annual newsletter april 2017

Download the 2017 DCPPU Newsletter! Click here!

annual newsletter april 2016

Download the 2016 DCPPU Newsletter! Click here!

annual newsletter april 2015

Download the 2015 DCPPU Newsletter! Click here!
* * * * *

annual newsletter april 2014

A meeting of past pupils was held on 14 June 1914 in Eccles Street, followed shortly by a General Meeting on 11th November 1914 at which the President, Officers and committee members were elected, thus our Past Pupils’ Union was established. We are very proud that it has now flourished for one hundred years. We could not let 2014 go by without marking the Centenary with significant celebrations and Ms Olive Laffoy, Principal, has very kindly invited us to hold our Annual Lunch 2014 at the College in Griffith Avenue, on 26 April.  This will give us the opportunity to get to know the school, and meet some of the present pupils. For those of us who spent our schooldays in Eccles Street, it is sad and regrettable that we can no longer walk along the Red or Green corridors. We cannot peek into St Hyacinth’s Hall and remember the Drill class - marching in formation to live piano music. We cannot admire the Concert Hall or the Chapel, the Refectory or the Nuns’ Garden. But thanks to those past pupils who sent in photographs and memories of life in school and in the Union, we have put together a collection of photographs to help you reminisce about ‘the good old days’. Thank goodness they didn’t de-clutter!

We have photos of Union sporting and social events down through the years, eg the Camogie and Golf Societies, Dinners, Lunches and Debs and photos of the Union’s social services activities - St Dominic’s Club, Sr Sheila Skeffington in Dollardstown Cottage, and the work of many Sisters on the Dominican Missions in South Africa, Argentina and Bolivia. We are delighted with the great response from members of the Union. The Centenary Lunch and Exhibition is fully booked. Unfortunately the capacity was limited to 170. For those unable to attend the Lunch, do not despair! These photos will be available for viewing on our new website which is to be launched shortly. We hope as many of you as possible will take part in the Golf Society Outing on 19th September and make this a memorable occasion. The closing event is the special Centenary Mass of Remembrance on 16th November where we will remember our past pupils, Dominican Sisters and teachers, and their families, who have gone before us to their eternal reward.  

Come and join with us in celebrating the Centenary at one or more of our Centenary events.  It is, after all, a once in a life time event. There won’t be another one for a hundred years!

