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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.
Tá feachtás i mbun oibre ag ár gcoiste scoláire Dochás na nGael chun athrú a thabhairt maidir le curaclaim Bunscoile agus Meánscoile san Ghaeilge. Sínigh an achainí le bhur dtacaíocht a thaispeáint le bhur dtoil.
Some of our Transition Year students on the Dochás na nGael committee are trying to raise awareness about changes needed in the primary and second level curriculum for Irish. Have a look at their petition webpage and sign it to show your support and improve the level of engagement of students with our national language.
Final rehearsals are underway for the 2016 Transition Year Musical – The Addams Family. Under the leadership of Directors Mr Duffy and Ms Conway over 60 students have been singing, dancing and acting throughout the year to prepare for the three night performance from Tuesday 10th May to Thursday 12th May. As usual we invite all members of the school and local communities to support the students on these evenings. Tickets will shortly be on sale through the school. We can promise you a real treat at this imaginative and entertaining show.
We hope you enjoy this update on our busy Transition Year Programme.
Eagles Flight Workshop
All TY students have participated in a team building workshop with Eagles Flight. They were broken into groups of five and played a game called Kings of the Dessert where they worked as a team to overcome many challenges to complete their journey through the dessert. While getting to know their strengths and weaknesses the students got to learn to compromise and delegate while having fun and getting to know each other. Following the team game the full class group had to build a large bridge like structure across the room again depending on team work to build a stable structure. The students enjoyed the experience.
The students had a two week block of work experience at the end of January and first week of February. Some students took the opportunity to do work experience abroad while others followed possible career paths and tried out many various placements. I would like to acknowledge that some students have looked to Universities, pharmaceutical companies, multi-national computer companies and the Gardaí for extra placements and had great experiences. Well done to these students who went to extra lengths to gain these placements.
Voluntary Work Placements
The students are participating weekly with Voluntary work and the college has received many positive reports regarding the hard work that the students are involved in. It is great to see so many of them helping out in various areas of their local community.
A group of TY students battled cold, wet miserable conditions to raise nearly €900 for the local dyslexia association group. The money will be used to pay for educational supplies for the students some of whom are from our college. All money goes directly to our local dyslexia group.
These interviews took place in February. Any student who was interested filled out an application form and were interviewed by an outside body responsible for Gluais. Ten students were chosen and they will go forward to a training week end at Easter. They will then have the task of looking after the incoming first years for next September. Their work will begin in late May when they visit the local primary schools to speak with the sixth class students and then bring them to visit the college, all of which helps the sixth class students become familiar with the school and settle in more easily. Thanks again to Ms Clifford for her hard work with these students.
March 3rd saw all TY students head to Maynooth University. This trip was organised by the careers department for the students of Lucan Community College only. They had an introduction talk in one of the lecture hall before being divided into groups and been shown around the college by some third year students. The TY students got to see the hustle and bustle of the college and ask many questions. Thanks to Ms McManus and Ms O’Gara for organising the trip.
Inion Ni Chonaola has been stepping it out with some of the Irish students taking them to Arás Chronain for Irish dancing. We hope their skills in Irish dancing can be practiced over the St Patrick’s festival period.
End of Year Assessment
The students will all be preparing for their end of year assessments. Please encourage your sons/daughters to gather their work and prepare their portfolio boxes for their interviews. They must also update their MYTY site to show what they have been involved in during the year. While some students have been greatly involved there are some who could apply themselves a little more. Students will be interviewed by their tutor and another TY teacher and graded accordingly. Interviews take place the Friday before graduation, students will not be in class that day but will attend for their interview only.
Young Social Innovators
This year we introduced a new module called Young Social Innovators. The students have taken a topic which they feel affects teenagers and have developed a booklet and short video on positive mental health. To see their video which has been short listed for the CAST Film Festival please click on this link. The students have put a lot of work into this and we wish them and Ms McKeever all the best in the film competition.
36 TY’s head to Paris on March 11th we wish them a safe and enjoyable experience. We will find out how the trip went in the next newsletter.
Youth Venture Trip
Each year the students are offered a place on a survival trip through the Wicklow Mountains. This year fifty students will take the opportunity to hike through the mountains, wading through rivers sleeping under the stars after hiking in the dark and cooking their dinner in a tiny pan they will have plenty of stories to tell on their return. These trips take place on April 4th to 5th and 12th to 13th.
TY Charity Walk
Each year the TY students participate in a 10km walk and using sponsorship cards raise money for charity. We will let you know the date after Easter. Last year the TY students raised €2800 for the LauraLynn Hospice for Children.
The students are busy rehearsing for their upcoming Musical The Addams Family. Make sure to keep these dates free when they are confirmed to come see the wonderful work of the students under the direction of Ms Conway and Mr Duffy.
Wishing all our students and parents a very Happy Easter.
Johanna Williams (Ty Coordinator) & John Grimes (Year Head)