St. Leo’s College Carlow News – May 2020

Graduation Mass 2020 – Celebrating Together While Apart

The Cathedral of the Assumption Carlow

St. Leo’s College celebrated a very beautiful and moving graduation mass in The Cathedral of the Assumption on Tuesday 19th of May. Due to Covid-19 restrictions only ten members of the school community were present in the Cathedral. The ceremony was conducted with the same solemnity as any other Graduation Mass in the past. All Sixth years and Staff were invited to participate in the ceremony via the Cathedral’s live stream on webcam. Our school Chaplain, Fr. Brian Maguire commenced the ceremony by extending a warm “Céad míle fáilte” to everyone listening before inviting principal Ms. Niamh Broderick to deliver the words of welcome. Ms. Broderick welcomed all those present and everyone who was joining the liturgy on webcam. She invited Ciara Long from Sixth Year to light a candle in front of the Altar. The candle was kindly donated by Ms. Debbie Robinson from the school’s Parents’ Association. The candle served as a reminder that the future of the Graduation Class 2020 is very bright and full of promise. The lighted candle also symbolised what a bright presence the group had been during their time in St. Leo’s College.

The RE team created a beautiful liturgy which captured the zeitgeist of Covid- 19. With carefully selected readings from the Old Testament; Isaiah 41: 10, Psalm 23 and the New Testament; the calming of the storm from St. Mark’s gospel. These readings reminded everyone listening never to become discouraged or disheartened. Indeed Fr. Brian’s homily expanded on this theme reminding our graduation class that God is always with each one of them. “God is always with you wherever you go.”

Reflecting on events since March 14th, he sympathised with their experience living through a pandemic and trying to keep a structure on their day. He reminded the girls that they are writing history, making history.

His homily also explored how people all too easily speak dismissively about the “snowflake generation”. People in modern times have lived without any major upheaval like a world war. “You have proved you are not snowflakes. Snowflakes melt when the heat comes on. You have proved yourselves to be made of good stuff, resilient when the heat comes on. They have coped with isolation, they are here ready and fighting and ready to meet the future. In years to come they will tell with pride that they were part of the leaving cert class 2020.”

After the Liturgy of the Word, Ms. Imelda Whelan, Deputy Principal and Ms. Vivienne O’Neill, Year Head both delivered the final roll all for the class of 2020 St. Leo’s College, Carlow.

Following the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Head Girl Ellen Phiri delivered a very inspiring communion reflection written by sixth year student Aoife Cawley.

Here is an excerpt from this speech reflecting on this once in a century pandemic and its effect on the graduation class.

“St. Leo’s College and the friendships we made here will always have a special place in our hearts and I hope that we can be remembered as a year that made the best of our time here.

We have all been surprised at the speed of events and the transformation in our lives since March 14th . There are no words to adequately express what our Graduation class has been expected to process. We grieve the loss of our final term in school, the pilgrimage, awards day…. but like everyone in the midst of this pandemic we must see the gift within the experience.

We are the class that is graduating from a place of resilience and courage. We must as a graduation class learn to focus on the positives, as a group we will be burnished by this unique and once in a century academic year. However, this will deepen our connections with each other, unify us as a year group and instill in each one of us a preparedness for the road ahead.”

Ms. Niamh Broderick returned to the altar to deliver a valedictory speech on behalf of the class of 2020. She thanked all those present, especially Fr. Brian Maguire and the RE team who had meticulously organised the magnificent liturgy. She extended special thanks to Head Girls Christina Byrne, Aoife Gallagher and Ellen Phiri for their readings and to Sadhbh Moran and Ciara Long for their beautiful music which accompanied the liturgy.

Enumerating all the key memories and stand out moments over the last six years, Ms. Broderick reminded the class of their first day in St. Leo’s College. In her speech she referenced annual events such as Mercy Day Mass, the Christmas Carol Service, Awards Day and the annual School Run, numerous extracurricular activities as well as excursions abroad to Italy and France. In particular, she recalled the group’s recent trip to support the footballers at O’ Moore Park in Tullamore. While fortune wasn’t on St. Leo’s side that day it was a key memory for so many before the dramatic lockdown on March 14th.

