Coláiste Íde Dingle Principal Reflects On “Huge Achievement” For The School
29th March 2023 By The Editor
Earlier this month, Coláiste Íde Dingle reached the final of the Munster Schools Girls Junior Cup in what was a historic day for the Kerry school.
Although they lost out to St Anne’s Community College on the day, their journey to the decider was an excellent achievement in what was their first time competing in the competition.
Conall Ó’Cruadhlaoich, principal of Coláíste Íde Dingle, outlines how the late Danno O’Keeffe was instrumental in getting the rugby programme up and running in the school.
“Rugby has been going on for a number of years in Coláiste Íde and traditionally Gaelic Games and basketball, in particular, would have been the main sports in the school. A number of years ago, spearheaded by Danno O’Keeffe, who was very instrumental in rugby in Chorca Dhuibhne and setting up the Chorca Dhuibhne club in West Kerry.
“Danno was a larger than life character with a huge interest in rugby and he brought that to the area. As part of that he came in a trained the girls teams in the school for a number of years and unfortunately, Danno passed away in the last couple of years and he is sorely missed.”
Munster Rugby Club and Community Rugby Officer (CCRO) Éanna Ó’Conchúir has been involved with the school this year, helping develop the rugby programme in the school in addition to training the girls’ team.
“Having Éanna Ó’Conchúir who came in this year as part of the development of our team and put a huge amount of effort, himself and Regina Prendeville, put a huge amount of effort into the girls over the year.”
With only 130 pupils in the school, there is not a lot of players to choose from so the fact that their Junior Cup side reached the final is a real achievement. In addition to this, only player on the Junior Cup side currently plays club rugby.
Despite the loss in the final, Ó’Cruadhlaoich is immensely proud of the effort of the players.
“Even though we were well beaten on the scoreboard, rugby is that kind of team game where you just have to knuckle down and get on with it. The girls showed huge character and heart out there. That’s something that has really brought them together in their training the year.
“They look forward to it every week getting out on the pitch together. You see that in them, they’re growing into young women who respect one another greatly and have great time for one another.”
Ó’Cruadhlaoich now hopes that the school can build on this success and further develop rugby in the school in the years to come.
“Without a doubt, it’s important now to strike while the iron is hot while the interest is there.
“As I said, I see it with the girls on the supporters bus, they’re out there crying for their friends and they’ll want to get involved so it’s very important that we do develop the game in the school and we’ll be looking to local coaches and Munster Rugby, as they do, to get get involved in local level to help us develop it.”