In May, Portlaoise College held their ‘2013 Awards Evening’. The guest of honour for the ceremony was Michael Duignan, two time All-Ireland hurling winner with Offaly, former All Star and current GAA pundit on ‘The Sunday Game’.
Mr Daly invited our special guest to view an exhibition of the extra-curricular activities and to have a chat with the students involved. Michael was very taken with a hurley which had been transformed into a musical instrument, he felt it was something that would have been useful during his own career.
The evening also marked the launch of the school yearbook, another fantastic publication from Mr McEvoy and his Transition Year editorial team.
Both junior and senior awards were presented in the wide range of subjects offered by Portlaoise College. There was an award for the prefects for the vital role they have played in school activities. Next up was the tutorial awards for each class group, along with the ‘Student of the Year’ award for each year. The winner of the award in 6th Year was Carly Connolly. Two new awards this year were for the ‘Leadership Student’, which was won by Valerija Karkota and the ‘Exceptional Student’, which was won by Shauna Roche.
The final two awards of the evening were the ‘College Bursary Awards’. Thanks to the generosity of Portlaoise Credit Union, the school is giving an award of €1500 to two students to help them undertake their third level education. The two delighted winners were Mark Geoghegan and Daniella Lubiscakova.
There followed an address by Mr Duignan. In his speech, he spoke about his own education and sporting career. He also stressed the qualities which have helped him in his life, namely honesty, integrity and hard work. Michael also told the audience about the difficulties he has had to overcome in his life and he really focused on the need for people to talk to others in times of stress. It proved to be a very inspirational message for students, parents and staff. Mr Daly then thanked Michael and presented him with a portrait, which was prepared by 3rd Year students, before drawing the evening to a close.