Newsletter December 2010





ANNIE The School Musical#annie2






TRANSITION YEAR busy as ever










Patricia Dwyer

At this time of year, we have a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all that has happened since the summer. Pupils and teachers are enjoying the benefits of the summer works building scheme, with both computer labs and the staff workroom having been completely refurbished. We added 5 more interactive whiteboards in classrooms, bringing the current total to 11. These boards were purchased through the fund-raising efforts of all members of our school community, and much credit is due to the Parents' Association, Student Council and our staff.
In the coming weeks we will add to our ICT infrastructure, with digital projectors and teaching computers to be installed in every classroom, courtesy of the Department of Education and Skills grant. Pupils will also benefit from a PE grant issued recently by the DES.
Our pupils have enjoyed great success academically at Leaving and Junior certificates, as well as in a range of activities. Anybody who attended Mercy Musical Society's production of 'Annie' saw a host of talent, as girls from 1st to 5th year entertained us. The talent on show was superior to anything that might grace the X-Factor! Our sports teams excelled once again, and as recently as last week, our senior basketball squad retained the Leinster league title, with an impressive win against Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green. Our prize-winning design for the 'Space for Learning' architectural competition has been completed in the courtyard, and featured in a recent article in The Irish Times. We have welcomed student visitors from Italy and visiting teachers from New Zealand, all keen to experience, even for a short time, the happenings in Mercy College.
Enrolment is now closed for September 2011, and a waiting list is in operation. We look forward to welcoming our incoming students for their assessment test at the end of January.
With the difficulties we all face, it is sometimes easy to forget the many positive events that have taken place throughout the year. Our girls have raised funds for deserving causes including Haiti, Simon Community, Breast Cancer Awareness, Focus Ireland, flood victims in Pakistan and the DSPCA. They have also volunteered for St. Vincent de Paul, and visited the elderly in St. Gabriel's Nursing Home.
None of these events is possible without the wonderful work of our hard-working staff. Mercy College is blessed to have a team of staff members who place the interests of each pupil at the heart of all they do. Add to that the commitment, generosity and enthusiasm of the girls, and anything is possible - despite the recession!!
The recent weeks brought joy when we celebrated the birth of Ms. Traynor's daughter, Naoise. The Mercy College community also experienced much sorrow when the death took place of our much-loved former teacher and colleague, Irene Whelehan. We will mark Irene's immense contribution to Mercy with a memorial ceremony in January.
Given the current economic position of our country, it is apparent that the months ahead will be difficult ones for everybody,. By working together, in the interests of our pupils, we can surmount even the most difficult of challenges. In losing those elements of the Celtic Tiger that gave us cause for concern, we may rediscover those values that make Ireland what it is and give hope for the future. Perhaps the words of Martin Luther King best sum it up:
'I am not discouraged about the future. Granted that the easy going optimism of yesterday is impossible. Granted that we face a world crisis which leaves us standing so often amid the surging murmur of life's restless sea. But every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. It can spell either salvation or doom. In a dark, confused world the kingdom of God may yet reign in the hearts of men and women.'
May 2011 bring joy, peace and happiness to everybody associated with Mercy College.




To some it’s just a single day. But to us, 21 September is a 24 hour-long platform for life-saving activities around the world and an opportunity for individuals - particularly young people - to become involved in the peace process. 21 September is the UN International Day of Peace, a day of global ceasefire and non-violence: Peace Day. (Jeremy Gilley - founder and chairman of Peace One Day.)
Around the world, on September 21st, the guns fall silent. Food aid is delivered, children are immunised against killer diseases, and people in war-torn countries experience peace for one day. It's only a start, but it's one we wanted to support. This year Transition Year students at Mercy College marked Peace Day by creating a human peace symbol on the hockey pitch. We were delighted to be part of this global day of action for peace. Next year we're hoping that other students will join us to mark the day.
To find out more about Peace Day go to




Children in Romania and in Africa will have a brighter Christmas this year, thanks to the efforts of our students.
Following a visit from one of the Team Hope volunteers, the 5th years organised a shoe box appeal. Thanks to their efforts, close to 100 brightly coloured shoe boxes are making their way across the globe as we go to print.
We know that the gifts they contain will help to brighten Christmas for many children. We are very grateful to Ms Walton who arranged for Marie to come and tell us about the project. We hope it will become an annual event. To find out about the project, check out


