Classics Trip

By George Downing

On Wednesday the 3rd of May, the annual Classics Trip to Greece departed on the early morning flight from Dublin. As we approached Athens by air we noticed the city’s sprawling nature with not a cloud in sight. Our first two days were spent in Athens itself viewing all that the city had to offer.

From King Agamemnon’s golden death mask in the National Archaeological Museum to the breathtaking stands of The Panathenic Stadium – home to the first modern day Olympic Games –  and the impressive Agora (first indoor market), it was a long but fruitful day of walking around Athens.  

Athens has a myriad of beautiful sites to see, however the stand out attraction has to be the Acropolis. The entire city of Athens lives in its shadow. 

The hill itself is dotted with spectacular ancient buildings the most notable of which is the Parthenon. This iconic structure is a marvel of human engineering and is the first image that comes to mind when one visualizes the city. Its large columns once enclosed the Greek Senate – home to the greatest brains of all time – but now lying in ruins. It is a poignant reminder of how powerful Greece once was.

After two days in Athens, we boarded our bus and travelled west through acres of vineyards and olive groves..  



Our first stop was the battlefield of Chaeronea where Alexander the Great (The Lion of Charonea) and his father Philip II defeated the Thebans before going on to conquer Persia.




Then we travelled to the Oracle of Delphi, which was once considered to be the centre of the entire universe. It functioned as a place where important figures of the ancient world used to come to communicate with the gods. They communicated with a priestess who was said to be in a trance and had a sacred ability to speak with the gods. Modern scientists have now discovered that there is a natural fissure in the ground where the temple once stood so it is now understood that hallucinogenic gases would have caused these oracles.


We also travelled through the Pelopenesse region visiting the ancient city of Corinth and stood on the same spot that St. Paul once stood preaching to the Greeks.


We saw the impressive Corinth Canal built at the end of the 19th Century, and the famous Amphitheatre of Epidaurus. We also spent a night in Nafplio, the ancient capital of Greece, visiting the surrounding sites including Agamemnon’s palace and tomb in the area of Mycenae and other impressive sites of historical importance.

We stayed our final night in Athens, on the rooftop of the Dorian Inn Hotel reflecting on the mesmerizing and insightful previous days. Overall it was an amazing adventure to learn and experience how the people who shaped the modern world lived. From the beautiful ornate jewelry of Agamemnon’s tomb to the vast open battlefield of Platea, I can firmly say that it was a memorable trip.

Special thanks to our Classics Teacher Mr Ian Murphy for organising the trip and being an excellent tour guide.

Fr Leahy Football blitz.


by Thomas Franklin

For the 20th year, Glenstal Abbey School, Newbridge College,  Cistercian College and  Rockwell College  met in Newbridge, Co. Kildare to contest the Fr. Leahy Football Blitz. Fr. Leahy was a passionate GAA man who won a senior school’s rugby cup with Newbridge and this tournament is played in his memory. With many 2nd years involved in other school activities, it was an under strength side that made its way to Newbridge from Murroe. That said, it gave some of the younger players the experience of playing against older boys. However, the physicality and experience of their opponents would be evident in the ensuing games.

The sequence of games was as follows:

Glenstal Abbey School versus Newbridge College

Glenstal Abbey School versus Cistercian College

Glenstal Abbey School versus Rockwell College

Eventual tournament winners, Newbridge, made little work of recording their first victory of the tournament defeating Glenstal in a repeat of last year’s final in the first game. Josh Kennedy was the only man to score for Glenstal as they succumbed to a more physical and skilfull Newbridge team. From the centre of the field, Josh Kennedy landed a long range point with the aid of the breeze mid way through the second half. It was also in this game, Glenstal lost the services of Charlie McCartan after he injured his ankle in a tackle. The second game was much the same where Glenstal conceded an even bigger physical advantage to their opponents, Roscrea. Jack Neilan was on target in this game when he chipped over the crossbar. It was the third game against Rockwell which saw Glenstal become more competitive. Rockwell came out on top but a goal and a point from Seamus Kerrisk gave Glenstal a much needed lift after two heavy defeats. A high ball was punched to the goal by Seamus Kerrisk before he booted another over the crossbar. Josh Kennedy was unlucky not to score a goal himself only his shot screamed past the post. Kieran Roche added another score but it wouldn’t help Glenstal to a win as the final whistle drew a close on the tournament. Well done to the boys who kept their heads high and their attitudes right in the face of a difficult challenge.