Thanking their Year Head, Ms. Vivienne O’Neill and their Academic Monitor, Ms. Anne Marie Winters, Ms. Broderick described how it had been a great privilege to accompany this very resilient Graduation class on their education journey. Drawing on the first reading from the book of Isaiah, Ms. Broderick reminded the class not to give into fear but to be hopeful always. As Principal she reminded them it was so important to be optimistic as it is the one quality associated with success. She concluded by advising the girls to maintain the friendships they had formed in school and wished them health, happiness and every success in the future.




St. Leo’s College would like to express sincere condolences to any member of our school community who has been bereaved recently.

We remember all those who have gone before us in our own school community and country. We take comfort and strength from their memory.



End of Year Awards

Congratulations to the following students who received awards following the Graduation Mass last week:

The Catherine McAuley Medal

Ellen Phiri, Sixth Year was awarded the Catherine McAuley Medal for 2020. Ellen was selected in respect of her leadership, commitment to education and her embodiment of the characteristics of Mercy. She reflected the core values of courage, determination, vision, independent thinking and commitment to social justice throughout her six years in St. Leo’s College.

Head Girl Ellen Phiri



The CEIST Award

This year’s award was presented to Muireann Beattie by CEIST CEO and former Principal of St. Leo’s College, Clare Ryan. This student has shown huge commitment to her school community and within her own parish. By striving to do her best to help and encourage others, she has been true to the core values of CEIST and the Mercy ethos.

Muireann Beattie recipient of the CEIST Award 2020



Student of the Year

Ellie May Farrell was awarded Student of the Year 2020. Ellie May was a worthy recipient of this title. She has been an exemplary role model and a committed member of Junior St. Vincent De Paul, the Human Rights Group and the Folk Group. She is a student who has a deep sense of justice, compassion and courage. Because of the exceptional circumstances due to Covid- 19 Deputy Principals, Ms. Emma Dwyer and Mr. Ian Curran were knocking on the front door of the Farrell household as Principal, Ms. Niamh Broderick simultaneously announced the name of our Student of the Year from The Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow. As anyone familiar with life in St. Leo’s College knows, this announcement is the pinnacle of our annual Awards Day. Indeed, it is the highlight of the Academic Year and a deeply emotional experience for the whole school community. The celebrations were every bit as special albeit while our school community was apart. This unique event was certainly enhanced by the surprise arrival of Ms. Emma Dwyer and Mr. Ian Curran who helped create a celebratory atmosphere as they delivered beautiful bouquets, presentations and balloons to Ellie May’s front door.

Ellie May Farrell who received many bouquets and good wishes as she was announced Student of the Year

Ms. Emma Dwyer and Mr. Ian Curran with Ellie May Farrell and her parents on Tuesday 19th May 2020.



Sports Person of the Year

The St. Leo’s Sportsperson of the Year 2020 was jointly won by Jasmin Brennan Dowling and Katie Garry Murphy.

Jasmin has played sport at every opportunity throughout her time in school. She has been involved both as an athlete and as a coach. She has captained many of the teams throughout her time in the school. She played Gaelic Football, Basketball, Netball, Hockey, Athletics, both Cross Country and Track and Field and Volleyball. Outside of school she has excelled at Irish Dancing.

Katie Garry Murphy has also availed of and excelled at all sporting opportunities in St. Leo’s College. She played Camogie, Netball, Hockey and Volleyball. She also was involved not just as an athlete but also as a coach. She has captained many teams throughout the years. Outside of school, Katie has excelled in Camogie and has acquired many successes along the way.

Both were students happened to be part of the first cohort studying LCPE and both excelled at the subject.

We wish both the very best in their sporting future.

Jasmin Brennan Dowling Sports Person of the Year

Katie Garry Murphy Sportsperson of the Year



The end of an era!