Connie Walton & Margaret Quinn


ANNIE the school musical




Caoimhe Butler 2nd year
Annie was a school musical where students of all years took part. Ms. Doherty helped with musical arrangement and Ms. Fitzgerald was the choreographer. We got a wonderful Director called Niamh. My experience of Annie was great, it was fun, exciting and on some occasions, it was embarrassing. We had practice after school on a Tuesday and Thursday from 4 – 6. Sometimes, leading up to the show we came in on weekends. The show had to be cancelled due to snowy conditions but was re-arranged for the following week for three nights. The performances were received very well by the audience and despite nerves, we all pulled together during makeup and hair. We had a brilliant laugh with Ms. Hannigan and the orphans. The thrill of going out onto the stage was great. On behalf of the students we would like to thank Mr Young, Ms Daltúin, Ms Nohilly and Ms Scully for playing their parts with abandon. Ms. Daltúin is brilliant at multitasking. A lot of work was done outside regarding advertising, music, lighting, marketing, programmes, raffles and refreshments. Thanks to all involved.




Mr O’Mahony
The construction of the timber structure in the school courtyard is now complete and the work done during this project is being exhibited to the public at the National College of Art and Design on Thomas Street until the end of January. The exhibition was officially opened by the Minister of State, Mr Ciaran Cuffe on Thursday 4th November. The opening was attended by Beth Valente, Amy Fowler, Jade Casey, Sarah Purcell and Rebecca O’Hara. The girls had the opportunity to speak with the Minister and to hear how favourably he considered their work and finished product.
A book, outlining the work of the ten winning entries, has been published and a copy has been presented to the school library. Some of the transition year students involved in the work were photographed and quoted in the Irish Times on the 4th December. Nayla Abdulla was quoted as saying that ”working of the project had changed her understanding of Architecture, while the newspaper noted Christina Olwill’s view that “Architecture can change the way we live and work”.
Well done to all those involved in the project, including transition year students 2008-2009, the Architects Helen Kelly, Laura O’Brien and Faela Guiden, the Board of Management, staff members, Dublin City Council and all the other voluntary helpers. We wish in particular to thank Ivan O’ Connell who devoted a great deal of time and expertise to the project.



As part of our C.S.P.E. project we visited the Mercy International Centre in Baggot Street. We were given a talk about homelessness in different countries such as, Africa, USA and Haiti. We were also shown around the centre and were given the history of the founder member of the Mercy Sisters, Catherine McAuley. We were shown the room where she spent her latter years and we also visited her grave. Despite the rain, our bus breaking down and student protesters, we had a great time and learned a lot.





During Repak Recycling Week on the 4th - 10th October 2010, we (Transition year students) as part of Young Social Innovators (YSI) decided to run a number of recycling competitions at Mercy College in order to bring awareness about recycling to our school community. It was very successful.
The first competition involved designing the best recycling motto and symbol for Mercy College. There were a lot of entries however the winners were as follows:
1st prize - Nuwriya Abdulla (1st year)
2nd prize - Sarah Kennedy (1st year)
3rd prize - Grace Ash (1st year)
The second competition involved students designing the best recycling superhero for Mercy College. Again there were a lot of entries; however the winners were as follows:
1st prize - Sophie Scally (1st year, Corrib)
2nd prize - Emer Gorman (2nd year, Renoir)
We had an extra entry which was a poem about recycling - so we decided to give a third prize to Michelle Gabie (1st year, Liffey).
All winners received a number of gift vouchers for the cinema and Art and crafts centres.
Well done to those who took part in all the competitions. Please keep recycling and keep our school environment green and clean.


The first year competition was “The Tidiest Classroom”
Transition Years inspected all classrooms at break time and at lunch every day during the week to see which class was the tidiest.
Thanks to all those who supported our recycling campaign.
The winning classes were as follows:
1st Prize - Room 8 (Foyle).
2nd Prize - Room 5 (Corrib).
3rd Prize - Room 9 (Rembrandt).
The second year competition was “Most Recycling Bags Filled”
We ran this competition two weeks before October midterm.
We wanted to see which class could fill the most recycling bags.
The winning classes were as follows:
1st prize - Room 5 (Corrib)
2nd prize - Room 8 (Foyle)
3rd prize - Room 10 (Renoir)
After the two weeks Corrib filled the most recycling bags. They enjoyed their 1st prize as a class, which was watching a movie “27 Dresses” one afternoon after midterm break.
Well done to all classes who took part. There will be plenty more competitions during the year. Remember:
Ms Scully




Congratulations to all the 1st and 2nd year students that received a business student of the month award.