Glenstal Panel:

Josh Kennedy
Seamus Kerrisk
Robert Burke
Bryan Murphy
Iarlaith Reilly
Adam Byrne
Ben McCartan
Charlie McCartan
Jack Neilan
Hugh Lawler
Arthur Curran
James Shields
Ben Shippam
Ben Gambs
Lukasz Niscior
Michael Franklin
Dermott Hughes
Harry Whelehan
Kieran Roche
Liam Quinn-Berger
Seán Ryan-Prendiville
Micheál Ryan-Prendiville
George O’Leary
James Devine
Ian Larkin


Volleyball Semi Final

The National Volleyball Cup semi-final took place in Loughrea where Glenstal faced Drumshanbo VS.  Drumshanbo VS are an ‘A’ side and their skillful play saw them progress to the final 3 sets to nil.

Once the warm up and formalities were completed, the game commenced and Drumshanbo VS ran into an early lead of 7-2. The gap remained for a time but as the Glenstal errors continued, it became evident that Drumshanbo VS were a clinical side. They won the first set 25-13. The second set was a much closer affair with Glenstal leading 9-6 and playing excellent volleyball. At 15-12, there was a confidence that Glenstal could push on to win the set. However, Drumshanbo regained their composure, took the lead away from Glenstal, and went on to win the set 25-19. Glenstal needed to win the third set, otherwise, the game was over. Early in the set, Drumshanbo opened a lead 8-3 and stormed on to claim the set and the game. The final set finished 25-14.

The Glenstal side, captained by Philip Reiche, learned a great deal from their volleyball season and may be next year can go a few steps further in the competition. Well done to all the players involved over the course of the season. Congratulations to Drumshanbo VS on making it to the final and congratulations to Mallow who won the final 3 sets to 1.

Panel: Philip Reiche, Jack Clancy, Tilmann Koenen, James Fitzgerald, Mark Walsh, Cormac McGann, Arthur Moore, Mark O’Farrell, Seán Coleman, Conor Booth and David Kelly.



MSSC Final

The Munster Schools Senior Rugby Cup Final was played in very testing conditions in Thomond Park on St Patrick’s Day. The game started with early PBC pressure and the tackling from Glenstal was ferocious. Jack O Mahony threatened PBC with good running lines and Mark Fleming made some great carries. PBC scored a penalty after 14 mins but Ben Healy levelled proceedings with an excellent penalty kick. PBC then scored a well worked try on 19 minutes and continued to dominate territory and possession. Glenstal were unlucky to lose possession in a number of line outs. Luke Fitzgerald made some great carries and Jamie Mawhinney made a ferocious tackle which represented an excellent defence from Glenstal. Tim Molony made an excellent catch on the right win which nearly bore fruit. At half time the score was 8-3 to PBC.
The support from Glenstal was massive,
aided by a great turnout of Old Boys continued to roar their team on throughout the match. PBC missed a penalty 12 mins into the second half but they continued to dominate territory and possession spending a lot of time in Glenstal’s half. Glenstal continued to tackle bravely and Ben Healy made some excellent kicks to relieve the pressure. Andrew Hogan, Declan Floyd, Henry Downing and Mark Walsh all came on to play their part. Conor Booth made an excellent line break late in the half but it was snuffed out by PBC. They then scored a late penalty to make the final score 11-3.
In the end PBC were deserving winners but Glenstal really made them work for it. Glenstal showed that they are comfortable at this level and the future is bright with many of the squad eligible to play next year.
As Fr William Fennelly said at the post match function this Glenstal team has brought so much joy to the wider Glenstal community and they should be very proud of their efforts. The loss is no consolation to the players but they will learn from it and become better players and men as a result. It was fantastic the number of Glenstal supporters who made the effort to be at the match and the squad appreciated it. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to the Glenstal Head Coach Sean Skehan and his coaching staff namely Tom Hayes, Nick Miller, and Lee Nicholas for their excellent work with the squad. A special word of thanks to the Team Captain Rory Clarke who led his players so valiantly and served as an excellent example to all the school. Bring on the 2017/8 season!!

