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Delight as Co Armagh primary scoops All-Ireland ‘School of the Year’ award

Mr Oran Darragh and Mr Tomás Mc Kee receiving the joint second award in the small school of the year category
Mr Oran Darragh and Mr Tomás Mc Kee receiving the joint second award in the small school of the year category

A Co Armagh primary is celebrating after scooping up a prestigious ‘School of the Year’ title at an All-Ireland awards ceremony.

Over 250 teachers gathered in the Mullingar Park Hotel in Westmeath on Friday, March 8 for the event

Our Lady’s Primary School Tullysaran had entered the ‘Small School of the Year’ category for schools with less than 200 children.

Schools of similar size, from all around the island of Ireland, entered the category with the standard of entries being described as “excellent” from the judging committee.

Our Lady’s were awarded joint second in the very prestigious and much-coveted Allianz National Cumann na mBunsol Small School of the Year category. 

 Their video entry which is available to view on the school website ( was a joint effort from staff, pupils, and governors to demonstrate how Gaelic Games is promoted and during the 2022/23 school year when the school celebrated 25 years of Our Lady’s, Tullysaran.

Primary 6 and 7 pupils led the presentation of the video, which included Kevin Curran, Chairperson of the Board of Governors, and Aidan Forker, Vice-Principal and captain of Armagh.

Mr Tomás Mc Kee, Principal, said the children focused on the theme of ‘Tullysaran Ballers’ to place emphasis on the main GAA sports played in our school and the enjoyment the children experience from participating in Cumann na mBunscol activities.

Mr Oran Darragh, Primary 6 teacher, directed and collaborated the video, which is a fantastic example of the excellent work being done in the school, benefitting the children and the whole GAA community.

 Mr Mc Kee said he would like to acknowledge the huge support we receive from O’Connells Tullysaran GAC and Tullysaran Camogie Club.

“We have full access to Tullysaran GAA facilities and coaches from the club have always actively supported our school with Kevin Curran the Chairperson of our school and Helen Donnelly training our Camogie team every Wednesday in the Community Centre.

“We would like to thank the committee of the Tullysaran Community Centre for use of the hall for our PE lessons and after school activities.

“We wouldn’t be able to provide such an extensive range of PE and afterschool activities without the use of the Community Centre. We would also like to thank Cumann na mBunscol Armagh for all the work they do in promoting Gaelic Games in our county, which enables our pupils to represent our school at blitzes, quizzes and Armagh half-time games.”

Last year was a very successful year for Our lady’s Primary School Tullysaran with the girls’ football team qualifying for the Malachy McGeeney county final and the visit of Sam Maguire with locals, Colin Trainor and Jason McGahan, being heavily involved in the Kerry All-Ireland winning team of 2022.

This year is already proving to be an even more successful year with the hurling, football and camogie teams making it the County Armagh indoor finals, with the girls winning the county camogie title.

They will represent Our Lady’s, Tullysaran community and Armagh in the Ulster Championships later this month.

The quiz team also won the Armagh Cumann na mBunscol quiz and performed superbly in the Ulster quiz; finishing joint sixth in a competition which included over 25 teams.

Mr Mc Kee said that we look forward to further success and providing our pupils with the opportunity to represent Our Lady’s Primary School in the future.

“We would like to thank all our parents, dedicated staff, and governors for all their support and congratulations to our brilliant pupils on achieving an All-Ireland award,” he said.

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