Castleknock College Union

Colin Murtagh, class '83

Jan 4, 2018
Colin Murtagh, class '83 -

Union President, AGM handover address

Reverend Fathers, Past Presidents, Headmaster, fellow committee members, gentlemen;

I’d like to open the meeting by observing a minutes silence for the pastmen we have lost this year.

I am very proud to say that it has been a wonderful year for the Union with many achievements worthy of note:

  • The Constitution was reviewed (and by all accounts is in great shape). The Legal eyes of Lorcan Tiernan & Oisin Quinn reviewed the document and made some very minor changes.
  • Phase II of our Website is now LIVE after much to-ing and fro-ing in relation to data protection, and many other issues. This is a great site now and has new functionality such as

A full College Roll (12,000 pastmen), Subscription option to pay membership, Scholarship donation page, & all 121 years of chronicles digitized (with OCR function) and downloadable once you are registered to The Union. We would encourage all to now register online to the website.

  • Raffle proceeds from three events held during the year yielded over 11k for very worthy charitable causes.
  • The Union donated (its first) 6k for the Scholarship Fund for a new start for a lucky young student. A further €1950 from raffle proceeds of Lorcan’s dinner last year will also be allocated to Scholarship fund. There are a number of Pastmen home and abroad that we are in contact with who are considering positively donating to this the Scholarship. We will update you as they come in (unless anonymity is requested)
  • Union received Subscriptions of €10300 for 2017 though 60% of this is from 6th year students wanting to join our Union (that is an 86% of year). Our website facility needs to look at this now that we have ability to pay subs online.
  • Last December we sent out our first ever Union Christmas Card to our elder pastmen (& Past presidents) along with a card of Events for year. This will be repeated this year
  • Received some old Union Meetings memorabilia from Oliver earlier in the year. David O Neill (class of ’85) has also promised us some of his legendary rugby playing fathers gear soon.

2017 had a number of great Events

  • In MARCH - The Annual Business Lunch in Ballsbridge Hotel attracting 391 pastmen who were entertained by a Rock boy (with several accents) Thank you to Hugo MacNeill.
  • In APRIL – The Annual Retreat officiated by Fr Paul Lavelle with David Bell Senior taking the money at the door again. Billy Gallagher did huge work yet again to make it a great success. Thank you to Fr Paul, Beller & Billy.
  • Also in APRIL - Union Debate – Following on from Lorcan’s initiative we had another fantastic debate with students, teachers, & pastmen all participating together debating “Would the House welcome a visit from Donald Trump”
  • On the evening of the Debate, we used this occasion to honour 19 past / present professors of the College who taught in Castleknock for over 30years with a medal from The Union. This was very well received and virtually all professors attended.
  • JUNE - We resurrected the Golf Presidents Cup after a couple of years break in preparation for a big event in 2020 celebrating Knock Golf Union Society (Centenary). Barry Walsh played a large part in this and many thanks to him for the success of same.
  • Also in JUNE - There followed some younger events in a successful Junior Golf event in Carton and a Soccer Blitz in the College.
  • Also in JUNE – The Castleknock 5k Run (previously named the Rory Doherty Run) in honour of Rory a pastman from class of ‘94 who tragically died in an accident in 2013 (aged only 33). The Union piggy backed this event as the run was organized and run in Castleknock College and surrounding areas with over 1000 participants. At least 30 pastmen took part including myself and we have a super picture on website. My claim to fame on the day was beating Leo Varadker who ran in the event three days after becoming Taoiseach.
  • October - The Annual Dinner – I was always going to find it difficult to try and equal or trump Lorcan’s Dinner in Lansdowne as he co-ordinated his night to be on the evening we beat the All Blacks.

We had lovely evening in Raddisson Blu Hotel and all 176 who attended had a great night (with 51% of attendees having left Castleknock in the last 17 years (ie year 2000 onwards).  This is fantastic and shows our connection with our younger pastmen is in a good place.

  • NOVEMBER – The Mass for Deceased Pastmen;  Finally last week we had a lovely Mass to remember recent pastmen who have died. This was a fantastic joint effort between Union & School and though only started last year will become an intragral event going forward.

We received wonderful feedback from pastmen on each of these events which encourages us greatly into the future.

Aidan Feighery has continued in the role of Honorary Treasurer this year and Johnny Lynch likewise as Honorary Secretary. Both of these gentlemen would now like a break so are retiring from these official roles. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for all their hard work & support over the years.

We have a fantastic young pastman from 2014 assuming the role of Hon Sec in the name of Cian McGoldrick (congrats Cian).

Ian Garrigan retires as Junior President after two years to become the Honorary Treasurer & I can’t say enough about Ian’s support & assistance during the course of the year. He will truly make a wonderful President in years to come.

We have another fantastic young pastman from 2011 assuming the role of Junior President in the name of Jack Hurley (congrats Jack).

Likewise the members of your Committee have been particularly busy this year and many thanks to them for all the hard work.

On a personal note, I thought “the powers that be” were insane installing a shopkeeper into the role of President, but it is still in one piece and shortly goes on to a real heavy weight to pick up the pieces.

Genuinely, I was absolutely honoured to take on the role and loved every bit of every day of every task, keeping me in contact with the school & pastmen and

I would like to congratulate the headmaster Mr Oliver Murphy & the Board of Management on the amazing job they are doing with the school. Not just on the academic results they are achieving or the results in a wide range of sports and arts & drama, but most of all in the type of man they are sending out into the world. I have had the pleasure of being out in the college for the valedictory ceremony and for Union Day this year and I was so impressed with the boys and how fundamentally how the spirit and the ethos has remained, a credit to Oliver.

We have a wonderful (as I said heavy weight) now assuming the role of president in 2018…..Oisin Quinn. If someone can take a year out of his career to take on the unbelievable task of Lord Mayor we are surely in good hands passing the baton to Oisin and I wish him every success.

Gentlemen I give you Oisin Quinn