Review of the Annual Dinner 2017

Review of the Annual Dinner 2017

Many thanks to all Rockwellians who joined us last Friday night in Cahir House Hotel for the Annual Rockwell Union Dinner.

Click here for Photos from the Annual Dinner

It was with some trepidation that the Governing Body took the step to move the dinner from the usual spot of the Conrad Hotel on the night before a Six Nations game. There were many reasons to make the move, not least that the school is now as much a local Tipperary school as it was an international school in years past. And with so many of our past pupils now living and working in the Tipperary area, it made sense to make the change. I am delighted to tell you that it was a huge success - the event was sold out a week in advance, which augurs well for future events. This puts us in the enviable position of being able to offer viable events in both Dublin and Tipperary. Many of the attendees also took the time to visit the school on Saturday morning where Audrey O’Byrne and the staff and pupils showed them around.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presence of Francis Cristiani from the class of 1945. In the aftermath of the Second World War the French and Irish Red Cross organizations enable 12 French students to attend Rockwell College for a year. Francis regaled us with his memories of the school in the 1940’s - smoking in the toilets and bunking out to New Inn to buy Woodbines. It was wonderful to hear his enthusiasm for the school and the lifeline it offered him and his colleagues during such difficult times. He urged us all to take the time to stop by the school and engage with the students.

The Class of 1967 absolutely lit up the event. Pat Mulcahy and Sean Carter performed the herculean task of rounding up 42 from the class of 50 years ago and getting them together for the night. It was great to hear the old stories being swapped (some fact, some fiction) and watching the unbridled bonhomie of reinvigorated friendships after all these years. Fortunately the majority of them were staying in the hotel and the night lasted well into the morning - and beyond…….
 Check out their Golf Day in May

Friday night was a time for us to recognize Arthur Pierse (1970) as the Rockwell Union Person of the Year for 2017. Arthur was one of four siblings who attended Rockwell College and subsequently sent all four of his children - Lorna (2004), Arthur Jr (2006), Jill (2010) and Charles (2011). Arthur’s stellar and unparalleled golfing career has seen him travel all over the world as one of the world’s best and purest amateur golfers. Everyone was touched by the understated generosity of spirit in his acceptance speech - with the key lesson being that humility is truly the essence of greatness.

A special thanks to Cahir House Hotel and especially David Walsh (1993) who created a wonderful Rockwell feel to the hotel, with great attention to detail throughout (not least the two free drinks vouchers to those lucky enough to secure a room at the hotel).

An event like this can only happen when you have some special people behind the scenes and we were lucky to have Dearbhail Gildea (1989)  managing the event with John Riordan (1984), Alison McGrath (Prochem) handling the smooth administration on the night and JG Archer (1995) who has done a phenomenal job in driving a huge increase in the use of the website, social media and improving the overall information flow.
  Cillian Balfe (1993) performed the MC role with great aplomb.    

We conducted a raffle on the night for a range of prizes donated by:

Shamrock Lounge
Fota Island Golf Club
Lahinch Golf Club,
Dromoland Castle
Cahir House Hotel
Barry’s Tea
O’Brien’s Pharmacy
Barlo Motors

I look forward to seeing some or all of you at some of our upcoming events:

Save the datess

AGM – 9th May 2017
 - 6.30PM - Rockwell College

Golf Outing – UK – 5th May 2017

Golf Outing Ireland 21st September Woodbrook, Dublin

Business Lunch – November 2017

Very Best,

Donal Higgins

Click here for all photos