Distinguished guest speaker and former pupil of St. Mary’s, Dr. Roisin Lyons presenting Laura O’Reilly with the Senior Academic Award for 2018.  Laura is now studying Veterinary Science in UCD.


St. Mary’s Secondary School had their annual Catherine McAuley award ceremony on Friday night last, 19th October.  A highlight in the school calendar year, teachers and parents took time to celebrate the enormous achievements of its students in so many disciplines.


The school was exceptionally proud to invite back one of its Distinguished Past Pupils, Dr. Roisin Lyons, who is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in DCU. Roisin lectures also in Saudi Arabia and has won several teaching awards. Her research and passion focuses on the development of entrepreneurial tendencies in individuals and teams. She works in an advisory role for the Enactus Global Social Entrepreneurship programme, the School Enterprise Challenge and the National CSR forum, while also acting as a judge in the Young Scientist competition on an annual basis. Roisin, along with the principal, Mr Cooke and teachers presented awards to the following students who were recipients of awards on the night:


Full Attendance: First Year- Sinead Creedon, Emma Murphy, Lisa Neville, Second Year – Caoimhe Horgan and Emily McSweeney, Fifth Year – Ciara Walsh, Sixth Year – Louise Lynch and Rachel McCarthy.


Gaisce awards were achieved by Caitriona Moynihan, Miriam Murnane, Carolyn O’Donovan and Katie Sheehan. 


Students Council members in 2017/2018 - were: Sadhbh Bourke, Aine Sheehan, Ciara Bradley, Lily Casey, Kate Maguire, Molly McKirgan, Kitty Clancy, Dominika Starzyckza, Aoife Foley, Emer McMahon, Kate Bradley, Flora Lynch, Kathleen McSweeney and Riona O’Connor.


The Apprentice Chef Certificate was received by Suzan Aslanoglu for reaching the Munster final of the competition in Tralee IT.


The much coveted and prestigious Pfizer Chemistry Quiz was won by the Leaving Cert class of 2018 with their Chemistry teacher, Ms Catherine Kerrigan. The team was made up of Kate Bradley, Lydia Costello, Leah Kelleher and Laura O’Reilly.


Transition Years had National success last year when they won the All Ireland final of the AIB Build a Bank competition, with their Business teacher, Ms Arlene O’Donoghue. The team comprised of: -Jessica Buckley, Savannah Hickey, Caoimhe Moynihan, Miriam Murnane, Hanna O’Donovan and Katie Sheehan. 


Catherine McAuley awards were received on the night by those students who by word and example exemplified the characteristics of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the school in the last school year. Among her qualities were kindness, generosity, friendliness, courtesy to all and leadership skills. The following students were congratulated with a Catherine McAuley award: First Year- Shauna Buckley, Nadia Sliwa, Oliwia Wyka, Second Year – Marian Creedon, Alannah Cunningham, Saorlaith O’Leary, Third Year – Martyna Byrdziak, Kate Condon, Ciara O’Donovan, Fourth Year – Aimee O’Herlihy, Ruth Purcell, Dominika Starzycka, Fifth Year – Sarah Doyle, Eilish Galvin, Grace Kiernan, Sixth Year – Ell Marie Kelleher, Kathleen McSweeney and Niamh O’Riordan. 


The Junior Sports award went to Aoife Twomey, while Kate Brady picked up the Senior Sports Award. Maeve Kelleher was awarded the Gerard Healy Sports Award. The School’s Senior Football team won the Munster title last year, while the Junior Basketball team reached the semi-final stage of the All Ireland School’s competition.  


A number of our students engage and excel in several extra-curricular activities outside of the school. These girls were also acknowledged on the night for their commitment and dedication to a diverse range of hobbies. These include the following : Michelle Crowley, qualified for the World Dancing Championships, Caoimhe Donovan,  a member of the Cork City and County Schools Basketball panel, Theresa Galvin, author of a  novel entitled “ Lightning Bolt” soon to be published by a London publishing Co., Austin McAuley,  Orla Lynch, winner of the Southern Centre Championship and Long Cross Championship in Motorcross Racing, Erika O’Shea, member of the Cork Under 16 Football team and Under 18 National Cup team in Basketball, Megan Sheehan, member of the Senior Cork City FC squad and Sarah Wynroe, winner of three gold and two silver medals in the World Championships in Tawekwon-Do.    


