, Fr Dermot Ryan, President of St Kieran’s College said “We are fortunate to have so many great teachers in all our schools in Kilkenny and supporting them we are very excited about this innovation and we hope to inspire them towards a greater understanding of the history and theology on which Catholic education is founded. It is important that Catholic school teachers be aware of their particular role and responsibilities and so the course is designed to promote a deeper sense of spirituality and how that finds meaningful expression in the day-to-day school experience”.
While the course is intended for those who currently hold a teaching position, it is also suitable for mature students who want to pursue further study, for H.Dip students, or for those currently seeking a teaching position. It may also be of interest to anyone thinking of a role in management and who wishes to gain a better insight into the Catholic school ethos.
Course Director Mr Ken Maher said “the Diploma in Catholic Education will provide a very practical resource for all teachers and will assist in their on-going vocational development. Critically, it will also ensure the ready supply of well-informed staff for the Catholic school sector”.
The Course comprises six modules and will run for one night per week over one academic year. Four of the modules will be conducted during a two-week residential summer school at the Parknasilla Resort and Spa in Kerry. Three retreats will be offered during the year together with a number of social events. Topics to be covered include Foundations of Catholic Education, Spirituality of the Catholic Teacher, Catholic School Teaching and Educational Leadership, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Theology, Learning From Jesus the Teacher, and Christian Discipleship.
Anyone interested in applying for the Diploma in Catholic Education Programme should contact the Course Director, Mr Ken Maher, at 056 7753628 or email email@example.com for an information brochure and application form. Closing date for applications is 31st July 2014.
Weddings at St Kieran’s College
Bishop Seamus Freeman has granted permission for the celebration of marriages of past pupils in the College Chapel.
Set in the magnificent grounds of St Kieran’s the College Chapel, which seats c. 180 people, is an ideal location for the celebration of marriage.
Any past-pupil thinking of celebrating their marriage here are invited to contact the College Office.
Tel: 056 7721086
This year a former staff member of St Kieran’s College Secondary School and a priest of the diocese Fr Seamus Henry died. Mr Art Anglin, retired from the school staff, recalls Seamus and working with him.
Fr Seamus was a very respected colleague of mine on the staff of St Kieran’s, while his parents were neighbours on the College Road. He taught the Physics/Chemistry course to the Leaving Cert class in St Kieran’s, very successfully.
Another colleague of Fr Henry, during his days in St Kieran’s was Mons. Michael Ryan who gave a wonderful sermon at Seamus’ funeral and from this I quote: “from his home in St Mary’s Parish, in Wellington Square, Seamus was blessed with the example of faith from his parents and the priests of his parish and the faith communities that he was part of in CBS Primary School and St Kieran’s College”.
Most noticeably Seamus was blessed with a fine intellect and as a result he could have taken any course in the university in 1954 but after prayer and reflection he offered himself as a candidate for the priesthood – that was the Marian Year – and all his life he had a great devotion to the B.V.M. I saw his Rosary with his Breviary on his coffin. His parents and his sister supported his decision to go to Maynooth.
Fr Seamus was ordained on 18th June 1961 – the Patrician Year – and after one year in the parish of Durrow he was appointed to the teaching staff of St Kieran’s, a position he held for 19 years. Seamus was a gifted and dedicated teacher who gave his all to his pupils and expected no less in return from them.
He loved teaching; no doubt it was in his genes. His Dad, James Henry had come from Sligo to teach Science and Maths in the old Technical School on Parliament Street.
Later he was headmaster of the new City Vocational School when it opened in 1940, continuing in that position until he retired in 1955. He continued as a part time teacher well in to the 1970s.
Fr Seamus was happy to move from teaching back into parish ministry in 1982 when he moved to Ballyragget and his mother, who had been living on her own in College Road, moved with him. He moved to Freshford in 1987 and spent 24 years as Parish Priest there. He was a man of simple tastes both as teacher and as priest, gifted but unassuming.
He spent his retirement in Freshford until he died of ill-health in 25th February 2014. Seamus is remembered fondly by many – parishioners and old school colleagues. His great contribution to the school and diocese is a testimony to the man he was.
Back Row: (left to right) Billy Hanlon, Ally Rafter, Joe Cuddihy, Eoin Walsh, Daniel O’Connor, Brian Cody, Ray Lahart, Conor O’Carroll, Michael Cody.
3rd Row: (left to right) Robert O’Flynn, Shane Walsh, Kieran Freeman, Bill Carrigan, Richie Leahy, Billy Ryan, Paul White, Edmond Delaney, Robbie Donnolly, Niall Walsh, Conor Murphy, Mr Ger Flood (trainer).