May 2020 marks the end of an era for Debbie Robinson, the Robinson family and St. Leo’s College. Debbie’s four daughters Kayla, Erika, Sasha and Petra have all come through St. Leo’s College. She has been a member of our Parents’ Association for over fifteen years and acted as Chairperson for many years. She has served as a member of our Board of Management for two terms. Debbie also facilitated health and beauty modules for incoming First Year and Transition Year students each year. St. Leo’s College would like to thank Debbie most sincerely for all she has done for our school community. We will miss her involvement in school events, her energy, passion and commitment, not to mention her fabulous sense of style.

Sincere thanks and farewell also to other outgoing members of our Parents’ Association: Anne Fahy, Serena Carbery, and Marie Crowley. We are very grateful to each of you for all you have given and all you have done for our school.

Debbie Robinson

Debbie’s four daughters who attended St. Leo’s College



St. Leo’s College in 2020 Covid-19 Time Capsule

St. Leo’s College invites the whole school community to engage in a Virtual Time Capsuling on Friday, 29th May 2020. Staff and students may like to, from home, put into a box and place in their homes or gardens, items that may best represent their experiences of Life in Lockdown this year. Our 6th years are invited to include mementos such as diary entries, letters to one- self, poems, artwork, reflections and tokens, USB keys etc… in a Capsule, a box, to be buried in the grounds of St. Leo’s College, at the close of the month of May 2020, to be reopened with gusto at the end of May 2030!


Student Council

Our S.R.C. had their last meeting of the year online during the past week. Orlaith Murray gave feedback from the ISSU conference. The students also completed an evaluation sheet on the benefits and challenges of remote learning for Ms. Broderick. Mr. Ian Curran, Deputy Principal and Ms. Anne Tully May, teacher also attended the zoom meeting. The panel of students were thanked for all their hard work over the past academic year. The 6th years were wished the very best in the years ahead. We hope they will continue to take on leadership roles wherever they go and whatever they do in the future. The Council members wished to extend particular thanks to their mentor and guide Ms. Joan Scott for her ongoing work and commitment to the group.



Bridging the generations during Covid-19 Lockdown

Shauna Downey

Well done to Shauna Downey who is keeping active during the Covid-19 lockdown. Over the lockdown she approached the Sacred Heart Hospital (in a virtual manner) with the proposal of a pen-pal partnership initiative. Two years previously she came up with a project idea called ‘Bridging Generations” with the Sacred Heart. However now due to obvious circumstances she thought that this would be a great way to bring generations closer together whilst we are all apart. It can be a frustrating and isolating time for many. This idea could be a great way to improve people’s wellbeing, both young and elderly. Their reaction towards the initiative was great and so now she looks forward to the first exchange of letters! Shauna wishes to thank many of her friends from St Leo’s College who have volunteered also to partner up with residents thus generating a great sense of school community spirit.

Shauna, who has always been an active student representative, took part in the ISSU Annual Assembly (online) with students across Ireland recently. ISSU (Irish Second-Level Student Union) works at representing, uplifting and defending student voice.

Shauna delivered a speech during the assembly and was delighted to take the opportunity to mention how wonderful the many leadership programmes in St. Leo’s College are and to acknowledge the strength and value of student voice in so many schools throughout Ireland today. Shauna reports that she really enjoys and appreciates the opportunities that students can embrace in our school community and expressed how lucky she feels to be a part of it.


St. Leo’s College Young Social Innovators 2020

YSI Committee in The Assembly Hall

The Loud Silence Behind Closed Doors.

Young Social Innovators (YSI) is a programme run across the country, providing young people with the opportunity to creatively respond to social issues and contribute to building a fairer, more caring, and equal society. The idea is to tackle a specific matter of social concern and so, in September of last year, our newly banded Y.S.I team began to explore all aspects and angles of society and our topic of focus soon became domestic violence. Irish figures show that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been abused by a current or former partner, and despite this prevalence, we found that domestic violence is typified by a code of silence in society. This inspired our logo and project title, “The Loud Silence Behind Closed Doors,” and it became our goal to break the silence and harbour a change.

