Christmas 2007


Principal's message Patricia Dwyer






POLAND - A student's perspective








FROM NEWGRANGE TO THE BOTANICS - an artist's delight!

Any one for a swim?

Public Speaking


Trumpets Galore



Principal's message Patricia Dwyer


Another year is drawing to a close and as usual, we have had an action packed and eventful term here in Mercy College.

Our examinations students scored very highly at both Leaving and Junior Certificate levels. There was a huge success for those students sitting Leaving Certificate this year. Five girls have gone on from the class of 2007 to study nursing, several to teaching, others to study architecture, accounting, business, media and communications and art - and a range of courses in between. Amy Widdis not only managed to gain a place in Architecture in UCD, she was also awarded the Royal Society of Architecture Prize. We congratulate all of the girls and wish them well in their future careers.

Four members of our teaching staff have also enjoyed academic success in recent times. Ms. O'Hanlon, Ms. Dunwoody, Ms. Daltún and Ms. Harrison have been awarded their Masters in Education with Honours this year. Ms. O'Rourke, one of our Music teachers, was awarded a Gold medal for the high quality of her teaching during the Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Many congratulations to each of them.

Congratulations to Ms. Daltun on the birth of her beautiful daughter, Emily.

This autumn we said goodbye to two members of the teaching staff - Ms. Yvonne Kelly and Mr David Swann. We wish them well as they start their new phase in life.

We had visitors from far and wide to Mercy College during the term. 21 Spanish students and two of their teachers spent a week with us during September. Each visiting student shadowed an Irish student, going to class with our girls. Over 30 girls from Brisbane visited the school on September 25th. Our own 4th year students worked with the Australian teachers in a netball workshop. Secondary school Principal Liesl Prendergast visited Mercy College on the recommendation of the CEIST office. In November a contingent of Chinese Principals and Deputy Principals visited the school to learn about the Irish Education System.

Our students have also done their fair share of travelling, some within Ireland, others further afield. 32 students visited Poland on a History trip. The students visited Auschwitz and Krakow during the four day long event. 5th year students visited Carlingford in September, while the Transition year students spent three days in the adventure centre in October. All 3rd year History students visited Kilmainham Gaol and Collins Barracks in October, while all 3rd year Geography students completed their field studies. 6th year Art students went to Newgrange and the Botanical Gardens. The Music students flew the Irish flag in Finland in December.

In the Sporting arena, our soccer and basketball teams have enjoyed much success to date this term. The Cadette basketball team has already made it to the semi-final of the Leinster League and will hopefully progress to the all-Ireland championship in due course. Our soccer teams have had very good wins against Loreto Mullingar, Mercy Beaumont, Grange Community College and Dominican College, Griffith Avenue and Trinity Comprehensive. This autumn has also seen the introduction of a wider range of lunchtime and after-school sports, including athletics, badminton and volleyball. Over €8000 has been invested in equipment and new goalposts and we look forward to successful times ahead.

Our new Science labs are fully complete. The building work on the two labs cost €300,000, while new equipment to the tune of €75,000 was provided under the Department of Education's summer works scheme. The first thee of our interactive whiteboards have been installed and all our staff received initial training in October. The boards are an exciting addition to the teaching tools on offer here. We hope over the course of this year to add to the number of boards.

One of the most significant events to date on our school calendar was the CEIST prayer service on October 1st. The gathering of all the school community gave us an opportunity to celebrate what had gone before under the trusteeship of the Mercy sisters and look forward to a new phase of trusteeship under CEIST. CEIST is a trust board consisting of five religious orders - ourselves in Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of the Christian Retreat and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. While the trusteeship may have changed in name, the underlying values of all the work we do here in Mercy College remain the same and are in the CEIST charter: Promoting Spiritual and Human Development; Achieving Quality in Teaching and Learning; Showing Respect for Every Person; creating Community; Being Just and Responsible. These are high ideals but we aim for such heights every day in our work as students and staff of Mercy College.

May I take this opportunity to thank the staff for their wonderful contribution to all the events outlined on the pages which follow and wish all members of the Mercy College school community a happy and healthy Christmas and every good wish for the coming year.




The SCP started in March this year. The aim of this programme is to tackle early school leavers and to provide support to students to enable them to complete the Senior Cycle.

The SCP has run a number of activities in Mercy College, which are as follows:

SUMMER PROJECT: took place in June - activities included arts and crafts, cinema, bowling and q-zar, hip hop, cookery and also a trip to Clara Lara.

HOMEWORK CLUB: runs every Wednesday and Thursday for an hour after school for all first year students.

HIP HOP: runs every Friday after school for an hour and a performance will take place at Christmas.

BOARD GAMES CLUB: runs every Wednesday and Thursday during lunchtime. All are welcome.

