Dr John Cooney, Chair, Board of Governors
Union Day Prize Giving speech
John G. Cooney. K.S.G., F.R.C.P.I., FR.C. Psych.
On behalf of the Board of Governors, it is my privilege to present the prizes on this, the annual Union Day.
I have been greatly impressed, not merely with the large number of prizes provided, but also with the wide range of activities rewarded. These include not just the traditional academic subjects and sporting pursuits, but also the arts and crafts. Moreover the qualities of commitment and initiative have been singled out for special recognition.
This extensive list of prizes demonstrates clearly that a Castleknock education is broadly based and one which is concerned with the development of the whole person and in keeping with the long tradition of the College. I believe it would be appropriate for me to draw your attention briefly to THE AIMS OF CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE as defined and set down by the Board of Governors.
To enable each of its pupils to reach full development in a harmonious growth of the whole person. It promotes this aim of integral formation by many varied activities, religious, academic, social, cultural and sporting, which are conducted by means of personal contacts and shared commitments, and experienced by pupils in the context of life within the College.
The document then goes on to stress that in this task it
recognises the responsibility of Parents for the education of their children and seeks to co-operate closely with and to be as helpful as possible to them in the fulfilment of that responsibility. The development of the personality and character of its pupils has always been and remains a matter of paramount importance to the College. Personality and character are recognised as providing the basis for life's achievements and support in its vicissitude.
The achievement of these fundamental aims is a major task and one which must be undertaken in a manner which will meet the needs of the present day. That Castleknock is well able to respond to this challenge is evidenced by the successful integration of day pupils and boarders which took place over the past year. This was a formidable task and its accomplishment reflects great credit on all concerned.
The Board of Governors is determined to improve the physical facilities of the College, so that it will maintain its place in the forefront of the educational system of our country. I am happy to report that already the junior dormitories have been refurbished, as many of you are aware. At the present time, the junior school is undergoing a major reconstruction programme which will result in new classrooms, laboratory facilities, computer rooms etc. We are advanced in our plans to provide single rooms for 6th year boys in the old building, as well as upgrading other facilities within this building. The realization of this extensive programme will entail a considerable expenditure. Since its foundation 150 years ago, Castleknock has always been fortunate in being able to command support for new developments. I am confident that when we look for assistance in the near future, we will experience the same generous response as did our predecessors.
The Vincentian Fathers are the guardians of the traditions of Castleknock and have discharged this duty consistently and with great dedication over the years. On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge the cooperation and encouragement which we receive from them at all times.
I am very pleased also to avail of this opportunity to express the gratitude of the Board to all members of the staff for their efforts over the past year. Their work is arduous and demanding and they have carried out their duties in a highly commendable fashion.
It is not possible for every one of our pupils to secure a prize. To those who were unsuccessful, I offer my commiseration and exhort them to persist with their efforts which will bear fruit in due course.
To those pupils who have succeeded in winning prizes, I offer my congratulations on behalf of the Board of Governors. It is a proud day for them and their parents. It is my great pleasure to call upon the prize winners to come forward and receive their rewards for their efforts during the past year.