The Clongowes Union is an active organisation that brings together past pupils of Clongowes for social gatherings.
As part of the Clongowes Union, Old Clongownians take part in social events, keep in touch with former classmates and can avail of mentoring and networking opportunities. The Union works hard to support charitable causes such as:
Alberto Hurtado Programme
The Union supports the Alberto Hurtado Programme (AHP) which provides full bursary support for six years of study at Clongowes.
Clongowes Union Benevolent Association
To help less fortunate members, the Clongowes Union founded a Benevolent Association in 1948 to provide financial or other assistance to Union members and families of Old Clongownians (OCs) in need. The assistance can take the form of immediate financial grants or soft loans over an extended period, or it can be the provision of expert assistance or moral support at difficult times.
Fr Peter McVerry Trust – The Café
In 2013 the Union agreed to support a new initiative of the Fr Peter McVerry Trust (PMVT) with capital and volunteers. The trust is headed by Fr Peter McVerry, an Old Colongownian who graduated in 1962 .
Recognising that their homeless clients often had few places to go during the day and in the early evening the PMVT wish to provide a location where they can socialise and partake in on-line learning.
The Café opens its doors each week to clients of the Trust and invites them to have a hot meal and interact in a friendly environment with the many OCs who have volunteered to support the project. Wednesday evenings kick off at 7pm with young clients of PMVT engaging in games, quizzes and the odd sing song, while Monday evenings are reserved for older guests who participate in many activities, including cookery classes with renowned restaurateur Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain
In August 2012, Jack Kavanagh (OC ’11) dived into an oncoming wave. In that moment his life changed as he broke his neck. He is now paralysed from the chest down with only limited movement in his arms and wrists.
In recent years the school has supported major fundraising efforts designed to secure Jack’s future and enable him to lead as normal a life as possible. Throughout this time Jack has demonstrated great determination, energy and innovation – characteristics that were honed in Clongowes and have been crucial to his resistance to his life changing injury. In August 2016, Jack featured in a documentary that was entitled ‘Breaking Boundaries’. Broadcast on 3e, the film brought Jack’s battle to nationwide attention, whilst his message that ‘limitations are only perceived’ has become synonymous with all that he does. He is now back in TCD and continues to study Pharmacy with the support of a huge number of people and agencies. To read more and see how you can help please visit his website http://www.jackkavanaghtrust.com/
To get a measure of the man see https://www.facebook.com/SupportForJackKavanagh
Jack Kavanagh’sTed Talk http://youtu.be/gMvMW6YNXxI
To learn more about the Clongowes Union and how you can get involved please click here