DRAMA CLUB: takes place on Friday after school. The club is currently working on a play which they hope to perform for the school at the end of the school year.

BREAKFAST CLUB: runs every morning from 8.00am to 8.50am in the Parent's room. All are welcome.

The SCP has also sponsored a number of initiatives in the school and contributed towards the purchase of equipment. If you would like to find out more about the SCP you can contact Linda Devitt, the Coordinator, at 086 730 4334.




Ms. E. Conneely


On Monday 8th October, 3rd year Geography students went on their field trip to Powerscourt Waterfall, Co. Wicklow. We left the school at 9 and arrived about an hour later. We had lunch and were each given worksheets to fill in about the Waterfall. We had to walk across rocks to get to the Waterfall (needless to say some of us fell in!!). We must admit that the views were spectacular. Later we went to Enniskerry Village to get more to eat and we arrived back in Mercy College at about 3.30. We all had a great day and it was a great way of learning. Many thanks to Ms. Keogh, Ms. Conneely, Ms. O' Regan and Ms.Fitzgerald who brought us.

Rebecca Prendergast & Jade O'Reilly 3rd year




The girls of Mercy College have been very busy on the sports front in Term 1.

The P.E. department was very fortunate this year to get a sports equipment grant and now has a huge range of equipment for all ages.

Girls of all years have been taking part in lunchtime and after school training sessions in Cross Country, Football, Badminton, Volleyball, Hockey, Camogie and Basketball.

This year is the first time that Mercy College has entered the Dublin Schools Football League. With a lot of the girls playing club football outside school the panel on each squad is very strong. The school has teams of all age groups from First to Sixth Year competing in cup and league competitions and has a 100% record to date. The U-18 girls beat Mercy Beaumont 3-0 in their first game with goals from Kerrie Ryan (6th Year) and Lisa Murphy (1st Year). The U-16 girls had a super victory over Grange Community College winning 10-1, while the First Year Cup team beat Loreto Mullingar 6-3 in round one, with goals from Lisa Murphy (4), Holly Hatton (1) and Aoife McEvoy (1).

Term 1 also saw the Mercy College girls take to the camogie field. They have done brilliantly after only taking up the game in September and many are now joining local clubs. After Christmas the girls will take part in the Dublin Junior Colleges Championship and a Minor league for 1st and 2nd Years.

Volleyball is a new sport to the school and large numbers of girls are training for the Leinster Schools Cadette (U16) and Minor (U14) competitions which will be commencing shortly.

Large numbers of girls have been coming to Cross Country training every Monday, as have some of the teachers. The students will take part in the Dublin Schools Cross Country competition in January.

On the basketball front many girls are training every Tuesday and Thursday with coach Mark Ingle. The Cadette girls have played four games so far, beating Loreto Beaufort, Alexandra College, Castleknock and Our Lady of Mercy, Mourne Road. Two wins in their remaining two games will see them through to the Dublin final.

Ms. Harrison has been coaching the minor hockey team, which will be participating in the Northside Dublin School League after Christmas.

I would like to thank all those girls who are actively involved in lunch and after-school sports and encourage them to keep up the good work in the New Year. New girls are always welcome to any sport, so why not get involved in Mercy College sports in the New Year.

Holly Hatton 1st year Gold Medal Dublin Basketball Squad

Congratulations to Louise Perry 3rd year for receiving her black belt in Karate.





The new science labs are finally completed along with high tech. whiteboards. Combined with this, Science Week took place during November and to encourage the spirit of investigation, the science department held a science treasure trail. Posters were put all over the school with interesting scientific facts. Students taking part picked up a list of 25 questions and had to scour the school for the posters that contained the answers to their questions. Rebecca Amet 1st year was the winner.




Six of our students are involved in the Thomas Crosbie Holdings National Quiz competition, run by the Examiner newspaper - Aoife Brennan, Amy Delaney, Gemma Smyth of 4th Year; Rebecca Amet, Nicole Fields and Lee- Ann Gilsenan of 1st Year. They finished third in their first round but will have a chance to move up the leaderboard after Christmas.


Ms. Daltún and Ms. Doherty


POLAND - A student's perspective


"On arriving in Poland, we got a bus to our Hotel and settled in. We then went on a walking trip to Krakow! Our guide took us to all the interesting sights including the Jewish district. That night, we had our first meal in Poland, which for some felt a lot like home ..... we ate in Mc Donalds!! The following day we visited Auschwitz and Birkenau. We looked around the Auschwitz museum, this was very sad but it was also very interesting. The camp at Birkenau was more interesting and realistic. It made us all feel very cold inside. On our last day, we visited the Salt Mines. We went deep underground where we saw the most beautiful sculptures made from salt and we also saw salt lakes. We then did some retail therapy and spent loads!! Thanks a million to Ms. Niland, Ms. O'Hanlon, Ms. Harrison and Ms. Coyle for a really memorable and fascinating trip".


