CEIST Annual Education Conference 2018

The Thirteenth Annual CEIST Education Conference was held in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath on Thursday, 27th & Friday, 28th September, 2018. The theme for this year’s conference, in keeping with the recent visit of Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families Festival, was “CEIST: A Unique Family”. 

Dr Marie Griffin welcoming everyone to the CEIST Conference

We were really delighted with the number of School Principals, Deputy Principals, Chairpersons of our Boards of Management and other school staff who attended this year’s conference. There was a great sense of family and community at the conference and everyone availed of the opportunity to network and share ideas with one another.

Our keynote speaker was Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Education Office. Pat’s wonderful address will be available on the CEIST website within the week.  CEIST would like very much to thank our keynote speaker and also workshop presenters for their time and energy given to the conference. CEIST is also very grateful to Seamus Lynch for presenting his research findings on the current state of CEIST School buildings.

Pat Coyle has most generously share her address given with us. Please click below to view.

Pat Coyle’s presentation

School Participation

Presentation Wexford Choir singing at the opening of the CEIST Conference


We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the two excellent school choirs who participated at the conference; Presentation Secondary School Wexford and Caritas College Ballyfermot. The two school choirs were inspiring and really energised everybody at the conference. They are a credit to their schools and we really enjoyed their performances.


World Meeting of Families

Principal St. Brigid’s Callan Mary O’Keeffe presents on the World Meeting of Families

Mary O’Keeffe Principal of St. Brigid’s College, Callan, Co. Kilkenny gave a wonderful recollection of her school’s experience at the World Meeting of Families festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. A video montage of pictures recorded over the festival was then shown.

Presentations were made to all three host schools to show CEIST’s appreciation of their help and generosity shown to all other CEIST schools throughout the weekend of the festival.

CEIST Chairperson Bernard Keeley presents St. Joseph’s College, Lucan Principal Bernadette Fitzgerald with the Host School plaque


CEIST Chairperson Bernard Keeley presents Our Lady of Mercy College Beaumont Deputy Principal Paul Clarke with the Host School plaque

CEIST Chairperson Bernard Keeley presents Collaiste Bríde, Clondalkin Principal Mary Therese Kilmartin with the Host School plaque


World Meeting of Families video montage as shown at the conference.


A Legacey in Our Own Time

A ‘legacy’ I’ve always imagined as something enjoyed by the legatee or beneficiary after the demise of the donor. However, at the Annual CEIST Conference last month I found myself having a re-think!

Letter written by Sr Canice Hanrahan rsm regarding her time at the CEIST Conference.

Click here to read full letter. 


Conference Photo Gallery

A great number of photos was taking over the duration of the conference. Please click on the image below to view all photos.



Alan Black presents Rita McCabe with a prize for 1st Lady announced by Johnny McCormack

CEIST would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our sponsor Allianz. Their continued support leading up to and throughout the conference was very much appreciated.


Golf Classic

Big thanks to Johnny McCormack Principal of Árdscoil na Tríonoide, Athy, Kildare for organising the CEIST Golf Classic. There was great enjoyment for all early risers who took part and some nice prizes sponsored by Allianz for the winners on the day.


Presentations of Achievement

Presentations were made to a number of individuals at the conference in recognition of outstanding achievements throughout the year.

Eddie O’Connor in recognition of the Benemerenti medal he received from Pope Francis.


Anne McDonagh in recognition of her being made a Dame Comander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Francis.


Sr Elizabeth Maxwell in recognition of the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee as a Presentation Sister, (Pictured with Canon Brendan Kilcoyne, Sister Mary Rossiter, PBVM).


Presentations to Retiring Deputy Principals and Principals

Presentations were made to retired Principals and Deputy Principals from CEIST schools.


  • Maureen Walsh, Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew, Co. Galway
  • Mary Mulligan, St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Navan, Co. Meath
  • Mary Crawford – St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point., Co. Clare
  • Ellen Lyons – North Presentation Secondary School, Farranree, Co. Cork

Deputy Principals:

  • Eileen Kelleher, St. Aloysius School, St. Maries of the Isle, Sharman Crawford Street, Cork

Presentations to new Deputy Principals and Principals of CEIST Schools

Candles were presented to Deputy Principals and Principals new to CEIST schools to welcome them to the CEIST family.

