St Patrick’s College 2013 Graduates Conferred

Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

A large group of approximately three hundred people gathered in St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, Co Tipperary on Friday October18th last to celebrate the graduation of students from the College’s B.A. in Education programmes. Fifty two students graduated in total, forty one from the B.A. in Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies programme and eleven from the B.A. in Education, Irish and Religious Studies programme.

St Pats


This year’s ceremony was particularly notable as this is the first year that Irish teachers graduated from the college. All of the graduates, who are now fully qualified to teach their specialist subjects in post-primary schools, were conferred with University of Limerick degrees.

The conferring ceremony was a joyous occasion, enjoyed by the graduates, their families and friends and academic staff who guided the graduates to their degrees, representatives of the university and the many others who contribute to life in the college.

Tipperary native and member of the college’s Board of Governors, John Lonergan, welcomed guests to the college. The degrees were awarded by Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick. Professor Barry congratulated all of the graduates in his speech and urged them to cherish the moment; “This is your moment, so breathe it in and be very proud of yourselves and your achievements,” he said. “You graduate at a time of extraordinary economic uncertainty…you are among the best of what this country has to offer the world, have confidence in yourself, do not settle because you think you have to – think big!

President of St. Patrick’s College, Fr. Tom Fogarty, encouraged the graduates to embrace their learning and to engage in lifelong learning and continuously strive to improve, both academically and professionally. Acknowledging the hard work of the graduates in getting to this point Fr. Fogarty quoted the legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan; “Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.” Fr. Fogarty urged the newly qualified teachers to strive to retain their energy and enthusiasm by firstly looking after themselves. Quoting Flor McCarthy, he asked them to “avoid getting caught up in a life of feverish activity,” commenting that “too much activity can dry up the mind and the human heart.”

A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of two Awards for Professionalism to one graduate from each programme. These were presented to Ruth McCormack (Two Mile Borris, Thurles) and John Cullinane (Kilkenny). The awards recognised the many positive attributes that these two graduating students demonstrated during their time in the College. Ruth and John were deemed to have demonstrated the best balance of professional responsibilities, including excellence in subject knowledge across all areas of study, engagement in their programmes of study, a high standard of teaching competence, involvement in professional development and extra-curricular activities, and an overall sense of commitment to St. Patrick’s College and to the teaching profession.

Additionally, two medals were presented in recognition of academic achievement. These were awarded to Shaun Bray (Kilkenny) and Pauric Hanlon (Longford).


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