St Mary’s is exceptionally proud of all of its students’ academic accomplishments.  The Junior Academic Award in 2017 went to Savannah Hickey and Aimee O’Herlihy, while the Junior Academic Award in 2018 was received by Martyna Byrdziak. 


The Senior Academic Award for 2017 went to Ella Curtin and the Senior Academic Award in 2018 went to Laura O’Reilly, both of whom achieved over 600 points in their Leaving Certificate.


The Senior Subject awards were received by the Leaving Cert class of 2018 who returned to their alma mater for the event from Universities and Colleges around Ireland. This award is given to Leaving Cert students whose teachers in different subject areas want to congratulate the girls for their commitment and application to the subject. The following students received Subject awards this year: Art – Laura O’Reilly, Biology – Karena Curtin, Business- Molly Cronin, Chemistry- Kate Bradley, English- Kathleen McSweeney, French- Eimhin O’Mahony, Geography – Rachel McCarthy, German- Aoife Doyle, History – Lorraine Dromey, Irish- Michelle Crowley, LCVP – Niamh O’Riordan, Maths – Lydia Costello, Music- Karla O’Shea, Physics- Leah Kelleher, Religion – Lynn O’Riordan, Social and Scientific – Louise Lynch.



The school wishes to congratulate all of the recipients.





On Tuesday, May 17th the Catherine McAuley Awards ceremony was held in the school.  There were several different categories recognised – full attendance, student council, sports awards, extra-curricular activities, the Catherine McAuley Awards, scholarships awards, subject award winners, Junior and Senior Academic Awards and the CEIST Award.


Dr. Olive Murphy was invited back to the school as our Distinguished Past Pupil.  She addressed the gathering with a most inspirational talk.  She spoke fondly of her days in St. Mary’s, her academic journey and her career to date.  She had a lot of wise words to impart and we thank her very much for taking time out to join us on this very important occasion in our school.  Here are some of the award winners:



A very proud Mrs. O’Donovan was present where both her daughters received full attendance awards, Niamh in 3rd year and Lisa in 6th year.  Lisa received a Catherine McAuley award and also received the prestigious CEIST award.  This award recognises the following qualities: Promoting Spiritual and Human Development; Achieving Quality in Teaching and Learning; Showing Respect for Every Person;  Creating Community; Being Just and Responsible.



Two sisters that received awards on the night were Sarah and Aoife Doyle,  Sarah received the Junior Sports Award.  Aoife received the Junior Academic  Award for the highest grades in Junior Cert. 2015.   Based on her Junior Cert results in Maths and Science, Aoife was invited to participate in the Science Olympiad in Dublin, and also based on her Junior Cert. German result she was invited to the German Embassy in Dublin,


A number of past pupils attended on the night and received awards for scholarships received from their different third level institutions, Caoimhe Browne, Eibhlin Kelleher, Niamh McCarthy, and Vera O’Riordan.  Vera O’Riordan also received a Gold Medal for her joint first place in Leaving Cert. Chemistry results in Ireland.




The following students received a Catherine McAuley Award, these awards recognise the following qualities kindness, courtesy, participation, attendance, commitment to studies and many more.


First Year:         Andrea Cotter, Maeve Murphy Andzelika Wyka

Second Year     Jessica Buckley, Emma Cronin

Third Year:        Eva Long, Carolyn O’Donovan

Fourth Year:      Kate Bradley, Eimhin O’Mahony

Fifth Year:         Ella Curtin, Katie O’Riordan.

Sixth Year:        Aisling Kelleher, Claire Murphy, Lisa O’Donovan


 A very enjoyable evening was had by parents, pupils and staff of the school.  It was a strong recognition of all the work carried out by staff, teachers and pupils during the academic year.





