Monthly Archives: November 2012

Young Dragons Den Finals

November 30, 2012

Congratulations to TY Business Studies students, Steven Brosnan and Tom Flavin, who represented F21-D (a mini company set up by the transition years of Desmond College) for qualifying for the All Ireland Finals of Junior Dragons’ Den.

Desmond College Transition Year Business F21-D in the Young Dragon's Den Final on 8th Dec 2012

The students have developed their own unique brand of screen wash. The students will represent their school in Dublin on the 8th December in the Gibson Hotel along with approx. another one hundred young entrepreneurs. Of these eighteen companies will be selected by Shinawil who are recording the programme for television to be screened in two special editions in the new year.

The competition is sponsored by Bank of Ireland and the students will vie for a potential prize fund of €2000.

Well done to all in the group including teacher and mentor Mr Donal Enright.

CSPE Projects

November 29, 2012

Desmond College 2012 CSPE Students helping Children around the world celebrate Christmas
2012 CSPE Shoebox Collection for Team HopeDesmond College CSPE Student organizing the collection of shoeboxes for Team HopeDesmond College CSPE Students organizing shoeboxes for Team HopePacking the transport of the shoeboxes collected for Team Hope2012 CSPE Desmond College Students

CSPE classes, taught by Mrs. M O’Connor collect shoe boxes for Team Hope.

These boxes will be given to celebrate Christmas with children all over the world.

FAI Training Session for School Soccer Team

November 29, 2012

FAI School Training Session for Desmond College School Soccer Team

Desmond College Soccer Team worked hard on Friday evening 23rd November, despite the cold and rain, at a training session given by FAI coach Conor Nestor and under the watchful eye of school coach and manager Mr Casey.

FAI School Training Session for School Soccer Team

TY Petition for Screening for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

November 27, 2012

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:

TY Blog

November 27, 2012

Desmond College Transition Year Media students have taken on a new challenge in the past few weeks.

They have created Desmond Blog, an online site where the TYs have written blog entries about all the different activities they get up to throughout the year. The site also contains photographs of some of their experiences along with a calendar showing what they get up to each week.
Link to Desmond College Transition Year Blog

Nevin Maguire visits Newcastle West

November 21, 2012

“Neven Maguire regularly hosts cookery demonstrations throughout Ireland and abroad for private groups or those wishing to fundraise. Neven’s Cookery Demonstrations have become renowned both for the crowds of cooking fans they attract, as well as the learning and fun experienced by those who attend.”

Neven Maguire visited Newcastle West on the 14th November 2012 for an event
organized by Newcastle West Rovers who kindly invited Desmond College students to participate in the demonstration.

Young Scientist Competition : 2010 – 2011

November 14, 2012

Desmond College entered an amazing fourteen projects in to this year’s Young Scientist competition.

The fourteen projects involve the dedication and hard work of thirty nine students and teachers. There is a tremendous tradition within this school for participating and achieving in this competition. There is outstanding support from management and staff throughout all departments.

The preparation for the competition shows huge collaboration among staff and students, ensuring projects are of a high standard. The projects entered in this year’s competition from Desmond College:

The mystery that is “Boy Racers” (Rachel O’Mahony, Rachel O’Sullivan, Claire Browne)

A solar powered steriliser for Third World Countries (Mairead Relihan, Kate Brislane and Louise Copse)

The accuracy of Eye Witness reports in criminal investigations (Slaine Healy, Cian Landers and Danny O’Shaughnessy)

An investigation into the most effective method in preventing enamel erosion (Edel Copse and Sarah Eright)

A recycled water power unit (Patrick O’Sullivan, Shauna Cronin and Alice Barrett)

An investigation into links between dexterity and professions or trades (Gemma Laey, Patrick Qulligan, Michael Costello)

A plastic crushing device for domestic recycling (Shane Lee, Liam Upton and Jack Fanning)

A device which prevents portable goalposts from collapsing (Luke Barry, Steven McMahon, Deborah Murphy)

Papercrete – recycled newspaper used in freezing substances (Adam Greaney, Richard Taylor and Shane Kenny)

An alternative engine design powered by black powder (Warren Gleeson, Jack Wilson and Daniel Murphy)

Sensorson Goalposts (Kieran Copse, Lorraine Enright and David Costello)

A device to prevent people driving under the influence of alcohol (David Upton and Darragh McMahon)

A wellington washer device (Tom Flavin, Chris Scannell and John Delee)

An investigation into Phermones (Joanne Dowling and Paul McGuinness)


Desmond College Students have their Ear to the Ground

Young Scientists Competition 2010-2011

The exceptional standards of Desmond College entrants to the 47th BT Young Scientist awards held in the RDS Dublin was once again highlighted this year. Innovative projects, the “Wellie Washer”, the “Alchemiser” and the “Investigation into Tooth Decay” attracted huge attention among the record breaking attendance and the 520 projects on display.

Highlighting innovation in the Agricultural field the “Wellie Washer” project attracted huge interest from RTE’s TV programme, Ear to the Ground, as well as press interest from The Farmers Journal and The Examiner.

