Following on from this year’s stunning success in the JJ O’Reilly U-16 Ulster Colleges competition, Dominican College have recently been
awarded the Irish News Post Primary School of the Year Award.
This award is in recognition of all the work the school has invested in Gaelic sports over the past few years and the rich dividends this work is now witnessing.
The success in The Irish News competition was also in recognition of the unique way in which the school, in line with its strongly inclusive ethos, engaged with pupils from a non-traditional GAA background and created a winning team from a range of players from diverse backgrounds.
Pupils from the school are now learning how to coach and the school has the vision that these pupils will help mentor and coach our local
primary schools and the Post-Primary award recognises and rewards this superb work being carried out both on and off the field.
Richard Carey, the school’s PE teacher in charge of Gaelic games (himself a past Dominican pupil) was captain of the 2010 Derry Championship
winning Eoghan Rua team and he has used his experience to build a team capable of competing and winning at an Ulster College’s level
in his own school over the past few seasons.
Mr Carey explained: “Some of the lads come to us and have only a bit of background in GAA through their primary school or perhaps through Eoghan Rua or Glenullin, but many are coming from feeder primary schools that have either a soccer or rugby background. So, beginning in first year, we just try to introduce the game.
“They have certain physical attributes and basic technical skills that they can apply to Gaelic games, but it’s only really now after two or three years of playing and developing in seven-a-side and nine-a-side blitzes that we are able to get together a full- sized squad with the
ability to compete at Ulster Colleges level.
“This year we won our first Ulster Colleges title which was obviously a huge success for a school such as ours. The real reward in all this is the work done behind the scenes in the school to develop Gaelic games and make them inclusive for all. It is lovely for it to be
recognised that there is good work going on in Dominican College, Portstewart.
“To have won this award in the summer of 2018 on the 50th anniversary of boys first entering the school in 1968 makes this success all the sweeter.
“In playing terms the challenge for the school is now to build on this season’s JJ O’Reilly Cup victory and next year we will draw on some
of the U-16 talent to enter a sixth form team for the first time in our history. Our U-15 squad, many of whom also played at U-16 level are
also just about to compete in an Ulster Colleges Semi-final.”
Richard Carey is pictured receiving the Post-Primary award from Ulster Council Vice-Chairman Oliver Galligan with Dominican College
Vice-Principal, Mr Gerry Lynch (right) and team volunteer Richard Carey Snr (left).
Also pictured are five members of the successful U-16 team: Ryan Taggart, Jake Wallace, Lorcan McMullen, Alan Thompson and Lewis Hawthorne.