Parents' Council

To get in touch with the parents' council please e-mail

Access the Parents' Handbook here

The Parents' Council is made up of two representatives for each year from 1st year to 6th year, plus the two parent representatives on the Board of Management of the School.  Elections to the Council happen every year at the AGM of the Parents' Association in September.

Parents' Council Representatives 2020-21

First Year

Conor Mc Carthy  

Margaret Masterson  

Second Year

Nikki Foley (Secretary)  

Conor Mc Gorrian (Treasurer / Vice chair)

Third Year

Maeve Verdon (Chairperson)  

Rachel Wang  

Fourth Year

Michele O’Donnell  

Chris Mc Laughlin  

Fifth Year

Owen Sorensen  

Sandra Maguire  

Sixth Year

Maeve O’Reilly  

Paul O’Donovan  

The objectives of the Parents' Association, and therefore the objectives of the Council, as outlined in the Constitution of the Parents Association are:


  • To become aware of and embody the ethos of the College and its Ignatian influence so that all can advance in a spirit of co-operation and mutual support to the benefit of parents, College and pupils.

  • To support and initiate activities which advance the academic, physical, social and spiritual development of all pupils in accordance with the Mission Statement and overall objectives of Gonzaga College as approved by the Board of Management.

  • To provide opportunity for discussion, information and consultation about matters of common interest to parents, teachers and pupils of Gonzaga College.

  • To submit, as it deems fit, for consideration by the Board from time to time matters arising from such discussion, information and consultation.

  • To consider matters of educational interest; provided always that no reference shall be made whether by name or otherwise to any specific student, parent, guardian, member of staff or member of the Board.


To assist with communication we encourage parents to communicate with the Council via this dedicated link  All communication is reviewed by the Council at each meeting.

Each year the Council endeavours to host parents’ evenings to cover a range of diverse topics that are of interest to the parent group and relevant to the support of our sons.  These are advised via text messages and on this web page.




Events 2018-19

Monday February 25th

Brian Mooney spoke about Demystifying Third Level Progression for Parents.

Tuesday November 20th

Colman Noctor spoke about The Impact of Technology on Mental Wellbeing.

Colman Noctor is a child and adolescent psychotherapist with St Patrick's Mental Health Services. He specialises in the treatment of emotional disorders. As a self-confessed technology addict, he has a keen interest in the effects of contemporary media on child development and mental health. See the slides from the talk here.


​Tuesday September 25th

Prof. Frank Murray, Consultant Gastroenterologist, spoke about the physical effects of alcohol and about his experience of what he sees in his work, and Dr Bobby Smyth, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, spoke about the effects of alcohol on the mental health of young people.



Events 2017-18

On Thursday April 26th a talk entitled 'Forming Men and Women for Others' was held in the Coulson Theatre. The talk consisted of three short presentations: a global perspective by Dr Krizan Vekic, Justice Education Co-ordinator for the Jesuit Education Desk; Siobhán McNamara our Librarian then presented on her Uganda experience; and Robert Quinlan on the Habitat for Humanity Zambia experience. All Parents, Staff and senior students were invited and refreshments were served afterwards.

"The Best Your Child Can Be", strategies, advice and information on how to maximise your child's potential and study skills by Enda O'Doherty. Tuesday Feb 6th, 7.30pm, Coulson Theatre.

Enda O Doherty has 25 years experience in education, motivation and goal achievement.

For more information see here.

"Anxious Screenager" talk by Dr Harry Barry

Thursday November 16th 2017 @ 7.30pm

Dr Barry focuses on the management of anxiety and depression in young people.

Events 2016-17

A spiritual talk by Fr. Leonard Moloney SJ, Provincial of the Irish Jesuit Province, on Thursday 27th April at 7.30pm. The title of the talk was "Finding God in all Things".

A talk by Roger Grennan on Thursday, February 2nd at 7.30pm called:

Rockstar? Pilot? Accountant? ... having great career conversations with young people.

The areas covered during the talk were

- A creative approach to opening up conversations about careers with young people

- Ways to explore and discover your child's interests (and fields of fascination)

- Exploring your child's natural strengths and abilities

- Linking the above to how we look to make appropriate and relevant career choices

- Practical ways to research and understand any job or career with online tools and information that is available. See the slides from Mr Grennan's talk here.

A talk by Rebecca Murphy, Education and Training Co-ordinator with JIGSAW (formerly Headstrong), National Centre for Youth Mental Health, on Tuesday, November 22nd at 7.30pm in the Coulson Theatre.

The topic of the talk was “Supporting our young people’s mental health” and included the following themes:

  • Key issues impacting on the mental health of young people

  • The 5 a day for promoting good mental health

  • The importance of One Good Adult in the lives of young people

  • Signs a young person may be struggling

  • Dos and Don’ts when supporting young people

  • Looking after our own mental health as parents

The slides accompanying Ms Murphy's talk can be accessed here.

