Student Success

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.

Google Science Fair 2011-2012

November 5, 2012

Google Science Fair Logo 2012


In 2011, Google launched the first ever global online science competition for 13-18 year old students with the Google Science Fair. Over 10,000 students from 91 countries submitted amazing science experiments. With project topics ranging from “Can I program a robot in English?” to “Can I make a sailboat even faster with a winged keel,” to “How does marinade affect carcinogen levels in grilled chicken.

The 2012 competition is well under way. Sixty semi-finals will be selected in May of which 15 finals will be invited to Google headquarters for the Google Science Fair Final in July.

Two Second Year Students from Desmond College, Sean Duffy & Warren Gleeson, have been accepted for the Google World Science Competition. As part of their entry they have made a 2 minute video which is currently viewable on You Tube. They are asking students and all interested parties to view their effort and to LIKE it.

To view the clip log onto You Tube, type Invigil8. To date the video has received over 500 hits from around the world from as close as United Kingdom and as far away as Australia.

Bank of Ireland Student of the Year

September 20, 2012

A Desmond College Junior Certificate Student winning the Bank of Ireland Student of the Year Award

A Junior Certificate student who won the Bank of Ireland Student of the Year Award
for outstanding results achieved in his examinations.

Students win Scholarships for Irish College

September 19, 2012

Lucky Students from Desmond College and Gaelcholaiste Ui Chonba
who won scholarships this summer to Irish College in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry.

Desmond College Students Receive Junior Certificate Results

September 17, 2012

Congratulations to all our students for their academic successes! (2012)

August 9, 2012

Google World Science Competition: InVigil8

April 16, 2012

Two of our students, Warren Gleeson and Sean Duffy have been accepted for the Google World Science Competition. As part of their entry they have made a two minute video which can be viewed on You Tube. We are asking you to please view the video and LIKE it. To view the clip log onto YouTube & type Invigil8 or click here.

Link to YouTube video about InVigil8 by Desmond College students showing at the Google Science Fair 2012

Desmond College’s Entrepreneurs of the Future

April 5, 2012

The Transition Year students from Desmond College have attended two mini company competitions in recent weeks. Four mini company groups travelled to the Vienna Hotel in Cork to take part in the “Get up and Go” Transition Year Competition.

The four mini companies were:

  • “Funky Frames”
  • “West Limerick Secret Millionaire”
  • “Chimney Turbine”
  • “Calving Jackers”.

On the day of the competition, students spoke to various judges and explained their business concepts, the marketing campaigns they undertook to promote their businesses and the financial accounts of their companies.

The students were successful in winning two categories:

  • 1st prize for Sustainability with the “Chimney Turbine”
  • 3rd prize for Innovation with the “Calving Jackers”


The following week the students took part in the Limerick County Enterprise Board Competition in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare. On this day, six groups travelled from Desmond College.

This initiative is designed to encourage students to take a business idea from market research and follow through to production. Students also gained experience in selling and record keeping management. Finally, they had to write a comprehensive business plan detailing their activities. These groups competed in the senior category along with “Timpeallacht” who cleverly devised an alternative repellent to Wasps.

The “Calving Jackers” won best innovative product while “The Slurry Wise” competed in the Intermediate category. They also won this category and will now proudly represent Limerick County Enterprise Board at the National Final in Croke Park on the 19th of April.

Best of Luck to all!

Green Dragon 2012 National Finals : Students Take Home Innovation Prize

April 5, 2012

Students from Desmond College, Newcastle West were out in force on Wednesday (28th March) in Croke Park as they competed with over 60 other students for the title of National Winner at Agri Aware’s Green Dragon Secondary School Innovation Challenge.

These budding innovators were all out to impress the panel of judges which included leading economist and Chairman of Love Irish Food, Jim Power; the 2012 Apprentice winner, Eugene Heary; agricultural presenter, Ella McSweeney; Heidi Corr, of the Dublin Business Innovation Centre and Pauric Corrigan, President of the National Irish Safety Organisation.

Desmond College : Green Dragon 2012 : National Final

The finalists had to convince the Green Dragons that their idea for a new Agriculture, Food, Environment or Health and Safety product or service had the potential to be a real seller on the market.

A total of €14,000 in prizes was awarded at the event and the “Calving Jackers” team of Conor Barry, Martin Madden and AJ O’Connor were runners-up in the agricultural category with their idea for an attachment to a calving jack that helps assist vets when performing a caesarean section on cows.

Now in its third year, the Green Dragon Secondary School Innovation Challenge is an Agri Aware initiative supported by Bord Bia, AIB Bank and FBD. The initiative provides students with the opportunity to bring their innovative idea from concept stage through to development of business and marketing plans. Earlier today, the students made their business pitch to the judges, in front of a live audience.

