One of the speeches from the class of '12

Dia daoibh, gach duine.

I've been to a few graduations over the years, and I've noticed that a lot of the speeches will focus on wishing the students  the best of luck and the brightest of futures - but I'm not going to do that. I don't think it's necessary, the reason for that being that these lads are all deadly. They can achieve whatever they want, no wishes of good luck required. Whether they want to become an author, a nurse, a teacher, or a criminal mastermind, everyone in this year has the means and the will to achieve those dreams.

What I want to do instead, is talk about how lucky I feel to have been in this year. Tá mé ag iarraidh mo bhuíochas a ghabháil le mo thuismittheoirí; ar dtús báire, mar gheall go sheol siad chuig Gaelscoil mé, agus ar an dara dul síos, as ucht a bheith creacáilte go leoir mé a chuir ar scoil nuair nach raibh mé ach trí bhliain d'aois. Because my birthday is in late September, my parents had the choice of either waiting a year to send me to school, or sending me when I was a few weeks shy of four. And I am extremely thankful that they chose the latter option. An bhfaca sibh Bliain a Cúig le déanaí? Samhlaigh mise a bheith sa bhliain sin!

When I talk to people from other years and other schools about their class mates, I feel incredibly fortunate, because according to them, every other group of students hate each other! Now, there's no real animosity between anyone in this year, and I wondered at that for a while, before I finally realised what made us so unique. Yis mightn't agree with me, and I'm sure the teachers have other explanations for how unusual we are, but I reckon the reason for it is that, like what Rachel said earlier, we're like a family. Now, some of us distant cousins that no one likes to talk about, maybe, but a family none the less. Tá ceithre bhliain déag de mo shaol caite agam leis an gcuid is mó daoibh, agus sé bhliain libh ar fad - and I don't regret a single moment of it. They say you can choose your friends but not your family, but for me, this lot are both friends and family. Agus dá mbeadh an rogha agam, fós roghnóinn sibhse.

The most important thing about family, is their influence. These lads have had a huge influence on me. Now, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I'm not too sure. But they have influenced me, and I think the reason for that is because we've done everything together. From braving Baltic conditions on the streets of Berlin, to chilling in the sun beside a river in Kilbride. From early maths classes at the crack of dawn, to parties that nearly went on to the crack of dawn. From playing hurling in Croke Park, to performing at the National Concert Hall. We've marched through floods to get to the Phoenix Park, and slipped on icy paths just to get to some secondary school on the northside. We've gone skiing in Kilternan and played chasing in the dark in Kippure. We've gone from strolling to class to legging it for the bus in the blink of an eye. Like I said, we've done everything together.

So, ó samhraidh go geimhreadh, agus ó maidin go hoíche, cibé rud a dhéanfaidh mé amach anseo, cuirfidh sé sibhse i gcuimhne dom. No matter what I do in life, I'll always remember these lads - for better or worse, I'll remember them.

'Séard atá mé ag iarraidh a dhéanamh anois, ná mo bhuíochas a ghabháil - ní le tuismitheoirí nó múinteoirí nó duine ar bith eile mar sin. Tá mé ag iarraidh é a ghabháil libhse. So, go raibh maith agaibh as ucht a bheith na daoine atá sibh, agus as ucht a bheith i mo shaol. Yis have been a huge part of my life, and no matter how much I look forward to going to college, or whatever I do from now on, the fact remains: I'll miss yis.

The End

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