Former European Parliament President Pat Cox was the quest speaker at the Scoil Mhuire annual awards night in which students were honoured for their achievements over the past year.
Eighteen students of the girls secondary school based at Greenhill, Carrick-on-Suir received student of the year awards, awards for achievement in sports, art and music, school spirit and leadership.
Twenty-one students were honoured with National Education Welfare Board certificates at the ceremony for not missing a day at school during the 2011 school year while a further 18 students were awarded certificates for excellent attendance of missing no more than a single day at school.
In his address to the awards night on Thursday, September 20, Mr Cox complimented Scoil Mhuire on its welcoming atmosphere, positive spirit and its ethos of rewarding students across a broad range of endeavour and achievement.
He spoke of a school being not so much a building as a place of formation and transformation for young people where opportunities for growth are provided and availed of.
The MEP mentioned the benefits of involvement at all levels in all sorts of activities and quoted the following from US President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Citizenship in a Republic“ speech delivered in Paris in 1920.
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Mr Cox referred to the recent London Olympics and Paralympics as examples of mankind’s involvement and ability to overcome obstacles many and varied.
He said while winning is wonderful, it is the act of participation and success in overcoming physical, personal or other difficulties that is the greatest achievement.
He remarked also that parental involvement on school Boards of Management and Parents’ Councils constitutes the second largest voluntary activity in this country (second only to GAA). This involvement was vital and highly commendable.
Student of the Year award winners: First Year, Aoife Walsh; Second Year, Siobhan Hahessy; Third Year, Ciara Lonergan; Transition Year, Sally Anne Malone; Fifth Year, Ciara Hennebry; Sixth Year, Katie Flynn.
Junior Sports award, Kelly Ann Doyle; Senior Sports award, Clare Grace.
Junior Music award, Niamh Duggan; Senior Sports award, Shauna Walsh.
Junior Art award, Sarah Flynn; Senior Art award, Electra Grant.
School Spirit awards: Nicole Breen, Kate Mitchell, Aoife Hardesty.
Leadership awards: Sarah Jane Hearne, Katie Flynn, Shauna Walsh.