Congratulations to the following winners of Maths Week:
1st year Nuwriya Abdulla
2nd year Kaela Hutton
3rd year Ilham Abdulla
4th year Laura Dignam
5th year Rebecca Amet & Huda Saeed
6th year Shauna Hutton












This term saw some of our Transition Year students involved in an exciting Writer in Residence Programme offered by Dublin City Council Arts Office in partnership with Poetry Ireland. The aim of the programme was to provide students with an opportunity to work with a highly experienced writer directly in their classroom and to explore the various themes relevant to them. Our writer was playwright, Maeve Ingoldsby. Under her guidance, students produced a wide selection of poems, narratives and short stories. A short reading of some of the work was held in the school on the last morning of the programme. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would like to thank Maeve very much for her work with them
Ms. Rooney and Ms. O’Leary




In September all Transition Year students went to Fighting Words. The main idea of this was to engage us into thinking about how to write our own book. We were all given the same topic to write about. As a group we started the beginning of the book and we had to continue the rest ourselves. We had help from students studying English writing in university. It was very interesting and helpful and perhaps in the future one of our group may become a successful writer.



Transition year students were visited by a drama team that enacted the consequences of drink driving. The story was based around five friends who were members of a band, four couples and a single male. The outcome was that one of the male friends became paralysed after a drink driving accident, his girlfriend left him as she was unable to deal with the stress and implications of caring for somebody who was paralysed. Overall, it conveyed a very serious message and really got us all thinking of and debating the issue.



During October, we went to visit Causey Farm. It was amazing to see how city slickers like ourselves would get on in a farm. The day started with all of us, including Ms. Rooney, Ms. Dwyer and Ms. Harrison tried to herd sheep into a pen. We had to stand in a circle and with the help of a sheep dog we were able to get them in – needless to say it took quite some time!! After that we engaged in some culinary delights such as bread making, and to our amazement, the brown bread turned out very well and was very edible. We then went off and learned how to do some Irish Dancing, this caused quite a racket . Finally, it was time to get dirty, we went to the bog. Brilliant.






The Coolock SCP ran from 21st -25th June. Activities included trips to Carlingford Adventure Centre, Clara Lara Fun-Park, the National Aquatic Centre, cooking, bowling, q-zar, sports and games. We were blessed with the weather and I would like to thank three 6th year leaders, Martina Collins, Cheryl Starrs and Shauna Byrne who provided valuable support for the 21 first and second year students who took part.



This is open to all students and runs every day from 8.00 to 8.45 in the Parents Room. Many thanks to all the volunteers that provide a healthy and nutritious breakfast for all the students that attend.



This takes place Monday through to Thursday from 3.50 to 4.50 in the Hall. It is open to all 1st and 2nd year students. Students are given a sandwich and drink before they start. If the student is having problems with a subject there is a teacher there to help. It also means less books to bring home! There are 22 first year students and 20 second year students.



SCP are sponsoring trumpet lessons for 1st and 4th year students. These lessons are organised by Ms. Doherty and take place after school on Mondays. It has provided great success and it is a delight to hear the sounds of trumpets throughout the school.


HIP HOP Linda Devitt

We are hoping to start Hip Hop lessons in January 2011. Lessons will be after school on Friday. Places are limited. If you are interested in taking part in these lessons or any of the activities mentioned just pop into Linda, Co–ordinator SCP (office beside the Language Laboratory).



Ms. Kearns and Ms. Cassidy
To start off the new school year with some creative inspiration, 5th year students went to the “Sculpture in Context” exhibition, in the Botanic Gardens. The exhibition showcased sculptures by leading Irish and International artists. Over 100 sculptures in a large range of materials were displayed throughout the gardens, ponds and great palm house with the smaller works exhibited in the gallery above the visitor’s centre. Such visits help give students an appreciation and awareness of art and also to inspire their own work back in the classroom.




