A Celebration Of Sporting Success

Dean Maguirc College recently hosted ‘A Celebration of Sporting Success’ which saw the school community and invited guests celebrate the school’s tremendous sporting achievement of 2018/19.

The pupils and teams recognised were Ulster and All Ireland Handballers, U14 Camogie Ulster Champions, U14 Ladies Football Ulster Champions, U15.5 McAvoy Cup,Ulster Champions and the U16.5 Rafferty Cup, Ulster Champions.

2018/19 marked a new high watermark in the school’s history with no fewer than 10 Ulster Titles and 1 All Ireland Title being brought back to the school.

Mr Gavan McElroy who compered the evening commented “I think we will all agree that the Dean’s sporting success is fast becoming central to what we are about in our school. Its value in the development of the whole person cannot be underestimated – It is in fact our mission statement ‘At the Dean we are committed to the growth and development of young people’, brought to life on the football fields and handball alleys of Ireland”.

Past pupil and 3 times All Ireland winner, Conor Gormley was the guest speaker of the night. Conor’s family association within the Dean stretches back to his grandfather Packie, groundsman at the Dean and his father Sean who was on the Dean team which captured the first football title ever won at the school.

School Principal Mr Warnock spoke of his immense pride of the pupils’ achievements and thanked his staff who coach’ the individuals and teams. There is no doubt that the abundance of talent in the Dean will ensure future sporting successes.


‘Meet our townlands’ Exhibition

The History Department in Dean Maguirc College has been fortunate enough to have on loan the recent ‘Meet Our Townlands’ Exhibition produced by Termonmaguirc Historical Society. Links between the society and the Dean stretch right back to 1994 when Sheila Mc Aleer from the society presented a plaque to the school for the top GCSE student which has been awarded annually since.

Exhibited in the foyer of the school the exhibition presented an opportunity for pupils and parents to capture the information on the display boards and some interesting connections with present pupils have emerged.

The Dean would like to take this opportunity to thank the Termonmaguirc Historical Society for allowing the exhibition to go on tour. It has played its part in raising awareness amongst pupils of their townlands and the importance of preserving not only their names but the history within them.

Gavan McElroy



Holocaust Survivor Talk

Dean Maguirc College Year 11 and Year 13 History students   were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to attend a Holocaust survivor talk in Sacred Heart College College, Omagh yesterday. Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental was 9 years old when the camp he was being held in (Bergen-Belsen) was liberated. He has been living in Dublin since the 1950s and came to Sacred Heart to give a talk and then to run a Q &A session. The event was filmed by The Holocaust Memorial Trust.


Dean Maguirc College History Department extends it thanks to Mr Owen Devine, Scared Heart College, for his invitation to the event and would like to congratulate him on having the foresight to run such an event. The teachers and pupils found the talk both emotional and harrowing. Oral evidence from a survivor brought the horror of the Holocaust home to all in attendance.

Pictured are year 13 AS History students with Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental.

Year 11 pupils from Mrs Jayne Murphy and Gavan Mr Mc Elroy’s GCSE classes

Mr Gavan Mc Elroy is presented with a signed copy of Tomi Reichental’s book ‘I was a Boy in Belsen’.

U14 Camogie Ulster Final Winners

Yesterday our U14 Camogie team played Belfast West Gaels in the Ulster Final at Pearse Og park in Armagh. Not deterred by the fact that the Belfast team was a combination of pupils from St Genevieve’s high school and St Louise’s, Belfast, our girls played their hearts out in a very tough battle. A battle with both sides reluctant to give up even in the poor weather conditions.

Our captain and midfielder Aoibhinn Daly had an excellent game continuously feeding the ball in to the forward line, providing crucial set ups for scores. In the back line Mollie O’Hanlon provided a strong and comfortable position clearing the ball many times to hold the Gaels back. At half time both sides were even on a score of 1:2 each.

The girls knew that it was all to play for and any mistakes made could be a turning point in the game. Megan O’Hanlon sister of Mollie gained a penalty and scored a superb goal. The 3rd O’Hanlon sibling, Lucy O’Hanlon, stood strong in goals, providing many crucial saves. Both keepers on each side had tremendous games keeping the scores well down.

Although the conditions were far from perfect both teams fought hard to the final whistle. However it was the Dean girls who ensured a 2 point lead with 2 minutes to go resulting that on the final whistle DMC would bring another Ulster title back to Carrickmore, Final score DMC 2:3 West Belfast Gaels 1:4. A huge congratulations to the whole team on a very successful year of camogie.

The girls will now reflect on their successful year  and begin preparation for the next round of competitions. A special mention and thanks to the girls coaches and mentors Miss McCann and Miss McArdle. Thanks also to the Eire Og club for allowing the girls to use their facilities during the year. Thanks also to Pearse Og club in Armagh and  referee Shane Hughes.

