Past Events in Willow Park

5th/6th Form Golf Outing

Due to weather conditions last week, Fr. Gavin’s Golf outing for pupils, will now take place on Wednesday 3rd, October in Leopardstown.

This year’s Captain, Michelle Fennelly is co-ordinating (ably supported by ex-Captain Gary Clarke).

Boys with a genuine interest in Golf should contact Fr.Gavin for details. Further information to follow.

Willow Book Week 2012

Leisa Benner and our Library Co-ordinator, Helen Hughes are busy preparing for this year’s ‘Willow Book Week 2012’- which our Parents will organise for the week beginning Monday, 1st October. Parents are advised to show an interest and support the reading (and purchase) of books during the Book Week. The Hub will be transformed into a ‘book Shop’ for the week.

Parents are welcome to visit the ‘Shop’ with their son/s – before or after school. If you intend giving your son some cash to purchase a book, please make sure that he has it safely ‘put away’ in his bag or ‘on his person’ and remind him to care for it during the day! Likewise, should he buy a book, he should put it safely in his bag!

Communion Induction evening - 11th October

2nd Form Parents are invited to the Communion Induction evening - to be held at 7.30 pm on Thursday 11th October.

Official blessing of the new Campus Sports’ Facility.

‘The Bubble’ as it has been popularly nick-named, will be officially blessed and opened by the Titular Archbishop of Aquileia and Apostolic Nuncio. The ceremony will take place on Tuesday 2nd of October.

We all look forward to experiencing this new facility, funded by the generosity of parents and Friends of Blackrock and Willow.

Music Information Evening on Tuesday 25th Sept.

The evening of the 25th September (Tuesday) sees our Music teachers provide an ‘Information Evening’ for Willow families interested in the promotion of Music in the school.

Parents will hear about our many instrumental initiatives, our growing participation in all things ‘musical’ and have a chance to meet and talk with some of our ’professional’ Musicians.

Swimming Time Trials

James Lawless will be hold the time trails for the Willow Park Swimming Team this coming

Monday 10th September & Thursday 13th September

at 7am in the Willow Park Junior School pool.

The trials are open to boys from 1st - 6th Form.

We would ask that if you are going to attend you would email James Lawless at so that he can have an approximate idea of the numbers.

Past News Items:


6th Form Silent Auction

One of our sixth form classes, under the guidance of Mr. Docherty is currently raising funds for Spirasi by holding a silent auction with items donated by famous sports persons that the boys had written to.


2012 Winter Chess club.

Naoise Golden, from K4 was the winner of the 2012 Winter Chess club. Alex Bolger came second and Andrew McCarthy (from 3rd form) took the third place prize. 


Thoughts on Christmas and the New Year

Amidst the many events, class-tests and trips that permeate Willow at the end of first Term, there is, thankfully, the quiet and sacred space of the school chapel, where one can pause and reflect.

Here, one is reminded of Paddy Kavanagh’s poem ‘Advent’:

 But here in this Advent-darkened room

Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea

Of penance will charm back the luxury

Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom

The knowledge we stole but could not use.’

 The ‘other’ knowledge (academic and spiritual)… not ‘stolen’ but gleaned in the classroom and in this chapel - by our young and diligent pupils during the term, will, hopefully, enrich them in the coming year.

 Christmas will, again, startle us with its simple joy and innocent essence.

To quote Kavanagh…..

‘And Christ comes with a January flower’.

A Happy Christmas to all Willow families.

Jim Casey



Non Uniform Day Fundraiser

Our boys raised a wonderful total of €1004.32 to be devided between the Simon Community and Spirazi. We would like to thank all of the boys and wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.



Willow Weekly Newsletter

The first issue of the Willow Weekly was issued on Thursday the 8th of November.  It is planned that the weekly newsletter will be uploaded to the website each Thursday. Please take time to read each issue as it contains vital information for the coming weeks and gives the family a view of school life as it happens.Initially the boys will be given a hard copy of the newsletter, however it is planned that this becomes an e-newsletter in the next month or so.Many thanks to the WPA for all the hardwork in getting this published.