Conference Working Sessions and Speakers

Below is a brief summary of the talks and working sessions which took place over the course of the two days of the conference.

Pat Coyle

Pat Coyle was born in Derry City in 1957 in the shadow of St Eugene’s Cathedral and was ten when the troubles’ started. The Catholic Church and the war on her front street have been two of the most potent patriarchal forces in her life. She continues to struggle with the impact they have on her as a woman and is grateful for the call they have awakened in her to try and work for justice and peace valuing the equal dignity of every human being regardless of class, gender, creed, colour, status or age.

She studied English and Philosophy at University College Dublin and then lectured in the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology during her post graduate studies in Philosophy. She qualified as a secondary school teacher, lectured in third level and worked as a journalist, producer and presenter with RTE, BBC and UTV. In 2005 Pat took up the post of Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Ireland.

Pat was the keynote speaker at Friday’s session of the CEIST conference. She gave an address entitled “Education as a Community”.


Seamus Lynch

Seamus Lynch is a lecturer in Business and Education as well as being a school placement tutor for NUI Galway and MIC Thurles.   His work involves ‘teaching the teachers’ and doing up to 100 school visits per year.  Parallel to this, his ongoing PhD research is in tandem with work for CEIST/EDUCENA regarding the capital funding of (second-level) school building work.

Previously, Seamus has taught at second-level and worked as a media researcher at TV3 and TG4.  He completed a Masters in Economics and taught at UCC in the mid 90s during which he lived with the Presentation Brothers on their ‘Give a Year to God’ programme.  His book on the Catholic Church and young people entitled ‘Cast Out Into the Deep’ was published by The Liffey Press in 2006.


‘Christian Mindfulness’, Martina Lehane Sheehan
Mary Teresa McCormack trained in Spiritual Accompaniment. She holds an MA in Culture and Spirituality; an MA in Theological Studies and a BA in Education. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Learning Support Education and has a Speciality Certification in Sacred Dance.


‘Current Research on Catholic Schools’

Maura McGrath: Coláiste Muire, Ennis
– The Home Economics Scientific and Social Studies Syllabus: an examination and proposal in the light of Laudato Si.
Eamonn Quinn: Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew
– Laudato Si: Outline Specification for the New Junior Cycle Short Course
Fergus O’ Brien: Thurles CBS
– Towards an understanding of how the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) promotes its Founding Charism in the context of Secular Legislation
Mairead Rushe: Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole
– The expanding role of the confessional RE teacher in Ireland in Secondary School today.


‘Teamwork at a Senior Management Level’, Dr Martin Fitzgerald

As a teacher since 1981, Dr Fitzgerald has worked in the second level sector as both teacher and school principal. He also works as a teacher and programme leader in third level since 2000.  His primary interests are in teaching and learning, teacher education, education development and leadership in education.  He is committed to development education and promoting this as part of a fundamental practitioner framework within the teaching context.


‘Learning Office 365: Supporting a School Culture of Self-Evaluation and Collaboration for School Leaders using ICT’, Seamus Ryan

Seamus is a founding Director of “Tara 365 Learning Ltd.” which provides specialised ICT services and training for school leaders and teachers. The company specialises in the use of cloud computing in education for both teaching and learning and school administration (GDPR). Seamus and his colleagues (all experienced teachers/school leaders) work in over 150 Post Primary schools across Ireland. Previously a Post Primary Teacher he later worked in the private sector in the computer industry and on return to school has worked as Deputy Principal, Principal at Dunshaughlin CC and later as Education Officer for Meath VEC.  In 2007 the Minister for Education appointed him to the National Strategy Group for ICT In Education which reported in 2008.


‘Worldwide Global Schools’, Aisling McGrath

Aisling McGrath is Programme Director of WorldWise Global Schools. She holds a BA in Geography and Economics from NUIG and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Oxford. She has worked in education since 2007, teaching geography and economics at post-primary level in inner city London until 2012. In 2013 she completed a MSc in Sustainability Science and Policy at the University of Maastricht. Aishling believes that engaging young people in global issues will help empower them to become active global citizens for a more just and sustainable future.


