Gallen Community School recently hosted three of their former pupils – Connacht squad members Conor Higgins, Conor O’Loughlin and Aidan Wynne – as well as the RBS 6 Nations and Triple Crown trophies..
John Irwin, headmaster at the school in Ferbane, County Offaly, spoke highly of the success of the three players – Conor Higgins, Conor O’Loughlin and Aidan Wynne – and their involvement in schools rugby and then the Connacht age grade programmes.
He also spoke of their ongoing development as professional players and their successes in age grade Irish teams and Conor O’Loughlin’s involvement with the Ireland ‘A’ squad.
He thanked the Connacht Branch and IRFU for their ongoing support and for being able to have the RBS 6 Nations and Triple Crown trophies in the school for the day.
Connacht’s Domestic Rugby Manager Martin Gallagher congratulated Gallen CS on the recent success of their academic performance as the top school in Offaly and one of the top schools in Ireland.
He commented on the prowess of the sporting capabilities in the school and the quality of rugby players that the school has produced over the years, and also thanked headmaster John Irwin for the support he has given to rugby and for his passion for his students to play the game.
Speaking on behalf of the players, Connacht scrum half Conor O’Loughlin paid tribute to his former school and past teachers.
He talked to the pupils about the day in and day out of a professional rugby player’s life including training and matches, while informing them of the need to do well at school, to learn as much as they can and do well in their Leaving Cert and University exams.
The day was wrapped up when the players met children in the special needs class in the school where there were two students who competed in the Special Olympics.
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