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Council interested in acquiring land at St Finan’s Hospital

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IT HAS dominated the landscape of Killarney since 1853 yet the imposing St Finan’s Hospital is now lying idle. News that Kerry County Council is in talks with the Health Service Executive about acquiring land at the former psychiatric hospital begs the question – what will be done with the this imposing Victorian building itself?

The potential of this centrally located and spacious facility must be harnessed for the good of the community and Killarney’s economy.

At the council’s recent monthly meeting, Kerry Independent Alliance Cllr Michael Gleeson asked the council to give an update on the Sir Thomas Deane-designed hospital and its lands.

Cllr Gleeson said the hospital should be kept in public ownership, suggesting it could be used for apartments for single people or elderly couples, or as a day-care centre for people with Alzheimer’s.

Part of the land could be used to solve the traffic crux at the Lewis Road/Killarney bypass unction while the site could also benefit Killarney’s recreational life, Cllr Gleeson told the council.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Michael Cahill has suggested that a tourism training college be located in the building.

Killarney Advertiser columnist Anne Lucey noted that the former hospital building would be ideal for use as a catering college. “I have long argued we need a hotel cum catering college in Killarney, a bit like a Swiss college of catering,” she wrote.

Kerry County Council has met with the HSE a number of times in relation to the availability of surplus HSE lands. The council received correspondence from the HSE about St Finan’s at the end of June, and the local authority has formally indicated a strategic interest in land at the campus. “There are very few who would wish to see the building transferred to private ownership,” said Cllr Gleeson, adding: “I do not want to see St Finan’s end up in private hands.”
 


 
Above: St Finan's Hospital. Picture: MacMonagle, Killarney

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It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check.

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Important date reminders about CAO applications

The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process. Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in […]

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The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process.

Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in interactive flipbook or to download from www.cao.ie, which also has a lot of resources to help applicants and parents.

To register, log on to www.cao.ie and click on Apply, it will ask you first to input your personal and contact details along with the category of applicant you are. Once you create a password and submit payment you receive you CAO number which means you are registered. It is advisable to go through the Demo Version of the CAO form first which is available on their website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.

Applicants who register before January 20 at 5pm will be charged the discounted application fee of €30, which increases to €45 up to February 1. Once you have registered you have until February 1st to add and change your courses, free of charge. On May 5, the Change of Mind facility will open and you will have the change to change your courses, with certain restrictions, up to July 1 at 5pm.

Course choices

You have the option of filling in 20 courses in total – 10 choices on level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and 10 on level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees / Higher Certificates) and it is advisable to fill as many as you can to give yourself the best chance of being offered a place on a course you like.

It is essential though that you research carefully all the courses you are going to include. Often students are careful about their first couple of choices but don’t research the courses that are further down the list well enough. Don’t make this mistake. Every course you put down should be one that you are genuinely interested in and willing to do so consider all options carefully. The majority of level 7/6 courses have progression routes onto level 8.

Order of Preference

This is the golden rule of the CAO and a very common mistake made by students every year. Always put down your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points from the previous year. Points for courses change each year and you will not know the points for 2022 until the day that the Round 1 offers are issued by CAO, which is usually a couple of days after the Leaving Cert results come out. Also you don’t know what points you are going to get until those results come out and it will be too late to make changes to your CAO application at that stage.

Restrictions for the February 1 deadline

While you will get the opportunity to change your course choices later in the year, there are certain restrictions to take note of regarding the February 1st deadline. If you are applying for ‘restricted courses’ they must be added in by February 1as they require some other form of assessment apart from Leaving Cert points such as an aptitude test or a portfolio.

Such assessments are usually carried out between February & April. Students who are applying for Medicine must apply to do the HPAT by January 21 on https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/.

Any students applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) or DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes must have applied to CAO by February 1.

You then have until March the 1st to complete those applications and up to March 15 to have supporting documentation sent to CAO (see www.accesscollege.ie). In the case of mature applicants, most HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) require applications to be in by the February 1 deadline.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or email info@mycareerplan.ie

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