6th Form perform plays - Plantations of Ireland

On the 26th of October last M6 did plays on the Plantations of Ireland. There were three groups and three stories: The Plantation of Laois and Offaly, The Plantation of Munster and The Plantation of Ulster. We brought in and designed our own costumes which were really good.In art class we made props and designed sets using cardboard boxes and then painting them. We made props such as The Tower of London, weapons and other objects. We did not get any help from the teachers apart from giving us advice during our rehearsals. The script writers did a great job on writing original scripts only using facts from our history book. All twenty-nine people had a line to say and nobody was left out. Everybody worked really hard on script writing, directing, set designing, painting and last but far from least acting! It was a great experience and we learned how to work together and not by ourselves. We also learned a lot about The Plantations and it was educational for the audience. We worked very hard on them but we had so much fun working together and helping each other. First of all I would like to thank Mrs. Lequerica’s and Mr. McAleer’s classes for coming to watch our dress rehearsal. Secondly I would like to thank the other 6th form classes for coming to our play. I would also like to thank Mr. Casey for taking up his time to come and observe our hard work. Last but definitely not least I would like to thank Mr. Mageean for his drama classes and letting us take up so much of our class time. Lastly I would like to say well done to all my class mates for doing a great job.                                                                                                                                    

 Tom Dwan M6


James Docherty’s 6th Form group visiting Spirasi.

On Wednesday the 21st November a group of boys from James Docherty’s 6th Form made a very successful trip to Spirasi.SPIRASI is a humanitarian, intercultural, non-governmental organisation that works with asylum seekers, refugees and other disadvantaged migrant groups 


Duel in the Pool

Willow park swim team successfully retained the annual Willow park Duel in the pool trophy last Wednesday, November 21st. We had the biggest ever entry of 186 children from five schools: Willow Park, St. Michaels, Loreto Dalkey, Belgrove Boys and Kildare Place. Plenty of PBs for for the boys and gold in all four relays.The team is well placed for the annual Leinster school's competition in January and the Irish School's gala in March.
The boys success reflects their hard work, early mornings and strong commitment throughout the term.
The success of the gala is due to the hard work of many people. Special thanks to coach James Lawless. Thanks also to all the parents who helped out at the event, the timekeepers, lineups, score keeping and canteen. Thanks also to the ground staff who had the school looking so well on the day.

Continued success to our fantastic swim team. Go Willow!



 Telling Tales during Willow Book Week

Traditional storyteller, Niall  de Burca, mesmerised our 3rd & 4th Formers today in the Library. Like the pied Piper of Hamlin, Niall enthralled the boys with his atmospheric and evocative tales. To experience a Seanachaí in full voice is to be transported to another world. The boys today (including the accompanying teachers) learned of the magical power of our oral Gaelic tradition – a tradition that lives on in Niall’s sessions.‘Even better than a book’ was the quote from a 4th Former.  Praise indeed!

Willow Book Week 2012

Transformed into a Book Shop, the Willow Hub welcomes all Parents and Pupils throughout the week. Whether you are an avid or reluctant reader, our Willow Book Shop has something for you!Especially selected by our own ‘Willow Book Team’, our books this year provide choices for Infants, middle school and  Seniors…at prices that are very affordable. Besides the presence of books at the heart of our school, our Book Team (as part of the WPA) has also arranged writers and journalists to visit  classrooms and the Library throughout the week. The Book shop is open from 8.30am every morning this week – so that Parents may visit with their son. All classes will also visit our Shop with their teacher to browse and consider the selection….so if Parents cannot make it, don’t worry! The purpose of Willow Book Week is to celebrate books - in all their variety- and encourage young readers. Inviting living authors and journalists also makes the boys appreciate that they, too, can write – that writing , commenting and storytelling are natural human expressions.Having authors read their own work also links the oral and written traditions- so much a part of our Irishness and makes the written word ‘vibrant’ in a a different and vital way.We hope the boys enjoy this years selection and share the many books that are on offer.Remember, our Library will have the most popular books on sale this week – available on our own shelves in the coming weeks. So no one need feel ‘left-out’!


 Weekday Tennis Coaching

New Tennis Coaching Options starting early October. We are pleased to announce the commencement of  a new’ five week block’ of tennis coaching on the following days and times. Wednesday 10th of October 2-3pm, 3rd & 4th Class Friday 12th of October 3-4pm, 5th & 6th Class  There will be two sessions before the midterm break, and three thereafter, with a view to continuing the sessions- dependant on interest. The cost for the course is €50.  Please confirm with Pat Crowe @ 086 3849231  by Friday 5th of October.


