A brief eNewsletter of events from Dominican College
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Message from the Principal.

This academic year has demonstrated amazing achievements on the part of our students and their teachers.  Firstly, congratulations to Alison Donoghue who, as a result of being a high achiever in the Junior Certificate German Examination has been shortlisted by the German Embassy for a scholarship. Congratulations are also due to her teacher Ms C. Quinn.
DCU School of Business presented awards to Alison Donoghue and Aisling Smyth in recognition of their achievement in Business Studies in the Junior Cert Examination. In addition, The Business Teachers Association of Ireland awarded the Gold Medal Award to Sarah Coughlan in recognition of her high achievement in Business Studies in the Leaving Cert. We are delighted that their hard work has been recognised in this way and I would like to take the opportunity to thanks their subject teachers Ms Norris and Ms Mohan.
As always, Dominican College has been a hive of activity this term. Last Tuesday 15th March our whole school took part in a very successful ‘Lá an Fhorógra’ / ‘Proclamation Day’ . We were joined by, a number of the sisters from the convent, local TD’s Seán Haughey , Finian McGrath, Minister Richard Bruton and members of the past pupils’ union. The day started with a flag-raising ceremony, singing of our National Anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann and a reading of the Proclamation by Ellie Halloran. We all were issued with fresh shamrock sourced by Ms. Ward and Mr Webster. Many thanks to Group Commander Lt Col Brendan McGuinness (Father of Alex) who helped organise a military presence for the ceremony and brought a great sense of occasion to the day’s activities. We are also very proud of our photo montage which includes two students from each class who, dressed in costumes of the time, were superimposed into actual photos of the time by Mr. Hurley. This will stay on display outside the library for the rest of the year and parents are encouraged to view it.
Our Transition Year students have been busy going on trips, doing their work experience and helping out where needed. Not only did they play a pivotal role in organising ‘Proclamation Day’, but they were eager and willing to help the chaplain with Catholic School’s week. One such activity was to create a time capsule of short messages from all students which will be opened in 2033!
We are now at the end of a very busy period in the Guidance Department calendar. After many months of research, open days, and information talks from third level colleges, the 6th Year students have submitted their applications to the CAO outlining their course choices. Their decisions have been well-informed and once our students are in the CAO system, they are allowed to change their preferences at a later date. We thank Mrs Hempenstall for all her dedication in this regard.
We had a very successful enrolment evening recently for next year’s First Years, the entrance assessment has also taken place and we are now preparing for these students next year.
Our Third and Sixth Year students have now completed their mock examinations and are busy with orals, projects and practicals.  We wish them all the best this last term and hope that they remain highly motivated and focused for the remainder of the year.
With Easter being so early this year, our grounds are blooming with spring flowers thanks to our Transition Year Horticultural students who were ably assisted by Ms. McCool and Ms. Ward, while Ms. Gillivan has planted the ‘first early’ potatoes with her Agricultural Science Class.
I wish you all a very happy Easter break and look forward to welcoming you all back on April 4th for our last term.
Beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh!
Dr. Laffoy (Principal)

5K Challenge / Dúshlán

The Athletics department are organising a 5K fun walk / jog / run in May as part of a healthy lifestyle initiative. A4 fliers have been distributed to all classes with a sample 8 week programme for either a walk or jog. It is hoped that this will become a whole school event. It should be particularly useful to Third and Sixth Years who will taking on their own “marathon” that is the state examinations in June.

The first date on the calendar is Saturday April 2nd and the programme has 3 activities per week. Some members of the Athletics teams will be available at lunchtimes initially on the soccer pitch to go through the programme and thereby help students “through their paces”. More information will be posted via the website and app notifications. Bígí linn.


