Thursday 17 October 2019

Schools report: Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Dominican College Wicklow

Dominican College students Leah Flynn, Ava Vickers and Síofra O’Leary with their Enterprise Award
Dominican College students Leah Flynn, Ava Vickers and Síofra O’Leary with their Enterprise Award

Coláiste Chraobh Abhann. Michael Sweetman trip. Two CCA Leaving Cert students, Diarmuid Murphy and Rachael Grant, won the great honour of attending the European Parliament following an essay they wrote on a topical European issue and entering it into the Michael Sweetman Competition last month.

They met 20 other students from Ireland, who were attending the event in the Clayton Hotel, where they had a briefing and stayed overnight, before flying to Germany on the Wednesday to attend the European Parliament in Strasburg.

There they met students from twenty-eight countries, with each representative student presenting a piece about their country to the parliament.

Throughout the day, the students discussed various issues of importance including human rights, internet security, climate change, immigration and other social and political concerns.

Diarmuid was elected to speak in the parliament for his group on their topic Human Rights and Internet Security. In this capacity, he had to coordinate the discussion, get the various views of all present, before presenting the finding to the parliament gathering.

Following their hard work, the next day saw the students spend some downtime with some retail therapy in Strasburg, before flying home on the Friday. Both Diarmuid and Rachael said that they had a wonderful time and learned so much from their experience.

CCA are very proud of this outstanding achievement by Rachael and Diarmuid and hope they continue their political and social endeavours in the future. Thanks to Ms Ward for supporting them with this event.


On Wednesday, March 6, 30 students from CCA travelled to DCU for the annual PExpo competition. Now in its fifth year, the competition has steadily grown from strength to strength.

Students entered a number of categories, including Power of Sport, Nutrition, Psychology in Sport, Games Development and Well Being and promoted their project to the judges throughout the day. Each group had to answer questions based on what their project was about, how they could publicise their project, and how could they would continue to develop their project after the PExpo.

CCA had two winning projects in the competition. 20x20 Women in Sport - Stevie Stokes, Lauren Delamere and Niamh Kelly impressed the judges with their approach to the development of women's sport within the school, culminating in a Ladies Day and a girls v Staff Gaelic match. The girls won the Senior Power of Sport category.

Luke Hackman, Conor Daye, Ben Hunt and Oisín McWatt also developed a project based on manipulation of genes and DNA which gained them first prize in the TY project category.

Congratulations to all involved.

Student Enterprise Final

Coláiste Chraobh Abhann were announced as the winners of the overall Junior Category in the Wicklow County Enterprise Final of the Student Enterprise Awards last week. The winner, Holly Eager from first year, set up a company producing wonderful hand stitched bags and gifts. She will now go on to represent County Wicklow at the national finals in Croke Park on May 1. CCA had further success in the Junior Section, taking four of the six trophies on offer, as well as four out of the nine awards available in the Senior Section. Another successful year for CCA Entrepreneurs and we wish Holly every success in the national final.

Of Mice and Men

Still not too late to get tickets for the CCA Players' production of 'Of Mice and Men' which is performing for three nights in the Castle Inn Theatre, Newcastle from Wednesday, March 20, to Friday, March 22, at 7.30 p.m.

Tickets cost €5 and are available through the Castle Inn Pub, by contacting Coláiste Charobh Abhann, or to buy at the door on the night.

Seachtain na Gaeilge

Coláiste Chraobh Abhann celebrated Seachtain na Gaeilge all last week with an extensive week of activities, competitions and musical and theatrical performances taking place.

A TY led Ceilí took place for all the year groups with everyone getting involved in the fun.

There was a lunchtime hurling match that took place, as well as treasure hunts, quizzes, and poster competitions throughout the week, along with seanfhocail an lae.

Míle buíochas to everyone who made Seachtain na Gaeilge such a great week, where our national language and heritage was celebrated with great enthusiasm and passion.

Cross-schools Irish play

Congratulations to Mr Keddy's fourth class students from Newtown Primary, who did a wonderful production of the all Irish play Labhraidh Loingseach last Thursday.

This cross-curricular links programme sees Transition Year students from Coláiste Chraobh Abhann and Newtownmountkennedy Primary School working on this production for months, and all their hard work culminated in this fine performance during Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Parents, staff, students and family members all attended the play and were thoroughly entertained by the wonderful acting from the fourth class students. Thanks to all involved.

