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66 Transition Year volunteers donned their cleaning gear and picked up their brushes, mops and leaf blowers this week to really give the school a much needed lift. The students spent a whole day cleaning every nook and cranny of the college building.
The initiative was conceived by Mr Duffy, who is also heavily involved in our Green Schools programme in the college. As we wait for the addition of our new extension, and a much needed refresh of our current building, staff and students both felt the existing building could do with some extra TLC to match the care that occurs in every classroom. Mr Duffy and his team of volunteers answered the cleaning call.
The need for this extra care is front of our minds as a school community as we approach our 30th anniversary. We want to sincerely thank all of the student volunteers and teachers involved with this wonderful ‘giving back’ initiative.
As a community we are so proud that so many of our transition year students wanted to improve the place where all members of our school community come to learn.
The TY students recently travelled along the wild Atlantic way, deep into wild Connemara to Delphi Adventure Centre for their TY school trip this October 2017. The buses rolled out of Lucan with almost 150 students on-board as dawn was breaking on Monday with the students all nervously excited to undertake their first trip of this new school year.
On arrival, the students were immediately assigned groups and began their varied and colourful activities with bog swimming, archery, abseiling, high ropes and bushcraft just a sample of the many activities students could experience and enjoy. After an afternoon full of fun the students returned tired having sucked in buckets of fresh Connemara air.
After a restful night’s sleep, for most but not all, the activities began again early on a bright Tuesday morning with surfing, peer jumping, rock climbing, team challenges examples of the adventures on offer. After another very full day of activity and adventure, and with tired limbs and smiling faces, the buses departed from Delphi brimming with tired but joyful students.
Arriving back long after nightfall the students wearily headed home for a well-deserved sleep. A big thanks to TY coordinator, Ms Williams, for organizing the trip, the TY tutors (Ms Bean, Mr Carey, Ms Healy, Ms Flynn, Ms Joy) and Mr Purcell for giving up their time to supervise the trip.
In a little under 40 hours together the TY students will have formed new bonds with classmates, new friends with previous strangers and new memories that will with last them forever. An adventure of a lifetime.
Congratulations to Gayatri Sangra who was school finalist in the Tour Guide Competition run by Glasnevin Cemetery for Transition Year students. Well done to all who participated in the Tour Guide programme. Gayatri is pictured presenting her piece on Rory O’Connor (see below) and receiving her certificate for reaching the Final of the Competition.
It is impossible to tell the story of Rory O’Connor without mentioning his lifelong friend, Kevin O’Higgins. Their friendship is a brilliant representation of how the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War shaped and moulded society and how such events cost the lives of many and the relationships of many more.
We’ll go back to 1883, the year Rory O’Connor was born. Coming from a well-off family, O’Connor met his best friend, Kevin O’Higgins, while he was studying at University College Dublin. In 1911, after receiving his diploma in the College of Science, O’Connor moved to Canada, however he returned to Ireland in 1916 to take part in the famous 1916 Easter Rising. In the years to come Rory O’Connor became actively involved with the Irish Republican Army, also known as the IRA, and it wasn’t until the War of Independence that O’Connor and O’Higgins formed a real deep friendship. Both were often in the company of famous revolutionary leaders such as Michael Collins and they both also oversaw the blowing up of railway lines and bridges. While blowing up different methods of transport does sound like an odd way of protesting, it was the loudest way to have people’s voices heard and it was because of their hard work in that field that Michael Collins appointed Kevin O’Higgins as the Minister for Local Government and Rory O’Connor as O’Higgins secretary. Both friends worked together through the War of Independence and extensively travelled around Ireland together, often staying in safe houses as authorities were on the lookout for both men.
In October of 1921, O’Higgins married Brigid Cole, a teacher he had met during his travels, and asked O’Connor to be his best man. Naturally O’Connor accepted and he was given two golden guinneas by O’Higgins as a souvenir from his wedding day. It was at that wedding, however, that one of the most famous pictures that relate to the Irish Civil War was taken. A picture of O’Higgins, flanked by future president Eamon de Valera on one side, and his best man, Rory O’Connor on the other, alongside his bride sitting in front was taken. In that picture, you can see the bond between the three men and the happiness they had for one another. You can see a team, ready to work together and bring to the people of their nation a free Ireland. Unfortunately, everything from there on out went downhill and it is that picture that is a testament to the friendships that were broken during the Civil War.
