Home » Tag Archives: Alan Cunningham

Tag Archives: Alan Cunningham

Large scale absences expected as Clare schools reopen

CLARE schools resume today at a time when Covid-19 transmission is at its highest point since the pandemic began. With a huge amount of people either having tested positive or having been close contacts of positive cases, there will inevitably be many teachers and pupils absent in the coming days. On Wednesday, Peter Walsh, principal of St Conaire’s in Shannon was preparing for the resumption, aware that a large cohort of teachers won’t be available for the first day back. “At the moment I’m looking at six and possibly seven (who won’t be there). That’s just over a quarter of my teaching staff.” He said that he had spoken to colleagues on Tuesday and Wednesday who were also expecting similar levels of teacher absence. Mr Walsh said that it is very difficult to prepare when Covid-19 is so prevalent. “It’s very, very challenging. It’s probably even more challenging than it was back in September, now that Covid-19 is everywhere with …

Read More »

Students ‘upbeat’ as exams begin after challenging year

STUDENTS began the Leaving Certificate exams on Wednesday, with this year’s group having had to endure an unprecedented level of disruption, with the last two school years pockmarked by long absences from the classroom, remote learning and uncertainty over whether the exams would even happen. This year students are getting predicted grades as well as having the option to take the exam. Those who do the exam will take whichever grade is better, their actual result or the predicted grade, and St Caimin’s principal Alan Cunningham said the trepidation that usually goes with the start of the Leaving Cert was absent on Wednesday morning. ”The atmosphere this morning before the exam was a lot more relaxed than normal.” He said that a substantial number of students had opted not to sit the exam. “We’re just going through it now, I’d say there’s someplace between 55 and 65% of them (doing it) I’d say. A small bit more than that had …

Read More »

“There was so much denied to them”

2020 has surely been the oddest year to be a Leaving Cert student, with the exam, the great rite of passage, not actually happening at all but the young people still getting a set of results. Despite results being distributed online these days, until now former students have still come to St Caimin’s to meet their former classmates on teachers on the big day, but it couldn’t happen this week. “No, unfortunately not, it was another one of those things that were denied to the year group I’m afraid. It’s an awful shame, it’s normally a great day when you meet them all and wish them all the best. It would have been a logistical nightmare to bring them in,” said principal Alan Cunningham. He feels those whose school days concluded in 2020 have missed out on an awful lot of important experiences. “There was so much denied to them. We’d always have a graduation mass celebration, our awards ceremony, …

Read More »

“The unknown was the disaster for everyone”

THE Leaving Cert is one of the great Irish rites of passage but the class of 2020 will never negotiate it. It may not be ideal but Alan Cunningham, principal of St Caimin’s in Shannon, feels it is probably the least worst option at this stage. “Yeah, the unknown was the disaster for everyone. Taking into account everyone’s wellbeing, keeping them hanging until July 29, when it might not have happened either. They had to come up with some kind of plan and it is what it is now, we can all get on with it and see how it comes out the other end.” Some young people are happy with the idea of predicted grades, but not everyone is, he feels. “There’s a fair mix. You’d have some people delighted with it and some people who would feel they have a better chance on the day, with the paper. Every student has their individual way of looking at it. …

Read More »

Cunningham takes up Caimin’s principal role

HE has taught at St Caimin’s for more than 30 years and now Alan Cunningham has taken on the big job, succeeding Claire Knight as principal. “I’m following in a long line of leaders in St Caimin’s and my hope is to do as good a job as they did,” he says of his promotion. Alan was dealing with a family bereavement earlier this week but still generously made himself available to talk about his new responsibilities. Virtually his whole career has been at St Caimin’s, as he went there straight from college. “It was back in the ’80s. There wasn’t much around but this school was built the year before I qualified. I came in part-time, bits of hours here, bits of hours there. I was two years doing bits and pieces.” A native of the town, he went to national school at St Conaire’s and second level at St Patrick’s Comprehensive. The elevation to principal comes after four …

Read More »

Hurlers’ chance to get first points

AFTER a great start to the league with impressive wins over Tipperary and Kilkenny, the Dublin senior hurlers were brought crashing back down to earth on Saturday night, when they suffered a drubbing at the hands of Cork at Croke Park. An 11-point loss should see the Ger Cunningham-managed side come to Ennis on Saturday for their meeting with Clare determined to get back to winning ways and secure a place in the play-offs. Another defeat could see the Ger Cunningham-managed Dubs with relegation worries on their minds going into the final game of the group stage. Davy Fitzgerald and his team will be hoping that the improvement shown in their game against Tipperary will continue and lead to a Clare win this weekend. Clare will have to win their remaining two games and hope that other results go in their favour if they are to have a chance of avoiding the dreaded relegation play-off. It’s unlikely that all of …

Read More »