Events 2015-16

‘Entrepreneurship- 'Anything is possible',


The Parents Council organised a lecture titled 'Entrepreneurship- 'Anything is possible', on Tuesday March 24th @ 7.30pm in the Coulson Theatre. The meeting was chaired by Ian Hyland, and the guest speakers were as follows:


1. Sarah O' Connor -

Sarah and Isolde Johnson set up this company over two years ago, after spotting a gap in the market for nutritious, tasty convenient food, aimed at customers who don't have the time, resources or know how to cook from scratch. They are both Trinity graduates . They recently appeared on the Saturday Nigh Show, and their optimism, energy and enthusiasm were palpable.

For more information see


2.Ben Teeling  - Allogen Biotech

This company founded by Ben Teeling, develops new food contaminant testing systems by applying sensor technology normally used in medical diagnostics in the food industry.

This company has been nominated for 7 Intellectual Property Awards and , Ben Teeling was listed recently in the Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30. Ben holds a masters in Biomedical Engineering from Trinity College.

For more information see


3. Mike Maloney- Payzone

Mike, a UCG graduate is the CEO of this company. Mike served abroad in the army, held the position as Chief Operations Officer in BT, he held the position of Executive Chaiman of Eurocommerce Payment Solutions before his current position.

The technology used by Payzone, extends over a wide range of services, including parking tags, prepaid debit and credit cards, gift cards, toll payments and lots more. The technology is used worldwide.

For more information see


4. Ian Hyland- Chairperson

Ian Hyland chaired the meeting. Ian is the CEO of Business and Finance, he owns the Business and Finance Media Group. He is the Chairperson of Ireland Inc, which promotes Irish businesses abroad. Business and Finance host the annual Irish Business Awards. He is passionate about promoting Irish business, and promises to be a very engaging chair for this meeting.


The Parents Council would like to thank you for supporting our meetings



Parents' Fora

The concept of Cura Personalis is central to the philosophy of Jesuit education and it applies not just to students but equally to parents as they journey with their son during his time in Gonzaga. Three dimensions of this “care of the whole person” are:


  1. Deep appreciation and respect for each individual person.

  2. Engagement in personal relationships.

  3. Empowering development of the whole person.

  4. An expression of this ideal is realised in the Parents’ Forum. This thinking was central to the establishment of the Parents’ Forum in 1990.


The Parents’ Forum is an integral part of the school life in Gonzaga. Originally it was conceived and structured to give parents an opportunity to share in and support the distinctive ethos of the College.

The Forum provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to get involved with the school as their son progresses from first year to graduation in sixth year. It also gives all parents an opportunity to get to know each other, share their concerns and support each other in a very caring environment. Each development milestone their son encounters brings its own concerns, anxieties and opportunities. The Forum provides a structure where parents can become more informed and involved and address these concerns together.


Structure of the Forum

Each year group in the college has its own committee. This committee is usually formed in September of first year. The committee is formed with 10 to 12 parents who elect a Treasurer, Secretary and Chairperson. This committee stays in office for three years i.e. the junior cycle years. For the senior cycle a new committee is elected and they continue to the end of sixth year. We would very much like to see equal representation of males and females on the Forum rather than a female only committee. Over the last 25+ years more than 1200 parents have volunteered for the various Forum committees and have made an invaluable contribution to the life and work of the college. Each Forum is named after the year their son will graduate i.e. the present sixth year is called Forum 2020, and the present first year Forum is known as Forum 2025. The Forum is self-financing; each family makes a small subscription at the beginning of the year. The committees of each Forum organise two or three events each year at which all the parents of that year group attend. With the new theatre and building we now have a wonderful opportunity to invite many more guest speakers and organise a greater variety of events. On the first three Sundays of lent each year the junior cycle Parents’ Forum organise a family mass for their respective year group, in the College Chapel. This is a great occasion for all the members of the student’s family to come together to celebrate their uniqueness.


The success of the Parents’ Forum is acknowledged by all. This can be seen in the bond and friendship of some of the committees who meet regularly on a social basis many years after their son has graduated from Gonzaga.


For more information, contact:  

Miss Philippa Morris      

September 2019






TY Easter Camino Trip 2018

Well done to a small group of parents and boys from Transition Year who completed the Sarria to Santiago stage (115 km) of the Camino pilgrimage over the Easter holidays. The boys involved were Jack Doran, Mark Cloonan, Michael Wilson, Naoise Shaffrey, Cian Fahy, Cormac Donnelly, Conor Finlay and Hugh Torfeldt, and seven parents accompanied them. 

The trip was organised by the parents and boys of the class of 2020.