Senior Gaeltacht trip

A number of sixth year students attended a very enjoyable weekend trip to the Gaeltacht in Connemara last weekend in preparation for their upcoming Irish Orals.

The students attended classes, participated in various activities and experienced the culture of full immersion in the Irish language.

Thanks to Ms Doran and Mr Ryan for accompanying them on this trip.

Donal Walsh talk

The TY students attended a very moving and inspirational talk given by Fionnbar Walsh, the father of Donal Walsh, who fought a tremendously brave battle against cancer.

Donal kept a video diary of his experiences of going though treatment and Fionnbar told both funny and heart-breaking stories of how Donal lived his life, regardless of the challenges that he faced.

We would like to thank Fionnbar for coming into the school to share the memory of Donal with us.

French theatre workshop

Last week CCA had a visit from an authentic French theatre troupe FTFS (French Theatre For Schools) with their original play 'Les Nouvelles Vedettes'.

TY and fifth years had the opportunity to experience a piece of real French theatre with native actors, song, dance and plenty of audience participation.

Thanks to all involved.

Boys basketball

CCA first years beat Avondale CC on a score line of 28-08 on Monday. The team put in a very strong performance, with some excellent passing from Callum Davis, Luke Davidson and Seán Byrne.

The team now await Balbriggan CC in the knockout stages of the East first year boys schools competition.

Girls football final

Congratulations to the Senior Girls' team who beat Avondale in the B Shield Final to claim the shield last week.

This has been a very successful season for CCA Girls' football and this win caps off their achievements.

Well done to all the team, and especially to Ms Miley and Ms Doyle for all their time spent coaching the girls.


On Tuesday, March 12, the CCA under-14A Boys badminton team travelled to Baldoyle Badminton Centre to represent Wicklow in this year's Leinster Badminton Championships.

The first team CCA met were West Meath, and after the singles both teams were level at 2-2. Going into the doubles, CCA knew they needed to outpoint them to secure a win, and unfortunately CCA came up short, losing our two doubles matches.

Next up were the team that narrowly beat CCA in the Dublin Schools semi-final by 11 points. Again going into the doubles the score was 2-2, with CCA narrowly losing one of the singles 28-30. The same score line in one of the doubles matches gave CCA a 2-4 loss.

The CCA team did have some success in their final game, overcoming their Meath opponents on points in the last game. Knowing they had to win the last game by a certain number of points, the boys soon got a good lead and held onto it, stopping the opposition from scoring and frustrating them.

Heads held high CCA finished the competition in fifth place.

What a season CCA have had. Starting with the 19A Girls reaching the quarter-finals, to the under-14 girls A & B teams reaching their quarter-finals and the under-14 boys A & B reaching their semi-finals in the Dublin Schools League.

A big thank you to John Curran Ms Prendergast and Mr Steele for all their coaching throughout the season. We are already looking forward to what the next season will bring.

Dominican College Wicklow

All-Ireland Medallists

Huge congratulations to our first-year cross country athletes on their brilliant performances in the National Schools Cross Country Championships, held in Clongowes Woods College, in Kildare, on March 6 the Dominican girls battled the windy conditions, and their team score of 74 put them in the silver medal position, an amazing achievement. The team members were Alex Carey, Lily Sheehy, Kayleigh Keogh, Katie McGrath and Grace Muldowney. All at the school are so proud of the girls and their achievements to date. We now look forward to the track and field season with the hope of more medals to come. Many thanks to their coach Ms Wadden, who continues with training every Tuesday for the upcoming track events. All new athletes are welcome.

Show Jumping

Gorey was the destination for our equestrian competitors on Sunday, March 10, Two of the Dominican teams participated in the Interschools show jumping competition in Barnadown Equestrian centre. Unfortunately, the girls did not feature in the top three at this event. Very difficult weather conditions coupled with a few mischievous ponies made the task even more difficult. Nevertheless, well done to Ella Mulvey, Naoise O'Neill, Jessica Phelan, Casey and Megan Neville and Alanah Miley.

Seachtain Na Gaeilge

Bhí go leor imeachtaí ar súil sa scoil i rith coicíse na Gaeilge ón gceathrú lá de Mharta go dtí an cuigiú lá déag.