Our first step was to reach out to Carlow Women’s Aid (CWA), a voluntary organisation offering support to women affected by domestic violence, and this link became very significant to our work throughout the year. An informative workshop then run by CWA manager, Honoria Gilchrist, provided our team with deeper insight and empathy that we wished to share with others. We were afforded the opportunity to visit Carlow Women’s Aid in small groups and see first-hand the services it provides to women and families affected by domestic violence. With this in mind, we resolved to launch an awareness campaign by holding a similarly informative event for 150 pupils in our school, designed a display board for our school with facts and information as part of the 16 Days of Action Women’s Aid Campaign. This evoked an outstanding response among our peers, and our efforts then extended to a wider audience through an ongoing social media campaign, a live interview with KCLR, and a display of support for Carlow Domestic Abuse Action Network outside Carlow Courthouse on December 10th 2019, the 16th Day of the Women’s Aid Campaign.

In mid-January, the services of CWA came under threat and our team mobilised a petition for support of an initiative requesting more resources, more staff and localisation of Women’s Aid services in the county, which has been handed over to government authorities having acquired the 1000 signatures necessary to warrant a response. To further this action, we approached TD Jennifer Murnane O’Connor who met with our team and, along with Kathleen Chada, shared invaluable experience and understanding of the fight against domestic violence. Since then, CWA have secured a two-family emergency accommodation provision, an indispensable resource at this time of heightened urgency. Our team is still at work, with hopes to carry on raising awareness and promoting support among our communities. We are currently asking the people of Carlow to contribute to the Carlow Women’s Aid appeal. Financial donations can be made to it’s GOFUNDME page at

On May 5th our team was very fortunate to win the Young Social Innovators 2020 Making Our World Fair and Just Award in the virtual YSI 2020 Award Ceremony. To celebrate our success the team will be invited to a special Young Social Innovators event in the autumn. This couldn’t have been achieved without the backing of the staff, students and parents of St. Leo’s College, especially our YSI teacher, Ms. Coady, our Principal Niamh Broderick, and

Clare Ryan. We also wish to extend our gratitude for the incredible support we’ve received throughout our project from the staff and board members of Carlow Women’s Aid, TD Jennifer Murnane O’ Connor, Kathleen Chada Safe Ireland, Eimear Ní Bhraonáin, KCLR and the people of Carlow


Own Our Air

Edel Colgan Transition Year

Congratulations to Edel Colgan in Transition Year who has won first prize for her entry in the national Own our Air competition run by the Asthmatic Society of Ireland. The generous cash prize was sponsored by ESB Energy for Generations fund. The competition aims to educate young people around the harmful effects of poor-quality air. Three schools were selected from a nationwide competition and Edel’s entry secured first place. well done and congratulations Edel.



Summer School Invitation

Congratulations also to Transition Year student Katie Brooks, 4A on being accepted onto Cork University Business School Summer School.



Mura Tierney from GOAL sent this lovely message to our GOAL committee.

St Leo’s College GOAL Committee– what can I say? You have blown us away with your awareness of global issues and your commitment, your enthusiasm, your energy and your will to become involved and work for change.

Not only did you take part in a workshop, you also organised a GOAL Jersey Day and a GOAL Mile! The day I spent with you I told you that it is groups of passionate and determined young people like you that give me hope that this world can and will change for the better.

Thank you so much for all your hard work – it was an absolute pleasure dealing with you – and to all of you , but especially the Committee members who are leaving St Leo’s this year – never forget the skills you have been using as organisers and activists for change and never forget the power of collective action. Together we can achieve so much more than alone. The very best of luck in all that you do – you are remarkable young women.”

From – Mura Tierney of Goal’s Global Citizenship Team.


