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Checklist for CAO Change of Mind





Many of you are still working your way through the Leaving Cert exams but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline approaching on July 1, it is really important that you take some time to look at the details of your CAO application, particularly your course choices.

This is the last opportunity for you to make changes before the final deadline at 5.15pm on the day. It has been a challenging two years, with lots of uncertainty and so much has been out of your control. What is within your control now is how you finalise your CAO choices to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of securing a place on a course you want in September. Leaving Cert results will be issued on September 3 with CAO Round 1 Offers out on September 7. To use the Change of Mind facility you simply log on to, click on ‘My Application’ and log in with your CAO number, date of birth and account password.


As you review your CAO choices in the coming weeks, use the following checklist as a guide:

* Have you checked your Statement of Application email from CAO and verified that all your details are correct including personal, educational and exemption details?

* Have you included courses on both sides of the CAO (Level 8 and Level 7/6). This gives you the best chance of getting two offers when the Round 1 Offers come out - the top choice that you qualify for on each list. You will then have to choose which one you prefer.

* Have you filled in as many of the 20 choices as you can? You have the option to fill up 10 on both sides, giving you 20 possible options for college in the new academic year. By filling all 20 choices you give yourself 20 chances of getting a college place.

* Have you checked the Alert Lists on Lots of new courses have been added in several colleges since the CAO Handbook was published last September, some very recently. You can add these courses in by checking the course code on the Alert List.

* Have you taken out courses that you are no longer interested in? Lots of students rush the application ahead of the February 1 deadline with the intention of coming back to look at the course choices more closely. It is not unusual for students to completely change their minds between February and July 1.

* Have you researched the detail of any course that you are including on your CAO application – take particular note of entry requirements and modules. By doing so you are giving yourself the best chance of choosing courses that you are able for, that suit you and that you are interested in.

* Have you listed your courses in Order of Preference? This is the golden rule of CAO. No one knows what the points will be for 2021 until the day the Round 1 offers come out and equally you won’t know your results of exams and/or accredited grades until September 3. My advice is don’t try to second guess either of them and before 5.15pm on July 1, make sure that your course choices are listed in Order of Preference!

* Have you applied the HEAR and/or DARE schemes or completed the HPAT exam? If so you will know the outcome of your applications on June 29 and the result of the HPAT exam is expected around the same time. This may influence your decisions around your choices.

You have had a challenging senior cycle, all the more reason to look ahead to a brighter future. Take time to review your CAO course choices, research your options outside of CAO and make an informed decision about the best next step after the Leaving Cert!

In next week’s column I will be answering your questions about CAO Change of Mind and offer stage so please send them to or DM me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at

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Now that’s what we call dedication!

With over 41 years volunteering as a research biologist Áine Ní Shúilleabháin is the longest serving volunteer in Killarney National Park. Áine is dedicated to the recording of valuable scientific […]




With over 41 years volunteering as a research biologist Áine Ní Shúilleabháin is the longest serving volunteer in Killarney National Park.

Áine is dedicated to the recording of valuable scientific data on waterfowl and water quality in Killarney National Park. Her research has been an invaluable source of material with recordings dating back to 1982. Her contribution, observing ecosystems, and reports on her findings will be recognised for generations to come.

Áine’s ‘wingman’ is boatman and co-counter, John Michael Lyne, who operates from Muckross Boathouse. John’s knowledge of the lakes and interest in wildlife is remarkable. Generations of John Michael’s family have been involved with Muckross and Killarney National Park. The day on the lakes, John Michael, Áine and bird expert and National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Ranger, Sam Bayley, observed, nesting Herons, ringed Mute Swans, Golden Eye pair, an Egret, Cormorants, Irish Red Deer Hinds by the shoreline, and a White Tailed Eagle in the distance.

“It’s a wonderful privilege to be working in Killarney National Park, the Rangers are so open and welcoming,” Áine said.

“I first came to the Park in 1974, working with Dan Kelleher and the late Paudie O’Leary, and then on contract from 1976-1984. My supervisor suggested that I link my work as a fresh water biologist looking at the lake water quality with my great interest in wildlife ecology and management, that’s how I started doing the waterfowl counts.”

The project was spearheaded by prof John Bracken, Zoology Department UCD.

When Áine was appointed Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer in Donegal and Cavan (1982-2008), she still found time to travel to Killarney and carry out her bird counts.

“Being involved in waterfowl counts and waterfowl research in the Killarney National Park, alongside the great staff, so committed and knowledgeable from Dan Kelleher to the current management and staff, Éamonn Meskell, Danny O’Keeffe, and the great team of Conservation Rangers, and Sam Bayley being the bird expert, is such a privilege for me.”

After retiring, Áine returned to Kerry and Glenflesk became her home place. She immersed herself helping Glenflesk GAA Club, with her strong Kerry roots she served as Club PRO and now as Health Club Officer. She was appointed to the role of Kerry County Board Children’s Officer, a role she is very proud to hold.

As she says she is in a unique position volunteering.

“It’s unique having a long series of data going from 1982 to 2023, that’s because of the commitment from past and present staff and for me to continue to work as a volunteer is a wonderful privilege. It’s great to be out in nature, in such a beautiful place, so many different ecosystems and great wildlife.”

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This week it’s all about the eyes

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Our eyes and eyebrows are natural beauty features that help to frame our face to achieve the famous no make-up look. A […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Our eyes and eyebrows are natural beauty features that help to frame our face to achieve the famous no make-up look.

A good eyebrow shape and tint really helps to give this look so you won’t have to try to draw or fill in the brows.

This is a popular treatment with both men and women. The lash lift can give you a natural boost, by lifting, conditioning, curling up which helps to open the eye giving it a brighter, more open look. Also, by tinting with the lash lift you are darkening; this helps the lashes look fuller and you won’t need to wear mascara. Your eye lashes will look very fluttery. You would even think you were wearing extensions without the damage to the natural lashes and its suitable for all ages. Even the shortest of lashes will be lifted.

The eyes and hands are some of the most important places for anti-ageing. With all the hand sanitising, it’s important to use hand cream more often. I always recommend applying just before bed so it can have time to really get to work on hydrating the hands. It’s clear from all my years of anti-ageing skincare for the face that hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for hydration and anti-ageing. If you feel you need a boost for the hands, it’s a great idea to try a warm paraffin hand manicure which is a game changer for the hydration of the hands. SPF is essential to reduce and prevent further age spots. Use an eye cream morning and night, followed by an eye mask once a week and an eye facial once a month. Eye facials can be added into your regular facial for an extra lift.

Eyes for me are an area that needs most work as they don’t have any sebaceous glands of their own unlike the rest of the body. I often hear people saying they are allergic to eye cream, mostly it’s applied wrong or into the eye. Imagine you were looking at a skull – the bone of the eye socket is far back from the actual eye itself. You apply the eye cream on the bone area, just under the eyebrow and well under the eye using the ring finger as not to drag the skin as it’s super delicate. Use light circular motion from the inner corner under the eyebrow out to the temple lifting the brow as you go. It will drop with time and gravity, so it’s our job to encourage it to stay in place by exercising the muscle.

For more information or to book a skin consultation for the New Year, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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