McAvoy Cup Winners

The Dean U15.5 tewam won the McAvoy Cup, overcoming St Aidan’s Cootehill on a scoreline of Dean 3-7 Cootehill 2-7.

The game was played in the Pearse Og grounds in Armagh. Today was the 25th time this squad has met over the last 3 months and the result was a fitting reward for the effort forthcoming from all 28 players on the panel. Today we had a group of players collecting their fourth Ulster Title with the Dean, whilst others were collecting their first. However, the delight at the final whistle was the same for the ‘veterans’ of the team as it was for the ‘novices’. The first half was a cagey affair and was a story of missed chances for the Dean. At half time the score line was 1-3 each and it seemed the Dean had a mountain to climb in the second half playing against a strong breeze. However, climb that mountain the boys did and after a pulsating first 15 minutes of the second half the boys had built up a 9 point lead at one stage. Cootehill never gave up and rattled off 3 points in succession to leave 6 points in it in injury time. As Carrickmore supporters were calling for the final whistle Cootehill scored an excellently worked goal to leave only 3 points in it. The Dean won the following kick out of defence and were able to weather the storm and bring Ulster glory back to Carrickmore for the second time this year.


Open Night 2019

On Monday 21st of January we welcome Primary 7 pupils from the local feeder schools for a taster day.

On Monday night, parents and pupils of Primary 6 and 7 are invited to our Open Evening.

It begins at 7.30pm with Mr Warnock’s address in the school assembly hall followed by a guided tour of the school.

Ulster Champions

Rafferty Cup Winners

Dean Maguirc College 1-11 St Pius X, Magherafelt 1-10

After 2 games and 2 periods of extra time, only the minimum separated ourselves and St Pius X at the Final of the Rafferty Cup in Stewartstown on Saturday.

There was little between the two well drilled sides, with the Dean boys deserving the success on the day. Our team started with the same 15 from the drawn game, but it was the positional switches that the management deployed at the second time of asking that went a long way towards winning the game.

Team captain Micheal McCann led by example with an inspirational display at corner back. Oran Toal was moved to the 40 and caused havoc every time he gained possession, while Sean Conneely and Packie Quinn were also to the fore for the team.

St Pius more than played their part in a thrilling encounter with players Ryan Laverty, Michael Forbes and Aaron Donnelly being their best players on the day.

Scores proved difficult to come by in the third quarter. An unfortunate Cathair Kelly was off due to a black card offence just shortly before St Puis became level. A great response from Sean Conneely and Oran Toal responded with converted frees before Lorcan McGarrity eased a 3 point lead with 8 minutes to go. A minute later and the ball was in the bottom corner of the net for St Puis X. The Dean boys dug deep with Packie Quinn placing Zak Devine for the lead point before Oral Toal weighed in with his fourth of the day.

The final whistle marked a third ulster schools’ title in a row for this group of players, all the more remarkable as this group of players have moved up a grade in each of the 3 seasons. A thrilling game of football from both sides with a well deserved result in the end. Special congratulations has to be said to the coaches Enda Kilpatrick and Terry McCann who have worked hard with this young team.

Dean Maguirc

Daniel McCrory, Micheal McCann, Conor Cuddy, Cahir McAnespie, Caolan Meenagh, Packie Quinn 1-0, Cathair Kelly, Sean Conneely 0-2, Tiarnan Teague 0-1, Zak Devine 0-1, Oran Toal 0-4, David Morris, James Donaghy 0-1, Lorcan McGarrity 0-1, Michael Rafferty 0-1

Subs: Michael McElduff for James Donaghy, Donal Sweeney for David Morris, Ruiari Dobbs.

Senior Prizegiving


Annette Kelly, former Head Girl at Dean Maguirc College was guest speaker at the school’s recent senior prize giving.

Annette qualified as a teacher in 2011 and since then has travelled widely and taught in Africa, Australia, England and has now returned to Ireland.

Annette paid tribute to her former school saying, ‘The craic and friendships with pupils and teachers have moulded me into the person I am today, and hand on heart I can say those indeed were the best days of my life’.

Addressing her audience Annette acknowledged how times have changed and how we now live in a world where we are over stimulated by technology and social media. ‘We play the compare game and this can have a serious impact on our wellbeing’.

She continued ‘restrict your time living through the lens of your phone and try to live in the present. Look up from your device when you come in from school and greet your parents. WIFI may make you feel connected but it can disconnect you from your real family.

As a mental health advocate I encourage every person in this room to aim to build coping skills and resilience on a daily basis. When life becomes stressful and overwhelming know that you have a great support system around you. Offer gratitude to the adults in your life that are there to support and nurture you.

