Priests return to where it all began

ONE of the Province's most successful musical acts has paid tribute to St MacNissi's College, describing it as "the place where they first fell in love with music".

The Priests, a classical music group made up of Fr Eugene O'Hagan, Fr Martin O'Hagan and Fr David Delargy, attended the college's recent annual prizegiving.

In a speech to pupils, staff and other guests, the trio recounted the time they spent as boarding students at the college in the 1970s.

Fr Eugene said St MacNissi's was where he and his brother Martin had first met David, and also where their love of music was cultivated. It was also where their thoughts of entering the priesthood were nurtured.

He thanked the teachers who had encouraged them during their time at the college and helped them reach their "fullest potential".

After signing a record deal with Sony BMG in April 2008, The Priests recorded their debut album in Northern Ireland and Rome, with the unusual honour of being allowed to record in St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican.

The record went on to sell almost 2 million copies and became the fastest selling classical debut album of all time. The group's second album, Harmony, is due for release later this year.

Fr Eugene said recording the album was an opportunity that challenged them, but had also enriched them. He added that it was a chance for them to "give something back through music in return for the wonderful way we had been encouraged to pursue their love of music as young students in St MacNissi's College".

And he related their opportunities to the changes that are currently taking place at St MacNissi's, which he said should be embraced as opportunities that would "challenge and bring out the best in people".

Fr Eugene encouraged students in the college, and especially those who had just left, to take the opportunities that would come their way, confident that the values acquired at St MacNissi's and the support of family and friends would "help them find their path in life".

He concluded his speech by assuring the staff and students of their continued support for the St MacNissi's in the future. The Priests then took centre stage and sang the hymn Panis Angelicus. They finished the evening by leading the audience in singing the school song.

The prize list was as follows:

Monsignor Tumelty Awards (Achievement at A level)

Claire Burns

Ellen Callan

Noleen Campbell

Aoife Connolly

Rosalie Edge

Eamon Graham

Conor McCormick

Niamh McKay

Shaun Mulvenna

Martin O’Donnell

Clare Thompson

Liam Agnew Cup (Best Overall Performance at A Level)

Aoife Connolly

FG Wilson Cup

Matthew Magill

FG Wilson Bursaries

Matthew Magill

Michael McElhinney

Mark Robinson

Seamus McNaughton

Top Achievers at AS level

Anne Burke

Ruth Haughey

Bronagh Heggarty

Niamh Horscroft

Maeve Keenan

Monica McAllister

Christopher McCarthy

Fionnuala McDonnell

Tessa McDonnell

John McIlwaine

Laura McKay

Michelle McKeever

Mairi Mulvenna

Lauren Robinson

Blaine Stewart

Class Achievement Awards

11G Kathy Darragh

11K Declan Kerr

11S Catriona McCarry

11T Emma O’Connell

12G Ryan McKinstry

12K Ashling Ward

12S Christy O’Toole

12T Martin McAfee

13A Gillian McIlgorm

13B James McAuley

13C Philip McAuley

13D Patrick McLaughlin

Attendance Award

Conor Campbell

Conor Clarke

Padhraic Mulholland

Peter Mulholland

Niamh Mulvenna

Fiona Rodgers

Blaine Stewart

Nikole Taylor

Matthew White

Outstanding Attendance Award

Ashling Ward

Chris Taylor

Bank of Ireland Trophy (Best Performance on Sports Day)

Stephen Hamill

GCSE Awards

Niall Caldwell

Maeve Connolly

Karl Delargy

Nicola Fergie

Chris Hamill

Sophie Hassan

Conor Horscroft

Joan Kearney

Sarah Lynas

Shane Mallon

Megan Magill

Lorcan Matthews

Claire McErlain

Claire McAllister

Catriona McKay

Aodhan McKenna

Ryan McKinstry

Orlagh McLaughlin

Padhraic Mulhulland

Ciaran Mulvenna

Colum O’Brien

Fionntan O’Connor

Christy O’Toole

Alicia Robbin

Stacy Waide

GCSE Cup (Best Results at GCSE)

Chris Hamill

Sophie Hassan

Catriona McKay

Special Awards

Thomas Hughes Shield (GCSE Geography) - Stacy Waide

Anderson Cup (GCSE Science) - Chris Hamill

Clerkin Cup (AS Chemistry) - Laura Mckay

Dunn Cup (GCSE Technology) - Aodhan McKeena

CEM Trophy (ICT) - Orla McSparron

Warner Cup (GCSE PE) - Maeve Connolly

Praeger Cup (AS Biology) - Tessa McDonnell

PJ Magee Cup (GCSE French) - Alicia Robbin

O’Donaghue Cup (GCSE History) - Sophie Hassan

Dr Fitzpatrick Cup (GCSE Spanish) - Ciaran Mulvenna

Fr McGarry Cup (AS History) - Maeve Keenan

Leahy Award (AS English) - Niamh Horscroft

MGR Bartley Cup (GCSE Irish) - Eimhear McAleenan

Sixth Form Cup - Lauren Robinson

Fr McKavanagh Cup (Irish & Music) - Padhraic Mulholland

MGR Tumelty Cup (AS Level Geography) - Christopehr McCarthy

Close Trophy (Writing & Drama) - Megan Magill

Fr Agnew Cup (RE) - Bernadette Convery

Duffin Shield (Junior Irish) - Emma Mulholland & Marianne O’Toole

McAuley Trophy (Art) - Orlagh McLaughlin

Burns Award (Business Studies) - Claire McErlain

McCool Trophy (Girls Sport) - Alexandra McLaughlin & Mairi Mulvenna

Fr McCartan Memorial Cup - Conor O’Boyle & Erin McAleese

Fr MacSorley Trophy (Boys Sport) - Eamonn Kerr

Fr McCartan Cup (Outstanding Pupil in first Year) - Niamh McKendry

Kathleen Maguire Memorial Trophy (Netball) - Katherine McGoran

Castlewood Award (GCSE Home Economic) - Nicola Fergie

Bishop Walsh/Fr McHugh Shield (GCSE Maths) - Karl Delargy

Carnanee Trophy (AS Maths) - Michelle McKeever

Deirdre Regan Memorial Trophy (Key Stage 3 English) - Paul McKay

Lee Dobbin Trophy (AS Languages) - Roisin McSparron

Isobel Gilliland Cup (Healthy & Social Care) - Carol Getty

Glenariffe Cup - Eoghan Patterson

Jubilee Trophy - Divya Sebastian

Northern Bank Cup - John McIlwaine

President’s Shield - Ruth Haughey