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Focus on key dates in coming weeks

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This has been a difficult week for so many people as the country comes to terms with a surge in COVID cases. Health is by far the biggest priority for everyone at the moment and rightly so. That said, for students who will not now be returning to school as planned, recent developments have understandably meant greater anxiety, particularly among Leaving Certs. So we return to one of the key messages from experts around dealing with uncertainty, that is we need to focus on what is within our control and try to let go of what is outside of it.

As a Leaving Cert student you do have the capacity to control your own study and revision, your course research and college applications. As we head into CAO season, it is really important to focus your attention on researching college courses and careers if you haven’t already done so and it will hopefully lift your spirits to think of the next stage of your journey when things are brighter later in 2021. Use your time wisely to research the detail of the courses that interest you by checking out the module details on the college websites. You should also be getting familiar with how the CAO process works by accessing the excellent student resources available on www.cao.ie.

If you are having difficulty trying to decide on courses don’t panic, you will have plenty of time to change your mind before July 1. For now the important thing is to make sure you meet those all-important key dates and application deadlines.

KEY DATES

January 9 – Virtual Application Information Day for DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) from 10am – 11.30am and for HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) from 12.30pm – 2pm. Register on www.accesscollege.ie.

January 20 at 5.15pm – Deadline for CAO discounted application fee (€30) on www.cao.ie.

January 20 at 5.15pm – Deadline for registration for the HPAT exam required for applying for medicine on www.hpat-ireland.acer.org/register

January 29 – Deadline for UCAS applications for entry to college is the UK on www.ucas.com (This has been extended from January 15)

February 1 at 5.15pm – Normal closing date for CAO applications (€45) and the online facility to change course choices for free closes. Students who wish to apply for HEAR or DARE must have applied to CAO by this deadline. The closing date for completion of the online HEAR/DARE forms is March 1 at 5.15pm.

In next week’s issue I will be featuring a Q&A about CAO, so if you are applying to CAO as a Leaving Cert, Further Education or Mature Student or the parent/guardian of an applicant, email me your questions on info@mycareerplan.ie or send me a DM on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @mycareerplan.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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