Senior Prizegiving Ceremony


On Friday 15th December, Principal Mr. F McConnell, welcomed a large crowd of parents, governors, students, and invited guests to celebrate the achievements of our current and now former students. This event is always a special occasion at Omagh CBS, offering the chance to reflect on the highlights of the year and look forward to fresh opportunities and adventures awaiting our students.

Mr F. McConnell paid tribute to the recent excellent results and thanked the students for their contribution to the life of the school over the past seven years.

“Once again, our students excelled in their formal examinations; the excellent achievements reflect the Class of 2023’s diligent effort combined with the work of dedicated teachers and supportive parents. “

The Br Begley Memorial Medal for Top achievement at A-Level was awarded to Manus Doyle who achieved 4A* grades.

Br Begley Memorial Medal recipient Manus Doyle pictured with guest speaker Michael Ward, Chairperson of the BOG Mrs D. Kelly and school principal Mr F. McConnell.

Other outstanding achievements worthing highlighting are John McGlinchey who achieved 2 A* Grades and 2 A Grades; Cian McGuigan and Callan Walsh achieved 1 A* Grade and 3 A Grades; and Malachy Cassidy achieving 4 A Grades.

Winner of the Bro Nolan Memorial Medal for Outstanding Achievement at A-Level John M McGlinchey is picture with school Principal Mr F. McConnell, Guest speaker Michael Ward and Chairperson of the BOG Mrs D. Kelly.

 Winner of the Roddy Tierney Award Callan Walsh pictured with Guest speaker Michael Ward, former principal Mr R. Tierney and current Principal Mr F. McConnell.

In total, twenty-four pupils received 3 A grades or better at A2 Level.

There was also great success for the Year 13 AS pupils. Among the high achievers were Oran Mc Kiernan who achieved a staggering 5 A Grades; Shea Daly, Aidan Gormley, Cahir McAnenly, and Conor McKenna each achieving 4A grades.

Success at Post 16 level was mirrored in the GCSE Results. 94% of Omagh CBS GCSE students achieved seven or more GCSEs between A* and C and twenty-three Omagh CBS students achieved eight A grades or better in their GCSEs.  With eighteen pupils achieving nine or more Grade A or A* in their GCSE Subjects.

The O’Donnell Scholarship; Awarded for Top Achievement at GCSE Level was received by Brian Gallagher who achieved 9 A* grades and 1 B grade.

Brian Gallagher the O’Donnell Scholarship recipient; Awarded for Top Achievement at GCSE receives his award from guest speaker Mr Michael Ward.

Mr F. McConnell highlighted that employers are looking for more than academic qualifications and therefore felt that it was important to recognise some outstanding achievements beyond the classroom. Many sporting, cultural and extra-curricular awards were celebrated, as well as acknowledging those who made a significant contribution to the school or the local community.

“Last year was exceptional for extracurricular achievement, with the pinnacle the winning of the MacRory and Hogan cups, with an attacking style of football that is rarely seen”.

Mr McConnell felt it was important to “acknowledge the willingness of our teaching and support staff in giving their time for extra-curricular activities.”

Recipient of the Brother Ennis Award for Contribution to Sport in School, Conor McAneney, is pictured with Guest speaker Mr Michael Ward, Principal Mr F McConnell and Chairperson of BOG Mrs D. Kelly.

Mr McConnell proceeded to acknowledge the time, commitment and support given to him by the Board of Governors over the past 12 months. He thanked Mr Paul Donnelly, (outgoing Chair of the Governors), for his support and guidance to the school over his 10 years as a school Governor and also congratulated new Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Mrs D Kelly, who has made history by becoming first female Chairperson in an Edmund Rice School.

The guest speaker for the evening was past pupil Michael Ward. Michael left the CBS in 2000 to pursue a professional football career with Leeds United. Returning home in 2003 he completed his A Levels and obtained a degree in History and Politics from Queens University and after attending the Institute of Professional Legal Studies became a Barrister.

 Guest speaker Michael Ward is pictured with his proud parents, Gerry and Patrica and his wife Shauneen.

Michael stated that what he is doing now is a far cry from what he thought he would be doing. In 2000 he thought he was “done with education” and that a lifetime of riches as a premiership footballer lay ahead.  Michael was training daily with international superstars such as Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Keane. Having been released from Leeds at the age of 19 Michael had to reassess his career plans.  Michael pointed out that to succeed you do not need to follow a predetermined or linear career path.  In fact, the challenges and disappointments from not making it at Leeds United made him more resilient and equipped him well for his current career as a barrister.

Michael’s parting advice to the class of 2023 was “Don’t be too hard on yourself.  There are enough external pressures in life. Do not worry if you are unsure about your future career. Pursue subjects you enjoy, and the career will find you”.

The senior choir performed O Holy Night, while the senior traditional group entertained the audience with Jump the Broom and Frank’s Reel. Many thanks to Mrs Fretigny and Mrs McCourt for their enthusiasm and commitment to helping our musicians perform to such a high standard.

Omagh CBS Senior Choir

The final presentation of the night went to outgoing Head Prefect, Caolán O Hagan.  Mr McConnell thanked Caolán for his hard work, stating “Caolán could always be relied upon to carry out his duties in an efficient and courteous manner”.

Outgoing Senior Prefect Caolán O’Hagan addresses his peers for the last time.


Mr McConnell concluded the night by quoting Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States (1861–65). He said:-

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.

I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.

The school Principal asked the departing students “to never forget where you have come from and always maintain a pride in your roots.”

Finally, he wished the students the very best for the future; encouraged them to stay in touch with the school, look after themselves and don’t be afraid to follow their dreams.

To view the full list of award winners click on the image below

Click here to see a selection of pictures taken on the night by Cormac McAleer of CMCA Images

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