Connect with us


CAO points rise but plenty of options available



The news last week that a record 84,000 people have applied to CAO this year has caused extra worry among Leaving Cert students at a time that is already stressful. The rise in applicants is likely to put extra pressure on the points system but work is happening behind the scenes in Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and by the Department of Higher Education to provide more places to alleviate the pressure. Three thousand extra places have already been allocated with the promise of more in the coming weeks. While you have no control over the points, you do have control over the practical steps you can take to make sure you give yourself every chance of moving on to the next exciting part of your career journey.


Use the CAO Change of Mind facility up to the July 1 deadline to ensure that you have included up to 10 course options on both Level 8 and Level 7/6 lists. By filling up all 20 you give yourself a great chance to get offered a place. Points vary hugely between different colleges even for similar courses. Always check the entry requirements and module details of the course and the golden rule is to rank your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points. A guide to the Change of Mind facility is available on


Apply for Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses in Colleges of Further Education (FE). Entry to these Level 5/6 courses is not based on points and the selection of options available mean that there is something for everyone. As well as preparing you to go into the work place, these courses give you a great introduction to and foundation in a particular area and a QQI FET/FETAC qualification, which once completed allows you to apply for progression routes into HEIs through CAO. A quota of college places on many CAO courses each year are reserved for QQI FET applicants which students can apply for on a competitive basis and there are also extensive opportunities in colleges in the UK and Europe. Details of courses can be found on and for information on progression routes see the QQI FET/FETAC section of


Take a look at the expanding number of apprenticeships available, which provide skills-based training where participants get to ‘earn while they learn’. Under a new five-year Government plan numbers are set to double up 10,000 apprentices a year. Outside of the traditional ‘craft’ apprenticeships there are multiple options across many sectors including, ICT, finance, insurance, logistics, sales, agriculture, hairdressing and many more. Check out


Look at the options available in traineeships which are offered through FE Colleges and Education and Training Boards (ETBs) of which there are approximately 75 nationally. Traineeships include at least 30% work-based training in areas where there is an identified skills need. You will find the details on


Take a look at study abroad options. A growing number of Irish students opt to study abroad each year with the UK and Europe being the most popular options. In many colleges in Europe, fees are cheaper and entry requirements are much more attainable than here in Ireland. While some deadlines have passed, there are a number of colleges overseas that are still accepting applications. Check out and for details. Students can apply for vacant college places in the UK through the UCAS Clearing system which opens on July 5 on


Explore the National Learning Network which has over 40 centres across the country offering specialist training and support services for students and adults who need special support. You can get more information on

The key thing to remember is that there is not just one pathway for everyone but several possibilities. Explore them all and identify what options will work best for you going forward.

Continue Reading


Headford man’s 1948 Jaguar the star of car run

A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday. The O’Riada’s Bar […]




A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday.

The O’Riada’s Bar and Restaurant-based event raised money for the nearby Glanageenty Walkways and followed a new for 2022 route via Ballymac, Raemore, Knocknagoshel, Brosna, and Mount Eagle before the finish line in the Mart Yard in Castleisland.

Gerard Healy from Knockysheehan, Headford, Killarney had the oldest cars on the run.

He has owned his 1948 Jaguar Mark 4 saloon for the last seven years.

“This car was manufactured in Coventry after World War Two,” he said. “And it was then shipped to Ireland in kit form to avoid high import duty on complete cars. It was reassembled in Dublin and painted emerald green. This is a Sligo car, the first owner was a Miss Teresa Ferry, it was very unusual for a lady to own a car in those days.”

The car was then sold to a vicar and then a soldier before, somehow, ending up in The Netherlands. There it underwent a full restoration in 1999.

Gerard bought the car from a restorer called Roberto Verboon.

“I was proud to bring the car back to Ireland,” he added.

Thanks to generous support from local businesses and sponsors including O’Riada’s and BG Motors over €500 worth of spot prizes were handed out on the day.

Listry’s Tony and Kay Darmody were prize winners after judges were impressed with their Hillman Minx Convertible.

George Carey from Tralee won the motorcycle award with his finely turned out 1986 Honda 90.


Continue Reading


White Tailed Sea Eagles released into Killarney National Park

By Sean Moriarty Four White-tailed Eagle chicks have been released into the wild in Killarney National Park. The National Park is one of three locations in Munster as well as Lough […]




By Sean Moriarty

Four White-tailed Eagle chicks have been released into the wild in Killarney National Park.

The National Park is one of three locations in Munster as well as Lough Derg and the lower Shannon Estuary where a total of 16 of the once extinct in Ireland birds have been released in recent days.

On Friday last, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin was in Tarbert where a number of eagles were released into the wild as part of a project to re-establish a population of this iconic species in Ireland.

This was followed by a further release today (Tuesday) in Killarney National Park by the Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD, accompanied by the Norwegian Ambassador, Mari Skåre.

Also in attendance were a group of visiting Norwegians who were responsible for the collection of the eagle nestlings in Norway earlier this year.

These white-tailed Eagle chicks arrived in Kerry Airport last month as part of a long-term wildlife reintroduction project.

The four eagle chicks brought to Killarney National Park have been held in special aviaries in a remote part of the Park where they have been carefully looked after by National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

“It has been wonderful to watch the release of the magnificent White Tail Eagles collected in Norway. The friendship between the people of Norway and the people of Ireland runs deep. The eagles we see fly free and strong in their natural habitat here today are spreading their wings as a result of the voluntary work of so many,” said Ambassador Skåre.

“Biodiversity is essential for all life on Earth. Yet we are seeing an extremely rapid loss of species world-wide. Through joint efforts we can halt this decline.”

As in previous years, the young eagles were collected under licence in Norway by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and co-workers. All the birds were fitted with satellite tags in Ireland to enable their progress to be followed and their integration into the existing Irish breeding population monitored.

One of the first pairs of White-tailed Eagles to breed in Ireland was in Killarney National Park in 2013 and the pair have remained in the Park since, once again fledging a chick this year. Their nest is in a tree on an inaccessible cliff, but visitors may be lucky and catch a glimpse of the eagles soaring over the mountains or catching fish in one of the Park’s many lakes.

As they mature, these chicks will join and strengthen the small Irish breeding population that has become established since the reintroduction programme began in 2007. So far, 47 young eagles from Norway have been released over the last two years.

FLYING HIGH: One of the White-tailed Eagle chicks released into the wild in Killarney National Park on Tuesday.
Continue Reading


Last News