The Students from Lee travelled to Paris on the 3oth May 2010. It was a relief to finally get on the plane as the flight has to be postponed due to the volcanic ash. Staying in Disneyland Paris was fantastic. We had lots of extra time in the theme parks and ate in lovely restaurants. We even visited the local hospital when Marie Mc Carthy dislocated her knee on the second day! Despite having her leg in plaster Marie had a great time and was treated like a princess in the Disney parks. We all had a fabulous time.




After an exciting trip to Causey Farm in October we found ourselves back on the bus again heading to Wicklow to study river systems and town planning. The day was beautiful, the Autumn colours were stunning. We arrived in the village of Enniskerry and drove down a very narrow road to the waterfall. We did our worksheets and hopefully, we will never mix up the features of erosion and deposition again! After lunch, we climbed over the rocks to see the plunge pool. The locals of Enniskerry were very curious as 65 students walked through the village trying to spot the features of planned towns. We had a great time and thanks to Ms. O’ Regan and Ms. Conneely for giving us a great day.



Milking a cow, baking bread, Irish dancing and bog jumping, what more can we say about that!! We had a fabulous time. One of the funniest events was the bog jumping. We were brought there by tractor and told to take off our shoes. Then we were off, Ms. Maloney managed to get stuck and we had to pull her out. As for our dancing, enough said about that! We spent more time laughing than dancing. We had a fabulous day and many thanks to our teachers.



For our Geography Investigation, we visited Balscadden Bay in Howth. We did this as part of our Geography course. When we went out to Balscadden we had to prove that coastal deposition was happening in the area. We did this by counting the wave frequency and we also threw oranges into the sea in order to measure the rate of Longshore drift. While we were doing our fieldwork, we had an unexpected visitor – a seal!! He popped up every now and again checking to see if we had any more food!! We also saw two swimmers out in the autumn sea. Rather them than us, it was freezing. We had a very enjoyable time and it was great to get out of the classroom and into the fresh air. Many thanks to Ms. Fitzgerald and Ms. O’ Regan.
Leanne Walsh and Natasha Carroll 6th year



Maedhbh Daltún, HSCL Coordinator


Each year a local committee made up of parents, Home School Community Liaison Coordinators from each of the four schools in the area (Mercy College, Chanel College, Scoil Chaitríona and St. Brendan’s) and members of local agencies such as the School Completion Project, Sphere 17, Northside Partnership etc. focuses on a pertinent issue for the school year. Following a successful talk on ‘beating the blues’ organised by the four schools held in Chanel College on the 22nd November, this years’ theme of ‘child and adult happiness’ was selected. The committee will meet in the new year to focus on ways to stay positive in these difficult times. If you would like to take part in the committee, please contact me on 087 6550995.
If you would like to take part in any of the free courses available for parents in the school, help out in the first year paired reading programme or arrange for me to visit you in your home, please call or text 087 6550995



Three of our resident artists, Monica Adams, Mark McDonagh and Yvonne O’Brien, are displaying some of their work in the Parents’ Room at the moment. All are welcome to drop by to see some their beautiful paintings.



It has been a busy first term with parents taking part in leisure courses and volunteering at paired reading. Some of the parents’ courses planned for January 2011 are: Guitar classes, Gaeilge do thuismitheoirí (if you would you like to be able to help your daughter with her homework or just brush up on your own ‘cúpla focal’), ‘Meals in Minutes’ and Computers. There are also a limited number of spaces available in our art class on Thursdays from 11.30-1.30 from January. If you would like to apply for a place on any of these courses or if there are other courses you would like to do that are not currently on offer, please feel free to make suggestions by phone or text on 087 6550995 or by e-mailing me at



Some new activities in the HSCL area include a drop-in hour on Tuesday mornings from 9am-10am in the Parents’ Room. If you would like any information about the school or just want a chance for a coffee and a chat, please feel free to pop in to the Parents’ Room.




Students of Mercy college held a pink day just before Halloween. Each student had to wear something pink. The 6th year students were allowed to dress up in Halloween outfits. There was Jedward, nuns and a Ms. Nohilly look- a-like. We made over 400 euros. Well done to all that helped out.















