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A Reflection by the Family of Head Girl Betty Deery 1946/47

Centenary Reflection.
Head Girl of Dominican College 1946/47
This is a brief reflection on our Mum’s school days in the Dominican College [known then as The Convent], Portstewart by her brother Jim and her children Geraldine, Gloria, Christine, Charles and Manus O’ Doherty. April 2017.

Betty Deery.

Born 8/8/1928 Died 23/8/1993.

Betty was born in Strabane and educated in the local Convent of Mercy Primary School. She became a boarder in the Dominican Convent, Portstewart in 1943.
Betty’s Parents chose the Dominican for their only daughter after receiving excellent references from relatives who spent many years in Portstewart.
Listening to Betty reminiscing about her time as a Convent girl continued throughout her life.
Her younger brother Jim, now aged 85 years recalls her time in the Dominican
“Betty was a great community girl, everyone knew her. She always took the lead in organising games, school shows and social events. She made many lifelong friends there including Colette Curran, who was to be her bridesmaid. I remember her often mentioning Sr. Bede, who was a young nun at the time in charge of the Boarders and had a kindred spirit with Betty.
Both parents and myself religiously made a fortnightly visit to see Betty. The highlight was lunch in The Montague Hotel overlooking the Convent. For Betty to be able to enjoy a very tasty pudding, she had to endure the Main course! [Jim laughs].
Saying goodbye was always difficult for her Father, as Betty was an only daughter and they enjoyed a special bond. Her Dad wrote weekly letters to her without fail.”
Today Betty’s children enjoy reading through her beautifully hand written Domestic Science Exercise books from 1946 and use in particular her Christmas Pudding recipe down through the years. Unknown to us, she had a flair for painting as we later found one of her still-life watercolours, which is now framed and hangs proudly in her son’s home.
Down through the years, the Dominican Convent was referred to lovingly and with great happiness by Betty and especially her many Sunday afternoon strolls taken along The Nun’s Coastal Walk!

Attached are photos of Betty with her friends in school uniform at the convent and a wedding photo of her lifelong friend Colette Curran, her bridesmaid – a friendship made possible by attending Dominican College!
I have also attached her framed painting if interested for the Art Exhibition and a few pages from her hand written exercise book of 1946.

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U14s win Gaelic Blitz 17

Well done to Mr Carey and our U-14 Gaelic Team.
Last Thursday our U14 Gaelic team- replete with their new team strip- set off for the Brain Og McKeever Memorial blitz in Derry, a tournament the U-14 squad won last year. The boys had trained hard for the event and, taking a break from their summer exams, travelled to Derry confident of doing well.
The U14 squad consisted of a mixture of Year 10 and 9 pupils who play for a variety of local clubs
Jack Lucas
Jake Wallace (year 9)
Ryan Taggart
Fillip Rygielski
Jude Kerr
Logan Johnson
Ciaran McLaughlin
Kacper Sobera
Colm Darragh
Conor Carlisle
Lewis Hawthorne (year 9)
Luke Carter Woods
In the league section the Dominican squad, christening their new jerseys, celebrated three victories over St Joseph’s Derry, St Brigid’s Derry and Oakgrove to give them qualification to the final.
Mr Carey described the ensuing final against Oakgrove as “epic” with only a single, sensational point from Jack Lucas in the last kick of the game ensuring that both teams headed for the agony of extra time.
With only a minute remaining in a tense period of extra-time, Jake Wallace, fresh from his period away with the NI soccer team, galloped up field to strike the decisive point which tipped the final towards the superb Dominican squad.
With the advent of the final whistle mere seconds later the Dominican team celebrated with the traditional “pile on”.
Mr Carey offered this summary:
“Ryan Taggart was his formidable self in goals and the Dominican defence were excellent throughout the tournament with Filip, Jude and Logan continuously making life difficult for their opponents.
In the Dominican midfield, Ciaran McLaughlin was full of running and the forward line of Kacper, Colm, Luke and Conor all chipped in at decisive moments with vital scores.
All in all this was a superb performance from a very gifted young team who will go on to achieve future success. I was delighted to see the lads hard work come to fruition and I look forward to celebrating this success with the wider school on Sports Prize day later in the month.”
Well done boys from all here in DCP!

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A personal reflection on the Dominican Centenary by Dr Ima Jackson


Hi there Dominican College, Portstewart and congratulations on your Centenary. My name is Dr Ima Jackson and I am currently employed in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University.

I thought I would pass on this little story. I imagine you will have been getting lots of different information this year.

My sister Michele Jackson and I were brought up in Strand Road, Portstewart and attended Dominican College from 1976 until 1982.

We have always been told the following family story concerning the beginnings of the college, although there is no evidence it is actually true. It was said that our great grandmother, Dr. Mildred Croskery, (our father’s mother’s mother) helped the Dominican nuns find O'Hara's Castle, and encouraged them to start a school there.