* * * * *
Luncheon Report 2013
The twenty fourth Annual Luncheon took place this year in the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire on the 18th May 2013. Our new President, Pauline Coakley, welcomed the 66 guests including our sister President from Sion Hill, Jennie Keating, and Claire Butler, Principal of Griffith Avenue. Pauline presented Claire with a book and bouquet of flowers to mark her retirement, and we all wished Claire a long and happy life-after-school! We were delighted to have as our guests our Excellence in Education Award winning student Eimear Duff, with her mother and father. As last year, the venue was lovely and the food was excellent. It was indeed a very enjoyable occasion. We are all looking forward to meeting up again at the 2014 Luncheon. I wish to thank all who attended and fellow Committee Members for their support on the day. Phil Mitchell – Lunch Secretary
* * * * *
DCPPU Excellence in Education Award
Since the New Millennium, the Union has recognised the great achievement and hard work of the student who obtains the highest results in the Leaving Certificate Examinations in Dominican College, Griffith Ave. Each year the Award winning student is presented with the Certificate of Excellence in Education and a bursary of €150.  Eimear Duff, who sat her Leaving Certificate in 2012, was this year’s recipient of the Award.  Eimear is now in second year studying Medicine in Trinity College, and enjoying every minute of college life. We congratulate Eimear and wish her every success in her future studies.
* * * * *
Annual Retreat 2013
Our Annual Retreat took place on Sunday 13th October 2013 in the Dominican Retreat and Pastoral Centre, Tallaght. There were thirteen participants in attendance and the retreat was facilitated by Father Philip Mc Shane, O.P. The morning started with a very interesting reflection on the Gospel of St John entitled “Prayer” by the Swiss theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar which was about contemplative prayer, on what prayer is and how to pray. We had a very spiritual service of healing before lunch. The afternoon session continued with the reflection on prayer and we finished with a beautiful Mass. It was a most enjoyable and fulfilling day and everyone appreciated the quiet and peaceful surroundings. I would like to thank everyone who attended on the day, and also the staff and Fr McShane who all made it such a rewarding retreat. The 2014 retreat is booked for Sunday 19th October with a subscription of €35.
Olive M. Clarke
Past pupils of Sion Hill, Muckross and Dún Laoghaire, are always very welcome to attend our annual retreat. If you know any past pupils who would like to join us in our day of prayer, please give them contact details.
* * * * *
Mass for Deceased Past Pupils
Our 2013 Annual  Mass of Remembrance took place on Sunday 17th November in Dominican Convent 204 Griffith Ave. Once again we were honoured to have Fr Gabriel Harty OP celebrate Mass for us and everyone agreed he captured the spirit of our Union, remembering all past pupils and their families. Some members present remembered Fr Harty when as a young priest he was Chaplin in Eccles Street. We hope that he will return next year for our Centenary Mass 2014. Many thanks to all the sisters for the very welcome refreshments after the Mass.
* * * * *
Some Sad News
It is always sad when friends or family pass away, and a few very much connected with the Union are mentioned here. We send our condolences to committee member Olive Clarke and her family on the death of her dear husband Joseph who passed away in November 2012, after many happy years together. We send our condolences also to committee member Collette Mhic Giolla Eoin and her family on the death of her husband Harry who passed away in April 2013 after a long illness, following 56 long and happy years together. We send our condolences to the family of Ethne Reddin, who just stepped down from the executive committee last year. Eithne sadly passed away just a few days after Christmas. Our condolences also to the Community on the deaths of Sr Áine Hardiman OP and Sr Deirdre O’Neill OP, both missionary sisters, and Sr Rosa Feeney OP, who lived in 204 Griffith Ave. Condolences also to committee member Maura Wills, her family, and the Community, on the very recent death of Maura’s sister, Sr Dominic Joseph OP (Monica Pender). They will all be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with family, friends and community. May they rest in peace
* * * * *
Margaret Burke Sheridan Cup
The Margaret Burke Sheridan Cup is presented to the winner of the Feis Ceoil Prizewinners Competition for singers who have already won either first or second place in another competition for female voice - soprano, mezzosoprano or contralto. This is a wonderful competition with entrants of a very high standard, and members of the public are welcome to attend. The very elegant cup was donated by Prince Ferdinando d’Ardia Caracciola. Each year our Union President is invited by Feis Ceoil to present the cup to the winner, in recognition of the great love and affection Margaret had for Eccles Street. Ann Killeen was delighted to present the cup to this year’s winner, Gemma Ní Bhriain.
Pauline Coakley, President
* * * * *
Golf Society Report 2013
The 84th Golf Society Annual Outing took place at Roganstown Golf Club on Monday 2nd September 2013 under the able captaincy of Órla McGuinness. There was a good turnout on the day with twenty six players who enjoyed the course, which was in excellent condition and proved very challenging. The weather was glorious and was much appreciated by the players. The Perpetual Cup and Lady Captain’s Prize (jewellery) was won by Liz Murphy. The President’s prize (necklace) was won by runner up Eilish Byrne, and the Executive Prize (crystal glasses) was won by Marie Forrester. Thirty five players and visitors, including the union’s President, Pauline Coakley and members of the executive committee attended the dinner and prize giving, and all enjoyed a wonderful evening. On behalf of the executive and members of the golf society, the President thanked Órla McGuinness for all her hard work in making this a most successful outing. Four annual members joined the Union. Patricia McGrath will be our Lady Captain in the Union’s Centenary Year 2014. The Outing will take place at St Anne’s Golf Club on 19 September 2014.
* * * * *

Combined Dominican Golf Outing 2014

The 51st Combined Dominican Golf Outing takes place on Monday 7th July 2014 in Naas Golf Club under the captaincy of Madeline Hillman. We encourage a great turnout of Eccles St and Griffith Ave golfers to help make this year very special. Please note change of date.
Pauline Coakley  Golf Society Secretary
* * * * *
We were all surprised and sorry to hear that Claire Butler, Principal of Dominican College Griffith Avenue, was retiring. Claire is herself a past pupil of Muckross, and the school has continued its Dominican spirit and ethos under her guidance. She has always been very supportive of our past pupils’ union, given us the opportunity to hold our committee meetings and AGMs in the school, and has joined us at many of our activities. We have all become very fond of Claire since we got to know her and will miss her cheerful smile and warm welcome. We wish her a very long, happy and fulfilling retirement.
* * * * *
We would like to extend a warm welcome to Olive Laffoy, the new Principal of Domininican College Griffith Avenue. Olive taught science in Griffith Avenue for many years. She was Principal in St Finnian’s College before coming back home to take up her new position as Principal in Griffith Avenue. We are confident the school will flourish under her influence. Already Olive has shown her interest and support in the Union, and is very positive and willing to help make our Centenary a successful year.
* * * * *
Scoil Chaitríona
Caitríona Ní Laighin, principal of Scoil Chaitríona, invited the Union president Pauline, Collette Mhic Giolla Eoin  and Carmel O’Connor on a tour of the school in Mobhi Road. We were treated to tea in the staff room and introduced to many of the teachers, and Collette did us proud - a past pupil of Scoil herself, she has not lost any of her fluency in her native tongue. We were impressed with the high standard of art work and the puppets the students made in Art class, where we met some very happy and friendly students - both girls and boys, as Scoil has been co-educational for many years now. We greatly admired the newly refurbished state-of-the-art Home Economics room. Highlight of the visit was seeing the wrought iron choir gates from the chapel in Eccles Street, which are incorporated in the first floor corridor allowing students view the main concourse below.
* * * * *
We were delighted to hear that Griffith Avenue reached the All Ireland Camogie Final which was played in Semple Stadium in Thurles on 8th March. To lose by just one point is very disappointing, but congratulations all round to the team in getting to the Finals! Well done girls!
* * * * *