It is not surprise that reason why there was a dispute between the two friends, was because of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, a treaty that separated the north of Ireland from the south.
Like Eamon de Valera, Rory O’Connor was against the treaty as he believed that stopping on the way to total freedom would, in the end, never allow them to see a whole independent Ireland. However, like Michael Collins, Kevin O’Higgins believed in the treaty and saw it as a stepping stone to freedom.
Due to the vast difference of opinions, Rory O’Connor and Kevin O’Higgins friendship slowly crumbled away. In July of 1922, with pressure from the British, O’Connor made the decision as the IRA’s Chairman of the Military Council, to shell the Four Courts, the nerve centre of the Irish legal system. After two days of fighting, during which many people were killed, the wounded Rory O’Connor surrendered to the British. It was the shelling of the Courts organised by O’Connor, that essentially ignited the Irish Civil War.
During the time Rory O’Connor was working with the anti-treaty side, Kevin O’Higgins station rose and he became Minister of Justice. I imagine that when he got the job as Minister he was delighted, however he had no idea that on the 7th of December 1922, he would have to sign the death warrant of 4 anti-treaty men, one from each providence as a way of sending a message of zero tolerance all around the country. The condemned men were Liam Mellowes for Connaught, Dick Barrett for Munster, Joe McKelvey for Ulster – and Rory O’Connor for Leinster. At precisely 9 am, all four men were shot dead and were buried in Mountjoy, and it is said that O’Connor had requested the gold guinneas that O’Higgins had gave him only a year before hand to be buried with him regardless of O’Higgins involvement with O’Connor’s execution.
Despite the years of friendship between the two men, in the end of one was killed by the other due war and politics. Rory O’Connor now lies in Glasnevin cemetery, still buried with the golden guinneas, given to him by the man he considered his best friend until the day he died.
Congratulations to Transition Year students Mark Lombard and Darragh Bacon whose Transition Year blogs were shortlisted for a Junior Spider award (http://www.juniorspiders.ie/shortlist-2017/). Have a look at the two student blog as they are an excellent showcase of our TY Programme!
Mark Lombard’s Blog (https://marklombardmusic.wixsite.com/marks-ty-blog)
Darragh Bacon’s Blog (https://jebadiya16.wixsite.com/myty)
Congratulations to the following students who have been nominated as finalists in the Enterprise Regional Finals in IT Tallaght:
SEA Jewellery Sarah Murphy, Alex O’ Shaughnessy, Emer Kenny
My Experience Kaitlyn Byrne and Rhiannon Withero
Bittersweet Bláthnaid Henry and Gayatri Sangra
The Regional final takes place on Wednesday 8th of March and we wish each group the very best of luck. Their teachers Ms Freeman and Mr Lawless are very proud of the achievements of these Transition Year students.
As part of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the Exchange Programme we are gathering words (in English and auf Deutsch) that are meaningful for the Exchange. Please send us up to 5 words in English and 5 words auf Deutsch. Names of people will not be used for this exercise but place names visited on trips are acceptable.
Closing date to gather these words is midnight on Friday 20th February. We welcome words from students, past-pupils, staff, former staff and family members – in fact anyone who has been involved in the exchange over the years. Whether you send in one word or lots of words, this will help to contribute to a memorable souvenir of the exchange.
Im Rahmen der 25-jährigen Jubiläumsfeier des Austauschprogramms sammeln wir für den Austausch sinnvolle Wörter (auf Englisch und auf Deutsch). Bitte senden Sie uns so viele individuelle Wörter wie möglich.
Die Frist für die Zusendung dieser Worte ist am Freitag, den 20. Februar, um Mitternacht. Wir begrüßen die Worte von Schülern, ehemaligen Schülern, Mitarbeitern, ehemaligen Mitarbeitern und Familienmitgliedern – und zwar alle, die sich im Laufe der Jahre mit dem Austausch beschäftigt haben. Ob Sie in einem Wort oder viele Wörter senden, wird dies dazu beitragen, zu einem unvergesslichen Souvenir des Austausches.
We are delighted to launch the video produced by our German Exchange partners Gymnasium Münchberg to the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the German Exchange between our two schools. The video outlines the start of the exchange and the many benefits that have come from the process for staff, families and students. Thanks to everyone who has been involved over the 25 years – students, hosting families and staff. Let’s hope it continues to go from strength to strength! You can access the video here.