Reader's Road-Map

The Young Willow Reader’s Road-Map

(for parents)

The triangulation of

The Right Book


The Right Child                            @                            The Right Time

   Getting this Triangle balanced is at the core of fostering a love of Books. In Willow,we  emphasise the importance of CHOICE……… of letting boys choose their own books. Peer recommendation is often preferred (by the boys)  to parental recommendation and the importance of exploring cannot be over-emphasised…. being allowed to make wrong choice of book is part of the ‘learning curve’… and having books readily accessible in the kitchen, the loo, the bedroom, the car….where-ever…. is essential……for exploration.  Books in the bath, books to ‘chew’ on, books to crawl through and ‘feel’ should  be made available for toddlers, whilst audio books and comic / picture books are also suggested as avenues for exploration and ‘shared family experiences.  Offering little children books in a variety of formats, shapes, textures and sizes is also important, as is providing toddlers with ‘Black & White’ books - with geometric shapes and patterns. Pleasure and ease should be at the heart of all early reading, so parents should desist from being over prescriptive or ‘concerned’ about what their child reads. (Indeed, the imagination and books are often subversive and questioning when they mix!) Remember parents, when you are ‘reading aloud’ to your young son, you need to enjoy the book …. and be willing to ‘act-out’ the characters and narrative…. like a would-be Stephen Fry! As a parent and reader, you may well  have to tell the same story again and again and again….often exactly as you have done so before!! Whilst recognising the reality that some boys are reluctant readers, we emphasise the importance of role-models (of Dads, big brothers and ‘cool cousins’ all reading books betimes) ……    and we return to our Triangular opening:


                                Finding the Right Book                                                             for the Right Child

                                                                                  at the Right Time!



 - The Willow Book Week Team


 Basketball available to 5th & 6th Forms

Basketball is a fast, exciting, and entertaining sport, proving to be very popular with the 5th and 6th Form boys. Each week the boys tog out and are put through their paces on the court.  Along with weekly training sessions the boys participate in many games against local schools throughout the year. 6th Form Basketball – 3pm Wednesday – open to all students. 5th Form Basketball – 3pm Friday – open to all students.Come along and enjoy!


5th Form Excellence Awards - group 1

The 5th Form Excellence Awards take place on a fortnightly basis. These are awarded to the pupils who best exhibit all the qualities we look for in a Willow Boy, both inside and outside the classroom. There are two boys selected from each class and it is the job of the class teacher to select the winners. Congratulations to all the winners so far and we look forward to seeing who will be the next group of winners…… Group 1 Josh Baker, Mark Hughes, James Huggard, Elliot Mc Namara, Ben Melly-Murphy, Michael Gadaloff, Hugo O’Malley, Leo Wyer. ( missing from photo Michael Gadaloff)


Willow Boys Bolt to Glory in Santry

Twenty boys from Fifth and Sixth Form represented Willow at the Santry Primary School's Cross Country Invitational Race on Wednesday the 10th of October. There were schools and running clubs from all over Leinster competing in a race that included more than one hundred boys. The going was soft underfoot as the boys raced around the muddy track. Willow's first finisher was Ben White who came in a commendable 12th place closely followed by his nineteen Willow compatriots who braved the cold conditions on the day. The boys enjoyed representing their school and their behaviour and sportsmanship was commendable. Well done boys!Cross-country is open to all Fifth and Sixth Form boys on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is co-ordinated by Mr. Mageean and Mr. O. Dunne. Boys are welcome to join at any time during the year.   


Book Week 2012 Report By Jamie in 2nd Form

Willow park's Book Week was on from the 1st of October to the 5th.The events in Willow Park were Niall De Burca came and he told us three stories and two of them were about Fionn McCool and he told us a story that he made up about a ant and a elephant. He was brilliant. I got Benji Bennett's autograph.We had a bookmark competition and James won it. My favourite part was when I got a book in the bookshop.


Fr Gavin’s Golf Tournament 2012

Fr. Gavin`s annual golf tournament was a complete success. Pupils from 6th and 5th Form took part. Parents went around with the golfers and kept score of the shots. 6th Form played the back nine and 5th Form played the front nine. The weather was not the best. It was very windy and towards the end it started to rain. Nevertheless there were some amazing scores with the lowest in 6th form at 41 shots (Ross O’Reilly) and in 5th Form the winner, Alexander Doyle, got 40 shots. We can all agree it was a great tournament. Thanks to Fr. Gavin and Mrs. Fennelly for her wonderful organisational   skills! Thanks also to the staff at Leopardstown Golf Course and all the parents that helped out. We couldn’t do it without you!

By Ben Horkan, K6


 October ‘Outward Bound’ for 3rd & 4th Forms!

