Duck Push Golf Classic – April 2016 - Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 29th April 2016

Clongowes Wood College SJ

This year as part of their fundraising efforts for Duck Push 2016 a group of boys in Transition Year applied to take responsibility for running the Duck Push classic golf competition in the K Club. James Lambe and Rory McMahon were there…

Paddy Culhane, David Hanly, James and Niall McCormick and Darragh Slattery put a plan together and – with the help of Mr Steven Gray and the boys’ parents plus many other members of the extended Clongowes Community – produced a very enjoyable day at the K-Club for all participants.

Dr. Michael Smurfit (OC’52) kindly made the Palmer Ryder Cup Course available for the event on April 25th and it looked spectacular. It was quite a thrill for the golfers to take to the greens framed, as they were by the huge white tents standing ready for visitors to the forthcoming Irish Open which starts in May. The weather brought blue skies and sunshine and there was more than a touch of spring in the air as the 22 golfing teams arrived and enjoyed a barbecue on the balcony before starting to the sound of a shotgun at 13.30.

When the dust had settled and the last putt dropped into the final hole, it emerged that the Clongowes’ Teachers team comprising Messrs Seamus Aherne, Emmet Condron, Paul McCormick and Noel Murray had retained the Dr Michael Smurfit Perpetual Trophy from the previous year. The day was rounded off with dinner in the Palmer Room where Mr Tony Pierce took charge of events as MC. A distinguished teacher of Maths, History and Latin in Clongowes as well as a scratch golfer of some renown, Mr Pierce obviously relished his role and brought smiles of delight to all present.

Dr Michael McDermott from Crumlin Children’s Hospital gave an excellent presentation and explained exactly how the funds raised on the day would be used. The highlight of the day perhaps came later as former Ryder Cup Captain Mr Paul McGinley arrived to present the prizes to the winning teams before Mr Pierce interviewed him about his career as one of the golfing greats. Before the night ended Paul’s nephews James and Niall McCormick (Syntax) presented him with a Clongowes School Plaque and Sports Tie as a token of gratitude for his presence on what was a very special day.

Thanks to former Ireland Rugby International, Mr Fergus Slattery the auction on the night was a great success and included a flag from Augusta signed by Masters’ winner Danny Willett. Thanks were also expressed to Mr Mick Culhane, Dr Aine Slattery, Mr Mark McCormick, Ms Karen Hanly, Mr Dennis Smith (Supervalu Navan), Mr Pat Foley ( Mr Henry Mongey (Mongey Communications) Mr Pat Doyle (Wild Irish Game), Mr Rory McMahon (Poetry) and Mr Nick Mullen (OC 2007) as well to all of the sponsors on the day. The day worked very well because so many people gave generously of their time, energy and expertise and over €20,000 was raised.


James Lambe and Rory McMahon (Poetry).


Two days later, on Wednesday 27th April, fifteen members of Syntax went to Punchestown Racing Festival with Mr Gray plus the Duck to collect from punters in attendance. The boys collected over €3,800 from generous racegoers, now well familiar with the project’s annual outing. While the collectors braved the hailstones and cold winds they also found time to take in a number of races before heading home to Clongowes later that evening, not least the Listed Bumper, which was won by Paddy Mullins (OC 2008). Thanks to Mr Ritchie Galway, Racing Manager at Punchestown for his support with this day.

The Cup that cheers

This year a group of Syntax students have come together and decided to raise money for the Duck Push Fund by producing some Clongowes labelled wine. They have a good quality Chilean Merlot and a fine Sauvignon Blanc. Both are available at €14.00 a bottle, €28.00 for a presentation box of two and €65.00 for a case of six bottles. If you wish to order some of our wine please email your name, number and the quantity you would like in White and/or Red to All proceeds go directly to The Duck Push.

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