Centenary Dinner Speech - Ronnie Delany
Ronnie Delany's Dinner Speech
Ronnie Delany’s Centenary Dinner
Taoiseach, Bishop Jim Moriarty,
Father Provincial the very Reverend Brian Keenan, School Principal Fr. Martin
Daly, Kevin Jennings Deputy Principal, members of the school staff,
representatives of the Board of Management and Parents Association, Presidents
of other Past Pupils Unions, Past Presidents and officers of the CUS Union,
members of the CUS union and your guests, our generous sponsors and their
guests, reverent Fathers, ladies and gentlemen.
On my own behalf and on behalf of
the hard working committee of the CUS Union, it is my pleasure to welcome you
to the Centenary Dinner. We are rightly celebrating one hundred years of the
CUS Union, which not alone has survived but has prospered and expanded in
tandem with the Catholic University School. CUS and the union both are
illustrious in origin and rich in achievement.
I am delighted that we are here
in such record numbers tonight to celebrate and remember the positive impact on
our lives and the wider community of our Marist based education and its
attendant fellowship. Your loyalty and support for the old school in attending
with your guests is much appreciated.
We are honoured that An Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern has joined us as our special guest. Your presence is indicative of
the esteem in which the School and Union are held for their contributions to
Irish education and the general well being of the country. Thank you for your
generous and encouraging remarks.
To David Malone, Olympic
Champion, I say thank you for being my special guest. We are all proud of your
achievement and courage in overcoming diversity. You exemplify what I believe
is the ethos of the School – to educate us in the broadest sense to take up
whatever challenges are out there and to win.
We are delighted that the
Presidents of the other Schools Unions can be with us tonight – St Mary’s,
Terenure, High School and Roscrea. Interestingly, these are schools with whom
we have enjoyed keenest sporting rivalry over the years.
I am of course honoured to be
President of the CUS Union in its Centenary Year. The immediate past-President
Dr. Conor O’Brien (when inviting me to go forward for election), assured me
repeatedly that there would be ‘no work’ involved in the position. The
‘assurance’ now can be added to the three greatest lies of all time.
Notwithstanding, I would like to
pay tribute to the committee and sub-committee for their fabulous support in
organizing all the arrangements so far for our Centenary Year, including
tonight’s banquet. In particular, I must thank Billy Alexander, Honorary
Secretary for his outstanding work and remarkable energy. John Campbell Vice
President (and ‘MC’ extraordinaire) has also been most supportive. Sean Sexton,
our distinguished Past President, has had remarkable success in securing most
appreciated sponsorship for this evening (Name and thank sponsors here).
Before proposing the toast to the
School, tonight sees the publication of the CUS UNION 1902 – 2002 A Brief
History. It is a remarkable publication looking back over a hundred years to
the very foundation of the Union. It recalls the people and historic events and
times which have contributed to the well-being and continual development of our
Union. Frank Scott Lennon the Editor, ably assisted by many, is to be
congratulated on the timely production of such a history.
Frank has asked me to do two
things. First of all to thank Bill Kearey Class of 1973 and the main Lexus
dealer in Cork, who generously sponsored the history making it all possible.
And secondly, that the CUS Union 1902 – 2002 A Brief History will be
distributed to all the tables later; cost a measly €15 Euros. So be sure to go home
with a copy, you’ll enjoy the read (and may even find your photo in it).
At the Golden Jubilee
celebrations of the CUS Union in 1952 the then Principal of the School, the
very Reverend Patrick Byrne reportedly said that the aim of the School was "to
turn our young men morally mentally and physically fit to take their places in
the world”. He pointedly mentioned that the year had been a very successful
one, quote "the examination results being highly satisfactory”
The School has continued to
prosper happily to this day. The relationship between School and Union remains
strong with the Past supporting the Present in its academic objectives, extra
curricular and sporting endeavours. The Unions calendar of events annually has
been designed to enhance the quality of the relationship.
CUS continues to prosper offering
a well balanced all rounded curriculum. Greater emphasis is on academic
excellence to meet the challenges of the points system and the expectations of
parents. The School, through small numbers in the classes and excellent
leadership combined with the timeless efforts of a dedicated and vibrant staff
plays a leading role in education in Ireland.
Enrollments continue to increase
in the School. The new building to match this demand will be fully paid for by
the end of the year. Plans for the further development of the School will be
announced shortly. All of this against the background of a rejuvenated
preparatory School – numbers have doubled in the last five years.
The stated aim of the School
remains to develop pupils who are self assured, able to make their own way in
the world and generous in their response to others. I like to think that we the
Members of the Union, the past pupils of CUS exemplify those same