The past few months have been testing times for all our students and in particular the Leaving Cert class of 2020.  Students have had to deal with many losses and challenges experienced as a result of Covid 19. However we would like to acknowledge one particular student whose life and expectations have been dramatically turned upside down since January 2018. 

Tiernan Gillespie’s world came to an abrupt standstill when a lump behind his nose was diagnosed as a tumour. Consequently, for the past two and half years, Tiernan has been in and out of hospital battling with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Despite suffering numerous side effects,

Tiernan made every effort to attend school where possible. 

Tiernan’s bravery is inspirational. He is an incredible young man who has had to revisit his hopes and plans for the future and adjust them while fighting through his illness.  School life, sporting life, artistic trips, being with his friends and family, trips to concerts such as Longitude, have been paused as he tackles his illness one step at a time. 

What strikes the school community most and in particular his teachers and friends who know him well, is his positive attitude and motivation.  Tiernan doesn’t sit around waiting for things to happen, he makes them happen. Last year while suffering from fatigue and headaches he undertook a physical activity programme in conjunction with the Physical Education Department to help build up his strength. He was committed to this programme and his priority was to attend school as often as possible. Tiernan insisted on being Tiernan and did not want to be defined by his illness. 

Tiernan’s loyalty to his family, friends and school community is very important to him and this loyalty is reciprocated. There is something about Tiernan’s continuous positivity and bravery that will linger in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh for quite some time.

Tiernan, you have shown tremendous courage and your good spirit, boundless energy and strength is an inspiration to us all. We have never heard you complain and you always make time to stop and chat even when we are sure you are not in the mood to. More than all the gifts you have, it is your good humour, pleasant nature and smile that we are grateful for. Know that we are thinking of you at this time and that you have our continued support and solidarity in whatever way we can. 

We are forever grateful for your inspirational  presence in our school.