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eolas@oiriall.ie

Maitiú, an cispheileadóir

Ba chúis mhór aiféala do Choláiste Oiriall an scéal a tháinig chugainn i lár na hoíche Mháirt seo chuaigh thart bhfuair ár gcara, 

Matthew Mac Thoirealaigh, dalta 5ú bliana ó rang Thomáis, bás go tobann sa bhaile. Tá pobal na scoile ulig croíbhriste, suaite agus cráite. It was with great sadness that the Coláiste Oiriall school community learnt of the sudden death of Matthew Mac Thoirealaigh, Emyvale/Glaslough at his home last Tuesday night.

Matthew was a fifth-year student here in Coláiste Oiriall. We are all heartbroken and devastated. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew’s mother, Fiona, father, John, brother, Josh and sister, Katie and the extended Curley and Fields’ families and we express our sympathies to them. Go ndéana an Rí A Mhaith air agus go dtóga sé cian dá mhuintir a d'fhág sé ina dhiaidh.

We got to know Matthew very well in his almost five years as a member of our school community. He played minor, junior, cadet and senior basketball in Coláiste Oiriall with his height being a distinct advantage under the basket and his physical strength making him one of the top rebounders. Matthew won the accolade of cadet/under 16 Basketballer of the Year in the school. He acted as timekeeper and scorekeeper at many of the girls’ basketball matches and carried out these duties meticulously.

Matthew also played Gaelic football for the school at under 14, under 16 and under 19 levels until he broke his collar bone at an early season training session in TY. He played in the forward line and later in goals. He was an integral part of the school’s athletics team where he was equally gifted at track and field events including sprints, high jump, long jump and shot putt. No doubt his long legs helped him in the sprints. He placed great emphasis on exercise and had an impressive physic as result.

TY Assistant

Matthew volunteered to become a Cuiditheoir (assistant) in Transition Year where he mentored 1st Year students as a buddy, helping them to settle into their new environment – he enjoyed this role. He travelled to Barcelona in October 2019 with his peers on the school tour during TY on what was to be the last school tour before the Covid-19 restrictions. He appreciated and embraced every single experience on that trip.

D’imir sé peil agus cispheil, i bhfad níos fearr ag an chispheil agus gradam Chispheileadóir na scoile bainte aige bliain amháin. Bhíodh sé ag insint dúinn faoi na seisúin taitneamhacha traenála a bhíodh sé páirteach iontu leis na Blackwater Steelers. Bhí sé an-lárnach sna foirne luthchleasaíoctha sa scoil – creidim gur chuidigh na cosa fada leis sna sprints! Tháinig sé isteach ar labhairt na Gaeilge iontach maith taobh istigh d’achar gairid gidh gur tháinig sé as bunscoil a fheidhmíonn trí mheán an Bhéarla.

Matthew was selected as one of the class representatives in the Spelling Bee competitions in both 2nd and 4th and he inevitably selected the ‘hard’ category of words in each round and this is indictive of how he always wanted to challenge himself. Indeed, Matthew challenged himself when he selected Coláiste Oiriall as his choice of schools for his post primary education as he came from an English medium primary school.

He sold pictures and picture frames at the Farmers’ Market as the culmination of his TY mini-company. When the remaining company members, famished with hunger, retired for lunch, Matthew refused to leave the stand unmanned for fear of losing sales – a further indication of what he asked of himself.

While in St. Mary’s N.S. Glaslough he was on the winning debating team and enthused about environmentally related projects and his sensitive nature lent itself to protecting insects and habitats. His empathy for nature and helping to restore sustainability in the environment remained with him until he died.

Matthew became very proficient and fluent in Irish within a short period of time in the school. He had particular linguistic talents and French was a love of his life. He had recently changed all the settings on his phone to French to enhance his speaking and listening skills in a third language in preparation for the Leaving Certificate.

Rinne Maitiú iarracht é féin a chur chun cinn sa Fhraincis agus na socracháin ar a fón athraithe go dtí an Fhraincis le cleachtadh a fháil ar an teanga. Bhí sé ag iarraidh barr foirfeachta a bhaint amach sna tionscnaimh ealaíona agus miotalóireachta don Teastas Sóisearach – agus sin mar a bhí Maitiú - ag iarraidh rudaí a dhéanamh go foirfe. Bhí sé ina chuiditheoir Idirbhliana ag cabhrú le dlataí óga nua sa chéad bhliain agus bhí dúil aige a bheith ag cuidiú leo.

Penmanship and punctuation

Matthew was kind and pleasant - and considerate and clever. He was central to life in Coláiste Oiriall. He was very popular among his peers and teachers alike. He had beautiful penmanship, producing a neat and carefully crafted script in preference to typing Word documents on computers. His prose writing and style was of a very high standard. His punctuation, spelling, grammar and sentence structure were patiently crafted in his written work. He was an avid reader and took part in the school’s Readathon in 1st Year where he read a large number of books within a certain timeframe.

Matthew’s attention to detail was also obvious in his Junior Certificate Art and Metalwork projects. The metalwork project was a three-wheel autocar design that he manicured and perfected to the last. His lino print and 3D piece in Art reflected his love of nature as he centred his work around a spider and a spider’s web. He was pursing Engineering and French of course to Leaving Cert as well as two Sciences, Biology and Chemistry.

A rota for sweeping the floor exists in the Metalwork room and Matthew was usually on the rota for the last day of term - because the teacher could be content in the knowledge that the room with be spotless on their return after the break, further evidence of the high standards that Matthew set himself in all aspects of his life.

Maitiú found the lockdown and the associated Covid-19 restrictions somewhat stultifying because he liked breaks and liked exploring and learning and going to places of interest - but these things were denied him during lockdown. Matthew was a valued and popular member of our school community and his tragic death leaves a large void in that community.

Léigh an tAth Hubert Martin, Sagart Paróiste, Domhnach, aifreann tórraimh in Gleannan maidin Aoine agsu cuireadh é sa reilig úr ina dhiaidh. Ní raibh ach a mhuintir agus dlúthchiarde ábalta freastal air de bharr srianta Covid-19 ach sheasaigh neart cairde agus comharsana amuigh ar thaobh an bhealaigh idir an teach agus an teach a’phobail. Fifth year students formed a socially distanced guard of honour while the funeral was streamed live into the 4th and 6th Year classrooms back in the school.

Maitiú Mac Thoirealaigh, 16 Samhain 2003 – 12 Bealtaine 2021, Rang Thomáis, Coláiste Oiriall, 2016-21. Cuireadh é i gcé na cille i nGlaslocha inniu. Go ndéana an Rí A Mhaith air agus go dtóga sé cian de mhuintir Mhaitiú a d'fhág sé ina dhiaidh. “Tabhair ar ais an oíche aréir”