The Role of Chair’, Robert McCarthy

Interactive session facilitated by Robert McCarthy, Chairperson of Ardscoil na nDéise, Dungarvan, Waterford.



CEIST are also very grateful to the exhibitors that displayed their products. Below is a list of the Exhibitors who were present at the conference and brief summary of the services they have to offer.

Apple Authorised Solution Expert for Education, with 25 years of experience in delivering learning solutions. Our team of Teachers, Apple Education Trainers and dedicated Education Specialists understand curriculum, pedagogy, and ICT. We believe that Apple Mac and iPad can make a major difference to the educational outcomes that schools and colleges deliver.
Full information can be found at https://www.compub.com/education

Easy Payment Plus
Primary and secondary schools throughout Ireland use Easy Payments Plus to process a range of school expenses. Our solution enables parents to pay school expenses online 24/7. Your school can reduce administration, manage pupil data and improve security for everyone with our convenient payment options. Completely eliminate cash from your school by enabling parents to pay at their local Payzone shop.
Full information can be found at http://www.easypaymentsplus.com/

EMS Copiers
EMS Copiers have been reducing printing costs in Ireland since the 1970’s, and has established a reputation among both the commercial and education sector for quality of equipment and service that is second to none.
Full information can be found at http://www.emscopiers.ie

Junior and Leaving Certificate mock examination papers with correction service for schools. With over 25 years of experience in providing mock examination papers to Irish schools, Examcraft has now become the leading provider of mock examination papers in Ireland.
Full information can be found at http://www.examcraft.ie

Forbo Ireland
Forbo is a leading manufacturer of flooring systems, building and construction adhesives as well as power transmission and conveyor belt solutions. Forbo providing special contracts for schools and education bodies in Ireland in flooring, building and construction services.
Full information can be found at http://www.forbo.ie/

GL Assessment
For over 30 years, we have provided assessments for children’s education, mental health and wellbeing. Recognising that technology is a driver for educational change, we have pioneered a powerful digital assessment system, which has delivered over 7 million online tests across the globe. We continue to innovate with adaptive testing and tablet-based assessments.
Full information can be found at https://www.gl-assessment.ie

iClass is the most complete Content Management System for schools. With iClass your school will have a beautiful best in class website which engages students and includes a fully integrated mobile app for parents.
Full information can be found at http://iclasscms.com/

Mary’s Meals
We are a no-frills charity with a simple idea that works: by providing one good meal in a place of learning, children are drawn into the classroom where they can receive an education that could one day free them from poverty. Mary’s Meals is named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who brought up her own child in poverty. We consist of, respect and reach out to people of all faiths and of none. Our vision is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education. Working together, we believe that can be achieved in this world of plenty.
Full information can be found at https://www.marysmeals.ie

The Maths Tutor
Whether you’re studying for Junior Cert Maths or Leaving Cert Maths, we’re the specialists in secondary level maths support. We provide you with Video Lessons, Interactive Exercises, and Online Support, and we’ll help you to get on top of Maths, one topic at a time.
Full information can be found at https://www.themathstutor.ie/

Outside The Box Learning Resources 
Providers of CPD training and resources for Educational and Health professionals. Huge catalogue of books, videos and other education resources as well as courses designed specifically for the Irish Education Sector.
Full information can be found at https://www.otb.ie/

Phone provider Ireland. Providing discounts for Schools and Education.
Full information can be found at https://www.three.ie

Unique Publishing
Irish company based in Glasnevin, Dublin. Our diaries, planners, journals and mobile Apps engage and communicate to students, teachers and parents. They serve as a journal for recording homework and as a communication tool between the school and home. Our Apps bring school and college life into the hands of all no matter when or where.
Full information can be found at http://www.uniquepublishing.ie

Young Social Innovators 
Active citizenship and education programme for 15 to 18 year-old teens. YSI Guides play a vital role in facilitating youth led social innovation on the ground.
Full information can be found at https://www.youngsocialinnovators.ie/