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SLIDESHOW: Limerick schools win glory at national awards

The Cornmarket Cumann na mBunscol na mBunscol Awards were held in the Sligo Park Hotel on Friday March 8. Over 200 guests attended the Awards Banquet in Sligo. Cumann na mBunscol Luimnigh once more won the Best Publication Award with its long running magazine ‘The Green and White.’

‘The Green and White’ was named winner of the Best Publication category for the fourth year in a row and the fifteenth time in the last twenty years. The magazine is produced by Joe Lyons (Ballybrown NS) and Ciarán Crowe, former Principal of neighbouring Patrickswell NS. ‘The Green and White’ was launched in 1996. Every club in Limerick buys a batch of the magazines which are then distributed to the primary schools in their area.

Joe Lyons takes up the story: ‘The enduring success of the magazine is down to the commitment of the clubs who support the publication and the help we receive from Cumann na mBunscol activists throughout the city and county who supply us with material. Children love to read about their heroes in Limerick hurling, camogie and football teams. They also love to read about themselves and to see their school games feature in this 36 page, full- colour magazine. Limerick is the only county in Ireland with such a publication and we are the envy of other counties. Obviously, Limerick’s All-Ireland victory of 2018 ensured we had no shortage of material last year! ’

Cumann na mBunscol promotes Gaelic Games in primary schools throughout the island of Ireland and beyond. However, members of Cumann na mBunscol  also promote GAA Rounders, Handball and Athletics as well as activities such as table quizzes. Herbertstown NS  were runners-up in the Promotion of Gaelic Games and Culture category. This was well-deserved recognition for a school that is steeped in Gaelic Games.

There were two new categories of Award this year.

Cur chun cinn an Chultúir Ghaelaigh agus na gCluichí Gaelacha was introduced to mark Bliain na Gaeilge and highlight activities organised in schools during 2018. Gaelscoil na bhFál from Antrim were winners of this category.

A special Award was sponsored by the Irish National Teachers Organisation ( INTO) to highlight the contribution of teachers to the promotion of Gaelic Games. The winning project was compiled by the children of Fifth and Sixth Class from Ballybrown NS, Clarina in County Limerick under the guidance of their teacher Katie Gibbons.  The project highlighted teachers who have made significant contributions to the promotion of Gaelic Games, be they players or administrators. Current Limerick stars Richie English and Nickie Quaid are teachers in Raheenagh NS and Patrickswell NS respectively.

‘We also looked at primary teachers who have excelled as GAA administrators such as Liam O Neill and Aogán Ó Fearghail who have served the role of GAA President in recent years,‘ according to Miss Gibbons who also trains the school’s Girls Football team with her colleague Ciara Quane. ‘ Top referee David Gough is a primary teacher while Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh taught in O Connell Schools in Dublin for many years. The children enjoyed researching the project and putting it together,’ she added.

Katie’s fiancé, Stephen Walsh, is Principal of Kilbehenny NS.  Stephen is a former intercounty footballer and hurler with Limerick who recently captained the Limerick Teachers hurling team to All-Ireland Inter Firm success. Kilbehenny NS was placed second in the Small School Category. It was the first year that Kilbehenny NS entered the competition. This category was won last year by Doon CBS.

So, a successful night ended with Limerick claiming victory in two categories and runners-up spot in two others.

A notable absentee on the night was Brother James Dormer from Doon CBS. Brother Dormer was in Croke Park where he received Gradam an Uachtaráin for his contribution to the promotion of Gaelic Games over the course of a career which has spanned half a century in schools in Wexford, Lismore, Limerick city and Doon.

‘There can rarely have been a more deserving recipient than Brother Dormer who has nurtured countless young hurlers for decades,’ said Joe Lyons, Cathaoirleach of Cumann an mBunscol Luimnigh.

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