I picked up rowing in Transition Year as a part of the Get Going Get Rowing programme that Michelle Carpenter from Rowing Ireland started in our school in 2014, with the help of Ms. Walls.
At first I started it as a hobby in TY, just to pass the free time but after a few months I noticed that I had a real talent for it, as did others. Michelle recommended that I come down to Island Bridge to the rowing clubs to go out in a boat on the water, to get a real feel for it and see if I were interested. As soon as I got in that single scull I knew it was the right sport for me. I had been doing athletics for the previous 10 years and basketball for 4 years so I had to choose between sports, but it was worth it. I decided to start rowing with Commercial Rowing Club in Island Bridge as a new challenge, a new sport, and I can proudly say that it was the best decision I had made in a long time. I started with a summer camp just to get back into rowing on the water at the end of summer and began my training with Commercial in August 2015.
Within the first few months of training, I was picked as the best novice (beginner) rower to row in the 50th Dublin Sculling Ladder on the Liffey. It was my first ever race and the first race that I won. That win fuelled me to become a stronger and more dedicated rower. I began training six times a week and my future in rowing was looking bright. Since then I have been rowing six months with Commercial and I am now trying to make the team for an international race in Belgium in May.
I have completed a coaching course. I hope to work in summer rowing camps and I hope to have the chance to start to coach novice rowers.
I had a Christmas fun race in Belfast last Christmas and I was recently at a race in Belfast on the Lagan, where the Titanic was built. I was in a four person boat (a quad) and an 8 person boat (an eight). We won in the quad and also did very well in the eight.
My journey started in Transition Year in Dominican College and I can proudly say I would not be where I am today without my school and without Michelle from Rowing Ireland who introduced me to the sport. Whether your passion is music, art, dance or sports I would highly recommend taking part in Transition Year because it has changed my life for the better. (Aimee McGrath, 5th Year)


The athletics team in Dominican College has been in top shape since September, making a huge impression already as the cross country season comes to an end and the track season comes closer. So far this year we have had many achievements from our athletes.
We began the year with our annual DCU Invitational Race at St. Claire’s where a full minor team was first up to brace the muck and rain. Amy Hodson and Aimee Warren were our juniors; Cliona Cooley was our only competitor at intermediate level and Alannah Cooley was our only senior competitor. All athletes competed extremely well!
Next on the agenda we had the North Leinster Championships in ALSAA. Once again we had our strong minor team - Aoife Hession, Ella Bergin, Vicky McDonnell, Sarah Cullen and Anna Sullivan.  Our juniors were Aimee Warren and Amy Hodson. Cliona Cooley ran in the intermediate race and Alannah Cooley ran in the senior race. All of our athletes ran really well and the majority of them qualified into the Leinster Championships representing Dominican College. 
Lastly we had the Leinster Championships in Santry on February 10th.  There were some excellent performances all round, especially Dominican College’s Amy Hodson (1st year), who placed 8th in the junior race and qualified for the all-Ireland schools cross-country championships at the beginning of March in Sligo. Amy came 12th in this race which is an amazing achievement and has given her the impetus to continue through this arduous but ultimately fulfilling sport. (Alannah Cooley)

My Time in Dominican College.

Twenty three years ago I walked out of the gates of 204 Griffith Ave, no longer a Dominican girl, or so I thought. In September 2015 I walked back in but this time I was here to teach. The nostalgia hit me right in the stomach. Suddenly I was 15 years old again walking down the corridor towards room 35 for my history class with Mr Fields, laughing with my friends, comfortable and safe in my surroundings.
I remember well the maths class doing the dreaded theorems with Ms. Concannon. She had her work cut out for her with a student like me who was beyond baffled, but she calmly explained it in great detail to me, while all my pals got it the first time. Maths was never a strong point for me.
I was recently in the art room taking a class. As soon as I walked in the door the air heavy with the condiments of an art room I was again transported back to my teenage self.
The staff room, that area most forbidden to students, that secret, sacred space for teachers was actually a warm welcoming room where teachers simply have a bite to eat, a cup of tea and a chat. It is not as I and my friends presumed, a room where teachers sit and discuss the students and all their faults and flaws. In fact on the rare occasions that there is talk of students, it is usually to express pride in some personal accomplishment a student has achieved in class.
As I said, I was a Dominican girl, from 1988-1993. I hopped on the 7.30am bus from Swords every morning along with my sisters, Clionadh, Sinéad, Orla and Aoibheann (Lynders), there was a few of us, always ensuring that we were never late under the ever watchful eye of Ms Brady. I hope any impression we left was good. I spoke to my sisters recently about our time in Dominicans and our memories are all happy. We may not have set the world on fire with our handball skills, despite the hard work and determination of Iníon de Buis, but I do remember setting the grill on fire with Ms Halton in Home Economics! We were part of the school community, we were valued by the school just as all the girls in Dominicans are valued today. (Trish O’Reilly – Teacher)
If any other past-pupil would like to share their experiences of school or life after Dominican College, we would be delighted to include it in our newsletter.