Creative Writing Competition

St. Leo’s College Library and the English Department invited all students to participate in a creative writing competition. Students were invited to expand on the theme of “Freedom in Lockdown”. The closing date for this competition was last Friday 22nd May at 1pm. Sincere thanks to Ms. Dearbhla Cussen who has worked very hard behind the scenes to orchestrate this wonderful writing initiative. We look forward to reading the winning entries next month.


The Sustainable Lockdown Challenge

Well done got our Green Schools Committee who invited students to visit their Instagram page @greenschoolsleos. Students and teachers were invited to share a picture of them being eco-friendly during the Lockdown. Great thanks to the Green Schools coordinator, Ms. Sinéad Scully for coordinating this challenge.



Virtual Wellbeing Day

The community of St Leo’s College have been making the most of the final days of the school year by scheduling a Virtual Wellbeing Day. Students and teachers took a break from the virtual classroom and put away the books to celebrate the end of term. The school usually runs a Wellbeing Week for the whole school community in May and the Virtual Wellbeing Day while in no means replacing the week did strive to end the school year on a positive note.

The event scheduled for Thursday 28th of May was organised by the PE and Guidance departments and saw an array of events taking place. The event included sections on healthy eating, physical activity challenges, student led online zoom fitness classes, quizzes, podcasts, random act of kindness and many more.

The aim of the day was to give both students and teachers a day to reflect and celebrate themselves and their wellbeing at the end of this very unusual school year. St Leo’s College students and teachers turned out in force! The day was a resounding huge success, judging by the volume of entries for the various challenges throughout the day.

We are sure that all who took part, had fun in doing so. Even though The Leo’s College community may not have been all together on the track, hockey pitch, in the sports hall or the assembly hall, the spirit of St Leo’s College and the essence of our Virtual Wellbeing Day was evident, in a virtual but very real way in all homes.



MedEntry Bursaries

Huge congratulations to Racheal Diyaolu and Sapphire Gao, 5th Year, who have successfully been awarded bursaries from MedEntry, a preparation course for the HPAT exam (Health Professions Admission Test). The bursary is awarded for academic achievements and co-curricular excellence. This is a fantastic achievement and will be hugely beneficial to the students in preparation for their HPAT exams next year; the girls now have access to online learning platforms and a two-day HPAT workshop run by doctors and health science professionals. Thanks to Ms. Elaine Fleming for all her support with the girls’ applications.

Sapphire Gao

Rachel Diyalou



St. Leo’s College Newsletter

The St. Leo’s College April and May Newsletters are now available. These newsletters are packed full of ideas to keep our students and school community inspired during the school closure. Articles featured include Virtual Music Practice, Corona Virus Playlist, HSE Stress Control Online Programme, Family Learning Home School Ideas, Isolation Busters, Young Social Innovators Awards 2020, Active Schools’ Week, European Youth Event (EYE) and much more.



Active Homes Week!

Last week, across the country was what used to be known as Active Schools’ Week. We decided to transfer it into our homes. We wanted our students to maintain an activity log. We asked the girls to try to be as creative as possible when completing the student activity log. So many encouraged their families to participate at home. Students from each year group won some great prizes.

There is currently a competition to design an alternative competition to replace our annual rounders tournament which is well known by all students of St. Leo’s College past and present!

Some very interesting ideas from Just dance to sports Tik Toks are flying in!



Home Economics

Healthy Eating and Home baking are enjoying a well-deserved centre stage position at the moment. Our Home Economics Department is busy sharing ideas, recipes, craft ideas and running competitions as well as teaching online. The Easter holidays saw outstanding entries to our school baking competition. There were macarons, layered cakes, muffins, brownies and cupcakes to name but a few. Our Home Economics teachers are also teaching how to upcycle and repurpose. The Home Economics Instagram page regularly shares the great ideas the girls come up with. Our students regularly send in photos of their mouth- watering tasty meals and treats. Emphasis on the lower levels of the food pyramid of course!!


Distance learning in the Guidance Department during COVID-19

‘The future has a way of arriving unannounced’. George F. Will.