This week saw 3rd & 4th Forms travel to Greystones and Glendalough, respectively, for their annual ‘Trek’ and nature studies. Mr.Byrne co-ordinates the trips and leads the way, whilst class-teachers organise the boys and ensure we have no ‘strays’! These trips introduce the boys to the joys of Hill-walking and allows them to learn ‘how’ to appreciate the historical and beautiful ‘gems’ close to Dublin. Each trip requires preparation- in terms of clothing, food and fitness. The boys have to follow strict rules as they begin to understand the joys and dangers in exploring the countryside. They also learn to respect Nature and the environments they visit. We find, each year, that the trips have a ‘ripple effect’ in that some boys encourage their families to take week-end ‘Walks’ and thus initiate an interest in Hillwalking for all the family. What better way to spend a weekend afternoon!Especial thanks to Mr. Byrne and his colleagues for their interest and energy!


5th Forms Excellence Awards - Group 2

The 5th Form Excellence Awards take place on a fortnightly basis. These are awarded to the pupils who best exhibit all the qualities we look for in a Willow Boy, both inside and outside the classroom. There are two boys selected from each class and it is the job of the class teacher to select the winners. Congratulations to all the winners so far and we look forward to seeing who will be the next group of winners……Group 2 David Austin, James Fleming, David Cosgrove, Hugh Murphy, Padhraic Casey, Dylan Fahy, Jonathan O’Neill, David Hearne.



On Wednesday October 10th this Swim Teams came together and held their annual Swim-A-Thon. This has been an effort to raise money for the program by swimming a designated number of laps. First the more advanced boys swam a total of 40 laps, 1000 meters, while the "just beginning to swim competitively group" stood by the pool and watched. The interaction between the older and younger squads was fantastic and rewarding to see. This was the first time in the season where all 80+ boys were together. Still, there was a sense of team unity. As the older boys completed their laps the younger ones watched with admiration. I am positive that the question "Will I be able to do that someday?" crossed their collective minds. When it came time for the second group to hop in the water, Coach Lawless mentioned that some of these boys had never swam at the much larger than Willow Park, Blackrock Pool. Yet there was no hesitation, each swimmer jumped in with the determination to complete their designated laps and complete their part for the cause. Erin Cawley. Duquesne University  

Training session with Andrew Conway & Jordie Murphy

6th Form boys had an extra hard training session today when they were put through their paces by Andrew Conway and Jordie Murphy.   

A Very Successful Fundraiser for the Jack & Jill Foundation

Our jersey day on Friday 26th of October in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation was highly successful, with €1132.05 raised for this wonderful cause!




6th Form Junior Leadership Programme.

Mr. Mageean is preparing his Form for participation in their Junior Leadership Programme, 2012-2013. The purpose is to foster responsibility and ‘leadership’ within the Form and allow ‘initiative’ and ‘communication’ skills develop within individuals at the senior end of the school. Boys will be ‘trained’ in dealing with younger pupils (as ‘buddies’ at Break –time, helping with 1st Form Rugby preparation), greeting visitors and prospective families and generally enhancing Willow life. Mr. Mageean and his team of teachers and pupils are to be lauded for their proactive and positive initiative in their enrichment of our ethos as a school that guides, cares and promotes personal responsibility. Mr. Mageean is preparing his Form for participation in their Junior Leadership Programme, 2012-2013.

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6th Form - Enterprise Education Project

On the 7th of September, 2012 I wrote a letter to Denis O'Brien asking for a donation to the "Willow Park Enterprise Education Project for Charity".  For those of you who don't know who Denis O'Brien is, he owns many radio stations such as SPIN 1038, FM 104 and Dublin's 98fm.  He is also one of Ireland's wealthiest men and one of Ireland's most generous men; he is so generous he pays half of Giovanni Trappatonni's (The Irish soccer team manager) wages. I told him we would be raising money for the less fortunate in 3rd world countries. We are raising money from people we admire and with that money we buy an object that we think the students and adults of Willow Park Junior School will like and purchase. We buy from 50-500 of the product, and sell it, making a profit to raise even more money. On the 21st of September, 2012 I received a letter back from Denis and he made a donation of €500 to Willow Park Enterprise Education Project for Charity and €500 to Hahvi which is a charity for the blind which we are supporting. I was told by my teacher, to go up to Mr Casey and show him my success.  When I arrived up to Mr Casey's office, he told me it was brilliant and I had the letter and cheques photocopied.  I was very proud of myself.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

