Berlin Tour

Mr O’Connell, Mr Clyne and a group of TYs were in Berlin last week. As the notes go to print they are traveling home. All reports indicate they had a great week. Many thanks to Mr O Connell for sending photos each day so we could keep updated on their activities.

Delphi Sports Trip

46 TY students travelled to Delphi Adventure Centre in Mayo on Thursday last. This was their end of year trip and involved an overnight stay. During their time there the students completed a number of activities including surfing, high ropes, team building activities.  It was a great experience for the lads which they really enjoyed.

MOLL Success What a performance! TY students wowed the audience with a professional, funny and dramatic performance of John B Keane’s Moll in Backstage last Monday. On stage were Jack Oates, Peadar Kenny, Alex Gorman, Seán Og Cahill, Enda Bracken, Rudy Herterich and Cormac McIntyre. They got a standing ovation and it was well deserved.  It was a fantastic show of talent and dedication- well done to all! Many thanks to Mickey Kenny and Paula Oates who took the lads through their paces as director and assistant director. Shout out to Euan Finneran who manned the lights for the two performances. It was a great night…congratulations to one and all.


Swift Nest Boxes Transition year group B made swift nest boxes in woodwork class with Mr Galvin. These were made for local environmentalist Larry Mitchell. Swifts are becoming rarer due to the lack of nesting places as they usually nest in the roofs of old buildings. Furthermore, local populations have been displaced since the Cathedral fire. Some nest boxes were placed at St. Mel’s College last year and already have been visited by swifts who we hope will build a permanent colony here. These new nest boxes will be used around the greater Longford area to help preserve the population of these birds. This is a wonderful experience for TYs as they are combining woodwork skills with ecology and saving the environment. We hope these are life lessons they will carry through life.

TY Trip Mr Garvey and Ms Dempsey brought the transition years to Dublin recently. Before they had a shopping “fix” in Liffey Valley they went to the Real Bodies Exhibition in the old Ambassador cinema. This exhibition is not for the faint-hearted or squeamish as the exhibition explores life by displaying real, 14 perfectly preserved human bodies and more than 200 anatomical specimens.

Trcóaire Well done to Mr. Kiernan and his TY religion class who raised €148 for Trocáire with a senior soccer tournament. The student winners played and beat the teachers 2 nil. Shout out goal scorers Shane Morrissey, Sean Creevey. Apparently, the referee needed security getting off the pitch as some of the teachers appeared to be sore losers!

TYs on Stage!

Watch this space for performance dates of MOLL performed by the transition years. They have been busy practicing over Easter and word is that it’s going to be a hit show! Best of luck to the cast for their final rehearsals of this popular play.

D.E.A.R. Week

It’s Drop Everything and Read Week (DEAR). Classes will DEAR once each day so remind to bring in something to read. It can be a newspaper, comic or a novel. These DEAR classes are to encourage students to read. Short story packs are being compiled for leaving certs who want to combine the DEAR class with exam prep; they can read award-winning short stories to them with their essay writing. There is a literacy corner on the top corridor of the new building. DEAR week also gives us insight into the reading habits of our teachers. Students are advised to keep a keen eye on classroom doors for more on this. Thanks to Mr Garvey and the TYs for organising literacy week. We look forward to a report on speaker sand events in next week’s notes.

Winner Alright!

Congratulations to Cian Ó Nualláin from TY who recently came 2nd in the National Career Skills Competition. This competition was open to all secondary schools in Ireland. Cian entered the competition as part of his Ty careers module. He explored Primary school teaching as a future career choice. Cian’s project stood out with the judges as he submitted it “as Gaeilge”. He won a pair of Beats headphones. The awards ceremony takes place on May 10th in Dublin. Maith thu Cian!



Eir Ambassador!  Reminder to Junior and Leaving cert students that Peadar Kenny (TY) is an ambassador for eir study hub. This website has some study notes and tips that exam students might find helpful. See Peadar for further details on how to access these notes.

Jamie Oliver eat your heart out! 

Thanks to Ms. Noone who is doing a module of nutrition and cookery with the transition years. There have been great smells coming from the old boarding school kitchen. We have plenty of Jamie Olivers in the making!! 

