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Clare star reflects on happy school days and future goals

Gort Community School held its deferred 25 years of GAA celebration event recently. Ivan Smyth spoke to Clare senior hurler Patrick O’Connor about his fond memories in the school and his hopes for the county side. GORT Community School recently celebrated the many excellent hurlers and camogie players that have come through the doors of the school, since it opened on September 4, 1995, the day after Clare beat Offaly to be crowned All Ireland champions. The Transition Year students hosted the event with numerous awards handed out. Also on the night the 25th Anniversary All-Star Hurling and Camogie Teams compromising of past students from the school was announced. The hurling team saw two Clare men make the cut. Tubber’s Ronan Taaffe was named in goal while Patrick O’Connor was selected at wing back. Aidan Harte, who was part of the St. Joseph’s Tulla management team, was also named on the team. Other notable names included Galway hurlers Shane Cooney, …

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All to play for entering final round of Clare U-15 PPS Championship

A winners-takes-all showdown for a place in the inaugural Clare U-15A Post-Primary Schools Championship Final between Gort Community School and St Flannan’s Blue commences a much-anticipated final round of group matches this evening (Tuesday) in Caherlohan at 7pm, reports Eoin Brennan. With Ardscoil Rís awaiting the victors in the Cup decider on Thursday week (December 9), it promises to be a thrilling conclusion to this new developmental initiative that has provided 30 preparatory matches for over 300 boys ahead of their provincial championships in the New Year. Limerick side Ardscoil, Rís, backed by an eleven strong Clare contingent, are the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition ahead of their final round against St Flannan’s White in Shannon on Thursday evening at 7pm. Indeed, Gort and St Flannan’s Blue’s only defeat was at the hands of the tabletoppers, with a win or draw enough for Gort to advance to the flagship final whereas the loser will contest the Shield decider. …

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Gort musician to take music world by storm with global song-writing competition win

A GORT student is set to create a storm in the music world having being named a winner in a global song-writing competition. Jenna Coughlan, a sixth year student at Gort Community School is one of six young musicians from across the world to be included on a new album with her award winning song ‘Smoke Storms’. The recording is being released by Future Youth Records,  a non-profit record label dedicated to helping youth create and distribute music promoting social justice based in California. In previous years winners of the song-writing competition would have been flown to LA to record their track, however due to Covid-19 this was not possible. Speaking to the Clare Champion, Jenna reveals that she managed to record her song for Think Earth Vol 1 from her very own bedroom in Gort. The Leaving Cert student says, “It would have been a nice experience to over there, but at the same time it’s a busy time …

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Gort Community School unveil plaque to fondly-remembered past pupil

GORT Community School (GCS) recently celebrated a quarter of a century providing education in North Clare with the launch of a commemorative CD, entitled ‘Le Chéile’. The recording features past and present students and staff, and includes guest tracks from We Banjo 3, the Kilfenora Céilí Band and Séan Keane. Seán’s late wife, Virginia, had been a teacher at the school. The launch, which was performed by Séan Keane and Katharina Baker, was streamed live on Facebook because of the restrictions around the pandemic. On the day of the event, the school was also delighted to welcome Mary and Flan Noonan to unveil a plaque in memory of their daughter Eimear, a past pupil, who died in a tragic accident, while working as a teacher in France in 2017 Eimear was described by the school community as a very valued student, especially in the music department. As well as her love for Irish and French, Eimear was at the heart of …

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Badges of honour for forgotten war volunteers

Commemorations have taken place all over Europe this year, marking the centenary of the beginning of World War I. The Great War raged for more than four years, ending on November 11, 1918. On Tuesday, the anniversary of Armistice Day, Irish soldiers were remembered in South Galway. Commemorative badges, manufactured and designed by students in Gort Community School, were distributed at a ceremony of remembrance, as students and staff recalled the forgotten Irish volunteers. Young people in fourth year conducted a project with the goal of remembering the 150,000 Irish who fought in the war. Their project was cross-curricular taking in a number of subjects and departments. “As part of the project, they looked for a symbol to represent the volunteers but the only symbol they came across was the poppy. Many of the class were unhappy to use the poppy, as they felt they wanted to have something original that would remember just the Irish,” explained history teacher and …

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barra macmahon, na tonnta, gort community school

Gort students win Comortas Beo

A group of Gort students made waves in Kerry last week where they won a top Irish language music prize. Eight songs were selected for the final of the Comórtas Beo song-writing competition for young people held in Killarney on Thursday last. Sixteen year old Barra MacMahon from Kinvara composed the song and with classmates from his music class in Gort Community School performed it on stage in the final which coincided with Oireachtas na Gaeilge. The group’s song Bí Imithe proved a hit with judges winning the overall prize of €3,000. “My music teacher Yvonne Conroy told us about the competition. She had received an email about it. That was back in September,” Barra recalled. To enter people between 11 and 18 had to compose a song in Irish lasting less than five minutes, be prepared to perform it live at the finals, supply a video including the song and details of the writing process as well as recording …

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Cambridge scholarship beckons for Cillian

A NORTH Clare student, who found national fame when he sold his Leaving Cert notes on eBay, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to the University of Cambridge. Cillian Fahy was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue an M. Phil. in European Literature and Culture at the university, the only Irish person to achieve this in 2014. The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK, to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. They are selected based on outstanding intellectual ability; leadership potential; a commitment to improving the lives of others and a good fit between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and the postgraduate programme at Cambridge for which they are applying. “The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world and it is an incredible honour to receive one,” said Cillian. “The scholarships are full-cost, covering all fees and maintenance, …

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Gort pupils go back to the ’50s

GORT Community School pupils will bring audiences to 1950s America this weekend as they stage the hugely popular musical, Grease. More than 100 pupils have been working hard since September to bring the fictional Rydell High School of more than five decades ago to the stage. The story follows the fortunes of a group of teenagers as they find their way around love, rebellion and growing up and features hit songs including Summer Nights, You’re The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You. Music teacher Tara O’Carroll is the director and choreographer of the production. “One hundred and four students are involved in the show. Some are on stage, some in the band and others have been involved in different capacities. There will be about 80 students on the stage on each of the nights,” Ms O’Carroll explained. For 17 years, Gort Community School has held concerts to exhibit the musical talents of its pupils but this is …

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