Work Experience in TY.

I have just completed two weeks’ work experience in a company called Xilinx. Xilinx manufacture and design computer chips, in particular a computer chip called an FPGA (field programmable gate array), best-selling product. This product stands out on the market because the difference between the FPGA and any other computer chip is that an FPGA is partially programmed by the end user where as other computer chips have particular functions that have been designed already by the company that produces them.

I spent my two weeks going among all the different departments. I went from finance to engineering. My first week was spent mainly with the departments that cover the business aspect of the company for example: finance, human resources, and marketing. For my second week I shadowed the engineers, the IT department and tech support. I preferred the first week because I liked how I had an understanding of what was happening before I went in so I didn’t have to ask as many questions. (I enjoyed accounting for the junior cert but I wasn’t sure if I would have thought of it as a career but after work experience I am now definitely considering it). I found the engineering complicated but I am glad that I did because for the first week I hadn’t really been challenged by the work I was doing as I had my own knowledge to work from. Beforehand, I was looking into college courses based on computer science but I now know that I would not like a career based on computer programming…A definite plus to doing work experience!

During my work experience I got to experience different parts of a company. I hadn’t realised that there were so many different aspects in the running of a business. Thanks to the work experience, I now know that I would like to work in a business environment in the future and in particular, in accountancy. (Madison Smith – TY)

Footsteps in the Rising.

On March 10th, the 6th Year history classes accompanied by Mr. Friel and Mr. Giblin were led on a tour of the sites of some of the major events of the 1916 Easter rising. This educational and eye-opening tour was led by James Connolly Herron, the great grandson of James Connolly, one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. It's one thing to read of the rising but another to walk in the very footsteps of these brave Irish martyrs!

There are 32 locations in our capital directly linked to that momentous event – 19 have been demolished completely, including Clanwilliam House, Carrisbrook House, Larkfield House, the Mendicity Institute, the Abbey Theatre and Liberty Hall.

Many of those that remain have been altered, some now unrecognisable, while others remain threatened by the wrecking ball. After years of neglect, the national monument at 14 to 17 Moore Street is now to be secured and protected under the official 1916 centenary programme.

Ba mhaith linn buíochas a ghabháil le James Connolly Herron as an turas fíorshuimiúil seo. (Saoirse Éireann Ní Chuilleagáin – 6th Year)

Parents' Association Plant Sale

This year’s annual plant sale will take place on Sunday 8th May.   This is the third year that the parents’ association have organised a plant sale to raise funds for our school.   As well as being a valuable fundraiser, the annual plant sale is also an enjoyable day out where you can stock up on bedding plants, hanging baskets, planted window boxes / patio pots, herbs and vegetables and much more.  There is usually musical entertainment provided by students, a coffee shop and a raffle with a chance to win many great prizes donated by local businesses.
We thank you for your support and hope to see you all on Sunday 8th May.


This Lent, Trócaire have started a campaign for Irish schools to get involved in fundraising for developing countries in Africa. As well as the Trócaire boxes they ask of schools to partake in a fundraising event to raise money for the people suffering in developing countries.

Our school decided to help this supportive cause by having a tea morning for the Fifth Year students. Ms. Doyle and Ms. Savage’s Religion classes organised the event and prepared tea stations in the school hall for the students. Each student donated a minimum of 2 euro to the cause which provided them with tea and biscuits to enjoy with their friends, while watching a movie. Altogether we raised over 220 euro which will all be donated to the Lent campaign.

Thanks to everyone who donated and to all who set up the hall for the event. (Aimee McGrath and Aisling Connolly, 5.4.)