Stephanie Trimble, 5th year




Ms Niland


Auschwitz will always be remembered as the scene of the ultimate crime against humanity. Nazis ritually tortured and murdered an estimated 1.5 million people (a quarter were children) in this concentration camp simply because of their ethnicity.

In September, a group of dedicated teachers and students travelled to Krakow in Poland to pay their respects and learn more about this dark period in History. The focus was a sombre one with a day long tour of the Auschwitz Birkenau camps. Students were shocked and humbled by stories of profound courage and dignity displayed by the victims in their final hours. Some students decided to use these stories as a basis for their Leaving Certificate Research topics.

To relieve the tension of such a visit the girls were given the opportunity to discover the beautiful city of Krakow. Shopping, a folklore evening and a trip to the Salt Mines ensured a well balanced Polish experience.

Many thanks to the girls, it was a pleasure to travel with you.


THE GREEN TEAM             Ms. E. Byrne


As part of their biology course 4th year students have been working on projects to be entered in the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards. The girls came up with some innovative and exciting ways for the school to become a more environmentally friendly place. In the end we decided to run with three projects. One group ran a bottle recycling competition for 1st years. The girls collected and counted the plastic bottles each 1st year form group had gathered for recycling and gave a party to the winning class. The project increased the amount of bottles the school recycled and got the newest members of the school community into the habit of recycling. Another group, concerned with climate change, decided to try to limit the use of electricity in the school by placing colourful reminders to turn off the lights on each light switch in the school. Our last group created a designer outfit for a forgotten mannequin donated by the art department. Paige Green, as she was christened, was decked out in an ensemble created entirely from rubbish.




In October we all went to Carlingford for three days. During our first night, we went for a walk in the dark and ended up in a castle. As it was so close to Halloween ghost stories were told and this totally freaked us out!! On the way back, we had to go through a tunnel, without our flashlights. The first person to go through was Sara Kenny (our hero)!! We all followed and held on for dear life. The following day we started off with water sports. We got into the canoes and a few got stuck behind a big ship and had to be rescued. After that we went pier diving. Later we were split into teams and we had to build bridges. Archery followed and some found the trees, others the bull's eye. Over the course of the three days, we did lots more such as climbing, walking and running. We all had a fabulous time and we all got to know each other very well. Thanks to all the teachers.


Lyndsey Reilly, Sara Kenny, Aoife Brennan, Christina Behan, Aimee Coughlan




The 4.th year geography programme this year involves a module on the rainforests of the world. Part of this module involved the students going to Dublin Zoo to carry out research on the animals and their habitats. The students had been studying the rain forests in class time and then drew up a questionnaire for all 4th year students to compete when at the Zoo.

Luckily November 15th bought great weather and the students really enjoyed the trip.

The girls must be commended on all the information they collected from observations and talking to the Zoo keepers. The girls plan to now present their information to all the girls of Mercy College and increase awareness on the rainforests of the world.




Mercy College Calendar

As part of our Mini Company we had to raise capital and seeing as the bank would be very reluctant to give us the money, we had to do a series of fund raisers. These included selling delicious chocolate apples, fudge brownies and donuts.

This raised enough finance to fund our mini company project. So what are we doing? We decided to do a school calendar. All the students in Mercy College had their photograph taken based on what month they were born. So anybody who would like to purchase a calendar can do so from the school. This may not make us millionaires but who knows this could be the start of many more business ventures.




5th and 6th year students have begun to trawl through the maze of career options. They had an enjoyable day in September at the Higher Options Conference held in the R.D.S. Students have begun to identify their personality traits and so make links between jobs, work and careers. Students now understand that there are multiple intelligences and that people look for different things from work. Many students do not realise the range of their skills i.e. communications, flexibility, and problem solving ability. A knowledge of your skills is vital in making job and career choices.

Since September, senior classes have enjoyed many career talks, these include Bank of Ireland, Institutes of Technology (Dundalk and Blanchardstown), Dublin City University, Failte Ireland and numerous Post Leaving Certificate Colleges. Our links with DCU continue. 4th and 5th years will receive their Achievement Awards in December. As always parents/guardians are welcome to contact the Guidance Department at any time. Finally good luck to 6th years with their C.A.O applications.

"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and life that you ought to be living is the one you are living" (Joseph Campbell)


E. Conneely (Guidance Counsellor)





Maths Week took place from the 15th to the 19th October and to celebrate the occasion Mercy College organised a maths quiz. Each day a question was posted on the maths display board, the answers to which were always numerical. The students submitted their answers on an answer sheet and it was encouraging to see so many students throng the foyer. It was also interesting to see so many teachers "trying" to answer the questions as well!!


