We are an Active School

Today we had two special visitors to the school

Mary  Cullen

Born in Sligo, she competed in international athletics at a young age, running in the junior race at the 1999 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the 3000 metres at the inaugural IAAF World Youth Championships in Athletics when she was sixteen years old.[2] After meeting American coach Ray Treacy in Ireland, he offered her a scholarship to attend university in the United States. She went on to study social sciences at Providence College and represented their college athletics team, the Providence Friars.[3] In her first year in 2001–2002, she ran a personal best for fifth in the 5000 metres at the Big East Championships, won the 3000 m at the Penn Relays and competed at the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championship. She improved the following year: a fourth place in the regional competition and a 28th place finish at the NCAA National Cross Country Championship earned her All-American honours. In indoor competitions, she took third in the 3000 m and fourth in the distance medley relay. She took fourth in the 5000 m NCAA regionals with a personal best of 15:56.96 and finished in fifth at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, gaining her second All-American honours of the season.[4]

Her final year at Providence College in 2003–04 was perhaps her most successful: she won the mile run at the Women’s Challenge Cup and also won the mile and the distance medley relay race at the University of Rhode Island Invitational. Cross country competition brought further success: a number of podium finishes included second place finishes at both the NCAA regionals and Big East Championships, and she capped off the season by finishing fifth at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships, receiving her third All-America honours for the feat.[4]

In the 5000 metres she finished twelfth at the 2006 European Championships, and competed without reaching the final at the 2007 World Championships. In the 3000 metres event she finished seventh at the 2007 European Indoor Championships.[2]

She just missed out on the medals with a fourth position finish at the 2008 European Cross Country Championships, ending up two seconds behind bronze medallist Inês Monteiro.[5] She suffered a calf injury a few months later and missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a result.[3]

She broke Sonia O’Sullivan‘s indoor 3000 m national record at the Valentine Invitation Meet in Boston, Massachusetts. Her time of 8:43.74 was the fifth fastest that year in the world and she was selected as Ireland’s athlete of the month.[6][7] She won the bronze at the 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships the following month.



John McCaffrey

(born 11 September 1987) is an Irish sportsperson. He plays hurling with his local club Lucan Sarsfields and has a member of the Dublin senior inter-county team since 2006.[1]


McCaffrey plays his club hurling with the Lucan Sarsfield’s club. He won a county minor championship title with the club in 2005. He also played when the club played their first ever Senior Hurling championship county final in 2013.


McCaffrey first lined out for the Dublin hurlers at minor level (as well as representing Dublin in minor football). He was captain of the team in 2005 as ‘the Dubs’ captured the Leinster title following a win over Wexford.

After success at minor level McCaffrey subsequently joined the Dublin under-21 team where he also served as captain. He won a Leinster title in this grade in 2007 following a 2-18 to 3-9 defeat of Offaly. Dublin later qualified for the All-Ireland final, however, the team was heavily defeated by Galway.

By this stage McCaffrey had already joined the Dublin senior hurling team, making his championship debut against Westmeath in 2006. In 2009 Dublin qualified for their first Leinster final since 1991, however,Kilkenny were the winners by 2-18 to 0-18.

In 2011 McCaffrey took over as Dublin senior hurling team captain due to an injury sustained by regular captain Stephen Hiney.[2] Dublin later qualified for their first National Hurling League final in sixty-five years. In the final they over came Kilkenny in the final by 0-22 to 1-07 to win a first league title since 1939.

In July 2013, McCaffrey became the first Dublin captain to lift the Bob O’Keeffe trophy as Dublin won the Leinster hurling final against Galway by 2-25 to 2-13. [3]

Our visitors were here to help us celebrate getting our active flag.  Below are all the things we had to achieve in order to get our flag. Mary and Johnny visited each class and the questions the children posed were all brilliant. Below are some of the things we had to do to get the flag:

1. Success Criteria – Physical Education

PRIMARY schools that can fulfil all the following success criteria will be awarded the Active School Flag.

All pupils receive 1 hour of timetabled PE every week, as a minimum.
Our school engages in collaborative PE planning
Each class is taught 5 different PE strands every year and a balanced amount of time is given to each strand.
Our school ensures that PE equipment and resources are clearly labelled, well organised and easily accessible
Our school has an easily accessible PE resource library
Our school has adequate, age appropriate equipment to facilitate the delivery of the PE curriculum and to promote physical activity during break times
Our school makes maximum use of our resources and facilities, and those in the local community, to ensure the delivery a broad and balanced PE curriculum at every class level
Members of staff engage in CPD in the areas of physical education, physical activity and sport on an ongoing basis and resources and ideas arising out of the CPD are shared out amongst staff membersWe are so proud of all the work all our school community have put in to make this goal happen. The active school committee was amde up of children, staff and parents and we are very proud of them all. We would like to thank Tom and Caroline who began the process for us and everybody else who helped along the way. Mary and Johnny are a great inspiration to us all and we really enjoyed having them visit us at Lucan East.