Union Day (Sunday 26th May) dawned bright and sunny and remained so until the last revellers left the school grounds. As ever it was an emotive occasion for the departing Rhetoric class, their parents and all the staff, who have worked with them over the last six years.
Outgoing Captain, Ben Osborne addressed the school for the last time before passing the baton on to his successor, Peter Stapleton, who will be assisted by Gabriel Coulter (Vice-Captain) and School Secretary Tom Cantillon. Another to make a valedictory address was the Assistant Headmaster, Mr Martin Nugent, who will step down from the post on August 31st after 13 years in the post, and 38 working in Clongowes. Mr Nugent will be replaced by Mr Martin Wallace, who joined the academic staff in 1979 and has been a stalwart of the English and Latin departments ever since.
As is traditional, many awards were made on the day, the principal of which is the St. Aloysius Award‘for courage and determination in personal and communal life’. This year the award
was presented by Mr David Dilger, Chairman of the Board of Management to James Greene (Rhetoric) ‘for growth as an integrated, genuine person’. The Tullabeg Award for Initiative and Enterprise went to Richard Banahan (Rhetoric) while Tom Goodman received the inaugural Dr Patrick Nolan Award, for an essay researching the link between the tradition of the Society of Jesus and the needs of contemporary society.
The outgoing President of the Union, Dr Michael Smurfit was unable to attend the event but copies of an address, which he made to Rhetoric the previous weekend in the K Club, were circulated on the day. Mr Peter Gray (OC’73), incoming President of the Union, addressed the boys instead and copies of both speeches as well as all the awards made will appear in the next issue of The Clongownian.