Scoil Ruáin was in festive mood on the afternoon of Thursday, December 8th when three of our past students returned triumphant with the Liam McCarthy and Irish Press cups in celebration of Tipperary’s marvellous All-Ireland double on September 4th.
A loud cheer greeted minor manager, Liam Cahill, when he held the Irish Press cup aloft on entering the stage followed by an even louder crescendo when John “Bubbles” O’Dwyer followed with the Liam McCarthy cup raised in victory in company with Senior Hurling selector and former Tipperary stalwart, Declan Fanning.
Principal, Mr. McGill welcomed these former students and the other special guests, Tipperary ETB CEO, Ms. Fionnuala McGeever, Tipperary Co. GAA Board PRO, Mr. Joe Bracken, County Games Development Officer, Mr. Andy Ryan and newly appointed member of the Scoil Ruáin staff, Mr. Daire Quinn who was a panellist on this year’s Tipperary Senior Hurling squad. Mr. McGill lauded the achievements of these men in bringing glory on themselves, their families, their clubs and communities and their school in Tipp’s great All-Ireland double. He said that it was a landmark achievement for the school to have such inmvo0lvement in Tipp’s historic year.
Mr. Francis Kearney spoke on behalf of the staff and students in recognition of the fantastic achievements of these past students last September. In his address he said that Tipperary would have won no All-Ireland without the contribution of John O’Dwyer who was sprung from the bench in the semi-final against Galway to score a sensational goal “that only someone with his sublime skills could score”. He also commended John on his huge contribution of 1-05 in the All-Ireland final saying that “his goal in the 50th minute was the score that put the first chink of daylight between the sides”. He went on to recall some of John’s hurling career in Scoil Ruáin and wished John many more successful years in the blue and gold and, indeed, in the red and yellow of Killenaule.
John spoke of his time in Scoil Ruáin and was very appreciative of the efforts of the staff of the school in influencing his future. He wished the school well in the future saying that it was an honour to return to the school with both trophies.
Next Frank complimented Declan Fanning for his role in the Tipperary victory saying he “brought a wealth of experience and know-how to the management set-up”. He said that the school was immensely proud of Declan as a past pupil and said he was a great ambassador for the school in everything he does.
In a brief address Declan encouraged the students to persevere in all they endeavour to achieve. He stressed the importance of self-belief and a burning desire to succeed. He wished the school well in the future.
Frank also congratulated Liam Cahill as manager of the triumphant Tipperary minors, saying he was “the mastermind behind this great victory”. He recalled Liam’s playing days with the school saying that “he led by example and demanded the same do or die effort from his teammates”. He lauded Liam for his loyalty to the school jersey over the years saying he regularly went down with cramp at the end of school games, such was the effort he put in.
Liam also spoke to the students and listed some of the qualities he looked for in potential county players, traits such as honesty, courtesy, respect, the willingness to work hard and take constructive advice on board and so on. He said that there were two Scoil Ruáin players presently at trials for next year’s minor team and looked forward to even more in future years. He wished next week’s team the best of luck in the Under 16 ½ Munster final.
Presentations of Scoil Ruáin jerseys signed by the different Hurling Scholarship squads were to all the Tipp guests as well as specially commissioned commemorative wooden plaques featuring the 2016 All-Ireland medal and the Scoil Ruáin crest embossed on the wood.
The celebration ended with a rousing rendition of Slievenamon to send everyone home in top form!