Irish debates

Bhaineamar an sult as an díospóireachrt idir Mheánscoil Mhuire agus Coláiste Naomh Mel. An rún a bhí ann ná “Crúthóidh Trump cogadh I Meiriceá”. Taimid an bhrodúil as na leaids; Jack Oates, Cian Ó Nualláin (an captain) agus Barra Ó Briain. Gabhaimid buíochas le Tomás Ó Maonaigh agus Tiernan Dolan, na moltóir.  The TYs are again honing their Irish skills again this week  as they prepare for a second debate against eh Scoil Mhuire. This time we hope to take away the spoils!

Prison Visit   Last week we departed with 22 students and Ms. Dempsey to Castlerea Prison. We were greeted by the prison officers and we went through a security check.

The prison officer showed us around the prison and gave us many lectures about prison life and why we should avoid a career in crime. We were first shown what looked like to be a normal housing estate but was used to keep prisoners who are either getting out soon or prisoners who may die in prison due to life sentences.

We were shown the vehicles used to carry prisoners across the country to hospitals etc. There was also church, we found out there used to be a hospital in the same area. We were then showed the canteen area and the prison cells.

The officer brought us to the control room where we saw a man controlling all the cameras and doors in the prison. In this control room we also saw the weapons confiscated from prisoners. These included knifes made from eating trays, weapons they stole from officers and handmade garrotes made from tools used pottery. There was also tin foil confiscated that was used to smoke heroin. It was a very rewarding and worthwhile trip and are very grateful for the opportunity. 

Backstage Theatre Visit

TYs enjoyed a funny yet thought provoking performance in Backstage last week. They attended Ger Carey’s one man show call Psycho Spaghetti which explores the complexities and of the brain. The tag line for the play was “A comic journey inside the teenage brain” . They really enjoyed their trip to Backstage.

TY Enterprise

On the 22nd of March, four TY Enterprise Companies from St. Mel’s College, Longford, showcased their Mini Companies at the Local Enterprise Finals, which took place in Longford Shopping Centre. We were lucky enough to pick up two awards at the Finals, showing the hard work and dedication our students put in throughout the year.

Rustic Reindeer: This was a company set up by Gary Noone intended to sell handmade wooden Reindeer’s, an ideal Christmas present/decoration for any home. These were made to the highest of qualities by Gary and were sold at a very reasonable price of €15. At the Local Enterprise Finals, Gary was lucky enough to pick up a ‘Special Merit Award’ in recognition for his hard work and dedication to his company. Well done to Gary on his achievements and best of luck to him and his business in the future.

St. Mel’s Bobble Hats: This company was set up by Cian O Nuallain, Barry O’Brien, and Diarmuid Sheahan. They sold good quality, affordable bobble hats to students, teachers, and past pupils. These hats were customised with the Mel’s crest embroidered on them. They were an ideal Christmas present, and perfect for the cold weather! They proved to be very popular throughout the school. The lads picked up an award for ‘Best Business Report’ as a result of their hard work. Well done to the lads on this achievement, they worked very hard on this project. Best of luck to them and their business in the future.

MEPO Gaelic Gloves: This TY Mini company was set up By Maitiú O’Donohue, Evan Farrelly and Paul Brady. They provided customers with high quality, low cost, fully customised Gaelic Gloves. These gloves came with the option any club/county crest the customer wanted and also with the option of applying initials to the gloves. An ideal pair of gloves which are unique to each and every customer. Well done to the boys on the hard work they put in throughout the year and best of luck to the lads and their business in the future.

Finegan Artisan Chocolate: Jack provided the public with delicious handmade artisan chocolates, worthy of being sold in any shop throughout the country. They were great value for money and went down a treat with many customers both in school, and in the shopping centre on Wednesday! They were sold at a very reasonable price and were a huge success among customers. Well done to Jack on the hard work and dedication he put into this project and best of luck to him and his business in the future!

Many thanks to Ms. Emma Dempsey who worked very hard with the lads throughout the year. None of this would be possible without her continued dedication and support for the lads. Also, thanks to TY student Aaron Nelson who provided the lads with some exceptional artwork to display at their stalls. Aaron is a future artist in the making! Also many thanks to Sadie who talked to the lads on a regular basis and gave them expert guidance throughout the project. 