So, it was for the Career Guidance Department in St Leo’s March 12th, 2020. What we had all begun to talk about in staffroom and class with a sense of obscure wonder, some tentative concern and commiseration for the suffering and dead in Wuhan China, arrived swiftly and without preamble into our own classrooms and lives. The school was closing until March 29th.  Time has passed and to the date of writing (April 24th, 2020), school has still not opened. We live in lockdown!

As a Department we were literally and figuratively in different places. Elsie Nolan had finished her week’s work the day before, Aine Delaney was just getting back into the swing of a busy school and home life, after returning from maternity leave, Mary Foley was working in a different school in another county, while Elaine Fleming continued to sure-footedly manage her passage through a busy first year working in St Leo’s.

The invisible and relatively unquantified tsunami was on its way. Squeals of delight mixed with unspeakable shock and surprise; all appearances of normative adolescent insouciance evaporated. First years needed comforting, while we reached out to reassure. Instructions to bring home all books, check email passwords and await further information were calmly voiced. We, all students and teachers, were in the same boat, adjusting our sails for uncharted waters, instinctively setting priorities for action. Everything seemed to be an imperative…

  • Friday March 13th, Aine, Elaine, Elsie and Mary started collaboration by phone and email to create a document for students and parents on:


Suggestions and tools to flourish and succeed over the next while.

Thus, our newly reconstituted department began a cohesive process of dialogue, sharing ideas, tasks and responsibilities with growing trust and fraternity.  We also knew we had to find a way to work with student/clients in need of personal support, without the tried and tested boundary and security of our physical offices. We would put our heads together and formulate a new set of working procedures.

  • (i) Monday 16th March, more phone calls and emails setting out and agreeing our priorities.
  • (ii) The protocols which would guide and ground our work, for guidance counsellor, school management, parents and student.
  • (iii) How we would communicate vital information associated with college application, CAO, SUSI, DARE and HEAR, College Open Days and updates
  • (iv) Supporting each other as we mastered the technological tools offered by Teams and some Power Point features, we had never used before
  • (v) How we would connect with class groups
  • (vi) Accessing online sources of support for students under our integrated triad of responsibilities as guidance counsellors; personal/social, vocational and educational aspect of school life.


Our current modus operandi

  • Students receive counseling support through Teams, Email and Phone Calls. Counselors have contacted vulnerable students to check in and offer their services.
  • Online classes are conducted in Careers to give students the opportunity to connect and support each other, ask questions, express their needs educationally /vocationally, guide then through processes normally covered in careers class.
  • All sixth years receive a weekly Careers newsletter to keep them updated on what is happening with Colleges, Careers, Exams, Closing Dates, etc.
  • Our St Leos Guidance Instagram page has been invaluable in keeping 6th years updated with important career news and motivational tips:
  • The Guidance Department meet every Monday evening at 8 pm on Teams to discuss strategies and share information and ideas for the coming week.  We look forward to our weekly Team chat.
  • Students engage on a daily basis through Teams ‘Chat ‘, asking for help, telling us what they are experiencing and challenged by.
  • Student wellbeing is our primary focus and our response to this evolves as time and needs demands.
  • Staff support, offered in a myriad of ways and still evolving!




Redefining St Leo’s College Library in the New Normal

Up until the 12th March, St Leo’s College Library, in an alliance with the English and Modern Foreign Languages departments, was in the process of a seismic re-invention. Thanks to a grant from Languages Connect, the library acquired over 60 books in various languages (French, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Russian, phew!) Supported by our wonderful new Principal, Ms. Niamh Broderick, enthusiastic teacher/librarians Ms. Tierney and Ms. Cussen overseeing the overhaul and the recruitment of our terrific library assistants there was no stopping us…

Our library rejuvenation included establishing a rota for our army of library assistants to help with the actual sorting, cleaning and filing of our reservoir of books. These wonderful students were on a mission: get St Leo’s College reading!