This is such an exciting time in your life even though it may be daunting. Choose a path that will nurture the person you are and avoid the path of self-destruction. Peer pressure is powerful, a good friend once advised me ‘own my actions.’ That’s wonderful advice, know your limits and stay true to your values.

You are all on your own journey. There will be smooth and straight roads. Unknown paths and diversions, and no doubt several pot-holes that can stop you in your tracks.

However, you are the driver of your own destination. Fuel yourself with the right attitude and you will go far. I wish you all well’ concluded Annette.









Principal James Warnock addressed the assembled guests,


Invited guests, parents, staff and pupils, I hope you are enjoying this special occasion as we come together to celebrate achievement at senior level for the last academic year within our school community. We salute especially tonight our Year 12 and Year 14 pupils of 2018.

We congratulate Year 14 on the results achieved this August which saw 73% of our students achieve A* – C in three or more subjects whilst 100% achieved A* – C in two or more subjects in this year’s A – Level examinations. A further feature of this set of results was that 27% of the grades awarded were in the

A* – A range with 64% of the grades by our students being in the A* – B range. We are very proud of the number of high achievers at A – Level this year and I wish the A-Level pupils from last year the very best as you embark on the next stage of your education.


Turning to our Year 12 pupils, I congratulate you on on your achievements which entailed success in our educational provision of GCSEs, Occupational Studies, Prince’s Trust and Essential Skills Courses.


81% of our pupils achieved A* – C in 5 subjects or more and it was great to see that 70% of the boys in Year 12 last year fitted into this category. 27% of the year group got 10 GCSEs or more and I say more because 3 of our pupils obtained 11 GCSEs with 60% of the year group getting 7 or more GCSEs.


We are very pleased with such statistics but being a school that caters across the whole ability range we are more than delighted to see our pupils achieve their full potential at the end of Key Stage 4 having followed a pathway that enables such. This has resulted in much high achievement in the equivalent G.C.S.E. courses which we provide at the ‘Dean’.

This month has seen 56% of our Year 12 pupils from last year returning to the Dean to pursue their Post 16 studies and for the remaining 44% who have moved to South West College in Omagh and Dungannon, I wish you every success in your chosen course.



I compliment all of you here this evening on what you have achieved to date – at an academic level, vocational level, the success you have experienced at extra-curricular activities and the contribution you have made to Dean Maguirc College in general.


Of course I can’t let the occasion go without congratulating the six pupils from our current Year 11 group on the outstanding grades they achieved in their G.C.S.E. Irish examination which they sat in June of this year. Maith sibh!


Our world is very competitive and challenging and as a centre of education we have a duty to equip our pupils with skills for life both now and after formal education. In addition to our educational provision, we must strive to meet the personal, social and spiritual needs of the young people who come through our school doors. Being resilient as Annette has referred to is a necessary attribute for our pupils in today’s demanding society and thus as educators we must endeavour to impart this vital gift onto our pupils. Equally high on our agenda nowadays is raising awareness with regard to the abuse of social media, alcohol and unprescribed drugs.


As individuals we want you to be successful, responsible and respectful and thus my message to you G3, G20, E8, E11, E15 and E29 is to keep setting targets for yourself and to keep believing in yourself. Act responsibly and sensibly as you continue on your educational journey.


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – the opening words from the novel, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Changing to the present tense we can say it is the best of times for Dean Maguirc College as apart from our academic success last year we have seen the biggest intake ever into Year 8 requiring a temporary variation being sought from DENI to admit our 106 pupils. For the first time in the history of the school it was necessary to have five form classes to accommodate the pupils transferring to us from various primary schools. Another first is our pupil population for 2018 – 2019 – we had peaked at 509 two years ago but this evening I can tell you that this number is now 537, an increase of 6% on last year. Public confidence in us as the choice of post primary school is at its highest and of this we are very appreciative.


Whilst we experience such popularity I have to admit that it is also the worst of times for us as school managers and educators. Budgets have been slashed and a continued reduction in funding will have a detrimental impact on our schools. The provision of quality education in Northern Ireland is very much under threat as reduced funding means staff redundancies, bigger classes and inevitably a reduced curriculum. This is the harsh reality but let me steer away from such by focussing on this evening of celebration.




I wish to thank all the people who work so closely with our school, the various external bodies and agencies, our feeder schools, South West College in Omagh and St. Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley involved in collaboration with us and of course our local community groups. To the Board of Governors, the dedicated and committed teaching staff and non-teaching staff I say thank you and to the superb team of people led by Mrs. Quinn and Mr. McGuckin who have been responsible for this evening’s ceremony, I say gur raibh maith agaibh.


To you the parents, my deepest gratitude for your continued support and the confidence you have in us as a community school which is stronger now than ever.


Finally to you, Annette, I thank you for accepting our invitation to be the guest speaker at this year’s senior prizegiving and for the great support you always show to your ‘Alma Mater’.