Local Minister of State, Deputy Robert Troy, was the recent guest of honour at a ceremony to mark the presentation of certificates to St Mary’s primary school students on behalf of the Knights of Columbanus Athlone branch in reflection of their successful RTE Angelus filming work.
Speaking within the surrounds of TUS, Deputy Troy praised the school for their wonderful work noting that the RTE Angelus footage was a most enjoyable and peaceful film to view.
“At a time when we were most in need of festive cheer, the students at St Mary’s National School did their school, families, community, and county proud. I want to particularly acknowledge the parents and teachers who gave their time and effort to support this extracurricular activity, enabling students to represent Athlone on a national stage and be ambassadors for Westmeath.
“I also want to commend the Knights of Columbanus for their work with the school and young people in producing this short film for RTÉ People’s Angelus. A really great endeavour and I look forward to seeing it again next December – a very well done to all,” Deputy Troy stated.
In his address, Ray Joyce, Grand Knight, paid special tribute to the council’s secretary, Padraic Dunne.
“Padraic brought the RTE Angelus proposal to the council early last year. It was accepted it and Padraic set about planning it. His application to the Knights’ head office for funding was successful and the plan gathered momentum with Padraic receiving excellent support from Ailish McManus, principal of St Mary’s primary school, teachers and students, as well as the Knights’ team of Sean Leydon, Jim Agbanobi, but when Padraic recruited Niall Cole, it was like a magic wand taking hold of the project and as they say, the rest is history,” Mr Joyce remarked.
Fr Pat Murphy, administrator St Mary’s Parish, noted that the video production was a “thrill to watch”.
“Great praise must go to Niall Cole for producing such a lovely film. Padraic Dunne came to me last September with the proposal and I never thought that I would be watching the Knights film on RTE some months later with 500,000 other viewers.
“It proves that with good leadership, commitment and teamwork all is possible,” Fr Murphy commented.
Student Alanna Gaffey extended her gratitude to the Knights of Columbanus for the invitation to participate in the recording for the Angelus.
“We realise that this was a unique opportunity and we were honoured to be asked. Over the years, the school choir has performed at many different events including Communions, confirmations, carol singing, funerals and even a wedding, but I don’t think any of us ever thought that we would be performing on national television – let alone that it would be broadcast every week for five weeks.
“I would like to thank Niall for doing the recording and for his kind words and advice when we were performing. I would also like to thank him for returning on the second day so we could see the drone in action. He also brought us treats which were much appreciated.
“Many thanks also to Hilary Roche for her help in preparing us for the performance and her beautiful piano accompaniment on the day of the recording,” Alanna concluded.