Guitar Lessons.

Guitar lessons take place in Dominican College on a Monday evening from 4pm – 5pm. Guitar is a great instrument to learn. It’s fun, creative and very sociable. It can also be a great break from the hard and ongoing study. We have almost mastered most of the guitar chords and we are now working together on a variety of songs including ‘Run’ by Snow Patrol and ‘Time of your Life’ by Green Day. Keep up the good work girls!

Animal Welfare.

On Thursday 3rd March, the Animal Welfare/Environment committee paid a very special visit to the Dominican convent to present a hamper to their new arrival Bella.
Bella, the black Labrador was a rescue dog who was lucky enough to be rehomed by the Dominican sisters. The sisters have shown great companionship and compassion towards Bella since they first adopted her a few weeks ago.
We then had the privilege of presenting a special doggy hamper on behalf of Dominican College to the sisters over a chat and biscuits.
It was clear that Bella had settled in nicely and it was obvious from her wagging tail how happy she was there with her new owners.
With her arrival, Bella has brought great energy and fun to the convent.
We had the opportunity to watch her in action as Sr. Marie demonstrated her fetching skills with a tennis ball and racket. It was lovely to see such a well looked after dog living next door.
We wish Bella all the best in her new home and we would like to thank all of the sisters for their warm welcome and hospitality on the occasion! 

BSTAI Achievement Awards 2016.

We are very proud of our past pupil Sarah Coughlan who was the highest scoring student in Leaving Certificate Business. Congratulations to Sarah and her teacher Ms Diane Mohan.

The awards recognise the highest scoring students in Accounting, Economics and Business at Leaving Certificate Level and Business Studies at Junior Certificate Level. The winners were presented with their medals by Jonathon Lowey, (Chairman of the Federation of International in Ireland (FIBI)), Mr Eddy Collier, (CEO Board Gais) and Mr Ultan Henry (National President BSTAI).

DCU Junior Cert Business Studies Award 2016.

Congratulations to Transition Year students Ali Donohoe and Aisling Smith and their teachers Ms Norris and Mr McDermott who received this year’s DCU Junior Certificate Business Studies Awards.

The top 50 performing students received a certificate of achievement from DCU Business School, as did their teachers and schools.

Fifth Year Business and Link Modules Trip.

On Monday 29th February, sixty eight 5th Year students attended a school’s screening of Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs (2015) at the Irish Film Institute. The film provided a great opportunity to prompt discussion of leadership styles and business ethics as well as exploration of the entrepreneurial spirit, offering students insight into Jobs’ remarkable innovation as well as the uncompromising nature of his leadership.

Sixth Year Business EU Commission Visit.

On Wednesday March 2nd, all 6th Year Business students had the opportunity to visit the EU commission offices in Mount St. The students enjoyed an interactive presentation on the EU Institutions, polices and member states and scored high in the quiz that followed. Well done girls! It was very beneficial learning experience for the students to bring Unit 7 of the Leaving Certificate Business course to life before their exams.

Emmanuel 2016.

Forty five students opted to take part in the annual Emmanuel Concert of Liturgical Music in The Helix on March 1st. This was the culmination of a lot of hard work as we started rehearsals on our return to school after the Christmas holidays and managed to learn not only all of the songs from the programme but also the harmonies too! Due to the large numbers of students now wanting to take part in the concert, we have had to restrict offers of places to the TY, 5th and 6th Year students only. We had great fun learning the songs and have already chosen some of these songs as Graduation Mass possibilities.
Finally, March 1st arrived and the girls did themselves and their school proud by arriving in perfect uniform and in great form, ready for the long day ahead. We had rehearsed in school before leaving for the church to meet with the rest of the 700 students who were taking part in the evening’s performance. (Dr Laffoy very kindly organised a bus for us). We rehearsed in Our Lady of Victories Church before making our way to The Helix for lunch. Our big rehearsal with the soloists and band started at 2pm and went right through until 6pm, when we broke for a well-deserved and much needed dinner which was provided for us in the canteen in D.C.U.
Once the concert started, the girls sang their hearts out until the very last note and it was with great sadness that our 6th Years had to bid their annual Emmanuel concert farewell - many of whom had taken part in every Emmanuel open to them. Leah Keogh from 6th Year did a terrific job as one of the presenters for the evening and was loudly applauded by her schoolmates. As usual, a number of parents were there to lend their support and even had to learn some of the songs and actions when put on the spot by the musical director Ian Callanan! Finally, a big thank you to all our students for their good humour, co-operation and excellent behaviour from start to finish. Here's to Emmanuel 2017... Fionnuala Doyle. (Music Dept.)