2nd Row: (left to right) Mr Liam Smith (trainer), Josh Haines, Dylan O’Shea, Jason Barcoe, Conor Browne, Tadhg O’Dwyer, Gavin Costigan, Tommy Walsh, Gary Tynan, Mr Ken Maher (trainer)
Front Row: (left to right) Jack Keoghan, Jason Byrne, Kevin Blanchfield, Jason Cleere, James Maher (captain), Darren Mullan, Liam Blanchfield, Sean Morrissey
19th Croke Cup Title for St Kieran’s College
St Kieran’s College captured the Croke Cup for a record 19th time following a 2-16 to 0-13 win over Kilkenny CBS in the 2014 All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Final.
Nowlan Park was the venue on Saturday April 5th for the first ever All-Kilkenny final. St Kieran’s went into this game as outsiders following defeat to the same opposition in the Leinster Final a month earlier, but confidence was high following a thrilling quarter final win over St Brigid’s, Loughrea after extra time and then an outstanding performance and victory over competition favourites Ardscoil Ris, Limerick in the semi final. (Click here for St Kieran’s V Ardscoil Ris Match Report in Kilkenny People and here for photos from that game).
St Kieran’s started slowly in the final and trailed early in the game by 0-5 to 0-0. All was about to change however as Conor O’Carroll set up Brian Cody to score the 1st goal of the game in the 13th minute. St Kieran’s were right back in the game. At half time the score was level 0-7 to 1-4. Two quick points from Kilkenny CBS at the start of the 2nd half were immediately followed by the 2nd goal of the game for St Kieran’s scored by Tadhg O’Dwyer who flicked the ball brilliantly to the net to put St Kieran’s ahead for the first time in the game. From here to the finish St Kieran’s produced the display of the year, outscoring the opposition by 0-12 to 0-4 and powered on to a famous 2-16 to 0-13 victory in the end. James Maher accepted the Croke Cup on behalf of the team, just as his father Noel had done in 1990. James and Noel now join Ted (1957) and David Carroll (1996) as father and son All-Ireland Colleges winning captains.
Well done to everyone involved on this outstanding achievement as another glorious chapter is added to the proud hurling tradition of St Kieran’s College.
For all the match reports in the Kilkenny People on Wednesday April 9th click on the links below.
Click on Kieran’s are Kings of the hurling Castle for John Knox’s report on the game.
Click here for Trevor Spillane’s Reports
For reports in the National Newspapers click on the links below.
To see Highlights of the game click on the Youtube link below.
To see the Full Game (TG4 coverage) click on the Youtube link below.
To see the after game celebrations and the presentation of the Croke Cup click on the Youtube link below.
For a full Preview of the Game, including media articles, videos and photos click on the link.
Click on this link for the Match Programme for the 2014 All-Ireland post Primary Schools A Final.
For photos and report on the Leinster semi final victory over Colaiste Eoin, Dublin click here.
For photos and report on the Leinster quarter final victory over Castlecomer CS click here.
For photos and report on the Leinster League Final victory over Kilkenny CBS click here.
Click on the Youtube link below to enjoy Shane Walsh’s promotional video for the Leinster Final earlier in the year
Good luck to all the players and the management team of Mr Liam Smith, Mr Ken Maher and Mr Ger Flood in the All-Ireland Colleges Final in Nowlan Park on Saturday April 5th at 5pm. St Kieran’s will go into this game as underdogs but the team has improved steadily since the Leinster Final defeat to Kilkenny CBS less than a month ago and hopes are high that the lads will produce a big performance on the day to land a record 19th Croke Cup Title for the school. Preparations have gone well and the two recent victories over St Bridgid’s, Loughrea and Ardscoil Ris, Limerick in the All-Ireland series will give the lads great confidence heading into the final. We wish everybody involved the very best of luck and we look forward to what promises to be an enthralling game.
For previews of the game in The Kilkenny People click on the links below:
The St Kieran’s College senior hurling panel:
Alexander Rafter (St Lachtain’s)
Bill Carrigan (Clara)
Billy Hanlon (Barrow Rangers)
Billy Ryan (Graigue Balllycallan)
Brian Cody (Ballyhale ShamrocConor Browne (James Stephens)
Conor Murphy (Graigue Ballycallan)
Conor O’ Carroll (Lisdowney)
Daniel O’ Connor (O’ Loughlin Gaels)
Darren Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
Dylan O’ Shea (James Stephens)
Eddie Delaney (Conahy Shamrocks)
Eoin Walsh (Lisdowney)
Gary Tynan (Danesfort)
Gavin Costigan (James Stephens)
Jack Keoghan (Tullaroan)
James Maher (St Lachtain’s)- Captain
Jason Barcoe (Clara)
Jason Byrne (Clara)
Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge)
Joe Cuddihy (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
Josh Haines (John Lockes)
Kevin Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
Kieran Freeman (Durrow Harps)
Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
Michael Cody (Dunnamaggin)
Niall Walsh (Windgap)
Paul White (St Lachtain’s)
Ray Lahart (James Stephens)
Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
Robbie Donnelly (Thomastown)
Sean Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)
Shane Walsh (Tullaroan)
Tadgh O’ Dwyer (James Stephens)
Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)