Cathal O’Brien, a 5th year student at Clonmel High School, was recently presented with a scholarship to improve his knowledge of the German language in Salzburg, Austria. Each year the Irish Austrian Society organises a national German essay competition and hundreds of students put pen to paper to try and win this prestigious national prize.
It was a remarkable achievement that a student from the High School was the winner. Cathal, from Lime Court, Marlfield Road, Clonmel, wrote over 400 words in German on the honourable Dr. Otto von Habsburg – Ein Leben fuer Europa (A Life for Europe) and will travel to the Austrian city of Salzburg in July to study at the Collegium Austriacum.
Several students from the school have received this scholarship in the past and it not only improved their knowledge of the German language but also motivated them to continue learning the language at Third level.
The awards ceremony took place at the Austrian Ambassador’s residence in Ailesbury Road, Dublin and it was attended by Cathal, his parents John and Ita O’Brien, his German teacher Martina O’Reilly and Principal Shay Bannon.
The Austrian Ambassador, Dr. Walter Hagg presented Cathal with his scholarship and the St. Fergal Trophy, a beautiful swarovski trophy in honour of Fergal, the Bishop of Salzburg and Patron Saint, who is perhaps the most famous Irishman associated with the city.
The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn also attended the awards ceremony and congratulated Cathal on his achievement and wished him an educational and enjoyable trip to Austria.