The idea was conceived by second year students Tom Flavin, John Delee and Chris Scannell based on their own experience on their family farms.

The group have been praised by Sean Gallagher of “Dragons’ Den” for their ingenuity as the portable footbath cleans and disinfects wellingtons and will be a very useful and practical way to prevent the spread of infection and disease on farms.

Winning highly commended from the judges The National Road Safety Authority were keenly impressed by the “Alchemiser” project designed by David Upton and Darragh McMahon.

Science Teacher, Ms. Corkery explained that they designed the device to prevent the ignition of a car if a person has more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system. With road deaths at an all time high, this device was designed to aid in the reduction of road deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.

Transition Year students Edel Copse and Sarah Enright have dedicated their time to investigate the “Best Treatment for Preventing Tooth Enamel Erosion.” This attracted widespread attention from the public and dental experts. For their project the duo carried out the investigative experiments and analysed the effects of many every day substances on teeth to come up with the best prevention of tooth enamel erosion.

Desmond College would like to congratulate the innovative students, their parents and dedicated teachers for doing themselves and the school proud.

Young Scientist Competition : 2011 – 2012

November 14, 2012

2012 BT Young Scientists Warren Gleeson and Sean Duffy

As part of their prize for winning the Analog Devices Award at the BT Young Scientist, the boys flew to San Francisco visiting Analog’s Plant in San Jose, stopping off at The Golden Gate Bridge, Los Angeles, Six Flags Theme Park, Universal Studios, Alcatraz, Science Museum and Stanford University.

2012 BT Young Scientist Warren Gleeson Sean Duffy

Success Breeds Success : 13 Projects chosen from Desmond College!

The 2012 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition has attracted a record number of projects this year, with 1,743 entries received from across 32 counties.

From this number 550 were selected this week to partake in the final to be held in January in the RDS. Desmond College has a proud tradition in this competition being successful in 2005, winning the Runner Up Group Award and the Patent Award in that year as well as category awards every year since then.

Desmond College is particularly delighted to have thirteen projects accepted this year from amongst its entries. This is the largest number from any one school in the county, and the 3rd highest in the country as a whole!

The students were informed by the principal, Ms. Vourneen Gavin-Barry, of their success in being chosen to partake in this, the biggest exhibition of its kind in Europe.

Annually the BT Young Scientist Competition attracts nearly 100,000 visitors to the RDS in January each year. Having this amount of projects accepted is affirmation of the past successes of Desmond College and the dedication and work put in over several months by the students and mentoring teachers.

Most of the projects accepted from Desmond College are group projects with just one individual project chosen. The students were naturally elated as they received the news.

They will take part in Mathematical Physical & Chemical, Biological and Ecological, Social & Behavioural and Technology Sections this year.

Congrats to all students involved and to their teacher mentors Marie Corkery, Donal Enright, Tom Byrne, Heather McCarthy and Orla Fahy.

…back to Young Scientist Competition page

First Year Hike 2012-2013

November 14, 2012

Click Poster to view images!
Desmond College 1st/TY Hike : 2013 Ballyhoura Mountains

Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013Desmond College Students on the 1st Year Transition Year Hike 2013

back to Tours…

Special Honour for Desmond College Student from BT Young Scientist Competition

November 14, 2012

In addition to Desmond College having 16 projects accepted, Michael Upton, a leaving certificate student and twice winner at previous Young Scientist Competitions in 2010 and 2012, has been selected to become a Guest Information Ambassador.

Michael will carry out research on behalf of BT Young Scientist and will make a video to be shown as part of the 2013 BT Young Scientist Exhibition to be held in the RDS in January 9th-12th 2013.

In total eight past winners were chosen from amongst the thousands of entrants. This is a unique achievement and honour for the school and for Michael who along with Kieran Scanlon was featured on the Late Late Show last year.

It is testament to Michael’s dedication and commitment to scientific endeavors over several years. It is also affirmation of the high esteem that Desmond College students are held in by the organisers of the Young Scientist Competition.


Young Scientist success in Desmond College

November 13, 2012

The students of Desmond College, Newcastle west have had their largest number of projects accepted into this year’s BT Young Scientist Competition. Last year Desmond College was the third best represented school in the country, but this year they have moved to joint second place with 16 projects accepted, hitting record numbers for school both North and South participating in this years BT Young Scientist competition.

In this the 49th year of the competition, 1898 projects were submitted from all over Ireland, with just 550 projects being accepted. Desmond College who has an enviable reputation in this, the biggest competition of its kind in Europe, has 16 projects accepted, involving forty one students ranging from 1st to 5th years.

Desmond College has a proud tradition in this prestigious competition, winning Overall Group Runners-up and Patent Award in 2005, 12 different awards in 2012 including the Analog Travel Award in 2012, and numerous other awards over the years.

Principal Vourneen Gavin Barry said that she is thrilled for all of the students who have had their projects accepted into this prestigious competition but that this really is only the beginning for them. She said the hard work must start for them now, with experiments, research and investigations to carry out over the coming weeks.

