August 21, 2013


“Craic sa tIarthar” – Desmond College Transition Years Go West!

Desmond College Transition Year student’s spent an unforgettable couple of days at Coláiste Acla on Achill Island last week. In addition to improving their Irish, students completed an array of daily activities including surfing, cliff jumping and bog snorkelling.

Twenty eight students boarded the bus at 7.30am for the long journey to the West of Ireland accompanied by their teachers Ms Collins and Ms Broderick. Coláiste Acla is renowned for its excellent waters ports trí Gaeilge and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Once off the bus, students were greeted by The Príomhoide in Acla who undoubtly tries to instil a grá don teanga in all the students. A hearty lunch of soup and sandwiches were served on arrival and then the activities commenced. As the sun shone brightly and the waves were optimal, students took to their surf boards on Keel beach to break those crashing waves! (Or fall off their boards in many cases!!!). Next on the list of exciting water based activities was cliff-jumping. Just as the name suggests, it involves students jumping from an idyllic cove straight into the water. (Wearing life-jackets!!!!) Audible gasps of excitement could be heard as students took the leap of fate to the many cheers from their friends. The students then returned to their Bean an Tí’s where a hearty dinner was served up to all. It certainly went down a treat! Twenty eight tired and contented daltaí made their way to bed after a fun-filled day.

[portfolio_slideshow id=6480]

But the most fun was had on Thursday morning with a two hour session of “craic sa phortach” which translates as fun in the bog. This bog snorkelling activity was certainly one of the highlights of the trip to the island. Students certainly spent the best part of the morning “mucking around” before a hot shower and a bite of food was the order of the day. Students arrived back in Newcastlewest shortly after 5pm tired but sásta!

This trip to the West will certainly be considered as one of the highlights of Desmond College’s Transition year class of 2014/2015!

Ploughing Championships 2014

Agricultural Science Students visit the Ploughing Championships in Laois
with Ms Marie Corkery and Ms Aoife Culhane.
Desmond College Students at the Ploughing Championship 2014

First Year Hike with TY Buddy

[portfolio_slideshow id=6574]

Desmond College and The Brothers of Charity
Start Another Year of New Friendships

Desmond College, Newcastlewest Transition Year class follow in the steps of their predecessors and form new and exciting friendships with the service users in the Brothers of Charity Newcastlewest.

The Transition Years are welcomed into the Charity to be immersed in the daily lives of the service users. They are taught how to help and respond to all the people they meet under the direction of Mike Sheahan and his colleagues. The friendship between the school and Brothers of Charity has proven to have a positive effect on all involved.

The Transition Years will have the opportunity to complete work experience and organise different events for their new friends. The service users of the Brothers of Charity reap the rewards by having new and young faces around the centre, showing assistance in their activities. Friendships are formed and last for years.

Desmond College and The Brothers of Charity start another year of new friendships

<< back to Main Transition Year page


Launch of SADS Campaign by TYs

Students getting ready to dance to launch the SADS campaign Students lining up for the siege of ennistrad musicians playing Siege of Ennis at Desmond College to Launch TY SADS campaign Desmond College Trad Group provide the music for the Siege of Ennis at the TY SADS campaign launchStudents in lines dancing the siege of ennis for the 2013 launch of the transition year sudden adult death syndrome campaignStudents dancing the siege of ennis at the Sudden Adult Death Syndrome Campaign Launch by Desmond College desmond college students supporting the launch of the transition year students SADS awareness campaignDesmond College Students dancing at the 2013 December Launch of the TY SADS campaign Desmond College's students creating awareness of SADS campaign by dancing the siege of ennis at the launchStudents dancing siege of ennis at the desmond college launch of the SADS campaign Students ready to start dancing at the SADS awareness launch in Desmond CollegeStudents from desmond College dance to support the launch of the sudden adult death syndrome awareness campaign Sudden Adult Death Syndrome Awareness Campaign launched by a dance at Desmond College Students participating in the Launch of the Transition Year SADS campaign desmond college students supporting the transition year students' launch of the SADS campaign Teachers supporting the TY students by participating in the siege of ennis at desmond college december 2013 Teachers join in the fun of the siege of ennis to support the transition year students' launch of the sads campaignTeachers, including principal Vourneen Gavin Barry, dance at the TY Siege of Ennis SADS Campaign Launch Students enjoying the record breaking siege of ennis dance Students enjoying the fun of the Siege of Ennis Students ready to go out collecting in December 2013, in aid of the SADS campaign run by the Transition Year Students Staff, Local Business and Sporting representatives at the TY SADS campaign launchDesmond College Staff, Local Business and Sporting representatives at the TY SADS campaign launchStaff, Local Business and Sporting representatives and Students involved in the SADS awareness campaign, including Principal Vourneen Gavin Barry

On 14th December 2013, Desmond College held a record breaking Siege of Ennis in the school.

Students from 1st and 2nd year along with some very brave teachers, including the Principal, danced a Siege of Ennis for 40 mins while the Trad Group played for them!

This event was to launch the TY Young Social Innovator Project which aims to follow last years TY Group and continue to raise awareness of SADS. The dance was watched by members of the school community along with local sporting and business representatives. The event finished with a coffee morning where delicious cakes were served to all including parents of the TY class who came to show their support.

Much thanks must be given to the TY class along with Ms. Carol Liston and Ms Elaine Higgins for organising such a great event.


Transition Year Trip to Achill

On Wednesday the 25th of September, the Transition Year class from Desmond College hit the road on a fun over night adventure to Achill Island, County Mayo.