Mercy College is partnered with Office Depot in Rosemount Business Park as part of the School Business Partnership. On Monday 11th October the 5th LCVP students travelled to Office Depot for a Site Visit of the warehouse facilities, customer care centre and an introduction to the staff. It was a very interesting and informative visit. Many thanks to all the Mentors in Office Depot especially Louise O’Brien and Kirsty Joyce for their commitment to the programme and our students.




As usual sports have been very busy in Mercy. For the 1st time this year it was decided to make after school activities compulsory for 1st years up to Christmas time. This has resulted in a huge increase in the numbers of 1st years playing sport. Over 30 girls are training for basketball and volleyball every week. I could not train these girls without the help of the 4th years who stay back every Wednesday to coach volleyball and the 6th and 4th year girls who help coach the basketball on Tuesday and Friday’s. The junior basketball competitions will commence in January and the volleyball in December. The school’s U-14 Gaelic football will also start up in January with a lot of interest from 1st and 2nd year players. Aoife Dillion and Louise Whelan are currently on the Dublin U-13 team.




My name is Elaine Fitzgerald and I have been teaching PE and geography in Mercy for the last four years. As all the girls in Mercy know I am very passionate about sport but especially one sport, rowing. In 1996 at the age of 17 I headed off to the UK to train as a PE teacher and decided to take up a new sport which was rowing. I was addicted from day one. What I didn’t know back then was that I would row for 13 years and train up to 9 times a week from September to July.
Over my 13 years I have rowed in eights, fours, single scull but my favourite boat was the pair. I have won many Irish Championships, Home Internationals and a Women’s Henley Medal. I decided to retire last September after having my most successful season winning at Henley, beating Scotland by 2ft when racing for Ireland in the lightweight pair and finally in September wining the Irish Senior Pair Championship.
Claire Ludlow was my other half in our pair. We rowed together for over five years. I used to give the commands and Claire would steer with her foot. There's only one oar on each side of the boat so it's quite tricky to row. We didn’t usually have a coach but John Holland helped us for Henley. Often we trained on Blessington Lake and it's quite expansive there. If we trained in Islandbridge on the Liffey, it's quite a narrow stretch of river so you have to be aware what's going on around you and make sure that you don't crash into someone else. The swans are always trying to attack us and chase us. In rowing you really have to be focused in training as you can only influence what's happening in your own boat when racing.
I particularly like rowing in a pair. You become in tune with the other person. When you get the boat running really well, it feels very easy and free. It's lovely to get out on the water when it's quiet. Rowing is very strenuous because you're using all your muscles. We used our legs a lot and at the end of the stroke you're holding yourself up with your stomach muscles. We pretty much rowed in all weathers, even in the snow. Earlier this year I had a few moments of wondering what I was doing. You can't really wear gloves, so for the first 10 minutes of an outing your hands are in pain with the cold. Heavy wind is the worst for rowing although rain isn't nice either.
It's hard to know why rowers come back year in, year out. Most of my friends from college have stopped rowing. It's a sport that takes years to do properly and you never feel like you have really perfected it. I had planned to give it up last year 2009 but I wanted one last shot at Women’s Henley Regatta. It was brilliant to win it. All our friends and family were delighted for us but they would have been equally delighted if we'd given up rowing last year and had more time for them. When you row, it takes over your life.




This year the senior team was entered in the SBAI League and Cup. This senior team has been highly successful from 1st year. The girls lost their star player Carly Tyrell early in the season after she damaged her cruciate ligament. The senior basketball panel ranges from 3rd to 6th year and has seen many of the 3rd years rise to the top. The girls are unbeaten in the league so far with 3 more teams to play. They are also into the All Ireland semi-final in the Cup against St. Leo’s of Carlow. In the first round they defeated Presentation Kilkenny comfortably at home. In the 2nd round they beat Gaelscoil Carlow at home and in the quarter final they made the mammoth journey to Listowel to beat the favourites Presentation Listowel by 3 points. Laura Ryan is having a brilliant season averaging 25 points a game. She was the winner of the Evening Herald’s schools Player of the Week on November 11th.



Senior Volleyball started training early September and has made it through to the quarter finals playing St. Clare’s from Leitrim in Athlone on Monday 22nd. The 5th year senior team played some good games and failed narrowly to make it to the quarter finals. The 3rd and 4th year’s competition started on Wednesday 17th November playing Santa Sabina and Loreto Swords at home.