Bhí pop up Gaeltacht i seomra na múinteoirí. Bhí Toraíocht Taisce ann don chéad bhlian agus b'iad Saoirse Dolan, Saoirse Mitchell, Leah Wynne agus Grace Bunce na buaiteoirí.

Bhí Aifreann as Gaeilge sa shéipéal Doiminiceánach. Bhí tráth na gCeist ar súil dhá lá i Halla Fatima, ceann idir an seú agus an cuigiú bhiain agus lá eile idir an dara agus an triú bhliain. Dé Chéadaoin, bhí an bua ag foireann ón séu bliain ag an deireadh. Bhain gach duine an taitnimh as an tráthnóna. Comhghairdeas do na buateoirí ón séu bliain-Rachel Winters, Emer McNulty, Nicole Humby, Laura Whitty agus Ciara Henry. Déardaoin, bhí an craic nócha freisin agus bhuaigh an dara Nadia Laassri, Kiva Jameson, Kim Humby, Kirsty Dunne, Casey Fitzpatrick and Carla Kavanagh. Comhghairdeas do gach duine a bhí páirteach. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir.

Senior English

On March 12 our sixth-year students were very privileged to meet with the well-known writer, Frances Rocks. Frances has taught English at secondary level and is currently employed by the department as a Chief Examiner. She talked the girls through the Leaving Cert English exam. The students were delighted with the insights Frances provided on the different texts on the syllabus. She discussed the importance of planning and highlighted key phrases suitable for comparative texts. She gave invaluable advice on the timing of different sections of the papers and the appropriate length of student answers.

The feedback from the sixth years was very positive, and they now feel they have the skills to read and answer questions more effectively in their exam.

Daffodil day

Daffodil day has now become an annual event in DCW thanks to the efforts of Ms Walsh and her group of dedicated helpers from Transition Year. This year the coffee morning and bake sale were held on Thursday, March 14. There was an extended break during which all the staff and the fifth and sixth-year students gathered in Fatima hall for tea, coffee and an array of tasty goodies. This was very well attended, and we thank the staff and senior students for their kind donations.

Families and friends then attended from 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. From 11.30 a.m. onwards the junior students were called down to the hall at intervals to purchase the cakes and chocolate treats and show their support for the worthy cause. More than €800 was raised on the day and Ms Walsh would like to thank all who supported the event.

TY Enterprise

Transition year students from DCW participated in the enterprise competition in Clermont House on Tuesday, March 12, Each group created unique, innovative products and professionally presented their ideas to a panel of judges. The enterprise competition is an annual event and schools from all over Wicklow gather for the occasion.

One of the Dominican groups, Mix and match won an award for Best Display/Stand. Ava Vickers, Leah Flynn, and Siofra O'Leary created beautiful tie-dye products, and the judges were very impressed with their colourful display. All groups and individuals put in a fantastic effort and must be commended for their creativity.

Basketball semi-final

Both the first and second-year basketball teams were due to play their semi-final matches this week against North Wicklow Educate Together. However, due to difficulties with venues and clashes with CBAs the games have been postponed till next week. We wish both teams the very best of luck.

Transition Year Talk

On March 13, speakers from the Alzheimer Society of Ireland came into the school to talk to the Transition Year students about dementia. The main purpose of the talk was to raise awareness of the condition as increasing numbers of individuals are now living with dementia.

In 2018, 55,000 people in Ireland were living with the condition, with this number set to double in the next 20 years. Up to 4,000 Irish people are diagnosed with the condition every year - that's 11 people a day. The Alzheimer society aims to educate people and try to reduce the stigma and prejudice that come with the condition. The talk was very informative, and hopefully, the students have a new and sympathetic understanding of dementia.

DCW Mass

DCWs fourth annual Irish language Mass in celebration of Seachtain na Gaeilge and St Patrick's Day was held on Wednesday, March 13, in the Dominican Chapel and was a huge success. The chapel was full and was attended by all first and second-year students, along with students from the Gaelscoil and members of the parish.

Thanks to Fr Roche for a lovely service and to the Dominican sisters for the use of their chapel. Many thanks also to the liturgical choir and the Gaelscoil for their musical input which added greatly to the atmosphere of the occasion. Finally, thanks to Ms Wadden and Ms Lynch without whom the Mass would not have happened.

Wicklow People