TY Applications

The final application date for transition Year 2017/2018 has closed. Subject choice forms for third years and present TYs are being given out. Ms Concar advises students to choose subjects carefully. Each student going into 5th year will have a meeting with Ms Concar this week to help.


TY Enterprise Thanks to Sadie from the Enterprise Board who visited last week with advice and support for the TYs. At present, there are 7 groups working on enterprise projects. The county final for enterprise projects takes place in April.


Plans have begun for WELLFEST. During this week the school explores ways to promote positive mental health. This year’s activities are being organised by the transition years with the support of Mr Garvey and Ms Concar.  WELLFEST takes place from February 27th until March 3rd. students will enjoy a sports day, nutrition talks, drop everything and relax and talks for support groups a just a few of the planned activities. #mentalfitness 


Practice continues in the sports hall at lunchtimes. TYs and a select group of talented dancers from 5th years are teaching the haka to 1st years. We look forward to a demonstration during WELLFEST.


24 TYs have paid their deposits and are preparing for their week in Berlin. We depart on Monday 1st May and return on Friday 5th. Trip includes visiting the Brandenburg Gate, The DDR Museum, a Computer Game Museum and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. There may also be a tour of a BMW motorbike factory so there is something for everyone. The boys are now busy practicing their German so they are able to communicate with their host families. 

TY Drama

TY students have just started learning their lines for the play Moll. They will perform the play later in the year. Welcome back to Mickey Kenny who has the arduous task of turning our TYs into award winning actors. Updates as soon as the play is cast!

Irish Debating

Barry O Brien, Cian Ó Nualláin and Jack Oates are busy preparing for their debate against MeanScoil Mhuire which takes place on Thursday February 30th. The notion for the debate is “Cruthóidh Uachtaránacht Trump cogadh i Mericeá agus ar fud an Domhain”. Go neirí libh a bhuachaillí! 

Garda Trip

TY students Barry O Brien, Rory Lennon, Jack Finnegan and Liam Morgan were chosen to go on a three-day work experience with An Garda Siochana. They visited Templemore Training College, the Central Criminal Court and the canine and coastguard units. It was a great experience and the remaining tys are envious of this experience.

TY Concern Talk

Last Thursday the transition class enjoyed a debate workshop hosted by Concern. Claire Marshall is the school’s liaison officer for Concern. Students were encouraging to share their views about many topics. The lads took part in many fun activities and learned lots about debating and the work of Concern. This was an enjoyable experience. Concern organise a debating competition each September and so we hope that next September some of our students will take part in this competition.

January – 2017:

Berlin Trip Preparations are well on the way for this year’s Berlin trip taking place in the first week in May. The tour includes visits to the Brandenburg Gate, The Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie Museum as well as Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and other attractions. So far 21 students have signed up and further information from Mr. O Connell. Deposit must be paid by the end of January.

TY Update It’s a busy time for TYs as the groups have swapped over activities for the second term. Each class has started back and have classes in Photography, Cookery, Dance and health for life. They are busy planning Wellfest with Mr Garvey, our positive health week, which takes place at the end of February. Classes in Nutrition are starting in February. Work experience continues each Friday.

TY Clean UP TYs and Ms Quinn did an impressive clean up on the footpath and ditches on Ballinalee Road outside the College fence. They were amazed with the number of litter picked up on this short stretch of road. Well done lads. We hope your sense of civic duty becomes contagious and that the litter louts about stop and think before they throw a paper on the ground.

Eir Ambassador Congratulations to TY student Peadar Kenny who as selected as an Eir Studyhub ambassador for our school. A social media campaign was run through Facebook and Peadar was one of 5 selected from 500 applicants. We look forward to Peadar showcasing the study notes and tutorials to classes over the coming weeks.


Student Bank

Best of luck to the TY Students on the launch of their Bank of Ireland student bank. The bank opens each Wednesday during lunch time. The bank will be running many prizes and raffles throughout the year and when they reach their goal of opening 100 accounts there will be special draw for all account holders; with one of them winning tickets to an international match. There will also be Facebook and twitter competitions so be sure to follow their twitter @melsstudentbank or their Facebook @St.Mels Student Bank

Sligo IT Talk for College Awareness Week

Thanks to Declan Reidy from IT Sligo who spoke to TY students last Wednesday as part of College Awareness Week. He spoke of all the new improvements; including a huge multi-million-euro investment in state of the art sports facilities. He discussed some of the courses on offer, including courses in areas such as Engineering and Human Nutrition as well as the college’s clubs and societies and sports scholarships on offer. Students thoroughly enjoyed the talk and now have lots of information to start their course research!

