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Schools Report: Dominican College Wicklow and East Glendalough School


DCW outgoing Head Girl Abi Smith and Deputy Head Girl Isabella Downey present to the incoming Head Girl Lisa Hurd and Deputy Head Girl Sarah France.

DCW outgoing Head Girl Abi Smith and Deputy Head Girl Isabella Downey present to the incoming Head Girl Lisa Hurd and Deputy Head Girl Sarah France.

The Dominican College Wicklow class of 2022 at their graduation.

The Dominican College Wicklow class of 2022 at their graduation.

Transition Year students from Dominican College Wicklow enjoying their Gaisce Hike.

Transition Year students from Dominican College Wicklow enjoying their Gaisce Hike.


DCW outgoing Head Girl Abi Smith and Deputy Head Girl Isabella Downey present to the incoming Head Girl Lisa Hurd and Deputy Head Girl Sarah France.



Gaisce Walk

Throughout the year, fifty-five of our transition-year students have been working diligently to achieve the first of the Gaisce Awards, the Bronze Award. The bronze award presents four key challenge areas, community involvement, personal skill, physical recreation and adventure journey.

On Friday, May 20th and Saturday 21st fifty-three of the students completed their adventure journey. The requirement for this element is to plan, prepare and undertake an adventure journey over two days and one night. The girls completed the 25km hike in Glendalough, staying overnight in the An Óige Youth Hostel.

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On the first day they undertook a 20km hike which included a section of the Spinc and the Wicklow Way. The trail was challenging as it ascended steeply up by the Poulanass Waterfall before following a zig-zag path up the hill toward a viewing point overlooking the upper lake. The climb was made even more challenging with the torrential rain. Thankfully, the sun emerged as they ventured through a section of the Wicklow Way and they just about dried out before returning to the hostel.

Back at the hostel they were responsible for cooking their main meal of the day. After dinner they played some outdoor games. This was followed by some relaxing down time with a choice of board games or films. At 10.30 am the next morning the girls completed the remaining 5km around the lower and upper lakes, a leisurely stroll as compared with the tough climb of the previous day.

All returned at lunchtime, tired, but with a great sense of accomplishment. Many thanks Ms Kelly, the Gaisce Coordinator and to all the staff members who facilitated the trip.

Fundraiser for Ukraine

At the end of April all schools received an email from the ASTI encouraging the school communities to choose a day in May to organise a Coffee Morning to raise funds in support of the Red Cross humanitarian effort in Ukraine.

As the junior CSPE classes had just run a bake sale for the RNLI it was decided that the Student Council would assist with a non-uniform day where students would wear the colours of the Ukrainian flag and donate money to the cause. Thank you to all the students and staff who supported the initiative and contributed to the €310 that was raised. This money will now be sent directly to the Red Cross.

Transition-Year Trip

Traditionally, the transition-year students round-up the year with a trip to Brittas Bay. Having already braved the torrential downpours on their Gaisce walk the previous Friday and with a forecast for more showers there was a quick change of plan.

The buses headed north to Dundrum shopping centre for some retail therapy and indoor dining. Fifty-four students were accompanied by four teachers. The time flew bye as the girls engaged in some serious post COVID shopping!

Mentor Party

On Monday, May 23rd the first-year students and their fifth-year mentors had their final party. The first-years were surprised by a video documenting their first-year journey. This incorporated everything from their first day of school and all the extra-curricular activities right up to the school sports day. The girls were shocked when they realised that their video interviews weren’t for the podcast but were broadcasted in the video.

After watching the video, the party games commenced. The girls had rounds of pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, pass the parcel, duck duck goose and charades. The party was a great success and concluded their first-year journey on a high. The mentors would like to thank Mr Keddy for everything he has done to help make this year so special.

Prize-Giving Day

On May 24th the school community gathered together in Fatima Hall for the last time with the current sixth years, the occasion, the annual prize-giving day. Students were given formal recognition for all their various contributions to school life.

The awards included achievements both inside and outside the classroom. Students who excelled academically were recognised as were the students who were committed and improved throughout the year. Sporting achievements were highlighted, and the sports captains recognised for their leadership skills both on and off the pitch. Both the Intermediate and Senior swim teams were congratulated on winning the Leinster Schools Cup and the junior rugby team were recognised once more as All Ireland Champions.

Other student leadership roles that were also given recognition were the Prefects, the Student Council, the Ember leaders and the Mentors. Students with full attendance were presented with certificates.

