Presentation College Carlow News – October 2018

Carlow Volunteer Expo

Transition Year students from Presentation College recently visited the Volunteer Expo in the Fairgreen Shopping Centre, Carlow. The students had the opportunity to appreciate all of the local charities and organisations that do amazing work in our local community. The Order of Malta Volunteers are Nikola Glowinska, Aoife Mulhall and Natalia Sluzel (Fifth Year students). The students became volunteers after they visited the exhibition last year and were interested in First Aid.


Seachtain na Gaeilge Competition

Well done to Ms. Conway’s First and Second Year Irish classes who took part in the ‘Seachtain na Gaeilge’ Art competition. The competition was run as part of Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 which aims to increase the visibility and usage of Irish language. The following students recently received certificates for the posters they created using old Irish sayings or seanfhocail: Oliwia Dzikwoska, Ciara Farrell, AJ Kane, Emma McNulty, Patrycja Wozniak, Caitlín Wall, Cheuk Hiu Yu, Faye Grogan, Katie Hutton, Raluca Butnaru, Krish Thapa, Francesca Palos and Maja Dolna. Comhghairdeas le gach duine a ghlac páirt!



Headstrong – Charlotte Walsh, Petra Aghware, Caragh Geoghegan and Claire Taylor – Transition Year students

Presentation College attended the launch of programme addressing Ireland’s teen suicide rate and mental health illness stigma. Presentation College are among the first in Ireland to implement a new mental health programme  – HEADSTRONG in association with Cycle Against Suicide – to address the stigma of suicide amongst young people.

Charlotte Walsh, Petra Aghware, Caragh Geoghegan and Claire Taylor, Transition Year students, attended the launch of the school programme in Dublin on 4th October with their Guidance Counsellor, Ms Marie Cumiskey. They joined other schools from across Ireland for the introduction of the pilot programme, which will be rolled out within the selected schools in the coming months.

Caroline Lafferty, CEO of Cycle Against Suicide added: “We have worked with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to introduce HEADSTRONG to our schools here in Ireland as we believe that this programme is invaluable in helping younger people to be brave and speak up about mental health. “It’s a powerful, evidence-based programme that has already won international awards, and with the help of our selected schools we’re hoping that the pilot programme will be a huge success, with the aim of rolling out HEADSTRONG across all Irish secondary schools within the coming years. This is a core part of our mission in addressing mental health in younger people, which is currently at an alarming level in Ireland.”

Its introduction to Ireland comes through a partnership between Cycle Against Suicide and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.  At its core, HEADSTRONG works to reduce the painful stigma experienced by children and young people living with mental health problems and illnesses. It will teach students how to reduce stigma, become mental health champions in their schools, and the programme challenges students to examine the dangers of stereotypes and the harm created by stigma. According to UNICEF’s latest report card on child well-being “Ireland has the fourth highest teen suicide rate in the EU/OECD region.” The report card warns that one in 10,000 Irish youths aged 15-19 will die by suicide. The report further shows that in younger teens, aged 11-15, “more than 22% report having experienced two or more psychological symptoms more than once a week.”

On Thursday, October 4, 2018, Cycle Against Suicide convened the first HEADSTRONG summit at the Honourable Society of the Kings Inns, Constitution Hill in Dublin which was attended by young people from twenty-one schools across the country, Presentation College being the sole Carlow representative. Summits are the anchor of HEADSTRONG. They educate and empower young people to become mental health champions and mobilizes them to return to their schools and communities and engage and educate their peers to also become mental health champions, driving true change in the area of stigma.

To learn more about HEADSTRONG and Cycle Against Suicide’s programmes visit To find information about where you can get help for mental health issues, visit


Glór Ceatharlach Quiz Winners

Well done to our Second Year students who took part in a table quiz organized by Glór Ceatharlach as part of ‘Féile an Fhómhar’ recently. We had three teams competing. The team consisting of Ewan Redmond, Cian McGuire, Cillian Moore and Seán McGrath won the quiz. Our students competed against other schools from Carlow and Naas and they were delighted to win first place. They received some lovely prizes and won a beautiful trophy for the school. The Irish Department are very proud of their success. Maith sibh!