Camogie Update.

This year our Senior Camogie team made Dominican College history. We were the first camogie team from our school to make it to a semi-final in the top division. Over the past few years the team has been improving under the management of Mr Ryan with one of the highlights being the All Ireland Final in 2014. Mr Ryan, Ms Bowes and Mr McCarthy are currently involved with the Minor and Junior Camogie teams. The Junior team were Shield finalists this year. The final was played on January 29th. It was a great team performance led by captain Niamh Gleeson

This year, the senior team progressed with Nadine Murphy as captain and Róisín O’Donoghue as vice-captain to a Dublin semi-final against Our Lady’s Templeogue in Ellenfield. Despite the great effort put in by all the players especially the four 6th Years that have been on the team all the way up, Nadine Murphy, Lizzy Murray, Aoife Wade and Róisín O’Donoghue, Dominicans lost by a point. Sadly that was the 6th Year students’ last match but the younger players have shown great talent and hopefully next year the team can get back together and have another successful year. (Hannah Carty)

Minor Camogie.

The first match was the first time the team played together. It was a great game but Cólaiste Íosagain got the final point in the last minute.
The second match was against Loreto. (who are currently first place minor division winners). Unfortunately they beat us. Although in our defence, some of our players were injured such as Emma Hoey, Rachel Dobbs and Niamh Hoey.
In our third match we played St Joseph’s Lucan. It was an away game and we were victorious by a score-line of 8-4 to 2-10. In this match we showed great team work and great communication skills and this was a massive victory over a good team. (Niamh Hoey)

Agricultural Science Trip to Ballyhaise College.

On the 22nd of February the Fifth Year agricultural science class arrived in school early in the morning to meet Ms Laffoy and Ms Ward. We headed off in a specially rented seven-seater car to Ballyhaise excited about what the unknown day would have in store. We were lucky as it was not raining. We had great fun in the car, laughing and joking with Ms Laffoy and Ms Ward.

We knew we had left the city when we could smell the clean fresh air, as well as the smell of manure farmers had put on their crops! I’m sure a lot of students wouldn’t have appreciated this! On arrival we put our wellies on, wrapped up warm, even though the sun was shining, and braced ourselves for all the sights and sounds that lied ahead.

We were greeted by John Kelly, the principal of Ballyhaise Agricultural College, who told us about the farm and what sort of animals are on it and its size. We were then joined by the tour guide Ronan and we shared our tour with another school from Monaghan.

The first place we went to was the machinery shed where we saw some of the machinery the farm own as most was out on the farm working. Two minutes into the tour one girl fell into a mucky puddle….thank God it wasn’t me!

Next on the tour was a trip to the sheep shed where we got to identify different sheep breeds and see some of the lambs that were born a few weeks prior. While in the sheep shed we met one of the sheep farmers who works there and got to ask him a few questions, to help us with our Leaving Cert project. We learned about sheep and the production and breeding of them as well, as learning about how to care for them and how to prevent any diseases.

The next shed we went to was the milking parlour for the cows on the farm. Ballyhaise focuses mainly on research into dairy production. Here we were shown how the parlour works and how everything has to be cleaned and sterilised before use. Right next to the parlour was a few pens with new born calves there. We got to play with them and let them suck on our fingers as if they were ‘suckling’.

At the end of the day Ms Laffoy treated us to a plate of chips to help us all warm up after being on the farm all day. After this it was time to leave for school. The day overall was very enjoyable for everyone and a huge success. (Eimear Hoban 5.4)

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