The Catherine McAuley Awards were held in St. Mary’s on Tuesday 12th May.  Dr. Juliette Buckley,  Mater Private Cork was the most Distinguished Past Pupil.  She spoke eloquently of her career to date and gave some good sound advice to the students.  Briege Corkery who is a past pupil also attended and presented the sports awards on the night.  She spoke of her sports career and advised students to find their niche in life.  There were numerous awards presented including Mairéad Corkery who was presented with the Senior Sports Award by her sister, Briege; Maeve Kelleher who received the Junior Sports Award.  Other categories included full attendance, individual subject awards for sixth years, Press Pass Award and Irish Debating and inter school teams.



Dr. Juliette Buckley, Distinguished Past Pupil



Students who received Gaisce awards



Members of the Student Council who received awards




Briege Corkery presenting the Gerard Healy Sports Award to Niamh Duggan



Dr. Juliette Buckley presenting the Junior Academic Award 2014 to Ella Curtin



Dr. Juliette Buckley presenting the Senior Academic Award 2014 to Becky Hennigan



Sister Eilis, Chairperson of the Board of Management presenting the Ceist Award to Sinéad Cronin



Sister Eilis, Briege Corkery, Doctor Juliette Buckley and Mr. Ciarán Cooke, Principal





The school held its annual Catherine McAuley awards ceremony in early May. Parents and Guardians were invited to the event and Mr. Eamonn Ryan, Manager of Cork Ladies Football team was the Guest of Honour on the night.





Certificates were awarded for full attendance during the academic year. These were received by Zara Knight, Mia McSweeney, Niamh O’Donovan, Ciara Walsh (first year), Louise Lynch (second year), Sinead Healy, Shauna McCarthy, Niamh McMahon, Grace O’Mahony, Mairead O’Sullivan (third year), Claire Murphy, Lisa O’Donovan (fourth year), Caroline Lynch, Lisa McSweeney (fifth year) and Sharon McSweeney (sixth year). 



 The Senior Sports Award went to Yvonne Burgoyne, while the Junior Sports Award was received by Nicola Dennehy. Aisling Buckley was the Gerard Healy Perpetual Sports Award recipient. Certificates were also given to Siofra Burgoyne, Rachel Hurley and Aisling Kelleher for coaching junior basketball and football players during the academic year.   



The Junior Art Award was received by Alexandra Milek, while the Senior Art Award went to Sylwia Sroka. Sinead O’Connell collected the Junior Music Award and Tracey Cronin was the Senior Music Award winner.     


Academic awards were also awarded. Sarah Hinchion received the Senior Academic Award for the highest points scored in her Leaving Certificate exam among her year group in August 2013, while Shauna Buckley had the best Junior Cert results in 2013 and received the Junior Academic Award. 



Sixth Year Student Council members were also acknowledged. These were: Tracey Cronin, Orna Hinchion, Jasmine Shaw and Niamh Walsh.


Teachers nominate students in each year group to merit a Student Achievement Award. Eligibility is based on the students’ conscientiousness to her work, personal qualities and general attitude towards the students’ classmates and teachers. Nominees are then shortlisted and three students are selected from each year group to receive a Student Achievement Award. This year, the recipients of these awards are: Aoife Foley, Eilish Galvin and Emma Lynch from first year, Kate Bradley, Flora Lynch and Niamh Moynihan from second year, Ella Curtin, Bronagh Desmond, Kitti Krekuska from third year, Shauna Buckley, Sinead Cronin and Lisa O’Donovan from fourth year, Roisin Cotter, Claire Murphy and Clodagh O’Driscoll from fifth year and Martina Collins, Aine Cotter and Ruth McSweeney from sixth year.  


Mr Eamonn Ryan spoke candidly and very appropriately to the award winners as well as the parents and guardians on the night. His reflections on life and words of wisdom were shared with several entertaining anecdotes from his many experiences as a teacher, coach and sports enthusiast.


He encouraged the girls to reach for success by persisting over and over again in their efforts to achieve their goals. He talked to them about the drinking habits of young people and urged them  to limit their drink intake. Mr Ryan also spoke about the value of having a hobby to create a healthy balance in their lives. Students, parents and teachers listened intently to the Guest of Honour who was very well placed to deliver his words of wisdom, given his own exceptional record of success with the Cork Ladies Football team. 



The prize giving ceremony was a very memorable and entertaining one for all. St Mary’s Secondary School community would like to congratulate all the award winners.  

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