Recently, on the morning of May 6th, the Kenyan athlete, Eliud Kipchoge, was part of a team of three runners who attempted to break the 2hr barrier for a marathon. Something many believe impossible. He finished, running alone, in a time of 2hrs and 24 seconds. In a sport in which records are set by mere seconds he was an astonishing 2 mins and 33 seconds faster than the current world record. His two-hour marathon is something other athletes might only dream about achieving. In the post race interview Paula Radcliffe first asked him if he was already thinking about those 25 seconds and how he could make them up. While Kipchoge was quick to acknowledge that it will be possible for humans, he smiled “for now I am happy to have run a 2 hr marathon”. It is not a bad analogy for a school or for our human journey. Our Christian faith allows us to believe that anything is possible and I know given the nature of our students and staff that great things lie ahead. In fact, the College would fail if our students had already achieved their best. We are, after all, in the business of preparing them to go on to greater things – but for now we can enjoy, celebrate and acknowledge the many wonderful achievements that, amazingly, are part of a normal year at St Kieran’s: “for now we are happy to have run a 2 hour marathon”.
The pages of this Record documents the wonderful achievements of our students this year. Our hurlers did us proud again by winning the Junior, Juvenile titles and offering a brave battling performance in the Senior Colleges All-Ireland Final. We are Juvenile Football South Leinster Champions. Our athletic successes continue to inspire and this year our Intermediate team won bronze in the All-Ireland Cross Country. Our Equestrian Team won the White Cup and finished second in Ireland. We won a Maths All-Ireland and our Juniors came second. Our young scientists were in receipt of a highly commended award in the RDS this year; and our school day continues to be enlightened by innovation and progression – our drama group is going from strength to strength; our Choirs have made a CD; our Jazz band gets stronger and our Traditional band is emerging as a wonderful force. Academic, sporting and personal successes are the fabric of a year in St Kieran’s College.
The fact that the Diocesan Forum, the Adult Faith Development Group, the Vocations Office, the Pastoral Plan Coordinator, and the Diocesan Retreat Evenings all find a home here is testimony to the fact that the College remains at the service of the Diocese and its people. Maynooth University’s Outreach Campus offering First Arts, and Waterford IT’s TSSG Research Centre continue to find here an environment for their academic pursuits.
This year saw the College undertake significant work to develop its network and connections. The establishment of the St Kieran’s College Alumni brings back to life the links of past pupils with each other and with the College. In fact, under the guidance of Alan Buckely as Alumni Chairman a major event is planned this summer to welcome all past pupils back to the grounds of the College and we await this wonderful day. The College, in collaboration with Kilkenny GAA, also led a significant corporate event in Dublin earlier this year which saw over forty of Ireland’s leading companies attend a Leadership in Sport Lessons for Business afternoon. Progressing this, a similar event is planned for New York later this year.
Much work is still ongoing with the Department of Education and Skills to facilitate the relocation of a new ETB joint venture of a Community School and Coláiste Pobail Osraí on College lands and to allow for the development of significant facilities here on the grounds of St Kieran’s. In fact recently a grant of 6.7million has been secured to provide the necessary access road for these developments to begin. The hope is that these projects can, now, soon start to materialise.
While, as these pages attest, St Kieran’s is a home for many varied educational and formational activities it is our school which lies at the heart of all that we do. Those who lead it continue to inspire. In Adrian Finan our Principal and Ken Maher our Deputy Principal we have two men with immense vision, dedication, drive and commitment to make the College all that it can be. It is impossible to accurately acknowledge the contribution they make as any attempt would fall far short of capturing it. However, our parents, students and staff know only too well how much care and attention they give to every member of this community and to every decision they make. I thank them for their selfless commitment to St Kierans College which they live out each day.
I am blessed to call St Kieran’s my home. I never take it for granted. It is wonderful to observe each day the staff and students and all that they achieve. It is humbling, in seeing the calibre they are, to know that they will all go on to achieve so much more. I have, therefore, a real debt of gratitude to the students and their Council, the parents and their Association, the School and College staff, my colleagues on the Board of Management, my fellow Trustees, and all those who make St Kieran’s College the place that it is. We will go on to much greater things but “for now we are happy to have run a 2hr marathon”.
Rev. Dr Dermot Ryan, President
Chairperson, Board of Management