This year, the category winners will also have the opportunity to showcase their ideas at a European level at the Dublin City of Science in July in the National Convention Centre. This event will be attended by over 6,000 scientists, business leaders and Government officials from across Europe.

Commenting on the success of the National Final, Agri Aware Chairman, Bernard Donohue remarked, “The standard of the business pitches made to the panel of judges today was outstanding. All finalists were remarkable and we congratulate them all for their great effort.”

Teresa Brophy, Manager Ireland Market, Bord Bia commented “The range and standard of Quality Assured food ideas at the National Final was fantastic. From taking part in the challenge these students have learnt how the Quality Mark is a reassurance of Bord Bia’s highest quality standards and the importance of choosing food with the Mark when shopping.”

Speaking at the final, John Farrell Agri Strategy, AIB Bank remarked, “The creativity and entrepreneurship of these students is remarkable, we witnessed some truly innovative ideas today. The standard of the finalists was very high and I would like to commend all the finalists for the time, effort and work that they have put into their entries.”

Conor Gouldson, Company Secretary with FBD said, “We were delighted to see such a high standard of entries across all four categories, especially in the health and safety sectors. We extend our congratulations to all of today’s winners, and we hope that these students’ great ideas come to fruition in the not too distant future.”

Green Dragon Secondary Schools Innovation Challenge-Prize Winners

Agriculture Winner and Overall Winner: Smart Seeds Delivery System, Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Agriculture Runner Up: Calving Jackers, Desmond College, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

Field Development Draw Winners

March 29, 2012


Fairtrade Winners

March 23, 2012

Fairtrade Limerick Christmas Card Competition winners with Ms O'Connor and Ms Gavin

Fairtrade Limerick ran a Christmas card competition for schools in the Limerick City and County area. Students were asked to design a Fairtrade Christmas card.

Congrats to Gavin Browne (3rd year) and Ciara Madigan (1st year) were prize winners in their categories. The prize giving ceremony took place in Thomond Park in December attended by the Lord Major of Limerick as well as representatives from the Limerick Fairtrade Committee.

Well done to all the students who submitted cards for the competition.

More information about Fairtrade can be found on www.

Transition year students are in the process of registering Desmond college as a ‘Fairtrade school’. Watch this space as a number of initiatives will take place during Fairtrade Fortnight in February. Watch out for their book mark competition!

Transition Year Secret Millionaire 2012

March 19, 2012

With a remix of hit single and a twist on a popular TV show, our Transition Year students at Desmond College are hoping to provide a boost to a number of charities and community projects in West Limerick.

On the 6th of December students, teachers and invited guests launched the ‘West Limerick Charity Secret Millionaire’ project.

T.Y has been joined by Newcastle West Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club in the initiative and are supporting them in the fundraising activities. The project will benefit a number of local clubs, voluntary groups and charitable organisations over the coming weeks.

Special guest on the night was John Concannon, one of the stars of RTE’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ TV programme, which has provided the template for the Transition Year project.

Transition year teacher Carol Liston explained that the scheme is all about civic pride. “Back in September, the class sat down and discussed problems and issues within their community that they could help under the Young Social Innovators project. They wanted to help clubs and organisations which might be struggling for money at the moment”.

The twenty one students have recorded a charity single a version of Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar”, which will be on sale across West Limerick. The students also plan to hold a number of fundraisers, starting with a primary school colouring competition.

The young social innovators programme ethos places huge emphasis on young people working with their community. Our TY Students have embraced this ethos by enrolling the help of the Newcastle West and District Lyons Club and the Chamber of Commerce. These organisations are extremely enthusiastic about working with young people, they will no doubt supply the students with encouragement, knowledge and assistance that will be vital to the success of the West Limerick Charity Secret Millionaire.

We encourage all parents and students who are involved in any non profit making organisations to ensure that their club or charity apply. It is a fantastic opportunity that should not be missed. Organisations interested in benefiting from the proceeds can download an application form from the West Limerick Charity Secret Millionaire website, or application forms are available in the school Reception.

In March, the winning charities will be named at a special gala night.

Green Dragon National Final

March 14, 2012

Desmond College: Green Dragon National Finals

National Students Awards

March 14, 2012

James Keenan receiving his national award for his Leaving Cert.Construction Studies From Minister for Trade and Skills Ciaran Cannon T.D at the National Students Awards 2011 at GMIT.

Desmond College Student receiving National Students Awards
Left to right: Ciaran Cannon T.D., James Keenan, Colum Lowe Teacher and
Padraig Cawley Chairperson Technoteachers Association.

Josephine Baker Research Published (2012)

March 14, 2012

Josephine Baker research by Desmond College Leaving Cert student published in


Desmond College Leaving Certificate History student, Joanne Dowling, pictured with History teacher Ms. White, had her new research on “Josephine Baker” published by

Well done!