Presentation College Awards Academic Excellence

On Friday, 19th October a distinguished gathering from the worlds of academia and sport converged on the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow for the twelfth annual Presentation College Academic Awards ceremony which, this year again, was also celebrating sporting successes.

Shortly after his appointment as Principal in November 2007, Mr Ray Murray requested the Board of Management to implement a new system of Academic Awards for the top achieving students in the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations. The Board readily agreed to this request and since then the top achieving students in the Junior and Leaving Certificate Examinations were honoured. This time it was the turn of the Presentation College high achievers in the 2018 summer state examinations. The Academic Awards, implemented by the Board of Management, are designed to recognise and reward academic achievement among the students in Presentation College and to publicly celebrate their success.

The Academic Awards are just one of a series of initiatives introduced in the college to acknowledge, support and sustain the high level of performance and success by the students in that centre of excellence. The high achieving students in the non state exam classes, based on last summer’s in-house exams, will shortly be presented with their Academic Subject certificates at ceremonies to be held in the school. Third and Sixth Year students have recently completed Study Skills seminars and numerous students also avail of after school Supervised Study from Monday to Thursday evening and on Friday afternoon. Testament to the academic ability of the students is the collection of numerous national titles the school has collected in the areas of business, enterprise, ICT, technology and public speaking. Most notably, Presentation College has secured awards at three World Finals, in Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi, of the very prestigious F1 in Schools Technology Challenge.

Academic achievement among the students is a top priority in Presentation College and they perform consistently at a very high level in terms of results in the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations each summer. This is due in no small manner to the hard work ethos of the students and their teachers coupled with the support and encouragement of their parents.

The Awards Ceremony on Friday night consisted of a sit-down meal for all recipients and their parents, along with the Principal, Deputy Principals, Year Heads and Board of Management members followed by the presentation of awards. The Chairperson of the Board of Management, Fr Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh, presented awards to the Junior and Leaving Certificate high-achievers. He wished the senior students every success in their future studies and encouraged the junior students to return for further awards based on a successful Leaving Cert.

The sports stars in attendance on the night were the athletes of the Senior Boys Relay team. Presentation College has a long and proud tradition of competing in athletics competitions at the highest level and the 2018 season marked the twenty-sixth successive year for the college to compete at the All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships. Principal, Ray Murray, spoke of the dedication and commitment of the athletes involved but most notably of their coach and Deputy Principal, Billy Delaney, who has grown the sport of athletics in the school over the past quarter of a century. The high level of coaching, hard work and commitment from all involved paid off handsomely last June when Presentation College came away from the finals with the Senior Boys Relay All-Ireland title for the second year in a row. Video footage of the race was shown to the assembled gathering on the night and presentations were made by the Principal, Ray Murray, to the athletes and their coach.



The Junior Certificate recipients were– Mikey Dempsey, Nurlan Kennedy, Damian Korus, Diego Lopez Clarke, Stephen McDonald, Vladimir Rybnicky, Dominyka Stepanova and Anita Thapa.


The Leaving Certificate recipients and their current course of studies were Emma Dooley (Bachelor of Arts, Maynooth University), Kim McLoughlin (Law, Maynooth University), Emily Mulhall (Bachelor of Arts, Maynooth University), Sadhbh Redmond (Biological and Biomedical Science, Trinity College) and Thomas Sheehan (Psychology, University College Dublin)


Senior Boys Relay Team: Jamie Cooper, Niall Harvey, Jack Mitchell and Thomas Pollard.


The Prefect programme for this year is up and running in Presentation College with twenty-four enthusiastic, passionate and dynamic Prefects!

The programme began with a training day at the start of the school year in the Seven Oaks Hotel led by Stuart Wilson of ZestLife. The Prefects spent the day building up confidence, breaking down barriers and realising that if the “why” is big enough, the “how” doesn’t matter!

Over the coming months, Prefects will be representing the school at several events such as the School Musical, Open Night, Parent-Teacher Meetings as well as organising a number of exciting events within the school.

The Prefects always strive to be excellent ambassadors for the school and to embody what it means to be a student in Presentation College.


