Prize night 2012
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the
other way - in short, the period was so far like the present
period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being
received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of
These words were written by Charles
Dickens in A Tale of Two Citiesin 1859 referring
to the time around the French Revolution of 1789. In a strange way
they may also refer to today and the difficult economic situation
in which we find ourselves. The major problems and uncertainties of
the Fiscal Treaty, Austerity, Greece and the future of the Euro and
perhaps the future of the European Union as we know it.
Ireland faces a very unsure future. What will happen if we vote
For or Against the treaty?
One thing is certain - Never has Education been more
Never has it been more important to work hard at out studies so
that we will be well placed for the future - whatever that may
The longer we stay in Education, the better our own chances of
prospering will be, and the better the chances for Ireland as an
I congratulate you all tonight. As Prize Winners you have worked
hard and impressed your teachers and you should be justifiably
proud of yourself! However I am also aware that there are many
other students in the College who have worked well but did not
receive a prize. Our budget is limited, but we should acknowledge
nonetheless the efforts of all.
Education is a journey - not a destination! And there is still a
long way for you to go! So don't rest on your laurels - push on -
there is so much more excitement ahead! And you don't travel alone!
Your Parents and your Teachers have been your guides, showing you
the way, encouraging you when you are weary and losing heart, and
providing you with direction and encouragement.
I want to commend the teachers in this school and publicly
acknowledge the great contribution they have made and continue to
make, despite the education cutbacks. You are very lucky to have
such hard-working, dedicated and professional teachers here in De
La Salle College. Individually they do so much to help you the
students. Together they form a brilliant staff with great
expertise, experience and energy. The care and attention that they
have provided and continue to provide is truly astounding, and so
much of this is done quietly behind the scenes. On your behalf I
want to thank them for all their dedication and commitment.
I would like to wish those who are doing State Examinations this
year the best of luck. You have prepared well and now have the
opportunity to show your best over the coming weeks. For our
Leaving Certificate students, who will be finishing in the College
soon and will hopefully going on to further study next year, it is
a tense time. Keep your focus on the road ahead - don't be
distracted by the side-shows and the detours. You have worked well.
Now go and do your best.
To all our other students- enjoy the forthcoming Summer
holidays. Your prizes tonight - the books you have chosen- will
provide you with enjoyment and enlightenment! I would encourage you
to read as much as possible over the summer.
Congratulations also to all our performers here tonight - those
we have heard so far and those who have yet to perform. You have
all been brilliant. Thank you for entertaining us. Thanks are also
due to Brian Wynn and Mr. Gerry McCann who do so much work and
provide so much encouragement for the musicians. I am sure you will
agree "Salles has got talent"!I would like to thanks all
those who helped to organise tonight but especially to Ms. M.
Sullivan who co-ordinates everybody and everything! On behalf of
the students and their parents, Mary, Thanks you very much. Before
I hand over to Mr. Gerry McCann my final wish is:
Stay safe and return to us again next year, renewed and ready to