The 35 students were bright eyed and eager for the early morning departure at 7 am. Our destination was Colaíste Acla, nestled in the glorious landscape of Achill. A number of exhilarating outdoor pursuits and Team Building activities were on the agenda for our visit.

The first day of our visit was an exciting one as students were given Kayak lessons. They braved the cold waters and their enthusiasm for the activity was praised by Team Leader, Martan O Donaghair. Our evening activity was Bog snorkelling! This unique experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all! The following morning allowed the students to embrace their inner dare devils with an opportunity to surf the Atlantic waves once more. It was certainly an action packed trip!

[portfolio_slideshow id=4806]

This excursion provided students with the occasion to be immersed in the Irish language. All activities were conducted through Irish and the students had the pleasure of staying with two local “Bean an Ti”. This meant they had lovely home cooked meals and a warm welcome when they returned from their activities!

The unique and breath taking scenery was enjoyed by all and certainly provided for much Team Building and bonding amongst the group who are eagerly looking forward to the rest of Transition Year in Desmond College.

Young Social Innovators Project: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

TYs are currently planning a launch for the project. This project follows on from the work done by last years’ TYs. Plans for the project include:

  • Making wrist bands with our slogan printed on them. (Slogan = Screening is the heart of the matter)
  • Making an advert.
  • Getting our petition signed, especially signatures from doctors and nurses.
  • Holding a sports day in which screening will be provided.
  • Encouraging our students to learn CPR.

ITLG Young Innovators

A great day at the 2014 ITLG Young Innovators for our students as both teams were selected in the Final Six!

students participating in the 2014 itlg young innovators

Image courtesy of Young Innovators on Facebook


SADS: TY Petition for Screening for All Young People in Schools
Set up as part of our TY Young Social Innovator Project.

t TWITTER: @sads_petition
f FACEBOOK: Follow Our Petition for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

Desmond College TYs meet Ryan at Junior Achievement Awards!

2014 May: Junior Achivement Awards: Transition Year Students from Desmond College meet RTÉ's Ryan Tubridy
Students Kiara Carroll, Julie Cantillon, Eoin O’Keeffe, James O’Connor and Bryan Hennessy were delighted to meet RTÉs Ryan Tubridy at the Junior Achievement Awards. The Transition Year students who had great success at the Competition were thrilled to get so much attention and chat from the RTE celebrity.

2014 May: Junior Achivement Awards: Transition Year Students from Desmond College meet RTÉ's Ryan Tubridy

Transition Year: Young Social Innovators 2013

Young Social Innovators 2013 from Desmond College Newcastle West County Limerick

Transition Year students from Desmond College took part in the prestigious Young Social Innovator Competition which was held in City West Hotel Dublin on May 8th. This competition, founded by Sr. Stanislause Kennedy, encourages young students to take part in a social activity, to believe in it, act on it and change the world for good.

The TY class from Desmond College succeeded in getting two projects into the competition. The Beat the Blues project aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues and the Cardiac Screening Campaign focused on mandatory screening of young people for SADS.

As part of this campaign the TY Class, along with their teacher Ms Ciara Broderick, met the Health Committee and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny for a private meeting, to discuss the implementation of mandatory screening. It was with great joy and delighted that the TY class won a Young Social Innovator Award for their campaign.

However they all agreed that while they were delighted with their prestigious Award, their ultimate goal is to have free screening available to all people in Ireland under the age of thirty-five. This project was motivated by the loss of two young people, both of whom were very special and important in the lives of this Desmond College Transition Year Class and it is a project goal that all are determined to achieve.

Young Social Innovators believes young people are a powerful force in a community and one which can bring about change for good. This TY class certainly live up to this description of young people and are worthy winners of the Award.

Desmond College: YSI 2013 BEAT THE BLUESYoung Social Innovators 2013

<< back to Main Transition Year page


TY Petition for Screening for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

As part of a TY Social Education project, a group of students have started a petition to look for free screening for all students in schools.

This project was motivated by the loss of two young people, both of whom were very special and important in the lives of students in TY and Desmond College. A paper and a Facebook petition have been organised.

Please click on the link to support this worthy cause:

<< back to Main Transition Year page


2011 – 2012 Transition Year Trip to Kenmare

[portfolio_slideshow id=1748]

<< back to Main Transition Year page


The 2010 – 2011 T.Y. group have had many trips and we wish to thank every one of the teachers that made such an effort to give up their own time to organise these for the group.

The class visited:

  • Knock
  • Killaloe Outdoor and Adventure Centre
  • Clarion Hotel (“Spagetti Show”)
  • Thomand Park
  • Mary Immaculate College Music Recital
  • Hunt Museum
  • Killfinane Outdoor Centre
  • London

The year has been an enlightening and exciting opportunity for all the class. Each individual has grown in maturity and have developed personal and social skills that will stand to them for many years ahead.

They have been a fantastic group to work with and have been terrific ambassadors for the programme. Their commitment has made the year a success” – Kerrie Collins.


2010-2011 Transition Year : Rachel climbing New Heights in Killaloe

Desmond College Transition Year’s Hit London in Style

What an end to a brilliant year! The Desmond College Transition Year students left Shannon on the early morning flight on Tuesday 17th May, bound for London. And what a jam packed trip.

Seeing the sights of London – Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Leister Square, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye ….. the list is endless but each and every sight will never be forgotten.

The group were also able to take part in educational activities such in a workshop in Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.

The natural History museum and the Science Museum were also included.

The highlight of the trip was the trip to the theatre to see “Dirty Dancing”!

[portfolio_slideshow id=1099]

<< back to Main Transition Year page