Our Lady’s Castleblayney News – March 2019

Our Lady’s trip to France and Germany

Fifth & sixth Year language students from Our Lady’s who visited France & Germany and managed to fit in Disneyland Paris on their educational trip, much enjoyed by students and teachers alike!!

Our Lady’s Secondary School’s Modern Foreign Languages trip to Paris, Strasbourg and Germany was a resounding success. Fifth and Sixth year students, accompanied by five of their teachers, departed for Paris on Thursday February 14th. After an early start, students travelled from Beauvais airport to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for the first sightseeing stop. Having embraced their first opportunity to taste the local cuisine, students enjoyed a guided bus tour of the city. After visiting Trocadéro and Montmartre amongst other sites, the evening ended with a leisurely meal in Planet Hollywood in Disneyland Paris.

Excitement was in the air on Friday as students spent the day in Disneyland Paris. Students (and teachers) delighted in enjoying the park’s attractions. Later that evening, the group travelled to Strasbourg. The five-hour bus journey did little to dim the spirits of the enthusiastic students! Saturday in Strasbourg was occupied with a walking tour, shopping and ice-skating.

On Sunday, students departed for Frankfurt. Students of German were granted the opportunity to exercise their linguistic skills on Frankfurt’s Main Tower, a walking tour and one last opportunity to shop!  The students were wonderful ambassadors for the school and a credit to their parents as their behaviour throughout the entire trip was exemplary. The trip was a resounding success and a fantastically authentic educational experience for our language learners.


Our Lady’s Young Scientist Project Attracts Attention of Global Company SAS Dublin

TY students from Our Lady’s, Laura Christie, Maria Duffy and Tara Quinn pictured at the Dublin offices of data analytics company SAS with data analyst John Curran and Alan McGlinn. Courtesy of SAS, the girls have been given the opportunity to use a technology tool ‘Visual Analytics’ to further analyse their findings from their BT Young Scientist project ‘Absenteeism as a result of Type 1 Diabetes’.

Three Transition Year students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney, Maria Duffy, Laura Christie & Tara Quinn who were highly commended in the Social & Behavioural Sciences section at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition with their project entitled ‘Absenteeism as a result of Type 1 Diabetes’ have seen much interest expressed in their project since January. Data analysts from SAS Dublin, John Curran & Alan McGlinn met the students through their Twitter account  @teens_diabetes1 and made contact with the girls at the Young Scientist Exhibition.

SAS is a global data analytics company with customers in 145 countries. The company’s software is installed at more than 83,000 business, government and university sites worldwide. 96 of the top 100 companies on the 2017 Fortune Global 500 are SAS customers. Their customers include Nestle, HSBC, Honda, Bank of America and Irish Tax and Customs. Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. SAS provides analytics software and tools which companies can use to analyse data and inform decision making.

SAS technical support, Alan McGlinn invited the girls to SAS offices in Dublin to learn how to use a fantastic technology tool called Visual Analytics. This tool can be used to help in the presentation of the findings of their in-depth research on the causes and impact of absences from school, college or work of people with Type 1 Diabetes.  As well as learning how to use a visualisation technology, the girls were able to examine their data in more detail which helped them to uncover some new insights from their research. They have also been given free access to the Visual Analytics program for the next few months which will allow them to continue the analysis of their data.

Laura, Maria and Tara were delighted to be given the opportunity to work with data analyst John Curran on the day and are very grateful to Alan McGlinn, John Curran and Joe Kneen who had spent a lot of time working on their data and teaching them how to use Visual Analytics. They also met with the SAS UK and Ireland Healthcare Director Amy Murray and were given the opportunity to discuss their findings with her. Amy was very impressed with their work and hopes to share some of their findings with both the NHS and HSE.

Science teacher, Ms Higgins who has been mentoring the girls with their project, complimented Maria, Laura & Tara on their hard work and commitment and said this is a fabulous opportunity for them to analyse their findings and get the most potential from their data. “The girls got a tour of the offices and got to talk to people in all areas of the company. It allows them to work with professionals in the world of work and gives them an insight into this wonderful technology tool, Visual Analytics. We are extremely grateful to the company SAS Dublin and Alan McGlinn and John Curran who have given us their time and expertise. Indeed the adventure with SAS is just beginning with plans unfolding every day”.

Well done to all involved.


Our Lady’s student Caoimhe Gibbons delivers powerful message in Dublin Castle.

Pictured is fifth year student from Our Lady’s, Caoimhe Gibbons who had the honour and privilege to address an audience of over 300 people last Friday as part of the Houses of the Oireachtas programme commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First Dáil . Caoimhe delivered an influential and memorable speech entitled “The Power of one vote. Your vote.”

Congratulations to fifth year student, Caoimhe Gibbons, daughter of Martina and Paul Gibbons, who delivered a powerful and inspirational speech in the historical setting of Dublin Castle last Friday 8th March.

Caoimhe was one of fifteen students nationwide who was selected from a group of over 300 students to partake in the prestigious TED-Ed Club. This initiative was organised as part of the Houses of the Oireachtas programme commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First Dáil.

Caoimhe spent many hours preparing for her presentation entitled “The power of one vote. Your vote”.  She attended 13 TED-Ed Club lessons both online and in Leinster House, formally known as explorations, under the guidance of her teachers and Parliamentary Education Officer Conor Reale.

On Friday last, 8th March, Caoimhe addressed an audience of over 300 people. Caoimhe raised a number of important points throughout her speech including how “the decisions we make today will impact all of our tomorrows.” Caoimhe encouraged all young people to utilise their vote and addressed how their vote can make a huge difference in their future lives. “There is no better time than now to harness young people’s passion and opinions through voting, which is the most effective way to create change.” Caoimhe’s presentation will be available for viewing on the TED-Ed Clubs channel on YouTube and on Oireachtas TV.

Teacher, Ms Erin Brennan and all in Our Lady’s are very proud of Caoimhe and as the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said “There can be no better way to commemorate the first hundred years of Dáil Éireann than to highlight voices of future leadership in our country as these students surely represent.”