German Embassy Invite

Pictured in the photo are Meadhbh, Frau Dagmar Potzel – the German Ambassador and Ms. Una Byrne.

Ms. Una Byrne – one of the German teachers at Presentation College and Meadhbh Broderick – the winner of last year’s German Olympiad, were both invited recently by the German Ambassador to a reception to celebrate twenty-eight years of German Unity.

The Ambassador hosted a wonderful garden party for invited guests, German companies operating in Ireland and the many companies and businesses which trade with Germany as well as the organisations that actively promote the German language. The importance of building links between the two countries and the need for more Irish people to learn German were spoken about. Guests were also treated to an afternoon of entertainment, fine food and wine and networking opportunities.


Maths Week

On Monday, 15th October, “Maths Week” began in Presentation College.

During Maths Week, students had the opportunity to participate in presentations, quizzes and competitions in which students won prizes for their efforts.

There was also a question for each day of the week and students were encouraged to participate by answering the questions. The students found the quizzes a lot of fun to do. Many of them won prizes in the various competitions, which made it all the more worthwhile for their efforts.

The highlight of the week was a Maths Workshop that was held in Carlow Institute of Technology. Transition Year students attended the workshop, which was presented by an expert in the area of mathematics, namely Colin Wright, who came all the way from England to give this very informative lecture on patterns and predictions.

He enriched his mathematical lecture with moments of juggling and joking to the amusement of the students. They were delighted in this more informal way of presenting answers to mathematical problems because of the practical way in which Colin presented his work. Students also found this very easy to understand.

Thanks to his friendly approach and expertise, students were able to discover Maths from a different and more interesting perspective.

We need to remember that Maths is a continuously evolving subject which gives us many opportunities to solve unsolved mathematical problems. We cannot forget that there are still six unsolved millennium mathematical problems, for each of which there is a prize of a million dollars for the one who comes up with the answer.

Overall, I would say that most students who took part in “Maths Week” not only benefited greatly from the experience, but they also enjoyed the week hugely.

Damian Korus, Transition Year.


Carlow Pride of Place

Presentation College Green Schools Committee

Presentation College Green Schools Committee were awarded First Prize of €250 at the recent Carlow Pride of Place Awards Ceremony in Mount Wolseley. The committee was represented by Darragh Nolan, Ms. Una Byrne, Róisín Homans, Nikola Glowinska and Ms. Deirdre Flanagan.


Meitheal Leaders

Our Meitheal Team this year consists of ten joyous, loving and lively Leaders! Together as a Meitheal Team this year they have successfully executed activities for the First Year students from a Table Quiz to a Disco. The Meitheal Team have created an environment for the First Year students that is fun and enjoyable to be in.

The First Year Disco on 5th October was held in the school and attended by over five hundred First Year students from Meitheal schools in Carlow. The Disco started at 8:00pm and finished at 10:30pm and was thoroughly enjoyed by all students and Meitheal Leaders present.

A few days before that a Table Quiz was held in the school Library for the First Year students in our school by the Meitheal Leaders. The winners received free tickets to the disco.

The Meitheal Leaders will also be shortly participating in Zumba dance classes with the First Year students.

The Meitheal Team have built strong bonds of friendship between themselves and their First Year charges and the Meitheal programme is running very smoothly thanks to the cooperation and care between the Meitheal Leaders, First Year students and the staff in Presentation College.


Girls Futsal

Presentation College Team: Ciara Kelly, Aoife Kelly, Sarah Nolan, Beckie-Lou White, Nina Uwagbai, Ellie Dowling, Orla Woods, Katie Carroll, Amy Reid and Maya Brennan.

The girls First Year Futsal team travelled to St. Leo’s College, Carlow recently to take part in the Carlow Qualifiers Futsal Blitz. The girls’ constant effort and determination saw them overcome two teams from St. Leo’s and one team from Gaelcholáiste to qualify for the Leinster finals.

The team will travel with Ms. Ryan and Mr. Clonan to Abbotstown in Dublin on 21st November where they will represent Carlow in the Leinster Finals. We would like to take this opportunity to wish them the best of luck in this competition.