Peile Gaeleacht

In 1986, Scoil Chaitríona became Co-Educational. We send our best wishes to Cíaran Mhic Giolla Choinnigh, past pupil of Scoil Chaitríona, and hope he makes a full and speedy recovery from his recent injury. Ciarán, Dublin’s star half-forward, will miss the rest of the season having injured his cruciate ligament playing for Dublin against Kildare in the National Football League game in Croke Park on 8th March. Ciarán has played a vital role in the recent successes in both football and hurling for his club and county at all grades. He was cúl baire (goalie) when Scoil Chaitríona won Craoimh na hEireann 2008. We wish Ciarán well also in his studies in St Patrick’s Teacher Training College in Drumcondra. Get well soon Ciaran.
* * * * *

Dominican Missions

DCPPU has all down the years provided some financial support for the work of the Dominican Missions undertaken by the Sisters in South Africa, Argentina and Bolivia.

Sr Deirdre O’Neill OP wrote of her work in South Africa in our 2013 Newsletter last year. A past pupil of Dominican College, Sr Deirdre worked in education. She set up the Catholic Education Office in Swaziland, and taught in the Little Flower Primary School, Uitenhage, and Marymount High School Uitenhage, where she was Bursar. She thanked us sincerely for the donations which we have sent to the Dominican House in Capetown over the years, which allowed her and other sisters to pass on the broad education they received in Eccles Street to the children of Uitenhage. She attended last year’s AGM and our Annual Lunch. It was a pleasure to talk to her and hear of her life and work on the Missions. Sr Deirdre died in Ireland in 2013 after an illness bravely borne.

Sr Áine Hardiman OP was born in Dublin in 1926. A past pupil of Scoil Chaitríona, Sr Áine went to Capetown as a young Dominican sister in the early 1950s, having graduated from UCD with a BA in Latin and Mathematics, and over the next sixty years was an inspiring teacher in Dominican schools, in addressing the injustices of the South African system of apartheid and upgrading the status of women in the townships. She first taught in the Dominican School for white children in Capetown, where she later became Principal.  Later, working with other ecumenical groups she was the main inspiration behind the development of an Early Learning Resource Unit, which was to help bring an education programme to the African Townships. Together with the women of the Nyanga township, they developed a model for early learning education. The strategy was built on the strengths of the sisters and of the local people and their knowledge of how to quietly cross the barriers of severe political, economic and cultural restraints in order to build confidence and impart skills. She was to direct this township Early Childhood Project at great risk to her safety. Sr Áine had identified the scandal of apartheid and had fearlessly confronted it at the height of the Mandela protests in the 1980’s. She walked with the other sisters in the Free Mandela march in Capetown and was among those arrested. After a weekend in prison she was brought to a public hearing where she spoke so ardently about the oppression and injustice that characterised South African law and order that those who listened, including the prosecutor, were visibly moved. The case was dropped. Sr Áine died in Capetown in March 2013 where she is buried.

A Letter from Sr Sheila Skeffington OP
Dear Friends  -  Iar Scolairí
A few lines to thank you all for your kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness for all your past financial help, including the latest one, received from Collette Mhic Giolla Eoin - your treasurer. You have no idea how much it helps, in so many ways. The week-ends are going well in Dollardstown Cottage. On our July weekend the weather was glorious, six local musicians came from Athy on the Saturday night, so we had the Band and music, etc, outside on the lawn, with candles - great craic and fun for all. If ever any of you would like to visit Dollardstown Cottage - céad míle failte - just let me know.  Míle buíochas arís.
Sr Sheila Skeffington OP

Sr Victor is an avid collector of stamps, and asks you all to keep sending in stamps from any country of the world. Irish stamps in particular are very collectable and get a very high price. Please leave lots of paper around the stamps so the edges don’t get damaged when bundled into bags for sale. Sr Victor donates the proceeds to the Dominican Missions

* * * * *
World Day of Prayer
The World Day of Prayer, affiliated to the World Union of Christian Women, is international and interdenominational. This year the prayers were prepared by the christian women of Egypt, and the theme was “Streams in the Desert”. I was honoured to be invited to represent the Union at the service in the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Killian, Clondalkin, on 7th March. A bible, Egyptian style urn, sand, water, bull rushes, ribbons, bird song, and clothing were used to create a lovely atmosphere. As people arrived we handed out ribbons on which to write their first name and a sentence of what the service meant to them. These were collected after the meditation, and placed in a bowl. It was a very moving and colourful ceremony. The students of Coláiste Bríde  sang the hymns beautifully. Others mimed to the readings. Sr Ann gave the meditation on Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. As the service ended all were invited to take a ribbon from the bowl and pray for the person who’s name was on the ribbon. We then adjourned for tea. This year a children’s ceremony was held in schools during the day explaining the history of Egypt its language (Arabic), its religions (Muslim, Christian etc) and its flag. We were delighted with the attendance. Next year prayers will be prepared by the christian women of The Bahamas.
Collette Mhic Giolla Eoin
* * * * *