St Paul’s Celebrate Sporting Success


Head of PE & Sport at St Paul’s High School, Mr John Rafferty, welcomed a large crowd of students and parents to the Annual Sports Awards at St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook.  Mr Rafferty introduced the crowd to the platform party which included Mr Joby Burke, Armagh County Hurling Goalkeeper, Mr James Daly, past pupil of St Paul’s and current Armagh Ladies Senior team manager, and Mr Jarlath Burns, Vice-principal of St Paul’s.

Mr Rafferty made the following remarks before the presentation ceremony

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go”

“This can often be seen in practice most evenings around 5pm as the car park in St Paul’s is filled to capacity with parents waiting to lift their sons and daughters following the numerous training sessions throughout the year. All schools celebrate winning an Ulster title so St Paul’s can be proud of a year that saw their boys and girls deliver five Ulster titles, three Northern Ireland Dance wins and saw St Paul’s Netball grow to become the leading force in the Newry and Mourne Netball region.  Gaelic games are the corner stone of the extra curriculum sport programme in St Paul’s and this year the ladies football teams walked away with three Ulster titles with two winning teams at Under 14 level and an Under 12 blitz win as well.”

“The under 14 ‘A’ girls won the ladies equivalent of the prestigious Corn na nÓg for being a first for any ladies team in St Paul’s. “

“There was success for the boys as they were led to the schools first hurling title by Mr Joby Burke, current Armagh county keeper, at both Under 16 and Under 13 level. At an individual level Aoife McCullough and Aimee Mackin were honoured with Ulster Ladies Colleges All Star Awards and St Paul’s provided 3 of the Armagh minor team which reached this years Ulster Final. The girls were presented with their awards by past pupil of St Paul’s and current Armagh ladies manager James Daly.”

Congratulating the pupils on their success and their parents for their continued support, Vice-principal Mr Jarlath Burns pointed out that had the boys been successful in their Loch An Iúir and Mac Larnon finals that there might not have been enough room on the stage for the medals.

He thanked the pupils for their commitment to the school teams and encouraged them to repeat the effort in their future sporting and academic trials. He continued outlining that St Paul’s had become the yardstick for both Northern Ireland Dance competitions and Netball in the Southern Education and Library Board regions. Following the presentation of the medals to the successful teams Mr Burns thanked the staff for their commitment to helping the pupils realise the benefits of participating in extra-curricular sport and experiencing first hand the benefits of hard work.

Pictured is the Netball team who received awards for Netball Northern Ireland Area Winners and Newry and Mourne Winners.  The students are pictured with Mrs Paula O’Hare-Armstrong.

Pictured are the Hurlers who received awards for Hurling (Reta Cup).  The students are pictured with Mr Joby Burke (Armagh County Hurling Goalkeeper) and Vice-principal Mr Jarlath Burns.

Pictured are the Ladies Footballers who received awards for the equivalent of the prestigious Corn na nÓg award. The students are pictured with Miss M Downey, Miss M McNamee, Mrs J Simpson, Mrs A Hollywood and Mr James Daly (Armagh Ladies Senior Manager).

Pictured is Gemma McKeown who received an award for Key Stage 5 Netballer of the Year and Commitment to Netball Award. Gemma is pictured with Mrs Paula O’Hare-Armstrong and Mr John Campbell (Chair of Governors).

Pictured are the Junior and Senior Northern Ireland Dance Group who received the Ladies All Star award. The students are pictured with Turlough McNally (Past Pupil).

Pictured are Aimee Mackin, Aoife McCullough who received awards for Ladies All Star Footballers and Caolan Rowntree who received an award for Poc Fada. The students are pictured with Mrs Freda Mackin, Mr Michael Mackin, Mr James Daly (Armagh Ladies Senior Manager), Mr John Campbell (Chair of Governors’), Mrs A Hollywood and Mr Damien McCullough, Mrs J Simpson and Miss M Downey.











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