It was the trip of a lifetime for the group of students who recently enjoyed a week of performing and sightseeing in New York.
The trip began on Saturday 14th March and took in the traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations held in the city. This tour was the brainchild of the Head of Music in Coláiste na Trócaire Ms Jean O’Brien and involved three years of planning and several fund raising events to make the dream come true. They were accompanied by three other teachers Ms Lorna Bunyan, Ms Susan Burke, Mr Tony Kenny, four parents and the former Parish Priest of Rathkeale Fr. Phonsie Cullinan who has since been appointed Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.
The group of 31 students and teachers had a very full itinerary which included three performances and visiting the many wonderful tourist locations including Ellis Island, The Strawberry Fields of Central Park, The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building and the 9/11 memorial. The Choir and musicians performed at Masses in Our Lady of the Angels in the Bronx and on St. Patrick’s Day they performed an all Irish Mass at the Church of St Agnes on East 43rd Street.
One of the highlights of the trip was their performance on the eve of St Patrick’s Day at a reception in The John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This was a Special Awards Ceremony in honour of the memory of the late Det. Jerry McCabe. Before a large gathering of distinguished guests including The Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys and the Consul General of Ireland in New York Barbara Jones and Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey Jean led her students in a moving musical tribute to the late Det. Jerry McCabe.
Detective Jerry McCabe was stationed in Henry St. Garda Station Limerick and died tragically in Adare in 1997. The Jerry McCabe Fellowship Award was this year presented to Garda Claire Hough based in Bruff and Garda John Gallagher of Salthill, Galway. This award which was founded by Dr Bettina Murray Head Lecturer in Criminology in the John Jay College along with her Irish born husband enables young Gardai like Claire and John to study Criminal Law in New York State for the duration of a year. It was a wonderful occasion and a privilege for Jean and the students of Coláiste na Trócaire to be invited to perform at this prestigious event and will no doubt form a lasting impression on all present.
A visit to New York would not be complete without experiencing some of the city’s buzz and excitement, and some of the memorable events they enjoyed included an evening of ice-skating in The Rockefeller Centre, a visit to the Natural History Museum, a trip to Broadway to see the musical version of ‘Matilda.’ A shopping spree in the final hours before their homeward journey brought this memorable s trip to an end for the students, teachers and parents of Coláiste na Trócaire. This was indeed the trip of a lifetime and no doubt will leave a lasting impression on all involved.