The winners for this year were:

1st year Huda Saeed Khiliji

2nd year Sinead Mc Evoy

3rd year Nakita Lennon

5th year Shabnam Azad

6th year Lorna Kelly


Each person who entered the competition received a Certificate and each winner received a €25 voucher.

Why don't you see if you can answer the questions?!!!!


What two whole numbers multiplied together equal 13?


A snail is climbing out of a well 10m deep. Every day it climbs three metres and every night it slips down two metres. How many days will it take to climb out of the well?


A hen and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half. How many eggs will a dozen hens lay in a dozen days?


In a stable there are a number of lads and lasses looking after the horses. In all there are 22 heads and 72 feet, including all the lads and lasses plus the horses. If all the lads and lasses and all the horses are sound in body and limb, how many horses are there?


A man can make a cigarette from 11 butts. If he collects 121 butts how many cigarettes can he smoke?


Maths week is over for another year but once again it proved to be very successful. Keep up the enthusiasm and well done to everybody.

On Monday the 15th November 4th year students attended a lecture in DCU. They found it both interesting and entertaining. At the end of the lecture, they received a worksheet based on that lecture. During the week, they worked on the problems of deciphering and enciphering messages. All entries were sent back to DCU and it emerged that Rachel Cantwell, Stephanie Carr, Yvonne Mc Loughlin and Jessica O'Reilly each won a prize of a €20 book voucher. Well done girls!!


Ms. Casey


FROM NEWGRANGE TO THE BOTANICS - an artist's delight!


To start off the new school year with some creative inspiration 5th and 6th year students went to the 'Sculpture in Context' exhibition in the Botanic Gardens. The students were given a map with the sculptures numbered on it, then had to find them throughout the grounds, green houses and visitors centre. On their way around the grounds they had to complete a work sheet by describing and drawing the sculptures that they liked and disliked or were inspired by. The classes also visited Newgrange and many were amazed by the structures that were built many thousands of years ago. The trip will help the girls with their History of Art and we also hope that everything they se will be shown in their work.


Any one for a swim?


On the 7th November our 6th year Geography class made our way to Portmarnock Beach. So what exactly were we doing on a beach in November? Not for a swim I can tell you. We were here to measure the cliff with our clinometers. Luckily enough it was a really nice day and we didn't get wet, the only problem was the sand in our shoes. Thanks Ms. O'Regan and Ms. Conneely for a lovely day.


Amy Deane 6th year


Public Speaking


On Tuesday the 13th of November the 4th years took part in the BPW public speaking competition. It was held in the Grand Hotel, Malahide. The team consisted of: Christina Behan, Johanna Furlong, Aoife Brennan, Claire O'Reilly and Ciara Mc Loughlin. Many Schools participated, Loreto Crumlin, St. Mary's Holy Faith, Killester, Portmarnock Community School, St. Gerard's Bray and St. Kilian's German School, Clonskeagh. The topic that we chose to discuss was "The problems faced by the youth of today". Despite our best, the team did not win on the night, but we really enjoyed the night and we are already looking forward to next year with the help of our teacher Ms. Clancy.




On the Friday before mid term, the 3rd year Music Class organised a Fancy Dress to raise money for a new Digital Piano. Over €1000 was raised and our Piano is now sitting in pride of place in the Music room. We would like to thank all the students, pirates, witches and scary monsters who contributed to the fund and many thanks to the number of staff that dressed up - there were some sights coming out of the staff room!!! Thanks, to Jade, Deirdre, Carly, Laura, Nicola, Emma, Lisa, Amy, Marie and Charlene.


Ms. Niland and Ms. Griffin


Trumpets Galore


Well here we are in Finland and it is Christmas, what more can you want.

The temperature is -15 and needless to say it is freezing. In fact everything around is white and bright. Some say that if you look hard enough, you will be able to see Santa and his reindeers preparing for the big day. So, what are we doing here? Before the end of the last school year, Nurmo High School from Finland visited us, so now it is our turn. The 30 strong school choir performed at the Independence Day Celebrations in Nurmo High School and County. After all the singing, it was off to the shops and to have some fun and fun we had.


During the last few weeks of term, students heard some strange sounds coming from the Music Room. Five trumpets were purchased and given to five 2nd year Music students. The trumpets were funded by the SCP. I hope that over the course of the year, we will make great strides in playing and hopefully this will be the start of a new Brass Group. So once again sorry for the noise, but even Miles Davis, one of the greatest jazz players of our time, had to start out by annoying his neighbours.


Edited by: Paula Downes


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