As another academic year comes to an end, the students of St. Macartan’s College, their parents, teachers, Board of Management members and invited guests gathered in the College Sports Hall for their annual awards ceremony. Awards were presented in almost 50 categories to over 70 students. The categories included awards for academic achievement, visual arts, public speaking, music, enterprise, science, the performing arts, creative writing and sport as well as merit awards for contribution to the life of the school. The event was hosted by the chairperson of the St. Macartan’s College Arts Committee Mr. Paul West who opened the proceedings by welcoming those present to the event and by thanking his hard working committee for their help in organising the event. Citations for the various categories were delivered by the teachers before calling the recipients forward. A new award “d’fhoras na Gaeilge san scoil” and an inscribed silver cup was presented to the school by Mr. Paul MacCormack on behalf of the MacCormack family and in memory of their father the late Macarten MacCormack former vice principal at St.Macartan’s College. The speeches were interspersed with musical interludes provided by members of the school choir, the school’s grúpa ceoil and senior music students in the school.
Guest speaker for the day was the managing director of FKM Ltd. and St. Macartan’s Past Pupil Matthew Mohan. Introducing Matthew, Mr. Paul West stated that the guest speaker might be more recognised locally as the former sponsor of the Monaghan County GAA teams and not as the person at the helm of one of the country’s leading engineering firms. In his address to the audience, Matthew spoke about his time at St. Macartan’s College, his pride in being a past pupil and the value which he places on the education he received there. He spoke about the values he places in honesty, integrity, hard work, resilience and friendship. Life values he said were instilled in him as a student at St. Macartan’s College. Speaking about his career to date, Matthew Mohan spoke about what he called the best career advice he ever received. This he said was “Do what you like doing and do what you are good at” advice he continued was given to him by the current Bishop of Clogher, Bishop MacDaid who was at that time the president at St. Macartan’s. Matthew Mohan concluded his address to the school community by launching the Mohan family bursary which will recognise 10 students entering St. Macartan’s College in September for academic excellence and for potential in Gaelic games. After welcoming those present to the ceremony, the principal Raymond McHugh spoke about what he called a simply excellent year in the life of the school. Speaking briefly about some of the school’s successes during the year he thanked the students who added so much to the year. Commenting on the awards he congratulated those who received awards on the day and those who would receive awards over coming days at the Sixth Year Valedictory ceremony and at the Transition Year Awards ceremony. Speaking about the teachers at the school, the principal reminded those present about the work done by teachers to ensure that St. Macartan’s College students enjoy the range of opportunities that they do at The Sem. He continued by asking how these teachers can be rewarded for the extra work they do. He stated, “there is no best coach award, no best director award, no best teacher award, no best producer award” he asked instead that students take time to acknowledge their teachers and thank them for the work which goes so far beyond the call of duty. “Teachers work, teachers professionalism, teachers dedication and care for their students must never be taken for granted” he concluded.
The final presentation of the evening was to the student who achieved the best Leaving Certificate results in 2013. Introducing the recipient Ronan Treanor, the principal stated that Ronan embodies everything that he aspires Sem boys to be. In reply, Ronan spoke appreciatively of the teachers who taught him during his six years at St. Macartan’s. He spoke about his pride in being a Sem boy and he wished all students taking exams in June every success.
In conclusion, the principal thanked the students, staff and parents for their loyalty to St. Macartan’s. He singled out in particular the school’s deputy principal Ms. McDonald, the chairperson of the Board of Management Canon Shane McCaughey, the members of the Board and the Parent’s Association under the chairperson of Kieran Lavelle.