World Book Day (Ireland and the UK) focussed our minds and we delivered! Books were proudly displayed and bribes were offered to entice the school cohort to support the library initiative (sweets and book tokens!)

Bribing was of course, completely unnecessary, and there was more than a gentle breeze allowing us to harness the library easterlies.

Unfortunately, and tragically, a Tempest was garnering strength in the East.   (Our) “library/Was dukedom large enough,” but Covid-19 had other ideas.

It is said that the Bard wrote King Lear in the midst of an epidemic; perhaps the stark reality of community cooperation focussed Shakespeare’s mind in demonstrating the necessity on not taking “Too little care of this!”

The library initiative needed to continue, keeping the virtual lights of the library was of vital importance to our school community.

But how?

Our teenagers inhabit a different realm; Instagramming/VSCO-ing/Snapchatting are their norms. Connections and conversations about our passions have never been as vital. So, St Leo’s College Library has seized upon an opportunity to engage with these wonderful teenagers in their lands, on their terms.

An Instagram account for St Leo’s College Library (@stleoscollegelibrary) was set up to allow all St Leo’s students to share their favourite novels, current reading and aspirational reading goals.

We have seen our Instagram account garner much support and a genuine enthusiastic response from our students.

We host weekly challenges, including the #bookface, Wednesday fun days and on Sundays, we share our followers’ current reads.

Recently, we organised our first Virtual Library Quiz and it was very well attended.

First, second and third places were awarded to Katie O’Sullivan, Rachel Holmes and Rachael Diyaolu respectively.

The JCSP libraries initiative regularly share our posts, as did the Royal Shakespearean Company on Shakespeare’s birthday, to coincide with UNESO’S endorsement of the worldwide World Book Day on the 23rd April.

We hosted D.E.A.R on the 24th April. This involved the school body to drop everything (once it was breakable) and read at 12p.m. We have plenty of photos of submissions of students and teachers getting involved.

We have acknowledged Eavan Boland’s recent passing, her poem “This Moment” being one of our favourites. We celebrated International Nurses Day with posts from the HSE, a collage of novels which feature nurses (Atonement, Outlander, to name but a few) and a piece on Florence Nightingale.

#stleosreading and #stleoscollegelibrary are becoming significant and recognisable # in our Virtual Vicinity.

We provide a forum to allow students to escape, and open the door to Narnia, Westeros, Hogwarts and various other factions; Dauntless we surely are.

We promote the sentiment that “reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”

Promoting literacy and well-being is to the fore of our agenda, now, more important than ever.

St Leo’s College Library, in conjunction with the English department invited all St Leo’s College students to participate in a creative writing competition. The topical theme was: “Freedom in Lockdown.” Students were invited to submit diary entries, poems, anecdotes etc. Winners were yet to be announced at the time this Report was going to press.

Here is what some of our students have to say about the virtual library:

“I think the virtual library has been a great way of entertainment throughout all of the things happening around the world. All the challenges are really fun and they are great to do with friends over the phone. It’s also a great way to stay connected with the school but not in a work environment way. Especially things like the Zoom Kahoot were wonderfully to be able to see everyone and have a laugh together too! … So really thank you for putting the page together as it has really made everything so much easier and something to look forward to every day.” – Caoimhe Martin (3rd Year)

“The virtual library has helped me greatly with combating boredom of lockdown and it’s nice to see all the fun activities up on Instagram every day and the quiz was great fun too.” – Keira McGrath (1st Year)

“To me, the virtual library has been a quick five minute escape. Hearing from something I would see every day in school has been a comfort. It has given me some amusement to mix up my days and plus I have some extra books to add to my reading list!” – Jasmine O’Shea Rush (TY)


Signing off!

As we cannot be in the school to say farewell and best wishes to our wonderful 6th year students the staff of St. Leo’s College Carlow have created a special video message for them.

Thank you to Mr. Ian Curran and Sean Woods who collaborated with the staff to create a wonderful tribute to the Graduation Class of 2020.

Please click here to view