The Clongowes Wood College Foundation welcomed over 350 alumni, current parents along with the Rector, Fr. Michael Sheil SJ and our new Jesuit Provincial Fr. Leonard Moloney SJ to the O’Callaghan’s Alexander Hotel Dublin 2 on Friday November 18th. All were delighted to be in attendance at this oversubscribed Clongowes Foundation Leadership series lunch. Those gathered thoroughly enjoyed Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair leadership insights and the high-octane banter and humour, which infused the afternoon.

With high praise for lateral management style and internal promotion, for over ninety minutes Michael crafted his presentation around twists and turns, which engaged the audience amidst irreverent laughter. Recalling his Clongowes boarding days with boys who have remained firm friends over the past thirty-five years, he praised ‘Mocky’ for introducing a level of order upon arrival in 1976. He himself, a member of the Super Thirds, recalls that his standout memory is of Clongowes winning the Senior Cup in ’78 – something perhaps his parents, he suggested, would prefer to have been otherwise.

Inviting participation from the floor, as he walked it, awarding Ryanair flights for the best, worst and most flattering questions, Michael covered topics as diverse as mobile business trajectories, social media, gender diversity, hedging oil prices, Brexit, Trump-ism, boys’ seven-day boarding and the value of the Alberto Hurtado Bursary Programme which is core to the Jesuit mission in Clongowes today.

The unwavering support of the Clongowes alumni and current parents endorses the work of the Clongowes Foundation. We appreciate it, very much.

Michelle Burke, Clongowes Wood College Foundation