This woman (pictured below bottom right ) was a widow struggling to educate three teenage daughters. To make some extra money, circa 1915 or 1916 she travelled to Dublin from Belfast to act as an external examiner for pupils attending the Dominican College in Dublin. During this visit the nuns told her they were considering opening a second college in the north of Ireland. It happened that our great grandmother often stayed in Portstewart in a small house she rented behind the harbour end of the promenade. Seeing that O’Hara’s Castle was for sale she sent a picture postcard to the nuns in Dublin recommending it as a suitable venue. The rest is history…

The colour photograph is of Lillian Croskery, Isabel Cuthbertson Jackson, Sidney Croskery and their mother, Dr Mildred Croskery

The black and white photo is James Croskery (our father namesake, who died young), Mildred Croskery, Lillian and Sidney the younger child. James Croskery died before our Grandmother was born. This must have been about 1901.

Good luck in all the various centenary celebrations this year and please do contact me if you wish any further information.


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Dominican College delighted to announce Centenary Art Exhibition


As part of our Centenary Celebrations an exhibition of art produced by pupils, past and present, will take place in Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart in July.

The exhibition, featuring original paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography will launch on Saturday July 1st from 12.00 to 4.00 P.M and will continue until July 27th. Entrance is free and all guests are welcome.

Miss McConnell, our Head of Art, explained that:
“Dominican College has a long and proud History as a centre of artistic excellence and I am delighted and excited to be able to showcase the artistic talents of the pupils of Dominican College and it has been a thrill and a pleasure to co-ordinate the works which will be on display which I hope will demonstrate and celebrate the diversity and individuality of the work produced by both our present and past pupils.

Visitors will be able to see some of the simply stunning work produced by our GCSE and A level pupils this year as well as pieces submitted by past pupils who have gone on to study and work in the world of art. There is something for everyone within the exhibition and I would love to see as many parents, members of the Dominican family and members of the local community attend the launch and exhibition. I also hope that the work of our pupils will be seen and enjoyed by those who take their summer holidays in July this year.”

The exhibition promises to be a very special part of our centenary celebrations which saw us showcase the musical talents of our pupils in March.

Later this year in October a school production of “School Of Rock” will also enable us to showcase the dramatic and musical talents of our Dominican pupils.

If any past pupil or associate of the school is interested in exhibiting their work they can contact the school (02870832715).

We look forward to seeing you there.

Below are some of the many pieces of work which will be on display from July 1st to 27th.

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Jake Wallace dares to dream as part of NI Youth Squad


Jake Wallace dares to dream as part of NI Youth Squad in Sweden and Sardinia

Jake Wallace, Year 9, is currently in Sardinia with the NI Youth squad having just returned home (for several hours only) from a visit to Sweden. His mum Paula has provided this account of Jake’s progress.

“Jake’s trip to Sweden was a great and valuable experience for him. They won 3 out of the 4 games, unfortunately getting beat by 1 point only to lose out in playing in the final, however they did play for 3rd/4th place and ended up finishing 4th in the Tournament. Unfortunately, Jake was unable to play in the last game as the coaches wanted to rest him as he is carrying a thigh injury and because he had played every minute of every game up to that point! When they were picked up in Dublin Airport last night they got a lovely surprise as the coaches had arranged for the Northern Ireland first team bus to collect them. These boys are certainly living the dream, hard work, dedication and commitment is key and as you know for Jake this is his dream.

Results from the Sweden Tournament:

Day 1:
N. Ireland v Helsinki 2-0
N. Ireland v Groningen 0-2

Day 2:
N. Ireland v Copenhagen 1-0
N. Ireland v Juventus 1-0

Day 3:
3rd/4th Place Play Off’s
N. Ireland v Staebeck 0-3

The trip to Sardinia Is by invitation only and elite teams across the world are requested by invitation only, therefore this will be a tough but again another valuable experience for the Northern Ireland boys as they will be up against teams like A.C Milan, Inter Milan also teams from Russia, Japan, Sweden, Spain in total there are 40 teams… But I will keep you updated with the results as we get them.

Jake is one very excited, privileged, honoured boy to be playing for his country, Living the dream…. “

Well done Jake from all here in Dominican College, we too are very proud of you

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Transfer Arrangements 2017-18


Dominican College PPTC Transfer Arrangements 2017-18

Registration for the 2017-18 GL Transfer assessment opens on Monday 15th May 2017 and closes on Friday September 22nd. The entrance assessment will be on Saturday 18th November.

Ms Ronan, Dominican Principal, will outline the arrangements for this year’s entrance assessment on Monday 15th May in the school assembly hall at 7.00 PM. Pupils from P6 and their parents are welcome and invites have been issued to our Primary schools.

A further meeting will be held in September 2017 (date to be confirmed) and prospective pupils will have the opportunity to visit the school after this date.
Registration packs will be available from May 15th and information for downloading the packs is available on the school website, click here.


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