Desmond Factor 2010-2011

November 11, 2012

There may well be a ‘recession’ but Desmond College students proved that there is absolutely no recession of talent or entertainment in our midst as on Friday 28th of January, glamorous and glitzy Desmond College students wowed a full to capacity crowd at the school during their annual talent fest.

The audience were treated to captivating performances in an array of talents from soloists, group singing, instrumental band playing, upbeat dance routines, hilarious drama sketches, expert French rapping and traditional bodhran playing.

The talented students displayed an abundance of skills and initiative that are testament to how their abilities can be fostered outside of the classroom.

The collaborative effort of many teachers in the school meant students were provided with mentoring and support behind the scenes and front of house which empowered their creativity.

The combination of teacher and student dedication and extra effort outside of classroom time were attested to by fine performances that would not be lost on any current TV talent show.

None more so than the polished MCs on the night, the ever capable Jessica Purcell and James Liston.


The unenviable task of judging fell to the three team judging panel with the following results:

OVERALL WINNER: soloist Laura Fitzpatrick

RUNNER UP: Gemma Lacey

ALTERNATIVE: James O’Connor on bodhran
RUNNER UP: Shannen White & Sinead Nix

JUNIOR SOLO: Rose Magner
RUNNER UP: Lorna Browne

GROUPS: Grainne and Gemma Buicke
RUNNER UP: The Splinters

DANCE: Effortless


All at Desmond College would like to congratulate all the young contestants on their pristine performances and all the staff that gave of their time freely to make this night possible. All can be safe in the knowledge that they all have the D-FACTOR!


Ballyhoura Trail

November 5, 2012

Desmond College Students Scale New Heights!

Congratulations to the 87 students and 5 staff from Desmond College for completing the 15-mile hike of the beautiful Ballyhoura Trail.

Ballyhoura Trail : Desmond College Students and Teachers on 15-mile hikeBallyhoura Trail : Desmond College Students and Teachers on 15-mile hike

Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes

November 5, 2012


On a cold wet morning, students from Desmond College and Scoil Mhuire agus Íde, accompanied by Fr. Keane & teachers from Desmond College departed from Newcastle West in high spirits, as we began our pilgrimage to Lourdes. In hindsight we were embarking on a spiritual roller-coaster of emotions.

After several hours of travelling we arrived in Lourdes, a little dishevelled but full of excitement. On our first evening we went to the grotto to celebrate mass. Fr. Keane in his homily recounted the story of Saint Bernadette’s early life. This was followed by a walking tour in which we went to The Parish Church of Lourdes, where Bernadette was baptised.

We also visited the picturesque village of Bartrès where Bernadette was fostered and we were given a guided tour of Holy Mill where Bernadette spent her early years before her father became bankrupt, and they had to move into the Cachot, which was an abandoned jail at the time when they moved in.

On our first morning we went to the IHCPT mass. We all agreed that it was the highlight of the trip. It was a colourful joyous occasion and we felt humbled to be part of it. Every day we took a few quite moments of personal time at the grotto to pray for our family, friends and loved ones. We lit candles and were drawn to this special place, both as a group and individually.

The Baths were one of the most talked about aspects of our pilgrimage. The Baths are operated by a group of local dedicated men and women who ensure a deeply spiritual experience.

We also participated in the Torchlight Procession which takes place each evening at 9.00 pm as it has done since 1872. We all held a lighted candle in our hands, as a symbol of our faith. When viewed from a higher vantage point this procession is a spectacular sight. It was overwhelming and emotional.

On our second last day we were feeling exhilarated, so we embarked on a fun filled afternoon tobogganing 1500m above sea level in the Pyrénées. We screamed with a mixture of fear and delight, and laughed until our throats became sore. Who knew that pilgrims are such dare devils, and thrill seekers at heart?

On our final evening we prayed at the Stations of the Cross. Even though the Stations follow a rough stony track, some of our eager young pilgrims decided to do it barefoot, to emulate Our Lord Jesus Christ. There are 15 large stations all with larger than life bronze statues, depicting the various stages of Jesus’ last journey.

Our final night was fun filled when all the students put on a show. It was amazing to witness their talents – singing, dancing and playing instruments.

On our last day, Fr. Keane summed up Lourdes eloquently:

For those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible.

For those who do believe, no explanation is necessary.

By Ms. K. Liston

Group of Desmond College Students who went to Lourdes France from Newcastle West Limerick

Annual Trip to Leinster House

November 5, 2012

The annual trip to visit Leinster House was organised by Rang Bronna and Rang Brian.

This year’s trip was even more special because they got to meet with their primary school teacher, TD Patrick O Donovan. He was very generous, treating the students to a bottle of coke and a snack.

Desmond College Students on their Annual Trip to Leinster House

The students had organised to visit Dublin Zoo with the intention of adopting an endangered animal. Unfortunately the weather was not in our favour so we undertook an investigation on ‘How Green is Croke Park’. The students had a guided tour of the carbon neutral stadium and learned how the amazing stadium is so environmentally friendly.