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Developing the Whole Child

Farewell concert for Mr Lynch

“May the road rise up to meet you”

On Thursday 26th June 2024 Dominican College, Portstewart  proudly presented an evening of music to celebrate the 40 year connection of Mr Gerry Lynch with the college. The evening’s programme proved to be a fitting tribute encompassing a wide variety of music reflecting the rich diversity within the school.


Members of staff, past and current pupils all contributed to the evening’s celebration. This was to allow us all one final opportunity to pay tribute to a dedicated teacher, outstanding leader and true friend of the Dominican community in Portstewart culminating in an unforgettable “Dominican Magnificat”.


Introducing the Farewell concert, Mr Terry Cloughley –had these words:

“Tonight is a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to experience the very diverse talent that exists in Dominican College, Portstewart. Not only will you hear a variety of musical styles but also performances by pupils from Year 8 through to Upper 6th; tonight is mainly the work of our Key stage 3 pupils. Tonight would not be possible without the hard work and continued support of all the tutors in the music department to whom I want to extend a massive thank you. These tutors offer the students tuition in a wide range of instruments. You will have the opportunity to hear most of these tutors perform throughout the course of this evening. I would like to thank in a special way Miss Sarah Minihan, our recently appointed Head of Music, for all her work in bringing tonight to fruition.


I would also like to thank all of the past pupils for giving up their time so very willingly and generously. It is wonderful to hear and see how they have developed as musicians and are carving out successful careers in so many different paths. I have no doubt that their presence here tonight can only inspire their younger counterparts at Dominican.


Introducing the concert, Mr Cloughley welcomed the Dominican sisters explaining how it always feels like home when they are present. He also welcomed Gerry’s family, Joanne’s family and Rut’s husband Gerry alongside members of the Board of Governors and parents. He reflected that this was the first ever evening of music in the school chapel.

He told the gathered crowd and those listening to the live stream (3500 viewers on the night; now 10,500) that the evening would be a celebration of three dedicated members of staff with a collective 96 years of Dominican experience and that it would be an evening of mixed emotions- joy tinged with sadness.


Musical highlights included:

Our Junior Choir’s rendition of “Whispers” – reminding us we are all one world, one people and “Hallelujah, Get Happy.”


Our Four junior cellists and their rendition of Taylor Swift’s

“Shake it Off.”


Our Traditional Group (joined by Mollie Bryne) for a collection of rigs, reels and polkas.


Our guitar ensemble with Mr Iveson with their own piece entitled “Gerry’s Blues”.


Anna Bradley with her own beautiful song “Colours”


Our Piano ensemble and their unique rendition of “Three’s a crowd”


Our Chamber Choir with their rendition of “Boogie, Woogie Bugle Boy”


Our Senior pupils performed a rousing rendition of “Live and Let Die” followed by some specially requested Muddy Waters


Rose and Maddi Performed “For Good” from Wicked – a very apt song about thanking everyone who has made a difference in our lives


Robin McKay returned to his alma mater to lead the year 11 Vocal ensemble in The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright”- a song celebrating the ability of youth to forge their own path.


Harley O’Donnell brought a tear to the eye with a beautiful rendition of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Miserables – again a song with added poignancy.


As the Evening of Music moved towards its finale Mr Cloughley spoke of some his desire to end “by walking a fine line between beauty and sadness”


Our past pupil Damien Wec, returing from his musical studies in Liverpool, performed a virtuoso “Waltz in C#Minor” by Chopin. Damien arrived in Dominican in Year 13 as a self-taught pianist.


Rut ni Mhaolain ensured there was not a dry eye in the house with her beautiful, moving rendition of “The Parting Glass” – a song about friendship and the leaving of friends- a song she associated with Mr Barry Murphy’s Commemoration Mass.


Our Year 11 Vocal Ensemble brought the evening to a stunning close with “An Irish Blessing” (Soloist Maya Hegarty) – a song that Mr Cloughley described as “being in the fabric of this place- a song that is particularly apt as we know that we will meet all three of you again… and until we meet again/ may God hold you in the hollow of his hand”.


A full audience singalong of “Thank you for the Music” by Abba ensured that we all left feeling uplifted by a beautiful evening of music.


A link to the concert can be found by clicking the link below.

To date we have more than 10.5 K viewers.