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Christmas checklist for Leaving Cert students




By Guidance Counsellor Niamh Dwyer 

At this stage of the year Leaving Cert students tend to be exhausted.


It has been very busy since September so the Christmas holidays will bring a much needed break from school and the opportunity to rest and recharge the batteries. You are heading into a very busy term after Christmas, with the ‘mocks’ starting in most schools by the end of January. You don’t need to have final decisions about exactly what pathway you want to take after school before going back in January. That said, Christmas is the ideal time to look at all the options you are considering carefully because you have the time!

Being off school means that you will have the head space needed to research your options carefully which will ease the pressure and stress when you go back in January and give you a clearer focus. Remember you will still have lots of time to review your options and change your mind later, but for now focus on exploring all the different options open to you.

Your Christmas Checklist

Take some time to relax and enjoy the festivities.
Choose 4/5 days to catch up on project work and revision. Write down the targets you want to achieve in each subject in the mocks and in the Leaving Cert exams. Make a list of a couple of topics to complete or revise in each subject.

Research the career areas that interest you and explore the various pathways into such areas. These include CAO courses, Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses in Colleges of Further Education, traineeships, apprenticeships, supported training programmes and study abroad options.

Register for CAO if you haven’t already done so and make a list of the courses you are interested in right now. Take particular note of ‘Restricted’ courses.

Look carefully at the detail of the courses you are considering,
If you are applying for colleges in the UK, finalise your UCAS application.

Questions to ask yourself when researching course detail

You really need to dig deep to ensure you are making choices that suit you. The information you need will be available on the specific college/training programme website but if you have particular questions you will find the contact details of course directors in the course information so email your query to them.

Think about the following:

Will I have the entry requirements?
Do I like the majority of the course content? Dig deep into the module content for each year of the course.
How will I be assessed? Check out the proportion of continuous assessment and how that is done – practicals, projects, presentations, reports, essays and so on.
Does the course have work placement? For how long?
Are there opportunities to study abroad as part of the course?
What are the career pathways open to me when I finish the course?
Will I need to go on to postgraduate study or will I be able to go directly into the workplace?
Am I happy with the location of the course? If you haven’t attended an Open Day in the College, check if they have a Spring Open Day coming up or take a virtual college tour on their website.

Important dates after Christmas

January 14: Information Sessions for the HEAR and the DARE schemes (online). See
January 17: CAO Information Webinar for Parents and Students at 6.30pm. See for more details in early January.
January 20: Discounted application fee (€30) for CAO available until 5pm. See
January 20: Registration deadline for the HPAT for students who want to apply to study medicine is 5.15pm. See
January 25: Deadline for applying for colleges in the UK is 6pm. See
February 1: Normal closing date for CAO applications at 5pm. Restricted courses must be applied for by this deadline.

Wishing you an enjoyable and restful Christmas!

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

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Sunflower day fundraiser for Killarney on Friday

Killarney Branch, Kerry Hospice Foundation are hoping the sun will shine for their Sunflower Day fundraiser which takes place on Friday, June 10. There will be collections at various locations […]




Killarney Branch, Kerry Hospice Foundation are hoping the sun will shine for their Sunflower Day fundraiser which takes place on Friday, June 10.

There will be collections at various locations in and around town as well as Foley’s Spar Shop, Fossa and Hegarty’s Spar Shop, Muckross.

“This is our first Sunflower Day collection since 2019. It is one of our main annual fundraising events and is always well supported by the local community” says Cathal Walshe, PRO., Killarney Hospice Branch.

The services provided by Kerry Hospice Foundation for people with life limiting illnesses at it’s 15 bed inpatient unit and “Suaimhneas” Day Care Centre at University Hospital Kerry have been well documented in recent years. Also highlighted is the fact that it costs in the region of €10,000 weekly to provide these services.
Kerry Hospice Foundation has plans for further expansion of its services into the future. An outreach clinic has already been set up at Killarney Community Hospital where patients can meet with a Palliative Care Specialist. This service along with the existing services would not be possible were it not for the generous support Kerry Hospice gets from the people of Kerry.

People can find out more about the work of Kerry Hospice Foundation at, on Facebook or on Twitter @kerryhospice.


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Ted Healy Properties wins DNG Small Branch of the Year

A Killarney estate agents has received a national award at the DNG National Conference and Awards, which took place at The Curragh Racecourse last week. Killarney estate agent DNG Ted […]




A Killarney estate agents has received a national award at the DNG National Conference and Awards, which took place at The Curragh Racecourse last week.

Killarney estate agent DNG Ted Healy Properties was named the ‘Small Branch of the year’ at the awards sponsored by the Irish Examiner.

The Conference and Awards ceremony was attended by more than 150 delegates from offices across Ireland where a range of topics from Ireland’s property market outlook to DNG’s recent partner affiliation with Hampton International and the role of DNG in the residential and commercial sectors, were discussed.
Delegates were entertained by guest speaker Ireland Rugby legend and La Rochelle coach Ronan O’Gara.

The judging panel of industry experts, included Peter Dargan of Irish Times, Adrian Bushnell of Pan Research, Ross Killeen of Media Pro and Keith Lowe, CEO of DNG.
The panel praised DNG Ted Healy for the high standard of service to customers and the team’s use of Social Media to enhance their business.

A native of Killarney, Ted Healy officially opened his estate agency practice in March 2006 and has gone from strength to strength ever since providing a highly professional and competent residential and commercial estate agency service to the people of Killarney and its surrounds.

“We are so grateful to be recognised as the DNG Small Branch of the year. The whole team at DNG Ted Healy has strived towards excellent for the last 12 months, and this only motivates us to continue exceeding expectations and delivering excellence to our clients,” said Ted Healy.

The awards celebrate the hard work carried out across the DNG Network and recognise the successes of individuals within the organisation, rewarding the high standards of service, business acumen and professionalism that are demonstrated in each DNG branch.

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