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Education Minister “honoured” to represent Ireland on US trip

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It was a colourful and busy week for Education Minister Norma Foley during visits to Philadelphia and New York this week.

Minister Foley with Congressman Richard (Richie) Neal at the Ireland Day Leadership Breakfast hosted by Ireland INC at the New York Stock Exchange.

Minister Foley with Special Envoy Joe Kennedy III at the Ireland Day Leadership Breakfast hosted by Ireland INC at the New York Stock Exchange.

Minister Foley addressing the Ireland INC Opening Bell discussion event at the New York Stock Exchange.

Minister Foley speaking at the St. Patrick’s Reception with Chartered Accountants Ireland at the Irish Consulate in Manhattan.

The Kerry TD highlighted the importance of Ireland’s partnership and trade links with America during her visit as part of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day programme of events.

During a week of events and speaking engagements in the United States, Minister Foley took the opportunity also to visit local education facilities and education partnerships.

Minister Foley attended the Ireland Day Leadership Breakfast at the New York Stock Exchange where she met with Special Envoy Joe Kennedy and Congressman Richie Neal and discussed the breakthrough Windsor Framework.

Later that morning, the Minister took part in the 11th annual ‘Ireland Day’ Opening Bell Ceremony alongside Special Envoy Kennedy, Congressman Neal and members of the Ireland INC business network.

The Minister also met with a host of leaders in the business sector including Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, IBEC, UNICEF Ireland and SelectUSA.

Over the course of the New York mission Minister Foley took the opportunity to visit Yonkers Montessori Academy where she met with students and toured the school facilities.

The Minister also met with members of the Kerry Association in New York and visited the Irish Arts Center.
A core element of the Minister’s programme involved an exchange with the Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools and engagements and consultations with internationally renowned educationalists.

Prior to visiting New York, the Minister held a number of engagements in Philadelphia which included representing Ireland at the St Patrick’s Day parade, a roundtable discussion on Irish-US education and sports and culture initiatives.

HONOURED

“I am truly honoured to represent Ireland as part of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day programme of events, visiting two cities, New York and Philadelphia, which are steeped in Irish history," Minister Foley said.

“I particularly enjoyed rich discussions with many young people both in Philadelphia and New York who eloquently expressed what being Irish means to them in 21st century America and explored potential for future US/Irish education and business initiatives.

“I was also privileged to represent the Irish Government at the 11th annual ‘Ireland Day’ Opening Bell Ceremony alongside Special Envoy Joe Kennedy and Congressman Richie Neal and members of the Irish business community.

“It is imperative that the Irish Government uses its platform on our national holiday to highlight Ireland’s strong, cultural, economic and historical ties with the United States and to emphasise our support for the Windsor Agreement.

“Throughout my visit I was struck by the place the homeland of Ireland holds for many first and second generation Irish immigrants now settled in America. As we move ever closer to a global community the bonds of friendship that tie the Irish/American communities together have never been stronger and it remains a key objective of this Government to continue to foster, nurture and ennoble these connections.

“Over the course of the week I was honoured to represent Ireland during this significant visit and I will forever cherish the warmth of welcome and open hearts of the Irish communities of Philadelphia and New York.

“A particular personal highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet with so many of the Kerry diaspora at the Kerry Hall in Yonkers and a number of former Rose of Tralee contestants at events throughout the week.”

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Top 10 Essential tips for Leaving Cert Students in lead up to June 5

The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting […]

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The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting year.

The natural anxiety felt by students is often heightened by the annual media hype around the state exams and it is really important that you do your best to manage that stress effectively, so that you are ready to perform to the best of your ability once the exams start. The following tips may help to keep you focused and a little calmer in the lead up to June 5.

1. Review, don’t cram – Focus on summary notes, flashcards, or mind maps. This reinforces what you’ve already studied. Prioritise areas where you feel less confident, but don’t try to learn new material.

2. Practise past papers – Review marking schemes and time allocation for each question you will need to answer on each paper. Practise a sample of questions against the clock. This will maximise your scoring potential.

3. Organise your materials – Check the exam timetable and highlight your own exams. Prepare the stationary that you need, gather pens, pencils, calculators, and so on. Pack your bag the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

4. Maintain a healthy balance – Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is crucial for memory, concentration and stamina. Eat well, include proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your meals to maintain energy levels. Drink plenty of water, hydration is essential.

5. Try to manage stress – Schedule short breaks during study sessions and do something enjoyable and relaxing, like a short walk, playing or listening to music. Get fresh air and some light exercise. Use relaxation techniques like breathing exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

6. Focus on a positive mindset – Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your preparation. Concentrate on what you know and not on what you think you don’t! Try to avoid negative self-talk and steer clear of discussions that heighten anxiety, such as comparing how much you’ve studied with friends.

7. Plan your weekend – Create a realistic timetable for the weekend, balancing study sessions with breaks and relaxation and don’t overdo the study. You need plenty of energy for the exams.

8. Stay connected – Talk to friends and family, if you are feeling overwhelmed reach out and get support from loved ones. If it’s helpful, have a short, focused study session with friends to clarify doubts.

9. Keep things in perspective – The Leaving Cert is important but won’t define you and regardless of what happens you have several options open to you. Try to reframe the media hype as the whole country getting behind you, for what they know to be a tough time for you.

10. Get Set for exam day – Double-check the venue, seating arrangements, and required materials for the day of the exam. On the evening before the exam, do a light review of key concepts but avoid heavy studying. Ensure you know how to get to the exam venue and plan to arrive early (at least 30 mins on the first day). Decide what you’ll wear to avoid rushing in the morning and have your water and snacks ready to go.

Above all else, give the exams your best shot! Once they are over you have a lovely ‘study-free’ summer and bright future to look forward to. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!

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Disability toilets for Killarney Library

Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year. Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting. She said: […]

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Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year.

Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting.
She said: “Application has been made for funding to the Department. As soon as the funding is approved, work will commence on the provision of Disabled Toilet Facilities.
“While ramps are installed for accessibility, it is unacceptable that any public building be without disabled toilet facilities in this day and age.
“I am aware of several people with a disability who constantly use the services of the Library and are very happy with the staff and the services that Killarney Library offers but are disappointed at the lack of disabled toilets.”
“I will be keeping the pressure on to have these facilities provided as soon as possible.”

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