|1 Mar 2022|
The preparations for the 125th year of The Clongowes Union began in earnest in the summer of 2020. We hope this will be evident in a new Union website which will be launched before 1st May 2022.
This will be a hugely important communication mechanism for the Union. We made a serious effort to improve our data in 2021 – this is an ongoing exercise and we always welcome updated contact details for anyone who went to school in Clongowes. Please use this link here if you wish to update your details.
We launched a soft membership drive towards the end of 2021 – we have a small number of Life Memberships still available at € 1,000 and we always welcome new subscribers to Union membership at a cost of € 50 per year. A more active union requires more funding -any enquiries in this regard should be sent to email@example.com
We adopted a theme for our 125th year of “Clongowes - Beyond the Pale” in recognition of the position of Clongowes as a school which primarily serves all 32 counties of Ireland as well as the sons of Irish connected people around the world. Building upon this, we hope to have significant functions in the four provinces of Ireland as well as in the UK during the year from June 2022 to May 2023. If there is sufficient interest, we will also consider functions in USA and Asia.
We have also made a commitment that we will raise € 125,000 to be shared by three designated charities during the course of the year. This will be underpinned by a Charity Golf Classic that we will run in April 2023 and we will also put in place a facility whereby Clongownians can make individual or corporate donations during the course of the year. As with everything we do, we will be relying upon the support of Union members for this challenging endeavour. This fund raising will not interfere with the normal collections for Peter McVerry and CUBA at our Lunch and Dinner respectively.
We have several events confirmed for the year. On 29th June 2022, 125 years to the day after the Union was founded, we will be inviting all surviving Past Presidents of the Union, all surviving Rectors, Headmasters and Higher Line Prefects along with all with our 125th year Union committee to a Mass and Dinner in Clongowes to mark this special occasion . Earlier in June, Fr Peter Kenney Day will be hosted by the College and the Foundation in Clongowes on 15th June – this is open to anyone who left the school no later than 1982.
We are also working with the College to put together a function in Clongowes that recognises the Clongownians that have represented Ireland on our Senior International Rugby team. We have a tentative date of 17th September 2022 – as with so many things, more details will follow in due course.
There will be events with which we need some help. We hope there will be a Junior event for those who have left Clongowes in the 21st Century. It is planned that this will be relatively informal and held in the West of Ireland in early December or late January. We are also working with some UK based Clongownians in an effort to put together an event in London in November of this year.
The Union Dinner will be on its traditional date on the Friday before Ireland’s first Home International in 2023. For the first time in many years, we will be having a Munster Dinner in Dunraven Arms in Adare on 24th March 2023. This will be a mixed event at which Clongownians will be encouraged to bring their spouses/partners. We are also going to refresh our Annual Union Lunch which will be held in Dublin on Friday 7th October.
It has been a challenging couple of years for the Clongowes Union Golf Society. We are determined to rejuvenate it in the coming months. We have tee times in Portmarnock on May 13th 2022, Royal County Down on 24th June 2022 and Baltray on September 3rd 2022. The Portmarnock event will be a deferred competition for the 100 year old Abraham Sutton Trophy. The Royal County Down event will be our “Ulster Function” and we will welcome non golfers for Dinner afterwards. If you are unsure whether you are on the Golf Society Mailing List and would like to be added, please send your email details to us at firstname.lastname@example.org before 24th March 2022.
We look forward to remembering our deceased friends at a Mass in Clongowes in November. We will also participate in the Past v Present debate in Clongowes and a member of the Union Committee will lead Morning Prayer in Clongowes on one day of every month in the 2022/2023 Academic Year.
These events are being organised by the existing Union Committee supplemented for the 125th year by Willie Burns, Paul Dowling and Colm Maloney. We have also had terrific support from the Headmaster of Clongowes and his management team. I thank all involved for the effort that they are putting in to make our 125th year memorable in many ways.
The main purpose of the Union is to enable Clongownians to gather. The 125th year of your Union will be unique in the number and type of occasions that will be open to you. I hope to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as possible during the year.