The award for ‘Spirit of Third Year’ was won by Elissa Moffitt. Third-year student Caelin Lenehan and sixth-year student Mia Kristiansen were presented with plaques for achieving the highest mock exam results. The Aoife King Memorial award was presented to Isabella Downey.

The final two prestigious awards were the Croí award and the Veritas award. The Croí award is given to students who have shown exceptional resilience, empathy and kindness to all community members throughout their time in D.C.W. Sixth-year students Katie Flynn and Michelle Izaguirre were the recipients of this award.

The Veritas award is presented to the student who encapsulates the spirit of D.C.W., lives out the ethos daily, and gives herself to the whole school community. All in the hall were upstanding as the award was presented to Emma Phillips.

Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl

Following the last award, the outgoing Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl are called up to the stage for a final recognition of their leadership roles.

It is then their last duty to hand over the badges of honour to next years’ Head and Deputy Head Girl. Abi Smith handed over the Head Girl badge to Lisa Hurd, and Isabella Downey handed the Deputy badge to Sarah France.

There was a standing ovation as the student body and staff showed their support of the decisions made by the external interviewing panel. We wish Lisa and Sarah the very best of luck in their student leadership roles next year.

Sixth Year graduation

One of the most eagerly awaited celebrations for the sixth-year students is the Graduation Mass held in the Dominican Chapel. The staff and family members are invited to come together to celebrate the culmination of their six years in DCW.

This year the mass took place on May 24th with Fr Donal as the celebrant. The evening began with the Ceremony of Light, a beautiful tradition whereby representatives from the staff, the Dominican order, parents and student body pass on the light of wisdom, faith, hope and memory. The theme of the mass was ‘The Journey’.

In his homily, Fr Donal encouraged the students to plan for the journey ahead, forging new pathways while keeping links with the past. He also advised to be open to the wisdom of those who have travelled similar paths. It was a beautiful celebration with both students and parents involved in the readings, prayers of the faithful and the offertory procession.

The liturgical choir led by Ms Gaffney were exceptional. The final song of the mass, ‘The Parting Glass’, sung by the sixth-year members of the choir was stunning. Following some inspirational words from the sixth-year Head, Ms Fox and the Principal, Ms Mynes, all gathered in Fatima Hall for refreshments and photographs. We wish the Class of 2022 every success in their exams and in all that they do.

Transition Year graduation

Transition-year students had their celebratory night on May 26th. This was the evening that they formally graduated and were given recognition for all their achievements throughout the year. Fatima Hall was decorated with work samples and projects and there was a slideshow with all the unique photographs taken during the photography modules. The picnic benches depicting famous artwork from the upcycling module were also on display.

At the prize-giving ceremony, there were awards given for students who excelled in each of the subject areas, full attendance and sporting achievements. The students of the class were Akysha Kelly in 4 Bronze, Chloe Kelly in 4 Silver and Ella O’Donovan in 4 Gold. Lily Sheehy won the award for Sports Person of the year. Isabel Ledesma was presented with a plaque for her amazing Junior Cert results. Another of the significant awards was the ‘Spirit of T.Y.’ given to the student who showed commitment, positivity and enthusiasm in the wide variety of compulsory and non-compulsory activities on offer over the year. Chloe Davis was the very popular winner of this award.

This year 54 students received their Bronze Gaisce Award, one of the biggest numbers to date. A word of thanks must be given to the Transition Year Coordinator, Ms Goff, for all her hard work over the year with the transition-year students and for making sure the night was the success that it was.

First-Year Tasters

On May 26th and 27th while some year groups were busy doing their Summer assessments, the incoming first-year students enjoyed spending some time in the school sampling the variety of subjects on offer to them next year. They had the opportunity to meet some of the students and staff and had a tour of the school.

At break time they enjoyed some delicious treats from the canteen. The purpose of the day was to give the new students a taste of all the option subjects so that making their final subject choices would be less of a challenge. We look forward to welcoming all our new students at the end of August.


Class of 2022

Congratulations to the class of 2022 on their graduation last Wednesday.

Joined by their families and school staff, the graduates’ day began with a beautiful and moving service in Wicklow Parish Church before heading back to the school grounds for a barbeque, speeches and the presentation of their certificates.

A day of laughter and smiles as memories were recalled, photographs taken and good wishes exchanged.

To the Class of 2022 : All the very best in your Leaving Certificate and in your journey through life.

Track and Field

Jonas Stafford will be competing in the 5km race in the National Schools Track and Field Championship on Saturday 4th June in Tullamore. Best of luck to Jonas.