Boys Futsal

Two of our First Year Boys Futsal teams travelled to Tullow Community School recently to take part in the Carlow Qualifiers Futsal Blitz. Both teams displayed some fantastic skills and determination but it was our Team A who were victorious on the day. They won all of their matches and sailed through to the Leinster Finals.

Team A will now travel with Ms. Ryan and Mr. Clonan to Abbotstown in Dublin on 22nd November where they will represent Carlow in the Leinster Finals. We would like to take this opportunity to wish them the best of luck in this competition.

Also a big thank you to Pádraig Thompson and Daniel Hegarty from Transition Year who helped out on the day.

Team A: Seán Buggy, James Cranny, James Ingram, Roland Sanni, Alejandro Maximo, Scott Dunne, Adam Norton, Luke Hennessey, Cillian Byrne, Michael Meagher.

Team B: Paul Gray, Thomas Mooney, Alfie White, Henry Nyami, Olumide Adetoro, Darragh Harvey, Lee O’Brien, Samuel Diyaolu, Keelan Kelly, Shane Comerford.



Brendan Hayden, Carlow’s’ GAA Development Administrator, has been introducing Pella and Resistance Training to some of the First Year PE classes during September and October. All students have enjoyed it.


Junior Hurling C1 Carlow Final

Our Junior hurlers run in the School’s Championship has come to an end with defeat at the hands of Knockbeg College in the Carlow C1 final. Having faced the same opposition two weeks ago with a missed penalty in the dying seconds denying us a victory, hopes were high of reversing the defeat suffered in the final twelve months ago.

In a game similar to last year’s decider, the first half was a tense affair with little to choose between the sides. Knockbeg signalled their attacking intent early on with the placement of Laois native Ian Shanahan at the edge of the square. However, he was well marshalled throughout by the impressive Jack Dunne at full back. Andrew Murphy and Pádraig Thompson worked hard in the first half to supply our forwards with quality ball and we were rewarded inside five minutes with a clinical score from wing forward Mark Fitzgerald. Arduous work from our inside line of Josh Hughes and Stephen Lacey tested the Knockbeg full back-line and were unlucky not to manufacture further scores. Indeed a bullet from Lacey drew a fine save from the Knockbeg No. 1 as the half drew to a close.

Trailing 0-5 to 0-1 at the interval our boys needed to start the second half strongly but unfortunately it was Knockbeg who kicked on and fired in the first of two goals inside the opening minutes. The Pres responded with two well taken frees to keep the contest alive but that was as good as it got. Pressure continued to mount but to their credit the backs held firm, in particular the tenacious David Jacob at corner back who was immense throughout. A special mention must also go to First Year student Conor Treacy who pulled off incredible saves when goals looked a certainty. The Setanta shot stopper has been a revelation for the Pres in goal this year.

Despite another final defeat, hurling is certainly on the rise in the school as comprehensive victories were secured in the C1 blitz against CBS, Tullow CS and Hacketstown with Second Year students Oisin Pagnier, Paul Fitzgerald and Terry French scoring heavily on the day. Attention will now turn to the senior hurling finals which are due to be played after the Halloween break.


Road Safety Authority

Presentation College welcomed the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to the school and all of the senior classes and some junior classes had an opportunity to experience the highly impressive Road Safety Interactive Shuttle. Students tested their speed and capabilities at simulated driving, experienced break-through virtual reality software, digital screens and simulated motorbike, bicycle and cars. The RSA staff gave a very informative and hard-hitting talk to each group on the importance of all aspects of road safety, addressing key issues such as never getting into a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol, never using a mobile phone while driving, and the importance as pedestrians and cyclists of being visible to drivers by wearing high visibility jackets, bag covers, arm bands and bike lights. Senior students experienced the roll over car simulator, allowing them to experience the importance of wearing seat belts at all times, and tightening the belt once fastened in order to minimise injuries in the event of a collision. Students were very impressed with their experience on both the simulator and interactive shuttle and it created valuable learning for all involved. We extend huge thanks to the remarkable RSA staff team – especially Ciarán and Alexandra – and to Ms Gillespie, Deputy Principal, for arranging the RSA visit.