Principal / Headmaster Simon Thompson's tribute at Assembly, 21st June 2021

It is a tragedy that we must gather once again to share on our shock and grief at the death of a student from within Kilkenny College. 

It is six short weeks since we gathered to grieve for the loss of Aidan Slevin from Form 1, we gather to remember and to pray for Tiggy Hancock from Form 2, her parents Frank and Jane, her sisters Eliza and Lucy and Tiggy’s wider family and her many, many friends.

Tiggy died last Wednesday, the 16th June, following a Horse-riding accident in County Dublin.

Tiggy was, as we know, already an established athlete in her sport of Equestrian Eventing. Horses and ponies are not only Tiggy’s passion, but also her family’s. Life at home in Corries was immersed in equestrian activity. Tiggy loved being with her ponies and her horses.

Tiggy was an established member of the Carlow and Kilkenny Hunt Pony Club and the Irish Pony Society. Tiggy represented Ireland at the U16 European Eventing Championships, winning a Bronze medal, the youngest person ever to do so. Experts in Horse Sports have said that Tiggy was destined for the very top. Tiggy’s ability, her dedication, her courage, ensured she had achieved far ahead of the norm in a short but brilliant competitive career.

School here in Kilkenny College was also a happy place for Tiggy. Tiggy loved every day at school. She felt comfortable here, secure among her friends, busy among the activities of the day. Tiggy enjoyed her classes but loved being on the move, chatting, planning, organising adventures with her buddies. You could see Tiggy’s smile in her eyes even when she was wearing a facemask. 

Tiggy’s school dream was to become a Boarder in 4th Form and the truth is she had already spent plenty of afternoons in her friends Dorms, talking, having fun, bouncing on beds, enjoying being young. Tiggy was in no rush to be older, she was grounded in the age she was and enjoyed being who she was. Tiggy was comfortable in her own skin and people gravitated towards her because of this. Everyone close to Tiggy loved her: loved her friendship, loved her sense of fun, loved her energetic spirit.

The entirety of our school community is devasted at the loss of a beautiful child so early in her life. In our own grief we remember first today Tiggy, her parents and sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts and godparents. We remember all Tiggy’s friends both within our school and beyond it. Each of us can, in our own way, silently or in prayer, express our love and support to all who grieve for Tiggy.

May Tiggy Rest In Peace secure in the loving arms of God.


Simon Thompson

Principal / Headmaster

Kilkenny College

Secretary to the Board of Management

June 21st 2021