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A Post Leaving Cert course could be the perfect option




By Guidance Counsellor Niamh Dwyer

Recent data from the Central Statistics Office (CAO) reveal that just over half of Leaving Cert students go straight onto a CAO-listed course.

Approximately 56% of school leavers accept a CAO offer and progress directly into courses in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). There are several reasons for this, the most obvious one being the huge variety and a growing awareness of options now available to students upon leaving school. These include over 1,900 Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses for school leavers and adults offered by over 200 colleges of Further Education (FE) nationwide. In recent years about one in four Leaving Cert candidates has opted to do a PLC and there is a growing number of adults returning to education via the FE route.

Lots of good reasons to choose a PLC

Many Leaving Cert students find it difficult to know what area they want to study in after school. PLCs offer the chance to try an area of interest out and gain work experience before committing to a three or four year degree. It also prepares students very well for progressing onto studying that area in more detail, giving a great foundation for further study. FE colleges are similar in size or a little bigger than secondary school, so getting to grips with independent learning, as well as key skills in communications, IT, referencing and research in that type of supportive environment makes the transition to third level easier. Students who may struggle to get the CAO points required for the course they are interested in should definitely consider applying for a PLC course. There are a quota of college places on lots of CAO courses reserved each year for students who use their QQI FET/FETAC results from PLC courses to apply for CAO courses. In fact, about 20% of CAO applicants each year have completed QQI FET/FETAC awards. PLCs also make good financial sense. There are no fees and students can apply for the SUSI grant if eligible.

Applying to Colleges of Further Education

Applications for PLCs are now open for autumn 2023 for Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied students, adults and mature students. Entry is not based on points and details of entry requirements can be found on FE college websites. It is possible to apply throughout the summer, but some colleges may have earlier deadlines. It is advisable to apply early as popular courses fill quickly. Begin by exploring the full list of options nationwide on and Make sure to use the course search facility on and on to help narrow down the courses that are best suited to interests, skills, aptitudes and career plans. The Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and individual FE college websites also have lots of information about how to apply. For options in Kerry see Completing a PLC course greatly enhances employment opportunities and opens up pathways into Higher Education for those who wish to continue their journey in education.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore and a member of the Kerry branch of IGC. See or follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]




This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:-

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]




BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.


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