Harry Clarke - P6

Music Information evening

♫ A very successful Musical Information took place in the school Gym on the cold, wet evening of Tuesday 25th! Thankfully the music warmed everyone’s heart! Mary Rose Stauder introduced the evening and highlighted key elements of the school’s Music Programme. Parents were introduced to our Music Team and heard wonderful pieces from pupils and teachers. Fr. Cormac O’Brolchain was formally thanked for all his quiet support for music in Willow over the years and was presented with a copy of  our new Willow Music CD which was recorded in the College chapel at the end of last year (Available at Reception, cost €5). Mr. Casey then introduced parent, Ms. Sharin Fitter, who , as co-ordinator of a new Music Initiative (under the auspices of the WPA), explained plans for supporting access to and participation in our Music Programme during these ‘difficult times’. It is hoped to organise entertaining fund-raising events that will allow scholarships for Willow boys with a particular interest and talent in music – and whose family are experiencing difficulties at his particular time in the family cycle. (Details of the process to follow). An eclectic mix of music was played on the night and the Principal was even overheard to remark as a Jazz piece transported the audience was played…. ‘Sometimes I wonder if I am managing a Speakeasy or a school!’……………The evening ended with parents chatting with their son’s music teacher and ‘comparing notes’ and plans for what promises to be a creative and harmonic year! Especial congratulations to the 6th Form Performance Choir and the young individual instrumentalists who demonstrated the importance and high standard of music in Willow Junior. Parents interested in getting their son involved in the Willow Music Programme should arrange to meet Mary Rose Stauder or write to


Enterprise Education for Charity Project - 6th Form

By  Cian Dunne. P6

A few weeks ago in school we were writing letters to people we admire for our Enterprise Education for Charity Project.  I wrote to Dermot Desmond because I am a big fan of Celtic Football Club and he owns it.  After I sent the letter I was nervous because I didn’t know if I would get something back. Last Friday, the 21st of September, was when we saw the courier on the motorbike with the parcel in his hand, pulling up and going in to reception.  Then our class phone rang.  When Mr. Docherty, our teacher, answered it and told me to go down to the office, everyone in the class crowded around me asking who I wrote to and what he does.  I went down to collect the parcel with my friend Conor. The box was covered in yellow wrapping paper and it had lots of protection foam inside.  When we got through all that, there was a black box with the Celtic crest on it.  I opened the box and I saw a jersey signed by all the 1st team and a letter from Dermot Desmond.  To read the letter, click here After reading the letter I went up to Mr. Casey.  He told me that the jersey was brilliant and he told me to write this.  Thank you for reading. Cian


Musical Allegro!

Ms.Stauder (with a core group of ‘musical’ parents), is beavering away at ways to enhance our flourishing Willow Musical Programme. Promoting the performing Arts via the provision of more instruments and scholarships for pupils who have a genuine interest in music is their goal. Inevitably, such initiatives require funding and sponsorship and require careful and sensitive planning. Ms. Stauder hopes to involve the WPA to allow for full participation and feed-back. Fr.Cormac O’Brolchain has been especially supportive of music in Willow Junior in recent years and we especially thank him for all his ‘quiet’ support- helping those who need it and guiding the growth of musical participation and standards.  Having the vision, whilst demanding the promotion of high standards in music, requires inspirational input and tenacity. Fr.O’Brolchain has demonstrated both, allied to great generosity over the years. An artistic trinity indeed! Ms.Stauder is looking at ways to enhance our flourishing Willow Musical Programme.




1st Form ‘Cub Rugby’

1st Form Rugby has been introduced this term.The boys are delighted to participate in after-school sport at such an early age and it engenders a sense of identity and ‘importance’ amongst the two 1st Form classes. Mr. Michael Allison is directing operations (ably supported by Mr. Docherty). A group of hand-picked coaches are helping – as the groups involved require much care and direction. Although termed ‘Rugby’, the activity is a ‘general’ class in sport and co-ordination. The essence of the Monday sessions is fun! Parents should make sure that boys have warm gear- for those windy days ahead as Autumn draws in.

3rd & 4th Form Cricket

We are pleased to announce early-morning cricket for boys in ‘middle-school’! This initiative is a ‘pilot project’ to ascertain the interest and commitment in cricket – with the intention of developing it over the coming year. Of course it is weather dependent - however we hope to utilise the Gymnasium on wet Tuesday mornings and as Winter draws nigh. Directed by the Dublin Cricket Academy, it promises to be an additional extra-curricular activity that will grow in time. See Mr. Crinion (Gamesmaster) for details.