Benny McEvoy 

Kilimanjaro Trip 2018

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Glenstal Abbey School are exploring the possibilities of a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2018.

A minimum of 15 students (pax) will be needed to make the trip feasible and the trip will be managed and run by a professional tour operator. It promises to be a life changing experience!

Click on the presentation below for details of the trip, the requirements and information about Kiliminjaro.


Contact Benny McEvoy, Director of Activities for more information.


Junior GAA Update

Glenstal V St Clements and Ard Scoil Rís


A small panel of Glenstal players participated in a hurling blitz against Ard Scoil Rís and St. Clements recently at UL.

Match Report

by Tom Franklin

After a quick hello to the U19 Japan rugby team, the boys took their positions and started well against St Clements. A long ball was fired towards the St. Clement’s goal. Callum Curtin produced a fine catch only to be denied by the goalkeeper. At the other end, the St. Clement’s full forward got the ball into the Glenstal goal but it was disallowed for a foul on the ball. St. Clements did get the first score from a free on the left hand side of the goal. They followed it up with a goal when the centre forward made an excellent run through the middle of the Glenstal defence and despite two tacklers he managed to find the net with a super shot. It began to look ominous when Glenstal conceded a scrappy goal as the ball ricocheted and bounced around until it settled in the net. Another point for St. Clements saw their lead stretch a little further. Just before the halftime break, Callum Curtin again almost got Glenstal’s first score but good defending denied him and Glenstal.

The second half began well for Glenstal. The industrious and hard running Patrick Johnson gathered the throw-in, weaved his way to the 21 metre line before firing the ball to the roof of the net. Charlie McCartan played a nice ball into the path of Kieran Roche who was unlucky to miss the target. St. Clements scored another free before Glenstal would rue another missed chance. Patrick Johnson played a ball down the line to Ben McCartan who fired a shot across the goal but passed the far upright and wide. A long ball from the wing found its way to the Glenstal net somehow and the chances of a comeback were very slim at this stage. St. Clements had an excellent passing move denied by the stick of Michael Franklin as he stopped a certain goal down low to his left hand side. Michael O’Dwyer cleared the ball far down the field before the ball made it’s way to Ben McCartan who sent the ball goal ward. Some confusion in the St. Clements defence meant the ball went all the way for a goal. St. Clements finished the scoring of the game with a point meaning the final score line read – St. Clements 3-4 Glenstal 2-0.

A strong Ard Scoil Rís team awaited Glenstal in the second game but there was a lot of good Glenstal play to be applauded. Callum Curtin was proving to be a superb fielder of the sliotar he again caught a long high ball, but he was hooked as he attempted to shoot for a goal. The Ryan-Prendiville brothers were wise in their use of possession as Seán repelled many attacks while Micheál gave some great passes to his comrades. Tom Rooney and Harry Whelehan were busy in defensive duties and performed well. A George O’Leary save and a Ben McCartan goal kept Glenstal in the game in the first half but in the end, Ard Scoil Rís prevailed on a scoreline of 3-4 to 1-0.

Well done to all the boys who represented their school in fine fashion.


Stefan Caulfield-Dreier

Callum Curtin

Michael Franklin

Dermott Hughes

Michael O’Dwyer

George O’Leary

Peter Queally

Liam Quinn-Berger

Kieran Roche

Micheál Ryan-Prendiville

Seán Ryan-Prendiville

Harry Whelehan

Ben McCartan

Charlie McCartan

Patrick Johnson

Tom Rooney





Ireland Under 20’s V Wales

Head coach Nigel Carolan has named the Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, to face Wales in Saturday’s U-20 Six Nations clash at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay (kick-off 6.30pm).

Former Glenstal Rugby Captain, Jack Stafford (Class of 2016), has been called up together with Colm Hogan (Class of 2015)