The early hours of Saturday morning, 7th May, witnessed the now annual charitable event, Darkness Into Light, rolling around once more. The flagship awareness and fundraising event reflects how Pieta House has captured the imagination of Irish people, and beyond, over the last decade. The organisation have shone a light on mental illness in general, and suicide in particular. It has sadly become a crisis that has reached epidemic proportions in this country in recent years and represents, perhaps, our most alarming social problem; leaving a trail of devastation behind.
The sterling work of the organisation in terms of both raising awareness and providing practical assistance has indeed shone a metaphorical light within the darkness and deep despair of mental illness and depression nationally and beyond. This generation, at large, have faced huge challenges in the wake of the recession of recent years. Those challenges and resultant strains have proved too much to bear for many who grappled in the darkness. Those challenges have claimed many victims in tragic circumstances; that have both defined and destroyed the lives of many who are left to bear the twin burdens of harrowing grief and despair- after loved ones have departed. Yet it is those same daunting and often debilitating
Following a late comeback victory over an emerging Calasanctius Oranmore side in the preliminary round of the Connacht Juvenile A Championship as reported previously (6-6 to 3-9), SJC’s talented Juvenile team marched on to a Championship semi-final encounter with familiar rivals in recent times- Rice College, Westport.
A fast start was crucial to the eventual outcome of this game. An early goal from Matthew Cooley settled nerves and a run of four points from captain Tony Gill underpinned a fantastic sequence of attacking play. To their credit, Rice rallied and reduced the gap to seven points at half-time, 2-7 to 0-6.
The second half witnessed an SJC blitz however, Jarlath’s running the score to 7-12 with a flurry of clinical finishes- including 3-2 from Alan Morris. The result of scintillating attacking play that was a joy to watch. At this point, SJC turned to the panel on the sideline and although the substitutes acquitted themselves admirably, Rice again proved resilient and salvaged pride with a late scoring burst. Nonetheless, SJC progressed to the final with an exciting game finishing on a scoreline of 7-14 to 4-7.
And so to a remarkable Championship final series with a strong St. Colman’s of Claremorris outfit. In the final analysis St. Jarlath’s suffered heartbreak, losing a high-quality replay by a mere two points. Both matches witnessed outstanding competition and it is worth noting that in the course of playing four matches over the duration of a League and Championship season- the two richly talented teams remarkably returned a level aggregate score. Indeed, despite the disappointment of losing the Championship final, Jarlath’s can recall the League final success (on a scoreline of 2-9 to 1-8) with fondness.
Both the drawn first tie and final replay were played in the Connacht Centre of Excellence, Bekan in contrasting conditions. Perhaps the first game indeed was the most remarkable. Against the breeze, SJC endured a nightmare opening. Colman’s flying out of the blocks with 2-2 scored in the opening ten minutes. Thereafter, Jarlath’s were magnificent. The backs limited a strong Colman’s team to four points for the remaining fifty minutes as SJC returned twelve points within the same period across both halves. Matthew Cooley was unerring in front of goal with four points returned. Notably, a phenomenal late drive from distance by the outstanding Keelan Creavan and a fisted equaliser
Bhí an cluiche ceannais ar siúl idir Coláiste Iarfhlatha agus Holy Rosary, An Creagán ar an gCarn Mór Dé Céadaoin 27 Aibreán. Tháinig dhá bhus de thacadóirí chuig an gcluiche tábhachtach seo. D’imir an scoil seo againne le cóir na gaoithe sa chéad leath agus fuair Cian Higgins an chéad chúilín tar éis ceithre nóiméad. Rinne muid ár seacht ndícheall scór ard a chur suas roimh leath ama ach bhí cosaint láidir ag an gCreagán agus chríochnaigh an scór cothrom ag leath ama 1 – 3 ag buachaillí an Chreagáin agus 5 chúilín ag buachaillí Thuama.
D’fhill Coláiste Iarfhlatha ar an bpáirc don dara leath agus d’imir siad as a gcraiceann i gcoinne na gaoithe agus chonaic an slua mór scoth na hiománaíochta ag Coláiste Iarfhlatha. Fuair Hugh McDonagh agus Keelan Creavan cúilíní gleoite ag teacht go deireadh an chluiche agus cheap gach duine go mbeadh breis ama againn ach ansin scóráil an freasúra cúl eile a chuir clabhsúr leis an gcluiche. Bhí an bua ag an gCreagán agus ba é an scór ag lán ama ná 2 – 6 ag Holy Rosary agus 9 gcúilín ag Coláiste Iarfhlatha. Bhí díomá orainn ag dul abhaile ach ba é seo an chéad chluiche a chaill muid i mbliana agus an chéad uair a raibh muid i gcluiche ceannais na Sóisear ó 1996. Fair play do na hiománaithe ar fad agus bí cinnte de go mbeidh arís ann.
A number of St. Jarlath’s College students visited the Icon of ‘Our Mother of Perpetual Help’ at Tuam Cathedral on Thursday 21st April. Blessed Pope Pius IX presented the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists for veneration in their newly-built Church of Sant’Alfonso, Rome in December 1865. The boys were welcomed by Fr. Seamus Devitt, Fr. Fintan Monahan and Fr. Pat Farragher. They were joined by their teacher, Ms. Cliona Feerick. More information on the pilgrimage can be found at http://www.followtheicon.ie/ .
The second annual interschool’s debating competition was held recently in St. Jarlath’s College. This year the competition was extended to schools outside of Tuam with Dunmore Community School and Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew, take part for the first time, along with Scoil Bhríde, Mercy Secondary School and Presentation College, Currylea.
The motion for the debate was, ‘By Celebrating the Rising, We Glamorise War’. All debaters were incredibly well prepared for the debate and the crowd was entertained with compelling arguments presented by both the proposition and opposition.
Adjudicators on the day were Mr. Jim Carney and Dr. Gabriel O’Connor. The debaters were complimented on both their outstanding ability and confidence and while deciding the winners of the competition needed much deliberation, first prize of the SJC Shield was awarded to Adam Cronin and Oisín Donnellan from St. Jarlath’s College. The medal for Best Individual Speaker went to Caleigh-Ann Ryan from the Presentation College. Congratulations to all students involved and a special thank you to Ms. Joanne O’ Connor for organizing the event.