As we head into the summer holidays and the State Examinations are in full flow, it is timely to reflect on the year just past. As you know this was our 60th Anniversary - the College having opened its doors for pupils for the 1952-53 academic year. It is interesting to look back at times past and see how far we have come in the last 60 years. Thanks to a group of this year's Transition Year students, copies of the Wine and Gold Magazines have been added to our website and are a great record of the achievements and the growth of the College.
The 60th Anniversary was celebrated in several special ways this year. In January we hosted a reunion of the first Senior Cup winning team of 1983. The De La Salle College "Gathering" was held in early May when the College opened its doors to the past pupils of the last 60 Years and provided a forum for people to meet, to tour the school and "walk down memory lane", to reminisce about the past and to catch up with friends and former classmates. It was very well supported by past pupils from the early years right through to the recent school leavers. We followed this up with a special 60thAnniversary St La Salle's Day. Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Eamonn Walsh, Fr Dermot Nestor, Fr Philip Griffin and Fr Paul Thornton. It was also attended by Bro. Francis Manning FSC, the Provincial of the De La Salle Order in Ireland, several other De La Salle brothers, Mr Sean Goan representing the Le Chéile schools trust, Mr Brian Swan, Chairman of our Board of Management and Mr John Larkin, Chairman of the Parents' Association, as well as the staff, retired members of staff, some past-pupils and the current pupils. A lovely ceremony celebrated the achievements of the past, recognised the on-going good work of the present and looked forward to the future with confidence. The traditional ice cream was distributed to the boys afterwards.
The year was a very successful one for the College. Several of our students had outstanding successes in their chosen individual sports - Robert Gaughan in Gaelic football, Sean Conroy in squash, Daniel Plummer in fishing, Boni Odomene in boccer and Sean Mari in boxing. The College's sports teams competed enthusiastically with some success in rugby and badminton. Colm Butcher and Daniel Plummer attained their Silver Gaisce Awards, while Kevin Curry, Gavin Gaynor, Jamie Hanlon, Aaron McGinnity Stephen O'Donnell and Daniel Plummer were outstanding ambassadors for the College at the Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimage in Lourdes. In December the College won an award for Multiculturalism at the Media and Multicultural Awards in the GPO, for the integration of our diverse school population and our record of treating our students with respect and dignity. Music in the College continues to thrive and prosper and the College Band "Mustang Salle" now features 22 students with singers, guitars, keyboards and a full brass section with trumpets, trombones and saxophones. On the academic front many of our students have worked very well and are reaping the rewards of their efforts. School reports are being sent out at present and will give you a picture of the academic achievements of your son(s). We look forward to the results of the State Examinations in August and September. I would like to congratulate all our students on their achievements and to encourage everybody to get as involved as much as possible in school life next year.
I hope that all our students will have a safe and enjoyable summer and will return to the College renewed in spirit and ready to apply themselves to the challenges ahead with confidence. I hope that all will contribute positively to enhancing their local community and the school community. I pray that they will continue to display a sense of care and concern for others in keeping with the charism of St John Baptist De La Salle, our founding father.