Friday, May 06, 2022


The procession of Carlow College academics on their way to the graduation ceremony in Carlow cathedral


By Elizabeth Lee

STAFF and students at Carlow College had a day of celebration for its Class of 2021, when 142 graduates were conferred in the college’s first in-person graduation in over two years.

Among the graduates were mother and son Claire Cunningham and Jacob Cunningham Stafford from Athy, who both received their BA (Hons) degrees in Arts and Humanities and Karmel Knipprath from Thomastown, who graduated from BA (Hons) in English and History, who is currently a PhD candidate at Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The conferrings had been postponed in December 2021 due to Covid-19 and following a poll of graduands, it was voted to postpone the ceremony to April, rather than hosting a virtual event.

“Our staff worked hard in the months leading up to the graduation to ensure it was the celebration our class of 2021 deserved. These graduates had a very challenging final year of their studies and to see them persevere to get to this major milestone – it really is something to celebrate,” says Dr Thomas McGrath, vice-president for academic affairs and registrar of Carlow College.

Dylan Wynne from Carlow graduated with a BA (Hons) in Arts and Humanities

Carlow College president Fr Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh warmly congratulated the graduates, who come from 13 different counties across Ireland, including as far as Donegal, and international students from Estonia and Brazil.

“On behalf of the governing body and the staff of the college, I offer congratulations to the capable, inspiring, persevering and tenacious class of 2021. I commend college staff and loved ones, here and back at home who, especially during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, helped to bring us to this happy day,” said Fr Ó Maoldhomhnaigh.

In his keynote address, Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin, who is chair of college trustees and the governing body, spoke of the graduates as future leaders and urged them to “be a leader wherever you find yourself”.

He encouraged graduates to “go through your life with a generous spirit and a care for those in need. Be conscious of one another and particularly those facing challenges of their own”.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dr McGrath said: “This class had an excellent run of first class honours degrees and this augurs well for the contribution our graduates will make to society in coming years.”

*** More photos in next week’s paper


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