News from Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare

Taoiseach receives early ‘age friendly’ loyalty card

With the Government trying to save money, Taoiseach Enda Kenny would do well to pay a visit Ennis where he is now entitled to money off at a variety of businesses.

Transition Year students of Coláiste Muire presented the Taoiseach with an Age Friendly Loyalty Card during a visit to Leinster House on Wednesday 21st April, the day after he turned 61.

The card is usually reserved for retired people and pensioners, giving reduced prices in a number of participating locations in Ennis.

However, the students made a special exception for the Taoiseach making him an honorary subscriber to the card.


The card is part of the New Year New Price initiative, in collaboration with a number of cafes and taxi companies around the town, where a reduced price has been agreed for holders of the card.

The transition years devised the card as part of their Young Social Innovators project on Positive Ageing.

Churchlands Senior High School European Tour 2012

During the Easter holidays Coláiste Muire School Choir hosted the Churchlands Senior High School, from Perth in Western Australia, on their European Tour 2012.

Churchlands is a co-educational state secondary school. The school has a specialist music programme which enjoys an international reputation and is regarded as the leading music school in Western Australia.

The touring group consisted of 140 students comprising a symphony orchestra, mixed and equal voice choirs, chamber ensembles and various other performing groups.

The purpose of their visit was to learn about Irish culture, to collaborate on traditional Irish repertoire and to present a joint concert with our school choir.

Over two days the students attended a ceili and demonstration from our traditional Irish music groups and participated in an Irish music workshop. The culmination of the visit was a joint rehearsal and thrilling concert in Friday 13th April.

Clare’s Got Talent

Well done to our fourth year Music students who were recently announced winners of “Clare’s Got Talent” in Glor.

This competition was sponsored by Clare FM and St. Francis Credit Union. Students received a cheque for €5000.

Under the direction of their music teacher Michael Hennessy, the acapella group of thirteen students, aptly named “12 plus1” performed a range of songs throughout various staged of the competition including The Locomotion, Lollipop and Putting on the Ritz.

Mental Health Ireland

Well done to Sarah Cronin, Transition Year student who was selected as the Munster Provincial winner in the Design a Cover Art Project.

Sarah was presented with her prize in the Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin on 31st March, 2012.

Visit to Criminal Courts of Justice and Kilmainham Gaol

Both of our Transition Year classes visited the Criminal Courts of Justice on Thursday 26th April. This visit was a follow up to the Public Access to Law programme that students participated in earlier in the year. The visit was organised by the Courts Service. A Barrister staged a mock trial for the class. Students then had the opportunity to attend various court cases in the complex throughout the morning.

In the afternoon students had a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol and they spent some time in its museum. The tour of Kilmainham Gaol was facilitated by Heritage Ireland.

A most enjoyable day was had by all!

Geographic Investigation

As part of their Heritage Studies programme both TY classes spent a day in the Burren on 17th April, carrying out a study of limestone pavement at Carron.

Under the direction of Colin Bunce from the Burren Outdoor Education Centre students worked in small groups where they had the opportunity to do practical work themselves, use equipment and collect data.


European Alliance Secondary Schools Competition 2012

Coláiste Muire has been selected as the winner in the Secondary Schools Competition under the Political and Information Activities.

Two Transition Year students, Orla Bredin and Roisin Curran were invited to Brussels to attend the Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions from 2nd to 4th May. Ms. Finola Howard accompanied both students.

Leaving Cert Applied Students visit Delphi

As part of their Leisure and Recreation Module our LCA 1 class visited Delphi Mountain Resort before Easter and participated in a multi activity programme.

They enjoyed a range of water based and land based activities including surfing, canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, abseiling, rock climbing, high ropes and zip wire.

The programme also included a series of team building tasks.

YSI Speakout Galway

Darrelle Colleran, Orla Bredin and Roisin Curan represented the TY1 class at the YSI Regional Speakout in the Ardilaun Hotel Galway with their project “Positive Ageing: It’s not the years in the life it’s the life in the years.”


Mid West Simon Community

Our TY2 class raised €1200 for the Mid West Simon Community from various activities carried out as part of their YSI project, “Think Outside the Cardboard Box”.

Activities included a sleep over in school, “cash for clobber” and organising a talent show for our junior students.  


Log On Learn

Intel, in collaboration with Microsoft and supported by An Post , came up with this initiative called ‘Log on Learn’ or LOL for short.

The LOL initiative involves Transition Year students ‘buddying up’ with older people from their local community to teach computers and the internet.

Coláiste Muire has just concluded this programme for a third successive year. We offered two six week sessions this year.

Classes took place each Monday morning from 9.10 am to 10.10am in both Computer Rooms.

History trip to Derry

Over the Easter holidays, 26 senior History students accompanied by three teachers went on an over-night trip to Derry to learn about the history of the Civil Rights movement, the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the early years of “The Troubles”.

The group went on a walking tour of the historic City Walls, during which the guide explained the 1689 Siege of Derry (including the ghost of little Alice!), and how the Catholic and Protestant areas of the city were laid out below the Walls. Next, the students had an interesting tour of the Apprentice Boys of Derry Memorial Hall, during which a member of the Apprentice Boys explained the historical and cultural significance of the organisation to the Protestants of Derry.

The following morning the Coláiste group went to the Bogside area of Derry to visit the Museum of Free Derry. The guide explained the development of the Civil Rights movement and also described the events of Bloody Sunday, 1972, to the students. His brother, 17-year-old Michael Kelly, was one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, and it was very powerful to hear the story from a man who had been there on the day.

All the students enjoyed the trip and feel that the history of Northern Ireland was brought alive by visiting Derry.