Mannequin Challenge

@CASuicide Student ambassador Andrew Gallagher along with the TY and 5th yr cycle against suicide committees made a #MannequinChallenge video this week as part of their preparations for the Students Leadership Congress in the University of Limerick in January. Great work lads in #sharethejourney and #togetherwecan. Shout out to Daire, Jack and Ronan who helped out too!

TY Enterprise

Orders are being taken for Mel’s hats and personalised sports gloves. See notice board in Assembly Hall for details of how to order.

TY News

They arrived home safely after ice skating in Dundrum. Seemingly the only thing hurt was Ms Farrell’s wallet when the bus stopped in the shopping centre. TYs continue with photography, karate, car maintenance and cookery classes. They are busy practising for the school concert od we look forward to seeing their dance moves!


Battle of the Wits TY Quiz

Congratulations to Loran Dennigan, Barry O’Brien, Liam Morgan and Gavin Mulhern who represented St. Mel’s College in the “battle of the wits” quiz in Ballymahon recently. They had a great time but unfortunately didn’t make it through to the next round. We wish Ballymahon Convent the best of luck in the Regionals. Many thanks to our hosts in Ballymahon library and to Olive and Fiona from Longford Library who invited us to take part.

Intergenerational Quiz

Last week eight TV boys went to St Joseph to do a table quiz with the service users. It was great fun and a great competition. The boys have been invited back to St Josephs to perform a Christmas concert. Both residents from St Josephs and TYs look forward to the next visit.


Great TY Bake Off!

TY cookery class headed to 0’ Donohue’s bakery in Tullamore last week. Following a on talk on the history of the family bakery and allergens and additives they got to experience the bread making process from beginning to end. It was certainly a “hands on” experience as the lads got to make some products themselves. Part of this project involves Mel’s students going to Dunnes for their product launch of their new bread and explaining the new ingredients and process in o’ Donoghues bread. It was a great experience. Hopefully the TYs who didnt get to Tullamore last week will make a visit later in the year. .

TY Zeminar!

On Tuesday 11th


TY News

Transition year got off to a great start with the annual climb of Croagh Patrick recently and this adventure made the front page of the Leader. We are happy to report that Jack is back among us and has suffered no ill effects from dramatic day on Croagh Patrick. TYs also visited TY EXPO and Collins Barracks last Tuesday. Courses in Photography, self-defence and cookery have all started. Work experience started last week  and we thank all local businesses for their support as work experience is an important part of the transition programme.


TY ALPHA starts again this week. This 16-week parish based programme allows TYs explore the basics of our Christian faith. Many thanks to the parish volunteers who facilitate this course. TYs have started courses in GAA coaching, cookery and photography. Work experience continues each Friday and we thank local businesses for their support.

Social Entrepreneur Talk

Many thanks to John O Shea for visiting St Mels last week. Former CEO of GOAL, John spoke about the importance of having a social conscience in today’s world. He spoke of those in the ‘forgotten world’ and urged TYs to think of thinking about social enterprise when considering a career. It was a very inspiring and motivational talk and we look forward to welcoming him back in the future.

TY Enterprise

Many thanks to Sadie Wheatley for delivering an engaging workshop to our transition year students on the Student Enterprise Awards last Wednesday. This is a national competition with regional finals and is organised by the local Enterprise Board. The TY students had a brainstorming session in the morning. Already they have some fantastic ideas for this year’s competition. 

October Transition Year students attended Zeminar, an event for Generation Z, particularly those aged between 15 and 20, their parents, teachers, mentors and coaches.  Zeminar aims to introduce young people to some of the best and most innovative organisations on this island. Throughout the day there were workshops, influential speakers and fun activities.  Some speakers included Maria Walsh, Jonny Cooper, Dr. Brian Carson and Doug Leddin. Students also enjoyed trying new activities like tennis, sumo wrestling, squash, boxing ring, badminton and lots more!