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GAA President visits Mountrath Community School
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GAA President visits Mountrath Community School

‘Gold Award’ for school’s TY GAA Future Leaders Programme

Monday April 22nd was a proud day for the students and staff of  Mountrath Community School as they welcomed GAA President Jarlath Burns to the school for a special visit. 

This visit was in recognition of the ‘Gold Award’ the schools TY GAA Future Leaders Programme received this year as a result of their excellent work. 

To mark the visit, a series of events were planned on the day which was entitled ‘MCS Future Leaders, Future Stars’. This was the name given to highlight the role the school plays along the pathway from 1st year right through to intercounty stars today. To illustrate this, MCS staff members and Laois hurlers Aaron Dunphy (Captain) and Bryan Bredin were joined by intercounty players and past pupils, Ryan Mullaney, Jer Quinlan (Hurling) and Niall Dunne (Football) along with the National League Trophies which both teams won already this year. Also in attendance on the day were Laois GAA Chairman PJ Kelly, Secretary Niall Handy along with the head of Laois Games Development, Shane Keegan. Former GAA President and local Trumera man Liam O’Neill was also welcomed. 

To mark the day, this year’s TY Future Leaders group hosted 2 tournaments for the 1st year students of the school – one in Ladies Football and the other in hurling. In what was glorious weather for football and hurling, every match was keenly contested and there were some brilliant pieces of skill on show. The respect shown by all players, coaches and officials was also outstanding on the day. The finalists on the day along with match officials lined up and got to greet the GAA President and Laois Chairman PJ Kelly akin to what might be seen in Croke Park. True to form, Mr Burns had a friendly word for all students – something they will surely remember. 

The Ladies Football tournament was aptly won by the team named ‘Laois’ who were captained by Robyn Dooley who was presented with the trophy by Jarlath Burns. 

It was also a poignant day as the 1st year hurling tournament winners were presented with the Adam Kirwan Memorial Trophy in memory of the late past pupil of MCS. Adam’s parents, Lourda & Paul, sister Marie and Grandparents were there to present the trophy to winning captain of the ‘Limerick’ team, Leo Guilfoyle. Adam was remembered for his contribution to the school, his love of sport and hurling and a young man who made such a huge impact and always with a smile on his face. 

The GAA President was invited to the stage ‘as Gaeilge’ by students Ruaidhri Kavanagh and Donnacha O’Neill, and in his address, Mr. Burns spoke about the warmth and positive atmosphere he felt throughout the school. He spoke about the beautiful facilities and grounds of the school and urged the students to appreciate how fortunate they are to attend a school with these facilities on hand. He spoke about the importance of remembering in the GAA and how heartened he was to see Adam Kirwan’s memory being kept alive in the school and in the wider community. In relation to the Future Leaders Programme, he stated that the great event organised by the students today was evidence of the positive role that they can all play in their communities into the future.  

Finally, Principal, Ms Kathryn O’Brien thanked all guests for attending and making the time and effort to support the day. She especially thanked Mr Burns and described the excitement and honour which greeted the news of his impending visit. She commended the TY Future Leader students for the way they have developed their leadership skills and urged them to continue to use these skills in school and in their own communities in months and years ahead.